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The 10 Best Masters in Counseling Online Programs

According to, a Masters in counseling is the number two most sought after online Masters degree. As a result, there are a large number of online schools that are dedicated to helping people achieve those goals.

Especially when choosing an online college, it is important that you choose well. The colleges below have been ranked by looking at a variety of factors, including value for the money, quality and how recognized the college is, based on publicly available data. All of the colleges on this list are accredited, meaning that the credits earned will transfer to other schools should a student wish to continue his or her education.

Recommended Masters in Counseling Programs

10. University of Buffalo Online

The program at the University of Buffalo Online requires two 300 contact hour internships and that students take two courses per semester. The program is more economical for students who reside in the state, paying only $370 per credit hour as opposed to the $632 per credit hour students who are residents in other states must pay.

The school has a high employment rate for their graduates, with around 95% of graduates having successfully been employed within their chosen field and concentration.

Graduating requires practica, fieldwork and internship, but these can be completed in the student’s home town, and the entire program can be completed within three years. The University at Buffalo is ranked at number 106 in colleges in America.

9. University of North Carolina

The University of North Carolina comes in at number 199 on the list of best colleges in America. The cost for the Masters in Counseling degree program at the University of North Carolina depends on whether you are a resident of the state or not. For those who do live within the state, the cost is significantly less; around $155 for in-state students versus around $611 per hour for out of state students.

Students must also complete a 100 hour practicum and a 600 hour internship as a part of the program, giving a good amount of real world experience to the graduate. Many students find this hands-on experience to be very useful after their graduation.

8. Bellevue University Online

Ranked #1 in student engagement and assessment by US News, this Midwestern university offers a program that is heavy on hands-on learning, requiring two internships and two practicums before the program can be completed, giving its students a good measure of real life experience to go along with their more academic pursuits.

In addition to the hands-on experience, Bellvue requires at least six credits in behavioral sciences and at least three credits in statistics. This serves to give the graduates of Bellevue a well rounded education in aspects that some other schools might otherwise ignore or not consider necessary to their Masters in Counseling degree programs.

7. University of Massachusetts

Though the majority of the programs offered by this school can be completed online, there is a mandatory two-week session on the campus. In addition to providing face to face instruction, this period of on-campus education will also give students a chance to meet and interact with their fellow students as well as their professors.

The Mental Health program at the university meets the requirements for obtaining a license within the state, and they offer an excellent Rehabilitation concentration program that has been accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education.

6. Seton Hall University

This university, ranked at number 131 of colleges in America, has been teaching students for over one hundred and fifty years, and is very well respected. Seton Hall offers a combined Education Specialist and MA program, and charges a flat tuition of $34,000 which covers all classes, supplies and other incidentals.

The requirements for the program do require two on-site sessions, and room and board for these sessions is included in the tuition. Students at Seton Hall can finish the requirements for their degree in as little as three years.

5. Sacred Heart University Online

Sacred Heart University is a private Catholic school that has a rigorous online masters degree program, concentrating largely on counseling and rehabilitation. Sacred Heart is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the courses require the completion of a capstone final research paper or comprehensive exam prior to graduation.

Sacred Heart University comes it at a ranking of number 38 among regional universities.

4. Thomas University

Boasting one of the highest student satisfaction rates in the country, Thomas University charges $515 per credit hour to attend. The school has built its curriculum based on the standards established by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, an independent accreditation organization.

3. Capella University

Capella offers degrees at a cost of $451 per credit hour and is another school with one of the highest student satisfaction rates around. The vast majority of students that graduate from Capella report that they are satisfied on the returns they saw from the investment they made in their education.

Capella University offers robust online support, with written feedback on assignments by the professors. Unlike some other schools, online classes at Capella can be taken at any time. Capella is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

2. Walden University

This private university is known for its focus on justice oriented degree programs, but also offers students a multitude of online Masters degrees in counseling. The school offers over sixty-five online degree programs with over 330 specializations. The cost of attaining a degree is about $420 per quarter credit hour.

Classes include a 70 hour online course in Master of Science in Career Counseling as well as a 90 hour online course online Master of Science degrees in Mental Health Counseling as well as Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling.

1. Liberty University

Liberty University takes the top spot in this list due to the fact that it has a very high retention rate, excellent graduation rate and offers both affordable tuition and a staff that is truly helpful.

The school has been around for a comparatively short time, since 1985, but has distinguished itself since it’s inception as one of the top private not for profit online universities in the country, and is ranked number sixty-five among regional schools.

Partially because of its Christian focus, the professors at Liberty see their teaching positions not just as a job, but as their calling and ministry. The school is also very friendly towards members of the military, offering a variety of very generous discounts to current and former military men and women.

The course is a thirty hour course, and costs around $14,000. Degrees at Liberty University and concentrations such as Christian Ministries or Marriage & Family Therapy can be completed online or through a mixture of both online classes and those on campus.

Liberty University also prides itself on the flexibility it gives its students, helping them to balance their school commitments with commitments to their jobs, family and community. Liberty is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Also see:

Online Counseling Degree Rankings
Online Marriage and Family Counseling Degree Rankings