Best Graduate Programs in School Counseling

Find out what graduate-level degree programs are available in school counseling at three top schools. Learn about school rankings, and get tips to help you select a program that best fits your needs. Schools offering Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Should I Look For in a Top School Counseling Graduate Program?

Consider a program that's accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). If you're interested in studying school psychology, look into programs that are accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).

According to the National Association of School Psychologists, school counselor licensure requirements include completion of a master's program in addition to hands-on experience. Licensure requirements for school psychologists include at least three years of graduate-level study as well as supervised clinical training (www.nasponline.org). Completing a program at one of the following three schools may lead to professional licensure in school counseling or school psychology.

What Are Three of the Best School Counseling Graduate Programs?

Indiana University (IU) in Bloomington

U.S. News & World Report ranked IU 14th for its graduate programs in school counseling and personnel services in 2019. Research strengths in IU's Counseling and Educational Psychology Department include educational equity, school violence and anxiety disorders. The Master of Science in Counseling and Counselor Education with a concentration in school counseling could help you meet state requirements for a school counselor license. Students interested in becoming elementary or secondary school counselors may also pursue an Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) in Mental Health Counseling.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Counseling Psychology could prepare you for work as a college counselor. The Ph.D. and Ed.S. in School Psychology programs offer practicum opportunities in Latin America; these programs may lead to work as a school psychologist. Doctoral candidates might receive clinical training through IU's Center for Human Growth. The following degrees are offered:

  • Master of Science in Counseling and Counselor Education
  • Educational Specialist in Mental Health Counseling
  • Ph.D. in School Psychology
  • Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology

University of Missouri (UM) in Columbia

The school was ranked third by U.S. News & World Report for its graduate-level school counseling and personnel services programs in 2019.

A Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in school counseling is available for aspiring K-12 school counselors. A unique online program developed in conjunction with the Missouri Department of Mental Health may lead to an M.Ed. or Ed.S. degree with a mental health focus.

Facilities operated by MU's Department of Educational, School and Counseling Psychology include the Assessment and Consultation Clinic, the Counseling Center and the Coalition for Cultural Competency. Available degrees include:

  • M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology
  • M.Ed. in School Counseling
  • M.Ed. in Career Counseling
  • Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology

Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus

The school was first in U.S. News & World Report's 2019 ranking of graduate programs in school counseling and personnel services.

OSU's School of Physical Activity and Educational Services offers master's and Ph.D. programs in counseling. The master's-level school counseling track meets requirements for Ohio's school counseling license. The doctoral program may prepare you for work as a counseling director.

Additional learning resources may be available through the Counselor Education and School Psychology Laboratory for Clinical Research, Training, Outreach & Consultation. You could earn one of the following degrees:

  • M.A. in Educational Studies, Counselor Education
  • Ph.D. in Educational Studies, Counselor Education

Ten Other School Counseling Graduate Programs

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocationEstimated Graduate In-State Tuition*
University of Maryland4-year, PublicCollege Park, MD$14,500
University of North Carolina - Greensboro4-year, PublicGreensboro, NC$8,000
University of Georgia4-year, PublicAthens, GA$11,000
University of Wisconsin - Madison4-year, PublicMadison, WI$12,000
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities4-year, PublicMinneapolis, MN$18,500
Pennsylvania State University4-year, PublicUniversity Park, PA$22,500
University of Florida4-year, PublicGainesville, FL$13,000
University of Central Florida4-year, PublicOrlando, FL$9,000
Boston College4-year, PrivateChestnut Hill, MA$29,500
University of San Francisco4-year, PrivateSan Francisco, CA$25,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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  • Colorado Christian University

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    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master

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