Schools with Counseling Programs

Counseling degree programs are offered mainly through universities and other four-year institutions, but there is one exception. The associate’s degree program runs for two years and is typically found at community colleges. Some career schools may offer an equivalent program.

Four-year institutions get their name from their bachelor’s degree programs, which typically take four years to complete. However, a master’s degree is often a two-year add-on, and the amount of time it takes to get a doctorate varies depending on factors like the student’s specific focus, the school’s overall program, and other factors. Online counseling degrees are also options for students who may not have a university nearby, or who otherwise need flexibility to complete a degree program.

Each degree level creates different opportunities for graduates. You can get some entry-level positions with an associate’s degree, slightly better ones with a bachelor’s, notably better options with a master’s, and the best opportunities with a doctorate. This tiered structure makes getting a job in your preferred field possible even as you work toward your next degree level.

Counseling Degree Program Accreditation

Accreditation is very important for educational programs. It shows that the program has met standards meant to ensure that it provides a solid education and valuable skills to those who graduate. Employers, other schools, and higher degree programs typically only give weight to degrees or course credits earned from accredited programs.

There are several reputable accrediting agencies in the counseling field. Some of the top ones include CACREP (the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs) and the APA (American Psychological Association). They ensure that programs meet the standards set by the professions, as well as those mandated by CHEA, the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Regional agencies also accredit some schools.

Liz Norris, LPCC
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