Master's Programs in Guidance and Counseling

Check the prerequisites for enrolling in a master's degree program in guidance and counseling, and explore some of the course topics you'd study as a graduate student. Get info about online learning options in the guidance and counseling field. Review the licensure requirements, job outlook and typical salary for school counselors. Schools offering Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Courses Will I Take in a Master's in Guidance and Counseling Program?

Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Guidance and Counseling and Master of Arts (M.A.) in Counseling programs are usually based on research, theory and practical experience. In addition to attending lectures, you'll likely be required to complete a practicum or an internship in a supervised setting. Your curriculum might also include a research or portfolio project. Topics of study in a graduate-level guidance and counseling program typically include:

  • Multicultural perspectives in counseling
  • Counseling students with mental illness and substance addiction
  • Career guidance and academic advising
  • Cognitive, social and emotional development in children and adolescents
  • Development of listening, interviewing, assessment and relationship-building skills
  • Family intervention practices
  • Working with exceptional children
  • Responding to issues of society
  • Implementation and evaluation of group counseling sessions

Available DegreesMaster of Education, Master of Arts
CourseworkCounseling students, career guidance, cognitive development, family intervention practices, working with exceptional children
PrerequisitesBachelor's degree (usually from a related field) and teaching experience may be required
Online OptionsOnline and hybrid programs are available that typically require some on-site work and practicums
Certification Requirements vary for school counselor certification; typically includes practicum, exam and possibly teaching licensure and experience
Median Salary (2014) $53,370* (for school and career counselors)

Source: *US. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Prerequisites?

Master's degree programs in guidance and counseling are typically aimed at students who already have bachelor's degrees in education as well as teaching experience. Some programs may accept students who have bachelor's degrees in fields other than education.

Can I Earn My Degree Online?

Guidance and counseling master's degree programs are typically offered on campus, but you can find some available online. There are hybrid programs that combine online courses with on-site residencies and practicum components. Online course materials are typically delivered via e-mail, recorded media or a learning management system such as Blackboard. Interaction with your instructors and classmates takes place via discussion boards and online chat.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

A master's program in guidance and counseling can prepare you for a career as a school counselor; however, you'll typically need to earn school counselor certification. Certification requirements vary by state, but most states require you to meet supervised practicum requirements and pass an exam. You may also be required to hold a teaching license and have at least two years of teaching experience.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for school counselors were projected to increase by approximately eight percent from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). School and career counselors earned a median annual salary of $53,370 in 2014.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Master

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  • Grand Canyon University

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    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

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  • Strayer University

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    Popular programs at Strayer University:

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  • Colorado Christian University

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    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

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  • Howard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Columbia (D.C.): Washington
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