The 50 Best Low-Cost Master’s in Counseling Online Programs 2018

By Kirsten Hughes

February 2018

Welcome to our collection of the 50 Best Low-Cost Online Master’s in Counseling Degree Programs. We have assembled the best low-cost online master’s in counseling degrees available in order for you to quickly and easily navigate affordable online programs in counseling. The field of counseling offers a number of areas of specialization from clinical mental health counseling to school counseling. We have included a broad list of degrees, in a variety of areas within the field of counseling, in order to support you in finding the low-cost online graduate degree in counseling that matches your personal professional goals.

The low-cost master’s in counseling degrees listed here are all available online. Many of the programs on this list are available fully online. Due to the nature of skills required to be a professional counselor, many of the schools offer brief, intensive, on-campus residencies to introduce and develop interpersonal counseling skills and to support students in developing relationships with peers in the program. This comprehensive list allows students to choose the online format, with or without a residency, that best meets their educational needs.

The majority of programs here are licensure track programs meaning that their curriculum is designed to support students in meeting the educational requirements for licensure. Following graduation, you will begin the process of pursuing your professional licensure in your chosen area of specialty by accruing supervised clinical hours and taking a national examination. Because licensure requirements vary from state to state, we encourage you to consult your home state licensing board to confirm that the program you are interested in will fulfill the educational requirements for the professional licensure that you plan to obtain. All of the schools listed here are regionally accredited and many of the programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). When a program is CACREP accredited it means that the program is specific to the practice of professional counseling, that it has met specific standards to support graduates in a streamlined process towards credentialing, and that the program has met or exceeded national standards.

We are confident you will find the best low-cost online master’s in counseling degree to match your career goals here!

 

#50 Union Institute & University

Cincinnati, OH

Online Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

union-institute-university-cincinnati-oh-master-of-arts-in-clinical-mental-health-counselingUnion Institute & University offers an online Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. The 60 credit program trains students through online coursework, including some synchronous classes, and annual on-campus residencies. The program is available on a part-time or full-time basis with program start dates in January, May, and August. A number of unique electives are offered to students, including treatment of behavioral health issues in veterans and their families; military culture- enhancing clinical competence; and psychopharmacology for mental health and addictive disorders. Graduates will be prepared to work towards professional licensure and/or pursue a doctoral degree in counseling or psychology.

Courses include: counseling theory and practice; psychopathology- diagnosis, assessment, and treatment; helping relationships; professional orientation and ethics; human growth and development; group work and therapy; appraisal and diagnostic techniques; social bases of behavior and cultural diversity; career and lifestyle development; research methods and program evaluation; and clinical consultation.

    • Credits Required: 60
    • Cost: $810 / Credit Hour
    • Regional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

#49 Nyack College

Nyack, NY

Masters in Mental Health Counseling Online

nyack-college-nyack-ny-masters-in-mental-health-counseling-onlineA Master’s in Mental Health Counseling is available online at Nyack College. This is a three-year 63 credit program that includes an annual 7-day residency. The program provides a cohort model allowing students to move through the program together at the same pace for ongoing peer support. Students will engage in the program through both synchronous and asynchronous courses, with synchronous courses generally being two nights a week. Faith and psychological principles are integrated throughout the program with the intention of supporting students in personal and professional development. Check out their website to see their free one hour sessions covering topics relevant to the field of mental health counseling.

Courses include: foundations of mental health counseling; psychopathology; counseling and human development; theories of human development; research methods and analysis; principles and methods of counseling; group dynamics and therapy; perspectives on counselor formation; ethics and professional issues; marriage and family counseling; social and cultural foundations of counseling; career development; counseling clients with chemical addictions; crisis intervention strategies; and theology in mental health counseling.

  • Credits Required: 63
  • Cost: $800 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#48 Abilene Christian University

Abilene, TX

Online Master of Marriage and Family Therapy

abilene-christian-university-abilene-tx-online-master-of-marriage-and-family-therapyAbilene Christian University offers an online Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. The 60 credit program focuses on preparing graduates to work in the clinical setting of their choice in both community and faith-based centers. A number of specialization courses are offered with tracks of study available in child and adolescent therapy; medical family therapy; therapy with military families; and treatment of trauma. Additionally, a specialization is offered in Medical Family Therapy with a 15 credit/11 month certificate program. The program director offers video conference interviews once the application process is complete.

Courses include: couples therapy; research methods and family therapy; life planning and career development; systemic play therapy; trauma intervention models; addictive disorders; family theory/general systems theory; professional ethics and law; systemic diagnosis and assessment; sexual therapy; family life cycle; cultural diversity in marriage and family therapy; therapy across the life cycle; introduction to medical family therapy; illness, disability, death, and dying across the lifespan; dynamics of military families; theological perspectives on human behavior; ecology of crisis and trauma for the therapist.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $800 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

#47 Lamar University

Beaumont, TX

Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Online

lamar-university-low-cost-online-masters-in-counseling-programsThe College of Education and Human Development at Lamar University offers a Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling online. This CACREP accredited online counseling program requires the completion of 60 credits and two on-campus residencies. The residences provide opportunities for students to fine-tune clinical skills with the direct supervision and support of faculty. The program is designed to prepare graduates for professional licensure and applicants are encouraged to consult their home state licensing board to confirm that all coursework requirements will be met in the program.

Courses include: multicultural counseling; professionalism, ethics, and the law; human growth and development; research and program evaluation; consultation; group counseling theories and techniques; career development; crisis prevention and intervention; abnormal human behavior; and measurement and assessment.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $758 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

#47 Lock Haven University

Lock Haven, PA

Online Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

lock-haven-university-low-cost-online-masters-in-counseling-programsLock Haven University offers an online Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. This CACREP accredited program is available fully online with no residency requirements. The 60 credit CACREP accredited program strives to prepare professional counselors with the ability to successfully pursue licensure and work in diverse clinical settings. In addition to the core curriculum, students will have the chance to select a specialized area of study from either the: child and adolescent counseling track; military/veteran track; or generalized clinical mental health counseling specialization. Graduates of the program have worked in settings such as mental health clinics; rehabilitation centers; prisons; private practice; veterans outreach sites; and hospitals.

Courses include: clinical mental health counseling as a profession; theories of counseling and psychotherapy; assessment and testing in mental health counseling; lifespan development- implications for counseling; skills and techniques in mental health counseling; research and evaluation; multicultural counseling; career development and counseling; addiction counseling; psychopathology and differential diagnosis; advanced counseling skills; family and couples therapy; group counseling; and ethical, legal, and professional issues in counseling.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $750 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#45 Argosy University-Phoenix Online Division

Phoenix, AZ

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Online

argosy-university-phoenix-online-division-phoenix-az-master-of-arts-in-clinical-mental-health-counselingArgosy University offers an online Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. This 60 credit program is designed to prepare graduates to serve in the field of human services. The curriculum and program requirements are designed to match national licensure and certification requirements. Because licensure requirements differ by state, applicants are encouraged to consult their home state licensure board to determine if the program requirements match personal state standards for licensure. Unique electives offered by the program include psychopathology and assessment; human sexuality; child and adolescent counseling; forensic counseling; psychopharmacology for counselors; and integrating spirituality for counselors.

Courses include: counseling theory; human growth and development; counseling skills; foundations of mental health counseling; professional and ethical issues; group counseling; multicultural diversity and advocacy; research and program evaluation; appraisal and assessment; career and lifestyle development; couples and family counseling; diagnosis and treatment of behavioral and emotional disorders; trauma impact and counseling; and substance abuse counseling.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $750 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

#44 Regent University

Virginia Beach, VA

Online Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

regent-university-virginia-beach-va-online-master-of-arts-in-clinical-mental-health-counselingA Master of Arts in Counseling is offered online at Regent University. This CACREP accredited program prepares graduates for professional licensure as a counselor through 60 credits of coursework, practicum and internship experiences in the student’s hometown and an on-campus residency. Two week-long residencies provide students with opportunities to work directly, in an intensive learning environment, with peers and faculty. The program integrates Biblical principles throughout the curriculum to support students in careers in secular and non-secular settings. Graduates have pursued careers in settings such as outpatient mental health clinics, family service centers, hospitals, private practice, and local churches.

Courses include: orientation to the counseling profession; research and statistics; counseling skills and techniques; practicum and advanced skills; theories of counseling; assessment techniques in counseling; addiction therapies for individuals and families; career and lifestyle development; psychopathology and diagnosis; human growth and development; concepts of family systems; group counseling; ethics, professional orientation, and legal issues in counseling; crisis, trauma, and clinical mental health; multicultural counseling; and counseling and Christian thought.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $710 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

#43 California Baptist University

Riverside, CA

Master of Science in Counseling Psychology Online

california-baptist-university-riverside-ca-master-of-science-in-counseling-psychology-onlineA Master of Science in Counseling Psychology is available online at California Baptist University. Students in the program will complete core requirements of 62 credits with the opportunity to complete an optional Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Concentration. The coursework is offered to students through a Christian worldview. On average, students complete the program in 24 months. Graduates will be prepared to pursue a career in marriage and family therapy or professional clinical counseling. Students planning to work in the state of California will have the education and training required to pursue professional licensure as a licensed marriage and family therapist or licensed professional clinical counselor. Students who plan to practice in a different state are encouraged to consult their home state licensure board to determine state requirements.

Courses include: diversity issues in counseling psychology seminar; marriage and family therapy counseling theory; human growth and development; human sexuality; human communications in group process; marriage and family therapy counseling techniques; advanced research methodology; advanced psychopathology; psychodiagnostics; family therapy; Christian perspective on professional counseling; psychopharmacology; child abuse and neglect- diagnosis and treatment; HIV/AIDS counseling; domestic violence; addictions counseling; and aging and mental health.

  • Credits Required: 62
  • Cost: $701 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges

#42 Hampton University

Hampton, VA

Master of Arts in Counseling, General Counseling Online

hampton-university-hampton-va-master-of-arts-in-counseling-general-counseling-onlineHampton University offers a Master of Arts in Counseling online. This degree is offered with a concentration in General Counseling for 31 credits which can lead to certification as a Qualified Mental Health Professional. Students at Hampton University also have the opportunity to pursue concentrations in Community Mental Health Counseling, Student Affairs and College Student Development Counseling, and School Counseling. Students who wish to take their online degree and transfer the credits to one of the concentration programs can complete their degree on campus and following graduation work towards licensure.

Courses include: assessment and appraisal in counseling; lifespan development; theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy; group process in counseling; career development; treating the substance abuser; identity, ethics, and legal aspects of counseling; community mental health and welfare services; introduction to research and program evaluation; and counseling with diverse populations.

  • Credits Required: 31
  • Cost: $695 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

#41 Colorado Christian University

Lakewood, CO

Master of Arts in Counseling Online

colorado-christian-university-lakewood-co-master-of-arts-in-counseling-onlineA CACREP accredited Master of Arts in Counseling is offered online at Colorado Christian University. This is a 60 credit program that can be completed online in two and a half years including three different five-day residencies on-campus. Students will move through the program with their cohort completing some synchronous courses and residencies together with an added emphasis on experiential learning and the integration of counseling theory and faith throughout the curriculum. Students will have the opportunity to select from a variety of unique electives. Graduates will have completed all coursework to successfully complete the National Counselor Exam.

Courses include: spiritual formation for counseling; theological foundations for counseling; counseling skills; psychopharmacology; counseling services and methods; theories of personality and counseling; psychopathology; human growth and development; crisis and trauma; marriage and family; theories of groups and group counseling; lifestyle and career; social and cultural foundations; empathy training; neuroscience and clinical counseling; anxiety and mood disorders; eating disorders; and integrative health.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $664 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

#40 University of Central Arkansas

Conway, AR

Online Master of Science in Professional School Counseling

university-of-central-arkansas-conway-ar-online-master-of-science-in-professional-school-counselingA Master of Science in Professional School Counseling is available online at the University of Central Arkansas. This is a 48 credit program offered online with a combination of synchronous and asynchronous online courses and minimal on-campus residencies. The program trains students for careers as school counselors with the ability to collaborate with teachers, administrators, and community members in order to effectively support and advocate for diverse populations of K-12 students. The program provides an initial licensure track and an add-on licensure track, based on if the applicant has their teachers license or not.

Courses include: foundations of school counseling; multicultural counseling; careers; developmental guidance; counselor as consultant; assessment; interventions; research; counseling theory; individual and group; school-based organizational leadership; education programming for mildly handicapped; and teach/learn diverse settings.

  • Credits Required: 48
  • Cost: $661 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

#39 Amridge University

Montgomery, AL

Online Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Online Master of Arts in Professional Counseling

amridge-university-montgomery-al-online-master-of-arts-in-marriage-and-family-therapy-online-master-of-arts-in-professional-counselingThe School of Human Services at Amridge University offers both a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling online. Both degrees require the completion of 60 credits and are designed to prepare graduates to pursue professional licensure as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy (LMFT) or Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in their home state. Amridge University emphasizes preparing graduates to support individuals and families through a variety of services with the support being grounded in the Christian spirit. Graduates will find themselves ready for careers in a number of settings including the church, private practice, government agencies, and community mental health clinics. Students have the opportunity to complete additional courses if they are interested in working towards a dual licensure in Professional Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy.

Courses include: theories of counseling and psychotherapy; human development; human sexual development; theories of personality development; marriage and family development; social and multicultural diversity; marital and family systems; counseling for abusive relationships; advanced therapy; group counseling; assessment of individuals and families; ethics and professional identity; and lifestyle and career development.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $650 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

#38 Mid-America Christian University

Oklahoma City, OK

Online Master of Science – Counseling

mid-america-christian-university-oklahoma-city-ok-online-master-of-science-counselingThe Adult School of Psychology and Counseling and Mid-America Christian University offers an online Master of Science in Counseling with several areas of emphasis available. Areas of emphasis include applied behavioral science; clinical mental health and addictions counseling; clinical mental health counseling; and marital, couples and family counseling/therapy. All areas of emphasis require the completion of 60-63 credits with a focus on preparing graduates for licensure except for the applied behavioral science emphasis that only requires the completion of 36 credits. The graduate degrees in counseling offered online at Mid-America Christian University integrate a Christian faith-based perspective throughout the curriculum with the goal of preparing graduates to have the abilities to work successfully in secular and ministry settings.

Courses include: psychopathology; career counseling and development; theories of counseling and psychotherapy; individual counseling and psychotherapy techniques; marriage and family systems and treatment; clinical psychopharmacology in counseling; marital and family treatment techniques; human development; research methods; multicultural treatment planning for individuals and families; ethics and professional studies; advanced counseling and psychotherapy techniques; intervention for individuals and families in crisis and trauma; chemical dependency counseling; and group dynamics and counseling.

  • Credits Required: 36 – 63
  • Cost: $642 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

#37 Ottawa University

Brookfield, WI

Master of Arts in Counseling Online

ottawa-university-brookfield-wi-master-of-arts-in-counseling-onlineA Master of Arts in Counseling is available online at Ottawa University. Students will complete the program through a combination of online coursework, hometown field placements, and two one-week on-campus residencies. The program offers several areas of specialization including addictions counseling; Christian counseling; expressive arts therapy; gerocounseling; marriage and family therapy; and treatment of trauma, abuse and deprivation. The program is designed to prepare graduates to successfully complete the licensure process in order to pursue careers as licensed professional counselors. Because licensure requirements vary by state, applicants are encouraged to consult their home state licensure board to ensure that program and state standards align.

Courses include: graduate counseling seminar in clinical foundations; counseling theories; social/cultural concerns in counseling; counseling and the helping professions; human growth and development; group counseling and dynamics; methods and models of research; professional and ethical issues in counseling; psychological testing; life planning and career development; theory/techniques in marriage and family counseling; advanced psychodiagnostic and treatment planning; and introduction to substance abuse, addictions, and related disorders.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $635 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

#36 Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA

Online Master of Education in School Counseling

Online Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling

Online Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Online Master of Arts in Professional Counseling

liberty-university-low-cost-online-masters-in-counseling-programsLiberty University offers a number of online graduate degrees in counseling including the: Master of Education in School Counseling; Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling; Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy; and the Master of Arts in Professional Counseling. Students who are interested in earning their online graduate degree in counseling at Liberty University have the opportunity to pick the degree that best matches their personal career goals. The online programs are all tailored to the specific degree with different residency requirements and a variety of courses and opportunities for specialization. Applicants will find a broad spectrum of choices and opportunities to match their professional interests and goals.

Courses include: counseling theories and techniques; career development and counseling; child and adolescent counseling in the schools; school counseling program development and evaluation; acute stress grief and trauma; trauma assessment and interventions; counseling children and their families; premarital and marital counseling; human sexuality; counseling children, adolescents, and their families; clinical diagnosis and treatment planning; and substance abuse: diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

  • Credits Required: 30 – 60
  • Cost: $615 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

#35 University of the Southwest

Hobbs, NM

Online Master of Science in Education – School Counseling and Mental Health Counseling

university-of-the-southwest-hobbs-nm-online-master-of-science-in-education-school-counseling-and-mental-health-counselingThe University of the Southwest offers graduate degrees in counseling that are available fully online. The Master of Science in Education in School Counseling requires the completion of 42 credits. The Master of Science in Education in Mental Health Counseling can be completed for 48 or 60 credits. Electives are offered, allowing students to take courses to broaden their areas of expertise. Students will complete online coursework and internship and practicum experiences in their area of interest. Students can select the specific program that matches their career and state licensing requirement needs. Graduates will be prepared to pursue careers as professional counselors in public and private K-12 school settings and/or in community mental health clinics, private practice, and other settings.

Courses include: professional orientation to counseling; counseling theories; professional and ethical issues; learning and human development; multicultural counseling; counseling techniques; career development and life planning; group counseling; counseling families; child and adolescent counseling; psychopathology; introduction to play therapy; counseling traumatized clients; introduction to addictions counseling; marital and couples therapy; introduction to Christian counseling; human sexuality; psychopharmacology; and group counseling for schools.

  • Credits Required: 42 – 60
  • Cost: $599 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

#34 Malone University

Canton, OH

Online Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

malone-university-canton-oh-online-master-of-education-in-clinical-mental-health-counselingA Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is offered online at Malone University. This 60 credit online program can be completed in three and a half years, for students who are interested a hybrid format of study is also available. The curriculum is designed to prepare graduates to successfully complete the board licensure examinations. The board licensure pass rate over the last five years is 93-100%. The State of Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board has approved the program for licensure in Ohio, students from other states should consult their home state licensure board.

Courses include: multicultural counseling and advocacy; human growth and development; theories and techniques of counseling; group dynamics, process, and counseling; career development and lifestyle counseling; foundations of clinical mental health counseling; diagnosis of mental disorders; addictions counseling; abnormal psychology; management and advocacy in clinical mental health counseling; marriage and family counseling; counseling children and adolescents.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $595 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

#33 Missouri Baptist University

Saint Louis, MO

Master of Arts in School Counseling Online

missouri-baptist-university-low-cost-online-masters-in-counseling-programsMissouri Baptist University offers an online Master of Arts in School Counseling. The program is designed to fit the needs of working professionals who wish to advance their career and work professionally as a school counselor in a public K-12 setting. Students can earn their degree and license in as little as three years. All applicants are encouraged to consult their home state licensure board to ensure that program requirements meet individual state standards. The faculty teaches and mentors students from a Christian perspective. This online degree prepares graduates to pursue careers as elementary and secondary school guidance counselors.

Courses include: foundations of school counseling; ethical, legal, and professional issues in school counseling; counseling skills and techniques; counseling theories; multicultural counseling; advanced human development; school counseling program implementation and leadership; assessment and testing; substance abuse counseling; child and adolescent counseling; crisis, trauma, and disaster counseling; and career counseling.

  • Cost: $588 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

#32 Grace College and Theological Seminary

Winona Lake, IN

Online Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

grace-college-and-theological-seminary-winona-lake-in-online-master-of-arts-in-clinical-mental-health-counselingGrace College and Theological Seminary offers a CACREP accredited Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling online. This is a 60 credit online program in mental health counseling that includes a 7-10 day on-campus residency in Winona Lake, Indiana. Students will have the opportunity to develop supportive peer relationships in the program through the residency and through the cohort model as students work through the sequential courses together. Grace College integrates Scripture throughout the program curriculum with the goal of enhancing and supporting the personal and professional development of each student.

Courses include: orientation to clinical mental health counseling; theological foundations in counseling; ethical and legal issues; foundations of clinical mental health counseling; psychopathology; counseling skills; personality and counseling theories; human growth and development; group counseling; research and program evaluation; social and cultural issues; lifestyle and career counseling; advanced clinical practices and treatment; addictions counseling; marriage and family counseling; psychotherapy with children and adolescents; and gender and sexuality.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $588 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

#31 Faulkner University

Montgomery, AL

Master of Science in Counseling Online

faulkner-university-montgomery-al-master-of-science-in-counseling-onlineFaulkner University offers an online Master of Science in Counseling. This 61 credit graduate degree in counseling offers coursework online with an on-campus residency requirement of two five-day sessions. Residencies focus on clinical training and are offered in January and September. Coursework combines theory and practice of mental health counseling along with Christian principles and with attention to meeting the state and national licensing requirements for professional counselors. Applicants are encouraged to consult their home state licensing board to determine that specific state licensure requirements are met.

Courses include: introduction to counseling theories; lifespan development; career and guidance counseling; counseling diverse populations; analysis of the helping relationship; counseling in the community; group counseling; measurement and assessment; research methods; integrations of theology and counseling; legal and ethical issues; diagnosis and treatment; marriage and family therapy; substance abuse counseling; and suicide intervention and counseling.

  • Credits Required: 61
  • Cost: $585 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

#30 Concordia University-Wisconsin

Mequon, WI

Online Master of Science in Education – Counseling

concordia-university-wisconsin-mequon-wi-online-master-of-science-in-education-counselingConcordia University offers a Master of Science in Education in Counseling online with areas of emphasis in School Counseling and Professional Counseling. The coursework (45-60 credits) prepares graduates to pursue careers as K-12 school counselors or professional counselors. Traditional counseling theory is integrated with a Christian framework to support graduates in working with individuals, couples, and families in and out of a church setting. Career opportunities include guidance counselor; professional counselor; Christian counselor; therapist; writer; community and social services; and international work and humanitarianism.

Courses include: counseling theories and issues; social/cultural foundations in counseling; models and methods of Christian family counseling; human development; professional ethics in the helping profession; career counseling foundations; Christian trauma counseling; classroom management for counselors; individual counseling; group counseling; psychopathology; addictions counseling; consultation strategies within the church; and foundations in mental health counseling.

  • Credits Required: 45 – 60
  • Cost: $579 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

#29 Arkansas Tech University

Russellville, AR

Online Master of Science in College Student Personnel

arkansas-tech-university-russellville-ar-online-master-of-science-in-college-student-personnelA Master of Science in College Student Personnel is available online at Arkansas Tech University. This is a 36 credit program that can be completed in two years. The program is focused on training graduates for careers working with college students in settings outside of the classroom to enhance student development and success. The practitioner-oriented program coursework integrates theory, practice, and skill development in student affairs.

Courses include: student development theory; college students and subcultures; legal issues for professionals in college student personnel; counseling theories and helping skills; research design and analysis; assessment and evaluation in higher education; administration in college student personnel; ethical leadership in higher education; advising student groups; academic advising; and career counseling.

  • Credits Required: 36
  • Cost: $578 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

#28 Prescott College

Prescott, AZ

Online Master of Education – School Guidance Counseling

prescott-college-prescott-az-online-master-of-education-school-guidance-counselingPrescott College offers several online degrees including the low-cost online Master of Education in School Guidance Counseling. The program works to meet the individual needs of each student with core faculty working with each student to develop a plan of study. Students have the opportunity to select electives that match their individual areas of interest. The program requires the completion of 36 credits and an annual six-day residency on-campus. All graduates of the program will have met specific outcome measures to ensure their success as professional school counselors.

Courses include: foundations of school counseling; counseling theory; social and ecological perspectives; human growth and development; group dynamics processing and counseling; vocational counseling and career development; school guidance counseling: program development; research practices for school guidance counselors; and supervised school guidance counseling practicum.

  • Credits Required: 36
  • Cost: $569 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

#27 Angelo State University

San Angelo, TX

Online Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling

Online Master of Science in Counseling Psychology

angelo-state-university-low-cost-online-masters-in-counseling-programsAngelo State University offers online counseling degrees with the Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling and the Master of Science in Counseling Psychology. The Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling requires the completion of 36 credits and prepares graduates to pursue careers as public school counselors and college and university counselors. The Master of Science in Counseling Psychology requires the completion of 60 credits and trains students to successfully obtain licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor or as Licensed Psychological Associate (in the state of Texas, students from other states should consult their home state licensure board).

Courses include: social and cultural influences; tests and measurements; lifespan development; applied research; legal and ethical principles; curriculum and methodology trends; individual counseling; group counseling; theories of counseling; career and occupational counseling; dysfunctional behavior; leadership; advanced abnormal psychology; psychopathology; marriage and family counseling; counseling theories; group counseling; counseling with minorities; ethics and the law in the counseling profession; and addictions counseling.

  • Credits Required: 36 & 60
  • Cost: $560 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

#26 Gwynedd Mercy University

Gwynedd Valley, PA

Masters of Science in School Counseling Online

gwynedd-mercy-university-gwynedd-valley-pa-masters-of-science-in-school-counseling-onlineA Master of Science in School Counseling is available online at Gwynedd Mercy University. This 48 credit online master’s degree in counseling includes practicum and internship opportunities with students completing an internship with both Pre-K-8th grades and grades 9-12. Students are trained to be reflective professionals with the ability to evaluate and assess their personal approach and strategies in an effort to enhance personal and professional development and most effectively serve school communities.

Courses include: human development; foundations of counseling; research skills for reflective practitioners; theories of counseling; assessment techniques in counseling; intervention techniques in counseling; organization of school counseling; social justice, multicultural and diversity issues in counseling; college and career readiness; group counseling and facilitation skills; effective communication for educators; and curriculum development and peer coaching.

  • Credits Required: 48
  • Cost: $550 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#25 Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

Edinboro, PA

Online Master of Arts in Counseling

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania Edinboro, PA Online Master of Arts in CounselingEdinboro University offers a Master of Arts in Counseling. The program offers specializations in school counseling; college counseling; rehabilitation counseling; clinical mental health counseling; and art therapy. The school counseling, college counseling, and clinical mental health counseling specializations are all accredited by the CACREP. Students will complete a set of core courses followed by courses in their area of specialization. This online graduate counseling degree program works to develop a sense of cultural awareness, social justice, and ethical practice in all students. Graduates will be prepared to work with diverse populations in the counseling setting of their choice.

Courses include: group process; appraisal techniques in the helping professions; human development across the lifespan; career development and life planning; counseling and consultation theories; organization and development of programs in the helping professions; supervised counseling practice; multicultural counseling; and research in education.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $550 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#24 Creighton University

Omaha, NE

Online Master of Science in School Counseling and Preventative Mental Health

creighton-university-omaha-ne-online-master-of-science-in-school-counseling-and-preventative-mental-healthA Master of Science in School Counseling and Preventative Mental Health is offered online at Creighton University. This 36-39 credit graduate degree in counseling is available fully online and can be completed in two years. The program works to prepare graduates for a career providing counseling services in pre-K through grade 12, with the program providing education in prevention, intervention, and treatment strategies with children and adolescents. Specializations are offered in Elementary School Counseling; Secondary School Counseling; and Pre-K-12 Guidance Counseling

Courses include: professional orientation to school counseling; ethical guidelines for school counselors; introduction to the ASCA model of school counseling; action research in school counseling; issues in child and adolescent development for school counselors; individual and program assessment in school counseling; theoretical perspectives in school counseling; data-driven perspectives in school counseling; career perspectives for children and adolescents; individual planning and counseling techniques for school counselors; diagnosis and mental health issues in children and adolescents; and social justice and diversity in school counseling.

  • Credits Required: 36 – 39
  • Cost: $545 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

#23 Cornerstone University

Grand Rapids, MI

Master of Arts in Counseling Online

cornerstone-university-grand-rapids-mi-master-of-arts-in-counseling-onlineCornerstone University offers an online Master of Arts in Counseling. This 69 credit online graduate counseling program offers students the opportunity to select an area of specialization. Areas of specialization include addictions counseling; trauma counseling; multi-state licensure; and interdisciplinary studies. The core curriculum integrates counseling theory and practice with biblical and theological interpretation. The program follows a cohort model and offers two on-campus three-day intensives that students attend with their cohort while in the program. The program is designed to prepare graduates to successfully pursue professional licensure. Students from outside the state of Michigan can elect to focus on the multi-state licensure specialization which offers courses that are not required by Michigan but are required by other state licensing boards.

Specialization courses include: clinical diagnostic assessment of addictions; sociology of addictions; addictions counseling- treatment and intervention; sociology of trauma; trauma-informed advocacy and crisis intervention; trauma counseling and recovery; abnormal psychology; human growth and development; diagnostic and clinical assessment of mental disorders; marriage and family counseling; counseling women through the life cycle; and child and adolescent counseling.

  • Credits Required: 69
  • Cost: $530 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

#22 Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR

Online Master of Counseling in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

oregon-state-university-corvallis-or-online-master-of-counseling-in-clinical-mental-health-counselingA CACREP accredited Master of Counseling in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is offered at Oregon State University. The program is offered in a hybrid format with courses available online in combination with in-person classes held two Fridays and Saturdays each term (in Salem, Oregon). This 90 credit program is offered part-time and can be completed in 3.5-4 years. Graduates will be prepared to pursue professional licensure and provide mental health services to diverse populations in the setting of their choice. Graduates have pursued careers in settings including private practice; community mental health clinics; rehabilitation centers; primary care facilities; hospitals; and college counseling centers.

Courses include: the counseling profession; family counseling; social and cultural perspectives; foundations of mental health counseling; counseling theory; developmental perspectives in counseling; crisis, trauma, and grief counseling; applied psychopathology and psychodiagnosis; lifestyle and career development; addictive behavior counseling; cross-cultural counseling; group counseling procedures; counselor consultation; introduction to research methods in counseling; and introduction to counselor supervision.

  • Credits Required: 90
  • Cost: $528 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges & Universities

#21 Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA

Master of Education in International Counseling Online

lehigh-university-bethlehem-pa-master-of-education-in-international-counseling-onlineLehigh University offers a Master of Education in International Counseling. This is an online counseling program that offers both synchronous and asynchronous online learning in fall and spring semesters with academic and professional institutes offered in the summer (in Bethlehem, PA and in Greece!). The curriculum and training focus on providing graduates with skills to work professionally with individuals and families in school and community settings. A focus of the program is to support students in appreciating diversity and understanding the influence of culture on experience.

Courses include: helping skills in international settings; international school counseling; culture-centered career intervention; research; counseling and therapeutic approaches; education and inclusion of individuals with special needs in K-12; diversity and multicultural perspectives; introduction to family counseling; current issues in counseling and therapy- school-based small-group counseling; professional seminar; and current issues in counseling and therapy.

  • Credits Required: 36
  • Cost: $525 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#20 Palo Alto University

Palo Alto, CA

Online Master of Arts in Counseling

palo-alto-university-palo-alto-ca-online-master-of-arts-in-counselingPalo Alto University offers a CACREP accredited Master of Arts in Counseling online. This online graduate counseling degree offers two areas of emphasis: Marriage, Family, and Child; and Clinical Mental Health. The flexible online program includes a one-week on-campus summer residency. The program offers a supportive learning environment as students move through the program with their cohort with a progressive course sequence of courses continually building on each other. Students will receive comprehensive clinical training in areas including assessment; intervention; research; and ethical and professional practice. Graduates of the program will be prepared to pursue both the Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) licenses. Applicants living outside of the state of California are encouraged to consult their home state licensing board to ensure that state standards are met.

Courses include: counseling theory; lifespan development; professional identity; introduction to the clinical advancement project; clinical interviewing; legal and ethical foundations; diagnosis and treatment planning; community mental health with cognitive behavioral and brief therapy; family systems theory; child and adolescent counseling; crisis and trauma counseling; multicultural counseling theories and techniques; substance abuse; couples counseling; psychopharmacology; group counseling; advanced family counseling; and human sexuality.

  • Credits Required: 93
  • Cost: $523 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges

#19 The University of Tennessee-Martin

Martin, TN

Online Masters in Counseling

the-university-of-tennessee-martin-martin-tn-online-masters-in-counselingThe University of Tennessee- Martin offers an online Master’s Degree in Counseling with concentrations in School Counseling (48 credits) and Clinical Mental Health Counseling (63). Students will complete all coursework online and attend a four-day on-campus face-to-face residency. The residency is offered twice a year and provides students the opportunity to engage with peers and faculty with the purpose of developing supportive relationships and to cover specific counseling topics while developing and strengthening professional counseling skills.

Courses include: professional, ethical and legal issues in counseling; clinical mental health counseling; multicultural issues in education and counseling; career counseling; introduction to counseling; theory and techniques of counseling; principles of crisis intervention; group dynamics; research in education; mental health and psychopathology; counseling children/adolescents with psychological dysfunction; psychopharmacology; psychopathology-diagnosis and treatment; alcohol and substance abuse counseling; introduction to marital and family counseling; and organization and administration of school counseling services/programs.

  • Credits Required: 48 – 60
  • Cost: $516 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

#18 University of Louisiana at Monroe

Monroe, LA

Online Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

University of Louisiana at Monroe Monroe, LA Online Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health CounselingThe University of Louisiana at Monroe offers an online Master of Science in Counseling. Two CACREP accredited tracks of study are available, the Clinical Mental Health Counseling track and the School Counseling track. Students will complete a summer residency to prepare for practicum and internship placements and to develop relationships and a support network with peers in the program. The program works to prepare students to successfully complete the licensing exam. Graduates will find that they are ready to work with diverse populations and to pursue the career of their choice.

Graduates of the program can pursue a career as a(n): mental health counselor; mental health administrator; group facilitator; rehabilitation counselor; career counselor; vocational counselor; play therapist; art therapist; addictions counselor; life coach; school counselor; school administrator; and career counselor.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $500 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

#17 Touro University Worldwide

Los Alamitos, CA

Online Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

touro-university-worldwide-los-alamitos-ca-online-master-of-arts-in-marriage-and-family-therapyA Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy is offered online at Touro University Worldwide. This online graduate degree is available 100% online with no residency requirements. A unique feature of this program is that students have the opportunity to select between three tracks of study depending on their career goals. The tracks of study are available are the Non-Clinical track (54 credits); the Clinical track (60 credits); and the Licensed Professional Clinical Counseling track (73 credits). The program curriculum, and the field of marriage and family therapy emphasizes a focus on systems theory when working with individuals, couples and families.

Courses include: contemporary issues in marriage and family therapy; foundations of psychopathology; couples counseling; child-focused family therapy; development within the family life cycle; psychopharmacology; society, culture and gender- a multicultural perspective; research methodology; group counseling; human sexuality; substance abuse and recovery; studies in human communication; adolescent-focused family therapy; and ethics and law for marriage and family therapy.

  • Credits Required: 54 – 73
  • Cost: $500 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges

#16 Salem College

Winston-Salem, NC

Masters of Education in School Counseling Online

salem-college-winston-salem-nc-masters-of-education-in-school-counseling-onlineA Master of Education in School Counseling is offered online at Salem College. Salem college is a small, private, liberal arts, women’s college Students in this online program will learn the theory and practical skills, from ethical and legal issues to assessment and evaluation strategies, to work professionally as a licensed school counselor. The curriculum is designed to meet the licensure requirement for North Carolina and students from other states are encouraged to consult their home state licensing board.

Courses include: action and research and writing for publication for school counseling; counseling, leadership, theory and practice; introduction to the school counseling profession; ethics and legalities in education for school counseling; culturally-relevant counseling- exploring educational equity; assessment, measurement, and evaluation for school counseling; managing the comprehensive school counseling program; and focus on student advocacy and the school counselor.

  • Credits Required: 48
  • Cost: $500 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

#15 Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, AZ

Online Master of Science in Professional Counseling

Online Master of Science in Mental Health and Wellness

grand-canyon-university-phoenix-az-online-master-of-science-in-professional-counseling-online-master-of-science-in-mental-health-and-wellnessGrand Canyon University offers a number or counseling graduate degrees online including the Master of Science in Professional Counseling and the Master of Science in Mental Health and Wellness. The Master of Science in Professional Counseling, a licensure track degree, requires the completion of 62 credits and offers areas of emphasis in childhood and adolescence disorders; marriage and family therapy; and trauma. The Master of Science in Mental Health and Wellness requires the completion of 34 credits and offers areas of emphasis in Christian ministry; community mental health administration; family dynamics; grief and bereavement; and prevention. Students can easily find the type of degree they hope to complete and the area of focus they are most interested in to support them in reaching their career goals.

Courses include: introduction to graduate studies in the health sciences; professional counseling orientation and ethics; counseling theories; introduction to addictions and substance use disorders; group counseling theory and practice; social and cultural diversity issues in counseling; psychopharmacology and addictions; human sexuality, aging, and long-term care; human growth and development; marriage and family therapy; career development and counseling; diagnostics, assessment, and treatment; psychopathology and counseling; and evaluation of mental and emotional status.

  • Credits Required: 62
  • Cost: $500 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

#14 Clarks Summit University

South Abington Township, PA

Online Master of Science in Counseling

clarks-summit-university-south-abington-township-pa-online-master-of-science-in-counselingClarks Summit University offers an online Master of Science in Counseling. This 60 credit degree can be completed online with the exception of three courses that are offered in one-week modules over the summer. Students will have the chance to select electives focused on their clinical areas of interest and to select a specialization track of study. The program highlights and is centered around a biblical counseling model and at the same time provides training to prepare graduates for state licensure and/or for continued graduate study in a doctoral program. Graduates will be prepared to pass the National Certified Counselor Licensure Exam and to pursue licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor.

Specialization tracks include: addictions; general counseling; hospital chaplaincy; marriage and family; mental and mood disorders; and therapeutic recreation.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $500 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#13 Washburn University

Topeka, KS

Master of Arts in Human Services Online

washburn-university-topeka-ks-master-of-arts-in-human-services-onlineWashburn University offers a Master of Arts in Human Services with an emphasis in Addictions Counseling. Students can enroll in this 36 credit program on a full-time or part-time basis, with 100% of the coursework being available online. Students will complete practicum and internship experiences in their hometown focused on their professional area of interest. Graduates are eligible to pursue licensure as a Licensed Masters Addiction Counselor (LMAC) and a Licensed Clinical Addictions Counselor (LCAC). Applicants are encouraged to consult their home state licensing board to make sure the program meets individual state requirements.

Courses include: integrative human services; advanced methods of individual counseling; advanced methods of group counseling; professional ethics and practice; advanced pharmacology and substance use disorders; diagnosis of substance use disorders; integrative approaches and treatment of dual disorders; addiction and recovery services; lifespan development; narrative practices.

  • Credits Required: 36
  • Cost: $493 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

#12 Capella University

Minneapolis, MN

Online Master of Science in School Counseling

Online Master of Science in Marriage and Family Counseling Therapy

Online Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling

capella-university-university-low-cost-online-masters-in-counseling-programsCapella University offers several online masters degrees in counseling. Three CACREP accredited online masters degrees in counseling that are offered include: Master of Science in School Counseling; Master of Science in Marriage and Family Counseling/ Therapy; and Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling. Students have the opportunity to learn from professors with doctoral degrees and clinical experience, with the natural ability to integrate theory with practice throughout the program. Students will engage face-to-face with faculty and peers, and learn critical clinical skills during the residency experiences. The CACREP accredited curriculum is designed to prepare graduates to successfully complete state licensure requirements. Capella’s licensure team is up to date on licensing requirements in every state and is able to support graduates in navigating the licensure process.

Courses include: survey of research in human development for professional counselors; assessment, tests, and measures; principles of psychopathology- diagnosis and treatment; ethical and legal issues in professional counseling; introduction to clinical mental health counseling; crisis assessment and intervention; theories of psychotherapy; life planning and career development; counseling and advocacy with diverse populations; foundations of addiction and addictive behavior; human sexuality; child and adolescent counseling; marriage and family systems; mental health counseling approaches and interventions; and group counseling and clinical applications in mental health counseling.

  • Credits Required: 90
  • Cost: $487 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

#11 Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Natchitoches, LA

Online Master of Arts in Student Affairs and Higher Education

northwestern-state-university-of-louisiana-natchitoches-la-online-master-of-arts-in-student-affairs-and-higher-educationThe College of Education and Human Development at Northwestern State University of Louisiana offers an online Master of Arts in Student Affairs and HIgher Education. This 36 credit online masters degree is designed for students who want to work in the college or university setting in student affairs and higher education administration with the focus of supporting the diverse educational and emotional needs of college students. The program can be completed on a part-time or full-time schedule. Out-of-state fees are waived for graduate students accepted into this program.

Courses include: introduction to student affairs in higher education; history of higher education; organization and administration of student affairs in higher education; internship; educational research; the American college student; legal and ethical issues; multicultural and diverse populations; action research; and current issues.

  • Credits Required: 36
  • Cost: $475 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

#10 Lindsey Wilson College

Columbia, KY

Online Master of Education in Counseling & Human Development

lindsey-wilson-college-columbia-ky-online-master-of-education-in-counseling-human-developmentA Master of Education in Counseling and Human Development is offered at Lindsey Wilson College. This CACREP accredited online graduate program in counseling offers a specialization in Mental Health Counseling. In an effort to offer flexible scheduling to meet the needs of working students, asynchronous learning is offered. Students will have the opportunity to collaborate with peers and develop professional networks for ongoing support following graduation. Courses for the 60 credit degree are offered in 8-week sessions. The program provides a Certificate in Substance Abuse Counseling that can be earned while working towards the general degree.

Courses include: personal growth and development group; life cycle development in individuals and families; multicultural issues, human diversity, and preventative community education; counseling theories and techniques; group counseling techniques; career education counseling; individual and group assessment; psychopathology; research methods; professional issues and ethics; diagnosis of mental and emotional disorders; evaluation of mental and emotional status; substance abuse treatment; treatment of mental and emotional disorders; mental health administration, supervision, and consultation; and systemic family therapy.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $470 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

#9 Walden University

Minneapolis, MN

Online Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Online Master of Science in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling

Online Master of Science in School Counseling.

walden-university-low-cost-online-masters-in-counseling-programsWalden University offers several online Master’s Degree Programs in Psychology and Counseling including the CACREP accredited Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Master of Science in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling; and Master of Science in School Counseling. Each online counseling degree offers areas of specialization in areas such as addiction counseling; career counseling; forensic counseling; military families and culture; and trauma and crisis counseling. With the number of degrees offered and the focused areas of specialization within each degree, applicants are sure to find a program that will match their personal career goals at Walden University. Students in this program will have the opportunity to complete two residencies. Residencies are offered in convenient locations throughout the year to fit the individual needs of all students. Residencies support students in developing supportive connections with peers, becoming oriented to the field of mental health counseling, and to develop and strengthen counseling skills under the direct supervision of trained and qualified faculty members.

Courses include: foundations for graduate study in counseling; introduction to mental health; techniques in counseling; counseling and psychotherapy theories; ethics and legal issues in counseling; multicultural counseling; assessment in counseling and education; lifespan development; diagnosis and assessment; group process and dynamics; research methodology and program evaluation; couples and family counseling; career counseling; prevention, intervention, and consultation; counseling addictive disorders; psychopharmacology; and crisis, trauma, and disaster response.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $465 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

#8 Adams State University

Alamosa, CO

Master of Arts in Counseling Online

 Adams State University Alamosa, CO Master of Arts in Counseling OnlineAdam’s State University offers a CACREP accredited Master of Arts in Counseling with specialties in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and in School Counseling. This online degree also offers students the opportunity to develop relationships with peers and faculty at the in-person residencies that take place for one week in each of the two summers of the program. Students can enroll in the cohort model, 60 credit, online program in fall, spring, or summer. A number of unique electives are offered such as treatment of sexual offending and gestalt and existential therapy. This online Master of Arts degree prepares graduates to pursue licensure as a school counselor and/or a licensed professional counselor. The program meets the specific licensure requirement of the state of Colorado, but because it is CACREP accredited students will find that the requirements of their home state licensure board are likely met as well. However, applicants are always advised to consult their home state licensure board to ensure program curriculum matches home state requirements.

Courses include: introduction to research; multicultural and diversity issues; lifespan development; counseling theories and helping relationships; group counseling; career development; counseling the couple, family, and system; parenting; grief and loss; crisis disaster and trauma; sexuality counseling; foundations of school counseling; comprehensive school counseling; diagnosis and psychopathology; assessment in counseling; solution-focused counseling; foundations of addiction counseling; ethics/professional issues; professional school counseling issues; foundations of clinical mental health; and mindfulness and psychotherapy.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $435 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

#7 University of West Alabama

Livingston, AL

Online Master of Education in School Counseling

Online Master of Education in Student Affairs in Higher Education

Online Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Online Master of Science in Family Counseling

Online Master of Science in Guidance and Counseling

university-of-west-alabama-low-cost-online-masters-in-counseling-programsThe University of West Alabama has a wide variety of online graduate degrees available including several in the field of counseling. Online Counseling Degrees at the University of West Alabama include: Master of Education in School Counseling (48 credits); Master of Education in Student Affairs in Higher Education (33 credits); Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (60 credits); Master of Science in Family Counseling (33 credits); and Master of Science in Guidance and Counseling (48 credits). The length of time to complete the program and the professional licensure opportunities within the field will vary depending on the degree, the number of credits, and the focus of the program. Applicants are encouraged to consider their professional goals, and apply to the program that meets their needs, while taking into consideration home state licensure requirements and expectations of the professional organizations that they plan to be a part of in their career.

Courses include: counselor education program orientation; professional orientation; introduction to clinical mental health counseling; research and program evaluation; life-span development and learning; the counseling relationship; techniques of counseling; career development and counseling; strategies for crisis intervention; diagnostic techniques for school counselors; group counseling; counseling multicultural populations; and technology and the counseling profession.

  • Credits Required: 33 – 60
  • Cost: $429 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

#6 Southern Arkansas University

Magnolia, AR

Master of Education in School Counseling Online

Online Master of Education in College Counseling and Student Affairs

Online Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

southern-arkansas-university-low-cost-online-masters-in-counseling-programsA number of online graduate degrees are offered at Southern Arkansas University with counseling degrees including the Master of Education in School Counseling, the Master of Education in College Counseling and Student Affairs, and the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. The variety of online degrees allow students to select the area of focus that best matches their career goals. The 48 credit school counseling degree provides training and education to prepare graduates to pursue licensure as a school counselor (in Arkansas and most other states) in K-12 settings. The 51 credit college counseling and student affairs degree is designed for students who wish to take on professional counseling and administrative positions in colleges and/or universities. The 60 credit clinical mental health counseling degree aims to prepare graduates for licensure as a professional counselor in Arkansas (students in other states should consult their home state licensure board) with the clinical skills to provide mental health counseling for individuals, couples, families, and groups.

Counseling core courses include: introduction to the counseling profession; ethical, legal, and professional issues in counseling; counseling theories; basic counseling skills; group counseling; human development for helping professionals; career counseling- theory and practice; counseling in a diverse society; assessment procedures for counselors; case management and DSM diagnosis; advanced counseling skills and techniques; substance abuse counseling-theory and practice; marriage and family counseling- theory and practice; human sexuality-concepts, theory and practice; psychopharmacology and the counseling profession; and counseling children and adolescents.

  • Credits Required: 48 – 60
  • Cost: $425 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

#5 University of the Cumberlands

Williamsburg, KY

Online Master of Arts in Professional Counseling

university-of-the-cumberlands-low-cost-online-masters-in-counseling-programsThe University of the Cumberlands offers an online Master of Arts in Professional Counseling. The CACREP accredited Clinical Mental Health Counseling track enables graduates to pursue professional licensure and is available 100% online. Graduates of the program who become Licensed Professional Counselors have the credentials and skills work in a variety of settings including private practice, hospitals, community agencies, residential treatment centers, community mental health clinics, and colleges and universities. The program offers rolling admissions and admits students to the program at six different start dates throughout the year, supporting you in starting as soon as you are ready!

Courses include: introduction to professional counseling; legal and ethical issues in counseling; lifestyle and career development; psychological assessment in clinical practice; human growth and development; etiology and diagnosis of abnormal behavior; counseling theories; advanced clinical assessment; counseling during grief and crisis; theory and practice of multicultural counseling; group counseling; research methods in counseling; theories and techniques for the treatment of process addictions and substance abuse; private practice and supervision; marriage and family counseling; and child and adolescent counseling.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $400 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

#4 Union College

Barbourville, KY

Master of Arts in General Psychology Online

union-college-barbourville-ky-master-of-arts-in-general-psychology-onlineUnion College offers an online Master of Arts in General Psychology. This 37 credit graduate degree is available 100% online with 24/7 support. The program is designed to prepare graduates to advance their career and/or pursue a doctoral degree in psychology. A central focus of the program is to provide a strong foundation in research so that students can understand how to conduct, evaluate, and critically consume research as students and professional psychologists.

Courses include: introduction to psychology graduate studies; advanced developmental psychology; statistics for mental health professionals; quantitative and qualitative research methods; advanced psychopathology; advanced behavioral neuroscience; social and community psychology; emotion, motivation, and cognition; health psychology; multicultural and diversity issues; theories of career counseling and development; group dynamics; and ethics and professional practice.

  • Credits Required: 48
  • Cost: $400 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

#3 Campbellsville University

Campbellsville, KY

Online Master of Arts in Education in School Guidance Counseling

campbellsville-university-campbellsville-ky-online-master-of-arts-in-education-in-school-guidance-counselingA Master of Arts in Education in School Guidance Counseling is available online at Campbellsville University. The flexible, supportive, and collaborative program works to prepare graduates for careers as professional school counselors through the 48 credit curriculum that can be completed in a year and a half. Teachers who are interested in shifting their career towards guidance counseling will find this program to be a good fit. The online program is designed to support working professionals in maintaining their professional commitments while pursuing their graduate degree.

Courses include: counseling theory and practice; foundations of leadership and ethics in school counseling; developmental guidance for elementary school counselors; college and career readiness for all learners; human development; counseling skills; counseling students impacted by substance abuse; students victimized by crisis and abuse; group counseling; cultural competency; and research methods.

  • Credits Required: 48
  • Cost: $399 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

#2 University of Missouri-Columbia

Columbia, MO

Online Master of Education in Educational, School and Counseling Psychology

university-of-missouri-columbia-columbia-mo-online-master-of-education-in-educational-school-and-counseling-psychologyThe University of Missouri offers an online Master of Education in Educational, School and Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in mental health practices in schools. This 34 credit program is available fully online. Students interested in working with children and adolescents in the school setting will be excited to see a variety of unique electives are offered by the program to prepare graduates to bring a specialized area of understanding to the school and student population that they work with. This program is clearly a good fit school counselors and mental health professionals but will also be useful for special education professionals, school administrators, and community-based practitioners. Graduate students pursuing a distance education at the University of Missouri are eligible for in-state tuition rates.

Courses include: developmental aspects of human learning; foundations of school mental health; overview of research methods; mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders in youth; school mental health- policy, law, and ethics; diversity issues in school mental health; communication and collaboration with children and families; preventions and interventions in school mental health; effects of maltreatment on child and adolescent development; building resilience and optimism in youth; vital issues in school mental health; immigrant issues in education; and gay, lesbian, and bisexual issues in the schools.

  • Credits Required: 34
  • Cost: $352 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

#1 American Public University System

Charles Town, WV

Online Master of Arts in Psychology

american-public-university-system-charles-town-wv-online-master-of-arts-in-psychologyAmerican Public University offers an online Master of Arts in Psychology. This 39 credit Master of Arts in Psychology program focuses on providing students with a foundation in theory and skills for working with individuals in the field of mental health. This degree is designed to prepare graduates to pursue a doctoral degree in a related field. Coursework covers a broad base of topics relevant for professionals working with diverse populations in counseling settings. Graduates will have a strong understanding and grasp of the ethical principles outlined by the American Psychological Association which will prove useful in any career related to psychology and counseling.

Courses include: orientation to graduate learning in psychology; research and statistical methods; lifespan development; learning and cognition; social psychology; personality and counseling theories; physiological psychology; psychopathology; professional ethics and standards; and contemporary issues in psychology.

  • Credits Required: 39
  • Cost: $350 / Credit Hour
  • Regional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

 

Methodology: A list of schools offering select counseling programs as Distance Education was gathered using College Navigator. From this list, each school’s regional accreditation was gathered and only schools that were regionally accredited remained. Then each school’s website was searched to confirm if a counseling program was indeed offered online. Schools were only retained if they had a degree with a counseling focus and those programs were available in an online format. Each school’s Graduate tuition per credit hour was obtained from each school’s website. Schools were ranked on affordability, and when there was a tie, schools were ranked alphabetically.

See also: 

 

About the author: Kirsten Hughes is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, with her Masters in Education from the University of Oregon. Kirsten has provided direct services to youth and families, in a variety of roles and a range of settings, for the last 15 years. Kirsten particularly enjoys supporting young people as they navigate the challenges that come with transitioning from high school to college and beyond. Kirsten lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family.

 

This concludes our ranking of the 50 Best Low-Cost Online Master’s in Counseling Degree Programs 2018.