Master's in School Counseling Online Programs

In the past, school counselors were required to teach for a few years before obtaining this position. While some states still adopt this for certification and licensure, the requirements for others is the completion of a master’s degree in school counseling.

As any online degree in counseling, an online school counseling graduate degree promotes the understanding of student development, developing counseling skills, and increasing one’s knowledge on academic, personal/social, and career topics. Other coursework that most online master’s degree in school counseling require include: foundations in school counseling, school counseling program development, child and student developmental theories, and/or learning and behavioral disorders.

When researching for your online school counseling degree, you should consider several factors: accreditation, student support, school internship placement assistance, class size, live discussions, and an alignment with the American School Counselor Association’s National Model.


Choosing the Right School Counseling Degree

Accredited School Counselor Degrees

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Programs (CACREP) and the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC) accredit online counseling programs that meet specific standards that are important in shaping future professionals.

CACREP Accreditation

CACREP school counseling accreditation is awarded to programs that meet their general standards as well as examine the following key aspects to the CACREP accredited curriculum:

  • History and Development of School Counseling
  • Various Models of School-Based Collaboration and Consultation
  • Assessments Specific to Grades PreK-12 Education
  • School Counselor Role as a Leader, Advocate, and System Change Agent
  • Characteristics, Risk Factors, and Warning Signs of Students at Risk for Mental Health and Behavioral Disorders
  • Interventions to Promote Academic Development
  • Personal and Social Counseling Techniques
  • Facilitation of School and Postsecondary Transitions
  • Promotion of Equity in Student Achievement and College Access

MPCAC Accreditation

MPCAC accredits a handful of school counseling programs across the United States. These standards are more general but a bit more comprehensive. Curriculum standards for MPCAC accreditation include:

  • Professional Identity & Ethical and Professional Standards
  • Evidence-based Theories and Practice of Counseling & Psychotherapy
  • Multiculturalism and Diversity
  • Theories of Psychopathology and Other Systems
  • Tests, Measurements, and Other Behavior Assessments
  • Research Methods and Program Evaluation
  • Career Development
  • Biological Basis of Behavior
  • Development Basis of Behavior
  • Social, Organizational, Community Basis of Behavior

Are you ready to turn your passion into a profession?
Check out our step-by-step guide on How to Become a School Counselor.

Student Support for Online Students

Students attending graduate coursework on campus may be able to check in with their advisors, financial aid representatives, or other support services personnel. For online students, connecting with these critical supporters may become more difficult. However, some online school counseling degrees have support for online students specifically, sometimes with extended office hours, virtual meeting times, and online resources.

School Counseling Internship Placement

Your internship experience is essential to post-grad licensure or certification. Internships will also give you the opportunity to practice your learned skills in real time, under a licensed and approved supervisor. Even if you have experience working in mental health or education, securing an internship site can be difficult to navigate. Some universities have distance learning internship placement teams to help you, no matter where you live, with securing your next experience.

Small Class Sizes

Not only should your classes be intimate, but having a smaller amount of peers in your cohort, or team, can help you develop professional and meaningful relationships that can transcend your online school counseling degree. When the ratio is 15:1 or less between students and instructors, professors may also be able to provide more one-on-one discussion and face time with you.

Live Discussion Learning

Synchronous learning allows students and instructors to meet at a designated time, possibly once a week - virtually. In these live discussions, online school counseling students can “meet” face-to-face in a format mimicking on-campus interactions. For online school counseling degree students, this type of learning can really help to share experiences, theoretical questions, or ask for supportive resources.

ASCA National Model Influence

For any online master’s in school counseling, you want to make sure that their curriculum and values align with the ASCA National Model: A Framework for School Counseling Programs. School counselors development and deliver school counseling programs that promote student development in academics, personal/social, and careers. Through these programs, school counselors advocate for equitable access to education, provide developmental support in the three previously mentioned domains, and use data to drive decision making.

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Are you passionate about transforming the lives of youth in your area? Earn a master's in Counseling & Guidance from NYU online and make a difference.

Request more information from Counseling@NYU!

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Become a positive force in your community. Earn an online master's in school counseling from top-ranked USC Rossier.

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Develop meaningful counseling programs to change lives. Earn your M.Ed. from top-ranked Peabody College.

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Sponsored Online School Counseling Programs


Adams State University

Program Overview

  • Program Name: Master of Arts in School Counseling
  • Program Length: 2 1/2 years
  • Instruction Method: Asynchronous

Program Requirements

  • 60 Credits
  • Completion of five consecutive semesters
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA
  • Complete 12-credit hour internship

Admission Requirements

  • Completed online application with $30 fee
  • Official transcripts from baccalaureate degree
  • Two letters of professional recommendation
  • Personal statement, 3-5 pages typed, double-spaced on your past helping experiences, future goals in the helping profession, and personal qualities that will enable you to be an effective counselor
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75

Bradley University

Program Overview

  • Program Name: Master of Arts in Professional School Counseling
  • Program Length: Two to three years
  • Instruction Method: Asynchronous

Program Requirements

  • 60-61 Semester Credit Hours (CACREP Accredited curriculum)
  • Completion of 750 hours of supervised experiences: practicum - 100 Hours, internship - 650 Hours
  • Two required campus-based residencies

Admission Requirements

  • Completed graduate online application with $40 application fee
  • Admissions essays
  • Official transcripts from an accredited baccalaureate university or college
  • Maintained a 3.0 GPA for the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate work
  • Three professional letters of recommendation - one must be a current supervisor
  • Official GRE or MAT scores may be used if other requirements are not available
  • Complete the program's online screening interview.

Edinboro University

Program Overview

  • Program Name: Master of Arts in School Counseling
  • Program Length: Two to three years depending on enrollment status
  • Instruction Methods: Asynchronous

Program Requirements

  • 60-63 credits
  • The student must satisfactorily complete a comprehensive examination.
  • Capstone Project
  • 12-credit internship of 600 hours of on-site experience.

Admission Requirements

  • Online graduate application and fee
  • Official transcripts from accredited institutions
  • Three letters of reference and contact information
  • Writing sample of up to 500 words
  • Admissions interview

Indiana Wesleyan University

Program Overview

  • Program Name: Master of Arts in School Counseling
  • Program Length: 2 ½ to 5 years full-time or 3 ½ to 5 years part-time
  • Instruction Methods: Asynchronous

Program Requirements: 48 credits

Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree and official transcripts from an accredited college or university
  • An undergraduate grade point average of 3.0
  • Six credit hours in Psychology, of which three credit hours must be in Abnormal Psychology (Developmental Psychology for Student Development Counseling and Administration)
  • Six credit hours in Bible
  • GRE taken within five years of application to the program. Verbal (V) score of at least 146 required.
  • Submit an autobiography
  • Three recommendations

Messiah College

Program Overview

  • Program Name: Master of Arts in School Counseling
  • Program Length: Two to four years
  • Instruction Method: Asynchronous

Program Requirements

  • 60 Credits
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA
  • Recommendation of graduation from advisor
  • Six credit internship and one practicum
  • Attend at least one professional counseling conference
  • Attend two one-week, one campus sessions

Admission Requirements

  • Official transcripts verifying baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  • Completed application with $30 fee
  • Minimum cumulative undergraduate 3.0 GPA
  • Personal statement of purpose, 300-500 words
  • Two recommendations
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • 150 word answers to four essay questions
  • State Authorization (Messiah can NOT accept online graduate students taking classes while living in Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, or Wisconsin)

New York University

Program Overview

  • Program Name: Master of Arts in Counseling and Guidance
  • Program Length:1 ½ to 2+ year depending on enrollment basis.
  • Instruction Methods: Asynchronous and Synchronous

Program Requirements:

  • 48 Credits
  • Completion of 700 hours of field work

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed online graduate application
  • Application Fee: $75, priority application timelines are $45
  • Statement of Purpose: Introduction of your goals, interests, career plans and reasons why you are pursuing a master's degree in counseling.
  • Current Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Transcripts from every postsecondary school uploaded. If admitted, you will need to provide official copies.
  • Two letters of recommendation from academic references.
  • If your native language is not English, you will need to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores.
Learn more about NYU's online master's in counseling and guidance with information from Counseling@NYU.

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North Carolina Central University

Program Overview

  • Program Name: Master of Arts in School Counseling
  • Program Length: N/A
  • Instruction Methods: N/A

Program Requirements

  • 51 Credits
  • 100-Hour Practicum
  • 600-Hour Internship

Admission Requirements

  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited university
  • Minimum GPA of 2.7
  • Completed online application with $40 fee
  • Two Recommendations
  • GRE Scores
  • Application Essay

North Carolina State University

Program Overview

  • Program Name: Master of Education in School Counseling
  • Program Length: Three years
  • Instruction Method: Asynchronous

Program Requirements

  • 60 Credits
  • Internship completion

Admission Requirements

  • Official transcripts verifying baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  • Online and Department Application with fee
  • Resume
  • GRE or MAT scores
  • TOEFL for International Students
  • Three Academic Recommendations

Regent University

Program Overview

  • Program Name: Master of Arts in School Counseling
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Instruction Methods: Asynchronous

Program Requirements

  • 60 credit hours
  • Practicum: 100 hours
  • Internship: 600 hours

Admissions Requirements

  • Bachelors from a regionally accredited college or university
  • A minimum of a 3.0 GPA for all undergraduate coursework
  • Complete application online and pay application fee
  • Submit official and unofficial transcripts and test scores
  • Writing sample
  • Recent resume or curriculum vitae
  • Pre-admissions workshop

University of Louisiana-Monroe

Program Overview

  • Program Name: Master of Science in School Counseling
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Instruction Methods: N/A

Program Requirements

  • 60 credit hours
  • Internship

Admissions Requirements

  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 overall or on the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate course work
  • Minimum combined score of 900 on the GRE General Test or a minimum combined score of 290 on the new GRE General Test (Verbal plus Qualitative).
  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • Complete an application online, submit official transcripts from all schools attended, and submit a score from the GRE.
  • Have official transcripts sent directly from the issuing institution.
  • If any prior graduate coursework has been completed will be reviewed.

University of Massachusetts - Boston

Program Overview

  • Program Name: Master of Education in School Counseling
  • Program Length: Two Years
  • Instruction Methods: Asynchronous and Synchronous

Program Requirements

  • 60 Credit Hours
  • 100 Hour Practicum
  • 600 Hour Internship
  • One Two-Week Summer Session

Admission Requirements

  • A Bachelor’s Degree from an Accredited College or University
  • Online Application
  • Official Previous Transcripts
  • Minimum 3.0 Undergraduate GPA
  • GRE scores required if no advanced degree held
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Statement of Intent
  • Resume
  • Personal Interview

University of Southern California

Program Overview

  • Program Name: Master of Education in School Counseling
  • Program Length: Two to three years
  • Instruction Methods: Asynchronous and Synchronous

Program Requirements

  • 49 Units

Admissions Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  • GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Sealed, official post-secondary transcripts
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Official scores of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), if applicable
  • Application fee of $90
Discover USC's online master of education in school counseling, request information from USC Rossier Online.

Sponsored Online School Counseling Program

Vanderbilt University

Program Overview

  • Program Name: Master of Education in Human Development Counseling with a Specialization in School Counseling
  • Program Length: Three to four years
  • Instruction Methods: Asynchronous and Synchronous

Program Requirements

  • 48 Credit Hours
  • On-Campus Immersions
  • One-Year Internship

Admissions Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  • Official transcripts
  • GRE or MAT Scores
  • TOEFL or IELTS Scores if Applicant’s Native Language is Not English
  • Letter of Academic Interests and Professional Goals
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Admissions Interview
Learn more about Vanderbilt's online master of education in human development counseling, request information from Peabody Online.

Sponsored Online School Counseling Program

Wake Forest University

Program Overview

  • Program Name: Master of Arts in School Counseling
  • Program Length: Two to three years
  • Instruction Method: Asynchronous

Program Requirements

  • 60 Credits
  • 200-Hour Practicum
  • 600-Hour Internship

Admission Requirements

  • Complete online application with $75 fee
  • Official transcripts verifying baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  • Undergraduate GPA greater than 2.5
  • GRE Scores
  • Three Letters of Recommendation