Top 95 CACREP Accredited Online Counseling Programs for 2023

Reviewed by: Megan Kelly, MA, LMHC

The Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) is the top accrediting board for graduate-level counseling programs. This guide walks you through the top online counseling programs that are CACREP-accredited, as well as what CACREP requires when accrediting a program, commonalities across programs, and different modalities or concentrations for CACREP-accredited counseling degrees.

As you learn more about the requirements for becoming a professional counselor, you may find CACREP to be a valuable resource for choosing a reputable degree program for your educational journey.

Note that CACREP-accredited counseling programs currently encompass master’s and doctoral programs only.

Consider an online counseling program: Learn more.
MA in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine

CACREP-Accredited Programs Overview

Our team of educational experts has thoroughly reviewed CACREP counseling accreditation compared to other accreditation agencies to provide you with detailed information you can use to determine whether you’re choosing the right program.CACREP Accredited Counseling Programs

Here’s an overview of CACREP accredited programs in the field of counseling:

  • 900+ total CACREP-accredited counseling programs
  • 800+ CACREP-accredited master's degrees
  • 80+ CACREP-accredited doctorate counseling programs
  • 100+ Online CACREP-accredited counseling programs
  • Before taking a deep dive into some of the popular accredited programs, take time to consider what you’re looking for in a degree program. Some students may choose to pursue their degree through traditional, campus-based programs, others may prefer counseling programs that they can complete entirely online—and some may want a hybrid of the two.

    Luckily, there are options. There are traditional, online and hybrid programs that have received CACREP accreditation, making this decision easier for aspiring professionals who wish to become licensed counselors in the future.

    To make your search for the perfect degree program a bit easier, the CDO team of educational experts has reviewed the list of CACREP-accredited degree programs for each U.S. state on our website and provided a list of entirely online CACREP-accredited counseling programs on this page. Likewise, on each state’s page, you’ll find online counseling programs in that state that are accepting applicants.

    CACREP Accredited Programs Consider a Featured Online CACREP Accredited Counseling Program
    Click the university name for information on admissions, courses, status of accreditation, and more

    Consider Accredited Counseling Programs Designed to Adhere to CACREP Standards

    What is CACREP?

    CACREP Accredited Degrees
    According to the website for the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), this organization “promotes the professional competence of counseling and related practitioners through development of preparation standards, encouraging excellence in program development, and accreditation of professional preparation programs.”

    CACREP is the leading accreditation organization for educational programs in counseling, so it should be a familiar agency for you if you plan to pursue a degree within this field. Any campus-based or online counseling programs that this agency has accredited should display the CACREP logo on their program page, and should be listed on CACREP’s approved provider list.
    Accreditation agencies such as CACREP aim to provide consistent reviews of educational programs all over the country. There may be certain qualifications for upcoming programs seeking accreditation, some of which can likely be easily achieved through the creation of a thorough curriculum, hiring qualified instructors, and making sure they are up-to-date with the ethical and legal recommendations for new counseling professionals

    Here are some of the standards that are reviewed during the accreditation process:

    • Program faculty and staff evaluation
    • Core curriculum review
    • Clinical practice requirements - including internship, practicum, and supervisors
    • Student and program assessment
    • Specialty areas

    How Do You Find CACREP Accredited Counseling Programs?

    Finding a degree program with the right type of accreditation doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Prospective students seeking reliable degree programs can use different methods for finding the right program that meets their needs. If you already have a particular university in mind for your program, you can review the degree program’s page on your school’s website.

    Most degree programs that attain accreditation list this information on the main page or through a section pertaining to specific program accreditation. A quicker alternative for finding accredited programs in your area may be through CACREP’s search tool on the agency’s website.

    Visiting CACREP's website is a good starting point for finding information about the full process of accreditation, resources for aspiring professionals in the field, and lists of accredited institutions that may be offering online degree programs.

    Counseling Degrees Online has also created state pages that include every CACREP-accredited counseling program as of spring of 2021.

    CACREP Accredited Online Programs

    For students who prefer the convenience and flexibility of online learning, here’s a list of some of the most popular CACREP-accredited online programs

    • Bellevue University: Online Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
    • Bradley University: Online Masters in School Counseling
    • The College of William and Mary: Online Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
    • Messiah College: Online Masters in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling
    • North Carolina Central University: Online Masters in Career Counseling
    • North Carolina State University: Online Masters in Student Affairs and College Counseling
    • Thomas University: Online Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling
    • The online Master of Arts in Counseling Program at The Family Institute at Northwestern University allows students to earn their degree in as little as 18 months. Preparing the next generation of clinical mental health counselors, this CACREP-accredited program offers a comprehensive curriculum combined with extensive hands-on training. No GRE Required.
      Click for more admissions info.

The Importance of CACREP-Accredited Mental Health Counseling Programs

In most states, earning a master’s in counseling is the first step toward becoming a licensed counselor. Accreditation comes into play at this first stage of your journey. Students seeking educational programs to enroll in should determine whether the program has received the right type of accreditation and will prepare them to be eligible for licensure after graduation.

Master’s Degrees in Counseling Are Required

In most states, earning a master’s in counseling is the first step toward becoming a licensed counselor. Accreditation comes into play at this stage. Students seeking educational programs to enroll in should determine whether the program has received the right type of accreditation and will prepare them to be eligible for licensure after graduation.

Many States Require CACREP Accredited Degrees

Most states require that students obtain master’s-level degrees that  are accredited by CACREP. When you graduate from a counseling program and have completed your supervised work experience requirement, you are responsible for filing your application for licensure, which in most states will require you to prove you’ve graduated from a CACREP-accredited or similar program.

If you want to ensure that your program can help you at this step, you should review your program’s website or contact your university’s enrollment specialist for more information.

What About State Counseling Licensure?               

One of the biggest concerns for counseling students is whether their program meets the minimum standards of their state licensure agency. This is a valid concern for new master’s-level students, since there are numerous for-profit educational programs that promote counseling programs that haven’t attained the right type of accreditation to support licensure. View state-by-state counseling licensure requirements to make sure the program you’re looking at fits the requirements needed to obtain state counseling licensure.

How do online counseling degrees become CACREP accredited?

CACREP has a specific process for determining whether a program in counseling should receive accreditation. Universities seeking accreditation:

  • create a comprehensive report of their degree program
  • provide evidence as to why their program meets the minimum standard
  • and submit this information to CACREP for review.

CACREP then reviews the application and assigns an on-site reviewer to visit the location,. After an initial visit and review of curriculum and course work on campus, a reflective report is then sent back to CACREP for comparison. Review of these final documents can determine whether a program receives accreditation.

How long does CACREP accreditation last?

Currently, CACREP accredits university degree programs for a period of eight years. Programs that have applied for accreditation, but still require additional information to meet the standards of the eight-year approval, can receive a temporary accreditation status for two years. During that time, universities are required to provide the additional information to remain accredited beyond the two-year cycle.

Is accreditation required for licensure?

All U.S. states require counselors to be licensed to provide mental health counseling services to the public. One main requirement for licensure of is proof of completion of a master’s degree in counseling. Many states will require that the program you graduated from holds current accreditation with CACREP. Programs that are not CACREP-accredited may be accepted for licensure if they meet the same coursework and clinical experience requirements as a CACREP-accredited program.

However, you will likely need to submit additional documentation like coursework syllabi to show that your program fits all the criteria. Keep in mind that even if the program looks good, degree programs that don’t have proper accreditation at the time you obtained your education may not be accepted during the licensure process.

 

Considering Accredited Master’s in Counseling Programs

Master’s degrees in counseling may be some of the most sought-after programs for college students interested in providing a much-needed service to their community.

A master’s in counseling can provide students with advanced knowledge and understanding of the human mind, emotions, and behaviors.

To provide support to people with emotional or behavioral issues, students should aim to pursue an accredited degree program, gain two to three years of supervised experience, and pass a national licensing exam in counseling in order to become licensed.

One of the most common concerns a prospective counselor might have is whether the program they are pursuing is accredited. Below, we’ve listed several pages where you can read more about the leading accredited universities and programs in the U.S. that can assist you in getting the job you’ve always dreamed of.

Top Accredited Master’s in Counseling Programs

Master’s in Counseling

Online Masters in Counseling

No GRE MA in Counseling

Online Master of Arts in Counseling

Schools with an Online Master of Counseling

Accelerated MA in Counseling

Hybrid MA in Counseling

Dual Master in Counseling Degrees

By Online Counseling Program Specialization:

Online Master of Behavior Analysis

Online Master in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Online Master’s in Counseling Psychology

Online Master of Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Online Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling

Online Master’s in School Counseling

By Accreditation:

Online CACREP Accredited Master’s Programs

Online MPCAC Accredited Programs

Still Looking for CACREP Accredited Online Counseling Programs?

Below is a list of some of the most popular online counseling program types. On each page, you’ll find a detailed write-up of each program type, specific courses in each program, and schools that offer that program type.

List of Programs

Capella University 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters 🗗 Doctorate

Northwestern University 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

Capella University 🗹 Online Masters

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology 🗹 Online

Our Lady of the Lake University 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

Liberty University 🗹 Online

Walsh University 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

Walsh University 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

Colorado Christian University 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

Colorado Christian University 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

Colorado Christian University 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

List of Online CACREP Accredited Counseling Programs

University City State Online Counseling Program CACREP Start CACREP Expires
University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks AK M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 7/12/2016 3/31/2020
University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks AK M.Ed. in School Counseling 7/12/2016 3/31/2020
Auburn University Auburn AL M.Ed. in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling 7/19/2017 10/31/2026
Concordia University Irvine Irvine CA M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 1/13/2018 10/31/2021
Palo Alto University Palo Alto CA M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 7/5/2015 3/31/2025
Palo Alto University Palo Alto CA M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling 7/5/2015 3/31/2025
Saybrook University Pasadena CA M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 1/14/2017 10/31/2026
Adams State University Alamosa CO M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 7/15/2009 3/31/2021
Adams State University Alamosa CO M.A. in School Counseling 4/1/1994 3/31/2021
Adams State University Alamosa CO Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision 1/13/2016 3/31/2021
Colorado Christian University Lakewood CO M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 1/14/2010 10/31/2027
Central Connecticut State University New Britain CT M.S. in School Counseling 7/8/2008 3/31/2021
Gallaudet University Washington DC M.A. in School Counseling 9/1/1991 3/31/2024
Hodges University Ft. Myers FL M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 7/11/2012 3/31/2022
Thomas University Thomasville GA M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling 1/13/2016 10/31/2023
University of Hawai'i Manoa Honolulu HI M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling 7/1/2017 10/31/2020
Adler University Chicago IL M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 1/7/2015 10/31/2022
Bradley University Peoria IL M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 1/9/2014 10/31/2022
Bradley University Peoria IL M.A. in School Counseling 9/1/1990 10/31/2022
Concordia University Chicago River Forest IL M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 1/15/2012 3/31/2022
Northwestern University Evanston IL M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 7/9/2013 3/31/2023
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology - Online Chicago IL M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 7/12/2016 3/31/2026
Grace College Winona Lake IN M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 1/1/2003 10/31/2020
Indiana Wesleyan University Marion IN M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 1/15/2012 10/31/2021
Indiana Wesleyan University Marion IN M.A. in School Counseling 7/10/2005 10/31/2021
Asbury Theological Seminary Wilmore KY M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 1/7/2015 10/31/2024
Lindsey Wilson College Columbia KY M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 10/1/1994 8/20/2020
University of Kentucky Lexington KY M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling 7/1/2017 10/31/2021
University of the Cumberlands Williamsburg KY Ed.D./Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision 7/14/2014 3/31/2024
University of the Cumberlands Williamsburg KY M.A. in Addiction Counseling 7/31/2014 3/31/2024
University of the Cumberlands Williamsburg KY M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 7/14/2014 3/31/2024
University of Louisiana at Monroe Monroe LA M.Ed. in School Counseling 9/1/1987 2/28/2021
University of Louisiana at Monroe Monroe LA M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 7/11/2012 2/28/2021
Capella University Minneapolis MN M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 3/1/2002 8/31/2020
Capella University Minneapolis MN M.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling 1/1/2004 3/31/2020
Capella University Minneapolis MN M.S. in School Counseling 1/16/2008 8/31/2020
Capella University Minneapolis MN Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision 1/9/2014 8/31/2020
Walden University Minneapolis MN M.S. in Addiction Counseling 7/5/2015 3/31/2025
Walden University Minneapolis MN M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 7/5/2015 3/31/2025
Walden University Minneapolis MN M.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling 7/11/2012 3/31/2025
Walden University Minneapolis MN M.S. in School Counseling 7/5/2015 3/31/2025
Walden University Minneapolis MN Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision 7/11/2012 3/31/2025
North Carolina Central University Durham NC M.A. in Career Counseling 7/7/2004 3/31/2022
North Carolina Central University Durham NC M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 7/14/2012 3/31/2022
North Carolina Central University Durham NC M.A. in School Counseling 7/7/2004 3/31/2022
North Carolina State University Raleigh NC M.Ed./M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 1/12/2011 10/31/2020
North Carolina State University Raleigh NC M.Ed./M.S. in School Counseling 10/1/1996 10/31/2020
North Carolina State University Raleigh NC M.Ed./M.S. in Student Affairs and College Counseling 9/1/1988 10/31/2020
University of North Carolina at Pembroke Pembroke NC M.A.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 7/14/2011 3/31/2021
University of North Carolina at Pembroke Pembroke NC M.A.Ed. in School Counseling 7/14/2011 3/31/2021
Wake Forest University Winston-Salem NC M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 1/15/2009 10/31/2026
Wake Forest University Winston-Salem NC M.A. in School Counseling 10/1/1993 10/31/2026
Bellevue University Bellevue NE M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 1/13/2016 10/31/2021
Wayne State College Wayne NE M.S.E. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 7/14/2014 3/31/2024
Antioch University New England Keene NH M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 1/13/2018 10/31/2021
St. Bonaventure University St. Bonaventure NY M.S.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 7/5/2015 3/31/2021
St. Bonaventure University St. Bonaventure NY M.S.Ed. in School Counseling 1/16/2007 3/31/2021
Malone University Canton OH M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 7/5/2010 8/20/2020
Union Institute and University Cincinnati OH M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 7/12/2016 3/31/2020
Wright State University Dayton OH MRC in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling 1/14/2016 10/31/2020
Oregon State University Corvallis OR M. Coun. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 7/14/2014 3/31/2024
Oregon State University Corvallis OR Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision 9/1/1991 3/31/2024
Lock Haven University Lock Haven PA M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 1/7/2015 10/31/2024
Messiah University (previously Messiah College) Mechanicsburg PA M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 1/12/2011 10/31/2020
Messiah University (previously Messiah College) Mechanicsburg PA M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling 1/12/2011 10/31/2020
Messiah University (previously Messiah College) Mechanicsburg PA M.A. in School Counseling 1/12/2011 10/31/2020
Shippensburg University Shippensburg PA Ed.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision 7/18/2018 3/31/2022
Freed-Hardeman University Henderson TN M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 7/18/2018 3/31/2022
Lamar University Beaumont TX M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 1/7/2015 10/31/2020
University of Houston Victoria Victoria TX M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 1/7/2015 10/31/2025
University of Houston Victoria Victoria TX M.Ed. in School Counseling 1/17/2009 10/31/2025
College of William and Mary Williamsburg VA M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 1/9/2014 10/31/2022
College of William and Mary Williamsburg VA M.Ed. in School Counseling 4/1/1998 10/31/2022
Liberty University Lynchburg VA M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 7/19/2017 3/31/2023
Liberty University Lynchburg VA Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision 5/12/2016 3/31/2023
Liberty University - School of Behavioral Sciences Lynchburg VA M.Ed. in School Counseling 1/9/2014 10/31/2023
Regent University Virginia Beach VA M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 7/14/2014 3/31/2024
Regent University Virginia Beach VA M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling 7/14/2014 3/31/2024
Regent University Virginia Beach VA M.A. in School Counseling 4/1/1999 3/31/2024
Regent University Virginia Beach VA Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision 7/18/2006 3/31/2024
Marshall University South Charleston WV M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 1/13/2016 10/31/2021
Marshall University South Charleston WV M.A. in School Counseling 1/13/2016 10/31/2021
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Here are some of the most popular online counseling programs. On each page you will find a detailed write-up of the program, specific courses, and schools that offer that program that are currently accepting applicants.


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