Master’s in School Counseling Degrees

Earning your master's degree can also set you up to continue your education with a specialist degree or doctorate level program.

By reaching the highest levels in education you can command higher salaries, especially if you have a unique or in-demand specialization that fills an area of need. Students often seek certifications that are required by many states to work as a school psychologist.

Why a Master's Degree in School Counseling?

The answer to the above question is fairly simple: in order to work as a school counselor you need to at least have earned your master's degree in this major.

There are over 440+ different Master's in School Counseling degree programs in our directory, including on-campus and online options.

If you are a working professional or working towards your bachelor's degree in psychology or a related area, now is the time to start comparing master's degree programs so you can start pursuing the right career for you in elementary, secondary, or higher education.

There are multiple requirements prior to entry in a Master's in School Counseling program. We will go through the typical requirements below, but be sure to talk with the admissions department of the graduate school counseling program(s) you are looking at.

Consider a Featured Online Counseling Program

School and Program Information Online Program? Entry Requirements Course Information
University of Denver
Online MA in School Counseling
Designed to adhere to CACREP standards
check_circle Online No GRE required. Learn from doctoral-level faculty in live classes and gain experience through mock counseling and in-field training.
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.
New York University
Online Online MA in Counseling and Guidance
MPCAC Accredited
check_circle Online GRE scores are not required for admission. Weekly live classes taught by distinguished NYU Steinhardt faculty.
Vanderbilt University
Online Master's with School Counseling Specialization
SACSCOC Accredited
check_circle Online Bachelor's Required Live, online classes every week led by Vanderbilt faculty
Northwestern University
Online MA in Counseling
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)

Master's of School Counseling Degrees

Total Programs: 478 different Master's of School Counseling degrees
Average Salary: According to the BLS, the average salary for typically Masters-educated school counselors is $53,660 per year.
Expected Job Growth: According to the BLS, job growth for school counselors is expected to be 8% through 2024, adding around 22,500 school counseling jobs nationwide.

Earn a Master's degree in School Counseling online from the University of Denver. Learn from doctoral-level faculty in live classes and gain experience through mock counseling and in-field training. No GRE required. 
Click for admissions information.

The online Master of Education in School Counseling program from the USC Rossier School of Education prepares candidates to pursue school counseling licensure and become school counselors for children in grades K–12. GRE scores are not required to apply.
Click for admissions information.

NYU Steinhardt's online MA in Counseling and Guidance, Counseling @ NYU, prepares aspiring school counselors to become transformative leaders and critical resources for pre-K-12 students in public and private schools across the country.
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Earn your Master of Education with a specialization in school counseling online from Vanderbilt University’s top-ranked Peabody College. Prepare for licensure and develop the critical-thinking and social-emotional skills to effectively manage K–12 school counseling programs.
Learn more at

A Note on Counseling Licensure

Licensure requirements should also be learned when choosing the best master’s degree program. We recommend contacting multiple schools so you can be sure to choose the best degree for your career goals. As you’ll find, with the expanding options offered through online programs, school counseling master’s programs can be found in many specific areas. The information provided below can help you take the next step in comparing programs in your area and online options.

What Online Master’s Degrees are available?

You can find master’s and education specialist degrees (EdS) in school counseling in every state, and online versions of many of these programs as well.

In fact, several top state universities offer master’s programs in school counseling, or similar programs, such as guidance and counseling. Some schools, such as Liberty University, offer online Master of Education programs with a School Counselor degree option.

All of these programs can prepare you to thrive working with students at all grade levels, helping them succeed while having the skills to be a positive personal influence as well. Some programs cover the primary and secondary grade levels, while others may have a focus, such as secondary special education. You may also find certificate programs that can add to your master’s degree to further enhance your qualifications.

Accredited Master’s in School Counseling Degrees

When comparing degree programs be sure to discuss the professional accreditation that is associated with the program. Most state-approved programs adhere to the CACREP program, which follows the national model for counselor education. We recommend making a long list of questions to ask each school you speak with.

What credentials you need to earn the job you want should be at the top of the list, while finding out if each school meets the requirements your state mandates for counseling professionals.

There are some Master’s degrees that offer unusual areas of focus. You may pursue a specialization based masters, that focused on such topics as art therapy or working with English as a second language students.

Master of Arts in School Counseling

Common types of Masters degrees include: Master of Arts (MA) – with various areas of emphasis, such as K-12 or secondary education. For online learners you can learn from video lectures and real-time collaborative coursework that takes place on discussion boards or involves simple sharing of information via email. These degrees can help you learn about diversity, legal issues and ethics, as well as how to be a leader in your school system.

Master of Science in School Counseling

Master of Science (MS) in School Counseling degrees typically help you learn how to perform research and become proficient in analyzing student behavior and curriculum for ways to improve performance. With your MS, you can help your school design processes and implement classroom techniques that help student learn better.

You can also be instrumental in helping students improve their behavior and solve their problems and challenges that are common.

Master of Education (M.Ed.)

Master of Education (MEd) programs can be found online as well. These programs can be a great way for students to meet the state requirements for working in academic settings. Many are 60 credit programs that can be taken completely online. All master’s programs are subject to some form of internship or practicum experience that you simply can’t perform online. Be sure to ask each school you speak with what their requirements are for in-person coursework.

What specific courses should I expect at the master’s level?

When you take a school counseling master’s program, you can expect a variety of psychology based courses that cover many topics. Common themes in your courses will be diversity, how to perform scientific research, assessing student behavior, advocacy and others. You will also have the opportunity to take a residency or internship where you can put your theory into practice.

No matter what your focus, school counseling students must have a strong understanding of how to work with a growing diverse population of students with all types of needs. On top of that, we live in a more complicated world, which makes the job of school counselor that much more important. When comparing programs, be sure to look for courses that interest you and match your professional direction.

What are the career projections for school counselors with master’s degrees?

With growing enrollments at every grade level, it’s no wonder the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the job growth for school counselors to be 8% through 2024. The BLS also states that more counselors are needed at the college level to help students has successful transitions into the workforce.

What is the next step after earning your master’s degree?

Once you earn your master’s degree, it can be a good idea to keep going while you have momentum. Doctorate programs in school counseling are widely available, and can help you reach the highest professional levels in education. Plus, with online programs you can do this while using your master’s to begin your career.

Be sure to ask each school you speak with about the career opportunities that are more common for their graduates. You will also want to know what doctorate level programs they provide or recommend for graduates of their master’s program.

List of Masters in School Counseling Programs

University of Denver

Online MA in School Counseling

University of Southern California

Online Master of Education (ME) in School Counseling

NYU Steinhardt

Online MA in Counseling and Guidance
MPCAC Accredited

Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College

Online Master’s with School Counseling Specialization
SACSCOC 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.