Online CACREP-Accredited Mental Health Counseling Programs

A mental health counseling program is a specialized graduate degree designed to train and develop individuals to pursue careers as mental health counselors. Most programs prepare students for professional licensure from their state board to be able to practice within the field. This includes completing the necessary educational and training requirements set by the state to prove competency.

Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC) or Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) are mental health professionals who specialize in delivering psychological therapies to individuals through individual or group sessions. Their treatment approaches are rooted in clinical and developmental principles, aiming to address obstacles and inconsistencies that impact personal and social functioning. They undergo training in psychological assessment, diagnosis, treatment planning, and various therapeutic interventions applicable in different therapy settings. LMHCs have the flexibility to practice in diverse settings, such as private practice, hospitals, outpatient and inpatient centers, schools, and rehabilitation facilities. What makes LMHCs unique, is that they primarily focus on individuals’ mental health and functioning. To provide additional services like couples or family therapy, LMHCs would need to acquire further training and certification.

Featured Mental Health Counseling Programs

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University

Programs & Highlights

Program Overview

Walden University

Take the next step with Walden’s CACREP-accredited MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program.

Northwestern UniversityOnline

Online Master of Arts in Counseling
CACREP Accredited | 18-Month Program

Advocate for mental health in your community with Northwestern’s MA in Counseling.

Liberty University – Online

MA: Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CACREP)
CACREP Accredited |100% Online Program | No GRE Required

Liberty University’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree online is designed to equip you with the specialized training you need to gain state licensure and become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)

Walden University

A clinical mental health counseling and school counseling dual degree program academically prepares students to pursue licensure or certification as both a mental health counselor and a school counselor.

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NYU SteinhardtOnline

Online Counseling Master’s Programs
MPCAC Accredited | Multiple Offerings

NYU Steinhardt offers two online master’s programs in counseling to prepare you for a fulfilling career helping others, whether you’re working with pre-K–12 students or people across the life span.

Sacred Heart University – Online

MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Follows CACREP Standards | No GRE Required

An Ideal program for individuals seeking a career as a professional counselor, those planning to pursue a doctoral degree, and those seeking human service counseling positions in a variety of settings.

Pepperdine University – Online

Online Masters in Clinical Psychology
LPC & LMFT Tracks | Top-Ranked Program

Our online psychology programs at Pepperdine University GSEP focus on preparing students to inspire change and enrich lives in their organizations and communities.

Our Lady of the Lake University – Online

Master of Arts in Counseling: Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Follows CACREP Standards | Preperation for LPC Exam

Our Lady of the Lake University’s Master of Arts in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialization prepares you for a career in the mental health field delivering the skills, techniques, and strategies to help you make a difference in the lives of others.

Grand Canyon University

M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
HLC Accredited | No Out of State Tuition | Flexible Schedule

Expand upon your knowledge and step into a specialized psychology or counseling master’s degree.

What is Accreditation?

To gain admission to a counseling program, most graduate programs typically require applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field, such as social work, sociology, education, or the health sciences. However, there may be exceptions to this requirement. To be eligible for licensure as an LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor), individuals must complete a graduate degree, such as a Master’s of Arts or Science, in psychology, counseling, or clinical mental health.

When selecting a counseling program, one important factor to consider is the program’s accreditation status. Accreditation serves as a form of official approval granted to educational programs by a national governing body responsible for overseeing the training and licensure of mental health professionals. For counselors, the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) serves as the governing body for educational and training requirements. The Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) is the accrediting organization that oversees training and graduate programs. CACREP is internationally recognized and monitors programs in various mental health areas, including counseling, marriage and family therapy, addictions, rehabilitation counseling, and school and educational counseling.

Why is it Important to Pursue an Accredited Mental Health Degree?

When deciding on which graduate program to apply to, you may be faced with many considerations related to cost, time commitment, and life obligations. Since this investment comes with major life adjustments, it is important to pursue an education that will bear fruitful results. Pursuing a CACREP-accredited program is recommended for the following reasons:

  • Quality assurance: A CACREP-accredited program has to meet and maintain rigorous standards of education and training that are often reevaluated by the accreditation body. This ensures that students are gaining the knowledge and competence to be successful in their field upon graduation. 
  • Professional recognition: Graduating from an accredited program serves individuals well in pursuing jobs and even further education at a doctoral level. It signifies that you have completed a program that has met the standards for professional practice and adds to your credibility. 
  • Licensure eligibility: CACREP-accredited programs almost always prepare students for professional licensure upon graduation. This means that students complete all the required course curriculum, along with the needed training hours to be able to file for licensure during their last semester, or soon after graduation. This lowers the additional time and cost of completing any additional requirements and simplifies the process. 
  • Professional networking and resources: Being a part of an accredited program opens the door to networking and professional development opportunities. Programs often have connections for networking conferences, research-related opportunities, and the ability for students to join professional organizations in their field.

This article highlights some online CACREP-accredited mental health counseling degrees that are recognized for their success in producing successful graduates.

Online CACREP-Accredited Mental Health Counseling Programs

Midwestern State University

MSU-Texas offers online Master of Arts programs in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program fulfills the educational and training requirements for obtaining a license as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Texas. The program consists of a 60-credit-hour curriculum, allowing students to complete their studies in approximately two years.

The focus of the program is to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge to provide mental health counseling services within a school setting. It includes an internship experience to provide practical training, and students are also required to complete the TExES test, which aligns with the state guidelines for Texas Counselor certification.

The tuition rate for the program is typically around $450 per credit hour. MSU-Texas offers various forms of financial assistance, including merit scholarships and grants based on academic performance. Additionally, graduate assistantship opportunities are available to help offset the cost of tuition.

MSU-Texas provides online Master of Arts programs in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling that fulfill licensure requirements in Texas. The programs are designed to prepare students for counseling roles in school settings, integrating practical experiences and meeting state certification guidelines. Financial assistance options are available to support students in their academic journey.


Bellevue University

Bellevue University offers a range of degrees in the field of psychology and social sciences, including programs in child, youth, and family studies, clinical mental health counseling, and industrial-organizational psychology. While each program holds its respective accreditations, it’s important to note that only the clinical mental health counseling degree is accredited by CACREP (Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs).

The clinical mental health counseling program is specifically designed to prepare students for meeting licensing standards as professional mental health counselors, not only in Nebraska but also in many other states. The program places significant emphasis on clinical training, encouraging students to develop practical skills and build professional networks. With a curriculum comprising 60 credit hours, students can typically complete the program in approximately two years.

The cost per credit hour for in-class or online credit is approximately $649. Bellevue University offers financial aid opportunities, with graduate students being eligible for up to $20,500 per year. Additionally, the faculty works closely with students, assisting them in accessing available scholarships and employment opportunities, further enhancing the affordability of the program.

This program prepares students for licensure as mental health counselors, prioritizing clinical training and networking. The program can be completed in around two years, and financial aid, scholarships, and employment opportunities are available to support students financially.


Grace College

Grace College‘s Graduate Counseling Department offers a Clinical Mental Health Program deeply rooted in scriptural concepts. This program adheres to the standards and guidelines set forth by the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), ensuring that students are prepared for licensure in Indiana. The comprehensive curriculum comprises 60 credit hours, encompassing both the necessary education and training requirements for graduation and licensing competencies. Typically, students complete the program within three years, and there is an option to transfer up to 12 credits of relevant graduate coursework.

The tuition costs for the program amount to approximately $608 per credit hour. However, graduate students may be eligible for Stafford loans, which can cover a substantial portion of the overall cost of attendance, up to $20,500. Additionally, various grants, scholarships, and graduate assistantships are available to graduate students, providing additional financial support.


Liberty University

Liberty University provides a wide range of online degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels, all of which are accredited. Among the diverse options available, the institution offers a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health and a Master of Education in School Counseling. These programs follow an 8-week term structure, allowing students to complete their studies in a shorter duration compared to traditional campus-based programs.

With affordability as a key focus, Liberty University’s online programs are considered one of the most cost-effective options in the nation. Approximately 80% of online students receive financial aid to support their education. The tuition rate per credit hour is set at $615, and the curriculum for these programs consists of 60 credit hours. As a result, students can typically graduate within a two-year timeframe.


Malone University

Malone University offers a Clinical Mental Health program in a flexible format, including online and in-person options. A unique opportunity exists for students to pursue a dual online program, combining the CMHC and School Counseling programs due to their curriculum overlap.

The curriculum for these programs comprises 81 credit hours, featuring a combination of synchronous and asynchronous courses. Tuition rates typically amount to approximately $725 per credit hour. Malone University strives to make education accessible by providing various student loan and scholarship options and assisting students in managing the cost of attendance. Financial support is available through student loans and scholarships, promoting accessibility to education.


Walden University

Walden University’s Counseling Department provides accredited Master of Science degrees in Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling, equipping students with the necessary preparation for state licensure upon graduation. Additionally, the institution offers a dual degree option, enhancing students’ qualifications and giving them a competitive edge in the job market.

The comprehensive curriculum spans 90 credit hours, offering a robust educational experience. The average cost per credit hour is approximately $505. Students typically complete their studies and graduate within a timeframe of 33 months. To further specialize their skills, students have the opportunity to focus on various areas, including addictions, forensics, marriage, and family counseling, military families and culture, and trauma and crisis counseling.

Walden University values its graduate students and provides a scholarship valued at around $7000, in addition to other financial aid options and scholarships. This support helps alleviate the financial burden associated with pursuing a graduate degree.


Adams State University

Adams State University provides accredited counseling education programs, including a Master of Arts (MA) degree and a Ph.D. in Counselor Education, both recognized by CACREP (Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs). The MA degree, consisting of 60 credit hours, fulfills the academic and training requirements for professional licensure in Colorado. Students can choose to specialize in either Clinical Mental Health or School Counseling. The MA program is offered entirely online, with the exception of two week-long lab sessions that students must attend. Similarly, the Ph.D. program is delivered online and requires four one-week summer residencies.

For the MA program, the cost of attendance is $435 per credit hour, while the Ph.D. program is priced at $575 per credit hour. Financial aid is available to 91% of full-time students, and the university offers over 100 scholarships each year. Additionally, full-time students who exceed 12 credit hours can take up to 16 credits without incurring extra costs. To further assist students with the cost of attendance, various grants, scholarships, loans, and special programs are offered.


Antioch University – New England

Antioch University’s Clinical Mental Health program is ranked in the nation’s top 20 counseling programs and incorporates coursework, intensive face-to-face clinical learning, and experiential fieldwork that can be completed online or in person. The accredited program places particular emphasis on eight fundamental core areas. These include professional counseling orientation and ethical practice, social and cultural diversity, human growth and development, career development, counseling and helping relationships, group counseling and group work, assessment and testing, and research and program evaluation.

The program is typically completed within three to four years depending on whether they are enrolled full-time or part-time. The cost per credit is around $784 for the online program, and students are offered some form of financial aid, including grants and scholarships.


Barry University

The Master of Science degree in Counseling at Barry University prepares students for professional licensure upon graduation. Throughout the program, students are encouraged to engage in professional networking opportunities, which is an added advantage to this online program. Classes can be taken online or in person, and students could begin the program in the Spring, Summer, or Fall terms. Students typically complete this program in two and a half years.

Barry University aims to lower the cost of attendance, with tuition being around $800/credit hour. Students are offered graduate assistantships, scholarships, and financial aid opportunities. Students also have the opportunity to maintain external employment alongside their educational endeavors.


Capella University

Capella University offers a Master of Science degree in clinical mental health counseling that prepares students for professional licensure upon graduation. The program is offered online and in-person and consists of ten core courses and seven specialized courses. The program consists of a 90-credit-hour curriculum, including two residencies and internships. Students can transfer credits from another accredited university, which further reduces the cost of attendance. 

The tuition for this program is $497 per credit hour, with a maximum of 20 credits eligible for transfer. Students may be eligible to reduce tuition by $2,500 through the Capella Progress Reward scholarship, which is only available to master’s students.


Central Methodist University

The Master of Science degree at CMU is aimed at preparing students for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Missouri. The curriculum consists of 60 credit hours, and students are also eligible for the mental health certification to add to their educational competencies. 

The tuition at Central Methodist is extremely affordable, with the cost per credit being $390, in addition to a couple of available scholarship opportunities to graduate students. Students typically complete this program in less than three years and have been reported to be highly successful in job placements right after graduation.


Colorado Christian University

Colorado Christian University offers a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling that prepares students for professional licensure as a practitioner upon graduation. Students can take the National Counselor Exam and pursue licensure in Colorado or several other states. The program offers optional specializations in marriage and family therapy, substance use disorders, or a dual degree track of clinical mental health and school counseling. 

The curriculum consists of a 60-credit hour plan, where courses are taken two at a time in seven-week blocks. The cost of tuition is around $698 per credit hour. Students can graduate in about two and a half years and can transfer up to 12 graduate-level credit hours.


Townsend Institute

Townsend Institute offers a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling that emphasizes competency in over 20 skills, producing competent professionals in the field. This accelerated program can be completed in 24 to 36 months. The curriculum consists of 60 credit hours, and students will have six elective courses. 

This institution aims to maintain affordability and accessibility, with tuition being around $695 per credit hour. Students can pace their program according to personal preferences, which enables them to maintain a full-time job alongside pursuing a graduate education.


Geneva College

Geneva College offers a Master of Arts degree in Counseling that bases its curriculum on a faith-based perspective. The program offers three concentrations, including marriage and family therapy, mental health counseling, and professional school counseling. The program is offered in-person or online and is highly flexible to help students meet their daily demands. Through its intensive curriculum, 99% of students who take the NCE have been reported to pass on their first try. 

The curriculum consists of 60 credit hours, and students are expected to complete a practicum and internship successfully to graduate from the program. Tuition is around $440 per credit hour, and students are eligible for scholarships, federal and state grants, graduate assistantships, and other forms of financial aid, making the cost of attendance more manageable for students.


Marshall University

Marshall University offers an all-online Master of Arts degree in Counseling with an emphasis on Clinical Mental Health. Students are prepared to pursue a career as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). They are also offered a certificate consisting of five specialized courses in violence, loss, and trauma counseling. The program itself consists of a 60-credit-hour curriculum, and students typically can graduate in two and a half years, depending on their enrollment status. Students also have the advantage of counting an approved counseling-related job toward their internship hours. 

The cost per credit on average is around $509, and a vast number of students receive financial aid through federal grants and institutional scholarships.


Marymount University

This Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling prepares students for professional licensure upon graduation. Marymount incorporates a scientist-practitioner model and its program standards are in accordance with ACA guidelines. The program curriculum consists of a 60-credit-hour plan, and students are eligible to take the NCE immediately upon graduation. 

Students complete this program in 2.5 to three years on average and are able to transfer up to 12 credit hours from another accredited institution. Enrollment spans the Summer and Fall semesters, and graduate students are eligible for scholarships, grants, assistantships, and even employment opportunities to help offset the cost of attendance.


North Carolina Central University

NC Central prepares students pursuing the Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Mental Health for professional licensure in a clinical capacity. Students can pursue licensure in North Carolina, and other states. This program also qualifies students for licensure as a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist. 

Students complete a practicum and internship requirement that is inclusive of the 60-credit-hour curriculum for the program. Graduate tuition ranges around $297 per credit hour and students are eligible for graduate assistantships, scholarships, and other sources of financial aid.


Northern State University

This Clinical Mental Health Program is a Master of Science degree aimed at preparing students for licensure. The program consists of a 60-credit-hour curriculum with the option to specialize in forensic counseling, which adds to the professional capacities and opportunities available. Students are required to complete a practicum and internship, where they will have guidance from the program in deciding between a variety of settings and available opportunities. 

With 95% of enrolled students receiving some financial aid, the cost of attendance is relatively low, with tuition ranging around $470 per credit hour. Students can apply for scholarships, grants, and loans, and are encouraged to maintain student employment opportunities to offset the cost of attendance.


Palo Alto University

Palo Alto offers a Clinical Mental Health program that is offered in online and hybrid formats. The program incorporates an emphasis on clinical training and practice, along with involvement in academic research. Students are prepared for licensure as an LPC, LPCC, or LCMH upon licensure. Practicum and internship training is intensive, and students are provided guidance on selecting an appropriate site. 

Tuition ranges from around $566 per credit hour and the curriculum consists of a 94.5 credit hour course plan. Students can transfer up to 13.5 credit hours and can apply for several scholarships, grants, and fellowships. Students may maintain employment while enrolled in the program and typically graduate within 3.5 years.


Webster University

Webster’s Master of Arts in Counseling degree prepares students for professional licensure in working with diverse populations and mental health settings. With an emphasis on clinical mental health, students are also offered an emphasis area of community counseling. The curriculum consists of 60 credit hours and the completion of an internship. 

Students can transfer up to 18 credit hours from another accredited institution. Graduate tuition is around $730 per credit hour, and students could apply for FAFSA, scholarships (internal and external), self-help aid, and other grants. Students are also encouraged to maintain employment outside of their graduate education.


Featured Counseling Master’s Programs

Advertisement*

University

Programs & Highlights

Program Overview

Walden University

Take the next step with Walden’s CACREP-accredited MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program.

Northwestern UniversityOnline

Online Master of Arts in Counseling
CACREP Accredited | 18-Month Program

Advocate for mental health in your community with Northwestern’s MA in Counseling.

Liberty University – Online

MA: Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CACREP)
CACREP Accredited |100% Online Program | No GRE Required

Liberty University’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree online is designed to equip you with the specialized training you need to gain state licensure and become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)

Walden University

A clinical mental health counseling and school counseling dual degree program academically prepares students to pursue licensure or certification as both a mental health counselor and a school counselor.

nyu logo

NYU SteinhardtOnline

Online Counseling Master’s Programs
MPCAC Accredited | Multiple Offerings

NYU Steinhardt offers two online master’s programs in counseling to prepare you for a fulfilling career helping others, whether you’re working with pre-K–12 students or people across the life span.

Sacred Heart University – Online

MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Follows CACREP Standards | No GRE Required

An Ideal program for individuals seeking a career as a professional counselor, those planning to pursue a doctoral degree, and those seeking human service counseling positions in a variety of settings.

Pepperdine University – Online

Online Masters in Clinical Psychology
LPC & LMFT Tracks | Top-Ranked Program

Our online psychology programs at Pepperdine University GSEP focus on preparing students to inspire change and enrich lives in their organizations and communities.

Our Lady of the Lake University – Online

Master of Arts in Counseling: Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Follows CACREP Standards | Preperation for LPC Exam

Our Lady of the Lake University’s Master of Arts in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialization prepares you for a career in the mental health field delivering the skills, techniques, and strategies to help you make a difference in the lives of others.

Grand Canyon University

M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
HLC Accredited | No Out of State Tuition | Flexible Schedule

Expand upon your knowledge and step into a specialized psychology or counseling master’s degree.

Resources

Adams State University

American Association of Christian Counselors

American Counseling Association

Antioch University

Barry University

Bellevue University

Capella University

Central Methodist University

Colorado Christian University

Geneva College

Grace College

Liberty University

North Carolina Central University

Northern State University

Malone University

Marshall University

Marymount University

Midwestern State University

Palo Alto University

Townsend Institute

Walden University

Webster University