Best Online Counseling Degrees

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A career in counseling is more than sitting someone down on a couch and asking people how they feel.

Counseling is about digging deeper and having an extreme sense of empathy towards others. It’s not only helping others to deal with traumatic events but also focuses on prevention practices as well. Counselors work with a wide range of people– people of all ages from all different backgrounds. Of course, you can choose an area of specialization if you’d prefer to work with children, adolescents, or adults. If you want a career with the potential to positively impact the lives of others, a counseling degree may be just the ticket.

Top 10 Best Online Counseling Degrees

Rank School Location
1 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
2 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
3 University of Cincinnati Blue Ash, OH
4 Washington State University Pullman, WA
5 Southwestern Assemblies of God University Waxahachie, TX
6 Clarks Summit University Clarks Summit, PA
7 Union College Lincoln, NE
8 Toccoa Falls College Toccoa Falls, GA
9 Northwestern State University of Louisiana Natchitoches, LA
10 Oral Roberts University Tulsa, OK
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What kind of Counseling degree should you get?

There is a wide range of different counseling degrees you can get. Most bachelor’s degrees will equip you for careers in substance abuse counseling, juvenile counseling, and more. If you wish to become licensed and open your own practice, you may have to earn an advanced degree. Additionally, there are tons of specialized degrees if you’re looking to work within a specific counseling niche. From pastoral counseling to adolescent counseling and family counseling, you can earn a degree that suits your individual career goals.

Of course, you’ll also need to decide if you want to attend courses on-campus or virtually. If you’ve already earned some college credit, or you have a full-time job, you’ll want a flexible and affordable option. Luckily, more and more colleges and universities offer unique online degrees for students like you. And we’ve ranked the overall Best Online Colleges for your convenience.

How much money do people make with a Counseling degree?

Your paycheck will ultimately depend on where you work – counseling degrees don’t lead to one specific career so this can vary greatly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, School and Career Counselors can earn upwards of $56,000 per year. Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors can earn over $44,000 annually. Of course, your salary will also depend on your level of education, the city in which you work, and a variety of other factors. A bachelor’s in counseling is also a possible step toward your specialized master’s in school counseling.

What can you do with a degree in Counseling?

Do you want to help children? Adults? Do you want to work in a school or have your own private practice? Do you want to work in a rehabilitation center? You can do any of these things and even more with a degree in counseling! Many doors open for those who go on to earn an advanced degree in counseling. From marriage and family counseling to educational counseling and substance abuse counseling, no matter what path you choose you’ll have an impact on many lives.

What are the requirements for a bachelor’s degree in Counseling?

Many of the below programs require no prior experience in counseling and are intended for first-time undergraduates. However, some are specifically degree-completion programs and require students to have completed a certain amount of college credits prior to applying. Most of the programs require completion of 120 credits and requirements can be fulfilled entirely online.

What are the best Counseling degrees?

Figuring out the best bachelor’s program within any industry can be an overwhelming task. Luckily, the College Choice team has compiled a list of the 25 Best Online Bachelor’s degrees in Counseling just for you! These degrees provide the essential skills you’ll need to succeed in any career within this industry. Not only are the courses within these programs interesting, but they are extremely affordable as well. Having small class sizes paired with top professors? These online programs are the best money can buy. Check out our picks below!

  1. Liberty University
    Location

    Lynchburg, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Liberty is a Christian university based in Virginia that offers more than 600 unique degree programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. Of those programs, over 400 are offered online for those who need a more flexible, affordable degree option. In fact, Liberty University now offers an online Bachelor of Science degree in Counseling with a specialization in Christian Counseling.

    Program Features

    Offered through Liberty’s School of Behavioral Sciences, this 120-credit online program can be completed in as little as three and a half years. Each course is just eight weeks long, making it easy for online students to quickly complete requirements. Required courses may include:

    • Abnormal Psychology
    • Psychology and Christianity
    • Psychological Measurement
    • Christian Counseling for Children
    • Christian Counseling for Marriage and Family

    Transfer students have the ability to transfer up to three-quarters of the total credits necessary to earn a degree from Liberty. Graduates of this program have gone on to pursue careers such as case managers, mental health service representatives, and more.

    Notables

    Liberty University offers substantial tuition discounts for those in the military, including spouses and veterans. Military students can also choose from eight different start dates each year. There are no set log in times for online coursework so students may complete this degree at their own leisure.

  2. Drexel University
    Location

    Philadelphia, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Drexel University was founded in the late 1800s and is now home to mascot Mario the Magnificent dragon along with over 25,000 students. With more than 200 unique degree programs offered across its 15 schools and colleges, Drexel is a leader in higher education. Now, the university offers several degrees online including a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Health Counseling.

    Program Features

    This online program requires no on-campus visits and students may transfer in up to 90 credits. Students will take courses during four 10-week quarters per year. All students must complete at least 180 credits to earn their degree. Online students receive a special rate of tuition and are also eligible to receive financial aid. Required courses may include:

    • Child Psychopathology
    • Multicultural Counseling
    • Genetics and Mental Health
    • Behavioral Health and Aging
    • Counseling Theory and Practice

    Notables

    Drexel University prepares students in this program to pursue careers in addictions counseling, psychiatric rehabilitation, crisis intervention, residential services, and more. Distance learners have access to many of the same resources as those on-campus, including healthcare simulations and interactive learning activities. Drexel has been ranked as a Best Value School and Most Innovative School by the U.S. News and World Report.

  3. University of Cincinnati
    Location

    Blue Ash, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Founded in 1819, the University of Cincinnati now offers an e-Learning platform in which undergraduates can earn their degrees completely online. In fact, these flexible programs are offered at affordable rates, making college less of a financial burden. Check out the university’s online Bachelor of Science in Substance Abuse Counseling program.

    Program Features

    Students may start this completely online program in the fall, spring, or summer semesters. This program can also be completed on a part-time schedule. Required courses may include:

    • Drugs and Behavior
    • Crisis Management Skills
    • Ethics in Substance Abuse Counseling
    • Co-Occurring Disorders in Treatment
    • Stress Management in Clinical and Community Settings

    Students may meet academic requirements for licensure upon graduating, dependant upon the state in which they reside. For those who live in Ohio, graduates will meet academic requirements for licensure under the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board’s guidelines for Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor II and III.

    Notables

    This program at the University of Cincinnati is ideal for those who wish to work in hospitals, DUI programs, outpatient facilities, private practices, and more. While tuition is the same for all students regardless of residency, non-residents must pay a small surcharge per credit. U.S. News and World Report ranked UC among the Best Value Schools and Top Public Schools in the country.

  4. Washington State University
    Location

    Pullman, WA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Founded in 1890, Washington State University is one of the oldest land-grant universities in the West. Home to mascot Butch T. Cougar and nearly 30,000 students, WSU offers more than 200 unique programs. Interested in earning a degree entirely online? Check out the university’s online Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology.

    Program Features

    This program is ideal for undergraduates looking to pursue careers in clinical counseling or psychological research. Students may choose one of three different focus areas including Neuroscience/Cognition, Social/Motivational, or Clinical/Counseling. Online learning at WSU offers many resources to make sure students are involved and active within the campus community. From the Online Psychology Student’s Resource Room to the Psychology National Honor Society Psi Chi, distance students have plenty of opportunities presented to them. Required courses may include:

    • Social Psychology
    • Psychology of Aging
    • Biological Basis of Behavior
    • Psychology Testing and Measurement
    • Biopsychological Effects of Alcohol and Other Drugs

    Notables

    Washington State University’s Global Campus also allows online students opportunities to conduct undergraduate research. Students may also work as tutors and teacher’s assistants for more hands-on experience. WSU also offers online tech support, student services, writing workshops, and more.

  5. Southwestern Assemblies of God University
    Location

    Waxahachie, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    With just over 2,000 students enrolled, Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private Christian university based in Waxahachie, Texas. Despite its small student body, SAGU offers tons of high-ranking degree programs. In fact, the university now has a digital division with an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Counseling (pre-professional).

    Program Features

    This 126-credit program can be completed entirely online with no on-campus visits required. Plus, all students pay the same rate of tuition regardless of residency. The completion of core requirements such as natural science, mathematics, and general biblical studies is expected of all undergraduate students. Many students in this major also pursue an Addictions Counseling minor. Required courses may include:

    • Developmental Psychology
    • Addictive Behavior and Recovery
    • Cultural Issues in the Helping Professions
    • Methods and Techniques in Marriage and Family Counseling

    Notables

    Southwestern Assemblies of God University offers a host of resources to assist online students with their studies. These include a career center, counseling center, one-on-one faculty meetings, and more. Additionally, online students may apply for financial aid, scholarships, grants, and other resources to offset the cost of tuition.

  6. Clarks Summit University
    Location

    Clarks Summit, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Clarks Summit University is a small Christian college located in Pennsylvania. Despite its size, the university has a wide online reach, offering several online programs taught by CSU professors. In fact, CSU Online now offers a bachelor’s degree in Addictions Counseling with a biblical foundation for undergraduates around the globe.

    Program Features

    This 121-credit program can be completed entirely online in just four years. Students may transfer in up to 90 credits towards this degree program. Distance learners at CSU have the ability to complete coursework on their own schedules. Plus, students have access to tons of online resources including an online writing center, library, IT help desk, tutoring, and more. Required courses may include:

    • Adult Development
    • Abnormal Psychology
    • Ethics and Professionalism
    • Marriage and Family Dynamics
    • Understanding and Treating Addictions

    Notables

    Clarks Summit University extends a “no hidden fees” policy to its online students in which the tuition rate includes technology and general course fees. All students pay the same rate of tuition regardless of residency as well. The university also offers a variety of online undergraduate discounts for those in the military and for those enrolled in certain internship programs.

  7. Union College
    Location

    Lincoln, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in the small city of Barbourville, Kentucky, Union College is home to the bulldog mascot and just over 1,000 students. While the college was founded back in the 1870s, UC has progressed with the times and now offers unique online programs for distance learners. In fact, Union College has an online Bachelor of Science degree in Substance Abuse Counseling for interested students.

    Program Features

    This completely online program offers flexible eight-week schedules and 24/7 support. Students must complete at least 120 credits and required courses may include:

    • Recovery and Relapse
    • Psychology of Addiction
    • Cross Cultural Psychology
    • Deviance and Criminology
    • Ethical Issues in Chemical Dependency

    All students pay the same rate of just $225 per credit hour and there is no application fee for this program. Union College also offers an online 21-credit Chemical Dependency Counselor Certificate. This certificate may be earned in conjunction with the BS degree in Substance Abuse Counseling.

    Notables

    Every single student at Union College in Kentucky will receive some form of financial aid or assistance if necessary. It’s no wonder the college has been ranked among the Best Regional Universities in the South by the U.S. News and World Report. Graduates of Union College go on to pursue high-ranking careers in their chosen industries.

  8. Toccoa Falls College
    Location

    Toccoa Falls, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Toccoa Falls College is a Christian liberal arts school located in northeast Georgia. Home to just over 700 students, Toccoa Falls now caters to distance learners with associate’s, bachelor’s, and certificate programs all available online. The university’s Counseling Psychology Department now offers an online Bachelor of Science degree in Counseling Psychology.

    Program Features

    Students in this online program will learn from licensed professional counselors, licensed psychologists, licensed marriage and family therapists, and other industry professionals. Admitted students may also wish to pursue a related minor in either Counseling, Marriage and Family Counseling, or Psychology. All students who enter this program are assigned an academic advisor. The university also offers career counseling, IT support, as well as an online librarian. Required courses in this 126-credit program may include:

    • Counseling Skills
    • Group Counseling
    • Crisis and Trauma Therapy
    • Developmental Psychology
    • Premarital and Marital Counseling

    Notables

    Toccoa Falls College charges the same rate of tuition for all students, regardless of residency. Plus, Toccoa Falls is consistently ranked among the Top 5 Best Value Colleges in the South by U.S. News and World Report. On average, online students will take two courses every eight weeks during the fall and spring semesters and then two courses during the summer semester.

  9. Northwestern State University of Louisiana
    Location

    Natchitoches, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The Northwestern State University of Louisiana is a public university that’s part of the University of Louisiana System, making it an affordable option for many. With over 130 years of serving students from all over the globe, NSU has grown to offer several unique programs. In fact, the NSU Global Campus now offers an online Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a Concentration in Substance Abuse.

    Program Features

    Students in this program must complete 120 credit hours. Required courses may include:

    • Ethics in Psychology
    • Abnormal Psychology
    • History of Psychology
    • Theories of Personality
    • Diversity Issues in Psychology

    Student’s who plan on pursuing a master’s degree after completing this program will be expected to complete a biology lab course as well. Graduates of this program often go on to finish an additional certification or licensure to become a certified addiction professional.

    Notables

    Internet-only students at Northwestern State University of Louisiana do not pay any out-of-state fees. In addition, eligible students may apply for financial aid packages, as well as scholarships and grants through the university. NSU has been ranked among the Best Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report.

  10. Oral Roberts University
    Location

    Tulsa, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Oral Roberts was founded in the 1960s as a private, Christian university and is named after its founder and evangelist. With an enrollment of nearly 4,000 students, ORU offers over 75 undergraduate majors across its six colleges. The university’s College of Theology is home to an online Bachelor of Science degree in Christian Caregiving and Counseling.

    Program Features

    For those who wish to find careers as counselors, chaplains, pastors, or researchers, this program is ideal. Required courses in this program may include:

    • Lifespan Development
    • Developing Helping Skills
    • Issues/Identity of Caregiver
    • Pastoral Approaches to Counseling
    • Practical Application of Helping Skills

    Students in this 124-credit program are encouraged to pursue a relevant minor as well.

    Notables

    Oral Roberts University has been ranked among the nation’s Best Colleges for Veterans, Best Value Schools, and Best Regional Universities in the West by U.S. News and World Report. Online students at ORU have access to plenty of the same resources as those on-campus. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with both professors and fellow classmates during your studies.

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