Counseling Degrees and Programs in New Mexico
To become a professional counselor in New Mexico, one of the first choices you will likely need to make is which school to attend. Most types of counseling careers in this southwest state require a license, and to obtain one, you will likely need a counseling degree. There are several public and not-for-profit colleges and universities in New Mexico that offer programs in the five main counseling fields: mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, rehabilitation counseling, school counseling, and substance abuse counseling. In New Mexico, counseling degrees are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Undergraduate degrees can introduce you to the counseling profession and provide the foundational skills needed for entry-level work, although most types of licenses require at least a master’s degree. If you are looking to complete counseling coursework on a more flexible basis, there are also a few schools in New Mexico that offer online or hybrid counseling degree programs.
- There are 12 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 New Mexico.1,2
- Of the counseling schools in New Mexico, 2 offer an associate degree, 1 offers a bachelor’s degree, 5 offer a certificate, and 6 offer a master’s or advanced degree.1,2
- 7 schools offer a degree in mental health counseling.1,2
- No schools offer a degree in marriage and family therapy.1,2
- 2 schools offer a degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling.1,2
- 5 schools offer a degree in school counseling.1,2
- 7 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
- No schools ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Online M.Ed. Programs for Student Counseling 2022.4
- Across 4 schools, 8 counseling programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).2
- No counseling programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).5
Comparison of New Mexico Counseling Schools and Programs
We have created the table below to help you compare the public and not-for-profit colleges and universities in New Mexico offering 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 the steps to licensure as a counselor in New Mexico, have a look at our license requirements page.
|School Name||CACREP-Accred Program2||MH||MF||VR||SC||SA||Grad Rate1||Net Price1|
|Central New Mexico Community College||—||—||—||—||—||Yes||25%||$5,303|
|Eastern New Mexico University Ruidoso Branch Community College||—||—||—||—||—||Yes||17%||$7,633|
|Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus||—||Yes||—||—||Yes||—||40%||$7,002|
|Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell Campus||—||—||—||—||—||Yes||38%||$5,463|
|Navajo Technical University||—||Yes||—||—||—||Yes||7%||$3,128|
|New Mexico Highlands University||Yes||Yes||—||Yes||Yes||—||27%||$12,795|
|New Mexico State University||Yes||Yes||—||—||—||—||50%||$11,397|
|Northern New Mexico College||—||—||—||—||—||Yes||36%||$7,008|
|Santa Fe Community College||—||—||—||—||—||Yes||25%||$8,870|
|University of New Mexico||Yes||Yes||—||—||Yes||—||54%||$11,396|
|University of the Southwest||Yes||Yes||—||—||Yes||—||9%||$19,139|
|Western New Mexico University||—||Yes||—||Yes||Yes||Yes||29%||$13,483|
Schools in New Mexico with Counseling Degrees
Traditional Undergraduate Programs
Navajo Technical University (NTU) offers undergraduate certificate and degree programs for prospective counseling students. The Certificate Program in Counseling comprises 34 credits and is designed to be completed in one year of full-time study. Students in this program learn about the foundations of counseling theory and behavioral health. An Associate of Arts (AA) in Counseling is also offered with concentrations in Crisis Management and Suicide Prevention as well as Substance Use Disorder. These programs have a specific focus on the needs of the Navajo community and are offered in close collaboration with the Navajo Nation Department of Behavioral Health Services. The AA programs consist of 64-65 credits and include arts, sciences, psychology, and counseling coursework. Graduates from these programs may find employment in entry-level counseling and mental health settings or continue their studies at the bachelor’s degree level. Coursework may be applied toward the requirements to become a Licensed Substance Abuse Associate (LSAA) in New Mexico.
At Northern New Mexico College (NNMC), students can complete an Associate of Arts (AA) in Substance Abuse Counseling comprising 62 credits, including 38 general education credits and 24 substance abuse counseling credits. In this program, students learn about the psychology of addiction and the case management and counseling skills necessary to provide entry-level counseling services in the substance abuse field. Courses required in the program include Basic Counseling Techniques; Family Systems Theory; and Alcohol & Drug Abuse Assessment, Treatment, & Referral. Students also complete either a supervised practicum or an applied learning course in the second year of the program. Graduates of the program will meet the academic requirements to become Licensed Substance Abuse Associates (LSAAs) in New Mexico and/or will be prepared to continue their studies at the bachelor’s degree level.
Traditional Graduate Programs
New Mexico Highlands University offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling with four CACREP-accredited concentrations: Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC), Rehabilitation Counseling, Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling, and School Counseling. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling, and School Counseling concentrations require 60 credits, while the Rehabilitation Counseling concentration comprises 48 credits with an optional six-credit vocational evaluation specialization. All four concentrations can be taken at the Las Vegas, Farmington, Santa Fe, Rio Rancho/Albuquerque campuses in combination with synchronous and asynchronous online classes. Graduates of the CMHC and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling concentrations will meet state coursework requirements to become Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHCs), while School Counseling graduates will meet state requirements to become school counselors, and graduates of the Rehabilitation Counseling concentration will be eligible to apply for the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) credential. Certificates in Professional Counseling; Rehabilitation Counseling; and School Counseling are also available and enable individuals with a master’s degree in counseling to become licensed in a second area of practice.
At New Mexico State University (NMSU), students can complete a CACREP-accredited Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) with a multicultural focus that meets state coursework requirements to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). The program requires 60 credits and can be completed in two years of full-time study, although part-time study is permitted. Required courses include Counseling Research; Group Work Theory and Technique; and Child and Adolescent Counseling. New students are admitted in the summer term. A nine-credit Graduate Minor is also available in Spanish Counseling, which is comprised of three elements: counseling language development; clinical experience; and sociocultural experiences. Applicants must demonstrate Spanish language skills at the intermediate level or above, complete the required practicum and internship in a bilingual setting, and take a course in Chicano cultural studies.
The University of New Mexico (UNM) offers a 60-credit Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling with two CACREP-accredited tracks in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) and School Counseling. Both tracks have a shared counseling core and take an average of three years to complete. UNM also offers a dual-track option that includes both CMHC and School Counseling concentrations and takes an average of four years to complete, as students must complete the coursework and practicum experiences for both tracks. Students in the MA in CMHC take additional coursework in psychotherapy and mental health, while students in the MA in School Counseling complete additional coursework in child and adolescent counseling. Graduates in both tracks will meet state educational requirements to become Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHCs) and those in the MA in School Counseling will also be eligible to become school counselors in New Mexico. New students are admitted in the fall and spring terms. UNM also offers a CACREP-accredited Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Counselor Education and Supervision that prepares students for advanced research, practice, and teaching careers in counseling.
Online and Hybrid Programs
Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) offers an online Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling degree that requires 60 credits and meets the academic requirements to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in New Mexico. Students take classes in counseling techniques, psychopathology, and human development, and learn about mental health diagnosis and assessment. ENMU also offers an online Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling comprised of 48 credits that includes a 300-hour supervised work experience. Courses include Trauma and Crisis Counseling; Group Counseling; and Counseling Children and Adolescents. Graduates of this program will meet New Mexico requirements to become school counselors in elementary, middle, and secondary school settings.
Western New Mexico University (WNMU) offers online counseling degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The 120-credit Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Rehabilitation Services is offered online through asynchronous methods and teaches students to provide counseling services to clients with various disabilities. The curriculum has a multicultural focus with specific attention on the needs of rural, Hispanic, and Native American clients. A Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Chemical Dependency Counseling are also offered online or at the Silver City campus and require 120 credits. Students should confirm whether the program curriculum will meet substance abuse counseling licensure requirements in New Mexico. A Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling is available online with some synchronous teaching methods. Four tracks are offered in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC), School Counseling, Addiction Counseling, and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling. Students in the CMHC, Addiction Counseling, and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling tracks will meet state educational requirements to become Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHCs). Graduates of the Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling track are also eligible for the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) credential and graduates of the Addiction Counseling track will also meet state coursework requirements for the Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (LADAC) credential. The MA in School Counseling meets state requirements to become a school counselor in New Mexico.
The University of the Southwest (USW) is a Christian institution located in Hobbs. The school offers an online Master of Science in Education (MSE) in School Counseling comprising 42 credits and meets state requirements to become a school counselor in elementary, middle, and secondary school settings. Students learn how to provide counseling services to students in K-12 settings and assist with academic, personal, and behavioral challenges. While in the program, students can also take elective courses in related areas of counseling, such as addictions, family therapy, and play therapy. USW offers an online, CACREP-accredited 60-credit Master of Science (MS) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling that takes two and a half years to complete. New students are admitted on a rolling basis for the fall, spring, and summer terms. While the degree is designed to meet educational requirements to become a licensed professional counselor in most states, students should keep documentation to demonstrate the degree meets state requirements when applying for licensure with the Board.
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