Masters Degrees in Educational Counseling: Online and Campus-Based Programs
A master's degree program in educational counseling can train you to help students by providing counseling and support in academic, social, and emotional issues. Learn about degree program options and career outlook info.
What Courses Will I Take in a Master's Degree Program in Educational Counseling?
Educational counseling master's degree programs are offered as a Master of Science Education in Counseling, a Master of Science in School Counseling, or a Master of Education in Counseling. Your curriculum is a blend of coursework, skill development, and supervised practicums and/or internships. You will need to complete a designated number of hours of practicum and clinical work to meet the requirements of the program. Your topics of study may include:
- Introduction to issues in mental health
- Counseling methods and procedures
- Group counseling strategies and skills
- Procedures for substance abuse counseling
- Human development K-12
- Basics of school counseling
- Career development skills for educational counselors
|Areas of Study||Mental health issues, counseling method, group counseling, substance abuse counseling, K-12 human development, school counseling basics, career development|
|Prerequisites||Bachelor's degree, GRE scores, satisfactory GPA, school program-specific application requirements|
|Online Options||Course offered online, fieldwork typically required on-site|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||13% growth (for school and career counselors)*|
|Median Salary (2018)||$56,310 (for school and career counselors)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Are the Prerequisites for the Program?
A master's in educational counseling degree in an interdisciplinary program aimed at students interested in a career as a school counselor. General prerequisites include a bachelor's degree in education, a copy of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, and a satisfactory Grade Point Average (GPA), in addition to any school-specific application requirements. Upon successful completion of the master's program, you will meet the certification requirements set by the State Board for school counselors. Consult your state's Department of Education website for information about certification in the state where you plan to look for a job.
Can I Earn My Degree Online?
Master's degrees in educational counseling are typically found on campus, but may be offered online in some schools. The courses you'll take online are the same as those on campus; however, your courses are delivered via e-mail or a learning delivery system, such as Blackboard. As an online student, you can continue to work while completing online coursework.
You'll need a computer with Internet access and an e-mail address. Although many of your courses are completed online, the program is not fully online. You'll need to successfully complete supervised practicums or internships at an approved facility or on campus.
How Will the Degree Help My Career?
A master's degree in educational counseling will prepare you for a career as a licensed counselor in an educational setting. Depending on your area of interest, you may choose to counsel students from kindergarten through their college years. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment outlook for educational counselors is projected to increase up to 13% between 2016 and 2026, although overall employment for counselors, social workers, and other community and social service specialists may increase to 16% for the same period (www.bls.gov). In 2018, the lowest-paid 10% of educational and school counselors earned a median salary of $33,610 or less, according to BLS, while the highest-paid 10% earned a median wage of $94,690 or more annually.
Licensing requirements vary by state, so prior to enrolling, you may want to check with the state in which you want to work. Although most schools require educational counselors to have a master's degree, others may require completion of some graduate study, as well as state certification as a school counselor. Depending on the state, you may also need a license to become a school counselor, which often requires continuing education courses.