Universities that offer affordable online counseling degrees are quickly becoming popular options for busy professionals looking to expand knowledge or change careers, and they are also gaining traction with recent high school graduates who are looking for flexible and affordable alternatives. The good news for students is that there are many options when it comes to getting a cheap online counseling degree from a highly ranked institution. We prepared this ranking with just such students in mind.
It goes without saying that many students today are balancing work, school and family. In order to pursue a bachelor’s degree in counseling, psychology or human services, many busy non-traditional students seek out distance learning programs. These affordable online counseling degrees allow students to pursue their education from home any time of the day, including evenings and weekends. An online bachelor’s degree in counseling may require the student to complete an internship in a local clinic setting, but the majority of degree requirements can be completed at a time convenient for the student.
Below are the top 25 programs for earning an affordable online bachelor’s in counseling. All of the schools were chosen from the most recent US News Top Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs list. We reviewed the top 110 schools appearing on the list to find which ones offered undergraduate degrees in counseling and related fields, and we selected those with the cheapest tuition from among that subset. All of these programs offer a cheap online counseling degree that helps students prepare for a career in counseling. Common degree names are counseling psychology, Christian counseling or school counseling. Some may also offer a degree in psychology which can be used to pursue a career in counseling.
Our list of the Top 25 Most Affordable Bachelor’s in Counseling Degree Online Programs is sorted in order from the highest tuition at number 25 to the lowest tuition at number 1. Tuition data was gathered from National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator.
Ranking the 25 Most Affordable Online Counseling Degrees (Bachelor’s) 2014
25. Central Michigan University: Bachelor of Science, Major in Psychology
Central Michigan University’s Global Campus offers a bachelor of science degree in psychology. All freshmen in this affordable online counseling degree program will be required to take composition, English and writing classes in order to become competent in written and oral English communication. Central Michigan also requires all undergraduate students to complete classes from mathematics, humanities, natural science and social sciences in addition to courses in counseling and psychology. Because Central Michigan University also offers a traditional campus-based program, the types of courses needed to complete the psychology program are similar to the courses the students would take in a traditional setting.
U.S. News Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Rank: 39
Tuition: $23,670 (out of state)
24. Arizona State University: Bachelor of Science, Family and Human Development
Arizona State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers a bachelor of science degree in family and human development. This unique program focuses on contemporary issues facing today’s families, including the impact of culture, ethnicity and gender. Students take courses in addictions, the dissolution of families and human development. ASU’s bachelor’s degree helps prepare students for a master’s program in counseling or psychology.
U.S. News Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Rank: 40
23. Graceland University: B.A. Degree – Human Services Major
Graceland University offers both traditional classroom-based programs and online programs. In addition, there are several hybrid programs which utilize both classroom settings. Graceland’s bachelor’s degree in human services allows students to take courses in social welfare, ethics of social work, social psychology, social inequality and cross-cultural psychology. Graceland also offers an internship program in order to help prepare those with undergraduate degrees for pursuing a grad school degree and licensure.
U.S. News Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Rank: 5
22. Old Dominion University: Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Old Dominion University’s online bachelor of science in psychology offers students the opportunity to take psychology classes, including human cognition, childhood development, health psychology, applied experimental psychology and the psychology of women. In addition, all students must take college core courses. Old Dominion encourages students interested in pursuing graduate school and clinical licensure to take a variety of advanced psychology courses in preparation for pursing a master’s degree. In addition to appearing on the U.S. News Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Ranking List, ODU has received another notable ranking by the publication: #68 on the list of Best Online Graduate Education Programs. A Counseling/Psychology Track is offered to Masters-level Education students at Old Dominion.
U.S. News Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Rank: 71
Tuition: $22,230 (Out of State)
21. Limestone College: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Limestone College offers both online and traditional classroom-based classes. Located in South Carolina, Limestone requires those pursuing a bachelor of arts in psychology degree to complete general education courses in addition to psychology courses. Students can expect to take courses on contemporary issues in psychology, human growth and development, behavior disorders, theories of personality and biopsychology. In addition, Limestone encourages students to choose advanced courses in a psychology-related area of interest. The college also offers internship opportunities to help prepare psychology students for careers in a clinical setting.
U.S. News Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Rank: 67
20. Liberty University: Bachelor of Science in Psychology (Christian and Crisis Counseling Specializations)
Liberty University is a Christian college based in Lynchburg, Virginia. Liberty offers a traditional classroom experience as well as a well-developed online program. Liberty University’s bachelor of science in psychology offers a unique focus on Christian psychology. The school also offers psychology programs with a focus on crisis counseling, substance abuse therapy and military resilience. While a bachelor of science degree can be used only in non-clinical positions, Liberty University encourages students who would like to practice in a clinical setting to pursue advanced degrees in marriage and family therapy, professional counseling or human services at Liberty University Online.
U.S. News Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Rank: 109
19. St. Leo University: B.A. Psychology
Saint Leo University is a Catholic liberal arts college founded in 1889. Recently, the university expanded its online offerings and students can now pursue a B.A. in psychology. Students will take courses in counseling skills, military psychology, forensic psychology, abnormal psychology and psychology of criminal behavior. In addition, Saint Leo offers research opportunities, internships and the ability to present research at regional and national conferences.
U.S. News Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Rank: 53
18. Florida International University: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Florida International University offers an online bachelor of arts degree in psychology. The program is well-established with 2,400 psychology majors in the online and campus-based programs. FIU strives to offer a research-based undergraduate program that focuses on recent trends in psychological theory. Students can take courses in statistics, memory improvement, social behavior, health and illness, behavior analysis, motivation, and emotion and infant development. Florida International University also offers several clubs and honor societies so that psychology majors can network with peers and psychology professionals.
U.S. News Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Rank: 74
Tuition: $18,816 (out of state)
17. Grand Canyon University: Bachelor of Science in Counseling with an Emphasis in Addiction, Chemical Dependency, and Substance Abuse
Grand Canyon University is a distance learning institution. Grand Canyon offers a bachelor of science in counseling with an emphasis on addiction, chemical dependency and substance abuse. This specialized course of study is the first step in becoming an addiction counselor. Grand Canyon’s program meets criteria for licensure in some states, although many states may require a master’s degree prior to becoming licensed.
U.S. News Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Rank: 63
16. Utah State University: BS in Family Life Studies
Utah State University offers both classroom-based and online courses. However, the university’s bachelor of science in family life studies is only offered online. This field of study prepares students to work with individuals and families from infancy to the elderly years. Students complete courses in balancing work and family, human development, marriage and family relationships, family finance, cultural diversity and crisis intervention. Completing the family life studies major may prepare individuals to work in nonprofit agencies with both individuals and families.
U.S. News Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Rank: 94
15. Regent University: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology
Regent University College of Arts and Sciences offers both classroom-based and online programs. The bachelor of science in psychology takes a Christian perspective. Students have the option to specialize in substance abuse treatment as well. Regent University uses blogs, forums and the latest online classroom technology in order to provide the same high quality education that traditional classes offer. In addition to its prestigious ranking on U.S. News’ Bachelor’s programs list, Regent University, which offers a Counseling/Psychology track to their Masters of Education students, appears 43rd in the U.S. News and World Report’s Ranking of the Best Online Graduate Education Programs as well.
U.S. News Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Rank: 10
14. Northwestern State University of Louisiana: Bachelor of Science in Addiction Studies
Northwestern State University of Louisiana is an accredited college offering both online and classroom-based courses and degrees. Northwestern State offers a bachelor of science in addiction studies as well as a bachelor’s degree in psychology. For those interested in pursuing professional licensure as a counselor or psychologist, Northwestern State also offers a master of science degree in clinical psychology. Students can expect to take courses on addictions, human development, crisis intervention and family dynamics.
U.S. News Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Rank: 57
Tuition: $14,923 (out of state)
13. University of Phoenix: Bachelor of Science in Psychology
The University of Phoenix has one of the most well-known online degree programs in the country. The university’s College of Social Sciences offers a bachelor of science in psychology that is designed for business supervisors, marketing managers and human services professionals who desire a greater knowledge in human behavior, critical thinking and collaboration. The bachelor’s program also prepares students to pursue a master’s degree in psychology.
U.S. News Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Rank: 79r
12. University of Texas of the Permian Basin: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin is an accredited university offering a wide range of program choices. The psychology department offers both a bachelor of arts in psychology and a degree in child and family studies. The bachelor of arts in psychology degree allows students to not only study introductory and advanced concepts in psychology, but also develop a well-rounded education through liberal arts courses. UTPB also offers a psychology club and a chapter of Psi Chi to allow psychology majors to network with other majors and with professors and professionals in the field.
U.S. News Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Rank: 46
Tuition: $13,674 (out of state)
11. Pennsylvania State University–World Campus: Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies
Penn State University’s World Campus offers an online bachelor of science in human development and family studies. This accredited online counseling degree prepares students for working with families in crises or in transition. The program focuses on stress that affects children or adults, relationship issues and issues in the geriatric population. Those pursuing a bachelor’s degree can also earn additional certifications in children, youth and family services and adult development and aging services.
U.S. News Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Rank: 16
10. Troy University: Bachelor’s in Psychology
Troy University is based in Troy, Alabama and offers several traditional campuses in addition to a distance learning program. Troy offers an online bachelor’s in psychology, which combines natural science, social science and applied science in order to provide students with the opportunity for developing a well-rounded education in the field of psychology. Students have the option to take courses on unique and timely topics such as health psychology, family violence, educational psychology, modalities of addictive diseases and evolutionary psychology.
U.S. News Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Rank: 65
9. Florida Institute of Technology: BA – Applied Psychology
Florida Tech University offers a substantial and well-developed online program. At Florida Tech, students can earn a bachelor of arts in applied psychology. This program teaches students how to identify problems facing today’s organizations, understand the basic psychological processes, recognize the value of ethical behavior and learn the major concepts of applied psychology. This program is designed especially for those who wish to work in the fields of sociology, psychology, legal studies, business or counseling.
U.S. News Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Rank: 78
8. Brandman University: Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
Brandman University is part of the Chapman University System. Students attending Brandman can earn a bachelor of arts in sociology. This program focuses on family patterns and relationships, gender and ethnic relations, mass media, culture, value systems and institutions. The program’s large emphasis on multiculturalism and methodological approaches can be a significant benefit to those who would eventually like to pursue licensure as a practicing counselor.
U.S. News Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Rank: 8
7. Northcentral University: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
North Central University offers a large and well-respected online program. NCU’s bachelor of arts in psychology uses a program outlined by the American Psychology Association in order to prepare students for future careers in clinical counseling or psychology. The cheap online counseling degree at NCU focuses on applied experiential learning, self-reflection and the application of psychological principles to those issues which are prominent in today’s culture.
U.S. News Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Rank: 96
6. Northern Arizona University: Bachelor of Psychological Science
Northern Arizona University offers both a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science in psychology. Both programs are rigorous and include at least 120 credit hours. However, the bachelor of arts degree also requires proficiency in a modern language other than English. NAU offers several research opportunities in order to allow students to gain valuable research experience while also allowing students to make networking connections.
U.S. News Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Rank: 97
5. Colorado State University–Global Campus: Online Bachelor of Science in Human Services
Colorado State University’s Global Campus is an accredited distance learning program offering an online bachelor of science degree in human services. Human services is a broad field, allowing the student to choose from several in-demand specializations, such as criminal forensics, emergency management, finance, information technology, public administration, strategic communication, non-profit management and marketing.
U.S. News Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Rank: 7
4. Baker College of Flint: Bachelor of Science in Human Services
Baker College of Flint offers dozens of programs of study, including a bachelor of human services degree. This degree provides both general education courses and opportunities for specialized studies and training. Individuals who complete the bachelor of science in human services program may be qualified to work as case managers, social service workers or supervisors in a residential setting. This cheap online bachelor’s in counseling allows students to get a high quality education in the field of human services at an affordable price.
U.S. News Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Rank: 99
3. Charter Oak State College: BA or BS in General Studies Concentration – Applied Behavioral Science – Sociology Focus or Psychology Focus
Charter Oak State College was founded in 1973 in Connecticut. The college offers a concentration on applied behavioral science with a sociology focus. This allows students to take courses in social research, sociological theory, counseling, rehabilitation services and social work. This well-rounded area of study introduces students to concepts of applied behavior science, psychology, sociology, intervention services and political science.
U.S. News Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Rank: 15
Tuition: $7,728 (out of state)
2. Columbia College (Columbia, MO): Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Missouri’s Columbia College was established in 1851. More recently, the college expanded its offerings to include an online campus. The online campus offers a bachelor of arts in psychology program designed to prepare students for advanced study in the fields of psychology, clinical counseling or experimental neuroscience. Columbia College’s bachelor’s program focuses on applied psychology and prepares students to work in the private or public sector upon graduation.
U.S. News Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Rank: 36
1. Bellevue University: Behavioral Science Degree – Bachelor of Science
Bellevue University is a well-respected accredited distance learning institution and its accredited online counseling degree is a great example of why this is so. It was named as one of the Top 10 Online Bachelor’s Degrees and one of the Top 3 Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs for Veterans by the U.S. News and World Report. The bachelor of science degree in behavioral science merges the fields of psychology, sociology and counseling to provide a well-rounded and deeper understanding of human behavior and diversity. Bellevue’s bachelor’s degree program also prepares students to continue their studies at Bellevue in the master’s in clinical counseling program.
U.S. News Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Rank: 9
For busy professionals seeking an accredited online bachelor’s in counseling, there are several options available. A degree is an investment in both time and money. This list of 25 affordable online counseling degrees can assist you in making the overwhelming decision of where to attend college.