Most Affordable Online Master’s in School Counseling Programs 2020

Most Affordable Online Master’s in School Counseling Programs 2020

| Staff Writers

Most Affordable Online Master’s in School Counseling Programs 2020
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Our rankings use our methodology to compile a list of the most affordable online master’s in school counseling programs. Counseling programs prepare professionals for fulfilling careers advising students who need help with academic and social challenges. Distance learning offers the same quality education as on-campus programs, but saves time and commuting costs.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), school counseling professionals earn a median annual salary of $57,040. Job prospects look promising for school counselors, particularly in California, New York, and Texas. The BLS projects that jobs for school counselors will grow 8% between 2019-2029.

Online school counseling programs may include self-paced asynchronous or scheduled synchronous classes, along with an in-person supervised internship at a local K-12 school. Students can graduate with their online master’s in school counseling in 2-3 years.

A typical school counselor degree curriculum includes coursework in research methods and data analysis, school counseling ethics, and student affairs. Programs may culminate with a seminar and/or thesis project. This list provides more information about affordable programs in school counseling, including typical application requirements.

Methodology

View ranking methodology here.

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Most Affordable Online Master’s in School Counseling Programs 2020

Rank School Location
1 Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
2 North Carolina State University at Raleigh Raleigh, NC
3 Creighton University Omaha, NE
4 Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, NC
5 Salem College Winston-Salem, NC
6 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
7 University of St Thomas Saint Paul, MN
8 Fort Hays State University Hays, KS
9 Concordia University-Nebraska Seward, NE
10 St Bonaventure University Saint Bonaventure, NY
  1. Vanderbilt University
    Location

    Nashville, TN

    Nashville, Tennessee-based Vanderbilt offers a school counseling master's program online. Faculty members within Peabody College's department of human and organizational development designed the three-year master of education program, which focuses on humanistic training of K-12 counselors.

    Online course delivery follows a synchronous format with group discussions and question-and-answer sessions. The program requires in-person attendance for two immersion sessions on campus and three terms of onsite field experiences working with K-12 students. Program participants graduate prepared to obtain licensing and certification.

    Admission requirements include an online application, academic transcripts, 2-3 recommendation letters, a statement of purpose, and GRE scores.

    Courses Include:

    • Ethical practice
    • Helping relationship
    • Human growth
    • Research and assessment
    • Social and cultural diversity

     

    Unique Features:

    • Cost: $1,938 per credit
    • Credits Required: 48-60
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

     

  2. North Carolina State University at Raleigh
    Location

    Raleigh, NC

    Students can earn their master of education in school counseling online at NC State in Raleigh. The program prepares K-12 counselors with a focus on clinical counseling theory and practice and a commitment to multicultural diversity. The three-year, cohort-based program requires onsite practicums and internships at K-12 schools. Students must complete their fieldwork at North Carolina schools to become eligible for licensure in the state.

    Admission requires official transcripts, a resume, GRE or MAT scores, and three recommendation letters, along with an interview. NC State prefers applicants with potential for graduate-level study and respect for cultural diversity.

    Courses Include:

    • Clinical assessment
    • Cross-cultural counseling
    • Gender issues in counseling
    • Group counseling
    • Introduction to school counseling

     

    Unique Features:

    • Cost: $446 per credit in-state; $1,295 out-of-state
    • Credits Required: 60
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

     

  3. Creighton University
    Location

    Omaha, NE

    Creighton in Omaha, Nebraska, counts a master of science in school counseling and preventative mental health among its online programs. Grounded in Jesuit education, the program stresses compassion, relationship building, and humility in its counseling approach. Students can specialize in elementary school counseling, secondary school counseling, or PK-12 guidance counseling.

    The program offers fully online coursework but includes a 600-hour onsite internship that fulfills Nebraska certification requirements. Admission requires a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA, official transcripts, resume, three recommendation letters, and personal statement, along with mental capacity and felony conviction statements.

    Courses Include:

    • Action research in school counseling
    • Diagnosis and mental health issues in children and adolescents
    • Issues in child and adolescent development for school counselors
    • Social justice and diversity in school counseling
    • Theoretical perspectives in school counseling

     

    Unique Features:

    • Cost: $597 per credit
    • Credits Required: 36-48
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission; Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

     

  4. Wake Forest University
    Location

    Winston-Salem, NC

    Located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Wake Forest offers an online master's degree in school counseling. The program boasts a 95% pass rate on the national counselor examination and appeals to students who want to use clinical skills to help children and families. In addition to online coursework, each enrollee completes a school counseling practicum, two onsite internships, and a professional identity capstone.

    Each applicant must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a 2.5 GPA. Submission requirements include a GRE score of at least 300, a personal statement, and three recommendation letters. Candidates must interview virtually with an enrollment advisor.

    Courses Include:

    • Addiction counseling
    • Appraisal procedures for counselors
    • Counseling children
    • Professional, ethical, and legal issues in counseling
    • School guidance and counseling

     

    Unique Features:

    • Cost: $1,465 per credit
    • Credits Required: 60
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

     

  5. Salem College
    Location

    Winston-Salem, NC

    Salem College, a women's college based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, offers an affordable online school counseling master's program that leads to a master of education. The cohort-modeled program balances fully online course delivery with 600 hours of onsite internships and two on-campus weekend seminars. Each cohort begins in the fall and graduates in 36 months. The research-driven curriculum prepares graduates for North Carolina state licensing.

    Currently, Salem College only admits North Carolina residents. Admission requires a 3.0 undergraduate GPA or 12 hours of graduate work with a 3.0 GPA. Applicants submit applicable writing samples, criminal background checks, and professional references.

    Courses Include:

    • Action research and writing for publication for school counseling
    • Assessment, measurement, and evaluation for school counseling
    • Counseling, leadership, theory, and practice
    • Culturally relevant counseling: exploring educational equity
    • Focus on student advocacy and the school counselor

     

    Unique Features:

    • Cost: $525 per semester hour
    • Credits Required: 48
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

     

  6. University of Southern California
    Location

    Los Angeles, CA

    Students can earn their online master of education in school counseling at USC in Los Angeles. Housed in the highly ranked USC Rossier School of Education, the program centers on the challenges faced by today's schools.

    To prepare graduates to earn their state credentials, the curriculum includes interactive online classes, along with 100-hour practicums and 600-hour internships at K-12 schools. Students can complete the program in 2-3 years. Admission requirements include a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, a personal essay, responses to two short-answer questions, a resume, and two recommendation letters.

    Courses Include:

    • Counseling for college and career readiness
    • Human development theory in school counseling
    • Learning and individual differences
    • Research methods and data analysis for counselors
    • School connectedness, climate and classroom management

     

    Unique Features:

    • Cost: $1,928 per credit
    • Credits Required: 49
    • Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission; Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

     

  7. University of St Thomas
    Location

    Saint Paul, MN

    UST in Houston, Texas, offers a hybrid master's in education with a specialization in school counselor education. Designed for education professionals with at least two years of teaching experience, the program leads to Texas certification as a school counselor.

    Following a cohort model, the program combines in-person learning with online assignments and culminates with a 15-week, onsite counseling practicum. The practicum includes 160 hours of supervised observation and direct counseling. Each candidate must hold a bachelor's or advanced degree with a 3.0 GPA and submit a personal essay and official transcripts.

    Courses Include:

    • Educational research and scholarly writing
    • Group procedures dynamics of group counseling
    • Introduction to counseling methodology
    • Lifestyles and career development
    • Multicultural populations

     

    Unique Features:

    • Cost: $598 per credit
    • Credits Required: 36
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

     

  8. Fort Hays State University
    Location

    Hays, KS

    The affordable online master's in school counseling at FHSU trains aspiring Kansas school counselors. The three-year master of science in counseling curriculum blends theory with experience through coursework, practicums, and internships, with the goal of Kansas state licensure. The asynchronous course delivery incorporates discussion boards, videos, online articles, and other class materials.

    Prospective students apply to the graduate school online and must provide undergraduate transcripts. The counseling program requires a 3.0 GPA for the last 60 hours of undergraduate work, two letters of recommendation, and a professional goals statement, along with a background check and group video interview.

    Courses Include:

    • Appraisal in counseling
    • Lifespan human development
    • Management of counseling programs
    • Professional and ethical issues in counseling
    • Social and cultural foundations of counseling

     

    Unique Features:

    • Cost: $287.75 per credit
    • Credits Required: 48
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission; National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

     

  9. Concordia University-Nebraska
    Location

    Seward, NE

    The affordable online master's in school counseling program at Concordia offers 100% web-based coursework. Available via two pathways, track I serves teachers interested in a career shift, and track II trains students without teaching backgrounds seeking Nebraska school counseling certification. Based in Lutheran education, the program prepares graduates to advocate for K-12 students and remove barriers to achievement. Study culminates with a 100-hour practicum and a 450-hour internship at elementary and secondary schools.

    Concordia offers self-paced distance learning with multiple start dates during the year. Admission requires official transcripts, a letter of intent, and a resume.

    Courses Include:

    • Abnormal psychology
    • Child and adolescent development and learning
    • Consultation strategies in schools
    • Counseling diverse populations
    • Trauma and crisis intervention

     

    Unique Features:

    • Cost: $425 per credit
    • Credits Required: 50 (track I); 62 (track II)
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

     

  10. St Bonaventure University
    Location

    Saint Bonaventure, NY

    New York's SBU offers an online master of science in education school counseling that prepares students for New York state licensure. Aligned with the university's Catholic-Franciscan tradition, the program seeks to cultivate a spirit of service in its graduates, along with a desire to make a difference in K-12 students' lives.

    The flexible online delivery model allows students to complete courses on their schedules. In-person fieldwork components consist of a 100-hour practicum and two internships totaling 600 hours. Students complete their fieldwork at K-12 schools. Applicant submissions include recommendations, transcripts, and writing samples, but no test scores.

    Courses Include:

    • Abnormal psychology
    • Group counseling
    • Interventions for school and CMH counseling
    • Management of school counseling programs
    • Multicultural counseling

     

    Unique Features:

    • Cost: $785 per credit
    • Credits Required: 60
    • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education; Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

     

  11. New York University
    Location

    New York City, NY

    NYU counts an online master's degree in school counseling among its options for distance learners. Housed in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, the program centers on equity and social justice. Students can opt to concentrate in bilingual school counseling and work with K-12 students who speak English as a second language.

    The 18-month curriculum includes a practicum and internships, both of which take place at K-12 schools. The synchronous course delivery provides an interactive virtual classroom experience, along with an online counseling lab. Each applicant must submit a statement of purpose, resume, transcripts, and two recommendation letters.

    Courses Include:

    • Assessment of children and adolescents
    • Cross-cultural counseling
    • Individual counseling: theory and process
    • Professional orientation and ethics for school counseling
    • Research and evaluation methods in behavioral sciences

     

    Unique Features:

    • Cost: $1,795 per credit
    • Credits Required: 48
    • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education; Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council

     

  12. University of North Dakota
    Location

    Grand Forks, ND

    The school counseling master's program online at Grand Forks' UND leads to an MA in counseling. The 30-month curriculum develops school counselors prepared to effect data-driven and culturally responsive systematic changes. Designed for working professionals, the program allows students to complete coursework fully online via synchronous class sessions. Enrollees travel to campus for two four-day summer residencies. Practicums and internships take place in K-12 schools.

    Admission requires a bachelor's degree with a 2.75 GPA (or 3.0 for the last two years of undergraduate work). Each applicant must submit official transcripts, a statement of goals, GRE scores, and three recommendation letters. Select candidates take part in online interviews.

    Courses Include:

    • Career counseling
    • Child and adolescent counseling
    • Educational collaboration
    • Multicultural counseling
    • School counseling and program management

     

    Unique Features:

    • Cost: $487 per credit
    • Credits Required: 60
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission; Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

     

  13. Concordia University-Wisconsin
    Location

    Mequon, WI

    CUW in Mequon offers an affordable online school counseling master's program that culminates in a master of science in education. The Christian-based program seeks to train ethical and empathetic school leaders who embrace social justice. Graduates emerge ready to pursue state licensing with 700 hours of practicums and internships at K-12 schools.

    Students can opt to complete the program via accelerated distance learning. An online advisor works with each enrollee to tailor their educational path around other commitments and toward career goals.

    Candidates must hold a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA and provide a resume, two recommendation letters, official transcripts, and a one-page essay describing why they want to attend graduate school.

    Courses Include:

    • Counseling theory
    • Helping relationships
    • Human growth and development
    • Social and cultural foundations
    • Trauma counseling

     

    Unique Features:

    • Cost: $614 per credit
    • Credits Required: 45
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

     

  14. Emporia State University
    Location

    Emporia, KS

    ESU offers a hybrid master of science in school counseling as one of only two school counseling programs in Kansas. The degree offers in-person courses in the late afternoon or evening to accommodate working professionals.

    Students can choose from a thesis and non-thesis track, or direct entry, designed for learners without current teaching licenses or experience. Each direct-entry enrollee must complete an additional 70 hours of fieldwork, along with the supervised practicum and internship required by all tracks.

    Admission requires transcripts showing a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA, three references, and an interview during which applicants complete a writing sample.

    Courses Include:

    • Introduction to elementary/middle school counseling
    • Introduction to secondary school counseling
    • Leadership and advocacy
    • Parenting and parent consultation
    • Psychosocial development and disability

     

    Unique Features:

    • Cost: $266-$400 per credit
    • Credits Required: 48-54
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission; Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

     

  15. University of Central Arkansas
    Location

    Conway, AR

    At Conway's UCA, students can earn a master of science in school counseling online via synchronous and asynchronous course delivery. The program offers an add-on track for students with Arkansas teaching licenses, along with an initial license pathway for those without teaching licenses. Both include practicum and internship hours at K-12 schools.

    The program develops collaborative school leaders skilled in advocacy. Each applicant must provide transcripts demonstrating a bachelor's degree with at least a 2.7 GPA. Program admission requirements include two professional references, a statement of intent, and a potential personal interview. An initial license track candidate must submit a background check, along with GRE or Praxis core scores.

    Courses Include:

    • Life-span development
    • Research methods
    • School-based organizational leadership
    • School counseling intervention strategies
    • School counselor as consultant

     

    Unique Features:

    • Cost: $227 per credit
    • Credits Required: 48
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

     

  16. East Carolina University
    Location

    Greenville, NC

    Greenville, North Carolina-based ECU trains school counselors through its online master of science in counselor education, school counseling track. The program emphasizes effective helping relationships via online coursework, along with practicum and internship experience in K-12 schools. Graduates qualify to apply for North Carolina licensing as school counselors.

    Each interested candidate must apply to the graduate school and demonstrate a 2.75 undergraduate GPA, GRE or MAT scores in the 30th percentile, and leadership experience. Submission requirements include three recommendation letters and a statement of intent.

    Courses Include:

    • Counseling in schools
    • Developmental counseling and learning: a life-span approach
    • Family approaches in professional counseling
    • Introduction to counseling and human services
    • Social and cultural issues in counseling

     

    Unique Features:

    • Cost: $232.79 per credit in-state; $877.35 out-of-state
    • Credits Required: 60
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

     

  17. Arkansas State University
    Location

    Jonesboro, AR

    Students can prepare for state licensure by earning an affordable online master's in school counseling from A-State. The master of science in education program spans 16-18 months and offers the same tuition to all U.S. distance learners. Accelerated coursework meets the needs of working professionals with asynchronous classes accessible at all times. Enrollees can complete the program 100% online, with the exception of fieldwork requirements at K-12 schools.

    A-State's expedited admissions process requires a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA, answers to three essay questions, two recommendations, and identification of site supervisors for requisite onsite practicums and internships.

    Courses Include:

    • Crisis counseling
    • Introduction to statistics and research
    • Program development, implementation, and evaluation in school counseling
    • Psycho-social aspects of development
    • Social and cultural foundations of counseling
    • Theories and techniques in counseling

     

    Unique Features:

    • Cost: $317
    • Credits Required: 48
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission; Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

     

  18. Oregon State University
    Location

    Corvallis, OR

    OSU offers a hybrid master of counseling with a school counseling option. The program, designed for Oregon and Washington residents seeking state licensure, consists of 50% online learning and 50% in-class learning in Wilsonville. Students can access some practicums and internships online via synchronous delivery.

    The program focuses on increasing the college attendance rates for underrepresented graduates of K-12 school systems. Each candidate applies for a cohort spot with information about their academic and work experience, professional goals, and personal and emotional stability. Applicants can then provide academic transcripts evidencing a baccalaureate degree, GRE scores, and references to the graduate school.

    Courses Include:

    • Addictive behavior counseling
    • Crisis, grief, and loss
    • Cross-cultural counseling
    • Family counseling
    • Special education issues

     

    Unique Features:

    • Cost: $560
    • Credits Required: 75
    • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities; Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

     

  19. Lincoln Memorial University
    Location

    Harrogate, TN

    Students pursuing an online master's degree in school counseling at LMU earn a master of education in counseling and guidance. The professional program, based at the Harrogate, Tennessee, campus, prepares graduates for state licensure and focuses on interpersonal and helping relationships. Students complete their 700 required hours of practicums and internships at preK-12 schools, but the 100% online coursework delivery consists of self-paced learning, combined with participation in discussion boards.

    Admission requirements include official undergraduate transcripts, a criminal background check, three references, and a personal statement, along with an interview.

    Courses Include:

    • Curriculum, instruction, and assessment
    • Foundations of American education
    • Motivational theory and classroom management
    • School law
    • Special education and law, policies, and ethics

     

    Unique Features:

    • Cost: $475 per credit
    • Credits Required: 36
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

     

  20. Gwynedd Mercy University
    Location

    Gwynedd Valley, PA

    Students seeking to become licensed in Pennsylvania can opt for an affordable online master's in school counseling at GMercyU. Located in the town of Gwynedd, Pennsylvania, this university uses a scientist-practitioner model to train professional school counselors. The school also boasts a 100% pass rate on the state licensure exam. The curriculum includes 700 hours of onsite practicums and internships.

    Each candidate must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited school with a 3.0 GPA and coursework in foundational psychology and research methods and statistics. All applicants submit official transcripts, two recommendation letters, and a personal statement. They also attend an interview with program staff.

    Courses Include:

    • Disabilities in the school counseling setting
    • Group counseling and facilitation skills for the school setting
    • Intervention techniques in school counseling
    • Needs of English language learners in the school counseling setting
    • Organization of school counseling

     

    Unique Features:

    • Cost: $650 per credit
    • Credits Required: 60
    • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

     

  21. Gallaudet University
    Location

    Washington, DC

    UMass Boston's affordable online school counseling master's program leads to a counseling M.Ed. Distance learners pay lower tuition than on-campus students. The two-year program begins with a two-week summer session at UMass Dartmouth, during which students take two clinical courses. Enrollees complete their remaining coursework online, either part time or at an accelerated pace. Supervised fieldwork takes place in person at practicum and internship school sites.

    Graduates can apply for school counseling licensure in Massachusetts and other states. Each applicant must submit two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, transcripts, and a resume. The program also requires GRE scores (or a master's degree), along with MTEL scores for those seeking licensure in Massachusetts. Candidates interview with program faculty.

    Courses Include:

    • Behavioral counseling
    • Child and adolescent counseling
    • Collaborative consultation in schools
    • College readiness counseling
    • Sociocultural considerations in counseling

     

    Unique Features:

    • Cost: $575 per credit
    • Credits Required: 60
    • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education

     

  22. University of Massachusetts-Boston
    Location

    Boston, MA

    A student pursuing a master of science in education degree at UT Martin can opt for a school counseling master's program online. The program prepares graduates for professional state licensure. Each enrollee can complete the curriculum online, except for a three-day, on-campus residency; a 100-hour onsite practicum; and a 600-hour K-12 school internship.

    Admission requirements include three recommendation letters, a personal essay, a resume, and documentation of teaching experience or, for those without experience, an acknowledgment of teaching experience form. Candidates must also pass background checks.

    Courses Include:

    • Group dynamics
    • Individual appraisal
    • Mental health and psychopathology
    • Organization and administration of school counseling
    • Principles of crisis intervention
    • Professional, ethical, and legal issues in counseling

     

    Unique Features:

    • Cost: $620 per credit in-state; $676-$733 out-of-state
    • Credits Required: 48
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

     

  23. The University of Tennessee-Martin
    Location

    Martin, TN

    Ole Miss master of education in counselor education students can pursue this affordable online school counseling master's program. Through online and hybrid course delivery, the program seeks to train school counselors to become skilled at promoting and enhancing K-12 student success. Graduates must demonstrate clinical competencies and perform acceptably in their onsite practicums and internships. They must also pass the counselor preparation comprehensive examination.

    Requirements for admission include a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA, official transcripts, and GRE scores, along with a resume, statement of purpose, and three references. Selected candidates interview with program faculty.

    Courses Include:

    • Counseling children and adolescents
    • Counseling skills
    • Family counseling
    • Foundations of school counseling
    • Lifespan development

     

    Unique Features:

    • Cost: $363 per credit in-state; $1,388, non-resident
    • Credits Required: 48
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

     

  24. University of Mississippi
    Location

    University, MS

    Monmouth in West Long Branch, New Jersey, offers a master of science in school counseling program that blends online, hybrid, and campus instruction. The curriculum includes 700 hours of supervised fieldwork experience to prepare advocates who can meet societal and K-12 school challenges. Graduates qualify for state licensing and national certification.

    Monmouth boasts that 100% of its 2019 spring and summer graduates found employment as school counselors. Applicants must hold teacher certification, along with bachelor's degrees that demonstrate 3.0 GPAs. Admission requirements include two letters of recommendation, a personal essay, and participation in a group interview.

    Courses Include:

    • Advanced topics in race and racism
    • Behavioral issues in counseling
    • Counseling at-risk children and families
    • Diversity and social justice
    • Research methodology and applications

     

    Unique Features:

    • Cost: $1,233 per credit
    • Credits Required: 48
    • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education; Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

     

  25. Monmouth University
    Location

    West Long Branch, NJ

    Students interested in a school counseling master's program online can earn a combined master of arts/educational specialist professional counseling program at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey. The program focuses on intervention skills grounded in theory, and requires two four-day, on-campus residencies, along with onsite fieldwork and a capstone at K-12 schools. The program meets the state licensing requirements for professional counselors.

    Seton Hall prefers each candidate to have earned a 3.0 undergraduate GPA and requires all applicants to submit official transcripts, three recommendation letters, a resume, and a personal statement, along with GRE or MAT scores. Admitted students join a cohort that progresses through interactive online courses together.

    Courses Include:

    • Abnormal psychology
    • Counseling and community agencies
    • Counseling theory
    • Career development and counseling
    • Stat theory and computer applications

     

    Unique Features:

    • Cost: $1,260 per credit
    • Credits Required: 60
    • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education; Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

     

Applying to an Affordable Online Master’s in School Counseling Program

Common admission requirements for online school guidance counselor programs include a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, transcripts, a resume or CV, and 2-3 letters of recommendation from professors or work supervisors. Applicants must also submit a personal statement that discusses their academic and professional goals, relevant prior experience, and reasons for choosing to pursue a master’s in school counseling.

Some programs may require GRE scores. Programs usually don’t require specific undergraduate majors, but prefer applicants with counseling degrees and prior coursework in biology, psychology, and statistics.

Most schools list minimum GPAs of 2.7-3.0, but competitive candidates possess higher undergraduate GPAs. Some school counseling programs look for applicants with teaching experience and/or credentials and may also require a background check.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long does it take to become a school counselor?

    School counselors spend about four years earning their bachelor’s degree, 2-3 years obtaining their master’s degree, and 1-2 years logging teaching or classroom experience, either pre- or post-master’s. States have varying licensure requirements, but all require school counselors to hold a license. Completing the entire process can take 8-9 years.

  • What is accreditation and why is it important?

    Students should ensure that their online master’s in school counseling program holds accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). CACREP accreditation ensures that the program’s curriculum and internship components comply with state licensing standards. Employers tend to prefer applicants who graduate from CACREP-approved programs.

  • Is an online master’s in school counseling a good degree?

    Most state boards require licensure applicants to hold master’s degrees in school counseling. Earning the degree allows graduates to pursue licensing and work in K-12 schools. Students interested in helping children and teens succeed in school should find obtaining their online master’s in school counseling to be worthwhile.

  • What can I do with a master’s in school counseling?

    School counselor degree-holders find positions helping students in elementary, middle, and high schools. Depending on the age group, typical duties include guidance on behavioral issues, academic struggles, bullying, and selecting careers and colleges. Counselors also advise teachers, school staff, and families on helping students succeed.

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