Online Degrees in School Counseling

School counselors help students with academics, social development and peer relations. You can find online degree programs in this field at the master's level, usually in a hybrid format that includes some on-campus requirements. Find out what you'd study as a school counseling graduate student and how online classes work. Review the licensure requirements and employment outlook for school counselors too. Schools offering Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Types of Online Degrees in School Counseling are Available?

Online degrees in school counseling are offered at the master's degree level, which is the minimum required level of education for a school counselor. Doctorate degrees in school counseling are offered through on-campus programs. Online master's degree programs in school counseling typically require two and a half years to complete and prepare you for state licensure.

DegreesMaster's degree available online; doctoral degrees offered on campus
Course Format Online asynchronous and live courses mixed with on-campus classes/activities; practicum and internship required
Courses OfferedMulticultural counseling, human development, assessments and tests, counseling ethics, counseling methods
Licensure RequirementsVaries by state, but can include a master's degree, teaching certification and teaching experience
Job Growth (2014-2024)8%* (for educational, guidance, school, and vocational counselors)
Mean Wage (2015)$63,760* (for elementary and secondary school counselors)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Do Online Programs Work?

Most online counseling master's programs are a hybrid of online courses, hands-on practical experiences and on-campus visits. You will be required to attend a couple of classes on campus each summer as a way to apply the knowledge you learned in your online courses.

Courses may be delivered over the web as asynchronous classes, or they may be live classes delivered at a scheduled time via web conferencing. Live classes allow for immediate interaction with instructors and students. Your practicum and internship requirements will be met through opportunities you arrange in your local community.

What Will I Study?

A teaching degree or license is usually not a prerequisite, and most programs offer separate tracks for those without teaching experience or licensure. Having a teaching license and experience may reduce the number of required practicum and internship hours. In either track, your curriculum will include academic, personal, social and career development of K-12 students through courses covering:

  • Methods of counseling
  • School counseling program management
  • Ethics in counseling
  • Grief and crisis counseling
  • Assessments, measures and tests
  • Theory and process of counseling
  • Multicultural counseling
  • Human development and behavior
  • Counseling in elementary, middle and high schools

You will also be required to complete a supervised practicum of around 150 hours and a 600-hour internship prior to graduation.

Will I Need To Be Licensed?

Licensure for school counselors varies by state; however, most states require a variation of certification, licensure, teaching certificate, teaching experience and a master's degree in counseling. Voluntary certification as a National Certified School Counselor is available through the National Board for Certified Counselors. You should check with your state regarding requirements prior to beginning an education program.

What is the Career Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), career opportunities for school counselors will increase by 8% from 2014-2024 due to the expanding role of counselors in schools and increased federal grants and subsidies. As of May 2015, the average annual salary for elementary and secondary school counselors was $63,760, according to the BLS.

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

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Leo University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • New England College

    New England College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at New England College:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

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