Online Master’s Degrees in Counseling

Pursuing a graduate degree in counseling can open up many employment and financial possibilities. Master’s level graduates can become licensed in their respective states, making independent career opportunities even more available.

There are numerous master’s in counseling degree programs in our directory, with a mixture of online programs and traditional, campus-based degrees. Online counseling master’s degree programs can be especially convenient options for students who wish to have a more flexible schedule or to cut down on their commute, while still honing the requisite knowledge and skills.

Consider an online counseling program: Bachelor's holders can prepare to become a licensed professional counselor online. With no GRE scores required to apply, the 24 month online MA in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine allows you to advance your career and be a catalyst of change. Learn more.
MA in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine
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Online Master’s in Counseling Degrees

Prospective students should choose a college that best fits their needs or may offer a specialization they are interested in. A multitude of online master’s degree programs across the country can prepare students for counseling licensure and working in the field.

Typically, students with undergraduate degrees in psychology or a related field are the best fit for these master’s programs. Those with degrees from other social or humanities-related majors can also complement their degrees with a master’s degree in counseling.

Consider a Featured Online Counseling Program

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

Taking an Online Counseling Degree Master’s Program


The flexibility of online college programs has allowed more individuals to get back into school and take graduate programs in fields such as counseling. Likewise, those that might already be working in counseling, psychology, or social work may have a great opportunity to continue their education with an online master’s in counseling degree. Many programs are built with the following in mind:

  • High-Quality Programs: The same faculty and curriculum as an in-person, campus-based program.
  • Accreditation: Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) or Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC) accreditation is a highlight for any counseling program.
  • Premium Learning Experience: Learning environment differentiation, with synchronous and asynchronous learning, can foster a better education.
  • Admissions Benefits: Removing barriers for admissions/entry, including GRE waivers. Some programs have no GRE requirement.
  • Short Program Length: Keeping the length of the program under two years, with flexibility included for many programs.
  • Top Master’s in Counseling Programs

    Many resources can help prospective students find the right online master’s counseling degree for them. Students should consider factors such as specialization, admissions requirements, program length, and accreditation when doing program research. 

    By Online Counseling Program Specialization:

    By Accreditation:

    Typical Graduate-Level Coursework

    A graduate counseling program includes courses that break down the various aspects of counseling for the learner. Courses can cover topics such as: 

    • Individual counseling
    • Group counseling 
    • Grief therapy

    Although many degree programs can be completed online, most programs require that students take part in supervised clinical experience prior to graduation. 

    Counseling Licensure Requirements               

    Students who have completed their graduate degree in counseling and associated requirements can normally apply for licensure in counseling. Licensure requirements typically include graduation from an accredited university, a period of supervised work experience, and completion of a state board exam. However, the requirements may vary from state to state, so students are required to review their own state’s requirements before applying for licensure.

    Specialties of the Master’s of Counseling

    Depending on an individual’s interests, there are specialty majors that concentrate fully on a specific path. Some of the most popular specializations students can choose to pursue in a master’s of counseling program are: 

    • Mental health counseling
    • Substance abuse counseling 
    • Marriage and family counseling 
    • School or career counseling

    Mental Health Counseling Master’s Degrees              

    A variety of different specialty areas are available to students pursuing an online counseling master’s degree. Mental health counseling involves working directly with individuals with mild to moderate emotional distress. Working in this area includes planning and implementing action plans that will contribute to the success of a life improvement strategy.

    Marriage and Family Counseling Master’s Degrees              

    Marriage and family counselors specialize in individual and group therapies. Conflict resolution and communication are a couple of the main concerns of individuals in this field, in an attempt to better relationships and understanding within marriage and family units. 

    School Counseling Master’s Degrees              

    School counselors work in educational settings and provide students of all grade levels with the counseling and support needed to deal with everyday struggles within the school systems. These counselors also work one-on-one with students to develop effective college plans or technical path schedules.

    What Can You Do With an Online Master’s in Counseling Degree?

    There are many different specializations, locations, and positions for prospective counselors to consider. Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors make a median annual salary of $47,660 as of 2020, with a projected growth rate of 23% between 2020 and 2029, much faster than average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 

    Licensed counselors can work in a variety of different environments, including inpatient or outpatient medical centers, hospitals, government facilities, and even private practices. With the projected job growth, even more job opportunities and locations could open up in the near future for interested candidates.

    Find the Right Master’s Program For You 

    Counseling is a growing field with increasing career opportunities. If you are interested in obtaining licensure and starting your career as a counselor, an online counseling master’s degree could be a great place to start. Explore our resources for more information on program details, licensure tips, and admissions information. 


    Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

    Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, Counseling Specialties

    Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council

    U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors

    List of Masters Programs

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    Northcentral University 🗹 Online Courses Start Weekly

    Colorado Christian University 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

    Colorado Christian University 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

    Colorado Christian University 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

    Colorado Christian University 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

    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.