Guidance Counseling Master's Degree

Guidance Counseling Master’s Degree

Learn about the types of master’s degrees in guidance counseling as well as online options and what you’ll study in these graduate programs. Find out about admissions requirements, job duties and the career outlook for this field.

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Can I Earn a Master’s Degree in Guidance Counseling Online?

There are many institutions that offer master’s degree programs in guidance counseling or school counseling. in You can earn this degree online or through a traditional college campus. Schools often You can earn a Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Science (M.S.) or Master of Education (M.Ed.) in this field. Some online classes might combine Web-based instruction with weekend, night or summer classes. In online formats, expect to use discussion forums, video conferencing and e-mail to communicate with your professors and classmates.

Degree TypesMaster of Arts, Master of Science or Master of Education
Online OptionsPrograms available online, some with flexible in-person class options
Course Topics Ethics, intervention, applied psychology, group therapy and behavioral disorders
PrerequisitesBachelor’s degree and standardized test scores; existing teaching credential or degree may be required for M.Ed. programs
Job DutiesStudent evaluation, career planning, operating school programs and counseling students socially, emotionally or educationally
Job Outlook (2016-2026)13% (for school and career counselors)
Median Salary (2018) $56,310 (for school and career counselors)

What’s in the Curriculum?

Master’s degree programs in guidance counseling provide training in psychology, sociology and counseling techniques. Because many guidance counselors work in schools, you might also learn about pedagogy. Classes might cover:

  • Multicultural counseling
  • Guidance counseling techniques
  • Educational research
  • Intervention strategies
  • Developmental guidance
  • Behavioral disorders
  • Applied psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Counseling ethics
  • School guidance program models
  • Group therapy
  • Human sexuality counseling

What Do I Need to Apply?

You need at least a bachelor’s degree to apply to master’s degree programs in guidance counseling, and you may need a master’s degree or teaching credential to be considered for M.Ed. programs. You can also expect to submit standardized test scores, letters of recommendation and a professional teaching resume.

What Are the Job Duties?

Guidance counselors might provide individuals with advice regarding education, career planning, social issues or emotional troubles. Although your job duties vary depending on the educational level of your students, this could include serving as a student advocate, evaluating students’ abilities, creating social development plans or talking about career goals. Some guidance counselors also operate school programs, such as career service centers or educational development initiatives.

What’s the Job Market Like?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the employment rate for school and career counselors is expected to rise 13% between 2016 and 2026. Professionals in this field earned a median annual salary of $56,310 as of May 2018, according to the BLS (


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