As the educational landscape adapts to embrace online platforms, pursuing school counseling degrees has followed suit, offering aspiring professionals the flexibility and accessibility they need. This guide aims to illuminate the path to obtaining an online school counseling degree, exploring the nuances of program selection, degree levels, curriculum, and clinical requirements. Whether you’re considering a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate, this comprehensive resource will navigate you through the intricacies of online education, empowering you to make informed decisions on your journey toward a fulfilling career in school counseling.

Choosing the Right Online School Counseling Degree Program

Once you’ve committed to the career of a school counselor and decided to go with an online school counseling program, the only thing left to do is start applying. This, however, is easier said than done. Researching programs can be challenging and lengthy, and you’ll need to pick through many less-than-ideal options before settling on the right online school counseling degree program for what you’re looking for. Similarly, it’s good to be aware of accreditation; while most programs you come across will be accredited, it’s not guaranteed. Look for programs that have been given the stamp of approval from one of these accrediting bodies:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
  • Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP)

Another factor you must consider is the degree level you need or want to complete. This depends entirely on your career and education goals:

Bachelor’s Degree

Initiating a career in school counseling often commences with obtaining a Bachelor’s degree. While specific school counseling degrees at the bachelor’s level are rare, online bachelor’s programs in counseling lay the foundation with essential courses in psychology, education, and counseling principles. When considering an online bachelor’s program, prioritize those with accreditation, esteemed faculty, and a comprehensive curriculum. Accreditation ensures program quality, faculty expertise contributes to a rich learning experience, and a well-rounded curriculum sets the stage for future success.

Master’s Degree

A master’s degree is typically the minimum requirement for licensed school counselors. Online Master’s programs delve deeper into counseling theories, assessment techniques, and specific issues within school counseling. When exploring online Master’s programs, accreditation, faculty credentials, and program structure remain paramount. Look for programs offering internships or practicums; hands-on experience is integral to developing practical counseling skills. Flexibility and adherence to state licensing standards are also crucial considerations.

Graduate Certificate

If you already hold a master’s degree in general counseling or psychology and want to embark on a school counseling career, a graduate certificate in school counseling can be a great choice. These programs can often be completed in around one year of study, making it a quicker and more affordable way to gain specialized knowledge in school counseling. Many graduate certificate programs are offered in an online format for even more convenience.

Doctorate Degree

A doctorate in school counseling is a valuable pursuit for those aspiring to leadership roles or academic positions. Online doctorate programs, such as the Ph.D. or PsyD, cater to working professionals, emphasizing research and advanced practice. When evaluating online doctorate programs, consider research focus, faculty engagement, and program alignment with career goals. Doctoral programs often involve a dissertation, necessitating adequate support and resources.

What School Counseling Degree is Right for Me?

Bachelor’s DegreeMaster’s DegreeGraduate CertPh.D. or PsyD
I am interested in gaining entry-level experience in counselingx
I want to get started in a counseling career before I pursue more educationx
I want to become a licensed professional counselorx
I want to pursue or switch to a niche school counseling specialtyxx
I already have a counseling degree and want to gain specialized knowledgexx
I want to work in academia, administration, or clinical practicex

School Counseling Degree Program Curriculum

A robust curriculum is pivotal in preparing students for the multifaceted role of school counseling. Online bachelor’s programs cover foundational concepts, while master’s programs delve deeper into assessment, crisis intervention, and ethical considerations. Doctoral programs focus on advanced research and leadership. Prospective students should review program curricula for a balance between theory and practical skills, ensuring readiness for the challenges of school counseling. Course titles may include:

  • Organization of Counseling Services
  • Multicultural Aspects of Counseling
  • Parent Education
  • Pupil Advocacy
  • Therapeutic Methods for Children & Adolescents
  • Counseling Consultancy
  • Educational Measurement and Progress Evaluation

School Counseling Degree Program Clinical Requirements

Clinical experience is a vital component of online school counseling degree programs. Online platforms leverage virtual technologies to simulate counseling sessions, enabling students to practice in a controlled environment. When evaluating programs, inquire about clinical requirements and how they facilitate hands-on experiences for online students. Many programs establish partnerships for supervised internships, overcoming geographical barriers. Virtual simulations offer practical experience, preparing students for the diverse scenarios encountered as school counselors.

List of School Counseling Degree Programs

Are you looking for an online school counseling degree program near you? Browse our state-by-state school listings below.

Jump to Your State Listings


University Park
Los Angeles, CA 90089
(213) 740-2311


2199 S. University Blvd
Denver, CO 80208
(303) 871-2000


181 White Street
Danbury, CT 06810-6826
(203) 837-8200


104 Hullihen Hall
Newark, DE 19716
(302) 831-2000


Master's Programs
1501 Mercer University Drive
Macon, GA 31207
(478) 301-2700


605 Washington St
Fayette, IA 52142-1857
(563) 425-5200


1 Kellogg Circle
Emporia, KS 66801-5415
(620) 341-1200

600 Park St
Hays, KS 67601-4099
(785) 628-4000

919 Mid-Campus Drive, Anderson Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506
(785) 532-6011


1 University Dr
Campbellsville, KY 42718-2799
(270) 789-5000 x5000



1 Campus Dr
Allendale, MI 49401-9403
(616) 331-2020


100 E Normal Avenue
Kirksville, MO 63501-4221
(660) 785-4000


2500 California Plaza
Omaha, NE 68178
(402) 280-2700


4505 S Maryland Pky
Las Vegas, NV 89154
(702) 895-3011

New Hampshire

New York

North Carolina

Certificate Programs
East 5th Street
Greenville, NC 27858-4353
(252) 328-6131

1801 Fayetteville Street
Durham, NC 27707
(919) 530-6100

Master's Programs
2101 Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC 27695-7001
(919) 515-2011

North Dakota

Certificate Programs
264 Centennial Drive, Stop 8193
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8193
(800) 225-5863


Master's Programs
020 Chubb Hall
Athens, OH 45701-2979
(740) 593-1000



Master's Programs
500 W. University Ave
El Paso, TX 79968-0691
(915) 747-5000

3900 University Blvd
Tyler, TX 75799-6699
(903) 566-7000



Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.

Tara Moretti, LMHC
Share This: