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Top 30 Online Master’s in School Counseling 2020

ABA-TopMastersDegrees-badgeIn this article, we profile the top 30 online master’s in school counseling programs of 2020.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the earning potential for school counselors is directly related to the education an individual has completed. Most school counselor jobs require a master’s in school counseling or closely related degree. And for those with adequate education, the job outlook for this career is favorable. In fact, BLS reports an eight percent growth rate for school and career counselor employment.

Top Online Master’s in School Counseling Programs Methodology

We reviewed over 100 accredited colleges and universities listed by the Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator and reputable online sources that offered affordable online master’s in school counseling programs. We narrowed our original pool of schools by applying the following criteria: accreditation (such as CACREP accreditation), institution and/or program rankings with U.S. News and World Report, and affordable graduate tuition and fees. We then ranked our chosen schools according to raw affordability.

Below are the resulting selections for our top 30 online master’s in school counseling for 2020.

#30 – University of Denver

Online Master’s in School Counseling

Denver, Colorado

Website

University of Denver Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling

No GRE or work experience needed for admission to University of Denver’s online master’s in school counseling.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $51,639

The University of Denver’s Morgridge College of Education offers an online master’s in school counseling. This fully online program adheres to the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) standards. It also prepares students for careers as school counselors in private, public, and charter P-12 school settings. In as few as 24 months, students may earn their graduate degree. Admission does not require GRE test scores or any work experience, adding to the convenience and flexibility of the program. University of Denver ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 97th best national university and 65th best value school.

#29 – University of Southern California

Online M.Ed. in School Counseling

Los Angeles, California

Website

University of Southern California - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

Top ranked institution! USC – online master’s in school counseling.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $47,107

University of Southern California’s master’s in school counseling online degree program is designed for those aspiring to become K-12 school counselors. Through online programming and classes taught by USC’s esteemed faculty, students earn an M.Ed. in school counseling in two to three years. Online courses cover topics like counseling for college and career readiness, human development theory in school counseling, legal and ethical issues in counseling, research methods and data analysis for counselors, and school connectedness. USC, private and fully accredited institution, ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top university. In fact, 2020 rankings in Best Colleges list USC as the 22nd best national university in the country.

#28 – Wake Forest University

Online Master’s in Counseling – School Counseling

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Website

Wake Forest University - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

CACREP-accredited! Wake Forest University’s online master’s in school counseling.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $39,200

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. In addition, 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. Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to sit for the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification. WFU ranks with major publications as a top institution. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks Wake Forest #27 in best national universities and #25 in best value schools.

#27 – Seton Hall University

Online Master’s in School Counseling

South Orange, New Jersey

Website

Seton Hall University - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling

Ranked with U.S. News! Seton Hall’s online master’s in school counseling.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $24,350

The College of Education and Human Services at Seton Hall University is CAEP-accredited and offers a top online master’s in school counseling that meets the credentialing requirements set by the New Jersey Department of Education. 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. Online courses include abnormal psychology, career development and counseling, and psychology of human development. In addition to accreditation, Seton Hall ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 139th best national university.

#26 – University of the Southwest

Online Master’s in School Counseling

Hobbs, New Mexico

Website

University of the Southwest - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

University of the Southwest offers online school counseling degrees.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $22,500

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 small 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. In addition to receiving accreditation, University of the Southwest offers rankings with major publications. In fact, the school ranks #87-#113 in best regional universities of the West by U.S. News and World Report.

#25 – University of Massachusetts

Online M.Ed. in Counseling

Boston, Massachusetts

Website

University of Massachusetts - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

Ideal for educators and practitioners. UMASS’s online master’s in school counseling.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,888

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 cover topics like child and adolescent counseling, group counseling for children and adolescents, sociocultural considerations in counseling, and trauma and crisis counseling. The program is designed to take two years to complete. UMass Boston ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top national university and top public school.

#24 – Creighton University

Online Master’s in School Counseling and Preventive Mental Health

Omaha, Nebraska

Website

Creighton University - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

Fully online! Creighton’s online master’s in school counseling.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,898

The NCATE accredited online master’s in school counseling and preventive mental health at Creighton University is a 36-credit hour program that 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. Online courses cover a number of counseling topics, including ethics guidelines for school counselors, introduction to the ASCA model of school counseling, and theoretical perspectives in school counseling. In addition to offering quality and accredited programs, Creighton ranks #104 in best national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

#23 – Our Lady of the Lake University

Online Master’s in Counseling – School Counseling

San Antonio, Texas

Website

Our Lady of the Lake University - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

Ranked & accredited! Our Lady of the Lake University – online master’s in school counseling.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,166

Our Lady of the Lake University is a Catholic liberal arts institution offering a top master’s in school counseling online. This flexible online 60-credit hour program prepares students with the knowledge and academic requirements needed to apply for a Texas School Counseling Certification or a School Counseling Certification in many other states. 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. Sixteen online courses cover topics like career counseling, counseling theories, multicultural issues in counseling, and research methods and program evaluation. Our Lady of the Lake University ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top national university.

#22 – Regent University

Online Master’s in School Counseling

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Website

Regent University - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

CACREP-accredited! Regent University’s online master’s in school counseling.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,952

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 offers instruction 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. Online courses cover topics like counseling children and adolescents and principles of school counseling. In the most recent publication of Best Colleges, Regent ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 281st best national university.

#21 – Bradley University

Online Master’s in Professional School Counseling

Peoria, Illinois

Website

Bradley University - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

Earn an online master’s in school counseling from Bradley University!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,660

Bradley University is ranked 4th among best regional universities in the Midwest, according to U.S. News and World Report. It should come as no surprise then that Bradley’s 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 neuro-counseling, a new groundbreaking practice. Practicum experiences can be completed in the student’s own community, adding to the flexibility of this program. A sampling of the online courses taken include crisis intervention, human growth and development, professional school counseling K-8, professional school counseling in secondary schools, and school for non-teachers.

#20 – Oregon State University

Online Master’s in School Counseling

Corvallis, Oregon

Website

Oregon State University - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

Hybrid options for Oregon State University’s online master’s in school counseling.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,802

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. This hybrid program delivers 50% of the course content online and the other 50% through in-person sessions held two weekends each term. The 75-credit hour program also prepares graduates to deliver school counseling services to students and increase the number of college-bound under-represented populations in the districts they serve. Sample courses include addictive behavior counseling, developmental perspectives in counseling, and leadership of school counseling programs. OSU ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 139th best national university.

#19 – Gwynedd Mercy University

Online Master’s in School Counseling

Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania

Website

Gwynedd Mercy University - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

Ranked and accredited! Gwynedd Mercy’s online master’s in school counseling.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,055

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. To apply, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0. Gwynedd Mercy is a top-ranked school. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks Gwynedd #104 in best regional universities in the North.

#18 – St. Bonaventure University

Online Master’s in School Counseling

Saint Bonaventure, New York

Website

St. Bonaventure University - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

Perfect for working students! St. Bonaventure’s online master’s in school counseling.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,860

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 program meets the criteria for provisional certification as a school counselor in the state of New York, but 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. Some of the courses offered online include group counseling, management of school counseling, and multicultural counseling. St. Bonaventure ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 19th best regional university in the North and 3rd best value school.

#17 – University of Alaska

Online Master’s in School Counseling

Fairbanks, Alaska

Website

University of Alaska - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

Fully accredited by the CACREP! University of Alaska – a top choice for online master’s in school counseling.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,256

With a demand for school counselor careers in Alaska, University of Alaska offers a hybrid online program to earn a master’s in school counseling. The program is research intensive with hands-on learning that also features a field practicum requirement and internship. In addition to rigor, the program is fully accredited by the CACREP. Online courses include appraisal for counselors, career development, child and adolescent development, developmental interventions, and foundations of counseling. University of Alaska ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 263rd best national university and 128th top public school. Several online master’s programs also rank among the top 100 programs in the country.

#16 – Edinboro University

Online Master’s in Counseling – School Counseling

Edinboro, Pennsylvania

Website

Edinboro University - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

Study online and earn a school counseling degree! Edinboro University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,246

Edinboro University features a CACREP-accredited online master’s in school counseling program to prepare professional counselors to advocate and lead within school settings of all levels. 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. In addition to the nationally recognized accreditation received by Edinboro, the school has also earned recognition from U.S. News and World Report. These rankings include #129-#170 in best regional universities in the North and #82 in top performers on social mobility.

#15 – Indiana Wesleyan University

Online Master’s in School Counseling

Marion, Indiana

Website

Indiana Wesleyan University - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

Fully accredited and highly affordable! Indiana Wesleyan’s online master’s in school counseling.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,977

The top-ranked school counseling master’s online program at Indiana Wesleyan University has earned both CACREP and CAEP accreditation. The program prepares students to work with pre-k through high school students and 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 two weekend intensives for networking and professional development. In the recent publication of Best Colleges by U.S. News and World Report, Indiana Wesleyan University ranks #25 in best regional universities in the Midwest.

#14 – North Carolina State University

Online Master’s in School Counseling

Raleigh, North Carolina

Website

North Carolina State University - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

NC State’s online master’s in school counseling is a highly affordable program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,673

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, starting in June. Courses cover counseling topics like career counseling and development, group counseling, multicultural counseling, and theories and technology of counseling. NC State ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 84th best national university. Also, several online master’s degree programs offered at NC State have earned top 10 and top 15 recognition.

#13 – Grand Canyon University

Online M.Ed. in School Counseling

Phoenix, Arizona

Website

Grand Canyon University - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

Earn an M.Ed. in school counseling online from GCU!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,074

Grand Canyon University’s online M.Ed. in school counseling program prepares students with a bachelor’s degree to pursue careers as school guidance counselors and seek certification. Curriculum for this program is regionally accredited and approved by the Arizona State Board of Education. Courses are delivered online and cover topics like counseling skills, development through childhood and adolescence, group counseling, organization and administration of school counseling program, and research methods and program evaluation. GCU, a private Christian university, ranks #293-#381 in best national universities and #42 in top performers on social mobility. Also, GCU offers one of the most affordable online master’s in school counseling programs on our list.

#12 – University of Missouri

Online M.Ed. in School Counseling

Columbia, Missouri

Website

University of Missouri - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

100% online! University of Missouri’s master’s in school counseling online.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,478

The online master’s in school at University of Missouri helps qualified students gain a better understanding of the mental health needs of youth in schools. Admitted 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. Since courses are fully online, there are no campus visits and students may earn their degree on their own schedule. U.S. News and World Report ranks University of Missouri #139 in best national universities and #90 in best value schools.

#11 – Missouri Baptist University

Online Master’s in School Counseling

Saint Louis, Missouri

Website

Missouri Baptist University - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

Ranked with U.S. News! Missouri Baptist University’s online master’s in school counseling.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,197

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. In addition to offering quality programming, Missouri Baptist University ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 117th-153rd best regional university in the Midwest.

#10 – University of Louisiana

Online Master’s in School Counseling

Monroe, Louisiana

Website

University of Louisiana - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

A fully accredited online master’s in school counseling programs! University of Louisiana.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,239

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, or 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. University of Louisiana ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 293rd-381st best national universities.

#9 – Liberty University

Online M.Ed. in School Counseling

Lynchburg, Virginia

Website

Liberty University - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

CACREP-accredited! Liberty University’s online master’s in school counseling.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,400

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 transferred 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. Liberty ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top national university.

#8 – Lamar University

Online M.Ed. in Counseling and Development – Professional School Counseling

Beaumont, Texas

Website

Lamar University - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

Finish in 30 months! Lamar University’s online master’s in school counseling.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,264

Lamar University offers a 60-credit hour online master’s in school counseling program that can be completed in as few as 30 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. In addition to offering a top-rated program, Lamar ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a best national university.

#7 – Salem College

Online M.Ed. in School Counseling

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Website

Salem College - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

Finish in just 36 months! Salem College’s online master’s in school counseling.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,220

Salem College offers an online M.Ed. in school counseling program that is designed to prepare educators who want to make a difference in the lives of their students. The program is comprised of online courses, internship experiences, and two weekend seminars on the campus of Salem College. A cohort model is followed and students have the option of graduating in just 36 months. Online courses explore counseling topics like action research and writing for publication for school counseling, ethics and legalities in education for school counseling, and introduction to the school counseling profession. Salem College, a private school founded in 1772, ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 132nd best liberal arts college in the country.

#6 – North Carolina Central University

Online Master’s in School Counseling

Durham, North Carolina

Website

North Carolina Central University - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

Highly affordable! NCCU’s master’s in school counseling online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,546

The 51-credit hour top master’s in school counseling online program at North Carolina Central University is CACREP-accredited and fully online. Also, the program is endorsed by the International Registry of Counselor Education Programs. Students in this interactive online learning platform benefit from the same rigorous curriculum as the traditional degree. 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. In addition to the CACREP-accreditation, NCCU has received recognition from U.S. News and World Report. In fact, NCCU ranks #54 in best regional universities in the South and #44 in best value schools.

#5 – Adams State University

Online Master’s in School Counseling

Alamosa, Colorado

Website

Adams State University - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

Affordability and rankings! Adams State University – a top choice for online master’s in school counseling.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,311

Adams State University is a 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. In addition to quality programs in school counseling, Adams State offers rankings with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, recent rankings include #87-#113 in best regional universities in the West.

#4 – University of West Alabama

Online M.Ed. in School Counseling

Livingston, Alabama

Website

University of West Alabama - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

Ranked by U.S. News! University of West Alabama’s online master’s in school counseling.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,868

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. These online courses cover topics like educational statistics, life span development and learning, and techniques of educational research. A practicum and internship experience are required to gain professional experience in the field. The estimated program length is one to two years. University of West Alabama ranks with U.S. News and World Report. These rankings include #96-#122 in best regional universities in the South and #92 in top performers on social mobility.

#3 – Angelo State University

Online Master’s in Professional School Counseling

San Angelo, Texas

Website

Angelo State University - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

100% online! The online master’s in school counseling at Angelo State University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,859

The MS in professional school counseling from Angelo State University is designed for individuals seeking careers as Texas school counselors. The 48-credit hour program is delivered 100 percent online and meets the academic requirements to become a Certified School Counselor in the state of Texas. Online courses cover topics like career and occupational counseling, dysfunctional behavior, legal and ethical principles, professional writing for educators, social and cultural influences, and tests and measurements. In addition to the quality counseling programs offered at Angelo State, the school has received recognition from major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, recent rankings include #87-#113 in best regional universities in the West and #69 in top performers on social mobility.

#2 – Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Online M.Ed. in School Counseling

Durant, Oklahoma

Website

Southeastern Oklahoma State University - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

Finish in as little as 12 months! Southeastern Oklahoma State’s online master’s in school counseling.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,022

The online M.Ed. in school counseling program at Southeastern Oklahoma State University is a 42-credit, fully accredited (CAEP) degree that can be completed in as little as 12 months. This 100 percent online program examines assessment and child development, as well as diversity in the classroom and psychopathology. All courses are flexibly designed and proceed at an accelerated pace. Courses include group counseling, human growth and development in counseling, and theories in counseling. Southeastern Oklahoma State University ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the West. Also, the school ranks #74 in top performers on social mobility.

#1 – Fort Hays State University

Online Master’s in School Psychology

Hays, Kansas

Website

Fort Hays State University - Top 30 Online Master's in School Counseling 2020

#1 most affordable online master’s in school counseling! Fort Hays State University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $4,356

Fort Hays State University features an accredited online master’s in school psychology that is both highly affordable and fully online. The program has a long history of preparing students for entry into the profession of school counseling and psychology. However, completion of the degree means time spent taking rigorous classes and completing a supervised internship of 1,200 hours. Courses cover topics like advanced learning and motivation, curriculum-based measurement, experimental methods, observation in school psychology, and professional ethics in psychology. Fort Hays State ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the Midwest. In addition to school rankings, FHSU is our #1 most affordable school for online master’s in school counseling.

ABD Staff
March 2020

This concludes our list of top 30 online master’s in school counseling programs of 2020.

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