Top 30 Master’s in Educational Counseling 2020

TCS Best Masters Degrees
A master’s program in school counseling is an excellent tool for those who wish to help K-12 students succeed not just with their academic struggles but also with life in general. By gaining a master’s degree, students can get a strong foothold in the industry. Often, educators who are already working with children want to make a career switch from teaching to counseling. In this instance, pursuing an online master’s program can work well as they can gain an advanced degree while continuing to work.

School counselors have a significant impact on the well-being of schools, individuals, families, and communities as a whole. A degree from a reputable institution ensures that they not only gain the necessary skills and knowledge but also learn how to practice the essential points of being a counselor – empathy, understanding, and patience. They work with students to understand their social, emotional, and environmental world and what factors are inhibiting their growth. Together they ensure that they are creating a positive pathway for students to support their success in school and beyond.

Methodology:

Net Price (as reported by the NCES):

  • Under $10,000: 5 points
  • Under $12,000: 4 points
  • Under $14,000: 3 points
  • Under $16,000: 2 points
  • Under $18,000: 1 point

Program Flexibility (asynchronous course delivery, hybrid options, part-time/full-time schedule, etc. ) – 1 point per item

Accreditation: 2 points for regional, 1 point for national

Program recognition or alignment with recognized standards: 1 point for each

#30 Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Masters in Counseling

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Points: 6

Northwestern University offers an Online Master of Arts in Counseling that prepares students to work effectively in areas like child and adolescent development. The CACREP-accredited program trains them to provide effective treatment for youth by gaining in-depth knowledge in counseling. The 24 graduate-level program uses a learning-by-doing model to prepare students for real-world practice as a self-reflective counselor. They also need to complete a practicum and an internship. Students get to participate in highly collaborative in-person experiences that challenge them to explore different approaches to counseling. They explore areas like child and teen counseling and psychotherapy, along with high-frequency problems for children and adolescents.
Tuition per credit: $4,672

#29 Vanderbilt University-Peabody College

Nashville, TN

Master of Education in School Counseling

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Points: 7

Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College offers a top-ranked online master of education in human development counseling with a specialization in school counseling. The 48-credit curriculum prepares students to practice as K-12 school counselors by offering them a rigorous but humanistic training in counseling. Students need to complete field experiences and attend two on-campus immersions. Graduates go on to translate their theoretical, practical knowledge as well as research skills in their counseling practice so that they can help K-12 children thrive and succeed. Graduates are well-prepared for licensure in public and private schools.
Tuition per credit: $1938

#28 University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA

Master of Education in School Counseling

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Points: 7

The University of Southern California offers an online Master of Education (ME) in School Counseling via its Rossier School of Education. It is designed for aspiring K-12 school counselors who wish to specialize in academic counseling and advising. The 49-unit coursework blends a counseling-based theoretical foundation with practical applications in student affairs. It focuses on three core areas of study: college and career readiness, restorative justice, and trauma-informed practices which prepare future practitioners to promote and facilitate educational attainment. Graduates go on to practice as successful school counselors in a higher education setting.
The program aligns with the American School Counselor Association’s National Model for School Counseling standards.
Tuition per credit: $1,928

#27 New York University

New York, NY

Master’s in School Counseling

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Points: 8

New York University offers an online Master of Arts in Counseling and Guidance via the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. The program is accredited by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC). Students have two concentration options: school counseling or bilingual school counseling. The 48-credit program prepares graduates to become successful pre-K–12 school counselors for public and private schools nationwide. The program blends research techniques with best school counseling practices through the lens of equity and social justice. It is designed to help students from diverse backgrounds thrive professionally, socially, academically, and personally.
Tuition per credit: $1,795

#26 Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC

Master of Arts in Counseling

Points: 8

Wake Forest University offers an online Master in School Counseling that is designed for students who wish to blend their love for children with skills and knowledge to effectively counsel them and help improve their potential. The 60-credit online master’s in school counseling degree combines practicum and internship experiences along with clinical instruction. The CACREP-accreditated program prepares students to work in collaboration with educators, students, and their family members to foster their academic success and well-being. The advanced therapeutic techniques learned spans areas like Human growth and development, Helping relationships, Social and cultural foundations, and Career and lifestyle development, among others.
Tuition per credit: $1,465

#25 The University of Texas at Tyler

Tyler, TX

School Counseling MA

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Points: 9

The University of Texas at Tyler offers an online master’s degree in school counseling that prepares students to practice as professional school counselors and guide future youth to success. The 48-credit program provides an excellent foundation to practice counseling in a school setting. The program helps students gain a fundamental understanding of counseling skills and teaches them how to apply them creatively for various situations. UT-Tyler graduates are among the best prepared in Texas since the online program has a 100% pass rate on the TExES professional school counselors certification examination. Graduates go on to work as counselors in school settings across East Texas and beyond.
Tuition per credit: $1003

#24 University of Denver

Denver, CO

Master of Arts in School Counseling

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Points: 9

The University of Denver offers an online Master’s Degree in School Counseling via its Morgridge College of Education. The 72-credit program is designed to prepare students to become competent and successful school counselors and help K-12 students thrive in schools and success in life. Future counselors obtain a solid understanding of crucial counseling concepts and complex educational systems, which allows them to effectively serve and advocate for students in diverse P-12 school settings. The 100% online program offers experiential learning, which gives students the skills and expertise they need to better serve students in their schools and communities. It also adheres to the standards set by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
Tuition per credit: $915

#23 Bradley University

Peoria, IL

Master of Arts in Counseling

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Points: 9

Bradley University offers an online Master of Arts in Counseling-Professional School Counseling, which prepares students well to meet the nationwide demand for licensed professional school counselors. The 60-credit curriculum prepares students to sit for the National Counselor Exam as they graduate with a direct path to licensure. The concentration courses include School for Non-Teachers, Brain-Based Interventions, Professional School Counseling, K-8, Professional School Counseling in Secondary Schools, Special Education Law, Thesis, along with the groundbreaking practice of neuro-counseling. Graduates go on to work in diverse educational settings and make a positive impact in the lives of today’s school-aged children and young adults. The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs.
Tuition per semester hour: $910

#22 St. Bonaventure University

St. Bonaventure, NY

Master of Science in Education School Counseling

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Points: 10

St. Bonaventure University offers an online Master of Science in Education School Counseling that prepares students to become licensed school counselors. The 60-credit coursework combines engaging theory and in-field practice to help students master the essential concepts and fundamentals of counseling. The 100% online program includes courses like Counseling Interventions: Child and Adult, Abnormal Psychology, Psychological Testing and Assessment, and Multicultural Counseling, among others. A practicum field experience and two internships in counseling are part of the curriculum as well, all designed to support primary, middle, and high school students for their comprehensive development.
The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP.)
Tuition per credit: $770

#21 Regent University

Virginia Beach, VA

M.A. in School Counseling

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Points: 10

Regent University offers an online Master of Arts in School Counseling that prepares students to become successful school counselors and help K-12 students through their developmental years. The 60-credit coursework helps students learn the essential skills to meet the Virginia requirements for a career in professional counseling within the K-12 public school system. Students from other states are also well-prepared to practice; however, they would need to check the specific licensure requirements of their state of residence. Students learn to advocate student growth and mental health, personally, educationally, and socially by applying the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders that they have learned during their practicum. The program is both APA & CACREP accredited.
Tuition per credit: $710

#20 Messiah College

Mechanicsburg PA

Master of Arts in Counseling in School Counseling

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Points: 10

Messiah College offers an online Master of Arts in Counseling in School Counseling, which prepares students to be effective professional counselors. The 60-credit curriculum is designed to help students to become competent school counselors and help students through elementary and secondary school. They gain a comprehensive knowledge of the profession through advanced courses like Foundations of School Counseling, Career Counseling Across the Lifespan, Organization, and Administration of School Counseling Programs, Effective Practices of School Counselors, Effective Practices for Every Learner, a School Counseling Practicum among others. The program is recognized, and CACREP accredited.
Tuition per credit: $690

#19 Lakeland University

Plymouth, WI

Master of Arts in Counseling

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Points: 11

Lakeland University offers an online MA in Counseling that prepares students to practice as school counselors in public and private school settings. The 60-credit program blends theory, research, and classroom sessions with experiential learning. Students also have to complete intensive practicum and internships, which teach them how to implement comprehensive school counseling knowledge in real-life settings. These modules are designed to meet students’ academic, personal, social development, and career needs. The program is approved for licensure and certification as a Wisconsin School Counselor and also by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
Tuition per credit: $627

#18 University of the Southwest

Hobbs, NM

MSEd: School Counseling

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Points: 11

The University of the Southwest offers an online Master of Science in Education, School Counseling, which prepares students for licensure in the state of New Mexico so that they can practice in various school settings. The fully online degree program requires 42 credits for completion. Students learn the relation between K-12 students and all the environmental and institutional barriers that they face. They learn the techniques to address these and help them overcome challenges so that they can achieve optimum academic success. Graduates are equipped with knowledge and skillsets to interact with students and parents from varying backgrounds. The program is accredited by the New Mexico Public Education Department.
Tuition per credit: $625

#17 Concordia University Wisconsin

Mequon, WI

Master of Science in Education-School and Professional Counseling

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Points: 11

Concordia University Wisconsin offers an online Master of Science in Education-School and Professional Counseling. The program prepares students for School Counseling Licensure (DPI #7054) or SAC Professional Counseling License. The 60-credit program provides a solid foundational knowledge for students so that they can positively impact the lives of youth. The faith-based curriculum blends a deeply rooted sense of respect for people and a practical skillset to affect positive change in all. Graduates of this program go on to work in various educational settings, private, public, charter, among other school systems. They are trained to offer comprehensive help for all students. The program is approved by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
Tuition per credit: $614

#16 Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR

Master of Counseling in School Counseling

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Points: 11

Oregon State University offers an online Master of Counseling in School Counseling that is available through the e-Campus in a hybrid, part-time format. The 75-credit coursework emphasizes academic excellence, personal growth and competence in counseling skills. Grounded in personal and professional code of ethics, the program integrates theory, philosophy, and technical skills. The unique and well-established online program prepares students to utilize skills in individual and group counseling, leadership, consultation, and system change, advocacy, and action research, all of which are designed to help in comprehensive youth development. The program is accredited by CACREP, NCATE, and TSPC.
Tuition per credit: $589

#15 University of Massachusetts Boston

Boston, MA

M.Ed. in School Counseling

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Points: 12

The University of Massachusetts Boston offers an online School Counseling, MEd via its Department of Counseling and School Psychology. The 60-credit program includes courses specific to school counseling, along with a series of general counseling courses. It prepares students to meet the academic requirements for licensure in the state of Massachusetts so that they can practice as a School Guidance Counselor. Students also have to complete field experiences in school settings through the practicum and internships in local schools, which prepares them well for the real world. Students from other states need to check with their respective states for licensure requirements. The program is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.
Tuition per credit: $575

#14 University of Tennessee-Martin

Martin, TN

Masters of Science in School Counseling

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Points: 12

The University of Tennessee offers an online Master in School Counseling that prepares graduates to meet the state licensure requirements. Students are prepared to work in a wide range of educational settings along with community agencies and social services, among others. The fully online degree program requires 60 credits for completion. It also requires a three-day residency on the UT Martin Campus and an internship. Core courses include Growth and Development Across the Lifespan, Organization, and Administration of School Counseling Services/Programs, Theory, and Techniques of Counseling and Multicultural Issues in Education and Counseling, among others.
Tuition per credit: $572

#13 Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA

Masters in School Counseling (M.Ed.)

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Points: 12
liberty-university
Liberty University offers a Masters in School Counseling (M.Ed.) via its School of Behavioral Sciences. Students are prepared to practice as school counselors in various educational settings – Christian, public, and private schools. The 48-credit coursework includes Professional, Ethical, and Legal Issues in Counseling, Social and Cultural Foundations of Counseling, and Counseling Theories and Techniques. Core courses include Understanding Educational Research and Assessment, Human Development Across the Lifespan, and Education Assessment and Intervention. The 100% online program is taught from a biblical perspective and prepares students to aid in the social, personal, professional, and academic development of children and adolescents. The program is accredited by CACREP and NCATE through CAEP.
Tuition per credit: $565

#12 Indiana Wesleyan University

Marion, IN

Master of Arts in School Counseling

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Points: 12

Indiana Wesleyan University offers an online Master of Arts with a major in School Counseling that prepares students for a career in School Counseling in diverse educational settings. The 48-credit coursework combines faith-based techniques with counseling theory and practicum to offer a comprehensive approach to K-12 counseling. Graduates of this online program go on to help pre-kindergarten through high school students succeed in academics, careers, and life. Students are well-prepared for licensure or certification. However, they are advised to check the specific licensure rules of their respective states. The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
Tuition per credit: $560

#11 Edinboro University

Edinboro, PA

Master of Arts in Counseling

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Points: 12

Edinboro University offers an online Master of Arts in Counseling that prepares graduates to become competent counselors and help future youth face the opportunities and challenges with confidence. The 63-credit program combines the knowledge of ethics, clinical skills, theory, and school counselor practicum to help students become effective professional counselors. The comprehensive curriculum provides students with the opportunity to grow, develop, and succeed and also teaches them how to advocate passionately for the academic, career, and social development of students. Students develop strong leadership skills and learn to apply them professionally. The program is accredited by CACREP, NASAD, and CORE.
Tuition per credit: $516

#10 Capella University

Minneapolis, MN

Master of Science in School Counseling

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Points: 13

Capella University offers an online Master of Science in School Counseling via its School of Counseling and Human Services. The 72-quarter credit program combines theory-based coursework, online lectures, and in-person learning experiences to help students gain real-world skills. The curriculum covers such topics as theories of counseling and guidance for children and adolescents, contemporary issues in school counseling, and counseling and advocacy with diverse populations. The flexible online program is designed to help prepare students to pursue licensure as a school counselor. The program is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.
Tuition per credit: $487

#9 North Carolina State University

Raleigh, NC

Master of Education in School Counseling

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Points: 13

North Carolina State University offers an online Master of Education in School Counseling that prepares students to work as school counselors. The 60-credit program blends skills, professional knowledge, and best practices necessary to promote the career, academic, and personal development of K–12 students. Students gain knowledge of the design and implementation of preventive interventions based on the developmental theory that forms the core of the online program. Since competence in both theory and practice is essential, students participate in individualized field experiences to gain real-world expertise. North Carolina State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Tuition per credit: $462

#8 University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, ND

MA in K-12 School Counseling

Points: 13
university-of-north-dakota
The University of North Dakota offers an online MA in K-12 School Counseling that prepares students to bring about effective change through a data-driven and culturally-responsive approach. The 60-credit program is designed to train future counselors who can help their students overcome obstacles and reach their academic and career goals. They will focus on a comprehensive growth approach to promote the academic, personal, career, and social development of K-12 students. The online program also includes a semester-long practicum and an internship in a local school, preparing students for education licensure. The program is accredited by CAEP, Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation, and approved by ESPB.
Tuition per credit: $439

#7 Adams State University

Alamosa, CO

Master of Arts in Counseling

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Points: 14

Adams State University offers an online Master of Arts in School Counseling that prepares students to work as counselors in K-12 schools. The 60-credit program provides a supportive and challenging environment to help students learn how to create a positive environment for personal and professional growth of future youth. The 100% online school counseling program meets the academic requirements for those seeking the Colorado K-12 school counselor licensure. The program blends research and applied experiential learning to develop competent counselors who aid in their students’ academic, career, and social/emotional development. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, CACREP, and the Colorado Department of Education.
Tuition per credit: $435

#6 University of Missouri

Columbia, MO

Master of Education in Educational, School and Counseling Psychology

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Points: 14

The University of Missouri or Mizzou Online offers an online Master of Education in educational, school, and counseling psychology with an emphasis in mental health practices in schools (M. Ed.) The 34-credit program covers areas like assessing, identifying, and managing atypical behaviors; communicating with parents, children, and school personnel; collaborating with families, community agencies, and school personnel; diversity issues in schools; effective intervention strategies and resources; and evaluating and implementing evidence-based programs among others. Students learn the best ways to promote positive mental health among youth, build resilience and optimism in children and adolescents, and improve their classroom management skills and. The program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and Teacher Education Accreditation Council.
Tuition per credit: $433.37

#5 University of West Alabama

Livingston, AL

M.Ed. School Counseling

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Points: 14

The University of West Alabama offers an online MEd in school counseling that prepares students for state licensure. They gain the essential knowledge and skills to help K-12 students through techniques like assessment, advocacy, evaluation, along with other counseling services. The 48-credit coursework includes Diagnostic Techniques for School Counselors, Educational Statistics, Counseling Techniques, Techniques of Educational Research, Advanced Educational Psychology, Counseling Children and Adolescents, and Strategies for Crisis Intervention, among others. The program is an excellent fit for those who are looking to become school counselors or educators seeking advanced education in school counseling.
Tuition per credit: $429

#4 Texas A&M University

College Station, TX

M.Ed. in Educational Psychology-Emphasis in School Counseling

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Points: 14

Texas A&M University offers an online master’s in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in School Counseling via its College of Education and Human Development. The 48-credit program is designed to qualify students to become competent school counselors. The 100% online program is available in both asynchronous and synchronous formats. Along with intensive coursework, students also undertake a comprehensive and supervised two-semester internship experience in a public or private school setting. Advanced school counseling students are prepared to play an integral role in the academic and personal development of K-12 students.
Tuition per credit: $396.9

#3 Fort Hays State University

Hays, KS

M.S. in School Counseling

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Points: 15

Fort Hays State University offers an online Master of Science in School Counseling that prepares students for successful careers as school counselors where they can help develop the academic and social skills for future youth. The 54-credit coursework blends theory and practice to help students gain experience in real-world situations. They delve deep into the theory behind many issues that afflict K-12 children as they grow and develop. The curriculum helps them integrate knowledge and skills for competent counseling practice. They are also prepared to apply for a school counseling license in the state of Kansas. The program is accredited by the Kansas State Department of Education and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
Tuition per credit: $287.75

#2 Southern Arkansas University

Magnolia, AR

M.Ed. in School Counseling

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Points: 15

Southern Arkansas University offers an online master in school counseling that also features add-on licensure and initial licensure track. The 48-credit coursework includes Introduction to the Counseling Profession, Counseling Children and Adolescents, and Development, Foundations of School Counseling, and Administration of School Counseling Programs, among others. The program is a blend of practical application and theoretical emphasis that teaches students to address the developmental needs of children and adolescents. Graduates go on to practice as counselors in various educational settings. The 100% online program is aligned with the American School Association’s National Model and National Standards.
Tuition per credit: $280

#1 North Carolina Central University

Durham, NC

Master of Arts in School Counseling

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Points: 16

North Carolina Central University offers an online Master of Arts in School Counseling that prepares students to become competent K-12 school counselors. The curriculum combines professional knowledge, skills, and practices to help them offer the best help that they can to the future youth. The 60-credit coursework includes curricular and supervised experiences to learn how to promote the academic, career, and personal/social development of children and adolescents. The online developmental counseling program is data-driven and based upon the ASCA National Model. Students learn to the positive impact the academic, career, and personal/social development of elementary, middle, and secondary school students. The program is accredited by CACREP.
Tuition per credit: $256.64
TCS Staff

December 2019

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