Top 30 Online Master’s in School Counseling 2018

School counselors play an important role in the well being and success of children, adolescents, and young adults. There is a desperate need for school counselors across the nation.  Employment opportunities for school counselors expected to grow by 9.7 percent over the next decade, according to Economic Modeling Specialists International. School counselors work with students, parents and the community to promote academic, personal, and community development. Earning an online master’s in school counseling is a great way for adult students to earn an advanced degree without sacrificing work or family obligations.

This ranking of the top online school counseling master’s programs in the United States showcases some of the best programs we could identify. We used College Navigator to find schools that offered programs in school counseling. We then researched those schools to find our top 30. To be included for consideration in our listing, we sought schools with a flexible curriculum, staff with doctoral degrees, and internship/practicum opportunities. We also looked for online student resources such as advisement services or technical support. Once our list was narrowed, we applied ranking criteria awarding points for:

-graduate tuition rates(affordability)

-student to faculty ratio (individualized attention)

CACREP accreditation (an indicator of exceptional quality)

Student/Faculty ratio:

  • 13:1 or less- 3 points
  • 14:1 to 20:1- 2 points
  • 21:1 and above- 1 point

Average Graduate Tuition Rate:

  • Less than $8,000- 5 points
  • $8,000 to $18,000- 3 points
  • Greater than $18,000- 1 point

CACREP Accreditation:

  • Yes- 3 points

Our Selection of Top Online Master’s in School Counseling Degree Programs

#30 –New York University-Steinhardt-New York, New York

Online Master’s in Counseling and Guidance


Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $39,936/year
Student to Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Points: 4
The top online master’s in school counseling program at New York University is accredited by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC) and features a highly interactive online learning platform. Students experience weekly face-to-face online class sessions and engaging assignments which foster collaboration with peers and faculty. NYU offers two concentration areas: school counseling or bilingual school counseling. Students can earn their degree in about 18 months.
Courses:
Program Development and Evaluation in Counseling; Human Growth and Development; Cross-Cultural Counseling; Group Dynamics: Theory and Practice

#29 –Seton Hall University-South Orange, New Jersey

Online Master’s in School Counseling


Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $21,078/year
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Points: 4
The College of Education and Human Services at Seton Hall University is accredited by the APA, COAMFTE, and NCATE and offers a top online master’s in school counseling. This 48 credit hour program includes foundational coursework, specialized counseling and clinical coursework, and a school counselor internship experience. Graduates are trained to provide crisis intervention, disaster response, and positive coping strategies to students and their families.
Courses:
Abnormal Psychology; Career Development and Counseling; Group Counseling; Counseling Skills

#28 –University of Massachusetts-Boston, Massachusetts

Master of Education in School Counseling Online


Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $16,863/year in-state and $32,913/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Points: 5
The 60 credit hour online master’s in school counseling program at the University of Massachusetts is designed for students who want to earn their license as a school counselor. Faculty are first-rate, with experience both as educators and practitioners. The program follows a cohort format where students move through the program together. Students come to campus two weeks for clinical courses and complete the rest of the program online.
Courses:
Sociocultural Considerations in Counseling; Theories of Family Therapy

#27 –Our Lady of the Lake University-San Antonio, Texas

Online Master of Education in School Counseling


Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $15,390/year
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Points: 5
Our Lady of the Lake University is a Catholic liberal arts institution offering a top master’s in school counseling online. The 60 credit hour program prepares students to pass the TExES School Counseling Exam, LPC Examination, and the NCC Exam. Through a robust online curriculum, students will learn to promote healthy outcomes in children and adolescents, implement career planning strategies, and conduct themselves as ethical practitioners.
Courses:
Theory and Practice of Couple and Family Counseling; Diagnosis in Counseling; Assessment and Appraisal; Addictions Issues in Counseling

#26 –Oregon State University-Corvallis, Oregon

Online Master’s in School Counseling


Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $12,150/year in-state and $21,799/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Points: 5
Oregon State University features a CACREP accredited master’s in school counseling through the College of Education. In addition to receiving CACREP accreditation, the program has also earned accreditation from NCATE and the Oregon’s Teacher Standards and Practices Commission. It’s is a hybrid program with about 50% of the course content delivered online and the other 50% through in-person sessions held two weekends each term. The 75 credit hour program will prepare graduates to deliver school counseling services to students and increase the number of college-bound under-represented populations in the districts they serve.
Courses:
Lifestyle & Career Development; Group Counseling Procedures; Family Counseling; Applied Psychopath & Diagnosis

#25 –Missouri Baptist University-Saint Louis, Missouri

Online Master of Arts in School Counseling


Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $9,405/year Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Points: 5
Missouri Baptist University features an online master’s in school counseling program that’s ideal for professional working adults. Students can earn their degree and school counseling license in just three years, positioning themselves for doctoral study if that is their intention. The program is designed for those who want to earn certification as a guidance counselor in a public K-12 school setting. Faculty teach from a Christian perspective while training and mentoring students as they begin their career.
Courses:
Counseling Skills and Techniques; counseling Theories; Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Counseling; Multicultural Counseling

#24 –University of Missouri-Columbia, Missouri

Online Master of Education in Educational, School and Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Mental Health Practices in Schools (M Ed)


Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $8,462/year in-state and $23,172/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Points: 5
The online master’s in Educational, School and Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Mental Health Practices in Schools is not intended to lead to licensure. However, it’s a great choice for those who want to promote positive mental health among school aged youth  in and out of the classroom. Students are typically teachers, special education professionals, mental health professionals, school administrators, and community-based practitioners. The course content for this program is 100% online and most students can earn their degree in about two years.
Courses:
Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders in Youth; School Mental Health: Policy, Law and Ethics; Communication and Collaboration with Children and Families; Preventions and Interventions in School Mental Health

#23 –Creighton University-Mequon, Wisconsin

Online School Counseling & Preventive Mental Health (Master of Science)


Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $14,760/year
Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Points: 6
The NCATE accredited online master’s in school counseling and preventive mental health is a 36 credit hour program. It can be completed without any on-campus residency requirements. Students can choose to specialize in Elementary School Counseling, Secondary School Counseling, or PK-12 Guidance Counseling. The curriculum follows the set of standards set forth by the American School Counselor Association national model.
Courses:
Professional Orientation to School Counseling; Ethical Guidelines for School Counselors; Introduction to the ASCA Model of School Counseling; Action Research in School Counseling

#22 –University of the Southwest-Hobbs, New Mexico

Online Master’s in School Counseling


Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $14,376/year
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Points: 6
The online master’s in school counseling program at the University of the Southwest is designed to prepare students for licensure as counselors in school settings serving children through high school. Students will become familiar with counseling theories, techniques, and ethics. They will learn how to prepare a school counseling plan, conduct counseling sessions and assessments, and work with students and parents from diverse backgrounds. The program includes a practicum and internship experience in a public or private school setting.
Courses:
Professional and Ethical Issues in School Counseling; Counseling Techniques; Child and Adolescent Counseling; Crisis and Trauma Interventions

#21 –Gwynedd Mercy University-Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania

Online Master’s in School Counseling


Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $11,772/year
Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Points: 6
With a curriculum aligned to the standards of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model, Gwynedd Mercy University features an online master’s in school counseling program that’s cutting edge and relevant. The program prepares students for certification as an Elementary and Secondary School Counselor in Pennsylvania. Students complete 48 credit hours of coursework online followed by a practicum and two internship experiences.
Courses:
Group Counseling and Facilitation Skills; Effective Communication for Educators; Curriculum Development and Peer Coaching; College and Career Readiness

#20 –Concordia University-Mequon, Wisconsin

Online Master of Science in Education–Counseling


Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $10,170/year
Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Points: 6
Concordia University features a top ranked online master’s in School and Professional Counseling ranked highly by U.S. News and World Report. Students benefit from low tuition and a low student/faculty ratio. It provides students with accessibility and individualized attention which is so important in an online learning environment. Graduates are prepared for a career as a K-12 school counselor in either a private or public school setting.
Courses:
Christian Trauma Counseling; Classroom Management for Counselors; Individual Counseling; Group Counseling

#19 –Wake Forest University-Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Master of Arts in School Counseling Online


Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $37,520/year
Student to Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Points: 7
The CACREP accredited online school counseling master’s degree program at Wake Forest University is committed to excellence. The curriculum provides students with well defined goals and objectives. It includes a variety of learning experiences designed for greater depth and understanding. Online students collaborate with peers and faculty to develop their clinical skills through a student-centered learning model. Graduates are eligible to sit for the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification.
Courses:
Group Procedures in Counseling; Family Counseling; Cultures and Counseling; Career Development and Counseling

#18 –Capella University-Minneapolis, Minnesota

Online Master of Science in School Counseling


Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $14,526/year
Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
Points: 7
Capella University features a top online CACREP and NCATE accredited school counseling program with a hands-on curriculum. Students complete a series of core and specialized courses, an integrative project, two residencies, an internship experience and a practicum. Graduates are prepared to work with children and adolescents on issues with self-esteem, drug use, anger, sexual orientation, and family struggles. All core faculty members hold doctorates in their area of focus and bring real-world experience to the classroom.
Courses:
Theories of Counseling and Guidance for Children and Adolescents; Group Counseling and Psychotherapy; Contemporary Issues in School Counseling; School Counseling Program Development and Evaluation

#17 –Regent University-Virginia Beach, Virginia

Online Master’s in School Counseling


Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $12,726/year
Student to Faculty Ratio: 41:1
Points: 7
The online CACREP accredited master’s in school counseling program at Regent University is designed to prepare students for a career as a K-12 School Counselor. Regent University teaches programs through a Christian perspective, while using a relevant curriculum designed to meet the needs of today’s youth. Graduates will be able to positively impact high school graduation rates and college readiness through effective classroom management and counseling programs. This 60 credit hour program includes two on-campus residency requirements.
Courses:
Career & Lifestyle Development; Psychopathology & Diagnosis; Human Growth & Development; Concepts of Family Systems

#16 –Lamar University-Beaumont, Texas

Master of Education in School Counseling Online


Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $6,048/year in-state and $13,392/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Points: 7
Lamar University offers a 48 credit hour online master’s in school counseling program that can be completed in just 22 months of study. This NCATE accredited program addresses the needs of K-12 students in their academic, personal, and career development. Students receive individualized attention through two face-to-face residency experiences as well as a practicum and internship experience. Lamar University offers several different start dates throughout the year so students can begin the program when it is most convenient.
Courses:
Intro to School Counseling; Counseling Skills; Individual Counseling Theories & Techniques; Group Counseling Theories & Techniques

#15 –Angelo State University-San Angelo, Texas

Online Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling


Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $3,783/year in-state and $11,128/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Points: 7
The NCATE accredited school counseling master’s online program at Angelo State University is designed to prepare students for a variety of positions. These include public school counselors, college counselors and other counseling related positions. Texas students may be eligible for certification as a Texas school counselor provided they have at least two years teaching experience at an accredited public school. GRE scores are not required for admission. Students seeking certification will complete a practicum experience in school counseling.
Courses:
Group Counseling; Theories of Counseling; Career and Occupational Counseling; Dysfunctional Behavior

#14 –Fort Hays State University-Hays, Kansas

Master of Science in Counseling-School Counseling

Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $3,398/year in-state and $9,676/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Points: 7
Fort Hays State University features an NCATE accredited online master’s in school counseling. It’s designed to help K-12 students plan their future and become successful. The three year program prepares students for a school counseling license in Kansas by completing a series of core courses, a practicum, and an internship experience. Admission to this 48 credit hour online master’s in school counseling is competitive. Students must submit undergraduate grades and MAT or GRE scores.
Courses:
Professional Counseling in Elementary Schools; Social and Cultural Foundations of Counseling; Group Counseling: Theories & Procedures; Management of Counseling Programs

#13 –Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion, Indiana

Online Master of Arts with a major in School Counseling

Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $13,000/year
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Points: 8
The top school counseling master’s online program at Indiana Wesleyan University has earned both CACREP and CAEP accreditation. The program prepares students to work with students pre-k through high school, to meet their academic, social, and safety needs. This includes collaboration with staff, families, and the community as a whole. The majority of coursework can be completed online. However, students are expected to come to campus for 2-weekend intensives for networking and professional development.
Courses:
Integration of Christian Faith in Professional Counseling; Child and Adolescent Development and Treatment; Theories and Techniques of School Counseling; Legal, Ethical and Professional Issues

#12 –Walden University-Minneapolis, Minnesota

Online Master’s in School Counseling

Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $12,844/year Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Points: 8
The CACREP accredited school counseling master’s online program at Walden University features a general program. It has specializations in addiction counseling, career counseling, crisis trauma, and military families and culture. The 37 credit hour program focuses on issues affecting today’s children and teens and how to provide guidance and support through those issues. The curriculum consists of core coursework, field experience and two pre-practicum labs.
Courses:
Introduction to School Counseling; Counseling Theories for School Counselors; Counseling Techniques in the Schools; Ethics and Legal Issues in School Counseling

#11 –Edinboro University of Pennsylvania-Edinboro, Pennsylvania

Online Master’s in Counseling-School Counseling

Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $8,694/year in-state and $13,050/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Points: 8
Edinboro University features a CACREP accredited online master’s in school counseling program to prepare professional counselors who advocate and lead. Students will learn strategies and techniques to assist K-12 students with academic, social, and career development. An internship experience is included, providing students with the opportunity for professional growth and development outside the classroom.
Courses:
Ethical and Professional Issues in Counseling; Individual Development: Childhood through Adolescence; Developmental Counseling in Schools; Techniques for Counseling the Student with a Disability

#10 –Liberty University-Lynchburg, Virginia

Master of Education in School Counseling Online

Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $8,051/year
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Points: 8
The affordable online master’s in school counseling program at Liberty University is designed to prepare students for careers as school counselors in both private and public schools. The CACREP accredited program is primarily online, with required intensive on-campus experiences. The 48 credit hour program allows up to 50% of program hours be trransferred in from an approved institution. Students benefit from a hands-on curriculum that includes a six credit hour internship experience. There is no prior teaching license required for admission into this program.
Courses:
Counseling Theories & Techniques; Career Development & Counseling; Child & Adolescent Counseling in the Schools; School Counseling Program Development & Evaluation

#9 –University of West Alabama-Livingston, Alabama

Online Master’s in School Counseling

Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $6,390/year in-state and $12,780/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Points: 8
The University of West Alabama’s online master’s in school counseling program is for educators seeking a master’s level education and certificate as well as educators wanting to become school counselors. The 48 credit hour program is NCATE accredited and features eight week courses. Students can earn their degree in about a year. A practicum and internship experience are required to gain professional experience in the field.
Courses:
Counseling Children and Adolescents; Strategies for Crisis Intervention; Diagnostic Techniques for School Counselors; Group Counseling

#8 –Gallaudet University-Washington, DC

Online Master’s in School Counseling

Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $17,100/year
Student to Faculty Ratio: 7:1
Points: 9
Gallaudet University features an online master’s in school counseling program through its Summers and Online School Counseling Program. Most students can earn their degree in about three years by completing coursework on campus for three summers and taking online courses for six semesters. The program is accredited by the CACREP. Students are eligible to sit for the National Counselor Exam in their last semester of the program. Graduates are prepared for careers in school counseling as multicultural competent professionals.
Courses:
Substance Prevention For Children and Youth; Play Therapy; Family Therapy; Psychopharmacology for Counselors

#7 –Bradley University-Peoria, Illinois

Online Master of Arts in Counseling-Professional School Counseling (PSC)

Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $15,300/year
Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Points: 9
Bradley University is ranked 6th among Midwest Regional Universities according to U.S. News and World Report. It’s no surprise, then, that their online master’s in school counseling is one of the best in the Midwest. The program is CACREP accredited and leads to licensure as a school counselor. Students can study neurocounseling, a new groundbreaking practice. Practicum experiences can be completed in the student’s own community, adding to the flexibility of this program.
Courses:
Brain-Based Interventions; Professional School Counseling, K-8; Professional School Counseling in Secondary Schools; Special Education Law

#6 –St. Bonaventure University-St. Bonaventure, New York

Online MSED in School Counseling

Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $13,194/year

Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Points: 9
The CACREP accredited master’s in school counseling online program at St. Bonaventure University has a flexible asynchronous format, ideal for those with nontraditional schedules. The 8 credit hour program meets the criteria for provisional certification as a school counselor in the state of New York. It does not require a teaching certificate or experience. Students can complete a practicum field experience and two school counseling internship opportunities to gain experience in a school counseling setting.
Courses:
Techniques of Counseling; Abnormal Psychology; Group Counseling; Psychological Testing and Assessment

#5 –Messiah College-Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

Online Master’s in Counseling-School Counseling

Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $11,250/year
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Points: 9
Messiah College offers a CACREP accredited school counseling master’s degree that’s flexible, affordable, and convenient. Students can earn their degree on their own schedule, taking between two and six years. All courses are taught by Messiah’s faculty who are experienced counselors and scholars. They also advise students on their education and career. Messiah College offers several different start dates so students can enter the program throughout the year.
Courses:
Foundations of School Counseling; Effective Practices of School Counselors; Organization and Administration of School Counseling Programs; Effective Practices for Every Learner

#4 –North Carolina State University-Raleigh, North Carolina

Master of Education-School Counseling

Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $8,088/year in-state and $22,610/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Points: 9
The top online school counseling master’s degree program at North Caroline State University focuses on both clinical counseling theory and practice as well as multicultural diversity. The program has earned CACREP accreditation, an indicator of high academic standards. This affordable online school counseling master’s program is a three-year, cohort program. It requires taking classes year round, with students starting in June.
Courses:
Multicultural Lifespan Development in Educational Context; Clinical Assessment; Special Problems: Substance Abuse Counseling; Techniques of Counseling

#3 –University of Louisiana at Monroe-Monroe, Louisiana

Online Master’s in School Counseling

Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $6,490/year in-state and $18,590/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
Points: 9
The University of Louisiana at Monroe offers a unique counseling program in which students can select a focus in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, or both. This CACREP and NCATE accredited program prepares students for many career options. These include:

School Counselor

School Administrator

Career Counselor

Life Coach

Vocational Counselor.

The online master’s in school counseling program is designed for those who plan to work with elementary and secondary students and need the flexibility of a predominantly online program.
Courses:
Assessment: Methods and Measures; Principles and Administration of School Counseling Programs; Practicum in Counseling; School Counseling

#2 –North Carolina Central University-Durham, North Carolina

Online MA in School Counseling

Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $4,647/year in-state and $17,347/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Points: 10
The 51 credit hour top master’s in school counseling online program at North Carolina Central University is CACREP accredited .  It’s endorsed by the International Registry of Counselor Education Programs. Students in this interactive online learning platform benefit from the same rigorous curriculum as their traditional. Faculty are dedicated to student success and support students throughout the program. Career services are available to students that assist with both internship opportunities and job placement.

Courses:
Psychosocial Development; Vocational Theory/Career Development; Cultural Diversity & Gender Issues; Group Counseling

#1 –Adams State University-Alamosa, Colorado

Online Master’s in School Counseling

Program Website
Average graduate student tuition: $4,410/year in-state and $10,332/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Points: 10
Adams State University is our top choice for an online master’s in school counseling. Students benefit from cheap tuition rates, a low student/faculty ratio and the rigorous curriculum expected from a CACREP accredited program. Students will gain the knowledge and skills needed to create comprehensive school counseling programs and individual plans. New cohorts start every Fall, Spring, and Summer semester. Almost all courses are offered online. However, students do need to come to campus for a one week intensive each summer.
Courses:
Multicultural & Diversity Issues; Counseling Theories & Helping Relationships; Group Counseling; Counseling the Couple, Family, and System