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Counseling Degrees and Programs in Texas

There are many colleges and universities in Texas that offer programs in the five major counseling categories: marriage and family therapy, mental health counseling, rehabilitation counseling, school counseling, and substance abuse counseling. If you are planning to become a counselor in Texas in any of these areas, you will need to choose a school that offers a counseling program in your preferred area of specialization. Most counseling career pathways require a degree and, furthermore, many require a master’s degree in counseling as the first step towards licensure. There are some associate and bachelor’s degrees in counseling available for aspiring counselors but most degree programs in Texas are offered at the graduate level since that is the minimum degree required for most license types. Some online and hybrid programs are also offered that help make counseling education more flexible and accessible to those who cannot attend traditional classes.

Quick Facts

  • There are 52 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 Texas.1,2
  • Of the counseling schools in Texas, 4 offer an associate’s degree, 1 offers a bachelor’s degree, 3 offer a certificate, and 49 offer an advanced degree.1
  • 15 schools offer a degree in marriage and family therapy.1,2
  • 29 schools offer a degree in mental health counseling.1,2
  • 7 schools offer a degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling. 1,2
  • 40 schools offer a degree in school counseling.1,2
  • 5 schools offer a degree in substance abuse counseling.1,2
  • 5 counseling schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Top College Values 2019.3
  • 1 school ranked in US News Best Student Counseling Programs 2019.4
  • 7 schools ranked in US News Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs 2019.5
  • Across 26 schools, 49 counseling programs in these five areas are accredited by CACREP.2

Comparison of Texas Counseling Schools and Programs

The table below summarizes the public and not-for-profit four-year colleges and universities in Texas that offer programs in five core counseling 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 also compare schools by type of program offered, graduation rate, and net price per year. If you would like for information about the licensing process to become a counselor in Texas, visit our license requirements page.

School NameCACREP-
Accred
Program2
MHMFVRSCSAGrad Rate1Net Price1
Abilene Christian UniversityYesYes67%$27,584
Angelo State UniversityYes34%$11,558
Austin Community College DistrictYesYes8%$4,194
Dallas Baptist UniversityYesYes53%$26,731
Episcopal Theological Seminary of the SouthwestYesYes*N.Av.N.Av.
Hardin-Simmons UniversityYesYes*YesYes48%$21,306
Houston Baptist UniversityYes40%$21,479
King’s UniversityYes33%$23,252
Lamar UniversityYesYes*Yes27%$11,510
LeTourneau UniversityYes61%$23,386
Lubbock Christian UniversityYes47%$23,407
Midland CollegeYes22%$6,832
Midwestern State UniversityYes42%$10,395
North American UniversityYes45%$13,632
Our Lady of the Lake UniversityYes37%$18,021
Saint Edward’s UniversityYesYes*63%$26,927
Sam Houston State UniversityYesYes*Yes*Yes*52%$12,516
Southern Methodist UniversityYesYes*Yes*Yes*78%$38,562
Southwestern Assemblies of God UniversityYesYesYes44%$25,171
St. Mary’s UniversityYesYes*YesYes56%$18,113
Stephen F Austin State UniversityYesYes*Yes*Yes*48%$11,759
Sul Ross State UniversityYes25%$14,951
Tarleton State UniversityYesYes*Yes46%$12,352
Texas A & M International UniversityYes46%$4,744
Texas A & M University-Central TexasYesYes*YesYesN.Av.N.Av.
Texas A & M University-CommerceYesYes*Yes*40%$11,796
Texas A & M University-Corpus ChristiYesYes*Yes*Yes*Yes*37%$11,381
Texas A & M University-KingsvilleYesYes37%$14,329
Texas A&M University-San AntonioYesYesN.Av.$12,994
Texas A & M University-TexarkanaYesYes*28%$11,777
Texas Christian UniversityYes83%$37,344
Texas Southern UniversityYes21%$14,741
Texas State UniversityYesYes*Yes*Yes*55%$13,729
Texas Tech UniversityYesYes*YesYes*60%$15,531
Texas Tech University Health Sciences CenterYesYes*N.Av.N.Av.
Texas Wesleyan UniversityYes38%$22,694
Texas Woman’s UniversityYesYes*YesYes*43%$9,324
Tyler Junior CollegeYes19%$9,484
University of HoustonYes59%$16,002
University of Houston-Clear LakeYesYesN.Av.$10,664
University of Houston-VictoriaYesYes*Yes*19%$10,458
University of Mary Hardin-BaylorYesYes*Yes*45%$25,230
University of North TexasYesYes*YesYes*53%$12,600
University of North Texas at DallasYesYes*Yes*30%$7,941
University of St ThomasYes57%$20,294
University of Texas at El PasoYesYes*Yes*Yes39%$7,720
University of Texas at San AntonioYesYes*Yes*40%$13,064
University of Texas at TylerYesYes*Yes45%$12,437
University of Texas of the Permian BasinYes41%$9,800
University of Texas Rio Grande ValleyYesYes*Yes*Yes*46%$4,319
University of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterYesYes*N.Av.N.Av.
West Texas A & M UniversityYes44%$13,325

Top-Ranked Schools with Counseling Programs in Texas

Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019

  • Texas Christian University (#184)
  • Texas A&M University (#205)
  • Southern Methodist University (#213)
  • LeTourneau University (#342)
  • Texas Tech University (#382)

US News Best Student Counseling Programs 2019

  • University of North Texas (#14 tie)

US News Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs 2019

  • University of North Texas (#12 tie)
  • University of Texas–Rio Grande Valley (#14)
  • Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (#37 tie)
  • University of Texas–Austin (#47 tie)
  • University of Texas–El Paso (#55 tie)
  • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center–Dallas (#75 tie)
  • Stephen F. Austin State University (#80 tie)

Schools in Texas with Counseling Degrees

Traditional Undergraduate Programs

Southwestern Assemblies of God University

Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU), located in Waxahachie, offers a pre-professional Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Counseling with a Christian worldview. This program introduces students to foundational counseling theories and techniques and is designed to prepare students for further graduate study. Students are expected to complete 126 credits including 57 credits in the counseling major. The degree can also be completed with an optional minor in a related area, such as marriage and family counseling or addiction counseling, or students can complete the BS degree in Community Care and Counseling, which blends counseling coursework with community development and pastoral care skills. Both programs have a required field practicum component and a general education core. SAGU also offers an Associate of Science (AS) in Addiction Counseling comprised of 64 credits that prepares students to apply for licensure in Texas as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC). All of these counseling programs at SAGU are also offered in a 100% online format.

Midland College

Those pursuing a career as a substance abuse counselor may be interested in Midland College’s Associate of Applied Science (AAS) or Certificate in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling (ADAC). The AAS degree is designed to help students meet the educational requirements for the Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC) license in Texas in approximately two-and-a-half years of full-time study, while the certificate is designed for students who already have a degree in another subject or who want to apply for a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor – Intern (LCDC-I) license so they can gain experience in the field. Course topics in the ADAC program include theories and causes of addiction, counseling and intervention techniques, and ethics. AAS graduates from Midland College can choose to continue their studies in counseling at the bachelor’s level and will be qualified to apply for the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Healthcare Management degree completion program through Texas Tech University.

Traditional Graduate Programs

Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University offers numerous opportunities for aspiring counselors to earn a related degree. The College of Education offers a 60-credit Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a 48-credit M.Ed. in School Counseling that take approximately two-and-a-half to three years to complete including internships. Applicants who already have a master’s degree can complete the school counseling program as a graduate certificate. Students must typically begin these programs in the fall term although alternative start dates are considered on a case-by-case basis. The university also offers a Master of Science (MS) in Couple, Marriage, and Family Therapy that meets course requirements for the Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy (LMFT) license in Texas. This degree can be combined with specific coursework in addiction counseling to further prepare graduates for licensure as a Texas Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC).

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

At Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, students can earn a CACREP-accredited Master of Science (MS) in Professional Counseling with a specialization in Addictions Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, or Marriage, Family, and Couples Counseling. This 60-credit degree program fulfills the educational requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Texas, and graduates from the marriage and family therapy specialization also meet the degree requirements for the Texas Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) license. All students must complete the 45-credit counseling core curriculum and a three-credit Introduction to Research course; additional electives, a practicum, and an internship are completed in the area of specialization. The school also offers a CACREP-accredited MS in Professional School Counseling that prepares students for careers in assisting students in grades K-12. New students are admitted to these degree programs in the fall, spring, and summer terms.

University of Texas at El Paso

The Master of Rehabilitation Counseling (MRC) degree program at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) offers students the chance to develop mastery of rehabilitation and disability theories, counseling techniques, and research. Graduates are prepared to take the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Exam and find employment with various government and non-profit agencies. The 54-credit curriculum includes a practicum and an internship. The program has a small annual enrollment between 25-40 students and most students complete the program in two years of full-time study. UTEP also offers a 60-credit MS in Mental Health Counseling that fulfills the educational requirements for Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) licensing in Texas and can be combined with additional coursework to meet the course requirements to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). Those with at least two years of full-time teaching experience can apply to the Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling comprised of 48 credits and a school counseling practicum.

Online and Hybrid Programs

Lamar University

Lamar University offers prospective counseling students two 60-credit online Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree options to choose from including Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Counseling and Development. Courses are offered in five-week blocks with start dates throughout the year. The CACREP-accredited M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling prepares students for professional counseling careers in a range of settings such as hospitals and clinics, as well as private practice. Students must attend two five-day, on-campus residencies during the program and complete a practicum and an internship. Students in the M.Ed. in Counseling and Development program must choose a specialization in either Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling or School Counseling. This degree program requires one five-day on-campus residency but coursework requirements vary for each specialization. School counseling applicants must have at least two years of full-time teaching experience. As the M.Ed. in Counseling and Development is not CACREP-accredited, out-of-state applicants should ensure the degree program meets licensure requirements in their home state.

University of Houston-Victoria

The University of Houston-Victoria (UHV) offers two CACREP-accredited hybrid Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Counselor Education degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Professional School Counseling. UHV has a strong commitment to online education; however, the range of online courses varies each term and students should be prepared to complete on-campus courses in order to fulfill the degree requirements. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is comprised of 60 credits in the counseling field, such as Theories in Counseling and Assessment in Counseling, with a practicum and an internship. This degree meets the educational requirements for Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) licensure in Texas. Professional School Counseling students learn to use age-appropriate counseling theories and models to work with K-12 students. The degree meets the educational requirements for a Texas school counseling certificate and students may choose to complete additional coursework to meet the LPC requirements as well.

University of Texas at Tyler

The University of Texas at Tyler (UT Tyler) offers an online 48-credit Master of Arts (MA) degree in School Counseling with a required 200-hour on-site school counseling practicum. The program focuses on teaching students foundational and multicultural theories of school counseling and utilizes various interactive online platforms to connect students and faculty. The program has a cohort structure enabling students to complete classes with the same classmates throughout the program; students are only admitted for the summer term beginning in May. UT Tyler has designed the program to align with the educational requirements for school counseling licensure in Texas. The program boasts a 100% pass rate on the TExES professional school counselors certification examination, the required exam for school counseling licensure in the state. UT Tyler also offers an on-campus 60-credit MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling that prepares students for professional counseling licensure in Texas.

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