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Top 10 Graduate Counseling Schools

Graduate students who are interested in pursuing advanced degrees in counseling are normally interested in working closely with families and communities in need. While this is often times the initial draw for counseling students, however, others may understand that their skill are better put to use in the areas of policy and research. The students in this later group often enter PhD degree programs. Most often, the counseling degrees are houses in the social services or applied social science departments, schools, and colleges. Many times, however, there are departments of counseling. The Setup of the school will depend largely on what courses and expertise each school and college offers.

The schools listed below are ten of the most well established and respected schools for a graduate counseling education. This list is based on the work conducted by U.S. News and World Report and shows a small number of the many counseling schools available. While these are not the only graduate counseling options available to you, these are some of the top notch schools in the country.

  1. Michigan State University The Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education is considered one of the best in the country for its emphasis on hands-on training, clinical learning, and advanced research methods. Students who graduate with master's degrees from this department go on to become active leaders in the field, while PhD graduates become top researchers and educators.
  2. University of Wisconsin--Madison The Department of Counseling Psychology offers master's and PhD degree programs for students who are as interested in research and methodology as they are in practice and hands-on experience. Many of the PhD students already have years of professional experience.
  3. Pennsylvania State University--University Park The College of Education offers graduate degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling for students who are interested in helping those who are looking to get back on track in life. Students will perform hours of clinical work.
  4. University of Iowa The PhD in Counseling Psychology is a heavily research based degree program that allows students much flexibility when it comes to deciding their paths and developing projects, studies, and dissertations.
  5. University of Arizona The Master of Education program in the Graduate College offers students the opportunity to focus on counseling as a primary concentration. This degree provides students with the experience and skills to fill entry level counseling positions in a number of organizations and agencies.
  6. Boston University The Doctoral Program in Counseling Psychology provides students with a traditional core education in the basics of counseling psychology while letting them explore their own areas of interest and concentration. This is a program based on research.
  7. George Washington University The Master's in School Counseling degree program is a unique opportunity for working professionals since it is primarily taken off campus. Students communicate online and may travel to campus for professional meetings, interviews, and for clinical research. Many in this program are already working in the counseling field.
  8. Southern Illinois University--Carbondale The Department of Psychology offers a cutting edge degree program for those interested in counseling psychology. This is an innovative, research based program.
  9. San Diego State University The Master of Science in School Counseling prepares students to act as school counselors. Students may choose grade levels and specialties as concentrations.
  10. University of Florida The School of Education offers an excellent counselor education program with master's and PhD degree tracks. Students benefit from clinical field experience, as well as from learning current research methods.
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