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Key Infor­ma­tion:

  • UNC Chapel Hill and Ore­gon Tech are two schools with a top bach­e­lor’s degree in coun­sel­ing.
  • A vari­ety of spe­cial­iza­tions are avail­able with­in coun­sel­ing degrees, such as sub­stance abuse, fam­i­ly coun­sel­ing, and school coun­sel­ing.
  • Empha­sis is placed on pro­grams with strong accred­i­ta­tion and rep­u­ta­tions, ensur­ing grad­u­ates are well-regard­ed in the field.

There is no more com­plex object known to mod­ern sci­ence than the human brain. If that state­ment intrigues you, then seek­ing a coun­sel­ing bach­e­lor’s degree might be a great start on a career path that you will find provoca­tive and reward­ing. The fact is that men­tal health careers are always in high demand from entry-lev­el order­lies to high­ly trained and knowl­edge­able doc­tors of psy­chol­o­gy. By seek­ing a bach­e­lor’s in coun­sel­ing, you will begin your career in the psy­cho­log­i­cal field at a point that is an excel­lent mid­dle ground between the entry-lev­el posi­tions and the high-lev­el posi­tions of ther­a­pists and doc­tors. You will like­ly begin work­ing with patients as soon as you grad­u­ate from the school of your choice, and start mak­ing an impor­tant dif­fer­ence in the lives of peo­ple who need it.

If you are the type of per­son who takes sat­is­fac­tion from help­ing oth­ers, who has an apti­tude for deal­ing with peo­ple on a deeply inter­per­son­al lev­el, and who finds the human mind and the human con­di­tion end­less­ly fas­ci­nat­ing, then there is lit­tle doubt that earn­ing a degree in coun­sel­ing is right for you.

Methodology: Ranking the Best Counseling Degree Programs

For stu­dents who want to see a real career impact from their bachelor’s degree, Bachelor’s Degree Cen­ter edi­tors fea­ture accred­it­ed, trust­ed insti­tu­tions. The best coun­sel­ing degree pro­grams in Amer­i­ca are ranked by their tuition cost, stu­dent sat­is­fac­tion, and poten­tial salary, using data from Niche and IPEDS.

1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Uni­ver­si­ty of North Car­oli­na offers a bachelor’s degree in Human Devel­op­ment and Fam­i­ly Stud­ies (HDFS) that requires majors to com­plete 45 semes­ter units of cur­ricu­lum pulled from an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary approach to learn­ing. The Uni­ver­si­ty of North Carolina’s Human Devel­op­ment and Fam­i­ly Stud­ies bac­calau­re­ate degree is rec­og­nized among North Carolina’s best coun­sel­ing degrees. Stu­dents grad­u­ate from UNC’s pro­gram ready to enter the work­force in careers in health ser­vices, non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tions, gov­ern­ment agen­cies, or social work com­pa­nies, to name a few.

The Uni­ver­si­ty of North Car­oli­na (UNC-CH) is rec­og­nized as one of the first high­er learn­ing insti­tu­tions in the coun­try and a pub­lic ivy league school. The Uni­ver­si­ty of North Car­oli­na is home to near­ly 31,000 stu­dents who attend class­es online and, on the school’s, icon­ic campus.

What We Like: The Uni­ver­si­ty of North Car­oli­na is rec­og­nized as one of the nation’s colo­nial schools, found­ed pri­or to the Amer­i­can Revolution

Degree: Human Devel­op­ment and Fam­i­ly Stud­ies (HDFS)

Uni­ver­si­ty of North Car­oli­na Human Devel­op­ment and Fam­i­ly Studies

2. Oregon Institute of Technology

The Ore­gon Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy offers a BS in Applied Psy­chol­o­gy that is ranked as one of Oregon’s best coun­sel­ing degrees. This bach­e­lor’s degree in coun­sel­ing is avail­able on either cam­pus in Kla­math or Port­land or entire­ly online. This degree from OIT pre­pares stu­dents for careers in research, teach­ing, busi­ness, pro­ba­tion or parole ser­vices, coun­sel­ing, or even grad­u­ate school, among oth­ers. Core class­es include abnor­mal psy­chol­o­gy, behav­ior mod­i­fi­ca­tion, biopsy­chol­o­gy, coun­sel­ing tech­niques, and social psy­chol­o­gy, to name a few.

Ore­gon Tech a pub­lic high­er learn­ing insti­tu­tion that was estab­lished in 1947. This poly­tech­nic insti­tu­tion of high­er edu­ca­tion is home to a stu­dent body that exceeds 4,900 students.

What We Like: The Ore­gon Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy main­tains two cam­pus­es and offers online degrees through its dis­tance learn­ing platform.

Degree: Applied Psy­chol­o­gy BS

Ore­gon Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy BS in Applied Psychology

3. University of North Dakota

The Uni­ver­si­ty of North Dako­ta offers a BS in Reha­bil­i­ta­tion and Human Ser­vices that is among North Dakota’s best coun­sel­ing degrees. This Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence degree in coun­sel­ing is avail­able on the Grand Forks cam­pus or online, with about four years typ­i­cal­ly need­ed to com­plete the degree. Stu­dents enrolled in UND’s bac­calau­re­ate degree in coun­sel­ing requires the com­ple­tion of 120 semes­ter units to meet pro­gram requirements.

UND — the Uni­ver­si­ty of North Dako­ta (North Dako­ta) was found­ed before North Dako­ta became a state in 1883. The Uni­ver­si­ty of North Dakota’s cam­pus in Grand Forks serves more than 13,200 stu­dents and cov­ers more than 500 acres.

What We Like: The aver­age class size at the Uni­ver­si­ty of North Dako­ta is 24 stu­dents and is rec­og­nized as a top mil­i­tary high­er learn­ing insti­tu­tion in the country.

Degree: Reha­bil­i­ta­tion and Human Ser­vices B.S.

Uni­ver­si­ty of North Dako­ta BS in Reha­bil­i­ta­tion and Human Services

4. LeTourneau University

LeTourneau University’s School of Psy­chol­o­gy and Coun­sel­ing (LETU) offers one of the Lone Star State’s best coun­sel­ing degrees with its Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence (BS) degree in Coun­sel­ing Psy­chol­o­gy. LeTourneau University’s under­grad­u­ate degree in coun­sel­ing psy­chol­o­gy requires degree can­di­dates to com­plete 120 semes­ter units to grad­u­ate. This bachelor’s degree in coun­sel­ing is avail­able on LeTourneau University’s Long View Texas cam­pus. Coun­sel­ing majors enrolled in LeTourneau University’s pro­gram must com­plete 45 hours from the coun­sel­ing cur­ricu­lum and then meet the bac­calau­re­ate degree require­ments as well.

LeTourneau Uni­ver­si­ty (LETU) is a pri­vate insti­tu­tion of high­er edu­ca­tion that was estab­lished in 1946. As an inter­de­nom­i­na­tion­al Chris­t­ian uni­ver­si­ty, Letourneau is also con­sid­ered a poly­tech­nic school that serves more than 2,800 students.

What We Like: LeTourneau Uni­ver­si­ty offers small class sizes for the more than 125 aca­d­e­m­ic degree pro­grams offered by the school.

Degree: BS in Coun­sel­ing Psychology

LeTourneau Uni­ver­si­ty BS in Coun­sel­ing Psychology

5. Eastern Kentucky University

East­ern Ken­tucky Uni­ver­si­ty offers a vari­ety of bac­calau­re­ate-lev­el degrees in coun­sel­ing and addic­tion that are rec­og­nized among the com­mon­wealth of Ken­tuck­y’s best coun­sel­ing degrees. East­ern Ken­tucky University’s BS in coun­sel­ing includes online and on-cam­pus con­cen­tra­tions in psy­chi­atric rehab, gen­er­al, work­place psy­chol­o­gy, brain/cognitive sci­ences, sub­stance abuse, devel­op­men­tal dis­abil­i­ty, and foren­sic psy­chol­o­gy. Stu­dents grad­u­ate from East­ern Ken­tucky University’s under­grad­u­ate degree pro­gram to find reward­ing careers as men­tal health coun­selors, case man­agers, or men­tal health asso­ciates, to name a few.

East­ern Ken­tucky Uni­ver­si­ty (East­ern Ken­tucky) is a pub­lic insti­tu­tion of high­er learn­ing that was found­ed in 1874. East­ern Ken­tucky Uni­ver­si­ty main­tains sev­er­al cam­pus­es through the state of Ken­tucky as well as robust dis­tance learn­ing options.

What We Like: the grad­u­ate degree pro­grams offered by East­ern Ken­tucky Uni­ver­si­ty were approved in the mid-1930s.

Degree: many choic­es w/ focus­es on coun­sel­ing addiction

East­ern Ken­tucky Uni­ver­si­ty Coun­sel­ing Bachelor

6. Alaska Pacific University

Alas­ka Pacif­ic Uni­ver­si­ty offers one of Alaska’s best coun­sel­ing degrees with its Bach­e­lor of Arts (BA) degree in Coun­sel­ing Psy­chol­o­gy that pre­pares grad­u­ates for careers in chem­i­cal depen­den­cy men­tal health coun­sel­ing, pro­gram super­vi­sion, behav­ioral health, or a more advanced degree in coun­sel­ing. The under­grad­u­ate degree from Alas­ka Pacif­ic Uni­ver­si­ty requires degree can­di­dates to com­plete 32 semes­ter units from the coun­sel­ing cur­ricu­lum. Stu­dents are offered three aca­d­e­m­ic coun­sel­ing con­cen­tra­tions in com­mu­ni­ty psy­chol­o­gy, mind­ful­ness, or pos­i­tive psy­chol­o­gy. It is not­ed that course­work can be applied towards cred­it need to earn rel­e­vant pro­fes­sion­al certifications.

Alas­ka Pacif­ic Uni­ver­si­ty (APU) is a pri­vate school that was found­ed in 1957 as a lib­er­al arts & sci­ences high­er learn­ing insti­tu­tion that is ded­i­cat­ed to hon­or­ing the state’s indige­nous her­itage. The uni­ver­si­ty’s cam­pus in Anchor­age serves more than 450 students.

What We Like: Alas­ka Pacif­ic Uni­ver­si­ty offers excep­tion­al high school stu­dents the option to attend their senior year at Alas­ka Pacif­ic alternatively.

Degree: Coun­sel­ing Psy­chol­o­gy (B.A.)

Alas­ka Pacif­ic Uni­ver­si­ty Coun­sel­ing Psy­chol­o­gy BA

7. Maryville College (TN)

Maryville Col­lege offers one of Ten­nessee’s best coun­sel­ing degrees with its Bach­e­lor of Arts (BA) degree in Psy­chol­o­gy that includes an aca­d­e­m­ic coun­sel­ing track. Class­es in Maryville Col­lege’s under­grad­u­ate degree in coun­sel­ing include abnor­mal psy­chol­o­gy, cog­ni­tive psy­chol­o­gy, exper­i­men­tal psy­chol­o­gy, fun­da­men­tals of biol­o­gy, the­o­ries of per­son­al­i­ty, human lifes­pan devel­op­ment, the soci­ol­o­gy of the fam­i­ly, and coun­sel­ing, to name a few. In addi­tion, degree can­di­dates for the bachelor’s in coun­sel­ing degree pro­gram will com­plete a senior study or an intern­ship to meet pro­gram require­ments. Stu­dents are pre­pared for work in sub­stance abuse reha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­ters, men­tal health cen­ters, or fam­i­ly ser­vice cen­ters, among others.

Maryville Col­lege was estab­lished as a lib­er­al arts high­er learn­ing insti­tu­tion in 1819 by the Pres­by­ter­ian Church. The college’s sub­ur­ban cam­pus serves more than 1,100 stu­dents and cov­ers more than 300 acres, and is locat­ed between Knoxville, Ten­nessee, and the nation­al park known as the Great Smoky Mountains.

What We Like: Maryville Col­lege was ini­tial­ly found­ed as a the­o­log­i­cal seminary.

Degree: B.A. in Psy­chol­o­gy Coun­sel­ing Track

Maryville Col­lege B.A. in Psy­chol­o­gy Coun­sel­ing Track

8. Washington Adventist University

Wash­ing­ton Adven­tist Uni­ver­si­ty offers a BS in Coun­sel­ing Psy­chol­o­gy is con­sid­ered one of Mary­land’s best coun­sel­ing degrees. Wash­ing­ton Adven­tist University’s pro­fes­sion­al degree pro­gram in coun­sel­ing psy­chol­o­gy includes class­es like the­o­ries of per­son­al­i­ty, dynam­ics of group coun­sel­ing, social psy­chol­o­gy, stress man­age­ment, and psy­cho­log­i­cal test­ing, plus a rel­e­vant coun­sel­ing practicum expe­ri­ence, among oth­ers. Coun­sel­ing majors must com­plete 36 cred­it units from the coun­sel­ing psy­chol­o­gy core curriculum.

Wash­ing­ton Adven­tist Uni­ver­si­ty (WAU) was estab­lished in 1904 as a sem­i­nary and pri­vate insti­tu­tion of high­er learn­ing. Wash­ing­ton Adven­tist University’s stu­dent enroll­ment exceeds 1,350 stu­dents annu­al­ly. Wash­ing­ton Adven­tist Uni­ver­si­ty is orga­nized into three college/schools – School of Health Pro­fes­sions, School of Arts & Social Sci­ences, and the Grad­u­ate and Pro­fes­sion­al Stud­ies School.

What We Like: Wash­ing­ton Adven­tist Uni­ver­si­ty is autho­rized by fed­er­al rule to train veterans.

Degree: BS in Coun­sel­ing Psychology

Wash­ing­ton Adven­tist Uni­ver­si­ty BS in Coun­sel­ing Psychology

9. Oklahoma Baptist University

Okla­homa Bap­tist Uni­ver­si­ty offers one of Okla­homa’s best coun­sel­ing degrees with its Bach­e­lor of Arts (BA) degree in Psy­chol­o­gy that includes an aca­d­e­m­ic track in pre-coun­sel­ing. Okla­homa Bap­tist University’s under­grad­u­ate coun­sel­ing degree requires degree can­di­dates to com­plete 128 cred­it units to meet pro­gram require­ments. Coun­sel­ing majors are required to com­plete 37 semes­ter units in class that include psy­chother­a­py, abnor­mal psy­chol­o­gy, sta­tis­tics for social sci­en­tists, research meth­ods in psy­chol­o­gy, and basic coun­sel­ing skills, to name a few. Stu­dents grad­u­ate from Okla­homa Bap­tist University’s bac­calau­re­ate coun­sel­ing degree and enter the work­force as fam­i­ly edu­ca­tors, con­sumer researchers, fam­i­ly ther­a­pists, or coun­selors, to name a few.

Okla­homa Bap­tist Uni­ver­si­ty (OBU) is a Bap­tist insti­tu­tion of high­er edu­ca­tion that was estab­lished in 1910. The university’s cam­pus in Shawnee serves near­ly 2,000 stu­dents and cov­ers more than 200 urban acres.

What We Like: Okla­homa Bap­tist Uni­ver­si­ty is locat­ed about one-half hour from Okla­homa City and a few hours from the Fort Worth & Dal­las, Texas metro area.

Degree: BA in Psy­chol­o­gy — Pre-Counseling

Okla­homa Bap­tist Uni­ver­si­ty BA in Psy­chol­o­gy — Pre-Counseling

10. Liberty University

Lib­er­ty Uni­ver­si­ty offers a BS in Psy­chol­o­gy with an aca­d­e­m­ic empha­sis in cri­sis coun­sel­ing that ranked among Virginia’s best coun­sel­ing degrees that is avail­able entire­ly online. Lib­er­ty University’s under­grad­u­ate degree in cri­sis coun­sel­ing typ­i­cal­ly takes 3.5 years to com­plete the required 120 semes­ter units. Lib­er­ty Uni­ver­si­ty offers appli­cants a gen­er­ous trans­fer cred­it pol­i­cy that allows for up 90 eli­gi­ble cred­its to be trans­ferred upon approval. Stu­dents grad­u­ate from Lib­er­ty Uni­ver­si­ty’s bac­calau­re­ate coun­sel­ing degree pro­gram to find reward­ing work in com­mu­ni­ty rela­tions, cri­sis care, and admin­is­tra­tion or cri­sis coun­sel­ing, among others.

Lib­er­ty Uni­ver­si­ty (Lib­er­ty) is a pri­vate evan­gel­i­cal high­er learn­ing insti­tu­tion that was estab­lished in 1971 by Jer­ry Fal­well, Sr. Vet­er­ans and qual­i­fied mil­i­tary ser­vice mem­bers are offered tuition dis­counts from Lib­er­ty University.

What We Like: Lib­er­ty Uni­ver­si­ty requires no stan­dard­ized test­ing when apply­ing for enroll­ment in any of the university’s aca­d­e­m­ic offerings.

Degree: Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in Psy­chol­o­gy w/ con­cen­tra­tions in counseling

Lib­er­ty Uni­ver­si­ty BS in Psychology

11. Morningside College (Iowa)

Morn­ing­side Col­lege offers one of Iowa’s best coun­sel­ing degrees with its Bach­e­lor of Arts (BA) degree in Coun­sel­ing Psy­chol­o­gy with an aver­age stu­dent to fac­ul­ty ratio of only 13 to 1. Stu­dents grad­u­at­ing from Morn­ing­side Col­lege’s under­grad­u­ate degree in coun­sel­ing find reward­ing careers as social work­ers, men­tal health coun­selors, grief coun­selors, sub­stance abuse coun­selors, or fam­i­ly ther­a­pist, to name a few. Class­es for Morn­ing­side Col­lege’s coun­sel­ing major include gen­er­al psy­chol­o­gy, the psy­chol­o­gy of test­ing, research meth­ods in psy­chol­o­gy, group coun­sel­ing, and abnor­mal psy­chol­o­gy, plus a coun­sel­ing practicum, to name a few.

Morn­ing­side Col­lege (Morn­ing­side) is a pri­vate lib­er­al arts insti­tu­tion of high­er edu­ca­tion that was found­ed in 1894. Morn­ing­side Col­lege’s urban cam­pus cov­ers more than 100 acres and serves more than 1,900 students.

What We Like: Morn­ing­side Col­lege main­tains an ongo­ing reli­gious affil­i­a­tion with the Unit­ed Methodist Church.

Degree: Coun­sel­ing Psy­chol­o­gy BA

Morn­ing­side Col­lege Coun­sel­ing Psy­chol­o­gy BA

12. Averett University

Averett Uni­ver­si­ty offers a bach­e­lor’s degree in psy­chol­o­gy that pro­vides an aca­d­e­m­ic empha­sis in clin­i­cal and coun­sel­ing that is ranked among Vir­gini­a’s best coun­sel­ing degrees. Stu­dents enrolled in Averett University’s under­grad­u­ate coun­sel­ing degrees com­plete course­work in sta­tis­tics, health psy­chol­o­gy, com­ple­men­tary health­care, the psy­chol­o­gy of learn­ing, effec­tive behav­ior, research design in psy­chol­o­gy, and a rel­e­vant research practicum in coun­sel­ing. In addi­tion, degree can­di­dates will sub­mit a senior cul­mi­nat­ing inte­gra­tive pro­gram to reflect their coun­sel­ing learn­ing expe­ri­ence at Averett University.

Averett Uni­ver­si­ty (Averett) is a pri­vate high­er learn­ing insti­tu­tion that was ini­tial­ly estab­lished as a woman’s school in 1859. Estab­lished as a Bap­tist Col­lege, this pri­vate uni­ver­si­ty serves more than 2,000 stu­dents that hail from more than twelve coun­tries and more than two dozen states.

What We Like: Averett Uni­ver­si­ty oper­ates as a school that accepts appli­ca­tions all year on a rolling basis.

Degree: Clin­i­cal and Coun­sel­ing Psy­chol­o­gy Concentrations

Averett Uni­ver­si­ty Clin­i­cal and Coun­sel­ing Psychology

13. Georgian Court University

Geor­gian Court University’s Depart­ment of Psy­chol­o­gy & Coun­sel­ing (GCU), in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Rut­gers School of Health Pro­fes­sions (SHP), offers a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence degree in Psy­chi­atric Reha­bil­i­ta­tion and Psy­chol­o­gy that is ranked among the Gar­den State’s best coun­sel­ing degrees. Geor­gian Court Uni­ver­si­ty boasts a fac­ul­ty-to-stu­dent ratio of 1 to 13. Degree can­di­dates enrolled in Geor­gian Court University’s under­grad­u­ate must com­plete 120 semes­ter units, with 37 cred­its earned in class­es in coun­sel­ing. The coun­sel­ing cur­ricu­lum includes adult devel­op­ment, the­o­ries of per­son­al­i­ty, cog­ni­tive psy­chol­o­gy, exper­i­men­tal psy­chol­o­gy, and research meth­ods for behav­ioral sci­en­tists, to name a few.

Geor­gian Court Uni­ver­si­ty (GCU) is a pri­vate high­er learn­ing insti­tu­tion that was found­ed by the Sis­ters of Mer­cy in 1908. As a Roman Catholic insti­tu­tion of high­er edu­ca­tion, Geor­gian Court Uni­ver­si­ty serves more than 1,400 coed­u­ca­tion­al students.

What We Like: When found­ed, Geor­gian Court Uni­ver­si­ty was an all-girls school.

Degree: B.S. in Psy­chi­atric Reha­bil­i­ta­tion and Psychology

Geor­gian Court Uni­ver­si­ty B.S. in Psy­chi­atric Reha­bil­i­ta­tion and Psychology

14. Clarks Summit University

Clarks Sum­mit Uni­ver­si­ty offers a BS in Coun­sel­ing that is con­sid­ered among Pennsylvania’s best coun­sel­ing degrees that is an on-cam­pus degree pro­gram. Degree can­di­dates grad­u­ate from Clarks Sum­mit Uni­ver­si­ty pre­pared for reward­ing careers as social work­ers, guid­ance coun­selors, sub­stance abuse spe­cial­ists, school coun­selors, or ther­a­peu­tic sup­port work­ers, to name a few. Class­es for this bac­calau­re­ate coun­sel­ing degree include social psy­chol­o­gy, ethics, and pro­fes­sion­al­ism for coun­selors, per­son­al­i­ty the­o­ry, child & ado­les­cent devel­op­ment, tests & mea­sure­ments, women coun­sel­ing women, phys­i­o­log­i­cal psy­chol­o­gy, and the­o­log­i­cal dis­tinc­tives, among others.

Clarks Sum­mit Uni­ver­si­ty (Clarks Sum­mit) was estab­lished as a pri­vate bible col­lege in 1932. Estab­lished ini­tial­ly as a bible school, Clarks Sum­mit Uni­ver­si­ty now serves more than 490 stu­dents each year.

What We Like: Clarks Sum­mit Uni­ver­si­ty is rec­og­nized to be the sec­ond safest col­lege across the Unit­ed States.

Degree: Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in Counseling

Clarks Sum­mit Uni­ver­si­ty BS in Counseling

15. Emmanuel College

Emmanuel College’s Psy­chol­o­gy Depart­ment (EC) offers one of Massachusetts’s best coun­sel­ing degrees with its BA degree in Psy­chol­o­gy that has a con­cen­tra­tion in Coun­sel­ing & Health Psy­chol­o­gy. Emmanuel College’s bachelor’s psy­chol­o­gy degree pro­gram includes class­es in child psy­chol­o­gy, phi­los­o­phy of mind and psy­chi­a­try, social psy­chol­o­gy, adult­hood and aging, the­o­ries of per­son­al­i­ty, race, gen­der and sex­u­al­i­ty, and rela­tion­ships, mar­riage and the fam­i­ly. Emmanuel Col­lege boasts a fac­ul­ty-to-stu­dent ratio of only 13 to 1. Each stu­dent is required to com­plete a rel­e­vant intern­ship in coun­sel­ing pri­or to graduation.

Emmanuel Col­lege (EC) was estab­lished by the Sis­ters of Notre Dame de Namur in 1919. Emmanuel Col­lege serves more than 2,100 stu­dents each semes­ter from its 15+ acre urban Boston campus.

What We Like: Emmanuel Col­lege holds the dis­tinc­tion of being the first all-women’s high­er learn­ing insti­tu­tion in New England

Degree: B.A. in Psy­chol­o­gy with Con­cen­tra­tion in Coun­sel­ing & Health Psychology

Emmanuel Col­lege Coun­sel­ing & Health Psychology

16. Life Pacific University

Life Pacif­ic Uni­ver­si­ty offers one of California’s best coun­sel­ing degrees with its Bach­e­lor of Arts (BA) degree in Human Devel­op­ment & Psy­chol­o­gy that offers four aca­d­e­m­ic tracks – social psy­chol­o­gy, foren­sic psy­chol­o­gy, edu­ca­tion­al psy­chol­o­gy, or coun­sel­ing psy­chol­o­gy. Stu­dents grad­u­at­ing from Life Pacif­ic Uni­ver­si­ty’s under­grad­u­ate psy­chol­o­gy degree in coun­sel­ing enter the work­force as case man­agers, school coun­selors, social work­ers, sub­stance abuse coun­selors, or fam­i­ly ther­a­pists, to name a few.

Life Pacif­ic Uni­ver­si­ty (LPU) was estab­lished in 1923 and is endorsed by the Four Square Gospel Inter­na­tion­al Church. More than 650 stu­dents attend class­es offered by Life Pacif­ic Uni­ver­si­ty. Life Pacif­ic Uni­ver­si­ty is rec­og­nized as the most afford­able Chris­t­ian school that is accred­it­ed in the state of Cal­i­for­nia. More than half of LPU’s stu­dents are from defined under-rep­re­sent­ed stu­dent pop­u­la­tions – pri­mar­i­ly His­pan­ic or Latino.

What We Like: Life Pacif­ic Uni­ver­si­ty boasts an impres­sive fac­ul­ty-to-stu­dent ratio of 1 to 16.

Degree: BA in Human Devel­op­ment & Psychology

Life Pacif­ic Uni­ver­si­ty BA in Human Devel­op­ment & Psychology

17. Kentucky Christian University

Ken­tucky Chris­t­ian Uni­ver­si­ty Social Work & Behav­ioral Health School offers a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence (BS) degree in Coun­sel­ing Psy­chol­o­gy that is con­sid­ered among Kentucky’s best coun­sel­ing degrees. Stu­dents enrolled in the under­grad­u­ate coun­sel­ing degree offered by Ken­tucky Chris­t­ian Uni­ver­si­ty must com­plete class­es that total 120 semes­ter units to grad­u­ate. In addi­tion, this Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence degree in coun­sel­ing psy­chol­o­gy degree requires can­di­dates to fin­ish a 400-hour intern­ship in a rel­e­vant posi­tion with­in a human ser­vice organization.

Ken­tucky Chris­t­ian Uni­ver­si­ty (Ken­tucky Chris­t­ian) is a pri­vate high­er learn­ing insti­tu­tion that was estab­lished as a nor­mal school in 1919. The school oper­ates under the affil­i­a­tion with the Chris­t­ian Church­es of Christ, with more than 650 students.

What We Like: Ken­tucky Chris­t­ian Uni­ver­si­ty oper­ates on a semes­ter fee basis, dur­ing which a stu­dent can take as many cred­its as they feel they can han­dle for the same fee.

Degree: BS, Coun­sel­ing Psychology

Ken­tucky Chris­t­ian Uni­ver­si­ty BS, Coun­sel­ing Psychology

18. Delaware Valley University

Delaware Val­ley Uni­ver­si­ty offers a BA in Coun­sel­ing Psy­chol­o­gy that is con­sid­ered ranked as one of the best coun­sel­ing degrees in the mar­ket­place. Class­es in Delaware Val­ley University’s BA degree in coun­sel­ing psy­chol­o­gy include pro­fes­sion­al psy­chol­o­gy, the­o­ries of per­son­al­i­ty, intro­duc­tion to behav­ior mod­i­fi­ca­tion, coun­sel­ing tech­niques, and mul­ti­cul­tur­al issues in psy­chol­o­gy, to name a few. Many stu­dents enrolled in Delaware Val­ley University’s bac­calau­re­ate degree in coun­sel­ing choose to earn their grad­u­ate degree before enter­ing the work­force. Bach­e­lor of Arts degree coun­sel­ing grads can find reward­ing careers as men­tal health tech­ni­cians, school coun­selors, com­mu­ni­ty resource direc­tors, to name a few.

Delaware Val­ley Uni­ver­si­ty (Delaware Val­ley) is a pri­vate insti­tu­tion of high­er edu­ca­tion that was estab­lished as a farm school in 1896. Delaware Val­ley Uni­ver­si­ty began as an agri­cul­tur­al school to edu­cate using the con­cept of sci­ence with practice.

What We Like: Delaware Val­ley Uni­ver­si­ty proud­ly boasts that its fac­ul­ty to stu­dent ratio is an impres­sive 1 to 13.

Degree: Coun­sel­ing Psy­chol­o­gy (B.A.)

Delaware Val­ley Uni­ver­si­ty BA in Coun­sel­ing Psychology

19. Mid-Atlantic Christian University

Mid-Atlantic Chris­t­ian Uni­ver­si­ty offers two of North Carolina’s best coun­sel­ing degrees with its Bach­e­lor of Arts (BA) degree or its Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence (BS) degree pro­gram in Psy­chol­o­gy and Coun­sel­ing that requires stu­dents to com­plete 120 semes­ter units. The Bach­e­lor of Arts degree in coun­sel­ing from Mid-Atlantic Chris­t­ian Uni­ver­si­ty has a lan­guage require­ment, where­as the Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence degree is more expe­ri­en­tial in terms of coun­sel­ing edu­ca­tion. Core coun­sel­ing cur­ricu­lum includes human sex­u­al­i­ty, devel­op­men­tal psy­chol­o­gy, social psy­chol­o­gy, exper­i­men­tal psy­chol­o­gy, abnor­mal psy­chol­o­gy coun­sel­ing the­o­ries, and fam­i­ly coun­sel­ing, plus an intern­ship in coun­sel­ing, among others.

Mid-Atlantic Chris­t­ian Uni­ver­si­ty (MACU) was estab­lished by the Church­es of Christ in 1948 as a bible col­lege in Roanoke. The school’s cam­pus in east­ern North Car­oli­na is home to more than 210 students.

What We Like: Mid-Atlantic Chris­t­ian University’s cam­pus sits along­side the Pasquotank Riv­er, only a few miles from down­town Eliz­a­beth City.

Degree: Coun­sel­ing and Psy­chol­o­gy Major — BA or BS

Mid-Atlantic Chris­t­ian Uni­ver­si­ty Coun­sel­ing and Psy­chol­o­gy Major — BA or BS

20. Oak Hills Christian College

Oak Hills Chris­t­ian Col­lege offers two of Minnesota’s best coun­sel­ing degrees with its Bach­e­lor’s degree in Applied Psy­chol­o­gy and its Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in Addic­tions Coun­sel­ing that requires stu­dents to com­plete 120 semes­ter units to meet pro­gram require­ments. Stu­dents grad­u­at­ing from the applied psy­chol­o­gy degree find reward­ing work in schools, com­mu­ni­ty out­reach cen­ters, or gov­ern­ment agen­cies, among oth­ers. Stu­dents grad­u­at­ing from the Addic­tions Coun­sel­ing degree pro­gram will have met the require­ments to become a Min­neso­ta licensed Drug & alco­hol counselor.

Oak Hills Chris­t­ian Col­lege (Oak Hills) is a Chris­t­ian inter­de­nom­i­na­tion­al high­er learn­ing insti­tu­tion that was estab­lished in 1927. First found­ed as a bible col­lege, Oak Hills Chris­t­ian Col­lege is affil­i­at­ed with the Protes­tant Church.

What We Like: Oak Hills Chris­t­ian Col­lege boasts an impres­sive fac­ul­ty to stu­dent ratio of 1 to 11.

Degree: Bach­e­lor’s in Applied Psy­chol­o­gy and Addic­tions Counseling

Oak Hills Chris­t­ian Col­lege Bach­e­lor’s in Applied Psy­chol­o­gy and Addic­tions Counseling

21. Toccoa Falls College

Toc­coa Falls College’s Coun­sel­ing Psy­chol­o­gy Depart­ment offers a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence (BS) degree in Coun­sel­ing Psy­chol­o­gy that is con­sid­ered among Georgia’s best coun­sel­ing degrees that is avail­able online or on the school’s Toc­coa Falls cam­pus. Stu­dents grad­u­ate from Toc­coa Falls Col­lege’s under­grad­u­ate degree in coun­sel­ing psy­chol­o­gy to find reward­ing careers as men­tal health assis­tants, career coun­selors, vic­tim’s advo­cates, pro­fes­sion­al coun­selors, fam­i­ly ther­a­pists, or child devel­op­ment spe­cial­ists, to name a few.

Toc­coa Falls Col­lege (Toc­coa Falls) was estab­lished in 1907 as a Chris­t­ian insti­tu­tion of high­er edu­ca­tion ded­i­cat­ed to lib­er­al arts edu­ca­tion. The college’s cam­pus in Toc­coa Falls that serves more than 1,500 stu­dents on its rur­al 1,000-acre loca­tion. Toc­coa Falls Col­lege is a mem­ber school of the Chris­t­ian & Mis­sion­ary Alliance.

What We Like: Toc­coa Falls Col­lege was ini­tial­ly estab­lished as Gold­en Val­ley Institute.

Degree: B.S. Coun­sel­ing Psychology

Toc­coa Falls Col­lege B.S. Coun­sel­ing Psychology

22. Curry College

Cur­ry Col­lege offers a bachelor’s degree in Psy­chol­o­gy with an aca­d­e­m­ic con­cen­tra­tion in Sub­stance Use Coun­sel­ing that is con­sid­ered as one of New England’s best coun­sel­ing degrees. Stu­dents enrolled in Cur­ry Col­lege’s under­grad­u­ate psy­chol­o­gy in coun­sel­ing of sub­stance abuse sat­is­fies a por­tion of the require­ment for cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in Mass­a­chu­setts Sub­stance Abuse cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. Class­es for this Cur­ry Col­lege bac­calau­re­ate degree in sub­stance abuse coun­sel­ing includes coun­sel­ing the­o­ry, the­o­ries of per­son­al­i­ty health psy­chol­o­gy, drugs and behav­ior, foun­da­tions of com­mu­ni­ty health, and abnor­mal psy­chol­o­gy, plus an intern­ship relat­ed to sub­stance abuse counseling.

Cur­ry Col­lege (Cur­ry) is a pri­vate insti­tu­tion of high­er edu­ca­tion that was found­ed as a high­er learn­ing insti­tu­tion for expres­sion & elo­cu­tion in 1879. The stu­dent enroll­ment at Cur­ry Col­lege exceeds 4,500 under­grad­u­ate and grad­u­ate students.

What We Like: Cur­ry Col­lege, when first estab­lished, includ­ed famous alum­ni like Alexan­der Gra­ham Bell and his father, among others.

Degree: Sub­stance Use Counseling

Cur­ry Col­lege Psy­chol­o­gy Sub­stance Use Counseling

23. Johnson & Wales — Denver

John­son & Wales Uni­ver­si­ty offers a bachelor’s degree in Coun­sel­ing Psy­chol­o­gy that is rec­og­nized as one of the best coun­sel­ing degrees avail­able in the mar­ket­place. Degree can­di­dates enrolled in John­son & Wales Uni­ver­si­ty’s enter the work­force as pro­fes­sion­al case­work­ers, reha­bil­i­ta­tion coun­selors, school coun­selors, men­tal health coun­selors, fam­i­ly ther­a­pists, or sub­stance abuse or behav­ioral dis­or­der ther­a­pists, to name a few. This bac­calau­re­ate degree is avail­able on the John­son & Wales University’s Den­ver campus.

John­son & Wales Uni­ver­si­ty was estab­lished in 1913 by two women pro­fes­sion­al teach­ers who want­ed to train oth­er women in the field of busi­ness. The school’s cam­pus­es across four dif­fer­ent states (RI, NC, FL, CO) serves near­ly 13,000 students.

What We Like: John­son & Wales Uni­ver­si­ty out­grew its orig­i­nal site as it was now train­ing ser­vice mem­bers return­ing from World War I.

Degree: Coun­sel­ing Psychology

John­son & Wales Uni­ver­si­ty Coun­sel­ing Psychology

24. Paine College

Paine College’s Psy­chol­o­gy and Social Sci­ences Depart­ment (PC) offers a Bach­e­lor of Arts (BA) degree in Psy­chol­o­gy with an aca­d­e­m­ic empha­sis in Coun­sel­ing that is con­sid­ered as one of Georgia’s best coun­sel­ing degrees. Stu­dents grad­u­at­ing from Paine College’s coun­sel­ing con­cen­tra­tion in psy­chol­o­gy are pre­pared for careers in coun­sel­ing men­tal health acad­e­mia, research, or clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gy, to name a few. The bac­calau­re­ate degree from Paine Col­lege offers two oth­er aca­d­e­m­ic con­cen­tra­tions as a gen­er­al psy­chol­o­gy track or an exper­i­men­tal psy­chol­o­gy track.

Paine Col­lege (Paine) is a pri­vate HBCU (His­tor­i­cal­ly Black Col­lege & Uni­ver­si­ty) high­er learn­ing insti­tu­tion that was estab­lished in 1882. Estab­lished by mem­bers of the Methodist Church, the school’s Augus­ta cam­pus serves more than 400 stu­dents on its 50+ acre campus.

What We Like: Paine Col­lege is a high­er learn­ing insti­tu­tion acknowl­edged for its incred­i­ble con­tri­bu­tions to the edu­ca­tion of African Amer­i­cans since the ear­ly 1880s.

Degree: Bach­e­lor of Arts in Psy­chol­o­gy — Coun­sel­ing Emphasis

Paine Col­lege BA in Psy­chol­o­gy — Coun­sel­ing Emphasis

25. Lesley University

Les­ley Uni­ver­si­ty offers a BS in Coun­sel­ing that requires the com­ple­tion of 121 semes­ter units. Les­ley Uni­ver­si­ty’s best coun­sel­ing degrees include course­work in coun­sel­ing chil­dren and young adults, con­tem­po­rary issues in coun­sel­ing, abnor­mal psy­chol­o­gy, fam­i­ly inter­ven­tions, applied group dynam­ics, and the­o­ries of per­son­al­i­ty, plus two coun­sel­ing intern­ships, to name a few. Les­ley Uni­ver­si­ty offers a dual degree option for stu­dents to earn a BS plus a Mas­ter of Arts in Coun­sel­ing, which allows for the com­ple­tion of two degrees in less time and for less money.

Les­ley Uni­ver­si­ty was estab­lished in 1909 as a pri­vate high­er learn­ing insti­tu­tion ded­i­cat­ed to train­ing women teach­ers. Les­ley Uni­ver­si­ty is orga­nized into six colleges/schools that offers more than 100 under­grad­u­ate and grad­u­ate degree pro­grams. The first class­es held at this teacher’s train­ing school were in the founder’s home. Les­ley University’s cam­pus across the Charles Riv­er from down­town Boston serves more than 6,400 students.

What We Like: Les­ley Uni­ver­si­ty was cre­at­ed when Les­ley Col­lege com­bined with the Boston Art Insti­tute in 2001.

Degree: BS in Counseling

Les­ley Uni­ver­si­ty BS in Counseling

How Do I Choose a School for a Counseling Degree?

Once you have decid­ed to pur­sue your coun­sel­ing degree, the next impor­tant step is to choose the best col­lege for a coun­sel­ing degree for your spe­cif­ic needs and sit­u­a­tion. To deter­mine what are the best schools for coun­sel­ing degrees for you, it will be impor­tant to con­sid­er schools that are close to home or close to where you want to be, schools with finan­cial aid pro­grams that cater to stu­dents like you, and schools that offer the type of class­room and learn­ing styles you pre­fer, and of course, you will need to choose a coun­sel­ing degree pro­gram that you can afford.

Find­ing a coun­sel­ing degree pro­gram in a school that suits you best among all these impor­tant points of con­sid­er­a­tion is no small task. It just might even be the most chal­leng­ing part of your aca­d­e­m­ic career. How­ev­er, you will find that there are plen­ty of aca­d­e­m­ic coun­sel­ing resources avail­able to help you nar­row down your choic­es to the best col­leges for coun­sel­ing degrees.

You should also con­sid­er whether the school has the spe­cial­iza­tion you want, such as:

  • fam­i­ly therapy
  • school coun­sel­ing
  • coun­selor education
  • clin­i­cal men­tal health counseling
  • career coun­sel­ing
  • spe­cial education

A good school will also pre­pare you for grad­u­ate pro­grams such as a master’s degree.

Many full-time pro­grams will require a clin­i­cal expe­ri­ence, espe­cial­ly if you want to become a licensed pro­fes­sion­al coun­selor (LPC).

Con­sult­ing an aca­d­e­m­ic coun­selor to help you find the best degree pro­gram for you is a smart move and one that you should con­sid­er mak­ing soon­er than later.

Is Accreditation Important for a Counseling Degree?

Many begin­ning coun­sel­ing stu­dents want to know, is CACREP accred­i­ta­tion impor­tant for edu­ca­tion­al pro­grams? The short answer is, “Yes, it is.” A more nuanced answer will be contextual.

When it comes to land­ing a good job in the field of psy­chol­o­gy, attend­ing a school with accred­i­ta­tion that meets CACREP stan­dards is not always nec­es­sary, but it will almost cer­tain­ly help- espe­cial­ly as you progress fur­ther along in your career. Some schools are accred­it­ed accord­ing to CACREP stan­dards, and some are accred­it­ed accord­ing to APA standards.

As you seek out the best school for you, the choice of CACREP vs APA will like­ly be a sec­ondary con­sid­er­a­tion. How­ev­er, keep in mind, if you know what city, state, and health­care sys­tem you want to work with­in, you would do well to find out which type of accred­i­ta­tion stan­dard is most read­i­ly accept­ed there. If you do not know where you hope to find employ­ment after grad­u­a­tion, then the type of coun­sel­ing pro­gram accred­i­ta­tion is not such a straight­for­ward choice.

At this point in your jour­ney, just know that accred­i­ta­tion is always prefer­able to a lack of it. In fact, many states will not allow licen­sure with an unac­cred­it­ed degree. But, if you are seek­ing to fur­ther your edu­ca­tion and are already in the field of psy­chol­o­gy, then it may not always be nec­es­sary. When­ev­er pos­si­ble, find out what employ­ers in the region you expect to work intend to demand from new hires.

What Kinds of Counseling Jobs are There?

There are dozens of dif­fer­ent types of ther­a­py careers and dif­fer­ent types of coun­sel­ing jobs for those look­ing to pur­sue a career in prac­ti­cal psy­chol­o­gy. It would be imprac­ti­cal to list them all here, but some of the most com­mon and pop­u­lar coun­sel­ing jobs include:

  • Fam­i­ly counselor
  • Drug and Alco­hol abuse counselor
  • Career coun­selor
  • Grief coun­selor
  • Child abuse counselor
  • Mar­riage counselor
  • Veteran’s coun­selor

Of course, this is just a small sam­pling of the many types of coun­sel­ing jobs you could obtain with your coun­sel­ing degree. You may have noticed that some of the coun­sel­ing jobs we have list­ed can be non-licensed coun­sel­ing jobs.

A giv­en coun­sel­ing posi­tion may be avail­able with or with­out a degree depend­ing on the hir­ing orga­ni­za­tion, local reg­u­la­tions, and oth­er con­sid­er­a­tions. These can be excel­lent places to start a career in psy­chol­o­gy, and can even be a great way to work part-time as you pur­sue fur­ther edu­ca­tion­al devel­op­ment in this field.

Some coun­sel­ing jobs only require per­son­al expe­ri­ence in the area of inter­est at hand, and a demon­strat­ed abil­i­ty to pro­vide mean­ing­ful coun­sel to those so affected.

The best coun­sel­ing job for you is well with­in your reach.

Relat­ed Rankings:

15 Best Online Bach­e­lor’s in Counseling

10 Fastest Online Bach­e­lor’s in Counseling

10 Most Affordable Bach­e­lor’s in Counseling