No GRE Requirement for Master's in Counseling Degrees

Students that are considering enrollment into Master of Counseling programs may be required to complete several different steps during the application and acceptance periods. Completion of an undergraduate degree is definitely one of the major components to getting accepted into these programs, as well as some additional application and documentation requirements.

If you are seeking quick entry into these degree programs, added steps and testing requirements may not be pleasant news for you at this stage of your journey. Different schools have varying requirements for acceptance into their programs, with some requiring additional testing prior to your approval.

If you are looking for online Master of Counseling programs currently available in the U.S. without a GRE requirement, you should take the time to review the accreditation status of each option available. The CACREP is the leading accreditation agency for counseling degree programs leading to licensure, and should be listed on the degree page of accredited programs.

Consider a Featured Online Counseling Program

School and Program Information Online Program? Entry Requirements Course Information
Northwestern University
Online MA in Counseling
CACREP Accredited Programs CACREP Accredited
check_circle Online GRE Scores Not Required 24 Courses (standard program for those with counseling experience) or 27 courses (bridge program, for those with no counseling experience).
NYU Steinhardt
Online MA in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness
MPCAC Accredited Programs MPCAC Accredited
check_circle Online GRE scores are not required for admission. Weekly live classes taught by distinguished NYU Steinhardt faculty.
University of Denver
Online MA in School Counseling
CACREP Accredited Programs Designed to adhere to CACREP standards
check_circle Online GRE Scores Not Required Learn from doctoral-level faculty in live classes and gain experience through mock counseling and in-field training.
Our Lady of the Lake University
Online MA in Counseling
CACREP Accredited Programs Designed to adhere to CACREP standards
check_circle Online No GRE required. Three specializations in Clinical Mental Health, Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling, or School Counseling.
University of Southern California
Online Master of Education (ME) in School Counseling
Can be completed in less than 2 years.
check_circle Online No GRE requirement Classes led by USC Rossier faculty who are experts in school counseling, educational leadership and family therapy.
Vanderbilt University's Peabody College
Online Master's with School Counseling Specialization
SACSCOC Accredited
check_circle Online Bachelor's Required. Live, online classes every week led by Vanderbilt faculty.

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

The Master in Counseling Degree

The Master of Counseling is a popular degree program that helps learners prepare for careers helping people in need. The curriculum for this degree program includes courses that can educate enrollees on the history of the fields of psychology and counseling, explore the fundamental topics of normal and abnormal mental health, and techniques for therapeutic intervention for clients in different age groups.

Typical Length

This program can take around 2 years to complete for most students, with additional time needed after graduation for supervised clinical experience. Different colleges may have in-person experience requirements within their course list to help prepare student for their clinical experience, while other programs may be completely online.

Typically, the GRE requirements (or lack thereof) do not have an effect on the length of a graduate counseling degree.

Specialization Tracks

If you choose to enroll in the Master of Counseling program, you may have the option to pursue studies into different specializations. One of the most popular specialized paths for counseling learners is the Clinical Mental Health discipline, which can lead to many different versatile careers in the mental health field.

Alternative specialized paths include those in Career Counseling, Marriage and Family Counseling, and School Counseling. Adding specializations to your degree program can change your curriculum to include additional components for later success.

If you have already worked in a particular area of counseling, you might qualify for a specialization track that waives the GRE based on your work experience. Be sure to speak with the admissions representative at the programs you are considering.

Choosing a specialization at the onset of your program can assist you in creating the perfect degree program from the very beginning. Students that have already completed a Masters of Counseling program can add to the quality of their education by enrolling in post-master's certificate programs later on down the road.

What is the GRE and Why Is It Sometimes Required?

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a skills and knowledge test for graduates of undergraduate degree programs. Some colleges require that incoming students complete this assessment prior to being approved into their graduate-level degree programs, making it an additional step on students’ educational path.

This exam tests students in areas including Analytical Writing, Quantitative Analysis, and Verbal Skills. After completion of the exam, students are assigned a score based on their accumulative progress in each section.

Different colleges have different expectations for scores required for admissions. Colleges that have a higher admissions rate may utilize these test scores in order to determine which applicants are accepted into their programs.

With this added barrier to entry for some colleges, students may seek out universities that do not require the GRE for admissions. There are multiple schools throughout the U.S. that do not require the GRE for entry, many of which consists of online flexible course options.

Admissions Requirements for No GRE Programs

Some universities can use the GRE as a method for further screening applicants for their programs. In college programs that do not utilize the GRE as a method for enrollment, students may need to provide documentation to support their previous achievements and degree programs up until the point of enrollment.

Typically, universities require that students provide proof of their undergraduate degree program and transcripts at the time of application. Students applying to universities with no GRE requirement may also be required to hold a minimum GPA of 3 or higher depending on the schools they are enrolling in.

Additional requirements may vary depending on the schools you are applying to. In some cases, schools may substitute graduate-level testing requirements with work experience, which can include a 1 or 2 year requirement for admissions.

Each school may have slightly different expectations for learners interested in applying to their programs. You should always review the requirements of each institution prior to submitting your final documentation.

Online CACREP Accredited Master’s in Counseling Options

Find Online CACREP Accredited Programs In today’s educational setting, students may prefer the benefits of utilizing the internet during their learning experience. Online CACREP accredited Master of Counseling programs with no GRE requirements can provide students with optimum flexibility and convenience from start to finish, which can be vital factors for busy adults with little free time to donate to education.

  • Northwestern University currently provides a CACREP-accredited online MA in Counseling to students interested in making a difference in the lives of others. This program can take around 2.5 years to complete and seeks to prepare students for successful completion of the National Counselors Examination.
  • The University of Denver also provides an online Master of Counseling option for students prepared for enrollment. The MA in School Counseling available through this university can help you learn techniques appropriate for use with children needing guidance in school settings.

View counseling programs by state to find programs near you or view the Online MA in Counseling programs.

Counseling Career Options

One of the most exciting factors about Master of Counseling programs with no GRE requirement is that they can lead to the same counseling careers as their GRE-requiring alternatives. The GRE does not designate the type of program you are permitted to participate in, but simply acts as an admissions filter for higher-demand universities.

Obtain Licensure First

Online Master of Counseling programs can prepare you for the completion of the National Counselors Examination, which is a standard precursor for licensure in each state. Once you have graduated from your degree program, you can begin your supervised clinical experience that can last around 2 years for most participants.

Licensed Counselors

Licensed counselors can work for mental health agencies that provide care to a broad range of clients. If you are interested in administering general counseling to the public, you could apply for positions at these mental health offices, hospitals, or even private businesses or partnerships with other counselors.

School Counselors

Specialized career options in counseling can be found in the educational setting - with a large number of degree programs available to prepare learners for careers in school and career counseling. In some areas, child and adolescent counselors can work in the school system as an added resource for support for students.

Military or Non Profit Counseling

Counselors can be great tools for support in a wide variety of setting. As a licensed professional, you can work for organizations that require counselors on staff, the military, and even large organizations like the Red Cross during your career.

List of Programs

NYU Steinhardt

Online MA in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness
MPCAC Accredited

University of Southern California

Online Master of Education (ME) in School Counseling
Accredited
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 writeup of the program, specific courses, and schools that offer that program that are currently accepting applicants.