Study Counseling Psychology in Houston
Houston, Texas, is the fourth-largest city in the nation. As such, it’s a vibrant, diverse community with many opportunities to advance your education.
In fact, the Houston metro area is home to twenty-four colleges and universities, not including more than a dozen health sciences campuses in the area. With that many schools, you’re bound to find the ideal counseling psychology graduate program to meet your needs.
Best of all, with so many schools in Houston, the chances are good that you can find a counseling psychology program nearby. If not, many colleges and universities offer part or full-time online studies that give you the flexibility to study anywhere, any time.
Below is a list of the counseling psychology graduate programs in Houston. These options represent some of the best opportunities to advance your education in the Houston area.
Counseling Psychology Graduate Programs in Houston
The University of Houston
Everything is bigger in Texas, including its institutions of higher learning! While the University of Houston has more than 47,000 undergraduate and graduate students, it still only ranks as the third largest public college in the state (behind Texas A&M and the University of Texas at Austin).
While the main University campus is in Houston, it has four satellite campuses in the region, including at Technology Bridge, Sugar Land, and Katy. Having four campuses in the metro area makes the University much more accessible to students throughout the region.
The University of Houston has a wide-ranging selection of undergraduate and graduate degrees. In fact, there are more than 275 degree programs offered on campus and online. More than 100 of those programs are for graduate students, including the counseling psychology program discussed below.
The University of Houston’s doctoral program in counseling psychology focuses on helping you build the requisite skills to help others through difficult times. Likewise, this program strongly focuses on psychological research, social justice, and multiculturalism.
This program requires that you complete several components for graduation. This includes:
- Practicum and internship experiences
- Candidacy research project
- Comprehensive exam
You will need five to six years to complete these requirements. Upon graduation, you will have the necessary education to become a licensed counseling psychologist.
Texas Southern University
Texas Southern University was established in the years after World War II as a specialized school for African-American students. In the early 1970s, Texas Southern became a school for urban programming to prepare students for making a positive impact in urban communities throughout the world.
Today, Texas Southern has about 10,000 students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The University offers dozens of programs and majors in many different academic colleges and schools, including:
- Thurgood Marshall School of Law
- College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
- Barbara Jordan Mickey-Leland School of Public Affairs
- Jesse H. Jones School of Business
There are six other schools and colleges offering degrees in pharmacy, education, STEM, and more. As a student in one of these programs, you can take advantage of the fact that Texas Southern is one of the top 50 Historically Black Colleges and Universities and that it ranks in the top 250 public colleges in the nation.
The M.Ed. Counseling from Texas Southern University is ideally suited for you if you have a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a closely related area, like social work or human services. You can even gain admission to the program if your undergraduate degree isn’t in one of these fields!
Once admitted, you can choose between three specialized tracks: Rehabilitation Counseling, School Counseling, or Clinical Mental Health Counseling. This option is most closely aligned to counseling psychology.
To graduate, you must complete 60 credits of coursework plus a 600-hour counseling internship in a clinical setting. You must also pass a comprehensive examination offered by the College of Education. Typically, it takes three years to complete these requirements.
Upon graduation, you will be eligible for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. This program is also recognized by the National Board for Certified Counselors.
The University of St. Thomas Houston
The University of St. Thomas Houston is a Catholic-affiliated university. It’s accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to confer undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees.
This is a small school. Enrollment sits at about 3,000 students. With roughly 300 faculty members, this gives you an intimate campus and classroom setting (the student-to-teacher ratio is about 14:1) in which to learn counseling psychology techniques..
Though psychology might be your chosen path of study, the University offers dozens of other opportunities to pursue degrees. You can study anything from business to criminal justice to nursing. In some cases, you can even double-major to expand your knowledge and skills.
If you want to pursue a career as a counseling psychologist, the clinical mental health program at the University of St. Thomas is an ideal solution.
This program culminates with a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and prepares you for licensure as an LPC in the state of Texas.
The coursework, internship, and thesis components of this program give you a well-rounded education in counseling psychology. You will study counseling techniques, psychological assessment, and get real-world experience working in clinical mental health settings, too.
The University of St. Thomas is a relatively inexpensive university for graduate studies. Tuition is $676 per credit, not including fees.
Houston Christian University
Houston Christian University is a private, non-profit, four-year college that offers a small campus and small class sizes. There are only about 3,000 students on the 100-acre campus, which is located near Houston’s downtown district. You can go to class during the day and check out the city’s vibrant downtown life at night!
Houston Christian is affordable, too. For example, the MA in counseling discussed below costs $585 per credit hour. With many financial aid opportunities available (95 percent of students at this school receive financial aid), you can get your degree without breaking the bank.
Of course, since this is a Christian university, you will get the necessary education in your chosen major while also learning how to incorporate a Christ-centered approach to your studies and your work after graduation.
The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Houston Christian University focuses on helping you develop the counseling psychology skills necessary to provide effective care for clients with an array of mental illnesses. This is a 60-credit program that takes about three years of full-time study to complete.
Houston Christian University makes it easy to get your degree, too. You can choose to complete your studies on campus, or if you prefer, the program is also offered in a 100 percent online format. Both the on-campus and online formats require you to complete the same courses, which include:
- Counseling Skills and Techniques
- Clinical Psychopathology
- Assessment and Testing
- Theories of Counseling
- Career Counseling and Lifestyle Development
In addition to your coursework, you must also complete practicum and internship experiences in an approved clinical mental health setting.
Requirements to Become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Texas
The licensure requirements for practicing counseling psychology in Texas are governed by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. To become a licensed professional counselor in the state, you must first submit the following:
- A completed application and application fee
- Documentation that you have completed a practicum (i.e. a master’s degree)
- Proof that you have completed the required number of supervised professional experience hours
- Proof that you have passed the Texas Jurisprudence Exam for Professional Counselors
- Official NBCC score report for the NCE or NCMHCE examination
- Official transcripts showing that you have obtained an appropriate degree
- A self-query report from the NPDB
Additionally, if you are not a U.S. citizen, you must submit a Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Form.
There are varying levels of licensure in the state, each of which is slightly different. For example, if you have recently graduated and completed your post-graduate supervised internship, you would apply for the LPC Associate license. This license requires that you submit a Supervisory Agreement Form that outlines where you’re completing your internship and who your supervisor is. This form is in addition to the materials outlined above.
As another example, if you are coming to Texas and have a license from another state, you must submit a Verification of Licensure in Another State form to supplement the materials outlined above.
Once you are licensed in Texas, you must renew the license every two years. Failure to do so might result in losing your ability to practice counseling psychology.