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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: marriage and family therapy, mental health counseling, 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. There are also a few online or hybrid counseling degree programs available at New Mexico schools, that may enable you to complete counseling coursework on a more flexible basis.

Quick Facts

  • 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 New Mexico.1,2
  • Of the counseling schools in New Mexico, 2 offer an associate’s degree, 1 offers a bachelor’s degree, 2 offer a certificate, and 6 offer a master’s or advanced degree.1,2
  • No schools offer a degree in marriage and family therapy.1,2
  • 7 schools offer a degree in mental health counseling.1,2
  • 2 schools offer a degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling.1,2
  • 5 schools offer a degree in school counseling.1,2
  • 4 schools offer a degree in substance abuse counseling.1,2
  • No counseling schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019.3
  • No schools ranked in US News Best Student Counseling Programs 2019.4
  • 1 school ranked in US News Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs 2019.5
  • Across 3 schools, 4 counseling programs are accredited by CACREP.2

Comparison of New Mexico Counseling Schools and Programs

We have created the table below to help you compare the public and not-for-profit four-year colleges and universities in New Mexico offering 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 (*). You can use the table to compare each school by program type offered, 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 NameCACREP-
Accred
Program2
MHMFVRSCSAGrad Rate1Net Price1
Eastern New Mexico UniversityYesYes35%$10,918
Navajo Technical UniversityYesYes14%$5,159
New Mexico Highlands UniversityYesYesYes*YesYes21%$10,821
New Mexico State UniversityYesYes*47%$9,462
Northern New Mexico CollegeYes22%$6,884
University of New MexicoYesYes*Yes*50%$11,620
University of the SouthwestYesYes18%$15,944
Western New Mexico UniversityYesYesYesYes26%$12,773

Top-Ranked Schools with Counseling Programs in New Mexico

US News Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs 2019

  • New Mexico Highlands University (#80 tie)

Schools in New Mexico with Counseling Degrees

Traditional Undergraduate Programs

Navajo Technical University offers undergraduate certificate and degree programs for prospective counseling students. The Certificate Program in Counseling is comprised of 33 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 are comprised of 66 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 towards the requirements to become a Licensed Substance Abuse Associate (LSAA) in New Mexico.

Northern New Mexico College

At Northern New Mexico College (NNMC), students can complete an Associate of Arts (AA) in Substance Abuse Counseling comprised of 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 a Licensed Substance Abuse Associate (LSAA) 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

New Mexico Highlands University offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling with four concentrations: Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling, Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling, and School Counseling. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling concentrations require 60 credits, while the School Counseling and Rehabilitation Counseling concentrations are comprised of 48 credits. The Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling concentration is accredited by CACREP and offered fully online. The remaining three concentrations can be taken at the Las Vegas, Farmington, Santa Fe, Rio Rancho/Albuquerque campuses on in combination with synchronous online classes. Graduates in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling 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. 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.

New Mexico State University

At New Mexico State University (NMSU), students can complete a CACREP-accredited Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 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: Spanish language skills; clinical experience; and sociocultural experience. 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/Chicana cultural studies.

University of New Mexico

The University of New Mexico (UNM) offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling with two CACREP-accredited tracks in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. Both tracks are comprised of 60 credits and have a shared counseling core. Students in the MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 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 a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) 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

Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) offers graduate counseling degrees through hybrid methods with classes available at the Portales campus, online, or during intensive weekends. The Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling degree 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 a 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 Process; and Counseling Children and Adolescents. Graduates of this program will meet New Mexico requirements to become a school counselor in elementary, middle, and secondary school settings.

Western New Mexico University

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 Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, Substance Abuse Counseling, and Rehabilitation Counseling. Students in the Mental Health Counseling, Substance Abuse Counseling, and Rehabilitation Counseling tracks will meet state educational requirements to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and graduates of the Substance Abuse 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.

University of the Southwest

The University of the Southwest (USW) is a Christian institution located in Hobbs. The school offers an online Master of Science in Education (MSEd) in School Counseling that is comprised of 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 60-credit Master of Science (MS) in Clinical Mental Health 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.

References:
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