Best Online Master’s in Psychology: Students Before Profits Award 2014-2015

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Our Students Before Profits Award was created to promote nonprofit colleges and universities offering online degree programs that put students before profits and education before the bottom line.

For our 2014/2015 Online Master’s in Counseling and Psychology award winners, we selected online programs from accredited, nonprofit colleges and universities with objectively lower than average tuition cost and have ranked the programs according to their affordability.

Affordability, accreditation and nonprofit status are our primary criteria when it comes to ranking these programs, but many of these programs are consistently ranked among the top by other national publications and we believe they deserve to be considered among the best online master’s in psychology programs available.

Note that tuition rates listed below are based on costs for out-of-state, full-time students. In-state rates are often less expensive, and part-time cost per credit hour is often more expensive. 

#1. Angelo State University

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Angelo State University was founded in 1928 as San Angelo College. Located in San Angelo, Texas, the school is a member of the Texas Tech University System. In 2013, The Princeton Review named Angelo State University one of “The Best 378 Colleges”; the university was one of only five Texas public schools listed. Notable alumni include Grammy Award winning musicians, Super Bowl champions, Emmy Award nominated actors, Texas Supreme Court Justices, United States Congressman, and executives at Fortune 500 companies, among others.

Online Master’s of Education in Guidance and Counseling Overview

Angelo State University’s online M.Ed. of Guidance and Counseling is intended for individuals who will pursue careers in public school counseling or college and university counseling. After graduation, students have the option of taking the Texas Examination of Educator Standards for the Professional Certificate of School Counselors. Prospective students must currently be Texas state-certified to teach. The 36-credit hour curriculum includes coursework in curriculum development, counseling techniques, and legal and ethical principles.

Accreditation

Angelo State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $7,236

#2. Fort Hays State University

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Fort Hays State University is a public institution located in Hays, Kansas. The university consists of approximately 11,000 students, over half of which are online. Founded in 1902 and originally located on the grounds of a retired military outpost, Fort Hays State University moved to its current location in 1904. Big Creek, a stream that spans the main 200 acre campus, adds to the beauty of the school and also serves as an occasional outdoor laboratory for students studying biological sciences.

Online Master’s of Science in School Psychology and Master’s of Science in Counseling Overview

Fort Hays State University’s online M.S. in School Psychology requires 30 hours for graduation, and will prepare students to work in school guidance and counseling and/or special education services. Students will become versed in methods of educational psychology, child development, and the psychology of learning and motivation. The M.S. degree in Counseling offers a School Counseling concentration and a Community Counseling concentration, and requires 45 credit and 60 credit hours for degree completion, respectively. Students who choose the School Counseling program will be prepared to work as counselors in primary and secondary education; students who choose the Community Counseling program will also be prepared to work as professional counselors in primary and secondary schools, and to work in addictions counseling, marriage and family therapy, and individual psychopathology.

Accreditation

Fort Hays State University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: (M.S. School Psychology) $7,541

(M.S. Counseling: School Counseling) $11,312

(M.S. Counseling: Community Counseling) $15,082

#3. Amberton University

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Amberton University is located in Garland, Texas, a city situated almost entirely in Dallas county in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. The school was founded as part of Abilene Christian University in the early 1970s, and complies with an Evangelical Christian philosophy of education and lifestyle. Amberton quickly evolved into a school focused almost entirely on the working adult, and in 1982 separated into an independent institution serving the community at large. While the school adheres to Christian ideals, no specific religious creed must be affirmed to study there or to graduate. However, it must be noted that only students 21 years and older will be considered for acceptance. 

Online Master’s of Arts in Christian Counseling Overview

The MA in Christian Counseling was designed for those who wish to merge faith and counseling to facilitate growth and wellness from a spiritual context.  Individuals who work or aspire to work in church ministries will find this degree most useful, as the curriculum focuses on Christian ethics, theology, and human psychology from a Christian perspective.

Accreditation

Amberton University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $8,712

#4. University of Missouri

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 University of Missouri was founded in 1839 in Columbia, Missouri, and was the first public institution of higher education west of the Mississippi River. The flagship of the University of Missouri System, MU is the largest university in Missouri and enrolls approximately 35,000 students. The university houses a medical school, a law school, and a veterinary medicine school all on the same campus, and the grounds are maintained as a botanical garden. Renowned and distinguished, MU is one of 35 universities that is both a member of the Association of American Universities and is recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a “Doctoral/Research Extensive” university.

Online Master’s of Education in Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology Overview

The University of Missouri offers a 30-hour Master’s degree in Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology that can be completed entirely online. Students will explore theories in positive psychology, sports psychology, and coaching psychology, and will be prepared in individual and team leadership and motivational strategies. This program is aimed at those pursuing careers in athletic coaching, school administration, teaching, advising, and counseling. Dr. Rick McGuire oversees the degree program, and is the director of sport psychology for University of Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics, graduate professor, and founder of the Missouri Institute for Positive Coaching.

Accreditation

The University of Missouri is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $10,419

#5. University of North Dakota

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Established by the Dakota Territorial Assembly in 1883, six years before the establishment of the state of North Dakota, the University of North Dakota is still located in Grand Forks. The campus sits on over 550 acres. US News and World Report ranked UND among the top 100 public universities in the country. 

Online Master’s of Arts in Counseling with a K-12 School Emphasis and Master’s of Arts in Forensic Psychology Overview

UND offers an online M.A. in Counseling with a K-12 School Emphasis through their College of Education and Human Development. Students will complete 50 credit hours prior to graduation, and will be eligible for education licensure as a school counselor in the state of North Dakota. The coursework for this program may also be compatible with license requirements in other states. The program can be completed entirely online, with the exception of two on-campus visits per summer, lasting four days each – four visits total. Graduates will be prepared to work in primary and secondary schools, helping students evaluate their strengths and personalities to develop realistic academic and career goals. School counselors also foster the social and emotional development of students and assist those with special needs. UND’s M.A. in Forensic Psychology is a 34-credit degree program. The curriculum includes coursework focusing on the legal system and the roles forensic psychologists play: in forensic assessment and evaluation, assisting court and state agencies, and often testifying as an expert witness.

Accreditation

The University of North Dakota is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: (M.A. Counseling with a K-12 School Emphasis) $17,136

(M.A. Forensic Psychology) $11,652

#6. Baptist Bible College and Seminary

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Baptist Bible College and Seminary is located in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, outside of the city of Scranton. Founded in 1932, its original location was Johnson City, New York. Seminary courses began to be offered in the early 1970s, and graduate studies began in 1989. The distance-education campus serves undergraduate, graduate, and seminary students.

Online Master’s of Science in Counseling Ministries and Master’s of Arts in Counseling Overview

Baptist Bible College and Seminary’s M.S. in Counseling Ministries prepares students for licensure by requiring over 1,000 of supervised fieldwork. The degree is not only for those who will be working in a helping profession in Christian ministry, it is also for those who wish to work for professional agencies or practice privately. 48 credit hours are required for graduation, and students may take the National Certified Counselor exam while completing coursework. The M.A. in Counseling is designed for those who do not wish to pursue licensure but rather active roles in ministry, within and outside of the church. The M.A. is a 30-credit hour program, and will enable graduates to articulate a Biblical worldview related to human psychology and gain basic counseling skills.

Accreditation

Baptist Bible College and Seminary is regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: (M.S. Counseling Ministries) $20,160

(M.A. Counseling) $12,600

#7. University of Alabama

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The University of Alabama is located in Tuscaloosa and is the flagship campus of the University of Alabama System. Founded in 1831 as an academy-style institution, UA was ranked first among public institutions and fourth out of all universities in in the 2012-2013 enrollment of National Merit Scholars. The university has been recognized by Forbes, US News and World Report, and Washington Monthly.

Online Master’s of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling Overview

The University of Alabama’s M.A. in Rehabilitation is a specialization within the fields of psychology and counseling that emphasizes services to individuals with various disabilities. The program requires 48 credit hours for degree completion, and graduates are eligible for national certification as Certified Rehabilitation Counselors.

Accreditation

The University of Alabama is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $13,452

#8. Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

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Edinboro University of Pennsylvania is located in the town of Edinboro, Pennsylvania. The town and the university were founded by Scottish immigrants, and the school itself upholds many Scottish traditions including an annual three-day highlands festival with dancing, Scottish games, bagpipe band, and more. Established in 1857, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania enrolls approximately 10,000 on-campus students.

Online Master’s of Education in Educational Psychology and Master’s of Arts in Counseling: Art Therapy Overview

Edinboro University’s M.Ed. in Educational Psychology is a 30-credit hour degree program and gives students a broad foundation in the practical application of educational counseling. Alumni go on to pursue certification in school psychology and also to perform research and evaluation. The curriculum focus on multicultural diversity and emphasizes the utilization of evidence-based approaches to help children achieve academic success and social skill. The M.A. in Counseling: Art Therapy  provides an academically challenging curriculum in experiential art therapy and counseling theories. Cultural competency is emphasized throughout the program, as is a respect for cultural diversity. Creativity is seen as a tool to foster self-reflection, and students of the program will enhance their own self-awareness while completing the coursework. This program requires 66-credit hours for graduation.

Accreditation

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania is regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: (M.Ed. Educational Psychology) $13,620

(M.A. Counseling: Art Therapy) $29,964

#9. West Virginia University

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A public land-grant research university founded in 1867 and located in Morgantown, West Virginia, West Virginia University currently enrolls approximately 30,000 students. WVU has been recognized by the Wall Street Journal and is designated a High Research Activity University by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Online Master’s of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling Overview

West Virginia University’s M.S. in Rehabilitation counseling is accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education and offers a curriculum leading to eligibility for the national Certified Rehabilitation Counselor credential as well as licensure in most states as a professional counselor. Students will take courses in the psychology disability, positive psychology, and vocational counseling.

Accreditation

West Virginia University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $14,310

#10. Eastern Michigan University

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Eastern Michigan University was founded in 1849 as the first normal school operating outside the original 13 colonies. Located in Ypsilanti, Michigan, the university is 35 miles west of Detroit and 8 miles east of Ann Arbor. EMU currently enrolls over 23,000 students. 

Online Master’s of Arts in Educational Psychology Overview

Eastern Michigan University’s Educational Psychology graduate program aims to enable students to apply the psychological theories of child and adolescent development to school and non-school settings. Students will take courses in cognitive, physical, and social development of children; principles of learning; research and assessment of student outcomes; diversity’s impact on education; and positive learning environments. Two concentrations are offered within the M.A. in Educational Psychology: the Developing Learning concentration which focuses on individual learning styles, successes, and motivations; and the Research and Assessment concentration provides students with a broad foundation in statistical research and assessment procedures. 30 credit hours are required for completion.

Accreditation

Eastern Michigan University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $14,423

#11. Liberty University

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Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University was founded as Lynchburg Baptist College in 1971 by the Reverend Jerry Falwell. It has long been considered a Christian academic community, the institution’s stated intention being the development of both the intellectual and spiritual nature. When including the number of online matriculated students (90,000 as of May 2013), Liberty University is the nation’s largest private nonprofit university and the world’s largest Evangelical Christian university. 

Online Master’s of Arts in Professional Counseling and Master’s of Arts in Human Services Counseling Overview

Liberty University offers an online Master’s of Arts in Professional Counseling (with 48 or 60 credit hour programs), and a Master’s of Arts in Human Services Counseling (with 30 credit hours required) in which a variety of concentrations are offered: Addictions and Recovery, Business, Christian Ministries, Criminal Justice, Crisis Response and Trauma, Executive Leadership, Health and Wellness, Life Coaching, Marriage and Family, and Military Resilience. The M.A. in Professional Counseling can lead to licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor, and students entering the program may transfer up to 15 hours of relevant, graduate-level coursework.

Accreditation

Liberty University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: (M.A. Professional Counseling 48-hour program) $24,960

(M.A. Professional Counseling 60-hour program) $31,200

(M.A. Human Services Counseling) $15,600

#12. Ball State University

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The Ball Brothers, five American philanthropists and industrialists best known for their home canning jars, founded Ball University in 1918. The school is a public coeducational research university with a campus spanning over 1,000 acres in the small city of Muncie, Indiana. By investing in hybrid vehicles for university shuttle services, maintaining high levels of water efficiency, and using recycled materials for new school construction, Ball State has adopted the practice of environmental sustainability as the primary component of the university’s vision and unique identity.

Online Master of Arts in Educational Psychology Overview

Graduates from Ball State University’s online M.A. in Educational Psychology find work in research and/or working directly with children in schools. There are currently three specializations available: Gifted and Talented Education, Human Development, and Statistical and Research Methods. This program also prepares students to pursue doctoral study in education or psychology.

Accreditation

Ball State University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $15,900

#13. Athabasca University

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Athabasca University was founded in 1970 and specializes in distance education. AU is an Open University committed to removing the different barriers that limit access to higher education. In 2006, the university became the first Canadian postsecondary institution to receive accreditation in the United States.

Online Master’s of Science in Counseling Overview

Athabasca University offers a 36-credit online M.S. in Counseling with a mandatory specialization. Students may choose to specialize in Counseling Psychology, Career Counseling, and Art Therapy. Coursework in the Art Therapy specialization is offered by the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute. All aspiring graduates must take seven core courses reflecting the fundamental pillars of counseling theory and practice: Models of Counseling and Client Change, Professional Ethics, Infusing Culture into Counseling, Assessment Processes, Intervening to Facilitate Client Change, Developing a Working Alliance, and Methods of Inquiry. Designed for those who wish to become professional counselors and/or psychologists, Athabasca’s M.S. in Counseling offers its coursework through online discussions, teleconferencing, and videoconferencing.

Accreditation

Athabasca University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $17,100

#14. Regent University

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Founded by Pat Robertson in 1978 as Christian Broadcasting Network University, Regent University is a private interdenominational Christian university located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. In the late 1980s, Regent began offering what is now an extensive distance education program in addition to its on-campus degrees. Full-time and part-time faculty consist of graduates of Yale, Harvard, Oxford, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, and other schools. The university’s current motto is “Christian Leadership to Change the World.”

Online Master’s of Arts in Human Services Counseling Overview

Regent University’s M.A. in Human Services Counseling is ideal for those who do not wish to obtain licensure or work in professional counseling, but rather those who work in ministry, education, sports leadership, medicine, or any other career in which the skills of a “counselor” are frequently used. The curriculum uses a Biblical framework and includes classes like Foundations of Counseling, Counseling Techniques I and II, Multicultural Counseling, Community Crisis Counseling, and others. 30 credit hours are required for completion, and many students graduate in just one year.

Accreditation

Regent University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $17,850

#15. Emporia State University

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Emporia State University is a public university located in Emporia, Kansas. Founded in 1863 as the Kansas State Normal School, Emporia State currently enrolls over 6,000 students. The university’s distance education program has been recognized by both The Best Schools and Get Educated for its affordability and high standard of quality.

Online Master’s of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling Overview

The online M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling at Emporia State University is offered as part of the Department of Counselor Education. The program aims to provide students with the skills to work in a variety of setting within the human services field, including correctional programs, alcohol and drug programs, independent living centers, employee assistance programs, educational centers, and more. Students complete coursework in career counseling, analysis of research, employment issues and medical disability, and are expected to complete a supervised practicum and internship before graduation.

Accreditation

Emporia State University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $20,256

#16. Fielding Graduate University

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Headquartered in Santa Barbara, California, Fielding Graduate University is an accredited, nonprofit post-graduate distance education institution. Founded in 1974 by Frederic M. Hudson, Hallock Hoffman, and Renata Tesch, Fielding was envisioned as a resource for mid-career professionals that were not currently able to take advantage of programs offered at traditional universities. 

Online Master’s of Arts in Media Psychology Overview

Fielding Graduate University offers an M.A. in Media Psychology that explores how media regularly influences behavior and how to use media to create positive social change in our world. Coursework in Emerging Media, Neuromarketing, Transmedia Storytelling, Audience Engagement, Global Media, and Positive Psychology inform students of media’s consumer impact, cultural/social/and economic considerations regarding audience, and media’s negative and socially constructive influence on modern society. The M.A. in Media Psychology at Fielding requires completion of nine courses and a capstone project for graduation.

Accreditation

Fielding Graduate University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $22,400

#17. Thomas University

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Thomas University is a private, not-for-profit university located in Thomasville, Georgia. The school was founded by the Primitive Baptist Church in 1954, but became officially nonsectarian and independent (of the Primitive Baptists) in 1979. The university began offering graduate degrees in 1998.

Online Master’s of Science in Community Counseling and Master’s of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling Overview

Thomas University’s online M.S. in Community Counseling is a 60-credit hour program with an internship requirement. There are three specializations within this degree program: Addictions and Alcoholism Counseling, Human Resources, and Rehabilitation Counseling. The M.S. in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling is also a 60-credit hour program, and prepares students to sit for the national Rehabilitation Counselor Certification exam.

Accreditation

Thomas University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $21,960

#18. Southern New Hampshire University

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Southern New Hampshire University is a private university located between Manchester and Hookset, New Hampshire. Its online campus boasts over 200 regionally accredited undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs, and also has specialized accreditation for some of its degrees and programs.

Online Master’s of Science in Psychology Overview

Southern New Hampshire University’s M.S. in Psychology is offered with three concentrations: Child and Adolescent Development Psychology, Forensic Psychology, and Industrial/Organizational Psychology. The 36-credit degree program prepares students to work in correctional facilities, police departments, in community service organizations with children and families, and in leadership development and human resources departments in various businesses. Taught by faculty experienced in the profession, Southern New Hampshire University’s M.S. in Psychology offers one of the most comprehensive and affordable fully online degrees available.

Accreditation

Southern New Hampshire University is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Tuition: $22,572

#19. Austin Peay State University

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Austin Peay State University is located in Clarksville, Tennessee. The university evolved from a transformation of a mid-1880s Masonic academic institution to an accredited, quickly growing four-year public university. Over 10,000 students are currently enrolled.

Online Master’s of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology Overview

The curriculum for Austin Peay State University’s M.A. of Industrial/Organizational Psychology follows the guidelines for Master’s level training provided by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Students will develop their skills in a variety of areas, including employee training and development, personnel selection, performance appraisal, and team leadership.

Accreditation

Austin Peay State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $23,368

#20. Adler Graduate School

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Located in Richfield, Minnesota, Adler Graduate School is a nonprofit, post-baccalaureate institution offering master’s degrees, postmaster licensure programs, and certificate programs. The school began offering distance education in 2010. Adler Graduate School and Chicago-based Adler School of Professional Psychology are unaffiliated, though they are both namesakes of Alfred Adler – Austrian medical doctor, psychotherapist, and founder of “Individual Psychology.”

Online Master’s of Arts in Adlerian Counseling and Psychotherapy Overview

This 48-credit hour online program is meant for prospective students interested in studying Adlerian psychotherapy in great depth. Because the M.A. in Adlerian Counseling and Psychotherapy does not include an internship component, graduates will not be prepared for licensure as a mental health counselor. Students will be expected to be on-campus a few times per year for seminaries and presentations, but the majority of the coursework is done off-campus. Students will study the relationship between civic engagement, social interest, and one’s psychological health and wellbeing. Many graduates go on to study psychology at the doctoral level.

Accreditation

Adler Graduate School is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $24,240

#21. Adams State University

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Adams State University is a small liberal arts university located in Alamosa, Colorado near the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Founded as a normal school in 1921 to provide education for teachers in rural areas, ASU currently enrolls approximately 4,000 on-campus students and has a growing distance-education program.

Online Master’s of Arts in Counseling Overview

Adams State University offers an online M.A. in Counseling with two week-long required intensives each summer – four intensives total. There are two emphases within the degree program: Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling. Students will delve into coursework that prompts them to engage in self-examination so that they can develop the disposition necessary to working in the caregiving professions. This 60-credit hour program will prepare students for licensure and future work in patient advocacy, mental health clinics, residential treatment facilities, corrections, or work in K-12 educational settings.

Accreditation

Adams State University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $24,300

#22. University of Massachusetts Boston

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The University of Massachusetts Boston is the only public university in Boston. Founded in 1964, it merged with Boston State College in 1982. The university’s distance learning program is quite extensive and continues growing as part of the UMass Online System.

Online Master’s of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling and Master’s of Science in Mental Health Counseling Overview

The University of Massachusetts Boston’s online M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling is part of the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development. The program requires 60 credit hours for graduation, andmeets the standards for national certification as a certified rehabilitation counselor. The curriculum provides instruction in understanding individuals who face barriers to employment and fulfilling work due to substance abuse histories, criminal records, and physical, emotional, and intellectual disabilities. Graduates typically work in hospitals, mental health agencies, schools, career planning centers, and employee assistance programs. Due to the rigorous practicum and internship components of the curriculum, 95% of graduates in recent years have found employment in the field of rehabilitation counseling. The online M.S. in Mental Health Counseling is part of the Department of Counseling and School Psychology and is also a 60-credit program. The online program is modeled after the on-campus program; many of the same faculty teach in both venues. The curriculum is academically challenging and will prepare graduates for a career in professional counseling and/or further academic study. Students in Massachusetts – and many other states – will be eligible for licensure after completion of the degree; prospective students should check with their local state regulations before beginning the program.

Accreditation

The University of Massachusetts Boston is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $24,390

#23. Colorado State University

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Colorado State University is a public research university located in Fort Collins, Colorado. Founded in 1870 as an agricultural college, the main campus sits on 583 acres at the base of the Rocky Mountains. CSU alumni include astronauts, Pulitzer Prize winners, and two former governors of the state. 92% of previous students at Colorado State University’s online campus say that completion of their degree program contributed to their financial goals, and 89% would recommend the online campus to a friend or family member.

Online Master’s of Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology Overview

The M.S. in Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Colorado State University enables students to study the behavior of individuals in the workplace, assess businesses for efficiency and productivity, and implement strategies for improvement. Graduates will be prepared to solve everyday issues in various organizations by applying the tenets of general psychology to problems like leadership challenges and motivational scarcity. With 38 credit hours needed for graduation, the M.A.I.O.P. is a coursework-only program, without the requirement of a thesis. Though the degree is offered in a virtual setting, it is structured around an active learning model that facilitates applied knowledge and skills development by way of professional work simulations and a series of group projects.

Accreditation

Colorado State University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $25,270

#24. Auburn University

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Auburn University was established in 1856 as the East Alabama Male College and was affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church South. The university is now public and operates as a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research center. Currently enrolling over 25,000 students, Auburn has been recognized by Forbes, Washington Monthly, and US News and World Report.

Online Master’s of Education/Master’s of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling Overview

Auburn University offers students the option of choosing either an M.Ed. or an M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling. The program is delivered online, and different specializations include vocational evaluation, forensic rehabilitation, and substance abuse counseling. In 2012, US News and World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools” named Auburn’s Rehabilitation Counseling Program the 17th program in the nation in the Health Disciplines category. Graduates will be prepared to sit for the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor examination.

Accreditation

Auburn University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $26,240

#25. University of Texas at Tyler

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The University of Texas at Tyler was founded as a local college in 1971, and in 1979 was absorbed by the University of Texas System. Until the late 1990s, UT Tyler was a “senior” institution and only taught classes for upper-level students.

Online Master’s of Arts in School Counseling Overview

The University of Texas at Tyler’s online M.A. in School Counseling is a 36-credit hour degree program; many students finish in as little as 18 months. Students will study multicultural psychology in school settings, coordination of student services, professional legal and ethical issues, and program development. A supervised internship in a public or private school is required for graduation. Because of the program’s challenging curriculum and interactive distance-education model, graduates have a 100% pass rate on the Texas state certification exam for school counselors.

Accreditation

The University of Texas at Tyler is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and schools.

Tuition: $26,316

#26. LeTourneau University

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A private, interdenominational Christian university, LeTourneau University is located in Longview, Texas. The school was initially founded in 1946 with the primary aim of educating veterans returning from World War II, but has since developed into a nationally recognized institution. 

Online Master’s of Arts in Psychology and Master’s of Arts in Counseling Overview

LeTourneau University’s online M.A. in Psychology is offered as an accelerated program. Most students who choose this degree will go on to pursue further study at the doctoral level, and will find careers as behavior analysts, psychologists, and in research. The M.A. in Counseling is also an accelerated program, and is designed for students who wish to pursue professional licensure in counseling or therapy immediately following graduation. Students may choose the Licensed Professional Counsleor (LPC) concentration, the Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) concentration, or the dual licensure track. The dual licensure track requires and additional 12 hours of coursework.

Accreditation

LeTourneau University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $27,360

#27. Kansas State University

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Kansas State University was established in Manhattan, Kansas in 1863, during the American Civil War. The oldest public university in the state, K-State is classified as a high research university by Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, and ranks first nationally among public universities in its combination of Rhodes, Marshall, Truman, Goldwater, and Udall scholars. Founded as a land-grant institution, the school still retains a strong interest in agriculture and horticulture.

Online Master’s of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology Overview

This graduate degree at K-State is offered completely online, and students must complete 38 hours with a minimum 3.0 average G.P.A. The curriculum focuses on human resource concepts, behavioral analysis, and aims to prepare future graduates with the ability to cultivate company-specific employee selection: including training programs and performance-evaluation standards. The Master’s of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology is considered a terminal professional degree, and graduates find employment with various businesses, working to improve the company’s workplace environment and efficiency.

Accreditation

Kansas State University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $27,398

#28. University of the Southwest

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University of the Southwest existed first as a Baptist two-year institution several years before receiving its current name in 1962. It is now a private, not-for-profit inter-denominational Christian university, and has been been recognized as a distinguished regional school. The University of the Southwest’s online campus offers about 15 undergraduate and graduate degrees, and its main campus is located in Hobbs, New Mexico.

Online Master’s of Science in Education in Mental Health Counseling and Master’s of Science in Education in School Counseling Overview

University of the Southwest’s Master’s of Science in Education in Mental Health Counseling prepares graduates to apply for licensure as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. Alumni have practiced in a variety of settings addressing wellness, personal growth, career development, and pathology. The M.S.Ed. in School Counseling prepares students for licensure as counselors in K-12 settings. Graduates will be competent in working with children to reduce the environmental, social, and institutional barriers to academic success.

Accreditation

The University of the Southwest is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $27,840

#29. Adler School of Professional Psychology

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The Adler School of Professional Psychology is an independent, post-baccalaureate institution of psychology located in Chicago, Illinois and Vancouver, British Columbia. The school was founded by psychiatrist Rudolf Dreikurs in 1952, and is named for Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler, founder of Adlerian psychology, often referred to as “Individual Psychology.” The oldest independent professional school of psychology in North America, the Adler School aims to integrate social justice and psychology rather than merely focus on the private practices of counseling and mental/clinical psychopathology. Annually, Adler students provide over 650,000 hours of community service to under-served populations, and the Community Service Practicum is mandatory for all first-year students. 

Online Master’s of Arts in Military Psychology and Master’s of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology Overview

Graduates from the Adler School’s M.A. in Military Psychology are prepared to meet the high demand for specialized caregivers able to meet the diverse needs of military personnel, veterans, and their families. Students will study the complexities of military culture during deployment and the subsequent return to civilian life, and will work to construct bridges across racial and economic social systems. The curriculum focuses on conflict, trauma, grief, positive psychology, domestic violence prevention, and resilience. The Adler School’s M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology applies a unique emphasis on the individual’s mental health and well-being by providing coursework in work-life balance, inclusion and group dynamics, social justice in the workplace, and culture and diversity.

Accreditation

The Adler School of Professional Psychology is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $28,675

#30. Sacred Heart University

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Sacred Heart University is a Roman Catholic, nonprofit university located in Fairfield, Connecticut. Founded in 1963, Sacred Heart has been recognized by The Princeton Review and the US News and World Report. The campus is 50 miles north of New York City and 150 miles south of Boston.

Online Master’s of Science in Applied Psychology Overview

Sacred Heart University’s online M.S. in Applied Psychology is taught by distinguished, experienced faculty, many of whom work as practicing, licensed psychologists. There are three separate tracks within this degree program: General, Community Psychology, and Industrial/Organizational Psychology. The General track allows students to tailor their curriculum by choosing electives that suit their career goals. The Community Psychology track focuses on helping relationships in social service arenas and in schools, and the Industrial/Organizational Psychology track prepares students to apply practical psychology in the workplace. The program consists of 38-credit hours exclusively offered in a part-time format.

Accreditation 

Sacred Heart University is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $29,830

#31. Bellevue University

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Established in 1966 and based in Bellevue, Nebraska, Bellevue University is one of the largest private higher learning institutions in the state. The university’s mission has always been directed toward providing education for working adults. 

Online Master’s of Science in Clinical Counseling Overview

Bellevue University’s online M.S. in Clinical Counseling is a 60-credit hour degree program intended for students who will pursue mental health licensure. The curriculum is modeled on national licensing standards, and includes 100 hours of practicum and 900 hours of clinical internship – with 60% direct client contact. Online students may complete these requirements in their home state with a supervisor approved by Bellevue University’s internship director. graduates will be versed in research methods, legal and professional counseling issues, the ethics of helping relationships, cultural diversity, human sexuality, family counseling, psychopathology, and more.

Accreditation

Bellevue University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $30,900

#32. Missouri Baptist University

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Located in Western St. Louis County and founded in 1957, Missouri Baptist University is a private Evangelical Christian institution. The school obtained university status in 2002 and in 2009 began offering its first doctorate program.

Online Master’s of Arts in School Counseling Overview

The online M.A. in School Counseling at Missouri Baptist University is offered with three different tracks: Elementary Counseling, Secondary Counseling, and Elementary and Secondary Counseling. The first two tracks are for certified teachers; the last track, comprising both levels of school, is also available to teachers who have not yet obtained certification. The coursework meets Missouri certification requirements for a school guidance counselor – prospective students must review their personal state’s current requirements.

Accreditation

Missouri Baptist University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $32,480

#33. Nova Southeastern University

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Nova Southeastern University’s main campus is situated in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A nonsectarian research university, NSU is the nation’s eighth-largest not-for-profit private university. Founded in the 1960s, the land occupied by the university was formerly a naval training airfield built during World War II. The campus also hosts the “University School of Nova Southeastern University”, a college preparatory school that serves grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12. NSU’s online programs are in full compliance with the Southern Regional Education Board’s set of Principles of Good Practice for electronic campuses. 

Online Master’s of Science in Counseling Overview

Nova Southeastern University offers an online Master’s of Science in Counseling with four options for specialization: Mental Health Counseling, Substance Abuse Counseling and Education, Applied Behavioral Analysis, and Advanced Applied Behavioral Analysis. The program is very flexible and allows adults who aspire to enter or are actively working in the field of counseling to obtain a graduate degree without career interruption. 60 credit hours are required for degree completion.

Accreditation

Nova Southeastern University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $35,400

#34. Seton Hall University

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Located in South Orange, New Jersey, Seton Hall University is the largest and oldest Catholic university in New Jersey. The university offers undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate degrees in 70 academic fields, and this number includes many degrees also offered as part of Seton Hall’s ever-growing distance-learning campus. In 2014 Seton Hall University was ranked 128th in the National Universities category of US News and World Report.

Online Master’s of Arts and Education Specialist in Professional Counseling and Master’s of Arts in School Counseling Overview

Seton Hall’s online M.S./Ed.S. in Professional Counseling is a combined 60-credit program designed for students who aspire to work as a professional mental health counselor. After graduation, students will be prepared to apply their psychological training in a variety of settings – primarily for basically intact and functional patients, rather than those who are severely mentally disturbed – and to pursue licensure or further study at the doctoral level. The M.A. in School Counseling prepares students for work in diverse K-12 educational settings. Developed for those who wish to work as professional school counselors, the curriculum includes coursework in multicultural counseling, psychology of human development, group learning, behavior modification, and ethics. With 48 hours required for graduation, most students finish the program after two years.

Accreditation

Seton Hall University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: (M.A./Ed.S. Professional Counseling) $44,340

(M.A. School Counseling) $35,472

#35. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

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A graduate school specializing in psychology, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology offers more than 20 degree programs related exclusively to psychology and the behavioral sciences. The Chicago School has been recognized by the National Council of Schools and Programs for Professional Psychology for its contributions to cultural diversity, and has been committed to multicultural training since its establishment in 1979. Their online campus offers almost all of the same programs that are offered on-campus, with the exception of some their doctoral programs.

Online Master’s of Arts in Psychology Overview

The M.A. in Psychology at the Chicago School is offered with five concentrations other than the Generalist Concentration option: Applied Behavioral Analysis, Child and Adolescent, International Psychology, Organizational Leadership, and Sports and Exercise Psychology. The graduate degree in International Psychology is offered with three concentrations: Environmental Advocacy, Management and Leadership, and Trauma and Group Conflict. The online M.A. in Clinical Mental Health prepares students to engage in community service work with a variety of clientele, and the curriculum includes thorough training in ethics, diversity, and advocacy. Only the M.A. in Clinical Mental Health counseling is considered a licensure preparation master’s degree, and with 60 credit hours required for degree completion, enables graduates to begin practicing professionally. The M.A. in Psychology and the M.A. in International Psychology require 36 credit hours for graduation and provide broad instruction in preparation for doctoral study.

Accreditation

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: (M.A. Psychology and M.A. International Psychology) $36,396

(M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling) $60,660

#36. Palo Alto University

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Previously the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, Palo Alto University was founded in 1975 and is located in Palo Alto, California. Over the years, Palo Alto University has had many renowned clinical psychologists join its small academic community. The school has a relationship with Stanford University and its school of medicine, sharing student researchers and faculty members and offering a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology as part of a consortium.

Online Master’s of Science in Psychology and Master’s of Arts in Counseling Overview

Palo Alto University’s M.S. in Psychology is a Ph.D. Preparation program – after degree completion graduates can transfer their credits into a complimentary doctoral program. This program is not intended for individuals who would like to be able to see patients or clients after graduating from a master’s program. Graduates who choose not to enter a Ph.D. program find employment as research assistants and lecturers at the community college level, in the business world and in other domains. The M.A. in Counseling degree is designed for individuals planning to pursue licensure as professional counselors immediately following graduation. Two specialization tracks exist within the M.A. program: the Mental Health and Family Counseling Emphasis, and the Cross-Cultural Crisis and Trauma Counseling Emphasis. Students who choose the Mental Health and Family Counseling track will complete coursework in family counseling, couples counseling, and child psychotherapy. Those who choose the Cross-Cultural Crisis and Trauma Counseling track will take electives in trauma assessment, counseling abroad, and acute crisis counseling.

Accreditation

Palo Alto University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: (M.S. Psychology) $36,967

(M.A. Counseling) $40,230

#37. Naropa University

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Naropa University, located in Boulder, Colorado, was founded in 1974 by Tibetan Buddhist teacher and Oxford University scholar Chogyam Trungpa. The university is the namesake of eleventh-century Indian Buddhist sage Naropa. Nonsectarian and Buddhist-inspired, in 1988 the school was the first Buddhist-inspired (and Buddhist) university to obtain regional accreditation in the United States. Naropa University promotes contemplative education – an educational philosophy that integrates traditional learning with insight, awareness, and compassion for oneself and others. The ancient practices of meditation, walking the labyrinth, and other contemplative disciplines are integrated into the university’s core curriculum. 

Online Master’s of Arts in Transpersonal Psychology: Ecopsychology Overview

Naropa University offers a two-year, 38-credit low-residency M.A. in Transpersonal Psychology with a concentration in Ecopsychology. Students spend the fall and spring semesters taking courses online, and then spend one to two weeks each summer taking two courses in an intensive framework on and near Naropa’s campus; these summer intensives include Engaged Contemplative Practices and Psychology of Wilderness Experience, among others. The program aims to promote individual growth and personal awakening so that students are able to contribute to the earth and their respective communities in meaningful way. Graduates will have cultivated a habit of practicing the contemplative disciplines, have deepened their respect and understanding of nature, and be prepared for careers in which they can effect social change.

Accreditation

Naropa University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $37,144

#38. University of Wisconsin-Stout

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The University of Wisconsin-Stout was founded in 1891 in Menomonie, Wisconscin by lumber magnate James Huff Stout. Part of the larger University of Wisconsin System, the university currently enrolls almost 10,000 on-campus students. Approximately 30 of the University of Wisconsin-Stout’s on-campus degrees are also available through their distance-learning program.

Online Master’s of Science in Vocational Rehabilitation: Rehabilitation Counseling Overview

The University of Wisconsin-Stout’s M.S. in Vocational Rehabilitation: Rehabilitation Counseling degree program requires a minimum of two years related work experience before being considered for admission. Because the program is intended for those already working in the field of rehabilitation counseling, students may only take classes on a part-time basis. Graduates will be better prepared to assist individuals with sensory, cognitive, and physical disabilities recognize their potential and implement their personal goals. The M.S. in Vocational Rehabilitation: Rehabilitation Counseling is a 48-credit program and takes three years to complete.

Accreditation

The University of Wisconsin-Stout is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $37,368

#39. University at Buffalo

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The University at Buffalo was founded as a private college in 1846 but became part of the State University of New York System in 1962. The university has been recognized by the US News and World Report, the Center for Measuring University Performance, Kiplinger, and Times Higher Education. Alumni include various notable poets and authors, distinguished lawmakers, political figures, Nobel prize-winners, activists, and renowned musicians. The admissions process is quite selective, and 78% of the on-campus student body is from the state of New York.

Online Master’s of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling Overview

The University at Buffalo offers their online M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling on a completely online, part-time basis to accommodate the needs of working adults – those already employed in the field, or those looking for a career change. The program can be completed in less than three years, and graduating students will be thoroughly prepared to work with military veterans coping with past trauma and civilian life, disabled students who have left home and/or desire to transition into the working life, families who have one or more members struggling with disability, elderly people who are struggling with chronic illness, and others. The program’s objectives reflect Council on Rehabilitation criteria.

Accreditation

The University at Buffalo is regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $40,368

#40. Winston-Salem State University

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Winston-Salem State University was established in 1892 by Dr. Simon Green Atkins and is a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina. A member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the university is historically black and has been ranked highly by the Us News and World Report for the last decade. The school is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Online Master’s of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling Overview

Winston-Salem State University offers an online M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling. The goal of the program is to prepare candidates to work with individuals who have physical, emotional, or mental handicaps. A 60-credit hour program, a 100-hour practicum and 600-hour internship are also required for graduation. Students will complete coursework in culture and disability, counseling the deaf, rural rehabilitation, and job placement transition, among others. After completing 75% of the required coursework, students will be eligible to sit for the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) exam.

Accreditation

Winston-Salem State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $41,706

#41. Goddard College

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Goddard College was founded by Universalists as an experimental school based on the educational philosophy of John Dewey: that experience and education are innately entwined. Established in 1938 and located in Plainfield, Vermont, Port Townsend, Washington and Seattle, Washington, Goddard operates on an intensive low-residency model. 

Online Master’s of Arts in Psychology and Counseling Overview

Goddard College offers an M.A. in Psychology and Counseling with two different degree tracks: Psychology and Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Students who choose the Psychology track will take additional courses in cognition, learning, and cultural competency; students who choose the Clinical Mental Health Counseling track will take courses in group work, counseling theory, helping relationships, and career development. Any student may choose the Sexual Orientation concentration. Students seeking state licensure in their respective locations are responsible for gathering information about their state’s requirements and then meeting with their supervisor/mentor.

Accreditation

Goddard College is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges

Tuition: $43,235

#42. Union Institute and University

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Union Institute and University began in 1964 as part of a consortium of schools experimenting with alternative educational philosophies. Soon after, the Union began focusing on bringing education to nontraditional students and now specializes in distance learning programs. The school obtained regional accreditation in 1985 and has its main campus in Cincinnati, Ohio. From its establishment, the Union has prioritized social relevance in its coursework, and perhaps consequently, has quite an interesting lineup of notable alumni.

Online Master’s of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Overview

The M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Union Institute and University is designed specifically to offer courses and internship experiences that are required by state and national agencies and credentialing bodies. Intended for students who wish to work as professional counselors in a variety of settings, the program also prepares graduates for further study at the doctoral level. Students are eligible to sit for the National Board for Certified Counselors exam while in their final term.

Accreditation

The Union Institute and University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $46,680

#43. Prescott College

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Established in 1966, Prescott College is a private, liberal arts college in Prescott, Arizona with the motto: “For the Liberal Arts, the Environment, and Social Justice.” The school is well known for its environmental studies programs like Agroecology, Natural History and Ecology, Wilderness Leadership, Adventure-Based Environmental Education, and others, maintaining its dedication to nature conservation and sustainability; likewise, most of the university’s buildings are recycled and have been converted to classrooms from their prior purposes.

Online Master’s of Science in Counseling Overview

Prescott College’s  M.S. in Counseling is a limited-residency online program, which means that although students do have to be on campus occasionally, the time required is minimal. Students must be at Prescott College for approximately one or two long weekends per year for an orientation: a time to meet with faculty and peers, attend workshops, and engage in scholarly dialogue concerning their chosen discipline. There are five areas of specialization within the M.S. in Counseling: Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Couple and Family Therapy Counseling, Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling, Addiction Counseling, and School Counseling. Within these five specializations, students have the option of specializing and tailoring their degree even further by choosing one of five sub-concentrations: Adventure-Based Psychotherapy, Ecopsychology, Equine-Assisted Mental Health, Expressive Art Therapy, and Somatic Psychology. It should be noted that some of the aforementioned sub-concentrations will require spending more time on campus – approximately two to four more times per year for week-long intensives – and will cost students an average of an additional $2,000 to $5,000 per year, not including personal travel expenses. The 60 credit curriculum will prepare students to practice ethically and capably and will also enable them to pursue licensure in most states.

Accreditation

Prescott College is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $47,375

#44. California Baptist University

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California Baptist University is a private, not-for-profit university located in Riverside, California. Initially established as California Baptist College in 1950, it is managed by the California Southern Baptist Convention, an affiliate of the Southern Baptist Convention. Alumni include Drew Shirley – guitarist of the Christian rock band Switchfoot – and Rick Warren, author of popular Christian book The Purpose Driven Life.

Online Master’s of Science in Counseling Psychology Overview

California Baptist University’s online M.S. in Counseling Psychology is designed to prepare individuals for a career in Christian counseling: in a clinical setting or as a family and marriage therapist. Students will be versed in traditional diagnostic methods and the most central psychological theories of counseling for all ages and backgrounds. Coursework in behavioral, existential, humanistic, and psychodynamic theoretical orientations, as well as human cognitive, psychological, and sociological development, will prepare graduates to work with their clients as a competent therapist. After completion of the 80-credit degree, graduates will be eligible to sit for the Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor exam.

Accreditation

California Baptist University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Tuition: $51,200

#45. Wake Forest University

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Wake Forest University is a private, not-for-profit research university located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In 2014, the US News and World Report ranked Wake Forest 23rd overall among national universities. Originally located on 600 acres in Wake Forest, north of Raleigh, the university moved to its currently location in 1956. Poet, author, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou taught at the university from 1982 to 2014.

Online Master’s of Arts in Counseling Overview

Wake Forest University offers a distinguished, highly regarded M.A. in Counseling. The program is student-centered, Pro Humanitate, clinical skills-focused, and leads to eligibility for national certification and licensure by the National Board for Certified Counselors. Students may choose to focus on School Counseling or Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and both tracks are rich in coursework on appraisal procedures, career development, helping relationships, group counseling, and human growth and development. 60 credit hours are required for graduation.

Accreditation

Wake Forest University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition: $75,600