All of the 25 schools in Pennsylvania that offer school counseling programs are public or private, not-for-profit institutions. School counseling training is typically found in graduate certificate or master's degree programs; diplomas are not that common for this field. Master's degree programs require that students hold baccalaureate degrees prior to admission; preference may be given to applicants holding degrees in a related field. Likewise, certificate programs are designed for those who have master's degrees. Some are designed for those who need training in the specific field of school counseling. At least one doctoral degree related to school counseling is also available in Pennsylvania.
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Located in Bloomsburg, this university offers a Master of Education in College Student Affairs. This program is available on a part- or full-time basis, with the former requiring three years of study and the latter requiring two years. Students in this program may specialize in student affairs, elementary school counseling or secondary school counseling. Courses in this 57-credit hour program cover topics like lifespan psychology and counseling theories. The program's curriculum also includes a practicum, which totals 700 hours.
California University of Pennsylvania
This university, which is located in California, offers a Master of Education in School Counseling program that requires 48 credits of study. Courses in this program include counseling skills and techniques, developmental group counseling and career counseling. Students in the program also complete field experiences and research. This program is approved by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), and students who complete an additional 12 credits can eventually become Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC).
The school also offers a post-master's program that prepares students to eventually pursue the LPC credential. Students in this program complete up to 60 credits of post-master's study; the curriculum is determined based on the student's prior completed coursework.
Duquesne University is located in Pittsburg and features a Master of Science in Education in School Counseling program that requires 60 credits of study. In addition to coursework that covers group counseling and therapeutic counseling techniques, students must also gain 700 hours of experience through a practicum course and two internships. Graduates of this CACREP-approved program get endorsement recommendations to work as elementary and secondary school counselors.
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Situated in Edinboro, this school offers Master of Arts degree programs in school counseling and college counseling through its School of Education. Both options are accredited by CACREP. Students are required to spend at least 600 hours working as counselors during their internship experience.
The college counseling program, which requires 60 semester hours of study, includes coursework that covers appraisal techniques and law in postsecondary education. This program's curriculum also requires an internship totaling 600 hours.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania - Main Campus
Situated in Indiana, this school offers a school counseling certification program that's designed for individuals who possess a master's degree and are seeking certification as a school counselor. The school also has a license-only option available to individuals who have completed 36 credit hours of study at the master's level and meet grandparent clause requirements or have completed 48 credit hours of study at the master's level.
The school's Master of Education in School Counseling program is CACREP-approved and prepares graduates for certification as elementary and secondary school counselors. The curriculum of this 60-credit hour program includes 600 hours of internship work.
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
This school, which is located in Kutztown, offers numerous graduate degree programs that prepare individuals to work as school counselors. A Master of Science program is available with licensure or certificate tracks in elementary or secondary school counseling. Students in the certificate options must complete 51 credits of study, while those in the licensure programs are required to take 60 credits. Both types of programs prepare students to become school counselors, but the licensure option also allows graduates to pursue the LPC designation.
The school also offers a Master of Education in Student Affairs program that focuses on college counseling and can eventually lead to the LPC designation. The curriculum of this 60-credit hour program includes a field experience that takes two semesters to complete.
Millersville University of Pennsylvania
This school is found in Millersville and features a Master of Education in School Counseling. This program, which requires approximately 45 credits of study, prepares graduates to pursue certification as school counselors. Students complete a research project and take courses focused on topics like child development within the family system and multi-cultural counseling. The program also allows students to choose a practicum in elementary or secondary counseling.
Pennsylvania State University
This university is located in University Park and offers a Master of Education in Counselor Education with emphasis options in elementary school counseling, secondary school counseling or clinical mental health counseling in schools and communities. Both of the school counseling emphases require 55 credits of study and include a field experience.
The clinical mental health counseling emphasis prepares students to work in schools, public or private agencies, non-profit organizations and hospitals. Keep in mind that this option does not prepare graduates to become school counselors, even though they can work at a school.
Individuals interested in teaching or pursuing advanced positions in clinical settings can pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Counselor Education. In addition to coursework, students in this program complete two internships that each require 300 hours of experience. The school counseling master's and PhD programs are accredited by CACREP.
Located in Villanova, this school offers a Master of Science in School Counseling program with specialization options in elementary and secondary school counseling. This 54-credit hour program includes two internships and a practicum experience. Courses in the program cover topics like consultation processes and ethics in counseling.
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
West Chester University of Pennsylvania is located in West Chester and features a Master of Education in School Counseling program with options in elementary or secondary counseling. The school also has an option for students who wish to earn dual certification. These programs require 48 credits of study and include field experiences. The Master of Science in Higher Education/Student Affairs Counseling program prepares graduates to work in higher education settings and includes coursework in group dynamics and assessment methods for counselors. All of these programs are accredited by CACREP.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education certifies school counselors in the state. The department labels school counselors as 'educational specialists' and offers two types of credentials to counselors: Specialist-Elementary School Counselor, which applies to kindergarten through sixth grade, and Specialist-Secondary School Counselor, which applies to grades seven through 12. In order to earn one of these credentials, individuals must have completed a bachelor's degree program along with an approved program in school counseling. The state also requires applicants to complete the required tests for the profession.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||School Counseling Programs Offered||Graduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania||4-year, public; small city||Master of Education in School Counseling and College Student Affairs||$15,266 in-state; $21,458 out-of-state*|
|California University of Pennsylvania||4-year, public; small suburb|| Master of Education in School Counseling,
Counselor Education Post-Master's Certificate
|$16,672 in-state; $22,864 out-of-state*|
|Duquesne University||4-year, private, not-for-profit; large city||Master of Science in Education in School Counseling||$23,112*|
|Edinboro University of Pennsylvania||4-year, public; fringe town|| Master of Arts in School Counseling,
Master of Arts in College Counseling
|$16,328 in-state; $22,520 out-of-state*|
|Indiana University of Pennsylvania - Main Campus||4-year, public; distant town|| Master of Education in School Counseling,
School Counseling Certification Only Program,
License Only Option
|$16,650 in-state; $22,842 out-of-state*|
|Kutztown University of Pennsylvania||4-year, public; fringe town|| Master of Science in School Counseling,
Master of Education in Student Affairs
|$14,634 in-state; $20,826 out-of-state*|
|Millersville University of Pennsylvania||4-year, public; large suburb||Master of Education in School Counseling||$15,882 in-state; $22,074 out-of-state*|
|Pennsylvania State University||4-year, public; small city|| Master of Education in Counselor Education,
Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education
|$22,578 in-state; $38,012 out-of-state*|
|Villanova University||4-year, private, not-for-profit; large suburb||Master of Science in School Counseling||$19,005*|
|West Chester University of Pennsylvania||4-year, public; large suburb|| Master of Education in School Counseling,
Master of Science in Higher Education/Student Affairs Counseling
|$15,103 in-state; $21,295 out-of-state*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.