Explore Our MS in School Counseling
Students from grades preK–12 face unprecedented challenges, from academic struggles to bullying, self-esteem, and family issues. As a licensed or certified school counselor, you can help children and adolescents overcome obstacles and achieve success while building a rewarding career.
The CACREP-accredited MS in School Counseling program is offered by Walden University. Through online coursework, two in-person residencies, and field experiences, you will prepare to provide critical guidance and support to diverse student populations in preK–12 settings.
Gain the critical skills you need to function effectively in a school setting by experiencing the school counseling profession through online simulation.
An optional accelerated track allows you to complete your coursework faster and earn your degree sooner.
Align your studies with your goals by choosing a specialization.
Tailored content is designed to address knowledge gaps within the counseling field as identified in the 2011 National Survey of School Counselors.1
Benefit from a curriculum that explores the latest models and methods of school counseling and reflects professional guidelines set forth by leading counseling and education organizations.
MS in School Counseling General Program gives you a solid foundation in school counseling theories, approaches, and best practices while enabling you to gain hands-on experience in the classroom.
This specialization prepares you with the skills and insights to help students cope with the emotional challenges of watching a loved one struggle with dependence.
Study human behavior following a crisis, psychological disorders that can stem from trauma, and the fundamentals of emergency planning.
Learn how to support the well-being of your students as they cope with complex personal and family challenges.
Gain insights into military culture as well as the unique emotional needs of children of active military personnel and veterans.
Program Admission Considerations: A bachelor's degree or higher.
General Admission Requirements: Completed online application and transcripts. Please note that the materials you are required to submit may vary depending on the academic program to which you apply. More information for international applicants.
Accelerated Track Option
The accelerated track in the school counseling program is designed for students who are interested in taking three courses per quarter and finishing their program in a shorter time frame. The accelerated track has the same curriculum, residencies, and field experience requirements as the general track, but requires a strong time commitment and is best suited for students who can dedicate themselves full time to their studies. Speak to your Enrollment Specialist for more information.
Graduates of this program will be prepared to:
- Analyze the different roles and settings of a counselor.
- Apply sound ethical and legal practices in the work of a counselor.
- Analyze cultural development theories and models.
- Examine empirically based theories of human development.
- Evaluate approaches of career development appropriate to diverse needs and life experiences.
- Examine appropriate evidence-based counseling practices for prevention and intervention.
- Apply essential counseling skills across multiple settings.
- Select group facilitation strategies that are culturally and ethically relevant.
- Analyze assessment procedures to support planning for appropriate counseling interventions.
- Evaluate research methods commonly used in the counseling profession.
Read our MS in School Counseling Program Outcomes Report and Annual Data Report and on the School of Counseling DATA webpage.
What's the Career Impact of Earning an MS in School Counseling?
Skills That Are in Demand
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 8% employment growth for school and career counselors between 2019 and 2029.2
Earning an MS in School Counseling can prepare you for a variety of rewarding career roles, including:
- School counselor
- Academic counselor
- Academic advisor
- Counselor for college and career readiness
Career positions may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.
FAQ About Walden’s Online MS in School Counseling Program
Your degree can prepare you to seek licensure or certification in your state. You’ll want to start the process as soon as you graduate. After attaining state licensure or certification, you can pursue employment as a school counselor in K–12 schools. School counselors help to improve student success by implementing comprehensive school counseling programs that support the academic, personal-social, and career needs of all students. School counselors also provide short-term counseling; collaborate with teachers, families, administrators, and community members to support students; advocate for students and student needs; and analyze data that identifies student needs, concerns, and challenges.
Yes, individuals who wish to become employed as a school counselor in an elementary, middle, or high school are required to hold, at minimum, a master’s degree in school counseling.
While students may go at their own pace, it generally takes approximately two to two and a half years to complete a master’s degree in school counseling. Walden provides an optional accelerated track that allows students to complete their coursework faster and earn their degrees sooner. This option requires a strong time commitment and is best suited for students who can dedicate themselves full time to their studies.
Walden’s MS in School Counseling program is aligned with standards set by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) national model to provide students with skills to implement a comprehensive school counseling program. Walden’s faculty are dedicated to supporting students and possess a wealth of knowledge, experience, and leadership in the school counseling field. Additionally, Walden’s online format provides flexibility for various student needs, allowing students to work and handle other life obligations with access to class wherever they can access a computer and internet. The MS in School Counseling program supports students in choosing to learn at their own pace, whether part time or full time, and courses use multiple forms of materials, such as videos, notes, articles, textbooks, and interactive programs, to cater to various learning styles.
Additionally, Words of Wisdom (WOW) workshops are offered by faculty and doctoral students on topics of interest to students, faculty, clinical supervisors, and alumni. These workshops provide lifelong learning opportunities and valuable continuing education to students, faculty, alumni, and site supervisors.
In terms of honor societies, Walden’s Omega Zeta (OZ) is the largest Chi Sigma Iota chapter, with 14 highly energetic officers. OZ pours energy into social change work in the United States and around the world. In addition, OZ focuses efforts on enhancing counseling student opportunities at Walden through learning communities. Members have the opportunity to grow as leaders in the field and as social change agents.