There are no schools in New Jersey that offer school counseling diplomas, but there are about a dozen schools with master's degrees and post-master's programs in school counseling. School counseling may be offered as a direct major or as a concentration within a related counseling or education degree program. Additionally, students can focus on elementary or secondary school counseling.
Master's degree programs take about two years to complete and include internships and practicums. A bachelor's degree is required for admission, as well as recommendation letters and an essay. The post-master's certificate program is for professional counselors seeking certification in a school.
The College of New Jersey
The College of New Jersey is located in Ewing. The college's Master of Arts in Counseling program with a school counseling option is designed to prepare students to work in elementary and secondary schools. The program covers counseling children and adolescents, community agency counseling and ways to organize, administer and supervise school counseling. Through core courses, students learn about human development fundamentals, counseling theory and counseling technique. This program holds CACREP accreditation.
Kean University in Union has a student population of around 14,000. The CACREP-accredited Master of Arts in Counseling program with a school counseling option gives students the opportunity to learn about counseling principles, procedures, appraisal, assessment and research methods, as well as school counseling, multicultural counseling and career counseling. The program also includes a practicum and two internships as well as an LPC qualification option. Classes in this program focus on school, family, clinical mental health, alcohol and drug abuse, career and group counseling, among other disciplines. Students also participate in internships within K-12 settings plus a practicum and advanced internship in a mental health setting.
Montclair State University
Located in Montclair, Monmouth University offers a Master of Science in Education in School Counseling program that combines theoretical and practical coursework. Students in this CACREP-accredited program learn about program and counseling plan development and counseling theory, among other topics. They also complete supervised counseling practice, develop a professional portfolio and take part in field experiences. For those who are already practicing school counselors and are interested in preparing to be administrators, Monmouth University offers a Director of School Counseling Services Post-Master's Endorsement program. The three courses in the program cover school law and policy, supervision of counselors, and curriculum development and design.
Monmouth University in West Long Branch offers a Post-Master's Director of School Counseling Services program, as well as a CACREP-accredited Master of Science in School Counseling program. These programs will prepare students to work in elementary schools, secondary schools, student affairs departments and substance abuse treatment facilities through a 'theory-to-practice model', which lets students develop counseling skills and practical experience in K-12 schools. Also available are a Master of Science in Student Affairs and College Counseling, and a five-year, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology combined with a Master of Science in School Counseling.
New Jersey City University
Located in Jersey City, New Jersey City University's school counselor program awards a Master of Arts in School Counseling. It meets the requirements for New Jersey's basic school counselor certificate. The coursework includes counseling ethics, multicultural counseling, group counseling and family therapy. Students can take 12 or more additional credits of elective courses beyond the core curriculum to be eligible for licensing as an LPC or Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC).
Rider University is located in Lawrenceville, and a Master of Arts in Counseling Services program with a school counseling concentration is among its academic offerings. The program, which has CACREP accreditation, emphasizes developmental counseling, while also teaching students about counseling services, counseling psychology theories, psychopathology, human growth and development, group counseling and research. In addition to completing two counseling services internships, students complete either an elementary school counseling practicum or a secondary school counseling practicum.
Rowan University is located in Glassboro and offers a Master of Arts in Counseling in Educational Settings. This program is designed to prepare students to work as school counselors in K-12 settings or to work in student affairs for higher education institutions. Courses focus on multicultural counseling, developmental counseling programs, group counseling, counseling procedures, career counseling and procedures for research and evaluation. Students in this program must complete a counseling in educational settings practicum and an internship. Rowan's program has CACREP accreditation.
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
The New Brunswick campus of Rutgers University sits on 2,681 acres and has a student population of approximately 31,300 undergraduates and 8,700 graduate students, according to the school's website. The CACREP-accredited Master of Education with Certification in School Counseling program combines classes that cover areas in counseling theories, child psychology, school counseling resources, group counseling and career counseling with hands-on learning. Through a school-based practicum, students spend 110 hours gaining experience in a school setting. Further clinical experience is gained through a school counseling internship, which serves as a capstone course for this degree program.
Seton Hall University
Seton Hall University, which is located in South Orange, has an average class size of 21 students and a student-faculty ratio of 14:1, according to the school's website. The Master of Arts in School Counseling program teaches students to advocate for the children they counsel, implement programs and provide counseling and crisis intervention, as well as collaborate with parents, educators and school staff. The program includes a practicum and two internships. Seton Hall also offers a Post-Master of Arts School Counseling Certificate program, where students can develop counseling skills while learning about counseling theories, human development psychology, behavior modification principles, research methods and ethics through coursework and three required practicums. Both programs meet qualifications for standard school counselor certification in New Jersey.
William Paterson University of New Jersey
William Paterson University of New Jersey is located in Wayne and offers an average class size of about 20 students with a student-faculty ratio of 16:1, as reported on the school's website. The university's Master of Education in Professional Counseling in School Counseling program includes courses on counseling techniques, ethical and legal issues, individual and group counseling, school counseling, substance abuse counseling, research, case studies and crisis intervention. While earning the CACREP-accredited degree, students gain experience in school settings through a required practicum and internship.
The New Jersey Board of Education requires prospective school counselors in grades K-12 to complete 48 hours of coursework in counseling, testing and evaluation, psychology and sociological foundations from an approved master's degree program. Degree programs with accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) automatically meet the requirements for becoming a school counselor. Twelve extra credits, beyond the basic school counselor certificate, satisfy the requirements for the New Jersey Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential.
Below are short overviews of New Jersey's 10 largest schools offering school counseling programs, as well as a comparison table showing individual school offerings and tuition info at a glance.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||School Counseling Degrees Offered||Graduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|The College of New Jersey||4-year, public; suburban||Master of Arts in Counseling with a school counseling option||$16,707 in-state; $24,445 out-of-state*|
|Kean University||4-year, public; suburban|| Master of Arts in Counseling with a school counseling option,
Master of Arts in Counseling with a school counseling and LPC qualification option
|$17,133 in-state; $21,998 out-of-state*|
|Montclair State University||4-year, private not-for-profit; suburban|| Master of Science in Education in School Counseling,
Post-Master's Endorsement - Director of School Counseling Services
|$12,837 in-state; $18,525 out-of-state*|
|Monmouth University||4-year, private not-for-profit; suburban|| Bachelor of Arts in Psychology/Master of Science in School Counseling,
Master of Science in School Counseling,
Master of Science in Student Affairs and College Counseling,
Post-Master's Director of School Counseling Services program
|New Jersey City University||4-year, public; midsize city||Master of Arts in School Counseling||$12,802 in-state; $20,484 out-of-state*|
|Rider University||4-year, private not-for-profit; suburban||Master of Arts in Counseling Services (school counseling concentration)||$22,048*|
|Rowan University||4-year, public; suburban||Master of Arts in Counseling in Educational Settings||$16,360*|
|Rutgers University-New Brunswick||4-year, public; small city||Master of Education with Certification in School Counseling||$19,416 in-state; $31,488 out-of-state*|
|Seton Hall University||4-year, private not-for-profit; suburban|| Master of Arts in School Counseling,
Post-Master of Arts School Counseling Certificate
|William Paterson University of New Jersey||4-year, public; suburban||Master of Education in Professional Counseling in School Counseling||$12,904 in-state; $20,050 out-of-state*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.