Licensed counselors help patients and communities by providing assessment, treatment, and advocacy services. Continuing changes in the U.S. healthcare system, as well as an environment where people are encouraged to seek help, contribute to occupational growth in this field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that substance abuse and behavioral disorder counseling positions will increase by 22% through 2028, translating to more than 68,500 new jobs.

What are the best Counseling programs of 2020? Here are our top 10:

Rank School Location
1 Northwestern University Evanston, IL
2 New York University New York, NY
3 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC
4 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
5 University at Buffalo Buffalo, NY
6 Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, NC
7 Concordia University-Wisconsin Mequon, WI
8 Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL
9 Concordia University-Irvine Irvine, CA
10 Auburn University Auburn, AL

Although students can attain entry-level counseling and social work positions with associate and bachelor's degrees, they must complete graduate training to qualify for state licensure. The best online master's in counseling programs offer advanced training in areas like psychotherapy and treatment of trauma disorders. Graduates benefit from greater job prospects and better pay. BLS reports that those with a master's degree earn $12,000 more in average annual salary than individuals with baccalaureate credentials. Experienced counselors who want to occupy senior clinical positions or work as postsecondary teachers and research scientists go on to earn their Ph.D. in counseling psychology.

2020 Best Accredited Online Master's in Counseling Programs

Due to the wide range of counseling programs, it can be difficult to pick the school that best suits your needs. The following rankings lay out key characteristics like costs and application requirements as well as each program's degree plan, including prerequisites, core classes, and capstone requirements. The profiles also detail concentration options, which will help you choose the program with relevant specialized skill training and career development support to fit your personal situation.

Students who pursue their master's in counseling online often take asynchronous classes powered by platforms like Blackboard or Moodle. However, some schools feature different course formats. The rankings below detail whether each program requires real-time class involvement, cohort learning, or on-campus participation.

You should confirm details and obtain additional information by contacting your school's admission counselors. These advisors can also help navigate the application process. You can access this page to learn about scholarships available to counseling and psychology majors.

Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 95%

Located in Evanston, Illinois, Northwestern University offers a hands-on college experience with a 6-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. While Northwestern offers multiple highly recognized degrees, the online master's in counseling holds particular esteem. Northwestern offers two curriculum paths that each have traditional, accelerated, or part-time tracks. Students can also complete a child and adolescent counseling emphasis.

The standard program path requires 24 courses. Learners take most courses online but must also complete a practicum and internship experience. Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree in psychology or a related field.

Northwestern also features a path that allows students without an undergraduate degree to earn their master's in counseling. Courses include advanced topics in clinical mental health counseling, theory and technique of substance abuse, and research methods in counseling.


Program Overview

Program Name: Online MA in Counseling

School Status: Private

Available Concentrations: Child and adolescent counseling

Tuition: $4,672/credit; $18,689/quarter accelerated

Credit Requirements: 24 credits

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact

Phone: (800) 844-6221

Email: admissions@counseling.northwestern.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

New York University

New York, NY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 85%

With an emphasis on innovation and research, New York University reaches across the globe with campuses in Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, and online. Among its multiple top-ranked programs, NYU offers one of the best online master's degrees in counseling with concentrations in school counseling and mental health counseling.

Students in the 48-credit school counseling concentration can earn their degree in 18 months. The curriculum covers assessment of children and adolescents, cross-cultural counseling, and child language development.

The online master's in mental health counseling comprises 60 credits, which students can complete in 21 months. Classwork focuses on assessment of individuals and groups, with considerations for class, race, gender, sexual orientation, and other factors.

While distance learners can access all courses online, both program tracks require a 100-hour practicum and a 600-hour internship.


Program Overview

Program Name: MA in Counseling

School Status: Public

Available Concentrations: Mental health and wellness; counseling and guidance

Tuition: $1,795/credit

Credit Requirements: 48-60 credits

Program Length: 18-21 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (855) 698-4622

Email: admissions@counseling.steinhardt.nyu.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

North Carolina State University

Raleigh, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 81%

Located in the state's capital, NC State serves over 36,000 students through its top-ranked academic offerings in engineering and related disciplines. In addition, the college boasts one of the best online master's in counseling programs.

Students can select from three concentration options, all of which are based on a part-time, cohort learning model where learners progress together through the curriculum.

The clinical mental health counseling track covers the theory and practice of interventions and is a prerequisite to obtaining state licensure. Prospective K-12 and higher education counselors and advisors can select the school counseling track or the college counseling and student development track.

All three concentrations take learners three years to complete, with the final year requiring some on-campus participation. To qualify for entry to the program, prospective students must have a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. They must also submit GRE or MAT scores, three letters of recommendation, and official transcripts.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Education

School Status: Public

Available Concentrations: Clinical mental health counseling; college counseling and student development; school counseling

Tuition: $462/credit

Credit Requirements: 60 credits

Program Length: 3 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Standardized Tests: GRE or MAT

Contact

Phone: (919) 515-9030

Email: ncsu_omce@ncsu.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 92%

The University of Southern California has offered postsecondary education in Los Angeles since 1880. A private, nonprofit institution, USC supports diversity and accessible education and offers one of the best online master's in counseling programs.

The master of education in school counseling program explores modern challenges in the field and leads to counseling careers in K-12 settings. Coursework includes legal and ethical issues in counseling, learning and individual differences, and human development theory in school counseling. Focus areas include college and career readiness, restorative justice, and trauma-informed practice.

This online master's consists of 49 credits that full-time students complete in approximately two years. Learners with work or family obligations can take advantage of a part-time track. The program also requires degree candidates to complete a 100-hour practicum and a 600-hour internship.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Education in School Counseling Online

School Status: Private

Available Concentrations: College and career readiness; restorative justice; trauma-informed practice

Tuition: $1,928/credit

Credit Requirements: 49 credits

Program Length: 2-3 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact

Phone: (888) 628-1872

Email: admissions@rossieronline.usc.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

University at Buffalo

Buffalo, NY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 76%

Boasting the largest campus within the State University of New York system, UB ranks in the top 40 public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. The school's online master's in counseling program prepares students for a variety of careers in clinical, educational, government, vocational, and private practice settings.

The rehabilitation counseling degree comprises 48 credits of coursework covering subjects like medical and psychosocial aspects of disability, vocational placement process, understanding statistical research, and rehabilitation foundations. Full-time students typically graduate in 4-6 semesters.

In order for students to fulfill the program's practicum and internship requirements, UB requires that candidates live within 75 miles of campus. The online master's in counseling program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).


Program Overview

Program Name: Rehabilitation Counseling MS

School Status: Public

Tuition: $5,655/semester resident; $6,785/semester nonresident/online

Credit Requirements: 48 credits

Program Length: 4-6 semesters

Delivery

Format: Online

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact

Phone: (716) 645-2484

Email: gseinfo@buffalo.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 89%

Founded in 1834, Wake Forest University is a private institution serving over 8,000 students on its Salem, North Carolina campus and online. WFU offers one of the best online master's in counseling programs, designed for those interested in careers as child advocates, substance abuse counselors, marriage/relationship counselors, and related roles.

The master's program is composed of 60 credits, including 12 foundation credits, 18 core credits, eight beginning practice credits, and 22 advanced practice credits. Learners can choose from two concentration areas: clinical mental health and school counseling. While distance learners can access all class materials online, WFU requires that degree-seekers complete a practicum and two internships.

Online learners have access to tutoring services and 24/7 IT support. WFU's online counseling program holds accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Arts in Counseling

School Status: Private

Available Concentrations: Mental health; school counseling

Tuition: $1,465/credit

Credit Requirements: 60 credits

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum

Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact

Phone: (877) 830-7283

Email: admissions@wfu.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

Concordia University-Wisconsin

Mequon, WI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

Located in Mequon, Concordia University-Wisconsin is a private Lutheran college offering over 70 majors and programs. In addition, CWU delivers a number of online graduate degrees, including a master's in counseling program with concentrations in professional counseling and school counseling.

The program utilizes a cohort structure, allowing students to progress together and learn from each other. Degree-seekers complete 45 credits of coursework in areas like counseling theory and issues, human growth and development, research and program evaluation, and trauma counseling. Students can also choose to earn a 15-credit certificate in Christian counseling.

As this degree leads to licensure, CUW requires learners to complete a practicum consisting of 200-700 hours of applied experience in an approved facility.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Education -- School and Professional Counseling

School Status: Private

Available Concentrations: School counseling licensure; SAC professional counseling licensure

Tuition: $614/credit

Credit Requirements: 45-60 credits

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact

Phone: (262) 243-4300

Email: graduate.admissions@cuw.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 50%

Founded in 1964 as school for graduate-level science studies, Nova Southeastern University now offers 240 academic programs, including 59 online degrees. NSU's prioritizes access to education through distance learning, and the school's online master's in counseling program is one of the best.

Students in the program can concentrate in clinical mental health counseling, school counseling, substance abuse counseling, substance abuse counseling and education, or applied behavior analysis. This program requires 33 credits of core coursework and a total of 48-60 credits, depending upon students' specialization.

Courses include psychological testing for individual evaluation, couples and family counseling strategies, career development and college planning, and ethical conduct for behavior analysts. Since this degree can lead to licensure, NSU requires students to complete practicum and internship experiences. Distance learners receive an academic advisor, access to online databases, librarian support, and technical assistance.


Program Overview

Program Name: MS in Counseling

School Status: Private

Available Concentrations: Clinical mental health counseling; school counseling; substance abuse counseling; substance abuse counseling and education; applied behavior analysis.

Tuition: $790/credit

Credit Requirements: 48-60 credits

Program Length: 2-5 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online or hybrid (online/on campus)

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum

Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact

Phone: (954) 262-7563

Email: gradschool@nova.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

Concordia University-Irvine

Irvine, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 63%

Located approximately 50 miles south of metro Los Angeles, Concordia University-Irvine provides diverse, high-quality academic programs both on campus and online. CUI offers 13 graduate degrees through distance education, including one of the best online master's in counseling programs.

Accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, the school's master of arts in counseling -- clinical mental health program requires 60 credits. These include 45 core units, nine clinical units, and electives. Students complete a series of seven-week courses and can earn their degree in 2-3 years.

Coursework includes the foundations and contextual dimensions of mental health counseling, foundations of addiction counseling, and personal development skills process. The program includes multiple practicum and internship experiences to satisfy California state licensure requirements. Distance learners access coursework through the Blackboard online learning management system.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Arts in Counseling

School Status: Private

Tuition: $595/credit

Credit Requirements: 60 credits

Program Length: 2-3 years

Delivery

Format: Hybrid (online/on campus)

Instruction Style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact

Phone: (949) 854-8002

Email: admissions@cui.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

Auburn University

Auburn, AL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 78%

Founded in 1856 as a land-grant college, Auburn University boasts 15 academic colleges and serves approximately 30,000 students through undergraduate and graduate programs. For learners interested in clinical and rehabilitation counseling careers, AU provides an online master's in counseling that prepares learners for roles in state, federal, or nonprofit settings.

Students can choose from thesis (MS degree) and non-thesis (M.Ed.) tracks. The program comprises 60-64 credits of coursework in advanced assessment and diagnosis, crisis intervention in counseling, introduction to measurement and assessment, and other topics.

While students access most learning materials online through the Canvas system, AU requires in-person attendance for one week each semester. All students must complete a practicum and clinical practice or internship.


Program Overview

Program Name: Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling, M.Ed. or MS

School Status: Public

Tuition: $630/credit

Credit Requirements: 60-64 credits

Delivery

Format: Hybrid (online/on campus)

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact

Phone: (334) 944-7620

Email: gradadm@auburn.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11

Seton Hall University

South Orange, NJ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 70%

One of the nation's best Catholic-affiliated universities, Seton Hall University provides over 90 academic programs on campus and online. With accolades from U.S. News & World Report and boasting schools of law and medicine, Seton Hall provides high-quality education at all academic levels.

The school's 60-credit online master's in counseling prepares learners for careers in mental health counseling. This degree requires 60 credits. Students earn their degree in 10 semesters. Courses include couple and family dynamics, etiology and treatment of addictions, and abnormal psychology.

While distance learners complete most coursework online, Seton Hall University requires two in-person residencies. This program also requires a practicum and two internship experiences. Seton Hall University does not accept transfer students for this program.


Program Overview

Program Name: MA/Ed.S. in Professional Counseling; MA in School Counseling

School Status: Private

Tuition: $1,310/credit

Credit Requirements: 60 credits

Program Length: 10 semesters

Delivery

Format: Hybrid (online/on campus)

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact

Phone: (973) 761-9668

Email: diana.minakakis@shu.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12

San Diego State University

San Diego, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 74%

San Diego State University is the third-largest and oldest university in California. Ranked first nationally in graduation rate performance, SDSU offers 80 master's degrees and one of the best online master's in counseling programs. The program focuses on rehabilitation counseling, a career projected to grow by 18% over the next 10 years.

Students must complete 60 credits to earn their degree, which most learners finish in three years. The curriculum includes subjects such as case management and rehabilitation services, medical and psychological aspects of disability, and multicultural dimensions in rehabilitation counseling.

Online students receive support from academic counselors and technical support and access all coursework through the Blackboard online learning management system. This program does require an internship and practicum experience at an approved location.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling (CDER)

School Status: Public

Tuition: $31,440

Credit Requirements: 60 credits

Program Length: 3 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact

Phone: (619) 594-6406

Email: cwinton@mail.sdsu.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13

Touro University Worldwide

Los Alamitos, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 50%

Accredited by the WASC senior college and university commission, TUW is composed of multiple Jewish-sponsored providers of higher education that emphasize academic excellence and accessibility. TUW was the first university in the world to offer an accredited online doctorate without residency requirements and also offers one of the best online master's in counseling programs.

TUW's online marriage and family therapy graduate degree program focuses on holistic treatment of families and couples as a system. Students can choose from three concentrations, including a 72-credit clinical track, a 54-credit nonclinical track, and an 82-credit licensed professional clinical counseling track.

Coursework includes subjects like development within the family life cycle, studies in human communications, and treatment of trauma in families. While the nonclinical option does not require any in-person experiences, the other tracks require a practicum of 500 client contact hours. This program meets California Board of Behavioral Sciences requirements.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

School Status: Private

Available Concentrations: Clinical; nonclinical; licensed professional clinical counseling

Tuition: $500/credit

Credit Requirements: 54-82 credits

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact

Phone: (818) 874-4127

Email: online@tuw.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14

University of Texas at Tyler

Tyler, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 45%

Founded in 1971 as part of the University of Texas System, UT Tyler operates four campuses and six academic colleges. The university confers 48 bachelor's degrees and 33 master's degrees, including an online master of arts in counseling designed to meet the needs of aspiring academic counselors.

As of 2019, all graduates of the program have gone on to pass the TExES school counselor certification exam. To earn the degree, students must complete 48 credits of coursework covering foundations and ethics of school counseling, advanced human growth and development, advanced principles of school counseling, and other topics.

While students can complete all coursework online, this program requires a practicum and a 500-hour, on-site, supervised internship. Online courses follow an asynchronous format, allowing learners to complete assignments on their own schedule.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Arts in School Counseling

School Status: Public

Tuition: $3,915/semester in-state; $8,154/semester out-of-state

Credit Requirements: 48 credits

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact

Phone: (903) 566-7457

Email: ogs@uttyler.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15

Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 50%

Established in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University is one of the largest Christian universities in the world. Liberty prioritizes student success and strives to accommodate diverse learning needs, offering over 600 programs both on campus and online.

The university offers two online master's in counseling programs. The 60-credit MA in clinical mental health counseling can lead to professional licensure and includes practicum and internship requirements. Students complete coursework in marriage and family counseling; crisis counseling; substance abuse diagnosis, treatment, and prevention; and other topics. This program holds accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.

The 36-credit MA in pastoral counseling has no in-person requirements and includes an online internship. This degree includes a number of concentration options like addictions and recovery, life coaching, military resilience, and theology.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling

School Status: Private

Available Concentrations: Addictions and recovery; community chaplaincy; crisis response and trauma; discipleship and church ministry; family advocacy; marriage and family studies; parenting and child/adolescent development; leadership; life coaching; military resilience; pastoral counseling; theology

Tuition: $565/credit

Credit Requirements: 36-60 credits

Program Length: 1.5-2.5 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact

Phone: (800) 424-9596

Email: luograd@liberty.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

16

Eastern University

Saint Davids, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 61%

Located in Saint Davids, Pennsylvania, Eastern University serves approximately 3,300 students through degree programs that incorporate a Christian worldview. The university includes seven academic colleges and boasts an active alumni network representing all 50 states, 132 countries, and 29,000 members.

Eastern University's 60-credit online master's in counseling program guides learners through coursework in research design and statistics, case conceptualization and counseling strategy, and lifespan development. Students typically complete this fully online program in 3-4 years. Those who wish to graduate in just two years can enter an accelerated hybrid program combining asynchronous online learning with evening classes.

While distance learners can complete all classes online, the program requires two clinical internships and a practicum experience. Eastern University uses the D2L Brightspace learning management system to administer coursework, with professors offering digital office hours.


Program Overview

Program Name: MA in Clinical Counseling

School Status: Private

Tuition: $725/credit

Credit Requirements: 60 credits

Program Length: 2-4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online or hybrid (online/on campus)

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.8 minimum

Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact

Phone: (800) 732-7669

Email: gpsadmissions@eastern.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

17

University of North Texas

Denton, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 53%

One of the largest universities in the U.S., the University of North Texas maintains over 200 undergraduate and graduate programs that emphasize research, innovation, and community engagement. UNT offers 34 master's programs online, including one of the best online master's in counseling degrees.

Students in this rehabilitation counseling program must complete 60 credits of classwork, a 100-hour practicum, and a 600-hour internship. The curriculum includes advanced counseling techniques in rehabilitation counseling, medical and psychosocial aspects of disability, alcohol and other drug use counseling models, and rehabilitation assessment.

Distance learners use the Canvas online learning management system to access coursework. While professors offer virtual office hours for additional support, students can also schedule online tutoring sessions.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling

School Status: Public

Tuition: $253/credit in-state; $675/credit out-of-state

Credit Requirements: 60 credits

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: GRE

Work Experience: 1 year

Contact

Phone: (940) 565-2000

Email: online@unt.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

18

Clarks Summit University

Clarks Summit, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 57%

A small Baptist college located in scenic South Abington Township, Pennsylvania, Clarks Summit University serves around 990 students through its on-campus and online degree programs. The school's online master's in counseling prepares students for the National Counselor Exam (NCE) and licensure as a professional counselor.

The program curriculum is composed of 60 credits of classwork, including 51 core credits and nine elective credits. Most students earn their degree in less than four years. Courses include counseling interventions to women, understanding and treating addictions, and spiritual issues in counseling. All students must complete a practicum and internship.

Applicants must have a 3.0 undergraduate GPA and nine credits of Bible or theology studies. Prospective students can transfer up to 20 credits from approved institutions. The program requires that students take at least three courses on campus as one-week summer sessions.


Program Overview

Program Name: MS in Counseling

School Status: Private

Tuition: $550/credit

Credit Requirements: 60 credits

Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online or hybrid (online/on campus)

Instruction Style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact

Phone: (800) 451-7664

Email: gradadmissions@clarksummitu.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

19

Freed-Hardeman University

Henderson, TN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 60%

Freed-Hardeman University has provided higher education for over 150 years from its Henderson, Tennessee campus. Today, FHU meets the needs of working professionals by offering eight master's degrees online, including one of the best online master's in counseling programs.

Students in the program complete 48 credits of coursework, including 42 credits in subject areas like communication in ministry, suffering and the human condition, marriage and family counseling, and grief counseling. Learners complete their final six credits through an internship. Students access coursework through the Canvas learning management system.

Applicants should have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and submit official transcripts along with their application materials. FHU holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview

Program Name: MA in Pastoral Care and Counseling

School Status: Private

Tuition: $610/credit

Credit Requirements: 48 credits

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact

Phone: (731) 989-6101

Email: swood@fhu.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

20

LeTourneau University

Longview, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 61%

Based in Longview, Texas, LeTourneau University began as a technical institute and continues to provide innovative education. The university serves around 3,150 students and offers more than 140 undergraduate and graduate programs.

LeTourneau University offers two of the best options for learners interested in an online master's in counseling. The MA in school counseling prepares graduates to work with children and adolescents in educational environments. The MA in clinical mental health counseling caters to aspiring school counselors, mental health counselors, and family and marriage therapists.

Both degrees comprise 66 credits, including 45 credits of core courses, six clinical theology credits, and 15 specialization credits. Students can complete all coursework online. However, both programs require a four-day, in-person intensive lab.


Program Overview

Program Name: MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; MA in School Counseling

School Status: Private

Tuition: $615/credit

Credit Requirements: 66 credits

Delivery

Format: Hybrid (online/on campus)

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.75

Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact

Phone: (800) 759-8811

Email: admissions@letu.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

21

University of the Cumberlands

Williamsburg, KY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 33%

Located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, the University of the Cumberlands delivers higher education to students from over 35 states and nearly 40 countries. Over 25% of learners identify as first-generation college students, and nearly 30% of graduates rank among the top 25% of their class.

The University of the Cumberlands offers two online master's in counseling programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. Students in the MA in clinical mental health counseling program complete 60 credits of classes, including 48 credits of core curriculum and 12 credits of clinical mental health counseling.

The 60-credit MA in addiction counseling prepares graduates to help clients struggling with substance abuse issues. This degree includes specialized coursework in psychopharmacology and addictions in addition to motivation and change. Career paths for graduates of either program include health educator, rehabilitation counselor, and regulatory affairs director.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master’s in Addiction Counseling; Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

School Status: Private

Tuition: $400/credit

Credit Requirements: 60 credits

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.75 minimum

Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact

Phone: (606) 539-4390

Email: gradadm@ucumberlands.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

22

Virginia Commonwealth University

Richmond, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 67%

Ranked among the top 100 research universities by the National Science Foundation, VCU serves over 31,000 students as the largest employer in Richmond, Virginia. The college offers multiple top-ranked programs, including one of the best online master's in counseling programs.

Students in this online MS degree program must complete 60 credits of coursework, 100 fieldwork hours, and 600 internship hours. The curriculum includes courses such as the medical and psychosocial aspects of disabilities, diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders, and theories of professional counseling.

VCU utilizes the Blackboard learning management system to administer online coursework and facilitate group discussions. Students can transfer up to 50% of didactic credits from other accredited graduate schools. VCU holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling

School Status: Public

Tuition: $6,066/semester

Credit Requirements: 48 credits

Program Length: 3 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact

Phone: (804) 828-6016

Email: vcu-grad@vcu.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

23

West Virginia University

Morgantown, WV Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 60%

Founded in 1867 in Morgantown, West Virginia, WVU offers a small-town feel and student-centered college experience yet ranks nationally for Goldwater, Rhodes, and Truman scholarship recipients. The university also maintains multiple distance education programs to meet the needs of working professionals and learners with other obligations.

WVU's online master's in counseling is one of only 23 programs that provide a dual focus in clinical rehabilitation and mental health. The 63-credit curriculum includes courses like group counseling theory and techniques, diagnosis and treatment planning, and rehabilitation client services. The program boasts numerous graduates who have succeeded in careers with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Students complete all coursework through the Blackboard online learning management system. However, this program leads to a license, which requires a practicum and clinical practice experience.


Program Overview

Program Name: Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling M.S.

School Status: Public

Tuition: $628/credit

Credit Requirements: 63 credits

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.8 minimum

Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact

Phone: (800) 253-2762

Email: wvuonline@mail.wvu.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

24

The University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, AL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 72%

With a history dating back over 175 years, the University of Alabama serves over 38,000 students, 38% of whom earned a high school GPA of 4.0 and higher. UA boasts nationally ranked academics, including three of the best online master's in counseling programs.

The 60-credit MA in rehabilitation counseling suits students interested in providing support to clients with disabilities. This program requires a practicum and internship. Most learners complete their degree in two years.

Prospective school counselors can enroll in the Ed.S. in counselor education program. The curriculum consists of 30 credits of coursework plus field experiences.

The 30-credit MS in consumer sciences with a concentration in family financial planning and counseling qualifies students to sit for the Certified Financial Planner Certification Examination. Most learners complete their degree in two years.


Program Overview

Program Name: MA in Rehabilitation Counseling; Ed.S. in Counselor Education (School Counseling Certification); MS in Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Family Financial Planning and Counseling

School Status: Public

Tuition: $420/credit

Credit Requirements: 30-60 credits

Program Length: 2 year

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Standardized Tests: GRE

Work Experience: Electronic portfolio

Contact

Phone: (800) 467-0227

Email: uadistance@ua.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

25

West Texas A&M University

Canyon, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 44%

Established in 1910 as a teachers college, West Texas A&M University strives to provide a rigorous college experience for both on-campus and online learners. The school offers 60 undergraduate and 40 graduate degrees, including two of the best online master's in counseling programs.

The MA in counseling requires 60 credits of courses that cover topics like ethical standards and practices, introduction to psychopharmacology, and career counseling. In addition to course requirements, students must also participate in practicum and internship experiences.

The 48-credit M.Ed. in school counseling caters to candidates who hold a current teaching certificate. Courses include sexuality across the lifespan, introduction to play therapy, and career counseling.

All students access their course materials through WTClass. Free 24/7 online tutoring is available through the Smarthinking platform.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Education in School Counseling; Master of Arts in Counseling

School Status: Public

Tuition: $50/credit in-state; $80/credit out-of-state

Credit Requirements: 48-60 credits

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.75 minimum

Standardized Tests: GRE

Work Experience: 1 year of classroom teaching

Contact

Phone: (806) 651-5285

Email: admissions@wtamu.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Master's in Counseling Program Information

The following pages provide crucial academic information necessary for finding the online counseling program that aligns with your academic interests and career goals. The guides contain descriptions of individual programs and important characteristics like tuition cost, delivery format, and contact information.

Explore Online Counseling Rankings

This counseling career guide offers in-depth details on the profession, including educational paths, certification/licensure requirements, and specialization options. Students also gain insight into the daily challenges counselors face from a working practitioner in the field.