Master’s in Counseling Degrees in Texas Explore Online and On-Campus Options

A master’s degree in counseling may open doors for you, your future clients and your community at large. There are several ways to become a licensed counselor in the state of Texas. 

Programs across the state come in varying formats: online, in-person and hybrid. Schools also offer specialization options, like clinical mental health, school counseling and rehabilitation counseling. 

As you explore the degree program options below, it’s important to keep your goals in mind. We know the variety may be overwhelming, so we did some of the homework for you! Read on to compare Texas counseling master’s programs and decide which is right for you. 

Sponsored Online Counseling Programs That Accept Students from Texas

Northwestern University

The Family Institute at Northwestern University


Master of Arts in Counseling

Earn a CACREP-accredited master’s in counseling online from top-9 ranked1 Northwestern University.

1U.S. News & World Report: 2022 Best National University Rankings 

  • CACREP Accredited
  • Earn your MA in Counseling from Northwestern in as few as 18 months
  • Accelerated full-time, traditional, or part-time tracks available

New York University

NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development


Master of Arts in Counseling and Guidance

Learn more about NYU Steinhardt’s online MA degree that prepares you to become a school counselor in as few as 18 months. Graduates can pursue certification and employment in pre-K–12 schools. Bachelor’s req.

  • Complete in as few as 18 months.
  • Pursue school counselor certification.
  • Study bilingual school counseling (optional). 
  • GRE scores are not required. 

University of Southern California (USC)

USC Rossier School of Education


Master of Education in School Counseling

The University of Southern California Rossier School of Education offers a Master of Education in School Counseling online for aspiring K-12 school counselors. The program can be completed in less than two years and there is no GRE requirement.

  • No GRE required 
  • Prepares you for school counseling credential 
  • Bachelor’s degree required


In This Article:

Education and Other Requirements for Counseling Licensure in Texas

To become a licensed counselor in Texas, there are several state requirements you’ll need to meet as laid out by the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council. First off, becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) requires a master’s degree or higher in counseling from a program accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). These usually include 60 graduate-level credit hours, a supervised internship and a course of practicum  that meet the requirements laid out by the Texas licensing board. After completing your degree, you’ll also have to pass the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) and pay a licensing fee. Licensed counselors in Texas are often also registered with the Texas Counseling Association (TCA).

Salary and Career Outlook for Counselors in Texas

Next, you may want to get acquainted with career outlooks and salary expectations as you decide whether becoming a counselor in Texas is the right choice for you. Read on to find information about counseling salaries and job growth rates for various pathways in counseling in Texas, based on data gathered from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):


Wondering about the various counseling career paths available to you in Texas? Explore these questions and answers to learn more: 

What degree do I need to become a marriage and family therapist in Texas?

You may want to familiarize yourself with the Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) licensing requirements from the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council (BHEC). To qualify for the LMFT, you need to have completed a master’s degree program (or higher) that meets the council’s requirements and two years of full-time supervised work experience, as well as pass an entrance examination and pay a license fee.

What jobs can I get with a master’s degree in counseling in Texas?

You may pursue a range of jobs in Texas with a master’s degree in counseling. It depends on the setting you’re interested in—be it clinical (individual or rehabilitation therapy), educational (K12 or college school counselors) or private. Career opportunities may include marriage and family therapist, mental health counselor/behavioral therapist, school or vocational counselor, substance abuse counselor, grief and bereavement counselor, case manager and more. 

How much money can a counselor make in private practice in Texas?

A range of factors can affect how much a counselor earns, from the city in which they practice to the number of years of experience they have. As you research earning potential for counselors in the state, take note of such factors.

Is mental health counseling a good career in Texas?

Mental health counseling may be a good career in Texas as it could be in any state. Those employed within the field determine whether it is a good fit for them, bearing their personal goals in mind. While the mean mental health counselor salary in Texas was about $4,000 dollars below the national mean in May 2021 according to the BLS ($49,510 in Texas, compared to $53,490 nationally), the work itself can be rewarding as there are several opportunities to help others cope with mental health disorders and work through some of life’s most challenging situations. 

Additionally, demand for substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors is rising. As we mentioned earlier, jobs for these professionals will grow 23% from 2020 to 2030.

What is the job outlook for school counselors in Texas?

According to the BLS, the projected growth rate of school counselors from 2020 to 2030 is at 11%, indicating a faster-than-average growth rate. Rising student enrollment in elementary, middle and high schools will drive the demand for school counselors.

How much does a school counselor with a master’s degree make in Texas?

To become a licensed school counselor in Texas, you need a master’s degree at minimum. According to the BLS, the annual mean salary for educational, guidance and career counselors and advisors in Texas (also called school counselors) was $63,090 in May 2021.

Last updated: May 2022