Masters in Guidance Counseling Degree Program Overview

Master's degree programs in guidance counseling offer professional training and monitor experiential learning to teachers and others interested in becoming guidance counselors. Most programs show candidates how to provide personal, educational and vocational support to school students and offer study in performance assessments on aptitude, learning abilities and academic interests.

Essential Information

Master's degree programs in guidance counseling provide instruction in counseling theory, interviewing techniques and assessment tools for working with primary and secondary students. Some programs are designed for certified teachers who want to be guidance counselors in public schools. Most master's degree programs in guidance counseling require students to participate in supervised counseling session for practical experience. Often admissions will ask candidates to include a personal statement about work history and reasons for pursuing a master's degree in guidance counseling.

  • Program Levels in Guidance Counseling: Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Education, Doctorates
  • Prerequisites: GRE, bachelor's degree
  • Online Availability: Online programs are available
  • Other Requirements: Hands-on training

Master's Degrees in Guidance Counseling

Guidance counselors assist students with career planning, course selection and personal problems. A master's degree in guidance counseling prepares future counselors for these multiple roles through a diverse range of coursework. Courses in a master's program may include:

  • Guidance counseling theory and technique
  • Human growth and development
  • Student appraisal
  • Educational planning
  • Vocational counseling theory
  • Group counseling theory

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

There were approximately 246,280 educational, guidance, school and vocational counselors employed in 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) ( Between 2012 and 2022, this number is expected to grow 12% as student enrollment expands at all levels, college students request more career guidance and rehabilitation centers need more career counselors. Elementary and secondary school guidance counselors had a mean annual salary of $56,040 in May 2014.

Certification and Continuing Education Information

Requirements regarding licensure for guidance counselors vary by state. Many states require guidance counselors to have a master's degree and obtain state certification. Some states have less stringent regulations, but most require some coursework. Individuals seeking career advancement or professional research opportunities can pursue a Ph.D. in guidance counseling.

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