Best Counseling Schools in Missouri
Missouri has a substantial need for counselors, but you generally need some academic credentials before working in this field. Here are the best counseling programs in Missouri to help you attain those credentials.
There are a number of counseling programs in Missouri, and no one program is right for everyone. The program that you apply for should meet any financial, scheduling, or specialization needs that you have.
Counseling Degree Pathways in Missouri
Decide what degree you'll pursue, taking your current credentials and long-term professional goals into account. The degree options are:
- Associate Degree: You can apply to an associate program if you have a high school diploma (or equivalent). The program is two years and will prepare you for entry-level counseling work.
- Bachelor's Degree: You can apply to a bachelor's program if you have a high school diploma. The program is four years and will prepare you for a variety of non-licensed work. You'll probably work under a licensed professional counselor (LPC) after graduating.
- Master's Degree: You can apply to a master's program if you have a bachelor's degree. The program is one to two years and meets the academic requirement to become licensed as an LPC.
- Doctorate Degree: You can apply to a doctorate program if you have a bachelor's degree, but more competitive programs might require a master's. The program can take three years or more and can focus on research (a Ph.D. program) or clinical work (a Psy.D. program). Either degree will prepare you for leadership positions.
- Graduate Certificate: You can apply to a graduate certificate program if you have a bachelor's or master's degree. The program lasts six to twelve months and gives you an opportunity to specialize in a particular counseling discipline.
Choose a Counseling Specialty
Should you wish to specialize in a particular type of counseling, you can do so through a degree track or a graduate certificate. Specializations include the following and other options:
- Clinical mental health counseling
- Clinical addiction counseling
- Career counseling
- School counseling
- Community counseling
Check School Accreditation
The counseling degree program you apply to should be fully accredited by a body that Missouri recognizes. Only accredited programs have credits that transfer and degrees that qualify for licensing.
Acceptable accrediting entities include the CACREP and the APA. These respectively are the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs and the American Psychological Association.
You'll find good programs both online and in traditional format. Attending a traditional program that has in-person classes affords the most opportunity for interaction with fellow classmates and faculty members. Attending an online program allows you to stay where you currently are, and will likely save you some money on tuition. Which is better for you depends on your situation.
To become a licensed counselor in Missouri, you'll need to complete a 48-credit master's degree that has 600 internship hours (called a practicum). You then must complete 3,000 supervised hours of counseling, pass an exam, and pay a fee.
You'll need to renew your license biennially once you're a licensed professional counselor in Missouri. The state requires 40 hours of continuing education work, 20 of which must be through a formal program. The remaining 20 can be self-study or a formal program. You also must pay a renewal fee.
Are you searching for a counseling degree program in Missouri? Browse our comprehensive list of schools offering counseling programs, both online and on-campus, and follow the links to learn more about what each program has to offer.
Cape Girardeau, MO
Kansas City, MO
Saint Louis, MO
- Counseling Graduate Program Campus
Springfield, MO 65897
Warrensburg, MO 64093
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