Counseling Degrees and Programs in Nebraska
In Nebraska, prospective professional counselors can complete a counseling degree or certificate in three major areas of practice: mental health counseling, school counseling, and substance abuse counseling. If you are interested in starting a counseling career in Nebraska, choosing a college or university will likely be one of your first steps, as nearly all careers in professional counseling require a degree. Since no programs are offered in marriage and family therapy or rehabilitation counseling, Nebraskans interested in these areas of practice may need to look at programs offered in nearby states or online. All counseling programs in Nebraska are offered at the graduate level, which is not surprising given that most types of licensure require a master’s degree or above. If you are interested in undergraduate counseling programs, you may consider programs available in other states or online. For students at the graduate level, many of the graduate counseling programs in Nebraska are offered either online or in a hybrid format, which may provide students with greater flexibility in their learning experience.
- There are 8 not-for-profit four-year colleges and universities that offer a program in marriage and family therapy, mental health counseling, school counseling, substance abuse counseling, and/or vocational rehabilitation counseling in Nebraska.1,2
- Of the counseling schools in Nebraska, 0 offer an associate’s degree, 0 offer a bachelor’s degree, 1 offers a certificate, and 8 offer a master’s or advanced degree.1,2
- No schools offer a degree in marriage and family therapy.1,2
- 6 schools offer a degree in mental health counseling.1,2
- No schools offer a degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling.1,2
- 7 schools offer a degree in school counseling.1,2
- 1 school offers a degree in substance abuse counseling.1,2
- 4 counseling schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019.3
- No schools ranked in US News Best Student Counseling Programs 2019.4
- No schools ranked in US News Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs 2019.5
- Across 4 schools, 5 counseling programs are accredited by CACREP.2
Comparison of Nebraska Counseling Schools and Programs
In the table below, we have compiled information about the public and not-for-profit four-year colleges and universities in Nebraska that offer counseling programs in the following five areas: mental health counseling (MH), marriage and family therapy (MFT), vocational rehabilitation counseling (VR), school counseling (SC), and substance abuse counseling (SA). The table indicates the schools that offer programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP); CACREP-accredited programs are denoted with an asterisk (*). Use the table to compare schools by program type offered, graduation rate, and net price per year. If you want more information about how to become a licensed counselor in Nebraska, take a look at our license requirements page.
|MH||MF||VR||SC||SA||Grad Rate1||Net Price1|
|Chadron State College||—||Yes||—||—||Yes||—||43%||$14,073|
|University of Nebraska at Kearney||Yes||Yes*||—||—||Yes||Yes||58%||$15,975|
|University of Nebraska at Omaha||Yes||Yes*||—||—||Yes*||—||48%||$12,105|
|Wayne State College||Yes||Yes*||—||—||Yes||—||43%||$13,193|
Top-Ranked Schools with Counseling Programs in Nebraska
Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019
- Creighton University (#150)
- Doane University (#287)
- Concordia University-Nebraska (#349)
- University of Nebraska at Kearney (#368)
Schools in Nebraska with Counseling Degrees
Traditional Graduate Programs
At Doane University, prospective counseling students can choose from two graduate degrees. The 60-credit Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling focuses on mental health counseling and teaches students about assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health disorders. The program is available at the Lincoln campus with courses offered in nine-week blocks throughout the year. The degree meets state educational requirements to become a Licensed Mental Health Practitioner (LMHP). A Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling is also available at the Lincoln and Omaha campuses. The degree requires 48 credits, 150 hours of practicum, and 450 hours of internship. Individuals without a bachelor’s degree in teaching will also be required to complete 15 additional credits in teacher education. Upon completion of the program, students will meet state requirements to work as a school counselor in K-12 settings.
University of Nebraska at Omaha
The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is home to a Master of Science (MS) in Counseling with two CACREP-accredited tracks in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling requires 60-66 credits, plus three credits in abnormal psychology, if not previously completed at the undergraduate level. Students in the MS in School Counseling program must complete at least 48-54 credits; those without a valid teaching certificate will be required to complete 60 credits. New students are admitted in the fall, spring, and summer terms for both tracks of the MS degree. Graduates of the MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling will meet state educational requirements to become a Licensed Mental Health Practitioner (LMHP), while those in the MS in School Counseling program will be eligible to become P-12 school counselors in Nebraska.
Online and Hybrid Programs
Bellevue University offers a CACREP-accredited Master of Science (MS) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling that is available online or at the Bellevue campus. In the online program, students complete coursework online and complete the required 100-hour practicum and 600-hour clinical internship in their local area. They must also attend two on-campus residencies. The first residency is held at the beginning of the program and the second residency must be completed before starting the clinical internship. The degree is comprised of 60 credits and meets state educational requirements for the Licensed Mental Health Practitioner (LMHP) credential. Courses in the MS program include Theories of Psychopathology; Group Processes and Facilitation; and Human Development Throughout the Lifespan. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with at least six credits in the behavioral sciences.
Chadron State College
Chadron State College offers two hybrid Master of Arts in Education (MAE) degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. Many courses in these programs are offered online, but applicants should be aware that some on-campus coursework is required. The MAE in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a 60-credit degree that prepares students to provide individual and group counseling services in public, mental health, community, and private settings. The degree meets the coursework requirements for the Licensed Mental Health Practitioner (LMHP) license in Nebraska. The MAE in School Counseling is a 39-credit program with three tracks: PK-8, 7-12, and PK-12, allowing students to focus on elementary and middle school grades, middle and secondary school grades, or complete the requirements to work in both settings upon completion of the program. Students who do not have an undergraduate degree in teaching or a teaching certificate will be required to complete 15 credits in the school’s Alternative Teacher Education Program and meet additional state requirements before becoming eligible for school counseling licensure.
Concordia University-Nebraska is a Lutheran institution offering an online Master of Arts (MA) in School Counseling. The program teaches students child and adolescent development and mental health, counseling theories, and trauma and crisis intervention. The degree is comprised of 50 credits for certified teacher applicants or 62 credits for applicants without a teaching certificate. Students must also complete 100 hours of supervised practicum and 225 hours of supervised internship at the PK-6 level as well as 225 hours of supervised internship at the 7-12 level. Practicum and internship are completed in the student’s local area. The MA degree is designed to accommodate the needs of working professionals as all coursework can be completed online and several start dates are offered during the year. Courses are offered in an accelerated, eight-week format, enabling students to take courses on a full-time or part-time basis throughout the year. Graduates will meet Nebraska requirements to become a school counselor in PK-12 settings.
Creighton University is a Jesuit institution located in Omaha that offers an online Master of Science (MS) in School Counseling and Preventative Mental Health. For students with a teaching certificate, the degree is comprised of 36 credits, while those without a teaching certificate are required to complete 48 credits. The program has a project-based format that introduces students to contemporary issues facing students, such as bullying, drug use, and behavioral issues. The degree admits new students in June and takes approximately two years of full-time study to complete. Students can choose to specialize in Elementary School Counseling, Secondary School Counseling, or a dual concentration in PK-12 Guidance Counseling. All coursework can be completed online and, upon completion of the program, students will meet state requirements to become a school counselor. For students interested in school counselor opportunities in Catholic schools, Creighton University’s Magis Catholic Teacher Corps offers additional learning opportunities and scholarships.
University of Nebraska at Kearney
At the University of Nebraska at Kearney, students can choose from several online and hybrid counseling degree programs. The Master of Science in Education (MSEd) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a 60-credit, hybrid degree program that is accredited by CACREP. Students can meet the degree requirements through a combination of weekday and evening classes at the Kearney campus, as well as online courses. Graduates will meet state academic requirements to become a Licensed Mental Health Practitioner (LMHP) and a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counseling (LADC) upon completion of the program. The MSEd in School Counseling also has a hybrid format and enables graduates to meet state requirements for school counseling in either PK-6 or 7-12 settings. The degree is comprised of 43 credits with 12 additional credits required for non-licensed teacher applicants. Finally, an online, 15-credit Alcohol and Drug Counseling Certificate is available. This graduate certificate can be completed by individuals who are already licensed as LMHPs or students who are currently studying mental health counseling. The certificate meets state educational requirements for the Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counseling (LADC) credential.
Wayne State College
At Wayne State College, prospective mental health counselors can complete a 60-credit, CACREP-accredited Master of Science in Education (MSEd) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling that meets state coursework requirements to become a Licensed Mental Health Practitioner (LMHP). The program teaches students to provide individual and group counseling, mental health assessments, and crisis intervention services. The school also offers an MSEd in School Counseling that requires 48-60 credits depending on whether the student completes one area of concentration in either K-6 or 7-12 grades or a dual concentration for K-12 grades. The counseling programs at Wayne State College are offered in a hybrid format, combining online and on-campus courses. Students can also choose to take up to 36 credits of foundational counseling coursework during weekend intensive courses that meet at the Wayne campus five Saturdays per semester.
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), Accredited Programs: https://www.cacrep.org/directory/
3. Kiplinger’s Best College Values, 2019: https://www.kiplinger.com/fronts/special-report/college-rankings/index.html
4. US News & World Report Best Student Counseling Programs, 2019: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-education-schools/student-counseling-rankings
5. US News & World Report Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs, 2019: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-health-schools/rehabilitation-counseling-rankings