Accelerated Online Master’s in Counseling Degree Programs

If you feel prepared and motivated to begin a master of counseling degree program, you should look into options that best fit your learning style and scheduling needs. Learning in the digital age can take place from home, at school, or virtually anywhere with an internet connection.

In addition to the flexibility offered by distance learning, you can choose from programs you can complete in shorter time frames than the average program. Accelerated counseling programs can help you learn the skills you need to succeed in about half the time of a standard MA in Counseling program. There are even two-year counseling degree programs that allow you to hone your skills, build your knowledge base, and prepare for practice, all in less time than you’d need for a more conventional degree.


Depending on the university, your accelerated program may consist of abbreviated classes that last a total of 10 weeks, with a maximum of four classes allowed per term. At some schools, students can take one, two, three, or four classes at a time to finish their program in their desired time period.

Our team has years of experience in researching educational counseling degrees and their respective counseling career paths. Through this guide, you can learn more about what accelerated degree programs are and how they apply to the field of counseling. 

Consider an online counseling program: The counseling field is in need of qualified, compassionate professionals like you to meet the demand for services. In Walden's clinical mental health counseling and school counseling dual degree program, you’ll gain the insights and hands-on training to positively impact the lives of children, adults, and families. Learn more.
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Why Choose an Accelerated Master’s in Counseling Online Program?

If you’re asking yourself why you should opt for an accelerated online program, there are a few factors to note. Accelerated master’s in counseling online programs offer two valuable features: flexibility and speed. One benefit of an online program is the ability to earn your degree while working and studying from the comfort of your home. Such programs take less time to complete than traditional programs, and you can begin your career as a counselor sooner due to fast-tracking your education. So, if you're driven and ready to venture into the counseling arena, an accelerated master's in counseling online may be the right choice.

Benefits of an Accelerated Master’s in Counseling Online Program

Opting for an online accelerated master’s in counseling offers numerous advantages for your career. Online learning is flexible and enables you to learn at your convenience. This flexibility is perfect for students who like to learn independently or have family obligations. It's also beneficial for those who cannot take long-term leave from work while studying. Moreover, fast-track programs allow students to get their degrees within one or two years, compared to the usual three years of study. Such programs equip you with the basics that enable you to succeed in a short time. So, if you want a convenient, affordable, results-oriented pathway for earning your master’s degree in counseling, consider enrolling in an accelerated online program.

Factors to Consider When Selecting an Online Accelerated Master’s in Counseling Program

If you’re planning to choose an online accelerated master’s program in counseling, a few things must be taken into account. First, you must verify that the program you’re planning to enroll in has been accredited by an established accrediting institution. In this case, be certain the program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the national accrediting body for graduate-level counseling programs. This ensures that the accelerated master's in counseling program conforms to the education quality standards of various employers across the globe. 

Consider a Featured Online Counseling Program


☰ For detailed degree information, view the guides to:
Online CACREP Accredited programs | Online MPCAC Accredited programs

Second, analyze the program’s curriculum. Is it appropriate for your professional preferences and chosen career path? Search for courses that offer the relevant counseling content you need to accelerate your career. Programs that offer internships or practicum experiences are essential. You'll also want to evaluate faculty to determine their qualifications in the counseling field. Look into what you need to know about credentials and background to make sure you get the right value for your money. 

Lastly, consider the program's cost and financial assistance options available. Search for available programs that provide scholarships, grants, and other types of financial aid. Considering these elements will allow you to find a suitable online accelerated master’s in counseling program, which will provide a solid foundation for a successful career in counseling.

Accelerated Master’s in Counseling Online Degrees

Accelerated counseling degree programs can help you quickly upgrade your degree and career. Master’s of Counseling degrees that can be completed in a quicker time frame and online can provide even more benefits than the standard program alone. Note that there are some good two-year counseling degree options fully backed by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, or CACREP, the most prestigious accrediting body in the field.

Read the review of schools with online counseling programs or the guide to CACREP-accredited counseling degrees.

There are numerous colleges that offer online Master of Counseling programs in an accelerated format. For example, Gwynedd Mercy University provides students with the option of pursuing the online Master’s of Counseling in School Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and College Counseling through accelerated online programs.

What Is the Accelerated MA in Counseling?

The accelerated master's in counseling is a distinguished degree program that can teach you the basics of mental illnesses and the methods for providing therapeutic services to people in need.

Shorter Program Length

One of the most fascinating aspects of the accelerated master's in counseling online program is that it can be completed in 1-1.5 years, making it a great opportunity for students eager to begin working with people in the field.

Graduate MA in Counseling

The master’s of counseling can be a great resource for undergraduates in psychology, counseling, or social work, as it can provide even more career opportunities after its completion. This program was designed to help students prepare for the National Counselor Examination, which can lead to licensure from state to state.

Specializations in Mental Health and Wellness

The purpose of this accelerated master's in counseling degree program is to teach learners more about the basics of mental illness and mental health in general, outline different screenings and assessments used in the field, and provide deeper insight into different types of therapy for clients with varying needs.

Other Tracks: School Counseling and Career Counseling

Because many people have different needs in our society, students can pursue specializations within this degree program to prepare to work in diverse areas. Some accelerated master's in counseling online programs offer specialization in school counseling, mental health counseling, and even career counseling.

Accelerated Master’s in Counseling Online Options

The University of Kentucky, like Gwynedd Mercy University, also offers an innovative Master’s of Counseling program in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling in an accelerated master's in counseling format. Each of these programs could be a great opportunity to pursue your dreams without committing years of your life to higher education.

Many colleges throughout the United States offer online and accelerated master's in counseling online degree programs for you to review before making your choice. If you’re interested in obtaining a high-quality education that’s also flexible, online programs could be the best option for you.

Top Master’s in Counseling Programs

Online Counseling Program Specialization

By Accreditation

Typical Coursework for 2-Year Counseling Degree Programs

Accelerated degree programs often provide students with the opportunity to engage in courses that can be completed in shorter time frames or to take more than just one or two courses at a time. These courses are typically aligned to help students gain knowledge about the history and development of their professional area, current trends and methods, and ethical considerations for the field. Pursuing an accelerated master’s in counseling online offers the added benefit of flexibility in this dynamic educational landscape.

Depending on which college you choose for your degree, you might find that the courses included in the accelerated master’s in counseling program are different from others. Each college’s curriculum is reviewed for accreditation in counseling, so the accreditation status of the program can help you verify the quality of your program.

Our team has reviewed some of the available accelerated master’s in counseling online programs to learn more about what they expect from students and to provide insight into what is involved during the learning process.

Below are some of the most common courses that we found during our review of this program. Read about these sample courses to familiarize yourself with the subjects and topics discussed in these programs.

Human Development: This course can provide valuable information pertaining to normal and abnormal social and emotional development throughout the lifespan. You might explore normal transitions through different stages of life, as well as factors that can create unhealthy development during these transitions. Topics such as grief, loss, and growth may be discussed as part of course requirements.

Theories of Counseling: As part of your transition into a counseling professional, you may be expected to explore different theoretical applications of counseling in different contexts. This course may also require you to develop your own theory of counseling, which can help build your own professional stance as a counselor in the field. An exploration of historical counseling theories may also be part of this course.

Group Counseling: Students enrolled in this course can review the dynamics of group counseling from a counselor’s perspective. Cultural and ethical considerations for working with groups can be discussed in this course, as well as methods for ensuring equal involvement and privacy protection. Some practice and scenarios may be included to help students comprehend the meaning of theory in this class.

How Long are Accelerated Counseling Degree Programs?

Standard Master’s of Counseling degree programs typically require students to engage in around 12 credit hours — or four courses — per semester to be considered full-time students. At this rate, it can take you about two years to complete your degree, with even more time required at some universities.

Accelerated master’s of counseling programs can have different methods to help you complete your degree program faster. Some universities have shortened the length of courses to 8-10 weeks each, with some colleges allowing students to take up to four classes at a time during this time period. For those seeking a swift route online, an accelerated master’s in counseling online program can provide even more flexibility.

With this higher density of courses allowed for enrollment and quicker course completion times, students could potentially complete their entire master’s program in 1 year. Since you may be able to customize your degree path and course enrollments in these programs, you could even customize your length of completion for this program through strategic planning.

Flexibility and convenience work in both directions for accelerated degree programs in this field. If you’re interested in completing your program in the fastest time period possible, you can do so by packing in the courses for a quick completion. If you’re interested in finishing your degree at a more moderate pace, you can take two to three classes per term to complete your program quickly but still maintain stability during your learning experience.

Counseling Licensure

Once you’ve completed your accelerated master’s in counseling online program or other formats, there are a few more requirements to obtain your license to work as a counselor in your state. Most states require that graduates engage in supervised clinical experience after their program that can assist in skill development in different counseling techniques. In this case, it’s best to obtain an LPC degree so you can meet the standard licensing requirements.  

This process requires you to locate a supervisor for your practice who will act as your overseer during your counseling experience. This entire process can take 1.5 to 2 years to complete for most trainees and can help with providing support and guidance during your first few years of counseling work.

All hours of your counseling experience can be documented by you and your supervisor during this time period and submitted to your credentialing agency after completion. Your state may require proof of your accelerated master’s in counseling degree program, experience, and certification before issuing your license to practice as a counselor.

Types of Counseling Licensure

Counseling Career Options

Choosing an accelerated master’s in counseling online program, including the 2-year counseling degree, can help you get your hands on a degree and license in a faster time frame than other programs. Once you have completed this process, you can seek careers in your area to help people in need of guidance in their personal lives.

As a licensed counselor, you can work for mental health agencies that provide comprehensive and diverse services to their clients. Some counselors may specialize in working with children and adolescents, while others may focus on adult or aging mental health.

Accelerated master’s in counseling graduates can also work with specific groups of people throughout their careers, including people struggling with cultural diversity, intimate relationships, careers, or grief. Each of these areas can be an excellent place for counselors to pursue full-time work since these life changes can often be difficult for people to work through on their own.

Counseling Careers

Key Takeaways Before Enrolling in an Accelerated Online Master’s in Counseling Degree Program

Before choosing an online master’s counseling degree, you must consider your preferred learning style and schedule. Look for a flexible degree option you can complete on your own schedule. Another crucial concern is your ability to commit time and effort to an accelerated program, which requires intensive work. Although these programs are shorter than traditional programs, they still need your full commitment. Finally, consider the kinds of competencies and information you expect from your course. Be sure your chosen program matches your career objectives and offers appropriate training for practicing counseling. By considering these things, you’ll soon be able to find the best way to move forward in your career as a counselor.

FAQs About Accelerated Master’s in Counseling Degree 

How Fast Can I Earn an Online Accelerated Master’s in Counseling Degree?

How soon you can earn your accelerated master’s in counseling online depends on several factors and the specific program you choose. Generally, accelerated programs allow you to finish your degree faster than usual. Depending on the school and specific program you select, accelerated master’s in counseling online programs can be as short as 12 to 18 months or as long as two years. Some factors that can affect how quickly you earn your degree are the curriculum and specializations, the number of semesters and allowable units, and personal factors, such as other commitments and financial resources. 

What Is the Job Outlook for an Accelerated Online Master’s in Counseling Degree?

Graduating with an accelerated online master’s degree in counseling gives you the skills to work as a counselor in different fields due to high demand. With increased awareness of mental health, there is also an increasing need for competent counselors. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that school and career counseling employment will grow faster than average at 5% compared to all other occupations between 2022-2032. With an average annual salary of $60,140, this means earning an accelerated master’s in counseling can provide you with a steady, secure work environment if you wish to pursue this career path. 

What Are Some Jobs That Require an Accelerated Online Master’s in Counseling Degree?

Completing an accelerated online master’s program in counseling offers various job opportunities. This program can help you become a licensed professional counselor and provide therapy services for individuals, couples, and families. Alternatively, you can venture into a school counselor position to guide students through various academic, social, and psychological issues. You can also be a substance abuse, career, or mental health counselor, among other viable career options. The availability of these jobs means that as a graduate student with an accelerated online master’s in counseling degree, you can be assured there is a place for you after graduation.

List of Programs

Walden University 🗹 Online Masters

Walden University 🗹 Online Masters

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Grand Canyon University 🗹 Online

Capella University 🗹 Online Masters

Liberty University 🗹 Online

MED: School Counseling
CACREP and NCATE through CAEP Accredited

NYU Steinhardt 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology 🗹 Online

National University 🗹 Online Courses Start Weekly

Texas A&M International University 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

University of Wisconsin – Superior 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

University of Wisconsin – Superior 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

Arkansas State University 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

Arkansas State University 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

Southeastern Oklahoma State University 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

Colorado Christian University 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

Sacred Heart University 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

Our Lady of the Lake University 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

University of New Haven 🗹 Online

Rivier University 🗹 Online

Counseling Career Guide

Still Looking for a Counseling Degree?

Here are some of the most popular online counseling programs. On each page you will find a detailed write-up of the program, specific courses, and schools that offer that program that are currently accepting applicants.


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