Top 40 Affordable Online Master’s in School Counseling
| Staff Writers
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School Counselors are necessary for every academic grade setting to ensure student success. Fortunately, pre-professionals have the option of earning their Master’s degree in College Counseling and Personnel Services entirely online and without breaking the bank. Outside of noting tuition, student costs of living, and academic expenses, the following list of affordable online degrees are ranked by the type of opportunities they offer to online students. Residential internships, professional networking, accreditation, and certification options are critical factors to consider when choosing which online program is right for you.
Most online master’s degrees in school counseling require students to complete an internship and practicum experience. Practicum and internship experiences provide students with valuable hands-on learning and direct supervision, in a school setting, allowing students to develop strong clinical and professional skills. The practicum and internship experiences frequently provide strong references on the graduates resume to support future employment.
Many of the online school counseling programs listed here have a residency requirement, which enables students to interact with the counseling program’s community members personally. Residential time lengths will be different for every program, but usually, lasts about a week and occur once or twice during the academic school year.
The final, and possibly most important, factor we consider is whether or not the online degree program provides licensure and accreditation. Every degree listed below is accredited by the Council for Accreditation and Related Educational Programs, so you won’t need to doubt if one of the online degrees can help you achieve your long-term career goals.
Regardless of the program you choose, all applicants are encouraged to contact their home state’s licensing board to determine if the online master’s program they are interested in meets their home state’s licensing and certification requirements for school counseling.
We are confident you will find the best and most affordable, online master’s degree in school counseling to meet your academic and career goals here!
We have done the research so you don’t have to! We have looked at colleges and universities offering counseling programs across the country. We have evaluated and ranked counseling programs on numerous points of interest. This ranking is organized by the cost per credit.
Top 10 Affordable Online Master’s in School Counseling
Fort Hays State University offers a Master of Science in Counseling in School Counseling. The majority of the coursework for this program can be completed online with three of the courses requiring some on-campus class time. Students of FHSU work closely with their faculty advisor to determine a comprehensive plan of study which efficiently leads to graduation.
Students will learn through coursework, practicum, and internship experiences how to best support youth development in the K-12 setting. Graduates are equipped to pursue school counseling licensure within the state of Kansas. Students planning to establish careers outside of Kansas are encouraged to consult their home state licensing board for specific educational requirements.
Online students can earn their Master of Education in School Counseling from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in as few as 12 months! SOSU students are required to complete 42 credits in addition to two clinical practicum experiences. Successful graduates are prepared to work with learners of all ages, learning styles, and educational backgrounds. The degree program strives to be accommodating and flexible for working students who plan to continue to be fully employed while working towards their master's degree in school counseling.
School Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice
Liberty University offers a Master of Education in School Counseling completely online. This CACREP accredited online degree can be completed with 48 credits in two years. Graduate students can choose to participate in on-campus courses to develop counseling skills best learned in-person and with the support of peers and faculty.
Liberty's online degree aims to support students in developing the educational foundation and the practical skills to work successfully in K-12 Christian, private, and public schools. Liberty's program is the best fit for anyone interested in earning a CACREP-accredited graduate degree taught from a Biblical perspective.
Understanding Educational Research and Assessment
Foundations of Exceptionality
Human Development Across the Lifespan
Professional, Ethical, and Legal Issues in Counseling
A Master of Education in School Counseling is provided online at the University of West Alabama. This online master's degree is designed for students with an established career in education and who want to complete additional coursework to become a school counselor. The 48-credit fully online program offers eight-week courses can all be completed within a year. Students who are interested in applying to UWA are encouraged to consult their home state licensure board to determine if program requirements are in line with their state licensing and credentialing requirements.
The University of Missouri offers an online Master of Education in Mental Health Practices in Schools. This 34 credit program can be completed 100 percent online. This program is not designed to lead to professional licensure or certification but rather to support professionals in further understanding and to meet the complex mental health needs in elementary, middle, and high schools. To provide an affordable education, the University of Missouri provides all distance education graduate students with in-state tuition rates.
Developmental Aspects of Human Learning
Foundations of School Mental Health
Overview of Research Methods
Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders in Youth
Adams State University offers online students an opportunity to earn their Master’s of Arts in School Counseling. Students in the online program will complete the same school counseling program coursework as students attending courses on-campus at Adams State University. Online students will complete a one-week session on campus during each of the two summers they are in the program. The on-campus sessions support students in developing counseling skills best learned in person with the support of peers and faculty.
Walden University offers a Master of Science in School Counseling online. This online graduate degree is CACREP accredited and designed to support graduates in successfully obtaining credentialing and licensure as a professional school counselor. The School Counseling Program offers a General Program of study as well as specializations in Addiction Counseling; Crisis and Trauma; and Military Families and Culture.
Students in this online program will complete two in-person residencies during which they will have the opportunity to collaborate with peers and faculty on counseling skill development. The program offers an accelerated track option for students who can commit to full-time study and are motivated to complete the program as quickly as possible.
An Online Master of Education in School Counseling is available at North Carolina State University. The CACREP accredited degree program is committed to promoting multicultural diversity in the student and faculty community with efforts to recruit students from culturally diverse backgrounds.
The online program is offered as a part-time cohort program completable within three years. With the cohort model students have the opportunity to build connections with peers for support during the program often lasting long after graduation. Graduates are prepared to support the academic and social growth of students in K-12 schools.
Southern Arkansas University offers a Master of Education in School Counseling. This is an online 48 credit program where students can choose to complete the program through the hybrid format or the online format of study. Graduates will have the capacity to work professionally as licensed school counselors in K-12 schools in Arkansas and many other states. Students planning to practice outside the state of Arkansas should consult their home state licensure board for more information.
Foundations of School Counseling
Introduction to the Counseling Profession
Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Counseling
A Master of Arts in School Counseling is available at Chadron State College, where most of the degree is completable online and with minimal campus requirements. The program offers three different programs of study to provide an education best suited for each student's previous experience and future goals. Students in the program who would also like to work towards a Clinical Mental Health Practitioner license have the opportunity to complete additional coursework including classes in Diagnosis and the DSM; Treatment Issues in Addiction; and Family Counseling.
The College of Graduate Studies and Research at Angelo State University offers an Online Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling. Students can complete Angelo State’s Master’s degree entirely online within two years. Graduates of ASU are prepared for careers as counselors in K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and other settings. The university does offer a few scholarships to qualified students in financial need.
The University of Nebraska at Kearney offers a Master of Science in Education in School Counseling. This program is presented with 75 percent of its coursework available online and 25 percent of the credit requirements completed on-campus during a summer residency. Students can choose between two programs: School Counseling Elementary PK-6; and School Counseling Secondary 7-12. UN graduates are prepared to take on leadership roles in schools helping students, families, and teachers to navigate the students academic and social needs successfully.
Child and Adolescent Development and Interventions
Capella University provides the thirteenth best and most affordable online Master of Science in School Counseling to students around the world. Capella students are required to complete 72 credits along with two on-campus residencies. The residencies are specifically designed to enhance academic success and provide students with supportive peer experiences. Practicum and Internship experiences are designed to support students in developing clinical and professional skills. Courses are designed to prepare graduates for professional licensure as a school counselor.
Counseling and Advocacy with Diverse Populations
Crisis Intervention, Trauma Response, and Emergency Management
A Master of Education in School Counseling is available at the University of Southern Mississippi. This is an online 48 credit program which includes a summer residency experience in Mississippi. Applicants from both teaching and non-teaching backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Scholarships are available to assist licensed teachers in Mississippi who want to earn their advanced degree.
Foundations, Organization, and Administration of Guidance
The University of Louisiana at Monroe offers a Master of Science in Counseling online. The CACREP accredits UL's degree, which offers two tracks of study for students to choose between the: Clinical Mental Health Counseling concentration; or the School Counseling concentration. The School Counseling concentration emphasizes training graduates to work with students from diverse backgrounds and cultures while considering the complex needs of each student as an individual in the school setting. Graduates are prepared to pursue the career of their choice of working with students.
An Online Master of Education in School Counseling is available at Salem College. This graduate program emphasizes a commitment to using research to inform best practices in schools for professionals providing assessment, prevention, and counseling services. Graduates are prepared to work with students, parents, teachers, staff, and administrators in their role as a school counselor. Applicants interested in Salem College can register for an online information session to learn more about the program.
Ethics and Legalities in Education for School Counseling
Introduction to the School Counseling Profession
Action Research and Writing for Publication for School Counseling
Oregon State University offers a Master of Counseling in School Counseling. This is a hybrid program with 50 percent of the courses offered online, and 50 percent provided in the classroom. The program is designed to be accessible to students across the Northwest with face-to-face classes held only two weekends each term. OSU’s degree is ideal for students who live in the Northwest and enjoy the flexibility of an online program.
The program emphasizes a commitment to training graduates to provide school counseling services to diverse populations with a focus on supporting underrepresented populations in being prepared to advance from K-12 to higher education successfully. This hybrid program is accredited by the CACREP which will make the process of obtaining licensure as a professional school counselor more streamlined.
Developmental Perspectives in Counseling
Social and Cultural Perspectives
Addictive Behavior Counseling
Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues in Counseling
A Master of Arts in School Counseling is available online at Indiana Wesleyan University. Christian principles are integrated throughout the coursework of this 48-credit CACREP accredited program. Graduates leave IWU qualified to support students in pre-K-12 settings cope with life challenges and trauma including physical abuse, divorce, substance abuse, and bullying. Courses are provided online with two-weekend intensives in October and May. All students will complete practicum and internship experiences in a school to gain valuable face-to-face clinical experience and training.
An Online Master's in School Counseling is available at Gwynedd Mercy University. The 60 credit curriculum will provide students with the education and training to support students in K-12 schools successfully work through personal and academic challenges. All students will complete two-weekend residencies as well as practicum and internship field experiences. The online program is set up to be completed on a part-time basis to support working students.
Disabilities in the School Counseling Setting
Needs of English Language Learners in the School Counseling Setting
A Master of Science in School Counseling and Preventive Mental Health is available online at Creighton University. Students can complete the 36-39 credits required for graduation in about two years depending on the type of degree track studied. Tracks of study include Elementary School Counseling; Secondary School Counseling; and PK-12 Guidance Counseling Track.
Prospective students without a teaching certificate may be required to complete additional requirements. Graduates of the program will have a firm understanding of how to support the challenges facing students today such as substance use, relationship challenges including bullying, and issues related to self-esteem.
Professional Orientation to School Counseling
Ethical Guidelines for School Counselors
Introduction to the ASCA Model of School Counseling
Edinboro University offers a Master of Arts in Counseling with a Specialization in School Counseling. This CACREP accredited specialization is available entirely online. Students will engage in online coursework, research, and fieldwork throughout their time in the program. The program works to develop students into professional school counselors ready to pursue careers working with K-12 students from diverse backgrounds. Graduates of EUP have strong an understanding of, both, theoretical and technical skills necessary for supporting members of an educational community.
An Online Master's of Education in International School Counseling is available through Lehigh University. This program emphasizes school counseling in an international setting. Students will learn how to successfully engage with the student, their family, the school, and the community. Graduates will have the skills to consider the developmental and cultural aspects of each student client.
Graduates of Lehigh are prepared to work with K-12 students within the classroom, mental health clinics, and even hospitals. This hybrid program offers courses online in the fall and spring with professional institutes offered each summer in Bethlehem, PA. With an international focus, professional institutes are hosted in Greece every other summer.
Southwestern Assemblies of God University offer a Master of Education in School Counseling. This is a 48-credit program with requirements broken down into a: Research Component; Professional Component; Core Component; and Practicum Component.
The training for this school counseling program will cover important issues such as ethical concerns in culturally diverse schools. Graduates are prepared to support the emotional, physical, academic, spiritual, and social needs of the students in the schools they serve.
Concordia University Wisconsin offers a Master of Science in Education in School and Professional Counseling. The online School Counseling program emphasizes the role faith can have in the counseling process. Some unique electives are available for students to select from including Psychopharmacology; Addictions Counseling; and Scripture and Christian Counseling. Graduates of the program understand theories and techniques necessary to guide their professional work as school counselors working with diverse populations.
Prescott College provides an Online Master of Education in School Guidance Counseling. This online program offers students a limited six-day residency where students have the opportunity to work with peers and faculty to develop counseling skills they will use throughout their career. An emphasis in the program is placed on the ecological model of understanding how individuals relate to their environment.
Students will be mentored by core faculty throughout their time in the program. Coursework is designed to meet certification requirements with additional elective courses available for students to build on their professional interests.
A Master of Science in Education in School Counseling is available online at the University of the Southwest. The university's 42-credit program is completed entirely online in preparation for licensure as a school counselor. Coursework is designed to be as comprehensive as possible while considering limiting barriers for students.
With an overall goal of providing access, for all students, to a high-quality education, the professional school counselor will have the skills to engage the family, teachers, and community in supporting the student. Graduates are prepared to pursue professional licensure as a school counselor in elementary, middle, and high schools.
Missouri Baptist University allows online students to earn their Master of Arts in School Counseling. MBU designed its online degree for working professionals looking to advance their career and education at the same time. The requirements are set up to be as flexible as possible allowing students to study when it is convenient.
Missouri Baptist University works to hire exclusively Christian faculty, who teach from a Christian perspective, to train and mentor students throughout their time in the counseling program. This 51 credit program can be completed in three years.
Foundations of School Counseling
Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Counseling
The University of Tennessee Martin offers a Master of Science in Counseling with a concentration in School Counseling. This online counseling program requires a four-day on-campus residency experience which is offered twice a year in January and June.
Students who enter the program without any teaching experience may be required to complete an orientation experience in a school setting. Students have the opportunity to select from electives to support professional goals including Learning and Instruction; Counseling Children/Adolescents with Psychological Dysfunction; and Introduction to Marital and Family Counseling.
A CACREP accredited Master of Arts in School Counseling is available online at Messiah College. The courses are designed to support students in developing professional careers as school counselors in elementary and secondary schools. The program strives to integrate Christian faith with counseling theory throughout the coursework especially about social justice.
Online students have the opportunity at Messiah College to connect with faculty through synchronous sessions, Skype, and phone calls. Students will also link in person during one-week on-campus residencies offered in January and July. Graduates will have the educational framework and practical fieldwork experiences to be leaders in the field of school counseling.
The College of William and Mary School of Education offers an Online Master of Education in Counseling with a concentration in School Counseling. The program is committed to the personal growth of each student with a focus on training students to in turn work successfully and enhance the personal growth of their future clients. Training in this 60 credit program is focused on working with diverse populations, promoting social justice, and advocacy. Students will complete two on-campus three-day residencies in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy
Techniques of Counseling
Group Theory and Techniques
Professional, Ethical, and Legal Issues in Counseling
A School Counseling Program is offered at Gallaudet University. The CACREP accredited Summers and Online School Counseling Program is a hybrid program completable within three years. Applicants with experience working in education with deaf and hard of hearing individuals are encouraged to apply. Graduates are trained to work with learners from diverse backgrounds in K-12 school settings. Gallaudet emphasizes teaching its students skills necessary to advocate and support the academic success of deaf and hard of hearing students.
Substance Prevention for Children and Youth
Orientation to the Profession of School Counseling
Hampton University Online offers a Master of Arts in Counseling with a concentration in School Counseling. This degree is available for students to choose to complete online or on-campus. This 31 credit program is intended to be an introduction to the field of counseling. Graduates of Hampton University are prepared for their Virginia state Qualified Mental Health Provider certification exam.
Assessment and Appraisal in Counseling
Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy
A Master of Arts in School Counseling is available online through the School of Psychology and Counseling at Regent University. This program can be completed online along with two week-long residencies. During the residency students will work closely with faculty and fellow students to engage in learning that is best done in person.
Students will complete supervised internships at a placement site convenient for the student. This program is accredited by the CACREP ensuring students have a comprehensive education and thereby supporting students in successfully pursuing licensure and certification in school counseling.
A CACREP accredited Master of Science in Education School counseling program is available at St. Bonaventure University Online. Students will complete online courses in seven-week sessions along with two on-campus residencies.
Students will complete fieldwork experiences in a classroom setting in their home community for direct supervised training experience. The program is completable within 30 months. Graduates are prepared to work towards professional licensure as a school counselor and have the skills to impact youth in preschool through high school positively.
A Master of Arts in Education in Professional School Counseling is offered at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. This 60 credit CACREP accredited program is available to be completed online, as a hybrid program, or face-to-face on campus in the classroom. Coursework is designed to highlight the best evidence-based practices to use to promote the academic and holistic success of students in K-12 schools.
Mercy College provides an online Master of Science in Counseling. Students can select from two tracks of study. The first track consists of 48 credits where online students can earn a Master of Science Degree in Counseling with Certification as a School Counselor. Track 2, however, requires students to complete 54 credits to earn a Master of Science in Counseling with Certification as a School Counselor and a Bilingual Extension.
Students who choose to complete the 60-credit Mental Health Counseling program, which includes a specialization in School Counseling and Bilingual Extension, will be eligible to pursue licensure as a professional counselor. Students can choose to complete the program at a part-time or full-time pace in two to five years.
A Master of Arts in Counseling Professional School Counseling is offered online at Bradley University. This online professional school counseling graduate degree proves students with coursework featuring the same requirements as residential degree types. Online students will complete online coursework along with two one-week on-campus residences. Students can work closely with Bradley faculty and their chosen advisor to develop clinical skills at their practicum and internship sites.
During the program's final semester students can sit for the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam and the National Counselor Exam. Successful completion of these degrees is one step in the process towards licensure as a school counselor. Students living outside the state of Illinois are encouraged to consult their home state licensing board for more information about licensure and credentialing.
Introduction to Leadership Studies
Theory and Practice of Career and Life Planning
Topics in Counseling
Interpersonal Relations and Communications in Education
Students attending Lady of the Lake University are able to earn their Master of Education in School Counseling entirely online. The program is designed to prepare graduates to take the newest information about school counseling best practices into K-12 schools to inform and advance the practice of school counseling in their home communities.
This 60 credit program reports a 100 percent pass rate for the Online Lady of the Lake University Counselors-in-Training Exam. Graduates of this Catholic, liberal arts University will be prepared to work professionally as a school counselor and support K-12 students in their social, emotional, and academic growth and development.
Theory and Practice of Couple and Family Counseling
A CACREP accredited Master of Arts in School Counseling from North Carolina Central University is available online. Courses for this online school counseling program are provided through, both, the synchronous and asynchronous formats. Students will complete an online orientation before classes begin along with two on-campus residencies during the program lasting a couple of days each.
The 60-credit program is committed to training students to consider issues of social justice and diversity in their work as school counselors. Graduates are prepared to pursue professional licensure as a school counselor in North Carolina and likely many other states as well.
Students of Monmouth University can earn their Master of Science in Education in School Counseling entirely online. Monmouth awards students with an MS through its online, hybrid, and on-campus degree program. Students can elect to complete the program at a part-time or full-time pace making this program flexible and accessible for everyone.
Graduates of Monmouth's degree program develop the foundation and framework for careers as professional school counselors. Students will complete the coursework for certification as a National Certified School Counselor. Graduates who wish to take additional courses can pursue credentialing as a Licensed Professional Counselor.
Counseling At-Risk Children and Families
Behavioral Issues in Counseling
Research Methodology and Applications
Best Counseling Degrees’ list of the 40 Most Affordable Online Master’s in School Counseling is based on research reported by the National Center for Education Statistics, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs, and the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education.
BCD consistently searches for new and successful online degrees within the mental health industries. The best degrees available are ranked first by reputation, prospects, and academics before receiving a final grade based on tuition. We hope you enjoy!
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