If you are interested in helping students develop the social and academic skills that will set them up for success, then you may be interested in a career as a school counselor. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs for school counselors is estimated to increase by an impressive 8% before 2029. This means it is a perfect time to go after that master’s in school counseling. It is also why Top Education Degrees went on the hunt for the very best master’s in school counseling degrees that future counselors can earn entirely online.
To come up with the list of the top 20 best master’s in school counseling online degrees, we began by compiling a list of any and every four-year university offering just such a program. We then examined each and every degree program, and assigned points based on the following criteria. The 20 master’s degree programs with the highest number of points are ranked below in descending order. Note: All tuition and other numbers were obtained by the National Center for Education Statistics, and are accurate as of February 2021. In the event of a tie, the higher ranking was given to the degree program with the lower annual tuition rate.
Student to Faculty Ratio:
12:1 and lower : 5 points
13:1 to 15:1 : 4 points
16:1 to 20:1 : 3 points
21:1 and higher : 2 points
In-State Tuition Cost (per year):
Under $10,000 : 5 points
$10,001 – $20,000 : 4 points
$20,001 – $30,000 : 3 points
$30,001 – $40,000 : 2 points
$40,001 and higher : 1 point
Overall Graduation Rate:
50% and above : 3 points
25% – 49% : 2 points
24% and below : 1 point
20-Year Net Return on Investment (ROI):
10% and above: 5 points
8%-9% : 4 points
6%-7% : 3 points
4%-5% : 2 points
3% and below : 1 point
#20. University of the Cumberlands
Online Master’s of Education w/ a concentration in School Counseling
The online master of arts in education in school counseling at the University of the Cumberlands is NCATE accredited and allows up to nine pre-existing graduate hours to be transferred into the program. Forty-eight hours in length, this 100% online program can lead directly into the Educational Specialist degree in school counseling at the University of the Cumberlands with only five additional courses (15 hours). A GRE or MAT score is required from individuals without a current teaching license.
#19. Liberty University
Online Master of Education in School Counseling
Liberty University features a 48-unit online master of education in school counseling that can be completed in two years. The program is taught from a Biblical point of view and is accredited by CACREP. An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and a $50 application fee are necessary for admission to the MEd in school counseling at Liberty University.
#18. Chadron State College
Online Master of Arts in Education – School Counseling
The online MAE in School Counseling offered by Chadron State College offers two paths through, 1) a 39-hour path for licensed teachers, and 2) a 54-hour path for those without a certificate or undergraduate coursework in education. There is a limited residency component to this degree. Admission to Chadron State College’s online MAE in School Counseling requires an earned bachelor’s degree and a successful interview process.
#17. Vanderbilt University
Online Master of Education w/ a specialization in School Counseling
The Peabody College at Vanderbilt University offers a master of education online with a school counseling specialization. This degree program’s 48 units can be completed in less than three years. Topics of study in the program include developing a broad knowledge base in the behavioral and social sciences, ethical practice, and cultural diversity. Included in the course of study are three field experiences and two on-campus immersions.
#16. New York University
Online Master’s in School Counseling
New York, New York
The online master’s in school counseling offered by New York University is a 48-credit affair that includes one hundred hours of practicum experience. The degree can be completed in just eighteen months and includes an internship component. No GRE score submission is required for admission to the New York University online master’s in school counseling. The school operates on a rolling admission basis, so the sooner you apply the sooner you can be accepted.
#15. Seton Hall University
Online Master of Arts in School Counseling
South Orange, New Jersey
Seton Hall University’s College of Education and Human Services offers an online master of arts in school counseling that is accredited by the CAEP. It is a 48-unit degree that includes introductory, clinical and counseling training as well as an internship to cap it off. No prerequisite courses or counseling background is required for admission to this program.
#14. North Carolina Central University
Online Master of Art in School Counseling
Durham, North Carolina
CACREP accredited and 51 hours in length, the online master of arts in school counseling at North Carolina Central University is 100% online. Applicants to the program should be able to provide evidence of an earned bachelor’s degree, a 2.7 GPA and a recent GRE score. North Carolina Central University’s master of arts online in school counseling program is an endorsed member of the International Registry of Counselor Education Programs.
#13. Wake Forest University
Online Master of Arts in Counseling
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
The 60-credit hour online master of arts in counseling at Wake Forest University includes a practicum and two units of internship. Accredited by the National Council Accrediting Teacher Education and Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, Wake Forest University applicants should have a recent GRE score, three letters of recommendation and a personal statement ready before they submit to the two interview process.
#12. Monmouth University
Online Master of Science in Education in School Counseling
West Long Beach, New Jersey
Monmouth University’s online master of science in education in school counseling is a CACREP accredited 48-unit affair. Applications for the program are accepted year round on a rolling basis. The degree includes 700 hours of supervised fieldwork spread over three placements for three different courses. Experiences must be completed at the elementary, middle and high school levels.
#11. University of West Alabama
Online Master of Education in School Counseling
At $429 per credit hour, the University of West Alabama is an affordable option for the online master of arts in education in school counseling. The program results in Class A certification as an educator in the state of Alabama. This 48-hour program includes coursework in counseling techniques for multicultural populations and strategies for crisis intervention. Up to nine hours of graduate coursework may be transferred in to the MAE in school counseling online at the University of West Alabama.
#10. Emporia State University
Online Master of Science in School Counseling
In the 48 credit master of science online in school counseling at Emporia State University, students who are licensed Kansas educators will become eligible for licensure as a K-12 school counselor in the Sunflower State. Students must first pass the PRAXIS exam. The program offers three start dates a year. Program admission requires a personal interview with faculty, three recommendation forms and an undergraduate or graduate GPA of 3.0 or above.
#9. Angelo State University
Online Master of Science in Professional School Counseling
San Angelo, Texas
Running on an accelerated eight-week term system, the online M.S. in Professional School Counseling at Angelo State University can be completed in fewer than two calendar years. The 100% online 48-credit program includes coursework in group counseling and dysfunctional behavior. A practicum in counseling is also required. Individuals pursuing this degree will be prepared, if they choose, to undergo the Texas Examination of Educator Standards (TExES) for the Professional Certificate for School Counselors.
#8. Fort Hays State University
Online Master of Science in Counseling – School Counseling
A 48-credit degree, the online master of science in counseling – school counseling is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Students are given six calendar years to finish. GRE or MAT scores are required for admission along with verification of a 3.0 GPA over the last 60 hours of coursework and a short statement of one’s professional goals.
#7. Lehigh University
Online Master’s of Education in International School Counseling
The online master of education in international school counseling offered by Lehigh University is slightly different from the other entries on this list. It prepares the learner for school counseling abroad. Two brief summer residencies are required, one in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and one in Greece. The 36-unit program requires a minimum 3.0 GPA for undergraduate work, an essay, and two letters of recommendation as part of the application packet.
#6. Oregon State University
The online master of counseling at Oregon State University is a hybrid program conducted online and over two weekends in Wilsonville, Oregon every term. This school runs on the quarter system, which is why their degree clocks in at 75 credits. Tuition comes in at $590 per unit of instruction. There is a practicum and internship component in this program. Oregon State University’s online master of counseling utilizes the cohort model and accepts 18 students a year for a summer term start.
#5. University of Louisiana at Monroe
Online Master of Science in Counseling
The University of Louisiana Monroe’s master of science in counseling – school counseling online has an option for dual certification in school counseling and clinical mental health counseling. The school counseling program exempts students who already have a master’s degree from having to submit GRE scores for admission. The online MS in counseling – school counseling at the University of Louisiana Monroe is a 60 credit program.
#4. University of Nebraska at Kearney
Online Master of Science in Education w/ a concentration in School Counseling
The 43-credit hour master of science in education in school counseling online at the University of Nebraska Kearney has two choices for specialization, PK-6 and 7-12. A brief summer residency on campus is part of the program. Application requirements include a complete academic history in official transcript form, personal essay, and three electronic reference forms submitted through the school’s website.
#3. Gwynedd Mercy University
Online Master’s in Counseling in School Counseling
Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania
The online master of science in school counseling offered by Gwynedd Mercy University is a sixty credit hour program including 30 hours of core curriculum and 30 hours of counseling certification work. The degree includes 100 hours of a practicum and 600 hours of supervised internship. Up to six credits of existing graduate coursework may be transferred in.
#2. University of Missouri
Online Master of Education in Mental Health Practices in Schools
The University of Missouri’s online MEd in Mental Health Practices in Schools is a 34-unit affair with accreditation from the Teacher Education Accreditation Council. Admission requirements include a minimum of a 3.0 GPA over the last 60 hours of undergraduate education. GRE scores are not required. There are three start dates a year.
#1. North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Online Master of Education in Counselor Education
Raleigh, North Carolina
The online master of education in counselor education – school counseling at North Carolina State University requires a GRE or MAT score for admission. The program is composed of nine courses and two internship components. Applications to North Carolina State University’s MEd in Counselor Education are only accepted once a year — January. The cohort-style program is designed to be finished in three years of part-time study.