2017 Top Graduate Schools for Counseling Degrees

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Masters counseling

This list ranks the top 11 schools that offer master's degrees in counseling, based on student ratings. Mercer University takes 1st place, with a Student Score of 88.08, while two Florida universities, University of North Florida and University of Central Florida, take 2nd and 3rd place, rating 85.27 and 84.66, respectively. Loyola Marymount University and Santa Clara University offer highly-rated counseling programs for those who are looking for options on the West Coast. Cambridge College rounds out this list at 11th, and is also the most affordable option listed, with annual tuition of $13,500. There are a few schools on this list with annual tuition averaging around $15,000 a year or less, while the majority of schools will cost somewhere in the $20,000-$26,000 a year range. 

A graduate of Saint Edward's University writes the program there "Goes beyond the textbook to give student(s) practical and real world examples." One student at Lindenwood University describes the curriculum as a "very tough program." Another states, "I have only had a positive experience thus far in their professional counseling graduate program." Clicking on the college names below will lead to more reviews of our top-rated graduate counseling programs. Or if you're interested in flexible education options, consider the top-ranked online graduate schools for counseling.

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Rank College Campus Location 2017 Student Score
#1 #1 Mercer University Campus Location Macon (GA) 2017 Student Score 88.08
#2 #2 University of North Florida Campus Location Jacksonville (FL) 2017 Student Score 85.27
#3 #3 University of Central Florida Campus Location Orlando (and 7 others) 2017 Student Score 84.66
#4 #4 Loyola Marymount University Campus Location Los Angeles (CA) 2017 Student Score 84.01
#5 #5 Saint Edward's University Campus Location Austin (TX) 2017 Student Score 82.87
#6 #6 Santa Clara University Campus Location Santa Clara (CA) 2017 Student Score 82.00
#7 #7 Chicago School of Professional Psychology Campus Location Multiple Locations 2017 Student Score 80.39
#8 #8 Lindenwood University Campus Location Saint Charles (MO) 2017 Student Score 79.40
#9 #9 Western Michigan University Campus Location Kalamazoo (MI) 2017 Student Score 75.26
#10 #10 The George Washington University Campus Location Washington (DC) 2017 Student Score 73.79
#11 #11 Cambridge College Campus Location Cambridge (MA) 2017 Student Score 72.63


Our goal in presenting this school data is to create a standardized and trustworthy method to assess institutions based on reliable statistics. In order for a school to be eligible to be featured on a 2017 Top Programs List, at least ten students from that particular major must have submitted feedback on their institution. Graduate Programs only considers regionally or nationally accredited, non-profit institutions for our rankings. Aggregated student rating values were multiplied by 20 to create a Student Score out of 100; in the event of a tie, schools were awarded the same rank value.

Together with our internal recommend rate data, which is calculated based on tens of thousands of student reviews submitted to our site, the data used in the school listings were gathered in 2016-2017 from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). This site is the primary governmental entity for gathering and presenting data related to education. NCES data is updated annually. However, in many cases the most recently available data will not be for the current academic year. Additionally, tuition rates may vary by program, so prospective students should contact a representative from your institution of choice for more details.

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This indicates that a school has an annual tuition of $15,000 or less as reported to the National Center for Education Statistics or based on the school's website.