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Masters in Counseling

Degree programs associated with Master’s in Counseling typically focus on specialized fields such as financial counseling, educational counseling and marriage counseling. The principles of psychology establish the core of counseling programs. Professional counselors strive to help clients understand, identify and resolve personal and group issues. Earning a masters degree within this field can lead you into an exciting, profitable and personally rewarding range of career choices.

University Degree Offerings

  • Wake Forest University Master of Arts in Counseling concentrations in School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health

    WFU’s Master of Arts in Counseling program prepares career-oriented adults and professionals for careers as counselors who treat mental and emotional disorders at community agencies, nonprofit mental health agencies, child and family counseling centers, substance abuse centers, employee assistance organizations, and schools. Our faculty is committed to creating open and supportive education environments that reflect the social, relational, and cross-cultural contexts of learning that are essential for effective counselor training.


Counseling degrees provide an abundance of openings for different people with different goals, however most entry-level counseling jobs demand no less than a master’s degree in counseling. Basic degree options available to people seeking a career in counseling include:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Counseling: The focus is on counseling, psychology, mental health traiing or social service.
  • Online Counseling Degrees: Helps students fulfill prerequisites that lead into a MA, MS or MSW.
  • Master’s Degrees in Counseling: There are subtle differences between various types of master’s degrees in counseling. Some focus on research. Others are geared to produce practitioner-oriented graduates.
  • PhD and Doctorate Counseling Degrees: Traditional universities offer various PhD programs.
  • Non-Degree Certificate Programs: At times, experienced professionals desire to expand their clinical skills. Certificate programs enable students to enhance their theoretical understanding, engage in further scholarly reflection and reap the benefits of specialized training.

Why a Counseling Degree

Students with a primary interest in working with people should seek a master’s in counseling degree. The programs can open career opportunities in:

  • Clinical psychology
  • Counseling
  • Family Therapy
  • Marriage
  • Social Work
  • And More.

Career opportunities associated with a doctoral degree include:

  • College teaching positions
  • Program development
  • Practical research projects.

To practice as a psychologist, a graduate must obtain a doctoral degree and a state authorized license.

Counseling Courses & Areas of Study

Some professional counselors desire to focus on a faith-based specialty training. The Christian Counseling Profession helps Christian leaders:

  • Learn more effective counseling methods
  • Equip themselves through accredited academic training
  • Enter the field of counseling as a ministry
  • Remain in their place of work during training.

Counseling Career Opportunities

In general, graduates with a master’s degree in counseling can find work in the following areas:

  • Career counselors: $40,000 to 65,000
  • Marriage and family counselors: $38,000 to $59,000
  • Mental health counselors: $39,000 to $49,000
  • Rehabilitation counselors: $20,000 to $59,000
  • Social workers: $30,000 to $60,000
  • School counselors: $40,000 to $65,000
  • Substance abuse counselors: $30,000 to $48,000.

Sources: 1) U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010 Edition and 2) PayScale.

Online Counseling Degrees

Take advantage of your opportunities to simply your studies. Pursue an online master’s in counseling or any of the associated specialist degrees. Online classes exist for the very purpose of promoting you into any of the following fields:

  • Addiction Therapists
  • Experimental Design
  • Family Therapist
  • Mental Health Counselor
  • Organizational Psychology
  • School Guidance Counselor
  • Social Psychology
  • Many other specialist areas that focus on helping people deal with problems.

Counseling Education & Admissions Requirements

To pursue a master’s degree in counseling, you will need a basic educational background in psychology. This typically includes:

  • An earned bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum Verbal and Quantitative scores in a GRE General test
  • Completed Application Packet.

You may also be required to complete a proctored writing sample.

Counseling Accreditation

Take time to ensure that your master’s in counseling degree comes via the authority of facility that is fully accredited to teach the course. Look for top-ranked online universities that meet the same high-quality standards as your local training facility. It is possible to earn a high-quality accredited master’s in counseling degree online.

Resources used to help assure the accreditation of your education include:

  • CACREP – Master’s in Counseling Degree programs accredited by CACREP are reviewed and balanced against professionally approved standards of excellence.

Top Ranked Counseling Degrees

Earning an Counseling degree from a highly ranked institution adds credibility and respect for the knowledge implied by the accomplishment. Prominent institutions with counseling degree programs also receive high ranks by such organizations as U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review.

Counseling Professional Organizations

Advanced and ongoing preparation can assure success in any field. Students pursuing a master’s in counseling degree should investigate the following professional organizations:

  • American Association of Suicidology – Not-for-profit organization that works to further the understanding and prevention of suicide
  • American Counseling Association – Not-for-profit organization designed to promote growth and enhancement within the counseling profession
  • International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors – Designed to promote excellence in counseling services pertaining to couples and families.