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Counseling Degrees and Programs in West Virginia

West Virginia offers prospective counseling students several counseling program options at a small number of public or not-for-profit colleges and universities. West Virginia schools offer degree programs in mental health counseling, rehabilitation counseling, school counseling, and substance abuse counseling. If you are interested in starting a counseling career in one of these areas, you will find both on-campus and online programs that help you meet state educational requirements for licensure. Most counseling degrees in West Virginia are offered at the graduate level, as most types of licensure require at least a master’s degree. If you are interested in studying a field of counseling not available in West Virginia, such as marriage and family therapy, you will likely need to consider programs in nearby states or online degrees.

Quick Facts

  • There are 5 not-for-profit colleges and universities that offer a program in mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, vocational rehabilitation counseling, school counseling, and/or substance abuse counseling in West Virginia.1,2
  • Of the counseling schools in West Virginia, 2 offer an associate degree, 2 offer a bachelor’s degree, 4 offer a certificate, and 2 offer a master’s or advanced degree.1,2
  • 2 schools offer a degree in mental health counseling.1,2
  • No schools offer a degree in marriage and family therapy.1,2
  • 1 school offers a degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling.1,2
  • 2 schools offer a degree in school counseling.1,2
  • 5 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
  • 1 school ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Online M.Ed. Programs for Student Counseling 2022.4
  • Across 2 schools, 5 counseling programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).2
  • No schools are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).5

Comparison of West Virginia Counseling Schools and Programs

Below, we have provided a table that allows you to compare the public and not-for-profit colleges and universities in West Virginia offering counseling programs. The table includes whether each school has a program in the five main 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. You can find more information about counseling licensure in West Virginia by reading our license requirements page.

School NameCACREP-Accred Program2MHMFVRSCSAGrad Rate1Net Price1
Blue Ridge Community and Technical CollegeYes38%$6,013
BridgeValley Community & Technical CollegeYes30%$6,367
Marshall UniversityYesYesYesYes52%$8,730
West Virginia Northern Community CollegeYes30%$4,398
West Virginia UniversityYesYesYesYesYes64%$13,422

Top-Ranked Schools with Counseling Programs in West Virginia

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

  • Marshall University (#157 tie)4

Schools in West Virginia with Counseling Degrees

Traditional Undergraduate Programs

BridgeValley Community & Technical College

BridgeValley Community & Technical College (BVCTC) is located in South Charleston and offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies (HSRS): Addiction Counseling. This program prepares students to become Alcohol and Drug Counselors (ADCs) according to the standards set by the West Virginia Certification Board for Addiction and Prevention Professionals (WVCBAPP). This 60- to 62-credit degree includes coursework such as Psychiatric Rehabilitation; Substance Use Disorders; and Treatment and Support for Addiction. To enroll in this program, students must submit to at least two drug tests, one of which will be randomly given during the course of any practicum or clinical experience. New students must also attend one of the annual Welcome Day sessions, where they will learn more about admissions, financial aid, and preparing for the fall semester.

West Virginia Northern Community College

West Virginia Northern Community College (WVNCC) has two options for those interested in pursuing the field of substance abuse intervention. The 60- to 61-credit Substance Abuse Intervention Specialist Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree prepares students to work with both individuals and families struggling with the effects of addiction. Students will need at least a 2.0 GPA in order to enroll in this program and upon graduation can be employed in a variety of environments for addiction-related positions which do not require a bachelor’s degree. This program does not satisfy the educational requirements to become a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor (CDAC); students interested in becoming certified will continue their education elsewhere. WVNCC also offers a certificate in Substance Abuse Intervention Technician, Advanced Skill Set that prepares graduates to work in the substance abuse, mental health, or social work fields. This program lays a foundation for students seeking further education in counseling or a related field and fulfills some requirements for those interested in the AAS for Substance Abuse Intervention Specialist degree. Like the AAS, this program does not meet the requirements for counseling licensure. For students who have successfully recovered from drugs or alcohol, the program does fulfill the educational requirements to become Peer Recovery Support Specialists (PRSSs) in the state.

Traditional Graduate Programs

West Virginia University

West Virginia University (WVU) offers on-campus and hybrid CACREP-accredited counseling degree programs. The Master of Science (MS) in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling is a 63-credit program that teaches students about mental health illnesses, disabilities, and substance use disorders. This program may appeal to individuals who want to provide clinical counseling services to clients with complex challenges, such as dual diagnoses, chronic health conditions, or cognitive disorders. The majority of this degree can be completed online, with two required on-campus residencies. The program takes two years of full-time study to complete, although part-time study is permitted. New students are admitted in the fall and spring terms. An on-campus Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling is also offered with specializations in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. The MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling prepares students to work with adolescents and adults with issues related to mental health illnesses and substance abuse disorders. Students in the MA in School Counseling learn how to provide age-appropriate counseling and guidance services to students from PreK-12. Approximately 25 students are admitted into each track each year, with new students admitted in the fall, spring, and summer terms. Graduates of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling track will meet LPC academic requirements, while those in the School Counseling track will be prepared to become school counselors in West Virginia. WVU also offers a 60-credit Associate of Arts (AA) and a 120-credit Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Mental Health and Addiction Studies.. An on-campus 15-credit Minor in Addiction Studies can also be combined with any undergraduate major.

Online and Hybrid Programs

Marshall University

Marshall University offers a 60-credit Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling with CACREP-accredited emphases in Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling, which can be completed in a hybrid format that is campus-based or distance education-based. Students in the distance education program option complete asynchronous coursework as well as participate in synchronous virtual classes via webcam in the evening. In the hybrid program, students complete online coursework and attend classes at the Huntington or South Charleston campuses. Even on-campus classes in the program may have a hybrid format, requiring only three to five on-campus meetings during the semester with the remaining coursework completed online. All students must complete 100 hours of on-site supervised practicum with at least 40 direct service hours and 600 hours of supervised clinical internship with at least 300 hours of direct service delivery. New students are admitted on a rolling basis for the fall, spring, and summer terms. Graduates in the MA in Clinical Mental Health program will meet state coursework requirements to become Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) and graduates in the School Counseling track will meet state requirements to become school counselors. The school also offers pathways to dual licensure. Students in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling track must complete up to six additional courses to qualify for school counseling licensure, while those in the School Counseling track must complete an additional supervised clinical mental health internship to qualify for mental health counseling licensure. Marshall also offers a Graduate Certificate of Advanced Studies in Violence, Loss, and Trauma Counseling as well as a 15-credit interdisciplinary minor in Addiction Studies.

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