2019 Best Online Master's in School Counseling Programs

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The 17 universities on this list offer the best online master’s in school counseling degrees, based on low tuition and high alumni-reported salaries. Seven of the schools have annual tuition rates of less than $10,000. Seton Hall University is our top ranked school for their MA in School Counseling. This program is offered for just $29,088 annually and graduates reportedly earn a median salary of $120,736. University of Missouri has the lowest tuition, an affordable $7,133 per year for their Master of Education in Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about SR Education Group.

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Rank School Annual Tuition Median Salary
#1 #1 Seton Hall University $29,088 $120,736
#2 #2 Texas A&M University-College Station $26,848 $120,371
#3 #3 Kansas State University $8,518 $105,589
#4 #4 The University of Texas at Tyler $17,832 $106,200
#5 #5 Bradley University $26,700 $107,300
#6 #6 University of Massachusetts-Boston $17,250 $105,180
#7 #7 New York University $41,424 $104,882
#8 #8 University of North Dakota $8,081 $99,015
#9 #9 University of Missouri $7,133 $96,232
#10 #10 Lamar University $7,425 $90,100
#11 #11 Vanderbilt University $43,872 $94,833
#12 #12 Mercy College $15,696 $89,000
#13 #13 Nova Southeastern University $18,120 $79,814
#14 #14 Liberty University $9,960 $71,987
#15 #15 Edinboro University of Pennsylvania $8,520 $70,300
#16 #16 Our Lady of the Lake University $27,210 $66,850
#17 #17 North Carolina Central University $23,182 $48,167
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo. Updated 2018.
  • Annual Tuition: $29,088
  • Median Salary: $120,736
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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Seton Hall University offers an online Master of Arts in School Counseling degree for interested distance learners. Curriculum for this program includes the following courses: Appraisal and Assessment in Counseling, Psychology of Human Development, Principles of Learning and Behavior Modification, Multicultural Counseling and Psychology, and Counseling and Community Agencies, among others. In order to graduate from this program, students must complete a total of 48 credits, which typically takes between 2-2.5 years to complete.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $26,848
  • Median Salary: $120,371
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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Texas A&M University-College Station offers an online Master's of Education in Educational Psychology in School Counseling degree to distance learners who are looking to further their education. Students in this program must complete 48 credit hours in order to graduate. To fulfill these credits, students can take courses such as Multicultural Counseling in Schools, Career Counseling in Schools, Techniques of Research, School Counseling Theories & Techniques, and Planning & Organizing Comprehensive Guidance Programs, among other courses.

  • Annual Tuition: $8,518
  • Median Salary: $105,589
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: HLC
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Distance learners who are currently considering a graduate degree in school counseling can receive a Master's of Science in Academic Advising from Kansas State University. This program is delivered entirely online and can be completed by students when they earn at least 30 credits. The curriculum for this degree includes courses like Foundations of Academic Advising, Interpersonal Relations for Academic Advising, Student Development Theory, Multicultural Aspects of Academic Advising, and College Student Athletes, among quite a few others.

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  • Annual Tuition: $17,832
  • Median Salary: $106,200
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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The University of Texas at Tyler offers a Master of Arts in School Counseling degree through the university's distance learning program. Students can graduate from this program in two years. Online learners must complete 48 total credit hours in order to receive their degree. Courses in this program include Career Counseling and Assessment, Foundations and Ethics of School Counseling, Assessment Techniques in Counseling, Counseling Children & Adolescents, and other courses that will interest a wide variety of distance learners.

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  • Annual Tuition: $26,700
  • Median Salary: $107,300
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: HLC
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Bradley University, which is located in Peoria, Illinois, offers an online masters degree in counseling with two different tracks: a specialization in clinical mental health counseling or a specialization in professional school counseling. Students can complete either of these degrees entirely online, which allows busy, working adults the ability to earn their degree while balancing their other commitments. These programs currently cost $890 per credit hour, making these programs an affordable choice for many distance learners.

  • Annual Tuition: $17,250
  • Median Salary: $105,180
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: NECHE
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The University of Massachusetts-Boston offers a Master of Education in School Counseling degree that can be earned entirely online. Each credit hour costs $575 and in order to graduate from this program, students must complete 60 credits of coursework. The cost of tuition per semester is $17,250, making this an affordable option for many distance learners. This program also includes an internship and a practicum that will give students hands-on training in their field.

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  • Annual Tuition: $41,424
  • Median Salary: $104,882
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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New York University offers distance learners interested in student counseling both a Master of Arts in Counseling and Guidance - Bilingual School Counseling and a Master of Arts in Counseling and Guidance - School Counseling. Courses for these programs can be taken entirely online, and students must complete 48 total credit hours in order to graduate. There are three start dates per year, and students do not have to take the GRE in order to apply. The program also requires students to complete one counseling lab, 100 hours of practicum, and 600 hours of internship experience.

  • Annual Tuition: $8,081
  • Median Salary: $99,015
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: HLC
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The University of North Dakota offers a Master of Arts in Counseling degree with a K-12 School Emphasis. This degree usually takes 2.5 years to finish and requires that the student completes 48 total credit hours in order to graduate. Students in this program can take courses such as Diagnostic and Prevention Strategies in Counseling, Theories of Counseling, Personality and Development, Psychology of Women, Gender and Development, and Ethics: Counseling and Counseling Psychology, among many others.

  • Annual Tuition: $7,133
  • Median Salary: $96,232
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: HLC
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The University of Missouri offers two programs for distance learners who are interested in a school counseling degree. They currently have a Master of Education in Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology - Educational Psychology with a focus in Student Learning and Well-Being degree and a Master of Education in Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology - Mental Health Practices in Schools degree. The mental health in school practices program is delivered entirely online and requires that students complete 31 credit hours in order to graduate. The student learning and well-being program is also delivered entirely online and requires that students complete 33 credit hours of coursework in order to graduate.

  • Annual Tuition: $7,425
  • Median Salary: $90,100
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas offers an online Master of Education in Counseling and Development degree with a specialization in Professional School Counseling. Students in this program can earn their degree in 30 months by completing 60 total credit hours of coursework. Some courses that students in this program can take are Substance Abuse Counseling, Advanced Ethics in Mental Health Counseling, Psychopathology and Basic Psychopharmacology, and Developmental Guidance and Counseling, among quite a few others.

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  • Annual Tuition: $43,872
  • Median Salary: $94,833
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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Vanderbilt University offers an online Master of Education in Human Development-School Counseling degree delivered from their Peabody college. This program requires that students complete a total of 48 credits, which most students can finish in two to three years. There are also two on-campus immersions and three terms of field experience required in order to graduate. Students in this program can take courses such as Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues in Counseling, Group Counseling, Counseling Diverse Population, and Exceptional Education and the DSM for School Counselors, among quite a few others.

  • Annual Tuition: $15,696
  • Median Salary: $89,000
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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Mercy College offers an online Master of Science in Counseling-School Counseling and Bilingual Extension program. The program is designed for both part-time and full-time students who can complete their degree by taking 48 credit hours of coursework. Students in this program can take courses such as Counseling and Ethics, Human Development, Intro to School Counseling, Counseling and Application, and Multicultural Perspectives in Counseling. They also have two tracks for this degree: a Master of Science Degree in Counseling with Certification as a School Counselor and a Master of Science Degree in Counseling with Certification as a School Counselor and a Bilingual Extension.

  • Annual Tuition: $18,120
  • Median Salary: $79,814
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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Nova Southeastern University offers a Master of Science in Counseling-School Counseling degree entirely online. This program has five concentrations that distance learners can choose from: clinical mental health counseling, school counseling, substance abuse counseling, substance abuse and education, and applied behavioral analysis. The clinical mental health concentration and substance abuse and education concentration require students to complete 60 credit hours. The school counseling and substance abuse counseling each requires 48 credit hours, and the applied behavior analysis concentration requires 51 credits in order for students to graduate.

  • Annual Tuition: $9,960
  • Median Salary: $71,987
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC and TRACS
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Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., offers one online graduate degree in school counseling. The CACREP-accredited Master of Education in School Counseling requires 48 credits, or two years on average, in order to graduate. Students can transfer up to 50% of their coursework into Liberty in order to accelerate their degree completion.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $8,520
  • Median Salary: $70,300
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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Edinboro University of Pennsylvania offers an online Master of Arts in Counseling-School Counseling and an online Master of Education in Special Education-Behavior Management. Students in the school counseling program can choose to concentrate on a number of different specializations, including art therapists, marriage and family therapists, substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, mental health counselors, and educational, guidance, school, and vocational counselors. Students in the Master of Education in Special Education-Behavior Management program can complete their degree in 30 hours if they already hold a certificate in special education, or 36 hours if they don't have a certificate in special education.

  • Annual Tuition: $27,210
  • Median Salary: $66,850
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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Our Lady of the Lake University, located in San Antonio, offers an online Master of Education in School Counseling degree to interested distance learners. This program requires that students complete 60 credit hours of coursework in order to graduate. Courses that are offered in this program include Group Dynamics in Counseling and Therapy, Issues in School and Professional Counseling, Psychological Development Across the Lifespan, Multicultural Issues in Counseling, and Career Awareness, Exploration, and Development, among many others.

  • Annual Tuition: $23,182
  • Median Salary: $48,167
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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North Carolina Central University offers an online Master of Arts in School Counseling degree that can be earned by distance learners after completing 51 credit hours of coursework. This program costs $256.64 per credit hour for in-state tuition and $891.64 per credit hour for out-of-state tuition. In order to be admitted to the program, students must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 2.7, GRE scores, two letters of recommendation, and an application essay.

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Online Master's in School Counseling Overview

School counseling graduate programs require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Some universities will also require letters of recommendation from professionals who can assess the applicant's eligibility for an education in counseling as well as an admissions essay written by the applicant.

Students who are enrolled in school counseling master's programs will typically complete 72 credit hours of coursework over the course of two years. Graduates will be well prepared to assist K-12 students by gaining the skills to make significant contributions to their well being as well as their educational and social needs. These specific skills are gained through courses such as Survey of Research in Human Development, Life Planning and Career Development, Counseling and Advocacy with Diverse Populations, Contemporary Issues in School Counseling, Crisis Intervention and Emergency Management, and school counseling internships. Graduates from a master's program often go on to work as counselors at the elementary, middle, and high school level, or become student life counselors, guidance counselors, and school counseling coordinators.

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