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School Counseling Colleges and Universities in the U.S.

Colleges and universities commonly offer programs in school counseling at the graduate level. Some schools offer students the option of a joint bachelor's-master's degree program that includes instruction in school counseling. Potential specialization areas include elementary school counseling, high school counseling, counseling for urban schools and counseling for troubled or special needs students.

Most students interested in school counseling colleges and universities already hold a bachelor's degree; Master of Education and Education Specialist programs grant degrees that generally qualify students to sit for licensing examinations and for subsequent employment as counselors.

10 Schools with School Counseling Programs

The following list includes a number of schools that offer graduate degrees for those interested in a career in school counseling.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Graduate Tuition (2015-2016)
University of Maryland-College Park College Park, MD 4-year, Public Master's In-state $11,376; Out-of-state $24,534
University of North Carolina-Greensboro Greensboro, NC 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral In-state $4,873; Out-of-state $18,322
University of Georgia Athens, GA 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral In-state $8,492; Out-of-state $24,090
University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral In-state $10,728; Out-of-state $24,054
University of Missouri Columbia, MO 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral In-state $8,402; Out-of-state $22,498
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN 4-year, Public Master's In-state $15,844; Out-of-state $24,508
Ohio State University Columbus, OH 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral In-state $11,560; Out-of-state $31,032
Pennsylvania State University-University Park University Park, PA 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral In-state $18,270; Out-of-state $31,246
University of Florida Gainesville, FL 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral In-state $10,770; Out-of-state $27,335
University of Central Florida Orlando, FL 4-year, Public Master's In-state $6,916; Out-of-state $25,759

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES); School websites

School Selection Criteria

When selecting a school counseling program, students usually choose between a master's degree program (Master of Education, Education Specialist or Master of Art) and a Ph.D. program. The following considerations should be noted when choosing a school counseling program:

  • A Master of Art degree is appropriate for students more interested in continuing their education and applying for Ph.D. programs, while Ph.D. programs in school counseling are for students interested in careers involving theory, research and teaching.
  • Research opportunities are more critical for Master of Arts and Ph.D. students who wish to pursue a professional academic career in school counseling.
  • Depending on state licensing requirements and the school, many programs in school counseling require students to complete a set number of hours in the field, allowing them to gain experience through an internship.
  • The availability of internships and research opportunities is an important consideration when comparing tuition costs.

Aspiring school counselors can find programs at the graduate level once they have already earned a bachelor's degree. Tuition costs vary widely, and some colleges only offer a master's degree program, while others offer master's and doctoral degrees.

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