Best Online Master’s in Educational Counseling Degrees

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Become one of the most valuable players in the school system with one of the nation’s Best Online Master’s in Educational Counseling Degrees.

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Do you envision yourself in the school system, inspiring young people to pursue their dreams? Are you passionate about the issues facing children these days? Do you want to become an advocate for young people, encouraging them to become their best selves? Then an advanced degree in educational counseling may be the next best career move for you.

Top 10 Best Online Master’s in Educational Counseling Degrees

Rank School Location
1 Wake Forest University Winston Salem, NC
2 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
3 Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
4 University of Missouri Columbia, MO
5 Creighton University Omaha, NE
6 Seton Hall University South Orange, NJ
7 University of Massachusetts Boston Boston, MA
8 Angelo State University San Angelo, TX
9 University of West Alabama Livingston, AL
10 Texas A&M University Killeen, TX
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What kind of online Master’s in Educational Counseling degree should you get?

Earning a Master’s in Educational Counseling degree looks like many things. For example, some programs will prepare you for licensure while others will not. Some will prepare you for state exams and others will focus on broad-based counseling applications.

Here at College Choice we’ve been sure to note which programs will put you on the path toward licensure and certification.

But the differences don’t end there. Though all of these programs will prepare you for assessing student behavior and needs, they each vary in emphasis and scope. For example, Edinboro University offers a college counseling program for those who specifically hope to work in higher education.

Find what’s best for you, your career goals, and your passions. Despite the distinctions in the programs, all of these can be earned online. Online education is not only a flexible way to advance your education and career, it’s affordable too.

For that reason, be sure to check out College Choice’s Best Online Colleges and Universities.

How much money do people make with an online Master’s in Educational Counseling degree?

An advanced degree in educational counseling will set you apart and set you up for a career that is both financially rewarding and economically stable.

School counselors, according to PayScale, make on average $46,700 a year. And while that may not seem like a lot up front, it’s important to consider that that number is just an average. PayScale also notes that K-12 counselors can make up to $68,000 annually.

And the news only gets better. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the need for school counselors will rise another 13 percent in the next few years, which is way above the national average.

What can you do with a Master’s in Educational Counseling?

Most go into their master’s programs with the expectation that they’ll work in the K-12 setting after graduation. This is a popular and viable option for those with a Master’s in Educational Counseling. You can also use the degree to find a career in private or public schools, in elementary or secondary education.

But the opportunities don’t stop there. These degrees can also lead to job titles such as:

  • Rehabilitation Counselor
  • Vocational Counselor
  • Play or Art Therapist
  • Group Facilitator

What are the requirements for an online Master’s in Educational Counseling degree?

Though this ranking spans across MEd, MS, and MA degrees, each have similar requirements. You’ll first take a number of foundational classes that explore educational counseling fundamentals. These will include coursework on assessment and evaluation, counseling technique, and the professional, ethical, and legal issues in counseling.

From there you can explore more specialized areas in counseling, such as bullying, addictions, abuse, and peer pressure, among others.

In addition to coursework you may have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through an internship or practicum. Some programs even require it, which we’ve been sure to note.

Finally, all of these programs take around two years to complete, while some may take three and others a year and a half. It all depends on the kind of degree and licensure you seek.

What are the best online Master’s in Educational Counseling degrees?

While some of these educational counseling programs are housed in large research universities and others in small religious colleges, they all share on thing in common: they are the best online programs in the country.

To determine the best we first looked at every university and college that offers the degree online. From there we looked at the school’s academic reputation and student retention rates. Then we brought in the financial factors, looking both at the affordability of the program and the early salaries of graduates.

After such exhaustive research and data collation, we found those programs that are the nation’s best at training school counselors. Our figures and information come from the university and colleges’ websites, PayScale, and nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.

2018 Ranking

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Wake Forest University
    Location

    Winston Salem, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Wake Forest University is located in Winston-Salem, NC. It is home to around 8,000 students and is a nonprofit, private university. Wake Forest is a recognized leader in research and is renowned for its academic excellence. Dozens of Rhodes, Marshall, and Truman Scholars have graduated from Wake Forest, including over 60 Fulbright winners.

    Features

    Wake Forest offers an online MS in Counseling with specialization in school counseling. Through this program you will gain a foundation in the theories and modes of counseling as well as life span development. Youll practice applications and develop skills in counseling techniques, crisis management, and cultural sensitivity. And youll take classes such as:

    Issues in School Counseling Counseling Children Professional, Ethical, and Legal Issues in Counseling Addiction Counseling

    Notables

    Wake Forests rankings and recognitions are many. It is nationally ranked by U.S. News World Report. It is considered one of the most affordable schools in the US, and its school counseling program is ranked among the 40 best in the nation.

  2. Liberty University
    Location

    Lynchburg, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Founded by televangelist, Jerry Falwell, Liberty University is a large religious university located in Lynchburg, Virginia. With more than 110,000 students, most of whom study online, the university is known for having some of the best and biggest online programs. Liberty is also consider Americas most conservative university.

    Features

    Liberty offers a Masters in Education in School Counseling that can be earned mostly online with some required intensives. This two-year degree program will fully teach you how to plan, develop, and implement school counseling programs. You will graduate prepared to promote the social, academic, and vocational development of children and teens. Classes cover:

    Social and Cultural Foundations in Counseling Structured Groups Counseling Theories and Techniques Child and Adolescent Counseling in the Schools

    Notables

    Perhaps what is most notable about Liberty is that it has been ranked the Most Conservative College in America by Young Americas Foundation, among many others. In fact, this counseling degree is taught from a biblical perspective. Additionally, the university is also recognized for its affordability and its sprawling distance education programs.

  3. Vanderbilt University
    Location

    Nashville, TN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Vanderbilt University, or Vandy, is based in Nashville, TN. It is a research-driven Around 12,600 students attend Vandy, enrolled in one of the ten colleges or professional schools. Though strong in many areas, the university is most known for its business and law programs.

    Features

    Vandys Peabody College offers an online MEd in School Counseling that readies students for careers in the K-12 setting. You will learn how to meet the academic, social, emotional, and psychological needs of children while also developing a comprehensive knowledge of the behavioral sciences. Classes include:

    Career Counseling Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues in Counseling Exceptional Education and the DSM for School Counselors Group Counseling

    Notables

    Vandys Peabody College of Education is ranked among the top 10 Best Education Schools in the nation by U.S. News World Report. Its graduate programs are especially renowned. And the university as a whole is ranked among the top 15 best in the US.

  4. University of Missouri
    Location

    Columbia, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in Columbia, the University of Missouri is a public school and a research institution. Mizzou is distinct in several ways but is perhaps best known for being one of only a handful of universities in the country that has a school of medicine, engineering, agriculture, law, and veterinary medicine all on the same campus. Around 33,000 students attend Mizzou.

    Features

    Mizzous College of Education offers an MEd in Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology degree. This program focuses on mental health practices in school, covering everything from diversity issues to managing atypical behaviors. Graduates from Mizzou have secured a range of careers positions, including those as:

    Special Education Professionals

    Community-based Practitioners School Counselors School Administrators

    Notables

    Mizzou offers an affordable way to enhance your education and advance your career. All online students qualify for in-state tuition regardless of where they live. Indeed, U.S. News World Report ranks Mizzou among the top 100 most affordable schools in the country.

  5. Creighton University
    Location

    Omaha, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Creighton University is located in Omaha, NE. It is a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and was founded by the Society of Jesus. Today, Creighton maintains its Catholics roots and heritage, and it boasts being the largest religious university in Nebraska with over 8,000 students.

    Features

    For those looking for something a little different, Creighton offers an MS in School Counseling and Preventive Mental Health degree. While you will still be prepared for counseling in the school system, this program focuses on preventive measures that mitigate the many issues students face today, from bullying to drug use. Further, there are three tracks to choose from:

    Elementary School Counseling Secondary School Counseling PK-12 Guidance Counseling

    Notables

    Creighton offers a unique opportunity when earning this degree: the Magis Catholic Teacher Corps program. This program provides a faith-based support to accepted applicants. Accepted applicants also benefit by receiving a monthly stipend, subsidized tuition, health insurance, and more.

  6. Seton Hall University
    Location

    South Orange, NJ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Originally founded as a liberal arts womens college, today Seton Hall provides dozens of academic and professional development opportunities. It is located in South Orange, NJ, and is a private, Catholic university affiliated with the Sisters of Charity. Approximately 2,500 students attend Seton Hall.

    Features

    When you earn an MA in School Counseling from Seton Hall you will become a highly thoughtful, socially conscious, and intuitive school counselor. Seton Halls program considers ethnic, geographic, and social differences and the implications of those differences in the K-12 setting. Classes include:

    Appraisal and Assessment in Counseling Psychology of Human Development Principles of Learning and Behavior Modification Abnormal Psychology

    Notables

    Seton Hall is nationally ranked by U.S. News World Report, among many others. In addition to its overall academic reputation, the University boasts solid marks across departments. Seton Hall is particularly known for its business, education, and law programs.

  7. University of Massachusetts Boston
    Location

    Boston, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The Boston member within the University of Massachusetts is the flagship campus. It is a public, research-driven university with 16,000 students. UMass Boston is comprised of nearly a dozen schools and colleges and its most popular programs are in education, nursing, psychology, and management.

    Features

    UMass College of Advancing and Professional Studies offers an online MEd in School Counseling. This is a 60 credit-hour degree program that will fully prepare you for licensure in the state of Massachusetts, if you seek that kind of certification. In addition to general counseling and specialized school counseling courses, students are required to complete field experiences through practicums and internships. Graduates have gone on to become:

    High School Counselors Academic Advisors Vocational School Specialists And more

    Notables

    UMass Boston is home to dozens of elite research centers and facilities. For example, as a student you have access to the research, networks, and services provided by institutes such as the Center for Social Development and Education, the Institute for Community Inclusion, the Institute for Learning and Teaching, and more.

  8. Angelo State University
    Location

    San Angelo, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Based in San Angelo, TX, Angelo State University is a member of the Texas Tech University System. With 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students, Angelo State provides more than 150 academic programs. Though it is best known for its professional schools and training in education, nursing, business, and more.

    Features

    Angelo State offers an MEd in Guidance and Counseling that prepares students to become counselors in the high school, college, and university setting. You will graduate ready for the Professional Certificate for School Counselors exam. Classes you will take as an online Angelo State student include:

    Lifespan Development Social and Cultural Influences Legal and Ethical Principles Curriculum and Methodology Trends

    Notables

    At Angelo State you can earn your educational counseling degree in less than two years. The University provides eight-week courses that are all online, allowing students to expedite their graduation dates. Not only is the program flexible, it is one of the more affordable degrees on our ranking.

  9. University of West Alabama
    Location

    Livingston, AL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of West Alabama is based in Livingston, AL and serves around 6,000 students. However, UWA is rapidly growing into a larger university. Currently it offers more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, with its strongest and most popular programs in education, business, nursing, technology, math, and the arts.

    Features

    At UWA you can earn an MEd in School Counseling certification in just a year! Though this is a concentrated degree program, it doesnt skimp on the fundamentals. You will explore everything from counseling techniques to strategies for crisis intervention, counseling multicultural populations, and more. Required core courses include:

    Techniques of Educational Research Advanced Educational Psychology Life-Span Development and Learning Educational Statistics

    Notables

    The University of West Alabama is regionally ranked by U.S. News World Report. Likewise, its online programs are consistently included among the listings of the best online programs in the nation. Specifically, the online graduate education programs are most recognized.

  10. Texas A&M University
    Location

    Killeen, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    A mammoth research university, Texas AM University is located in College Station, TX. It is both one of the largest schools in the state of Texas and one of the largest in the nation, in terms of enrollment, academic programs, and research projects. Nearly 70,000 students attend Texas AM.

    Features

    Texas AM University offers a Masters in Educational Psychology degree wherein you can specialize in School Counseling. This program trains students to become personal, academic, and career counselors. But not only that, this unique program also prepares students to become educational consultants, partnering closely with teachers and administrators. Classes include:

    Multicultural Counseling in Schools

    School Counseling Theories and Techniques Planning and Organizing Comprehensive Guidance Programs Issues in Child and Adolescent Development

    Notables

    Texas AM University is an elite research school. It is ranked sixty-ninth among all national universities and colleges by U.S. News World Report. Likewise, its online graduate education programs are among the top 60 in the nation.

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