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

Philadelphia, PA

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

Muncie, IN

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

Olathe, KS

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:

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.

All Counseling Degrees

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
  • Interventions
  • 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
  • Psychopathology
  • 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 2024, 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 Counselor

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 Counselor

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


Auburn, AL 36849
(334) 844-4000

Administration Bldg Suite 1070
Birmingham, AL 35294-0110
(205) 934-4011


Graduate Certificate Programs
University Drive and Mill Avenue
Tempe, AZ 85287
(855) 278-5080

3300 W Camelback Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85017
(602) 639-7500


Graduate Certificate Programs
536 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-2968
(415) 442-7800


Graduate Certificate Programs
33 Prospect Hill Rd
Cromwell, CT 06416
(860) 632-3010

800 Country Club Rd
Waterbury, CT 06723
(800) 345-2562

Graduate Certificate Programs
501 Crescent Street
New Haven, CT 06515-1355
(203) 392-5200

Graduate Certificate Programs
352 Mansfield Road
Storrs, CT 06269
(860) 486-2000


Graduate Certificate Programs
341 Tigert Hall 300 SW 13th St
Gainesville, FL 32611
(352) 392-1202

4202 East Fowler Ave
Tampa, FL 33620-9951
(813) 974-2011


Graduate Certificate Programs
1032 W Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 274-3000

1425 W. Lincoln Hwy.
Dekalb, IL 60115-2828
(800) 892-3050


Graduate Certificate Programs
2000 University Ave
Muncie, IN 47306
(765) 289-1241

Graduate Certificate Programs
2300 S Washington St
Kokomo, IN 46902-9003
(765) 453-2000

Graduate Certificate Programs
2550 Northwestern Avenue, Suite 1100
West Lafayette, IN 47906
(866) 522-7747

Graduate Certificate Programs

Lawrenceburg, IN
(812) 221-1714


Graduate Certificate Programs
1200 Grandview Ave
Des Moines, IA 50316
(515) 263-2800


Graduate Certificate Programs
2030 E College Way
Olathe, KS 66062-1899
(913) 782-3750

1845 N. Fairmount
Wichita, KS 67260-0124
(316) 978-3456


Graduate Certificate Programs
204 N Lexington Ave
Wilmore, KY 40390
(859) 858-3581

521 Lancaster Ave
Richmond, KY 40475-3102
(859) 622-1000



Graduate Certificate Programs
Charles at Mount Royal
Baltimore, MD 21201-5720
(410) 837-4200


Graduate Certificate Programs
130 Essex Street South
Hamilton, MA 01982
(978) 468-7111

Graduate Certificate Programs
29 Everett St
Cambridge, MA 02138-2790
(617) 868-9600


10225 Yellow Circle Dr.
Minnetonka, MN 55343
(612) 861-7554

225 South 6th Street, 9th Floor
Minneapolis, MN 55402-3389
(866) 808-4080


Graduate Certificate Programs
One University Boulevard
Saint Louis, MO 63121-4400
(314) 516-5000



Graduate Certificate Programs
2504 9th Avenue
Kearney, NE 68849-1212
(308) 865-8441


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

New Jersey

Graduate Certificate Programs
400 Cedar Ave
West Long Branch, NJ 07764-1898
(732) 571-3400

201 Mullica Hill Road
Glassboro, NJ 08028
(856) 256-4000

New Mexico

Graduate Certificate Programs
1700 Lomas Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
(505) 277-0111

New York

Graduate Certificate Programs
South Ave
Garden City, NY 11530-0701
(516) 877-3000

Graduate Certificate Programs
100 Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11549
(516) 463-6600

350 New Campus Dr
Brockport, NY 14420-2919
(585) 395-2361

North Carolina

Graduate Certificate Programs
2101 Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC 27695-7001
(919) 515-2011

Graduate Certificate Programs
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28223-0001
(704) 687-2000

North Dakota


Graduate Certificate Programs
2600 Cleveland Avenue NW
Canton, OH 44709-3308
(330) 471-8100

3640 Colonel Glenn Highway
Dayton, OH 45435-0001
(937) 775-1000


Graduate Certificate Programs
107 Whitehurst
Stillwater, OK 74078-1015
(405) 744-5000


Graduate Certificate Programs
250 University Ave
California, PA 15419-1394
(724) 938-4400

5600 City Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19131-1395
(610) 660-1000

Graduate Certificate Programs
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085-1699
(610) 519-4500

Rhode Island

South Carolina

Graduate Certificate Programs
Columbia, SC 29208
(803) 777-7000

Graduate Certificate Programs
701 Oakland Ave
Rock Hill, SC 29733
(803) 323-2211

South Dakota

414 E Clark St
Vermillion, SD 57069-2390
(605) 658-6200


1815 McCallie Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37404
(423) 226-4574


Graduate Certificate Programs
9212 Fry Rd Ste 105
Cyprus, TX 77433
(888) 360-0004

Graduate Certificate Programs
1806 Ave J
Huntsville, TX 77340
(936) 294-1111

Graduate Certificate Programs
2200 Campbell Stree
Commerce, TX 75429-3011
(888) 868-2682

Graduate Certificate Programs
One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, TX 78249-1644
(210) 458-4011

1501 W.Chestnut Ave.
Denton, TX 76203-1277
(940) 565-2000


Graduate Certificate Programs
1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA 24515
(855) 731-2512


526 5th Street
Cheney, WA 99004-2496
(509) 359-6200

West Virginia

Graduate Certificate Programs
111 W Congress St
Charles Town, WV 25414
(877) 755-2787

1 John Marshall Dr
Huntington, WV 25755
(304) 696-3170


Graduate Certificate Programs
800 W Main St
Whitewater, WI 53190-1790
(262) 472-1234


Graduate Certificate Programs
Corner of Ninth and Ivinson
Laramie, WY 82071
(307) 766-1121

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

Liz Norris, LPCC
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