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Capella University

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Grand Canyon University

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Regent University

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Walden University

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Liberty University

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Strayer University

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Colorado Christian University

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Southern New Hampshire University

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Online Graduate Courses and Programs in Guidance Counseling

Read about online graduate degree programs in guidance counseling, which may require some on-campus work and an internship. Check the technical requirements for online courses and degree programs. Explore the typical curriculum in a graduate guidance counseling program. Get career info for guidance counselors, including licensure requirements and certification options.

What You Need to Know

In guidance counseling graduate programs, you focus on counseling techniques, such as how to conduct interviews and write up a diagnosis. You can study how the relationships among family members are affected by race, culture, gender and social class. Programs also explore how to recognize psychological and behavioral issues or provide students with vocational resources.

Degree Programs Master's, Doctorate, Graduate Certificate
Courses Mental Health Counseling, Assessment Measures, Crisis Intervention
Online Most programs are offered partially online, with on-campus sessions or required practica

What Online Guidance Counseling Graduate Degree Programs Are Available to Me?

Some of the more common online graduate counseling degrees include a Master of Science or a Master of Education in School Counseling. These programs teach you to implement curriculum and counseling programs so students can reach their academic and career goals. They also qualify you for licensure as a school guidance counselor in an elementary, middle or high school setting. In addition to coursework, degree requirements often include a practicum or internship experience at a school near your residence. You may also have to attend on-campus seminars or clinics.

Schools for Online Graduate Courses and Programs

Here is a list of schools that offer graduate-level programs in guidance counseling:

  • Liberty University Online: Master of Education in School Counseling
  • Walden University: PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision
  • North Carolina State University: Graduate Certificate in Counselor Education
  • University of Massachusetts: Master of Education in School Counseling
  • Capella University: Master of Science in School Counseling

What Course Topics Will I Study?

Some programs also include a course discussing how to maintain professional relationships with teachers and parents. Other course topics include abnormal psychology or research methods. Typical courses in an online graduate guidance counseling program also include:

  • Human Development and Behavior
  • Group and Family Therapy
  • Ethical standards
  • Introduction to School Counseling
  • Contemporary Issues in School Counseling

What Do I Do Once I Have a Graduate Degree in Guidance Counseling?

Guidance counseling program graduates can become school guidance counselors for children in grades K-12. You will need to be licensed by the state in which you work. As stated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), licensure requirements typically include the completion of a master's degree program. Some states also require school counselors to hold a teaching certificate or pass a professional skills test, such as the Praxis examination, according to the American School Counselor Association.

In other states, voluntary certification can qualify you to work as a school guidance counselor. If you have already completed a master's degree in school counseling and three years of work experience, you may sit for the National Board for Certified Counselors' (NBCC) National Certified School Counselor Examination.

Another voluntary national certification option is the Early Childhood through Young Adulthood/School Counselor Certificate offered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). To earn this credential, you must submit a portfolio of written assignments and video-recorded counseling sessions. Employment of school counselors was projected by the BLS to increase by 13% from 2016-2026, which is faster than the national average.

What Will I Need to Take Online Courses?

You will need a Web browser capable of running Javascript, such as Chrome or Internet Explorer. You will also need a high-speed Internet connection and an active e-mail account. Requirements often include headphones or speakers and a media player, such as RealPlayer, so that you can download course lectures.