An online educational counseling degree or school counseling degree can provide current education professionals with the skills they need to take the next step in their career. Teachers and administrators who decide that they would like to work as guidance counselors, educational psychologists, academic advisors, or in educational assessment will almost certainly need an advanced degree in a relevant field.
The 12 Best Online School Counseling
12. Wake Forest University
Online School Counseling Graduate Program
Wake Forest is one of the few universities that offers a CACREP-accredited school counseling graduate program online. This designation puts the school in an elite group and signifies its commitment to maintaining a high-quality, relevant curriculum. The coursework explores a variety of fundamental counseling topics, from family, addiction, and cultural counseling to life span development and crisis management. In addition, all students must complete a final capstone course. During this class, you’ll be challenged to compile an “e-portfolio” of your work and give a presentation that summarizes all the knowledge you’ve gained over the course of the program.
Average Cost: $1,340/credit
11. Chadron State College
Online Master of Education – School Counseling
Like most of the top online school psychology programs, Chadron State’s MEd in School Counseling requires candidates to complete both practicum and internship experiences before graduating. However, the length of internship (i.e. number of hours) is dependent on each individual student’s career goals. Program members seeking endorsement for grades PK-8 or 7-12 must only accrue 450 internship hours, while those who desire K-12 certification will have to put in double the time. Also note that, while most of the coursework is online, a few classes are only available in an on-campus format.
Average Cost: $300/credit
10. Oregon State University
Online Master of Counseling: School Counseling
Oregon State University’s 75-credit Master of Counseling degree is not strictly an online program; in fact, a full 50% of classes take place on campus in Salem. And yet, OSU still ranks in the top ten on our ranking of the best online school psychology programs, so you know it has a lot to offer! Indeed, the university’s highly respected counseling curriculum comes with accreditations from both CACREP and the NCATE. And of course, graduates of the program are eligible for licensure as school counselors in Oregon – and possibly other states as well.
Average Cost: $629/credit
9. University of North Texas
Online Master of Science in Educational Psychology – Concentration in Gifted and Talented Education
At UNT, students interested in educational psychology can become experts in one of the field’s most popular areas of study: gifted and talented education. Classes focus on niche topics that rarely make the course list in more generic programs, like the “Nature and Needs of the Gifted and Talented Student” and the “Social and Emotional Components of Giftedness.” And if you’re already a licensed teacher, completing UNT’s program will qualify you for a supplemental certificate in Gifted and Talented Education. All in all, the University of North Texas has one of the best educational psychology degrees online for teachers who want to help bright students reach their full potential.
Average Cost: $603/credit
8. University of the Southwest
Online MSED School Counseling
Education professionals who want to become licensed school counselors in New Mexico should head straight to the University of the Southwest (or rather, to its website). There you’ll find a 42-credit, fully-online (aside from internships) MSEd in School Counseling that will prepare you not just for licensure, but for a successful career. The coursework trains future counselors to ask the important questions, like “How do students interact with their environment?” and “How can I ensure a student’s access to education?” This is also one of the best online school counseling programs for teachers who want to expand their knowledge through interesting electives such as “Play Therapy” and “Psychopathology.”
Average Cost: $599/credit
7. Ball State University
Online Master of Arts in Educational Psychology: Gifted and Talented Specialization
BSU marks the second of two universities in our top ten ranking to offer an affordable online school psychology program with a focus on gifted and talented education. But that’s not all that makes Ball State stand out. This 100% online program takes just 18 months to complete (or less than a year if you attend full time) and features nationally recognized faculty who are experts in child development, academic anxiety, statistics, and more. The gifted and talented specialization is most appropriate for applicants who want to work in schools and offers a “high ability license” for students who already have their Indiana teaching certificate.
Average Cost: $808/credit
6. Missouri Baptist University
Online Master of Arts in Counseling (School)
Want to earn an affordable online educational counseling degree? At less than $600 per credit, Missouri Baptist’s MA-SC program can offer you just that. It can also offer you a flexible schedule that’s designed for busy adults but will still take you from start to finish in just three years. In that three years, you’ll take classes like “Advanced Human Development,” “Group Counseling,” and “Tests and Measurements.” As part of the 51-credit curriculum, students are also required to complete a practicum and two internships – one in an elementary school and one in a secondary (middle or high) school.
Average Cost: $570/credit
5. Texas A & M University-College Station
Online Educational Psychology: Specialization in School Counseling (M.Ed.)
For a program that blends educational psychology with school counseling, check out Texas A&M University. Its MEd in Educational Psychology: Emphasis in School Counseling includes classes like “Career Counseling in Schools” and “Planning and Organizing Comprehensive Guidance Programs” but also “Techniques of Research” and “Assessment in School Settings.” This cheap online school psychology program (which costs less than $500/credit) also includes two practicum experiences, but no internships. And unlike some other Ed Psych degrees, TAMU’s program won’t require you to write a final thesis or design a research project in order to graduate!
Average Cost: $470/credit
4. University of West Alabama
Online Master of Education School Counseling Certification Program
The University of West Alabama is part of an elite group of colleges on our top online school psychology programs ranking. Why? Because it has one of the only counseling degrees to earn accreditation from both the NCATE and CACREP. And there is perhaps no clearer sign of a program’s quality than approval from these prestigious agencies. This also likely explains UWA’s popularity; its immense counselor education program graduated more than 100 students with master’s degrees just last year! And to top it all off, the university’s low tuition rates make it one of the most affordable choices on this list.
Average Cost: $533/credit
3. Liberty University
Online Master of Education in School Counseling
Liberty University is well-known as a top provider of online degrees. But what you might not know is that Liberty offers one of the best school counseling graduate programs online. With CACREP accreditation and a nearly unbeatable tuition rate, this university would give any college a run for its money in a contest of best values. If there’s any downside to choosing Liberty, it’s that the curriculum isn’t entirely online. To complete the coursework, you’ll have to travel to its Virginia campus for occasional “intensive” sessions. But considering the other perks that come with this 48-credit degree, it’s almost certainly worth the commute!
Average Cost: $466/credit
2. Angelo State University
Online Guidance and Counseling Master’s Degree (M.Ed.)
At Angelo State University, you’ll find a well-rounded, practical education in its Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling. Designed for professionals who want to work in both public K-12 schools and at the collegiate level, this 36-credit program covers a diverse range of topics in a relatively short timeframe. Classes in group and individual counseling, dysfunctional behavior, lifespan development, and career and occupational counseling provide a strong foundation for anyone who wants to work in this field. And because it doesn’t include any practicums or internships (only a “Comprehensive Program Review”) this is one of the best online educational counseling degrees for applicants who don’t need any additional hands-on experience.
Average Cost: $414/credit
1. North Carolina State University
Online Master of Education in School Counseling
What does it take to become number one on our ranking of affordable educational psychology degrees online? Cheap tuition certainly doesn’t hurt, but North Carolina State University offers much more. Its MEd in School Counseling is CACREP-accredited, features a flexible schedule (utilizing a part-time, cohort model), and – of course – qualifies graduates for K-12 school counselor licensure. But perhaps the most interesting quality of NCSU’s program is its strong commitment to diversity. Recognizing the need for school counselors who come from a variety of backgrounds, the program has increased the percentage of “culturally different” degree candidates from 5-20% in recent years.
Average Cost: $720/credit