School counselors play vital roles in our nation’s public and private school systems and an online master’s in school counseling can give you all the tools you need to be a part of a field that can not only change but save lives every day. Not only do these caring professionals help students navigate the challenges of elementary, middle, and high school, but they also help prepare them for college and life success. Due to the recent and unfortunate rise in school violence and suicide amongst school-aged children, the services of school counselors are more important than ever before. In this ranking, we explore the top 25 online master’s in school counseling programs.
Interested in learning more about online learning in general? Visit our ranking of the top online schools.
Featured Online Masters in School Counseling Programs
- Capella University: MS – School Counseling (CACREP-accredited)
- University of the Southwest: MSEd: School Counseling
- Liberty University: M.ED – School Counseling
Rating and Ranking Methodology
- Under $25,000—1 point
- Under $20,000—2 points
- Under $15,000—3 points
- Under $10,000—4 points
- Under $5,000—5 points
U.S. News & World Report’s Ranking
- Top 25—6 points
- Top 50—5 points
- Top 100—4 points
- Top 150 –3 points
- Top 200—2 points
- Top 250—1 point
• Format Customizations (e.g. Hybrid/Online, Full-time/Part-Time, Accelerated, Degree Completion, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option
• Content Customizations (e.g. Concentrations, Specializations, Areas of Emphasis, Dual Degree Options, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option (5-Point Cap)
• 1 point awarded for each unique feature or program that “wowed” us
Ranking the Best Master’s in School Counseling Online Programs
To compile this ranking of the best school counseling master’s online programs, our editors began with an initial pool of 42 schools. To ensure that our ranking highlighted only the most affordable options, we filtered out programs with tuitions above $30,ooo a year. Further narrowing of the pool required visiting each program’s website and taking into account national rankings by U.S. News & World Report, particularly the publication’s ranking of online graduate education programs. In applying the rating and ranking methodology above, some schools were awarded the same number of points. To break these ties, we considered the program’s cost, assigning the higher ranking to the more economical online school counseling master’s program.
#25 –Our Lady of the Lake University
MEd School Counseling Online
Our Lady of the Lake University offers a 60-credit hour MEd in school counseling online program that emphasizes spiritual growth. The program’s curriculum features course titles such as Ethical Issues in School and Professional Counseling; Psychological Development Across the Lifespan; Career Awareness, Exploration, and Development; and Diagnosis in Counseling. Course delivery is asynchronous, so students can work on their degrees on their own time. OLLU’s online master’s in school counseling program prepares students for success on the Texas Examinations for Educator Standards School Counseling Exam.
In-State Tuition: $16,002
#24 –Liberty University
Online Master’s in School Counseling
Liberty University offers a 48-credit hour online master’s in school counseling from its School of Behavioral Sciences. Enrolled students will take advanced education core courses such as Human Development Across the Lifespan, Understanding Educational Research and Assessment, and Education Assessment and Intervention. They will also take classes in the school counseling concentration like Social and Cultural Foundations of Counseling; Professional, Ethical, and Legal Issues in Counseling; and Counseling Theories and Techniques. A six-credit hour internship is also required, and students can complete their school counseling master’s online degrees within two years.
In-State Tuition: $21,310
#23 –University of the Southwest
Master’s in School Counseling Online
The University of the Southwest offers a fully online master’s school counseling degree. The 42-credit hour program requires that students take core courses such as Counseling Techniques, Educational Research, and Professional/Ethical Issues in Counseling as well as major classes like Group Counseling in Schools, Crisis and Trauma Intervention, and Career Development and Life Planning. Options for elective classes include Introduction to Addiction Counseling and Psychopathology, for example. This top school counseling master’s online option requires that students complete a practicum and internship in a K-12 public or private school setting.
In-State Tuition: $14,376
#22 –Southwestern Assemblies of God University
Master’s in School Counseling Online
Southwestern Assemblies of God University offers an online school counseling master’s degree program that approaches the discipline from a Christian perspective. The curriculum for the program features a professional component, including courses like Methods and Techniques in Counseling, Counseling in a Pluralistic Society, and Professional Lifestyle and Career Development. Enrolled students will also take core courses like Foundations and Ethics of School Counseling, School Counseling Program Development, and Counseling Children and Adolescents. A course in research methods in psychology is also required. To finish their school counseling master’s online programs, students must also participate in a school-based internship.
In-State Tuition: $10,530
#21 –College of William and Mary
Online MEd in School Counseling
The College of William and Mary offers a MEd in school counseling online program from its School of Education. This 3-year offering includes core courses such as Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy, Substance Abuse and Society, and Theory and Practice of Multicultural Counseling. Students will also take classes in the school counseling concentration, including Prevention and Intervention Within Public Schools, Current Trends and Legal Issues in Education Special Populations, and Advanced Issues in Professional School Counseling. To earn their school counseling master’s degrees online, students must also complete a supervised 600-hour internship.
In-State Tuition: $9,630
#20 –Missouri Baptist University
Online MA in School Counseling
The MA in school counseling online program from Missouri Baptist University is a 51-credit hour option that leads to state certification. The curriculum for this 36-month program is prescribed and features course titles such as School Counseling Program Implementation and Leadership; Crisis, Trauma, and Disaster Counseling; Research and Program Evaluation in Counseling Settings, and Advanced Human Development. Students must complete either an elementary or secondary school counseling internship prior to receiving their school counseling MA online degrees.
In-State Tuition: $9,405
#19 –St. Bonaventure University
Online Master of School Counseling
The master of school counseling online program from St. Bonaventure University is an asynchronous program that can be completed in just two years. The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and includes course titles like Counseling Interventions: Child and Adult, Psychological Testing and Assessment, Abnormal Psychology, and Multicultural Counseling. Students must also complete a practicum field experience and two internships in counseling. In addition to the traditional online master’s in school counseling program, the university also offers an advanced certificate in school counseling for students who already hold a master’s degree.
In-State Tuition: $13,194
#18 –Salem College
Online Master of Education in School Counseling
The online school counseling master’s program from Salem College follows a cohort model. The curriculum for this 36-month option is prescribed and includes courses such as Focus on Student Advocacy and the School Counselor, 21st Century Career and Educational Counseling Development, Culturally-Relevant Counseling: Exploring Educational Equity, and Managing the Comprehensive School Counseling Program, for instance. Other courses will cover topics such as legal issues, ethics, action research, program management, career counseling, and assessment and evaluation. Two weekend seminars on campus are required prior to graduation from this master of education in school counseling online program.
In-State Tuition: $7,740
#17 –Mercy College
Online MS School Counseling
Mercy College’s School of Social and Behavioral Sciences offers an MS in school counseling online program with specializations in School Counseling and School Counseling/Bilingual Extension. Students enrolled in the program will take core courses such as Counseling and Ethics, Diagnostic Tools: Measurement, Research Methodology, and Multicultural Perspectives in Counseling. To fulfill the School Counseling concentration, students will complete an internship in a school setting and take a course in College Planning and Preparation Counseling. Those adding the Bilingual Extension will take additional courses such as Theory and Practice in Bilingual Education and Multicultural Perspectives in the Teacher Learning Process. MS school counseling online students can choose to take courses on a part-time or full-time basis.
In-State Tuition: $15,426
#16 –University of Tennessee- Martin
School Counseling Master’s Online
The University of Tennessee offers both a comprehensive school counseling master’s degree online as well as an endorsement-only option for those students who already hold a master’s credential. Core classes include Growth and Development Across the Lifespan, Multicultural Issues in Education and Counseling, and Theory and Techniques of Counseling. Students will also take specialized courses such as Mental Health and Psychopathology and Organization and Administration of School Counseling Services/Programs. An internship is also required prior to graduation from this master’s in school counseling online program.
In-State Tuition: $8,568
#15 –University of West Alabama
Online M.Ed. in School Counseling
The University of West Alabama offers a fully online MEd in school counseling program that leads to state certification. Students will begin the program by taking professional courses such as Techniques of Educational Research, Educational Statistics, and Advanced Educational Psychology. In addition, they will complete courses in the concentration like Counseling Children and Adolescents, Diagnostic Techniques for School Counselors, Strategies for Crisis Intervention, and Counseling Multicultural Populations. Courses are delivered via an accelerated, 8-week format, and students can complete their MEd in school counseling online programs within just one year.
In-State Tuition: $6,678
#14 –Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Online School Counseling MEd
The online MEd school counseling program from Southeastern Oklahoma State University is an accelerated option that can be completed entirely online in just 12 months. The curriculum for this 42-credit hour program consists of 15 courses, including School Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice, Social and Cultural Diversity Issues in Counseling, Psychopathology, and Treatment Planning in Counseling, and Research in Counseling. Two practica/clinical experiences are also required before students can earn their school counseling MEd online degrees.
In-State Tuition: $4,716
#13 –University of Massachusetts-Boston
Online School Counseling MEd
The online MEd school counseling program from the University of Massachusetts-Boston is offered through the school’s College of Advancing and Professional Studies and the Department of Counseling and School Psychology. The 60-credit hour curriculum is prescribed and features courses like Orientation to Professional School Counseling, Group Counseling for Children and Adolescents, Family Therapy Theories, and College Readiness Counseling. These classes can be taken on a part-time or full-time basis. Students who earn their online master’s school counseling degrees through UMass-Boston are eligible for Massachusetts school guidance counselor licensure.
In-State Tuition: $17,375
#12 –Concordia University Wisconsin
Online M.Ed. in School Counseling
The school counseling master’s online program from Concordia University- Wisconsin’s Department of Graduate Studies can be pursued on a part-time or full-time basis. Featured courses include titles like Helping Relationships, Social and Cultural Foundations, Career and Lifestyle Development, and Research and Program Evaluation. Career opportunities for graduates include positions as guidance counselors, psychologists, and vocational counselors. Small class sizes make this online MEd in school counseling offering one of the top choices for students who desire maximum engagement.
In-State Tuition: $10,422
#11 –Regent University
Online MA in School Counseling
The 60-credit MA in school counseling online program from Regent University is offered through its School of Psychology and Counseling. Courses required for the major include Principles of School Counseling, Program Development and Evaluation for School Counselors, Psychopathology and Diagnosis, and Counseling and Christian Thought. A hands-on field experience and two week-long residencies are also required. Students can complete their coursework on a part-time or full-time basis. Career opportunities for those who complete their online school counseling MA programs include positions in public schools, private schools, and charter schools.
In-State Tuition: $12,726
#10 –Edinboro University
Online Master’s in Counseling: School Counseling
Edinboro University offers a nationally ranked online master’s in school counseling option from its School of Graduate Studies and Research. To complete the program, students will complete a counseling core, featuring classes like Organization and Development of Programs in the Helping Professions, Human Development Across the Lifespan, Counseling and Consultation Theories, and Appraisal Techniques in the Helping Professions. They will also take courses in the school counseling specialization, including Individual Development: Childhood Through Adolescence, Techniques for Counseling the Student with A Disability, and Developmental Counseling in Schools. Students must also complete a counseling internship to earn their master’s in school counseling online degrees.
In-State Tuition: $9,000
#9 –Lamar University
Online Master of Education in School Counseling
The master of school counseling online program from Lamar University is a MEd in Counseling and Development with a specialization in Professional School Counseling. Featured courses comprising the 60-credit hour curriculum include Developmental Guidance and Counseling, Advanced Ethics in Mental Health Counseling, Career Development, and Substance Abuse Counseling. A 15-week practicum and internship are also required. Students can take advantage of multiple start dates and complete this online master’s school counseling degree within 30 months.
In-State Tuition: $6,174
#8 –Southern Arkansas University
Master of Education in School Counseling Online
The online master’s in school counseling program from Southern Arkansas University features an add-on licensure and initial licensure track. The curriculum for the program is aligned with the American School Association’s National Model and National Standards. Specific course titles include Introduction to the Counseling Profession, Foundations of School Counseling, Counseling Children and Adolescents, and Development and Administration of School Counseling Programs. The program can be completed entirely online or via a hybrid model, and most school counseling master’s online students complete the program in two and a half to three years.
In-State Tuition: $5,130
#7 –Angelo State University
Online Master’s in Guidance and Counseling
The 36-semester hour master’s in school counseling online program from Angelo State University is offered through the school’s College of Graduate Studies and Research. The curriculum for the program is prescribed and features course titles like Career and Occupational Counseling, Curriculum and Methodology Trends, Theories of Counseling, and Professional Writing for Educators. Angelo State’s online master of school counseling program prepares graduates for the Professional Certificate for School Counselors Texas Examination of Educator Standards. This program is an online-only option.
In-State Tuition: $3,856
#6 –University of North Dakota
Online Master of Counseling: K-12 School Counseling
The University of North Dakota offers a robust online master’s in school counseling program designed to be completed within two and a half years. The 48-credit hour curriculum includes standout courses such as School Counseling and Program Management, Multicultural Counseling, Educational Collaboration, and Child and Adolescent Counseling. A school-based practicum and internship are required. Course delivery is synchronous, meaning students will be required to log on at specific times. This master of school counseling online program also requires two 4-day campus visits.
In-State Tuition: $7,688
#5 –Texas A&M University- College Station
Online Master’s in Educational Psychology: School Counseling
The flexible online master’s in school counseling offering from Texas A&M University-College Station is technically a master’s in educational psychology with a specialization in school counseling. Students can choose either a synchronous or asynchronous delivery format, depending on their scheduling preferences. The curriculum for the program includes an ed psych core, including classes like Career Counseling in Schools, Planning and Organizing Comprehensive Guidance Programs, School Counseling Theories and Techniques, and Issues in Child and Adolescent Development. School counseling elective courses include Measurement and Evaluation in Education, Educating Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Transition from School to Work. A two-semester supervised internship is also required prior to graduation from this master’s school counseling online program.
In-State Tuition: $5,941
#4 –University of Central Arkansas
Master’s in School Counseling Online
The online MS in school counseling program from the University of Central Arkansas includes an add-on license and an initial license track for students interested in joining a school leadership team after graduation. Courses required for the program include titles like Career Guidance for School Counselors, School Counseling Intervention Strategies, School Counselors as Consultants, and Counseling Theory in K-20 Education. Students will also complete both a practicum and internship. Some campus visits may be required for this online school counseling MS program.
In-State Tuition: $4,807
#3 –Fort Hays State University
Online MS in Counseling in School Counseling
The online school counseling MS program from Fort Hays State University is a 48-hour offering designed to be completed within three years. Courses required for the program include Counseling Skills and Development, Management of Counseling Programs, Lifestyle and Career Development, and Social and Cultural Foundations of Counseling. A comprehensive examination and research paper are required for graduation, and some on-campus visits may also be required. This online master of science in school counseling option prepares students for Kansas Initial School Specialist licensure.
In-State Tuition: $3,497
#2 –Creighton University
Online MS in School Counseling and Preventative Mental Health
Creighton University offers a versatile MS in school counseling online program featuring three specialization options: Elementary School Counseling, Secondary School Counseling, and PK-12 Guidance Counseling. The curriculum for the 2-year, 36-credit hour program is based on the American School Counselor Association (ASCA)’s national model and includes required courses such as Data-Driven Perspectives in School Counseling, Issues in Child and Adolescent Development for School Counselors, Career Perspectives for Children and Adolescents, and Action Research in School Counseling. A 600-hour internship is also required. This school counseling MS online program leads to an NE school counseling certification.
In-State Tuition: $15,300
#1 –University of Missouri
Online Master’s School Counseling
The University of Missouri offers three degree options for online master of school counseling students: a MEd and an EdSp in Mental Health Practices in Schools and a MEd in Student Learning and Wellbeing. These programs can be completed entirely online and are offered through the university’s College of Education and Department of Education, School, and Counseling Psychology. Sample course titles include Foundations of School Mental Health, Communication and Collaboration with Children and Families, Building Resiliency and Optimism in Youth, and Vital Issues in School Mental Health. In addition to these master’s in school counseling online programs, graduate certificates in school counseling are also available.
In-State Tuition: $8,640
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