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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Birmingham, AL 35294-0110
Wichita, KS 67260-0124
Las Vegas, NV 89154
Pembroke, NC 28372-1510
Bismarck, ND 58504
Newport, RI 02840-4192
Virginia Beach, VA 23464
Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.
- Couples in These U.S. States Have the Happiest Relationships - September 14, 2023
- How Do You Know A Counseling Career is Right For You? - July 27, 2023
- The Number of BIPOC Therapists Available in These Major Cities is Alarming - July 13, 2023