Counseling psychology is a subfield of psychology that deals with the emotional, mental, and behavioral problems of individuals, families, and groups. It involves assessing, diagnosing, treating, and preventing psychological disorders and helps people overcome their emotional and mental difficulties.

If you aspire to work in the counseling psychology field, it’s necessary to have a psychology degree. An online degree in counseling psychology will equip you with the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to provide effective counseling services.

Choosing the Right Online Counseling Psychology Degree Program

Becoming a counseling psychologist requires a master’s degree at minimum, but a doctorate will make you more competitive in the job market. Prior to either degree, completion of a Bachelor’s degree at the undergraduate level is necessary.

No matter which online program you choose, ensure it is accredited by a reputable organization. The Counsel for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs and the American Psychological Association are two well-known accrediting bodies.

Bachelor’s Degree

While it’s uncommon for colleges to offer a bachelor’s degree specifically in counseling psychology, bachelor’s programs in psychology or in counseling are widely available. You could alternatively pursue a bachelor’s in another, similar field.

Completing an online bachelor’s degree typically takes four years. The initial two years comprising of fundamental psychology courses and general education requirements, followed by intermediate psychology courses and electives during the latter two years.

Master’s Degree

To practice as a counseling psychologist, a master’s degree in counseling psychology is required. All states have a minimum educational requirement for licensure, and the minimum is an accredited master’s program.

An online master’s degree in psychology is sufficient to practice counseling psychology. You can enroll in a master’s in counseling psychology, which will have a heavier counseling emphasis, but it’s not absolutely necessary.

A master’s degree in psychology involves one to two years of study, which includes a combination of coursework and an internship component (practicum). Both a general program and a counseling program will have many different psychology courses that you can take. A counseling program will likely have a few more required counseling-focused classes. When considering online programs, make sure that the one you are applying to has options for completing clinical hours within your own community.

Graduate Certificate

A graduate certificate offers the opportunity for further specialization. Obtaining a grad certificate in counseling psychology online can give you more counseling-specific training if you completed a general counseling master’s or a master’s in another counseling specialty. You may also complete a graduate certificate program to further specialize in working with a specific population. Online graduate certificates take six months to one year to complete. 

Doctorate Degree

Getting a doctorate degree in counseling psychology online can open doors to high-level leadership positions and potential teaching opportunities. It can increase your income and impact but isn’t a prerequisite for working as a counselor.

Most counseling psychologists who pursue a doctorate enroll in a doctor of psychology (Psy.D.) degree program. This type of program is heavily focused on practical work with clients. During the online program, students spend time studying advanced-level clinical concepts and receive hands-on training through direct counseling work with clients within their own community. The Psy.D. degree typically takes three years to complete.

Some counseling psychologists opt for a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree, which places a greater emphasis on research. This program includes a mix of direct work with clients and research-focused activities, including running studies, analyzing data, and writing a dissertation. Ph.D. programs in counseling psychology typically require two years of coursework and an additional two to four years for research and dissertation writing.

Both doctorate programs offer advanced-level study in counseling psychology and prepare students for licensure. They can be in addition to, or instead of, a master’s degree.

Which Counseling Psychology Degree is Right for Me?

Bachelor’s DegreeMaster’s DegreeGraduate CertificatePh.D. or PsyD
I am interested in gaining entry-level experience in counseling psychologyx
I want to get started in my counseling psychology career before I pursue more educationx
I want to pursue a non-patient-facing role in counseling psychologyxx
I want to pursue or switch to a niche psychology specialtyxx
I already have a psychology degree and want to gain specialized knowledgexx
I want to conduct research in psychologyxx
I want to become a licensed psychologist and treat patientsx
I want to work in academiax

Counseling Psychology Degree Program Curriculum

The coursework you complete will become more focused on counseling psychology as you move through the various degrees. Some examples of courses include:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: ~120 credits; Intro to Psychology, Human Development, Clinical Psychology
  • Master’s Degree: ~30-60 credits; Individual Interventions, Group Counseling, Psychopathology
  • Graduate Certificate: ~12-20 credits; Individual Interventions, Group Counseling, Psychopathology
  • Doctorate Degree: ~80-120 credits; Application of Counseling Methods, Vocational Psychology

Counseling Psychology Degree Program Clinical Requirements

A crucial aspect of any counseling psychology degree program is the practical component known as a “practicum.” The clinical placement component offers students the opportunity to gain practical experience in a supervised setting and work directly with clients.

Typically, master’s programs in counseling psychology accredited by professional organizations require at least 600 hours of clinical experience, while Psy.D. programs in this field mandate a minimum of 1,500 hours. However, it’s not uncommon for specialized counseling psychology programs to have higher practical experience requirements.

For students enrolled in an online program, job postings, and personal networks may be the best options for locating clinical opportunities.

List of Counseling Psychology Degree Programs

Looking for an online or campus-based counseling psychology degree program near you? Browse our state-by-state school listings below.

Jump to Your State Listings


4900 Meridian Street
Normal, AL 35762
(256) 372-5000

PhD Programs
7440 East Drive
Montgomery, AL 36117-3596
(334) 244-3000

5345 Atlanta Hwy
Montgomery, AL 36109-3390
(334) 272-5820


4101 University Dr
Anchorage, AK 99508
(907) 561-1266


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


201 Donaghey Ave
Conway, AR 72035-0001
(501) 450-5000


Master's Programs
901 E Alosta
Azusa, CA 91702-7000
(626) 969-3434

8432 Magnolia Ave
Riverside, CA 92504-3297
(877) 228-3615

Master's Programs
60 W Olsen Rd
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360-2787
(805) 492-2411

Master's Programs
1 Harpst Street
Arcata, CA 95521-8299
(707) 826-3011

Master's Programs
9001 Stockdale Hwy
Bakersfield, CA 93311-1099
(661) 654-2782

1250 Bellflower Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90840-0115
(562) 985-4111

50 Acacia Ave
San Rafael, CA 94901-2298
(415) 457-4440

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

3500 Mountain Blvd
Oakland, CA 94619-1699
(510) 436-1000

Master's ProgramsPsyD Programs
249 Lambert Rd
Carpinteria, CA 93013
(805) 969-3626 x101

1069 East Meadow Cr
Palo Alto, CA 94303
(650) 493-4430

2075 E. Madison Avenue
El Cajon, CA 92019-1108
(619) 201-8999


PhD Programs
102 Administration Building
Fort Collins, CO 80523-0100
(970) 491-1101

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

PhD Programs
Carter Hall - Rm 4000
Greeley, CO 80639
(970) 351-1890


640 Dr Mary McLeod Bethune Blvd
Daytona Beach, FL 32114-3099
(386) 481-2000

Bachelor's Programs
33701 State Road 52
Saint Leo, FL 33574-6665
(352) 588-8200

PhD Programs
University of Miami
Coral Gables, FL 33146
(305) 284-2211


PhD Programs
Administration Building
Athens, GA 30602
(706) 542-3000


Master's Programs
3140 Waialae Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96816-1578
(808) 735-4711

Master's Programs
200 W Kawili St
Hilo, HI 96720-4091
(808) 932-7446


PhD Programs
1032 W. Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 274-3000


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

Hovde Hall of Administration
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2040
(765) 494-4600

US Highway 30 and Sturdy Road
Valparaiso, IN 46383
(219) 464-5000


PhD Programs
101 Jessup Hall
Iowa City, IA 52242-1316
(319) 335-3500


Strong Hall, 1450 Jayhawk Blvd, Room 230
Lawrence, KS 66045
(785) 864-2700


Master's ProgramsPhD Programs
South Limestone
Lexington, KY 40506-0032
(859) 257-9000


224 Main St.
Farmington, ME 04938-9978
(207) 778-7000


8000 York Rd
Towson, MD 21252-0001
(410) 704-2000

PhD Programs

College Park, MD 20742
(301) 405-1000


140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
(617) 552-8000

Master's ProgramsGraduate Certificate Programs
29 Everett St
Cambridge, MA 02138-2790
(617) 868-9600


Certificate Programs
503 Thompson Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
(734) 764-1817


720 Fourth Ave. South
Saint Cloud, MN 56301-4498
(320) 308-0121


Master's ProgramsPhD Programs
118 College Drive # 0001
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
(601) 266-1000

710 William Carey Parkway
Hattiesburg, MS 39401
(601) 318-6051


105 Jesse Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
(573) 882-2121

PhD Programs
5000 Holmes St.
Kansas City, MO 64110
(816) 235-1000

470 E Lockwood Ave.
Saint Louis, MO 63119-3194
(314) 968-6900


Master's ProgramsPhD Programs
1400 R Street
Lincoln, NE 68588-0419
(402) 472-7211

New Hampshire

25 Hall Street
Concord, NH 03301-3471
(603) 228-3000

New Jersey

400 S Orange Ave
South Orange, NJ 07079-2697
(973) 761-9000

New Mexico

New York

441 E Fordham Rd
Bronx, NY 10458
(718) 817-1000

PhD Programs
70 Washington Sq South
New York, NY 10012-1091
(212) 998-1212

1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222
(518) 442-3300

12 Capen Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1660
(716) 645-2000

North Dakota

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


PhD Programs
190 N. Oval Mall
Columbus, OH 43210
(614) 292-6446

302 Buchtel Common
Akron, OH 44325-4702
(330) 972-7111


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

100 N University Dr
Edmond, OK 73034
(405) 974-2000


110 Johnson Hall
Eugene, OR 97403
(541) 346-1000


Master's Programs
6001 University Boulevard
Moon Township, PA 15108-1189
(412) 397-3000

Master's Programs
1801 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6096
(215) 204-7000

150 Finoli Drive
Greensburg, PA 15601-5860
(724) 837-7040


1120 N Ocoee St
Cleveland, TN 37311
(423) 614-8000

3500 John A. Merritt Blvd
Nashville, TN 37209-1561
(615) 963-5000

527 Andy Holt Tower
Knoxville, TN 37996
(865) 974-1000


5201 University Blvd
Laredo, TX 78041-1900
(956) 326-2001

PhD Programs
Broadway and University Avenue
Lubbock, TX 79409-5005
(806) 742-2011

Master's ProgramsPhD Programs
304 Administration Dr
Denton, TX 76204
(940) 898-2000


PhD ProgramsCertificate Programs
201 Presidents Circle, ROOM 201
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9008
(801) 581-7200


Bachelor's Programs
1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA 24515
(434) 582-2000

PsyD Programs
801 East Main St.
Radford, VA 24142
(540) 831-5000

PhD Programs
910 W Franklin St
Richmond, VA 23284-2512
(804) 828-0100


14500 Juanita Drive NE
Kenmore, WA 98028-4966
(425) 602-3000

West Virginia

PhD Programs
PO Box 6201
Morgantown, WV 26506
(304) 293-0111


1250 W Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 288-7710

PhD Programs
500 Lincoln Dr
Madison, WI 53706-1380
(608) 263-2400

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