Top Schools for School Counseling and Guidance Programs

Jul 20, 2018

Learn about programs in school counseling and guidance, through which students learn how to provide children with academic and emotional support. Find information about four top-notch universities, as well as an overview of other schools in the U.S. offering school counseling and guidance programs

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School Information

Aspiring school counselors and guidance counselors can find relevant graduate-level training opportunities. Master's and doctoral degrees are available in this field. Four of the top schools of school counseling and guidance programs include Columbia University (an Ivy League school), as well as the University of Florida, the University of Wisconsin, and Boston College. All four offer specialized master's degrees in a relevant field of study. Doctoral programs can be found at the University of Florida and the University of Wisconsin. Each of these schools was nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report for 2017.

Columbia University

The Teachers College at Columbia University is the oldest and largest in the country. Part of the Ivy League, Columbia University placed fifth on U.S. News & World Report's list of best national universities for 2017. In 2017, the school's graduate psychology program was ranked number 17 by U.S. News and World Report. The Teachers College offers a Master of Education (Ed.M.) in Psychological Counseling program with a specialization in school counseling.

University of Florida

All counselor education programs at the University of Florida are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. The University of Florida is a public research institution that ranked 14th among top public universities for 2017, according to U.S. News & World Report. The College of Education offers dual master's programs, which lead to a Master of Education/Education Specialist or Master of Arts/Education Specialist, the latter of which requires a thesis. Both programs offer a specialization in student counseling and guidance. Students can also pursue Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Education programs in counselor education, both of which allow for specializations in student guidance counseling.

University of Wisconsin in Madison

The University of Wisconsin Madison stresses integration of counseling psychology, diversity and multiculturalism through its programs and research opportunities. The University of Wisconsin Madison is a public research institution that placed 10th on U.S. News & World Report's list of top public schools and 44th among national universities for 2017. During the same year, U.S. News and World Report also ranked the university 6th among top graduate schools with student counseling and personnel services programs.

The school counseling program, located in the Department of Counseling Psychology in the School of Education, offers both a Master of Science and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis on school counseling. The department's Pre-College Enrichment Opportunity Program for Learning Excellence is designed to assist young people in low-income settings and encourages academic and career development.

Boston College

The Center for Optimized Student Support offers volunteer and paid research assistantships. The Lynch School of Education at Boston College offers a Master of Arts in School Counseling program. The program is designed to prepare graduates for the licensure exam that they must pass in order to work as elementary or secondary school counselors in Massachusetts. In addition to classroom-based coursework in topics such as child psychopathology and multicultural issues, students get real world experience through practicums in school settings. The program culminates in a comprehensive examination. Boston College was ranked number 31 among national universities by U.S. News and World Report for 2017.

Top School Counseling and Guidance Schools

These schools also offer relevant programs in the field:

School Name Distinction Location
College of William and Mary Has an award winning faculty Williamsburg, VA
Ohio State University Undergraduates can explore school counseling careers through the First Education Experience Program Columbus, OH
Pennsylvania State University - University Park Offers supervised practicums at Cedar Clinic University Park, PA
University of Georgia Education specialist program focuses on improving students' well-being, both individually and in groups Athens, GA
University of Maryland - College Park Ranked #1 for its graduate-level school counseling program by U.S. News & World Report for 2017 College Park, MD
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Offers a school counselor licensure preparation program for students who already hold a master's degree Minneapolis, MN

If you want to become a school counselor or a guidance counselor, there are top-ranked institutions around the country that have excellent academic offerings in the field. Some of these programs provide the necessary preparation for licensure.

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