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 these 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 10 not-for-profit colleges and universities that offer a program in mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, school counseling, substance abuse counseling, and/or vocational rehabilitation counseling in Nebraska.1,2
- Of the counseling schools in Nebraska, 0 offer an associate degree, 0 offer a bachelor’s degree, 2 offer a certificate, and 8 offer a master’s or advanced degree.1,2
- 5 schools offer a degree in mental health counseling.1,2
- No schools offer a degree in marriage and family therapy.1,2
- No schools offer a degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling.1,2
- 7 schools offer a degree in school counseling.1,2
- 2 schools offer a degree in substance abuse counseling.1,2
- No schools ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Student Counseling Programs 2022.3
- 3 schools ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Online M.Ed. Programs for Student Counseling 2022.4
- Across 5 schools, 6 counseling programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).2
- Across 1 school, 1 counseling program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).5
Comparison of Nebraska Counseling Schools and Programs
In the table below, we have compiled information about the public and not-for-profit colleges and universities in Nebraska that offer counseling programs in the following five areas: mental health counseling (MH), marriage and family therapy (MF), vocational rehabilitation counseling (VR), school counseling (SC), and substance abuse counseling (SA). Use the table to compare each school by program type offered, Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accreditation status, 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.
|School Name||CACREP-Accred Program2||MH||MF||VR||SC||SA||Grad Rate1||Net Price1|
|Chadron State College||—||Yes||—||—||Yes||—||39%||$15,147|
|Northeast Community College||—||—||—||—||—||Yes||52%||$9,158|
|University of Nebraska at Kearney||Yes||Yes||—||—||Yes||Yes||58%||$16,433|
|University of Nebraska at Omaha||Yes||Yes||—||—||Yes||—||50%||$12,790|
|Wayne State College||Yes||Yes||—||—||Yes||—||50%||$14,428|
|Western Nebraska Community College||—||—||—||—||—||Yes||42%||$6,756|
Top-Ranked Schools with Counseling Programs in Nebraska
US News & World Report’s Best Online M.Ed. Programs for Student Counseling 2022
- Creighton University (#25 tie)
- University of Nebraska-Kearney (#37)
- Concordia University (#157 tie)4
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 in Counseling (MAC) focuses on mental health counseling and teaches students about the 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 as well as online. The degree requires 48 credits, 150 hours of practicum, and 450 hours of internship. Individuals without a Nebraska teaching license will also be required to complete 12 additional credits in education coursework. Upon completion of the program, students will meet state requirements to work as a school counselor in K-12 settings.
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 credits with an optional 6-credit thesis option for students interested in research. Students can add two additional courses in addiction studies to meet the academic requirement for a provisional Alcohol and Drug Counseling (LADC) license. Students in the MS in School Counseling program must complete at least 48-54 credits depending on whether or not they choose to complete a thesis; 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 Licensed Mental Health Practitioners (LMHPs), 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 consists 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 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 consists 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 school counselors in PK-12 settings.
Creighton University is a Jesuit institution located in Omaha that offers an online Master of Science (MS) in School Counseling. For students with a teaching certificate, the degree comprises 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.
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 consists of 43 credits with 12 additional credits required for non-licensed teacher applicants. Finally, an online, 12-credit Alcohol and Drug Counseling Graduate Certificate is available for 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.
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 63 credits with an additional 12 credits of education coursework for students who do not have a Nebraska teaching license. 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 take place over the course of eight weeks.
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, Accredited Programs: https://www.cacrep.org/directory/
3. US News & World Report Best Student Counseling Programs 2022: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-education-schools/student-counseling-rankings
4. US News & World Report Best Online Master’s in Education Programs Offering Student Counseling and Personnel Services 2022: https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/education/student-counseling-rankings
5. Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education, Directory of COAMFTE Accredited Programs: https://coamfte.org/COAMFTE/Directory_of_Accredited_Programs/MFT_Training_Programs.aspx