Masters in School Counseling Programs

Masters In School Counseling Programs and Degrees General Info

Graduate students with a passion for education and counseling might find that enrolling in a School Counseling Masters program may prepare for a specialized career. School counselors help students of different ages develop the social skills to succeed in school, and typically, must be credentialed, which most often requires a Master’s degree[i]. School psychologists also need an advanced degree and certification or licensure to work.[ii]

School Counseling Masters Degree Program

As a field, school psychology applies the principles of educational, developmental, clinical and community psychology with applied behavior analysis to meet the learning needs of children and adolescents. School psychologists are educated in psychology, along with child and adolescent development and psychopathology.

Masters in School Counseling programs teach students about fostering academic development; conducting group and individual counseling; and working with parents, teachers, and other school staff. These programs often require students to gain experience through an internship or practicum.[iii] makes it easy to find a School Counseling Masters Program. You can begin with a location search to determine where these programs are offered; use the city, state or country tabs, then browse the listings. Refine this search be deciding on the program format. You may want to look into campus-based programs if the traditional college experience is appealing to you. Busy adults and currently working professionals may find that a distance-learning format better suits their needs. If so, check out Online Masters in School Counseling programs or the hybrid format that combines the flexibility of online courses with low residency on-campus courses.  Aside from general School Counseling Masters programs, some of the programs that might

interest you may include: Master in College Counseling, M.A. in Counseling in Educational Settings, M.A. in School Psychology, or M.S. in School Counseling- Addictions Counseling.


  • School psychology dates back to the beginning of American psychology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries[iv]
  • Lightner Witmer has been acknowledged as the founder of school psychology[v]

Potential Curriculum In School Counseling Masters Programs

Coursework for School Counseling Masters programs may vary depending on the school, the learning format or school counseling degree specialization. School counselors need to know[vi]:

  • Psychology: human behavior and performance, learning and motivations, research and treatment methods as well as personality and affective disorders
  • Therapy and Counseling: principles, methods and procedures for diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation
  • Education and training: principles and processes for designing curricula, teaching instruction and measurement of results
  • Customer care: principles and processes for assessing client needs and providing customer service

Students earning a Masters in School Counseling Degree may explore subjects that might include:

  • Group counseling, individual counseling
  • Special issues in school counseling
  • Psychopathology and psychopharmacology
  • Child and adolescent counseling
  • Human growth and development

Explore a Career as a School Counselor

Working in School Counseling typically involves different duties, and may vary depending on whether one is working with elementary, middle school, high school, or college age students. Some of the responsibilities of School Counselors involve:[vii]

· Helping students understand and overcome social or behavioral problems through individual and group counseling

· Providing individual and small group counseling based on student needs

· Working with students to develop skills, such as organization, time management, and effective study habits

· Assisting students set realistic academic and career goals and develop a plan to achieve them

· Evaluating students’ abilities and interests through aptitude assessments, interviews, and individual planning

· Collaborating with teachers, administrators, and parents to help students succeed

· Delivering classroom guidance lessons on topics, such as bullying, drug abuse, and planning for college or careers after graduation

· Identifying and report possible cases of neglect or abuse

· Referring students and parents to resources outside the school for additional support

What you should know about School Counseling Licensing, Certifications and Registrations[viii]:

·       Public school counselors must have a state-issued credential to practice, which may be called a certification, a license, or an endorsement, depending on the state.

·       Licensure or certification typically requires a master’s degree in school counseling and an internship or practicum completed under the supervision of a licensed professional school counselor.

·       Some states require applicants to have 1 to 2 years of classroom teaching experience or to hold a teaching license, prior to being certified. Other states allow full-time teaching experience to be substituted, in lieu of the internship requirement. 

·       Most states require a criminal background check, as part of the credentialing process.

  • Information about requirements for each state is available from the American School Counselor Association.

Wages and Job Outlook For professionals in School Counseling:

The 2012 Median pay for school counselors was $53,610 annually and the employment rate of school counselors is predicted to grow 12% between 2012 and 2022, due to rising student enrollments, which are expected to increase the demand for professionals to respond to the needs of new students[ix]. The industries with the highest levels of employment in this occupation are[x]:

  • Elementary and secondary schools
  • Colleges, universities, professional schools
  • Junior colleges
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Services
  • Individual and family services

Ready To Search For A Masters In School Counseling Program?

If you have a compassionate disposition, are able to listen well and communicate effectively, you have some of the important qualities of a School Counselor. Why not put your talents and your keen interests in counseling together? Start reviewing Masters in School Counseling programs on to find the School Counseling Degree that matches your educational goals and professional aspirations!

Sources: [i] | [ii] | [iii] | [iv] | [v] | [vi] | [vii] | [viii] | [ix] | [x]

GCU offers a variety of M.A. and M.Ed. education programs designed for current educators looking to take the next step in their career. Earn your degree from an accredited non-profit university. No Application Fee!

  • Accredited online university.
  • Capella University offers doctoral programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession.
  • Competency-based curriculum delivers both foundation knowledge and real-world skills, so that what you’re learning in your courses is immediately applicable to your career goals.
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