dcsimg

Counseling Master's Degree

Counseling Online Master's Degrees

A master's degree in counseling, both a Master of Art and a Master of Science, is a broad degree that prepares students for a variety of counseling professions, in settings such as schools, churches, business offices and hospitals. Students look at counseling theories (including human development and ethics) and counseling applications, and learn problem-solving skills and critical thinking meant to be applied in counseling positions.

Some specializations within a master's in counseling include:

  • School counseling
  • Mental health counseling
  • Marriage, family and child therapy
  • Rehabilitation counseling
  • Drug and substance abuse counseling

Since plenty of counseling positions require at least a master's in counseling (such as marriage and family therapist), many people interested in the field go for the master's degree. Doctoral degrees aren't required for counseling positions, though if students want to become a psychologist or psychiatrist, that's the route they'll take. Though some employers may hire a school or rehabilitation counselor who only has a bachelor's degree, getting a master's in counseling may be wise, in order to be competitive for jobs.

Taking a counseling master's program online can prove to be convenient for students who have family or work obligations and need flexibility in their schedules. Plenty of online programs exist and may be even better for students who are disciplined and self-starters.

Counseling Admissions Requirements

Undergraduate degree requirements will vary from school to school. In many counseling graduate programs, a bachelor's degree in any subject is sufficient for admission (though one may feel more prepared coming into the program with a psychology, sociology or counseling undergraduate degree). Some schools prefer a student with a bachelor's degree in psychology. Undergraduate courses in statistics or research methods is even a requirement at some schools. GPA requirements vary widely by school and may be over 2.75 or even 3.0 at many schools.

Many schools require Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Test of English for Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores, though it depends on both the college and the program.

Career Opportunities after Earning a Master of Counseling

Some professions and some employers require a master of counseling degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most states require school counselors to have a master's degree in school counseling or a related field. Most employers prefer career counselors to have a master's degree in counseling, with an emphasis in career development. To become a mental health counselor or a marriage and family therapist, a master's degree in counseling or marriage and family therapy is required.

Many careers tied to earning a master's degree in counseling have a bright future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment growth is expected to grow between 2010 and 2020 by 36 percent for mental health counselors, 41 percent for marriage and family therapists and 19 percent for school and career counselors (bls.gov/ooh, 2012). The projected employment growth for all other occupations is 14 percent, which makes these counseling professions well above average career projected growth.

Post-graduation Salary Information with a Master of Counseling

Though the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not supply specific salary information for those with a master's degree in counseling, median weekly earnings in 2012 comparing those with a master's degree to those with other kinds of educational attainment are provided. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, master's degree holders made $1,300 a week versus $1,066 for bachelor's degree holders and $785 for associate degree holders (bls.gov/emp, 2012).

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does provide salary information for careers linked to a master's degree in counseling. In May 2012, mental health counselors made a national mean annual wage of $43,290 and marriage and family therapists made a national mean annual wage of $49,270 (bls.gov/oes, 2013).

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 edition, Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists - http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/mental-health-counselors-and-marriage-and-family-therapists.htm#tab-1
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 edition, School and Career Counselors - http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Community-and-Social-Service/School-and-career-counselors.htm#tab-1
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Employment Projects, Education pays… 2013 - http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm
Wayland Baptist University, Master of Arts in Counseling (MA) - http://www.wbu.edu/master-of-arts-in-counseling/
University of North Texas, College of Education, Counseling - Master's Degree Program - http://www.unt.edu/pais/grad/gmcoss.htm
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2012, Mental Health Counselors - http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211014.htm
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2012, Marriage and Family Therapists - http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211013.htm

Schools
Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Showing schools in your area

            Matching School Ads
            M.S. in Christian Counseling
            • Continue your pursuit of knowledge with a master's degree in psychology online with GCU.
            • Explore human behavior and the development of critical thinking and leadership.
            • Areas of focus include: forensic psychology, geropsychology, health psychology, life coaching and industrial & organizational psychology.
            • Pursue a next-generation education with an online program or join Grand Canyon University's vibrant and growing campus community in beautiful Phoenix, Arizona.
            • Pursue a career in counseling, behavioral health, mental health, social services, education and more.
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            MA in Professional Counseling - 60 Hour
            • Liberty University provides a worldclass education from a christ-centered worldview
            • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels
            • No standardized testing if student meets admission requirements
            • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
            • 95% of Liberty University students receive some form of financial aid
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy

            Pepperdine University offers its esteemed marriage and family therapy (MFT) master’s program online so students across the country can earn a Pepperdine graduate education without attending classes on campus. 

            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis
            • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
            • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year.
            • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities ( beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities. 
            • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            MAMFT - LGBTQ Couple and Family Therapy
            • Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.
            • As a regionally accredited, private, online and graduate-focused university, NCU offers doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in business, technology management, education, and psychology, as well as doctoral and master’s degrees in marriage and family therapy.
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Master of Marriage and Family Therapy
            • Ranked among the top 20 Regional Universities in the West in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Listed as one of America’s Best Colleges by Forbes Magazine in 2014.
            • More than 97% of tenure-track faculty holds a terminal degree in their field.
            • Student to faculty ratio of 15:1, and 47.5% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Sports Counseling (Certificate) - Online
            • For the 12th consecutive year, Cal U was named one for the best schools in the Northeast by The Princeton Review 
            • Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017
            • Quality Online courses at Cal U have the same objectives, content and learning outcomes as campus-based programs and are taught by the same expert professors.
            • Offers private school amenities at a public school cost. Student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1
            • CAL U online programs complete an annual assessment of student learning to ensure outcomes are focused on your success in career entry, advancement or enhancement!
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Master of Science in Applied Psychology - Community Psychology
            • SJU provides a rigorous, student-centered education rooted in the liberal arts
            • A Jesuit school with 8,415 students in all programs for 2016 grads &undergrads
            • Institutionally Accredited by the MSCHE and the AACSB (Haub School of Business)
            • 96% of 2016 graduates employed, pursuing graduate study or volunteering full time
            • Qualifying students can receive financial assistance with tuition costs
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses