An online master’s degree is a good and effective way to pursue your education without pressing pause on your job or other responsibilities life may have thrown your way. These degrees are designed in a way that students, especially those who are working professionals, can create a comfortable schedule. The following article is a brief guide to online master’s degrees in counseling.
What Is an Online Masters Degree in Counseling?
A master’s degree in counseling online is a way to acquire a skill set required for professional counseling. These are typically courses that are conducted entirely online and often require you to get client interaction experience through internships and practicums.
A master’s degree in counseling online makes it easy for you to manage your schedule and also hold on to a day job while completing your education. You will be taken through the basic principles and theories of psychology and counseling, and guided through whichever specialization you choose. Several accredited universities offer these online courses.
Master’s Degree in Counseling Online
The following are some of the best masters degrees in counseling online:
University of the Cumberlands
The University of the Cumberlands offers a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. It takes you a step closer to acquiring your license to practice as a mental health counselor.
After graduating from the degree and acquiring a license, you can find employment opportunities in hospitals, at private practices, correctional facilities, educational institutions, etc. The program is fully accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). You are required to complete 60 credit hours, of which 48 hours are dedicated to the counseling core courses and 12 credit hours are dedicated to clinical mental health counseling core courses. The course costs $400 per credit hour.
Northwestern University is one of the best institutions that offer an online Master of Arts in Counseling. With this course, you can also specialize in Child and Adolescent Psychology. The course is taught through a virtual teaching tool called ‘2U’. The platform lends you tech support and provides complete access to the resource material. The platform also allows you to interact with the faculty. This is a full-time course that requires you to complete 24 courses. You will be trained in several methods and tools that will be helpful for mental health professionals and will enable you to interact with clients and patients better.
Concordia University — Wisconsin
Concordia University — Wisconsin offers a Master of Science in Education. This degree is for those who want to specialize in school and professional counseling. It also enables you to apply for the SAC Professional Counseling License. There are two different tracks you can pick between — professional counseling and school counseling. You will be expected to complete between 45 and 60 credit hours. Upon the completion of this degree, you will find yourself exposed to a variety of different employment opportunities. You can consider counseling positions in schools, colleges and other educational institutions, apart from hospitals, clinics and private practices. The course costs $596 per credit.
Texas Tech University System
Texas Tech University System has four institutions within its ambit, making it one of the largest public university systems in the United States. The Texas Tech University Health Science Center offers three degrees in counseling which you may find helpful. These include Master of Science in Addiction Counseling, Master of Science in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling and Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling.
All three courses will acquaint you with the theories and principles of counseling. You will go through core courses like treatment planning, counseling theory, addictions, psychopathology, etc. At the end of the degree, you are required to complete 60 credit hours and you will also be required to complete a stipulated number of hours at an internship in your local area. The course costs $465 per credit hour.
Touro University Worldwide
At Touro University Worldwide, you can opt for a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy. This degree will equip you with the skills to work with couples and families and offer them counsel. There are three track options for you to choose from — non-clinical, clinical and Licensed Professional Clinical Counseling (LPCC). The course is accessed through an interface called Blackboard, which is a virtual learning tool. You are required to complete a practicum and internships in the clinical and LPCC track, but the non-clinical track is exempted from internships and work experience.
The clinical track requires 72 credit hours, 500 total client contact hours and costs $36,000. The non-clinical track requires 54 credit hours and costs $27,000. Finally, the LPCC track requires 82 credit hours, 500 total client contact hours and costs $41,000.
Palo Alto University
Palo Alto University, earlier known as the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology (PGSP), is a private university that offers one of the best courses in counseling. The Master of Arts in Counseling, with an emphasis on Clinical Mental Health Practice and Marriage, and on Family and Child Counseling, is a comprehensive and rigorous online graduate course. You can access the classes through virtual remote classrooms and tune into lectures in real-time and also hold discussions with not only the faculty but also your classmates and peers. In order to meet licensure requirements, you need to complete 700 experience hours in one year. The rest of the course requires you to complete 93 quarter-units of coursework along with a capstone project. The course costs $523 per unit.
The names mentioned above are some of the best universities to offer counseling degrees. They also offer a variety of different specializations for you to choose from so you can work towards acquiring specific and targeted skills for the career in counseling you would like to pursue. A master’s degree is a prerequisite for applying for a license and many of these universities offer the appropriate guidance for you to become a licensed counselor. You can pick your own hours, often set your own deadlines and maintain a job while completing your graduate degree. It can be tough at times but the education makes it worth it.