Several universities in Georgia offer training in school counseling, either through master's or Educational Specialist degree programs. Educational Specialist degree programs may be designed for existing school counselors who are certified and possess a master's degree. Internship and practicum experiences are commonly integrated into both types of graduate programs.
Read on for tuition prices and school information at a glance of the 10 largest schools that offer degrees in school counseling.
Albany State University
Albany State University offers a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling that requires a minimum of 48 credit hours. Students must complete courses in lifespan development, counseling theories, ethics and multicultural counseling. The curriculum also includes a clinical skills section, which focuses on the development of counseling skills. Students must complete a practicum, internship and coursework on various types of counseling as part of this section. A thesis is required.
Augusta State University offers a Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.) with a concentration in school counseling. The degree program requires a total of 48 credit hours. Core courses include the study of human growth, ethics, communication, diversity sensitivity, crisis intervention and group processes. A practicum is also required. School counseling specialized courses focus on counseling children and adolescents, and students must complete two internships. Graduates are eligible for certification in this field.
Columbus State University
Columbus State University offers an M.Ed. in School Counseling that leads to state certification. To earn this degree, students must complete a 700-hour field experience and 48 credit hours. Core courses of the program focus on educational research methods, ethics and counseling skills. The curriculum also requires courses in career development, human growth, cultural perspectives, group procedures and applied practice. Available electives include the study of play therapy, family therapy, marriage systems and substance abuse.
Fort Valley State University
Fort Valley State University offers a Master of Science in Education in School Counselor Education that leads to a Level Five Professional School Counselor Certificate. This program can be completed in two to three years. A minimum of 48 credit hours must be completed to earn this degree. Required courses include the study of counseling theories, group counseling, professional ethics, school law and human development. In addition, students must complete both a school counseling and an applied research practicum, as well as two internships involving clinical field experience totaling 700 hours.
Georgia Southern University
Located in Statesboro, Georgia Southern University offers two graduate degree options for school counseling. A Master of Education in Counselor Education is available to applicants holding a bachelor's degree, whereas the Educational Specialist (Ed.S) in Counselor Education is designed for students already holding a master's degree in counseling.
The M.Ed. degree program with a concentration in school counseling requires 51 credit hours and prepares students for a career in school counseling. Applicants to this program are not required to have Professional Level Four Certification, but must pass a GACE Basic Skills Assessment.
The Ed.S. degree program leads to a Georgia Level Six Certification in School Counseling. Admission requires Level Five Certification and completion of a course in educational research. The curriculum requires 30 credit hours and a research project.
Georgia State University
Georgia State University (GSU) is a 4-year, postsecondary institution in Atlanta that offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. GSU's master's program in school counseling, which is offered through the College of Education's Department of Counseling and Psychological Services, is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.
The master's program requires that students complete 48 semester hours. Course topics include ethics, legal issues, cultural considerations, play therapy, interventions, addiction and group counseling. Specializations are offered in elementary and middle school counseling or secondary school counseling. Students also must complete an internship.
The Initial Certification in School Counseling program, which is available to those who already hold a master's degree in counseling, prepares students for state certification in school counseling. Students choose a course in either secondary school counseling or elementary and middle school counseling. They then undertake a consultation course, practicum and internship. Those who complete the program are recommended for certification.
The Specialist in Education Degree in School Counseling program is meant for current school counselors who wish to learn advanced counseling methods. Students explore crisis intervention, ethical issues and research analysis. The program requires 30 semester hours and a residency.
Located in Macon, Mercer University offers an MS in School Counseling. The MS degree program requires a minimum of 56 credit hours and graduates are eligible to sit for the S-5 certification examination in school counseling. Students can expect courses in ethics, counseling techniques, administration and therapy. Field experiences, counseling seminars and research projects are required.
University of Georgia
The University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens offers graduate programs in school counseling through the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services in its College of Education.
The M.Ed. in Professional Counseling with a Specialization in School Counseling prepares students to become school counselors at the elementary, middle and secondary school levels. It also teaches additional skills for those already working as school counselors. Students complete 48 semester hours, including two 300-hour internship experiences. Coursework includes instruction in group and career counseling, as well as counseling for different cultures, children and teenagers. Graduates of this program are eligible to test for licensure or certification in counseling.
Students who already have a master's degree in school counseling can apply to the Ed.S. in Professional School Counseling program, which includes courses in diagnosis of psychological and behavioral problems, ethics and advanced concepts in school counseling. Students also complete advanced internships. Graduates receive recommendation for professional certification.
University of West Georgia
Located in Carrollton, the University of West Georgia offers graduate programs in professional counseling. The master's degree program offers a specialization in school counseling that leads to the necessary state licensure for a career in this field. The curriculum requires a minimum of 48 credit hours, and students must complete courses in counseling theory, multicultural education, human development, psychology, advocacy and career counseling. An internship and practicum must also be completed to earn this degree.
The education specialist degree program, on the other hand, is designed for applicants already holding a master's degree in a relevant field. This program requires 27 credit hours and includes advanced courses on counseling theory and group counseling. In addition, students must complete multiple research seminars and an internship of 150 clock hours.
Valdosta State University
Valdosta State University offers both M.Ed. and Ed.S. degree programs in school counseling through the School of Counseling's Department of Psychology and Counseling. The M.Ed. program leads to Georgia certification as a school counselors, and applicants must have a bachelor's degree at the time of admission. The curriculum requires 48 credit hours. Students can expect courses in developmental psychology, counseling theory and research methodology, as well as two internships for clinical field experience.
The Ed.S. degree program is designed for certified school counselors and requires 27 credit hours. Students can expect courses in statistics, child psychopathology, behavioral health, cognitive behavioral theories and change measurement. A capstone seminar is required.
The State of Georgia requires school counselors to complete a master's degree program and sit for a certification examination that leads to licensure in this field.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||School Counseling Degree Programs||Graduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Albany State University||Four-year; public; small city||Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling||$5,102 in-state; $15,650 out-of-state*|
|Augusta University||Four-year; public; midsize city||Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.) in School Counseling||$7,064 in-state; $19,464 out-of-state*|
|Columbus State University||Four-year; public; midsize city||M.Ed. in School Counseling||$7,612 in-state; $13,822 out-of-state*|
|Fort Valley State University||Four-year; public; fringe rural||M.S.Ed. in School Counseling||$6,052 in-state; $17,836 out-of-state*|
|Georgia Southern University||Four-year; public; remote town|| M.Ed. in Counselor Education - School Counseling,
Ed.S. in Counselor Education - School Counseling
|$8,728 in-state; $28,610 out-of-state*|
|Georgia State University||Four-year; public; large city|| M.Ed. in School Counseling,
Initial Certification in School Counseling,
Ed.S. in School Counseling
|$9,148 in-state; $24,646 out-of-state*|
|Mercer University||Four-year; private not-for-profit; small city||MS in School Counseling||$14,674*|
|University of Georgia||Four-year; public; midsize city|| M.Ed. in Professional Counseling with a Specialization in School Counseling,
Ed.S. in Professional School Counseling
|$10,982 in-state; $26,970 out-of-state*|
|University of West Georgia||Four-year; public; fringe town|| M.Ed. in Professional Counseling - School Counseling,
Ed. S. in Professional Counseling and Supervision
|$6,110 in-state; $17,900 out-of-state*|
|Valdosta State University||Four-year; public; small city|| M.Ed. in School Counseling,
Ed.S. in School Counseling
|$6,628 in-state; $18,292 out-of-state*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.