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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: mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, 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 many require a master’s degree in counseling as the first step towards licensure. There are many 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 71 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 Texas.1,2
  • Of the counseling schools in Texas, 17 offer an associate degree, 5 offer a bachelor’s degree, 18 offer a certificate, and 49 offer an advanced degree.1
  • 37 schools offer a degree in mental health counseling.1,2
  • 18 schools offer a degree in marriage and family therapy.1,2
  • 6 schools offer a degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling. 1,2
  • 38 schools offer a degree in school counseling.1,2
  • 27 schools offer a degree in substance abuse counseling.1,2
  • No schools ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Student Counseling Programs 2022.4
  • 7 schools ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Online M.Ed. Programs for Student Counseling 2022.4
  • Across 30 schools, 58 counseling programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).2
  • Across 6 schools, 12 counseling programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).5

Comparison of Texas Counseling Schools and Programs

The table below summarizes the public and not-for-profit colleges and universities in Texas that offer programs in five core counseling 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 would like more information about the licensing process to become a counselor in Texas, visit our license requirements page.

School NameCACREP-Accred Program2MHMFVRSCSAGrad Rate1Net Price1
Abilene Christian UniversityYes60%$29,734
Alvin Community CollegeYes24%$10,078
Amberton UniversityYesYesYesN.Av.N.Av.
Angelo State UniversityYes45%$12,835
Austin Community College DistrictYes9%$4,233
Central Texas CollegeYes18%$6,285
Dallas Baptist UniversityYes61%$27,599
Dallas CollegeYes19%$4,803
Del Mar CollegeYes13%$5,617
East Texas Baptist UniversityYesYes45%$23,885
El Paso Community CollegeYes21%$3,982
Episcopal Theological Seminary of the SouthwestYesYesN.Av.N.Av.
Hardin-Simmons UniversityYesYesYesYes52%$23,337
Houston Baptist UniversityYesYesYes44%$20,089
Houston Community CollegeYes17%$6,108
Kilgore CollegeYes32%$7,452
King’s UniversityYes41%$20,962
Lamar State College–Port ArthurYes27%$6,411
Lamar UniversityYes39%$11,449
Lee CollegeYes44%$7,113
LeTourneau UniversityYesYes64%$25,932
Lubbock Christian UniversityYes43%$24,079
McLennan Community CollegeYes27%$6,691
Midland CollegeYes22%$4,539
Midwestern State UniversityYesYesYes47%$11,160
North American UniversityYes29%$15,991
Odessa CollegeYes30%$7,453
Our Lady of the Lake UniversityYesYes35%$18,362
Saint Edward’s UniversityYesYesYesYes66%$24,668
Sam Houston State UniversityYesYesYesYes57%$14,287
San Antonio CollegeYes26%$6,041
San Jacinto Community CollegeYes32%$10,391
Southern Methodist UniversityYesYesYesYes82%$41,986
Southwestern Assemblies of God UniversityYesYesYes43%$22,245
St. Mary’s UniversityYesYesYesYes59%$17,899
Stephen F Austin State UniversityYesYesYesYes53%$16,819
Sul Ross State UniversityYes29%$15,580
Tarleton State UniversityYesYes49%$13,752
Tarrant County College DistrictYes20%$6,867
Texas A&M International UniversityYes49%$5,155
Texas A&M University-Central TexasYesYesYesN.Av.$8,089
Texas A&M University-CommerceYesYesYes42%$13,639
Texas A&M University-Corpus ChristiYesYesYesYesYes36%$14,349
Texas A&M University-KingsvilleYesYesYes43%$12,028
Texas A&M University-San AntonioYesYesYesYesN.Av.$12,235
Texas A&M University-TexarkanaYesYes24%$13,810
Texas Christian UniversityYesYesYes83%$42,574
Texas Southern UniversityYes23%$9,921
Texas State Technical CollegeYes40%$11,698
Texas State UniversityYesYesYesYes57%$16,385
Texas Tech UniversityYesYesYesYes63%$17,057
Texas Tech University Health Sciences CenterYesYesYesYesN.Av.N.Av.
Texas Wesleyan UniversityYes26%$21,495
Texas Woman’s UniversityYesYesYesYes48%$11,627
Tyler Junior CollegeYes22%$11,203
University of HoustonYes62%$14,339
University of Houston-Clear LakeYesYesYesYes53%$16,737
University of Houston-VictoriaYesYesYes22%$11,375
University of Mary Hardin-BaylorYesYesYes53%$30,191
University of North TexasYesYesYesYesYes60%$11,915
University of North Texas at DallasYesYesYes37%$6,575
University of St ThomasYesYesYesYes62%$20,130
University of Texas at El PasoYesYesYesYes45%$10,538
University of Texas at San AntonioYesYesYes51%$11,013
University of Texas at TylerYesYes42%$11,183
University of Texas of the Permian BasinYes42%$9,447
University of Texas Rio Grande ValleyYesYesYesYesYes51%$6,244
University of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterYesN.Av.N.Av.
Wayland Baptist UniversityYes25%$23,378
Weatherford CollegeYes19%$9,117
West Texas A&M UniversityYes46%$13,802

Top-Ranked Schools with Counseling Programs in Texas

US News & World Report’s Best Online M.Ed. Programs for Student Counseling 2022

  • Texas A&M University-College Station (#10 tie)
  • Texas A&M University-Commerce (#97 tie)
  • West Texas A&M University (#109 tie)
  • Lamar University (#157 tie)
  • Angelo State University (#178 tie)
  • University of Texas at Tyler School of Education (#196 tie)
  • University of St. Thomas (#253-329)4

Schools in Texas with Counseling Degrees

Traditional Undergraduate Programs

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, the University of Texas at Arlington, or the University of Texas Permian Basin.

Traditional Graduate Programs

Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University (TTU) 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 both take approximately three years to complete. Applicants who already have a master’s degree can complete the Non-Degree Professional Certification in School Counseling Program or the Mental Health Counseling Graduate Certificate. Students must typically begin these programs in the fall term although alternative start dates are considered on a case-by-case basis. TTU 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 Texas Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselors (LCDCs).

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

At Texas A&M University (TAMU)-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. TAMU-Corpus Christi also offers a CACREP-accredited MS in Professional School Counseling that prepares students for careers in assisting students in grades PK-12. New students are admitted to these programs in the fall, spring, and summer terms.

University of Texas at El Paso

The CACREP-accredited 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 (CRC) Exam and find employment with various government and non-profit agencies. Depending on the electives taken, graduates may also apply to become Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs). The 60-credit curriculum includes a practicum and an internship. The program has a small annual enrollment of between 25 to 40 students and most students complete the program in two years of full-time study. UTEP also offers a CACREP-accredited, 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 that consists of 60 credits and includes a school counseling practicum. The M.Ed. in School Counseling program offers in-person, online, and hybrid options for students requiring more flexibility.

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 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 Professional 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. The Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling concentration meets Texas educational requirements for LPC and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) licensure, while the Professional School Counselor concentration meets the educational requirements for school counselor and LPC licensure.

Southwestern Assemblies of God University

Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU), located in Waxahachie, offers undergraduate counseling degree programs that can be completed either in-person or online. Its Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Human Services with a specialization in Counseling introduces students to foundational counseling theories and techniques and is designed to prepare students for further graduate study. Students are expected to complete 120 credits including 39 credits in the counseling specialization. The degree can also be completed with an optional minor in a related area, such as marriage and family counseling or addiction counseling. The program includes a required field practicum component and a general education core. SAGU also offers an Associate of Science (AS) in Addiction Counseling comprising 64 credits that prepares students to apply for licensure in Texas as Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselors (LCDCs).

University of Houston-Victoria

The University of Houston-Victoria (UHV) offers two CACREP-accredited hybrid Master of Science 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 to fulfill the degree requirements. The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program comprises 60 credits in the counseling field, including courses such as Theories in Counseling and Assessment in Counseling along 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. This 60-credit 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 (CHMC) that is CACREP-accredited and meets the academic requirements for Licensed Professional Counseling (LPC) 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, 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