Why This Matters

  • THE U.S. HAS MORE THAN 49 MILLION SCHOOL-AGED KIDS

    There are 49.3 million school-aged children in the United States, and that number is slowly increasing. It’s predicted there will be 50.5 million school-aged kids in 2050.

  • SCHOOL COUNSELOR POSITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO INCREASE BY 8%

    The need for school counselors is outpacing the average growth rate of most jobs. Eight percent job growth for school counselors is expected through 2029.

  • EARN ANOTHER $11,000 EACH YEAR

    School counselors command a median annual salary of $57,040. That’s $10,980 over the $46,060 that counselors, social workers, and community service specialists make.

Our Research

We reviewed many master’s in school counseling programs, including those that award Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), and Master of Education (MEd) degrees. These programs offer online, on-campus, and hybrid courses.

All of the included programs are regionally accredited, and many are also programmatically accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) or the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP). Attending an accredited program ensures schools and employers will recognize your degree.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 54 hours to write this article
  • 173 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 373 education programs we compared

The Top 40 Master’s in School Counseling Degree Programs

Best Master's in School Counseling Degree Programs
01
Alfred University

intelligent score 98.96

Award Intelligent Pick

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Intelligent Pick

Delivery Format On-Campus

Programs Master of Science in Education, School Counseling

Required Credits to Graduate 60 credits

Department School of Graduate & Continuing Studies

Estimated Cost per Credit $1,000 per credit

accreditation Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 607-871-2212

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus

Programs Master of Science in Education, School Counseling

Required Credits to Graduate 60 credits

01
Florida Atlantic University

intelligent score 98.36

Award Best in the Southeast

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best in the Southeast

Delivery Format On-Campus

Programs Master of Education in School Counseling

Required Credits to Graduate 60 credits

Department College of Education

Estimated Cost per Credit Resident: $371.82 per credit; Non-Resident: $1,026.81 per credit

accreditation Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 561-297-3602

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus

Programs Master of Education in School Counseling

Required Credits to Graduate 60 credits

01
The University of Tennessee at Martin

intelligent score 98.23

Award Best for Licensure Prep

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best for Licensure Prep

Delivery Format On-campus, Online

Programs Master of Science in Education in Counseling

Required Credits to Graduate 48 credits

Department College of Education, Health, and Behavioral Sciences

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State: $590 per credit; Out-of-State: $926 per credit

accreditation National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 731-881-7012

Learn More

Delivery Format On-campus, Online

Programs Master of Science in Education in Counseling

Required Credits to Graduate 48 credits

01
University of Missouri-St Louis

intelligent score 95.47

Award Best Secondary School Focus

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Secondary School Focus

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Master of Education in School Counseling

Required Credits to Graduate 60 credits

Department College of Education

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State: $386 per credit; Out-of-State: $1,056.80 per credit

accreditation Higher Learning Commission, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 314-516-5792

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Master of Education in School Counseling

Required Credits to Graduate 60 credits

01
Eastern Michigan University

intelligent score 94.14

Award Best Ethics Focus

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Ethics Focus

Delivery Format On-Campus

Programs Master of Arts in School Counseling

Required Credits to Graduate 58 credits

Department College of Education

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State: $815 per credit; Out-of-State: $1,449 per credit

accreditation Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 734-487-1414

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus

Programs Master of Arts in School Counseling

Required Credits to Graduate 58 credits

01
Oregon State University

intelligent score 93.05

Award Best in the Pacific Northwest

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best in the Pacific Northwest

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Master of Counseling in School Counseling

Required Credits to Graduate 75 credits

Department College of Education

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State: $540.66 per credit; Out-of-State: $989.33 per credit

accreditation Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, Teacher Standards and Practices Commission

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 541-737-4881

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Master of Counseling in School Counseling

Required Credits to Graduate 75 credits

01
University of Massachusetts Online

intelligent score 91.61

Award Best Cohort Model

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Cohort Model

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Master of Education in Counseling

Required Credits to Graduate 60 credits

Department College of Education and Human Development

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State: $787.10 per credit; Out-of-State: $1,518.20 per credit

accreditation Commission on Institutions of Higher Education

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 617-287-5835

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Master of Education in Counseling

Required Credits to Graduate 60 credits

01
Southwestern Assemblies of God University

intelligent score 91.48

Award Best Christian Institution

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Christian Institution

Delivery Format On-Campus

Programs Master of Education in School Counseling

Required Credits to Graduate 48 credits

Department College of Education

Estimated Cost per Credit $595 per credit

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 888-937-7248

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus

Programs Master of Education in School Counseling

Required Credits to Graduate 48 credits

01
Fort Hays State University

intelligent score 91.05

Award Best In-State Tuition

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best In-State Tuition

Delivery Format On-Campus

Programs Master of Science in Counseling

Required Credits to Graduate 54 credits

Department College of Education

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State: $241.71 per credit; Out-of-State: $609.77 per credit

accreditation Kansas State Department of Education, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 785-628-4236

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus

Programs Master of Science in Counseling

Required Credits to Graduate 54 credits

01
Campbellsville University

intelligent score 90.75

Award Best Faith-Based Institution

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Faith-Based Institution

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Master of Arts in Education in School Guidance Counseling

Required Credits to Graduate 48 credits

Department School of Education

Estimated Cost per Credit $299 per credit

accreditation Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 888-506-6011

Learn More

Delivery Format On-Campus, Online

Programs Master of Arts in Education in School Guidance Counseling

Required Credits to Graduate 48 credits

01
Best Hybrid Program
Liberty University
01
Best M.A. Program
Regent University
01
Best for Part-Time Studies
Southern Arkansas University
01
Best Student Experience
University of West Alabama
01
Best Internships
Indiana Wesleyan University
01
Best Libraries
North Carolina Central University
01
Most Recognized Faculty
Wake Forest University
01
Best Public Institution
Chadron State College
01
Best Synchronous Format
Missouri Baptist University
01
Best Multicultural Focus
NC State University
01
Best Focus on Bilingual Students
Counseling at NYU
01
Best Faculty
Seton Hall University
01
Best for Veterans
Umass Global
01
Best for International Students
Concordia University Irvine
01
Best College Counseling Focus
East Carolina University
01
Best in the Mid-Atlantic Region
Edinboro University
01
Best for Adult Learners
Emporia State University
01
Best for Those With Disabilities
Gallaudet University
01
Best for Substance Abuse Counseling
Mercy College
01
Best Primary School Focus
University of Central Arkansas
01
Best Dual MEd/EdS Program
University of Georgia
01
Best for Leadership Training
University of Nebraska at Kearney
01
Best Mental Health Focus
Adams State University
01
Best in New England
Boston College
01
Best Social Justice Focus
Ball State University
01
Best Practicum Experience
Capella University
01
Best Full-Time Program
University of Denver
01
Most Grants Received
Hampton University - School of Liberal Arts and Education
01
Best Graduate Student Funding
Indiana University Bloomington
01
Best Job Placement Rate
Lincoln Memorial University

What You Should Know About This Degree

School counselors are overseen at the state level, and most states require a license, certificate, or endorsement before you can begin working in this role. Though requirements vary by state, becoming credentialed usually requires a fee, an exam, and a master’s degree.

In some states, school counselors must hold a master’s degree from a CACREP-accredited school. Check to see whether this is a requirement in the state where you intend to work, and enroll in an appropriate school if it is a requirement you must meet.

Additionally, some programs prepare students to work only in the state where the program is located. Make sure the program you enroll in prepares you to work in your desired locale.

Most master’s in school counseling degrees have an experiential component, such as an internship or practicum. Make sure in-person requirements are compatible with your schedule. This is a consideration for both on-campus and online programs, because online programs usually still have an in-person component.

A master’s in school counseling specifically prepares students to work in a school setting. Be sure it’s the type of setting you’d enjoy before enrolling in a program. Other counseling degrees can lead to careers in different settings.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to consider as you research master’s in school counseling programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Master’s programs normally require an undergraduate degree, and some master’s in school counseling programs also require experience as a teaching assistant or teacher. Make sure you meet all of a program’s requirements before applying.
  • What licensing or certifications are required? School counselors are credentialed at the state level, and credentialing requirements vary by state. Make sure the degree program you enroll in is accepted by the state(s) where you hope to work.

When you choose the programs that meet your needs, find out what their admissions process involves. Check admission deadlines and required submission materials by browsing a program’s webpage or contacting an administrator.

Also consider how you’ll cover the cost of tuition. Check with programs about financial aid options, and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible. If you already work in a school setting, your employer might offer tuition reimbursement.