Online Master’s Degrees in Counseling

An online master’s degree in counseling may equip students with the skills needed to provide assistance to individuals with emotional and mental disorders. In this one to two-year program, students may learn the principles and practices required to diagnose, treat, and prevent mental and social problems. Program coursework may include elective courses in the student’s chosen specialty alongside major-specific classes including developmental group counseling, counseling theory, and introduction to family therapy.

Graduates may either seek entry to upper-level employment or enroll in a doctorate degree program. Graduates may find counseling employment in healthcare facilities, schools, rehabilitation centers, clinics, and counseling centers.

Program Overview

  • Prerequisite: Bachelor’s Degree
  • Program Length: One to two years to complete
  • Post-Grad Options: Employment or Doctoral Program
  • Projected Employment Growth: 37% (2010-2020)*

Program Coursework

The curriculum for a master’s-level counseling degree program may include core coursework along with elective classes in the students chosen specialty. These online classes may teach students how to conduct group counseling sessions, maintain confidential client information, and assist those with emotional and behavioral problems. Students may also fulfill requirements needed to obtain professional counseling licensure. Core online counseling courses may include the following:

  • Counseling Theory
  • Experiential Group Process
  • Introduction to Family Therapy
  • Counseling Skills and Techniques
  • Developmental Group Counseling
  • Substance Abuse and Addiction
  • Crisis Counseling

Career Options

Master’s-level graduates may seek career opportunities in schools, counseling centers, healthcare facilities, rehabilitation agencies, and in private practice. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment opportunities in mental health counseling are projected to increase by 37% from 2010-2020.*

Possible careers include:

  • Mental Health Counselor
  • Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Career Counselor
  • Marriage and Family Counselor
  • School Counselor

Continuing Education

Students who successfully complete a master’s degree may have the opportunity to further their education by enrolling in a doctoral degree program. A doctoral degree in counseling may provide students with advanced individual and group counseling skills. Employers may require individuals to hold a master’s degree for entry-level mental health counseling employment.

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

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