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.
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.