Online Graduate Certificate in Counseling
A graduate certificate is a type of program designed for counseling professionals who wish to add to their degree-level knowledge. It is shorter than a full master's degree and utilized as an "upgrade" to existing qualifications. Counseling grad certificates allow students to specialize within a niche area of counseling without having to complete a full degree program. They are available to those who already hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a counseling-related discipline.
2023 - Best Online Graduate Certificate in Counseling Programs
We understand that the most important part of research is making sure the information you’re getting is accurate, reliable, and up-to-date. This is especially true when it comes to researching online counseling graduate certificate programs. Because of this, we’ve developed a methodology that ensures that you’re getting the best information available in our guides, so you don’t have to do any secondary research. To learn more about our methodology, check out our Rankings Methodology page.
Saint Joseph's University
Saint Joseph's University offers online Grad Certificates in both Social, Emotional and Behavioral Wellness (for educators) and Addiction Counseling. Both programs rely on current research and learnings and are taught by leading faculty in their respective fields.
Ball State University
Educators, counselors, and those who work with at-risk youth can attain a grad certificate in Identity Leadership from Ball State University. The cert centers on building engagement with secondary students and helping them with decision-making.
MidAmerica Nazarene University
MidAmerica Nazarene University has in its catalog a Sexual Addictions Treatment Provider Grad Cert that can be done totally online. With an emphasis on training and clinical application, the program guides counselors in their treatment of those with sex addictions.
What Are the Various Grad Certificate in Counseling Specialties?
You may find graduate certificates in the following counseling specialties:
- Graduate Certificate in Addiction Counseling
- Graduate Certificate in Biblical Counseling
- Graduate Certificate in Clinical Counseling
- Graduate Certificate in MFT
- Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Counseling
- Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Counseling
Can I Get a Graduate Certificate in Counseling Online?
Graduate certificates are ideally suited to distance learning – you can work them around other commitments such as full-time employment or family obligations. Due to their shorter length, they are also a more affordable option than pursuing a full degree program – making them even more ideal for busy professionals.
Though a grad certificate is great for online study, the main disadvantage of distance learning also impacts this type of qualification. You will not be able to take advantage of the community aspect of an on-campus program. You may also be required to travel to campus at times for the capstone project or to use the facilities.
Counseling Degrees at Every Level
From entry-level to advanced, there's a counseling degree for your needs.
Learn more about the different online and campus-based counseling degrees available to you.
What Can I Expect in an Online Graduate Certificate in Counseling Program?
Graduate certificates in counseling always have a specialization p that’s why they are an option in the first place. Typical programs include addiction counseling, mental health services, family therapy, school-based service therapy, and more.
Aside from specialty courses focusing on theory and practice, you will also find some general courses. Examples include:
- Group Therapy and Treatment
- Theories of Treatment
- Contemporary Issues in Treatment
- Research in Human Development for Professional Counselors
- Ethical and Legal Issues in Professional Counseling
- Introduction to Clinical Counseling
- Theories of Psychotherapy and Counseling
- Counseling and Advocacy with Diverse Populations
- Crisis Intervention, Trauma Response, and Emergency Management
- Capstone Project
What Are the Graduate Certificate in Counseling Admission Requirements?
Graduate certificates usually ask for the following minimum entry requirements:
- A bachelor’s degree in counseling or another relevant subject (like psychology); some grad certificates may require a master’s degree
- A minimum GPA. The range of minimum entry varies from 2.5 to 3.5
- A short essay explaining how your career would benefit from the counseling graduate certificate
- Employer or academic (preferred) recommendation letters
- International students should convert their existing qualifications through an officially recognized method
- International students must also prove English proficiency. Most majority English language countries are exempt, but those who come from elsewhere will be expected to prove a high level of communication through TOEFL, IELTS, and any others specified
What Is the Length of a Graduate Certificate in Counseling?
A graduate certificate typically takes around a year, spread out over two to three semesters, to complete full-time. The curriculum typically consists of roughly four courses of 20-30 credits. In some cases, part-time study may be permitted.
It’s important to note that most colleges allow you to use graduate certificate credits toward a full master's degree. However, this is often only permissible if you enroll in the master's program at the same college/university.
How Much Does a Graduate Certificate in Counseling Cost?
There is no standard charge for a graduate certificate. Some are charged per credit (much like bachelor's and associate's degrees) while others are charged a total for the program.
Elements that impact the total cost depending on demand for the program, quality, and school prestige. In 2023, the typical cost is between $15,500 and $26,500 for the whole program. In-state and out-of-state resident costs also vary.
For those worried about costs, there are a number of loans available – both government and private. They help spread the cost over many years, sometimes decades.
Despite the belief that FAFSA is for undergraduate students only, funding is also available for post-graduate study. The Federal Grad PLUS Loan is another potential option to consider.
Finally, there are scholarships that are granted on specific criteria such as demographic background and identity. They rarely cover the full cost, and some are used for specific aspects of the program.
Popular Counseling Specialties
Counseling careers are available in a range of specializations, whether you are interested in working with groups, individuals, couples, and more. The following are some popular specialties - visit our Counseling Careers page for more.
School Counselors provide academic, career, and personal counseling services to students in elementary, middle, and high schools. They also collaborate with teachers, parents, and administrators to promote student success and support their emotional and social well-being.
Couples Counselors help partners through difficult life periods such as infidelity, separation, divorce, and other relationship strains.
Substance Abuse Counselor
Those needing help with addictions to alcohol, drugs, and more can find help and support by working with a Substance Abuse/Addictions Counselor.
List of Counseling Graduate Certificate Programs
Find an online or campus-based graduate certificate program in Counseling today – our state-by-state listings make it easy to find a great program near you.
Jump to Your State Listings
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, AL 35294-0110
Grand Canyon University
Phoenix, AZ 85017
Golden Gate University
San Francisco, CA 94105-2968
Holy Apostles College and Seminary
Cromwell, CT 06416
Waterbury, CT 06723
Southern Connecticut State University
New Haven, CT 06515-1355
University of Connecticut
Storrs, CT 06269
University of Florida-Online
Gainesville, FL 32611
University of South Florida
Tampa, FL 33620-9951
Loyola University Chicago
Chicago, IL 60660
Northern Illinois University
Dekalb, IL 60115-2828
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306
- Alcohol and Drug Counseling Online
Kokomo, IN 46902-9003
Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global
Marion, IN 46953
Purdue University Global
West Lafayette, IN 47906
Veritas Baptist College
Grand View University
Des Moines, IA 50316
MidAmerica Nazarene University
Olathe, KS 66062-1899
Wichita State University
Wichita, KS 67260-0124
Asbury Theological Seminary
Wilmore, KY 40390
Eastern Kentucky University
Richmond, KY 40475-3102
University of Baltimore
Baltimore, MD 21201-5720
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
- Graduate Certificate in Lay Counseling Online Campus
Hamilton, MA 01982
Cambridge, MA 02138-2790
Adler Graduate School
Minnetonka, MN 55343
Minneapolis, MN 55402-3389
Missouri State University-Springfield
Springfield, MO 65897
University of Missouri-St Louis
Saint Louis, MO 63121-4400
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717
University of Nebraska at Kearney
Kearney, NE 68849-1212
University of Nevada-Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV 89154
West Long Branch, NJ 07764-1898
Glassboro, NJ 08028
University of New Mexico-Main Campus
Albuquerque, NM 87106
- Couples Therapy Online
Garden City, NY 11530-0701
North Carolina State University at Raleigh
- Counselor Education Online
Raleigh, NC 27695-7001
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Charlotte, NC 28223-0001
University of North Carolina at Pembroke
Pembroke, NC 28372-1510
University of Mary
Bismarck, ND 58504
- Addictions Counseling Online
- Trauma Counseling Online
Canton, OH 44709-3308
Wright State University-Main Campus
Dayton, OH 45435-0001
Oklahoma State University-Main Campus
- Substance Abuse Counseling Campus
Stillwater, OK 74078-1015
California University of Pennsylvania
California, PA 15419-1394
Saint Joseph's University
Philadelphia, PA 19131-1395
Villanova, PA 19085-1699
Salve Regina University
Newport, RI 02840-4192
University of South Carolina-Columbia
Columbia, SC 29208
Rock Hill, SC 29733
University of South Dakota
Vermillion, SD 57069-2390
Richmont Graduate University
Chattanooga, TN 37404
Christian Bible Institute and Seminary
Cyprus, TX 77433
Sam Houston State University
Huntsville, TX 77340
Texas A & M University-Commerce
Commerce, TX 75429-3011
The University of Texas at San Antonio
San Antonio, TX 78249-1644
University of North Texas
Denton, TX 76203-1277
Lynchburg, VA 24515
Virginia Beach, VA 23464
Eastern Washington University
Cheney, WA 99004-2496
American Public University System
- Life Coaching Online
Charles Town, WV 25414
Huntington, WV 25755
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Whitewater, WI 53190-1790
University of Wyoming
- Play Therapy Online
Laramie, WY 82071
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