CACREP Accredited Programs in Texas

When selecting a college or university to attend, knowing that you are going to get a quality education is essential. Even though you may pass the courses and get the degree from the school, if the quality of the content provided does not meet your expectations or standards, you may struggle in your field of choice. That is why accreditation matters. As you consider the options in where to get your education, look for CACREP accredited programs in Texas that can better meet your needs. Here’s what you need to know about these programs and why they stand out in the field.

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What Is CACREP Accreditation?

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) is a well-recognized organization serving the needs of colleges and universities – and their students – around the country. Founded in 1981, this organization sets the bar high for those programs that wish to obtain accreditation.

CACREP accreditation means that the counseling program itself has met the standards this organization sets for the quality and type of content they provide to students. It means that the CACREP organization has evaluated the specific needs of students and then evaluated the program to see how well it fits those goals, which are standards set by the profession itself.

When you apply to a CACREP college program, that means you can trust that the content being provided to you and the teaching methods are appropriate for providing you with the knowledge and skills you need to work in that associated field. It also means that the program itself is financially and professionally stable.

When you are looking at options for your education, seek out the best CACREP accredited programs in Texas. Doing so will help you to get the type and quality of education you need.

Why Is CACREP Accreditation Important?

Accreditation in any form is an important tool in evaluating the quality of any program you’re considering. In the US, accreditation is a type of peer review system that helps with quality assurance. This is not a mandatory service but rather a voluntary program that schools seek out to determine if their program (not the school in general) meets the expectations of those who work in the associated industry.

A self-study is conducted by the school and then reviewed by CACREP Standards. This is done by counselors and counselor educators to create a fair, unbiased, and comprehensive evaluation of the program. Ultimately, accreditation lets students know that if they choose that school program, they are likely getting a quality educational experience.

There are several reasons why this may be important to students entering this field. In particular, seeking out CACREP accredited programs in Texas could provide you with several benefits:

  • Evaluated: You know that the program itself has been fully evaluated. That means a third party organization that does not represent the school is providing insight into the quality of education there.

  • Meets Expectations: When a school’s program gains this type of recognition, it means that the program meets or exceeds the national standards set by the profession itself, indicating the quality of the education provided.

  • Are Stable: The program is also financially and professionally stable, which means that it is not likely to close down or not provide you with the promised degree.

  • Preparation: It also may mean that this educational program gives you the knowledge and skills to create a career in the field of education, business, mental health, human services, or other associated fields. It helps you meet the requirements to enter into this field.

  • Meets Licensing Requirements: It is also important to consider whether the program is providing the type of education to meet the state’s prerequisites for the licensing exam. Since many in this field need to obtain a license, this is a critical component.

  • Focused Education: The CACREP program provides specific insight into professional counseling education and skill building. It is not focused on psychology or education directly.

How will choosing a program like this help you with your career?

Though every situation is different, most often, choosing a quality educational program helps you to build your career on a strong foundation. For example, you will have access to the education and information you need to sit for the state’s licensing exam.

In addition to this, depending on where you work in the counseling field, noting on your resume that you completed your education at a CACREP accredited school could be valuable to employers looking for higher highly skilled professionals. The American Counseling Association recognizes the CACREP accredited programs as offering a quality of education that creates a path towards initial licensure.

Though you do not have to attend college or university programs with this accreditation, doing so may help many people to achieve their long-term goals.

Consider a Featured Online Counseling Program

☰ For detailed degree information, view the guides to:
Online CACREP Accredited programs | Online MPCAC Accredited programs

Top CACREP Accredited Programs in Texas

The following are some of the most recognized CACREP accredited programs in the state. It is always important for students to learn as much as they can about any program before deciding to enter into it. These are some of the best CACREP accredited programs in Texas for their availability and the number of graduating students. Consider any of these programs to be highly desirable, though it is important to consider their unique offerings, locations, and program details before choosing any school.

Texas A&M University – Central Texas

Texas A&M University offers the following programs that meet CACREP accreditation:

  • Clinical mental health counseling MS

  • School counseling MS

  • Counselor education and supervision PhD

  • Addiction counseling MS

  • Marriage, couple, and family counseling MS

The university, located in Killeen, Texas, specializes in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. These are master’s degree programs. The school has maintained its accreditation since 2016.

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Texas Tech offers the following CACREP accredited programs in Texas:

  • Addiction counseling MS

  • Clinical mental health counseling MS

  • Clinical rehabilitation counseling MS

  • School counseling Med

  • Counselor education and supervision PhD

This institution is located in Lubbock, Texas. It offers online educational programs primarily. Students enrolling in these programs may earn a master’s degree or a doctoral degree. The school has maintained accreditation in this area since 2019. The school specializes in addiction counseling services.

Sam Houston State University

Sam Houston State University offers several CACREP accredited programs, including:

  • Counselor education and supervision PhD

  • Marriage, Couple and family counseling MA

  • Clinical mental health counseling MA

  • School counseling MEd

This school, located in Huntsville, Texas, has campuses in both Huntsville and Woodlands Center. It offers a range of specialized program options and elective courses. This includes its doctoral program as well as several master’s degree programs. The students here have graduated with CACREP accredited degrees beginning in 2008.

Southern Methodist University

Southern Methodist University offers educational programs that meet CACREP accreditation in the following areas.

  • Clinical mental health counseling MS

  • Marriage, couple, and family counseling MS

  • School counseling MS

This school, based in Dallas, also has a campus in Plano. The program began graduating students after accreditation was achieved in 2017. The program meets all standards set by the state. This educational institution only offers master’s degree programs.

University of Houston – Clear Lake

The University of Houston offers accredited programs through CACREP in the following areas:

  • Clinical mental health counseling MS

  • School counseling MS

The school is based in Houston, Texas. It offers numerous specialties, including Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Its degree options include master’s programs. Students who graduated from this school’s programs in July of 2019 did so under the most recent accreditation.

University of North Texas at Dallas

The University of North Texas at Dallas offers CACREP accreditation programs in the following area:

  • Clinical mental health counseling MS

  • School counseling MEd

  • Counselor education and supervision PhD

  • Rehabilitation counseling MS

This university’s programs are based in Dallas, Texas. It offers a number of different educational paths with both master’s degree and doctoral degree options for students. The school began graduating students under the accreditation after January 2016.

Texas Counseling Licensure Information

If you hope to work as a counselor in the state of Texas, you will need to meet some specific goals set by the state’s licensing board. This is not uncommon for most states as it allows them to ensure the people that are providing these highly valuable services have the skills necessary to do the work.

After receiving their education from an approved school, students are then able to enter into the process of obtaining a license. However, under Texas laws, you must acquire a bachelor’s degree in a related field and earn a master’s degree in a counseling program through an accredited institution before you can obtain your license.

Students will need to complete 60 graduate semester hours and the coursework required for them. Some of those programs will include the following:

  • Abnormal human behavior
  • Normal human growth and development
  • Social, cultural, and family issues
  • Counseling theories
  • Counseling methods or techniques
  • Lifestyle and career development

Many times, students will need to complete research as a component of obtaining their degree as well. Also note that each college or university program will set the required courses, and their course names may differ from these.

In addition to this, the Texas State Board Examiners of Professional Counseling, which increased the educational requirements in 2017, require coursework that also includes a focus on addiction counseling, psychopathology, couples, marriage or families, and counselor ethics.


Once a student obtains this step in obtaining their education, they then need to complete a supervised practicum experience. That often means working in the field in some capacity. This generally is done through an internship with a licensed professional counselor. The requirement is to complete at least 300 hours, with at least 100 of those hours being in direct client contact. Keep in mind this is not post-graduate supervision, which is a secondary requirement.

Supervision hours

Students must then complete 3,000 hours of supervision. This is done over a minimum of 18 months, and it requires at least 1,500 hours of time to be under the direct supervision of an approved, licensed professional supervisor.

Students gain a significant amount of education during that time. This may help them to provide a better quality of service to their clients over time.


Those who wish to work as a professional counselor must pass the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification as well as the Texas Jurisprudence Exam. The NCE is a certification with 200 questions on it that is created and administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors. This test looks at effective counseling services, skills, and student knowledge and is a multiple choice style exam.

The second component, the Jurisprudence exam, is an assessment that students will demonstrate their familiarity with the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors rules. Here, the goal is to ensure that the student understands what is expected of them once they start working in the field.


There are fees for completing this licensing exam. Generally, those fees for the application and license are $190, though this can change over time. This is also a Texas Jurisprudence exam fee of $40.

Learn more:

Texas Professional Counseling Renewal Requirements

It is necessary to maintain your license over time. To do that, you will need to renew the license biennially. That includes paying associated fees and meeting any type of continuing education requirements. You also must retake the Texas jurisprudence exam.

Continuing education is a requirement for all people working in the field. Under Texas law, that includes completing 24 hours of education every two years. The student can select the courses they would like to take, but they must focus on ethics in some way.

CACREP, Why should I choose an accredited program?

CACREP, Texas A&M University – Central Texas

CACREP, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

CACREP, Sam Houston State University

CACREP, Southern Methodist University

CACREP, University of Houston – Clear Lake

CACREP, University of North Texas at Dallas

Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council, Applying for a License

Counseling Career Guide

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