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25 Most Affordable Online Graduate Schools for a Master’s in Counseling (MC) in 2020

Counselors are employed in a diverse range of industries. From mental health facilities to academic institutions, counselors come up with healing or treatment plans to help and support their patients with their mental health concerns. In academia, school counselors regularly meet with students regarding social, professional, and educational concerns.

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Also, the criminal justice industry acknowledges the importance of counseling for people who are struggling with substance addiction and abuse. Mandatory counseling or therapy sessions are often part of the detention of these people. With the rising growth of integrated treatment and specialist counseling, prospective graduates pursuing a master’s degree in counseling are qualified for life-changing and rewarding career opportunities.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics is anticipating an 8% faster-than-average growth for school and career counselors between the years 2018 to 2028. Also, the rehabilitation counselor profession has a projected growth of 10% faster than average compared to other occupations between 2018 to 2028. That said, many schools have offered an online Master’s degree in Counseling for prospective graduates to qualify for these rewarding and life-changing professions.

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METHODOLOGY - online counseling

Looking for an online graduate school that offers a Master’s in Counseling program? If you’re pursuing advance education to progress in your career, or specialize in a specific field in Counseling that requires higher educational attainment, you would want to enroll in a high quality graduate program that won’t break the bank!

The researchers and editors at GradSchoolCenter.com are here to help! We have rounded up for you the 25 Most Affordable Online Schools for Master’s in Counseling programs, as offered by the country’s most prestigious institutions. We considered these factors in developing this list:

  • Fully online or hybrid coursework, to accommodate graduate students pursuing a Master’s in Counseling but having limited resources and time for a traditional academic set-up,
  • Comprehensive coursework that prepares students for more responsibilities and higher-level careers in Counseling that require the graduate degree,
  • Courses that integrate knowledge enrichment and skills enhancement with experiential learning, and theoretical and modern applications in the field of Counseling in numerous settings,
  • A variety of financial aid opportunities to give eligible graduate students the chance to complete their degree for the cheapest tuition and fees possible,
  • High-quality Learning Management Systems and platforms offering easy coursework access, seamless communication, and support.
  • A teaching faculty of high achievers, mostly comprised of industry professionals in the conventional classroom setting.

Check out our list of the 25 Most Affordable Online Schools for Master’s in Counseling! Use these page jumps:

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University of the Cumberlands
Fort Hays State University
Clark Summit University
University of Louisiana Monroe
Grand Canyon University
Indiana Wesleyan University
Angelo State University
Missouri State University
Liberty University
Adams State University
University of North Dakota
Missouri Baptist University
Touro University Worldwide
Campbellsville University
Gwynedd Mercy University
Regent University
Brandman University
New England College
Colorado Christian University
Oregon State University
Southern New Hampshire University
LeTourneau University
Nova Southeastern University
Lock Haven University
Seton Hall University

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University of the Cumberlands

Online Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Degree

Williamsburg, Kentucky

Tuition Fee: $400 per credit hour

The University of the Cumberlands’ affordable online Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Degree program delivers a superior academic experience for prospective counseling leaders and mental health counselors. Through the university’s School of Counseling, this counseling graduate program prepares graduates who are dedicated to the integrity of academic and professional excellence. To graduate from the program, prospective graduates must complete 60 credit hours of graduate-level coursework. Core counseling courses include Advanced Clinical Assessment, Lifestyle and Career Development, Theories in Counseling, Psychological Assessment in Clinical Practice, and Group Counseling. A 600-hour internship and a 100-hour practicum are both required for graduation.

Types of Aid: Institutional and External Scholarships, Loans, Grants, and Work-Study Programs

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed graduate application
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Official transcripts
  • Writing sample prompt
  • Two letters of reference

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
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The University of the Cumberlands helps graduate students to finance their education through loans, scholarships, and student employment opportunities. With only less than $500 per credit hour, the university offers one of the most affordable counseling graduate programs across Kentucky.

Learn more about University of the Cumberlands’ Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

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Fort Hays State University

MS in Counseling – School Counseling Distance Learning Degree Program

Hays, Kansas

Tuition Fee: $298.55 per credit hour

Fort Hays State University has an affordable online Master of Science in Counseling – School Counseling program that requires 48 credit hours for program completion. For candidates who don’t have a teaching background, they will complete an additional 6-credit hour Parallel Pathway courses, namely Working with Diverse and Exceptional Learners, and Understanding the Learner. Prospective graduates will take required courses such as Management of Counseling Programs, Lifespan Human Development, Social and Cultural Foundations of Counseling, Counseling Skills Development, and Theories of Counseling.

Types of Aid: Grants, Loans, Military Education Benefits, Scholarships, and Student Employment

Admission Requirements:

  • Baccalaureate degree
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • $40 application fee
  • Two letters of references
  • Professional goals statement
  • Official transcripts
  • Group interview
  • Background check

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
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Aside from affordable tuition rates, Fort Hays State University provides graduate learners with the opportunity to fund their studies. Once prospective students have completed their requirements for FAFSA, they can be eligible for scholarships, loan options, and grants.

Learn more about Fort Hays State University’s Master of Science in Counseling – School Counseling Program.

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Clark Summit University

MS in Counseling E-Learning Degree Program

South Abington Township, Pennsylvania

Tuition Fee: $565 per credit hour

Clark Summit University’s affordable online Master of Science in Counseling program trains and develops students’ skills and expertise for employment opportunities that require state licensure. The 60-credit hour counseling graduate program has an emphasis on a biblical counseling standard. It consists of 51 credit hours of required coursework plus nine credit hours of elective coursework. All graduate students must accomplish the internship and supervised practicum requirements before graduation. Biblical Theology of Counseling, Ethnicity, and Counseling, Evaluating Research, Understanding and Treating Addictions, and Counseling Interventions to Women are some of the required core courses to be completed by students. Depending on the students’ commitment, the program can be completed under four years.

Types of Aid: Tuition Discounts, Federal Direct Stafford Loans, PLUS Loans, and Alternative/Private Loans

Admission Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Completed graduate application form

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

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With a diverse range of financial aid, the Clark Summit University helps graduate students to reduce the costs of their graduate education. The university also offers a generous amount of transfer credits so its graduate students can save money in enrolling courses to be completed.

Learn more about the Clark Summit University’s Master of Science in Counseling Program.

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University of Louisiana Monroe

Online MS in Counseling: Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling

Monroe, Louisiana

Tuition Fee: $500 per credit hour

The affordable online Master of Science in Counseling program of the University of Louisiana Monroe has two tracks for degree specialization. Prospective graduates can either choose the Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling concentration. Aside from graduate-level coursework, they will participate in a one-year clinical experience that includes two semesters of internship and one semester of practicum. As a requirement, students must accomplish at least 100 hours of practicum experience and at least 600 hours within two semesters at an internship facility. Graduate students are responsible for searching for internship and practicum sites. Once they’ve found a prospective facility, they must first ask for approval from the university’s Practicum and Internship Coordinator.

Types of Aid: Grants, Loans, Alternative Loans, and Federal Work-Study Options

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • GRE/GMAT test scores
  • $40 application fee
  • Completed online graduate application
  • Official transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Interview
  • Personal statement

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
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The University of Louisiana Monroe’s financial assistance opportunities makes it possible for graduate students to complete their degrees with lesser expenses. To qualify for financial aid at ULM, prospective students must first complete their FAFSA requirements. They can be eligible for alternative loans, grants, and student employment opportunities.

Learn about the University of Louisiana Monroe’s Master of Science in Counseling Program.

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Grand Canyon University

MS in Addiction Counseling Online Degree

Phoenix, Arizona

Tuition Fee: $550 per credit hour

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences – Grand Canyon University offers an affordable online Master of Science in Addiction Counseling program, which requires credit hours. Online courses generally take eight weeks. Prospective graduates complete required courses such as Introduction to Addictions and Substance Use Disorders, Social and Cultural Diversity Issues in Counseling, Introduction to Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences, Psychopharmacology, and Addictions, and Counseling Chemical Dependency Adolescents. A practicum/internship requirement culminates in the graduate counseling program.

Types of Aid: Military TA Benefits, Unsubsidized Loans, Direct Grad PLUS Loans, Private Loans, Grants, and Scholarships

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed graduate application
  • Official transcripts
  • Baccalaureate degree
  • Minimum GPA of 2.8
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Two short responses to questions (Personal statement)

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

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Grand Canyon University has a diverse range of financial aid programs that help graduate students to minimize their graduate education expenses. Through completed FAFSA requirements, graduate students at GCU will have the opportunity to apply for scholarships, loans, and grants. If you’re one of the active-duty military personnel, you are qualified for military tuition assistance and benefits at Grand Canyon University.

Learn more about Grand Canyon University’s Master of Science in Addiction Counseling Program.

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Indiana Wesleyan University

Online MA in Counseling with Six Specializations

Marion, Indiana

Tuition Fee: $578 per credit hour

Through the Division of Graduate Counseling, Indiana Wesleyan University offers an affordable online Master of Arts in Counseling program with six specializations to choose from. These specializations include Clinical Addictions Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Community Care, Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy, School Counseling, and Student Development Administration. Students pursuing the School Counseling specialization must complete 48 credit hours for graduation. They complete required courses such as Appraisal of Individuals and Families, Theory and Techniques in the Helping Relationship, Legal, Ethical and Professional Issues, Human Growth and Development, and Research and Evaluation of Methods and Practice. Three courses of supervised internship are required for program completion.

Types of Aid: Scholarships, Assistantships, Grants, and Bramsen Endowment for Family Counseling

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • 6-credit hour Psychology, including 3-credit hour Abnormal Psychology
  • GRE scores
  • Writing sample
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal interview

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
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With a variety of financial aid opportunities, Indiana Wesleyan University offers graduate students opportunities to finance their studies. They can be eligible for several scholarships, grants, and assistantship programs. To be eligible, they must initially submit complete requirements for their FAFSA.

Learn more about Indiana Wesleyan University’s Master of Arts in Counseling Program.

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Angelo State University

MS in Professional School Counseling E-Learning Degree Program

San Angelo, Texas

Tuition Fee: $778.80 per credit hour (Resident) | $1,187.80 per credit hour (Non-Resident)

Angelo State University offers an inexpensive online Master of Science in Professional School Counseling program designed for prospective graduates interested in professions as Texas school counselors. Students must complete 48 credit hours so they can graduate from the program. The university offers 8-week courses entirely online. Career and Occupational Counseling, Tests and Measurements, Comprehensive School Counseling Programs, Professional Writing for Educators, and Legal and Ethical Principles are some of the required courses of the counseling graduate program. Prospective graduates gain additional expertise through practicum and internship programs.

Types of Aid: Carr Academic Graduate Scholarships, Federal/State/Institutional Grants, Federal and State Work-Study Programs, Alternative Education Loans, and Federal Direct PLUS Loans

Admission Requirements:

  • Baccalaureate degree
  • Completed application for admission
  • Official transcripts
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75
  • Essay

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

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Angelo State University provides financial assistance for graduate students in the form of educational loans, grants, and scholarships. It’s one of the common ways to fund graduate students’ education. Aside from standard admissions, prospective students must also complete their FAFSA requirements so they can qualify for financial aid at Angelo State University.

Learn more about Angelo State University’s Master of Science in Professional School Counseling Program.

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Missouri State University

Online MS in School Counseling

Springfield, Missouri

Tuition Fee: $3,125 per semester (Resident) | $5,762 per semester (Non-Resident)

Missouri State University has an affordable online Master of Science in School Counseling program that trains and develops graduate students with a concrete foundation in counseling. Prospective graduates will complete required courses such as Professional Orientation and Ethical Practice in School and Mental Health Counseling, Introduction to Research and Program Evaluation, Social-Cultural Diversity in Counseling, Theories, and Techniques of Counseling, and Human Growth and Development. Students need to complete 60 credit hours.

Types of Aid: Scholarships, Loans, Grants, Graduate Assistantships, and Federal Work-Study Programs

Admission Requirements:

  • Non-refundable $55 application fee
  • Undergraduate degree
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75

Accreditation:

  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Higher Learning Commission
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Missouri State University offers scholarships, grants, and graduate assistantships exclusively for graduate learners. To qualify for financial assistance, graduate students are encouraged to apply at Missouri State’s FAFSA.

Learn more about Missouri State University’s Master of Science in School Counseling Program.

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Liberty University

Online Master’s Degree in School Counseling

Lynchburg, Virginia

Tuition Fee: $565 per credit hour

Liberty University’s affordable online Master’s in School Counseling program can be completed in as few as 24 months. Liberty’s 8-week courses have eight different start dates per academic year. The counseling program helps prospective graduates gain the self-confidence they require to become competent counselors. Some of the required courses include School Counseling Program Development and Evaluation, Principles of School Counseling, Educational Assessment and Intervention, and Foundations of Education. Prospective graduates must have 48 credit hours for program completion. Aside from graduate-level coursework, a 2-semester internship and a practicum program are required for completion.

Types of Aid: Tuition Assistance, Loans, Grants, Institutional and Outside Scholarships, Payment Plans, Military Benefits, and Student Employment

Admission Requirements:

  • $50 application fee
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Graduate admission application
  • Official transcripts
  • Two references
  • Personal statement
  • Proof of English proficiency

Accreditation:

  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
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Liberty University’s wide range of financial aid opportunities helps graduate learners to finance their graduate studies. With tuition assistance, loans, payment plans, and grants, graduate students at Liberty University makes it possible to complete their program without hefty financial expenses. They may also be eligible for military benefits if they’re active-duty military personnel, veteran, or the spouse of a service member.

Learn more about Liberty University’s Masters in School Counseling Program.

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Adams State University

MA in Clinical Health Counseling Distance Learning Program

Alamosa, Colorado

Tuition Fee: $452.80 per credit hour

The affordable online Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Adams State University provides graduate students with a diverse range of diagnostic skillset and expertise. Upon graduation from the MA counseling program, prospective students have already completed one of three requirements for becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor. They must complete core courses such as Counseling Theories and Helping Relationships, Introduction to Research, Foundations of Addictions Counseling, Career Development, and Counseling the Couple, Family & System. Aside from graduate coursework, prospective graduates must undergo 40 hours of practicum experience and 240 hours of internship as culminating requirements.

Types of Aid: Military Tuition Assistance, Grants, Grizzly Persistence Aid, Loans, Scholarships, Summer Financial Aid, and Student Employment

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed graduate online application
  • $30 non-refundable application fee
  • Baccalaureate degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75
  • Personal statement
  • Two online letters of recommendation

Accreditation:

  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Higher Learning Commission
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With a variety of financial aid programs, Adams State University provides graduate students with the opportunity to reduce the costs of their graduate program. The university also provides comprehensive military support services for military, veterans, and their dependents. To qualify for financial help, complete FAFSA, and comply with standard enrollment procedures.

Learn more about Adams State University’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

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University of North Dakota

Online MA in Counseling: K-12 School Counseling

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Tuition Fee: $534.40 per credit hour

The University of North Dakota has an affordable online Master of Arts in Counseling program with an emphasis in K-12 School Counseling designed for busy working professionals. Completion of the program helps prospective graduates to be eligible for the state department of education licensure in North Dakota. Prospective graduates must have 60 credit hours so they can earn their graduate degrees. Some of the core required courses include Life-Span Development in Counseling, School Counseling and Program Management, Multicultural Counseling, Ethics: Counseling and Counseling Psychology, and Theories of Counseling, Personality, and Development.

Types of Aid: Graduate Teaching/Research Assistantships, Student Jobs, Loans, Grants, Scholarships, Military and Veterans Benefits, and Waivers

Admission Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75
  • Passed GRE test scores
  • Proof of academic-level proficiency in English
  • Accomplished of the School Counseling Supplemental application form
  • Two to three pages of personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Professional resume
  • Online interview

Accreditation:

  • Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation
  • Higher Learning Commission
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The University of North Dakota provides graduate learners with the opportunity to fund their graduate education. Graduate students may also qualify for military and veterans’ benefits as well as their spouse and other dependents. With the accomplishment of FAFSA, graduate students at UND can apply for waivers, grants, loans, and scholarship programs.

Learn about the University of North Dakota’s Master of Arts in Counseling (K-12 School Counseling Emphasis) Program.

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Missouri Baptist University

MA in School Counseling Online Degree

Saint Louis, Missouri

Tuition Fee: $663 per credit hour

Missouri Baptist University offers an affordable online Master of Arts in School Counseling program that trains and equips prospective graduates with Missouri Certification requirements and credentials for a secondary and elementary school guidance counselor. As a graduate learner at MBU, you will have the opportunity to learn exclusively from Christian faculty while also being mentored and trained. The program requires around 60 credit hours. Advanced Human Development, Assessment and Testing, Crisis, Trauma, and Disaster Counseling, School Counseling Program Implementation and Leadership, and Career Counseling are some of the core required courses that graduate students will complete. Also, they must complete a total of 600 hours of supervised counseling experience within elementary and secondary school settings.

Types of Aid: Veterans Assistance, Loans, Scholarships, Grants, Veterans Assistance, and Merit-Based Awards

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75
  • Background check
  • Missouri Educator Profile (MEP) School Counselor Development Report
  • Accomplished graduate admission application
  • $35 application fee
  • Official transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Professional statement

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

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Through Missouri Baptist University’s diverse range of financial aid opportunities, graduate learners can lessen their graduate studies expenses. They can apply for scholarship opportunities, merit-based awards, and grants once they have accomplished their FAFSA at MBU. Each prospective student is encouraged to apply at MBU’s financial aid programs.

Learn more about Missouri Baptist University’s Master of Arts in School Counseling Program.

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Touro University Worldwide

Online Master’s Degree in Marriage & Family Therapy

Los Alamitos, California

Tuition Fee: $500 per credit

The affordable online Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy at Touro University Worldwide helps graduate students to meet the demands of a new healthcare market influenced by the Health Care Reform Act. It delivers a course of study dedicated to the mental health sector and helps prepare prospective graduates to function adequately to foster the well-being of families and couples. The MFT program is offered in three specialty tracks, namely Clinical Track, Non-Clinical Track, and Licensed Professional Clinical Counseling Track (LPCC). Students who are pursuing the Non-Clinical Track will no longer complete the clinical hour and practicum course requirements. The Clinical Track requires 72 credit hours, while the LPCC requires 82 credit hours for completion. MFT tracks, except the Non-Clinical, track require 500 hours of practicum client hours as a culminating experience.

Types of Aid: GI Bill Benefits, Grants, Military Spouse and Family Education Benefits, Military Education Benefits, Federal Unsubsidized Loans, and Graduate PLUS Loans

Admission Requirements:

  • Baccalaureate degree
  • Minimum GPA of 2.5
  • Completed application form
  • Official transcripts

Accreditation:

  • Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission
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Touro University Worldwide offers graduate students the gateway to help them ease their financial burden incurred by completing a graduate program. With different types of loans, grants, and military benefits, qualified graduate students at TUW will complete their graduate degrees without accumulating a massive amount of debt.

Learn more about Touro University Worldwide’s Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy Program.

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Campbellsville University

Online MA in Education – School Guidance Counseling

Campbellsville, Kentucky

Tuition Fee: $299 per credit

Campbellsville University’s affordable online Master of Arts in Education – School Guidance Counseling program provides prospective graduates with the skillset and expertise that school guidance counselors require. With a counseling program that is deeply influenced and rooted in Christian and ethical values, prospective graduates can transform the lives of students after graduation. The program requires three internship programs that provide real-world experience in a supervised school guidance counseling environment. Two internships require 100 hours of clinical fieldwork, while the last internship consists of 200 hours of fieldwork. Some of the core required courses include Cultural Competency, College and Career Readiness for All Learners, Foundations of Leadership, Ethics in School Counseling, Human Development, and Counseling Students Impacted by Substance Abuse. A total of 48 credit hours is needed for program completion.

Types of Aid: Military and Veterans Benefits, Payment Plans, and Scholarships

Admission Requirements:

  • Accomplished online application
  • Undergraduate degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Official Transcript Request Form
  • One-page essay
  • GRE test scores
  • Two references

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
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Campbellsville University is recognized as one of the most affordable Christian universities in the country. With less than $500 per credit hour tuition, graduate students can reasonably complete their counseling program. Aside from very affordable tuition rates, Campbellsville University offers scholarship programs and payment plans for students to finance their graduate studies.

Learn more about Campbellsville University’s Master of Arts in Education – School Guidance Counseling Program.

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Gwynedd Mercy University

Master’s in School Counseling E-Learning Degree

Gwynedd Mercy University

Tuition Fee: $650 per credit hour

The affordable online Master’s in School Counseling program at Gwynedd Mercy University is designed to prepare prospective graduates for professional practice in K-12 backgrounds. It has a scientist-practitioner model that trains and develops students for guidance and support, and advocates on their behalf. The online counseling graduate program has 48 credit hours of coursework. Some of the core required courses include Assessment Techniques in Counseling, Organization of School Counseling, Human Development, Group Counseling, and Facilitation Skills, and Curriculum Development and Peer Coaching. Aside from graduate-level courses, prospective graduates must complete 100 hours of practicum experience and a total of 600 hours of supervised internship that is allocated across three internship facilities.

Types of Aid: Grants, and Scholarships

Admission Requirements:

  • Baccalaureate degree
  • Completion of undergraduate prerequisites
  • Official transcripts
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Accomplished graduate application
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Three to five pages of personal statement
  • Personal interview

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

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Gwynedd Mercy University offers an opportunity to minimize the expenses acquired in completing a graduate program through scholarship programs and grants. Before applying to GMercyU’s types of financial aid, prospective students must complete their FAFSA requirements first.

Learn more about Gwynedd Mercy University’s Masters in School Counseling Program.

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Regent University

Online MA in School Counseling

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Tuition Fee: $710 per credit hour (In-State & Out-of-State)

The School of Psychology & Counseling at Regent University offers an affordable online Master of Arts in School Counseling program that requires 60 credit hours for graduation. Depending on the students’ pace, they can earn their graduate degree within four years. 16-week course sessions are available depending on the students’ needs. Prospective graduates must accomplish required courses such as Assessment Techniques in Counseling, Orientation to the Counseling Profession, Counseling and Christian Thought, Theories of Counseling, and Career & Lifestyle Development. Aside from internship and coursework completion, students must also pass the CPCE Exit Exam to graduate from the program.

Types of Aid: TEACH Grant, Graduate PLUS Loans, Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant, Loan Forgiveness, Scholarships, Private Grants, and Private/Alternative Loans

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed application form
  • $50 non-refundable application fee
  • Accomplished Academic Background Questionnaire Licensure Survey
  • Resume
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • GRE/MAT scores
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Copy of a government-issued ID
  • Pre-admissions interview

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
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With numerous financial aid opportunities for graduate learners, Regent University provides graduate students opportunities to fund their graduate education. They may be qualified to apply for the TEACH grant, loan forgiveness, different types of loans, and tuition assistance.  Aside from Regent’s standard enrollment procedure, prospective graduates must also complete their FAFSA requirements.

Learn more about Regent University’s Master of Arts in School Counseling Program.

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Brandman University

MA in Counseling & Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Counseling Online Program

Irvine, California

Tuition Fee: $660 per credit hour

Brandman University has an affordable online Master of Arts in Counseling and Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Counseling program. The program streamlines the process by minimizing the steps to becoming a school counselor. In terms of residency status, the program is only available to residents of California. Candidates who already hold Master’s in Counseling, Social Work, and Marriage and Family Therapy have a standalone School Counseling Credential.

Prospective students must have reached at least 45 credit hours to be eligible for graduation. Counseling and School Psychology, Transition to Work and Career, Introduction to the Ethical Practice of School Counseling, Group Leadership and Intervention, Leadership and Systems Change, and Best Practices in Counseling are some of the core required courses to be completed by graduate students.

Types of Aid: Military and Veterans Benefits, William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Direct Grad PLUS Loans, and Alternative Loans

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed application form
  • Undergraduate degree
  • One out of 4 GPA requirements
  • Official transcripts
  • Two to three pages of an autobiographical essay
  • Current resume
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Passed the California Basic Skills Test or any CTC-approved necessary skills test

Accreditation: WSCUC Senior College and University Commission

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Brandman University helps prospective students to fund their graduate program through different kinds of loans. They may be eligible for veterans’ benefits as well as loan options. For application to different loans, prospective graduate students must complete their FAFSA requirements first.

Learn more about Brandman University’s Master of Arts in Counseling and Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Counseling Program.

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New England College

Online MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Henniker, New Hampshire

Tuition Fee: $576 per credit hour

New England College offers an affordable online Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. It is a rigorous one-year program that provides graduate students the educational preparation for licensure in a students’ home state. Students must complete 60 credit hours so they can graduate from the counseling program. The online courses are delivered in 12-week terms. They must take required courses such as Introduction to Counseling, Skills in Helping Relationships, Counseling Theories and Techniques, Social and Cultural Foundations, and Crisis and Trauma Counseling. Internship and practicum requirements are both required aside from the coursework completion. NEC has strong partnerships with counseling and mental health organizations that can be graduate students’ potential sites for internship and practicum.

Types of Aid: Assistantships, Scholarships, Federal Direct Stafford Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loans, Private Loan Programs, and Federal and Institutional Work-Study Options

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed online application
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Resume
  • One letter of recommendation
  • 750-word personal statement

Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education

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With numerous financial aid programs, New England College helps graduate learners to lessen the expenses acquired while pursuing graduate programs. With the accomplishment of their FAFSA requirements, prospective graduates can be eligible for scholarships, loans, student employment opportunities, and assistantships. The school also offers graduate assistantships that graduate students can earn some form of stipends.

Learn more about New England College’s Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

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Colorado Christian University

Online MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Degree

Lakewood, Colorado

Tuition Fee: $681 per credit hour

Colorado Christian University proudly offers an affordable online Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at its College of Adult and Graduate Studies. Depending on the students’ level of commitment, they will complete their program within 2.5 years. Online courses are generally completed in 7-week or 14-week blocks. Aside from a set of coursework, they are required to participate in three separate 5-day residential training at the university’s Lakewood Campus. The program academically prepares prospective graduates to qualify for the National Counselor Exam. Prospective graduates must earn 60 credit hours so they can graduate from the counseling program. Counseling core required courses include Theories of Personality and Counseling, Psychopharmacology, Theories of Groups and Group Counseling, Social and Cultural Foundations, and Human Growth and Development.

Types of Aid: Scholarships, Grants, Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Private/Alternative Loans, and Military Education Benefits

Admission Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree
  • Accomplished application for admission
  • Program-specific essays
  • Valid passport/state-issued ID/state-issued driver’s license
  • Curriculum vitae or resume
  • Official transcripts
  • Minimum GPA of 2.5
  • Passed criminal background check through CastleBranch
  • Accomplished Candidacy Writing Sample
  • Admission interview

Accreditation:

  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Higher Learning Commission
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Colorado Christian University’s financial aid options make graduate students complete their degrees in an affordable and more achievable way. The university has a dedicated financial aid staff to assist graduate students readily. The team helps them tailor specific financial aid programs to supplement in reducing the cost of their program.

Learn more about Colorado Christian University’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

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Oregon State University

Hybrid MC in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Corvallis, Oregon

Tuition Fee: $10,803 per term

The College of Education – Oregon State University offers an affordable online Master of Counseling in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program taught by world-class counseling faculty members with a strong counseling reputation within the university. The program is designed to provide prospective graduates with the essential theories and practices to offer professional counseling services within the community. As part of a hybrid curriculum, the program requires in-person attendance held two Fridays and Saturdays per semester. A part-time commitment allows students to complete their programs in three to four years. Crisis, Trauma & Grief Counseling, Social and Cultural Perspectives, Applied Psychopathology and Psychodiagnosis, LifeStyle & Career Development, and Family Counseling are some of the required courses to be taken by graduate students.

Types of Aid: Fellowships, Scholarships, Graduate PLUS Federal Loan, State Aid, Institutional Aid, Private Loans, Oregon Teachers Scholar Program, and External Scholarships

Admission Requirements:

  • Baccalaureate degree
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Two to three pages of a statement of objectives
  • In-person interview
  • Official transcripts
  • Resume or CV

Accreditation:

  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
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Oregon State University remains steadfast in its commitment to providing affordable and more accessible quality education to both undergraduates and graduates. That said, the university offers a diverse range of financial aid options in the form of scholarships, loans, aid, and fellowships. To be eligible, prospective students must comply with the FAFSA requirements.

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Learn more about Oregon State University’s Master of Counseling in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program,

Southern New Hampshire University

Online MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Manchester, New Hampshire

Tuition Fee: $627 per credit hour

The affordable online Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Southern New Hampshire University requires 60 credit hours. The program includes two mandatory face-to-face residency requirements to help graduate students in strengthening their workforce capabilities. Through the 60-credit hour program, prospective graduates will immerse themselves in treatment plans and development theories through the university’s experienced faculty’s guidance. They will complete core counseling courses such as Theories of Counseling, Career Counseling, Substance Use Disorders, and Process Addictions, Diversity in Counseling, and Research Methods and Program Evaluation. Aside from two residencies and coursework, graduate students must complete a 600-hour internship and a 100-hour practicum experience.

Types of Aid: Federal Work-Study Options, Scholarships, Grants, Student Loans, External Scholarships, and Military Education Benefits

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • $40 application fee
  • Personal statement
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Acknowledgment forms

Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education

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Aside from inexpensive tuition rates, Southern New Hampshire University makes it easier and more accessible to earn a graduate program. Once prospective graduates have completed their FAFSA requirements, they may be eligible for scholarships, loans, and other educational benefits.

Learn more about Southern New Hampshire University’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

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LeTourneau University

Distance Learning MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Longview, Texas

Tuition Fee: $615 per credit hour

LeTourneau University has an affordable online Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling offered at the university’s School of Psychology and Counseling. The graduate counseling program will train and equip prospective graduates to help people live more functional lives in a popular industry. They will participate with a caring team of reputable and well-respected faculty who are dedicated to preparing graduate students to have rewarding and meaningful careers in the counseling settings. To graduate, students must have 66 credit hours. Some of the core required courses include Lifespan Human Development, Counseling Skills and Techniques, Counseling Diverse Population, Ethical, Legal and Professional Standards in Counseling, and Applied Lab and Treatment Planning.

Types of Aid: Federal PELL Grant, Federal TEACH Grant, Texas Tuition Equalization Grant, Work-Study Program, Private Loans, Federal Direct Student Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loans, Texas College Access Loan, and Scholarships

Admission Requirements:

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

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LeTourneau University offers a wide variety of financial aid programs to help graduate students to minimize the expenses of earning a graduate program. With the submission of complete FAFSA requirements, prospective students will be qualified for grants, scholarships, and student employment opportunities. More than 90% of students at LeTourneau receive financial aid; thus, all applicants are encouraged to apply.

Learn more about LeTourneau University’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

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Nova Southeastern University

MS in Counseling Online Degree with Five Concentrations

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Tuition Fee: $815 per credit hour

Nova Southeastern University offers an affordable online Master of Science in Counseling programs that has five concentrations to choose from. The concentrations include Applied Behavior Analysis, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, Substance Abuse Counseling, and Substance Abuse Counseling and Education. For students pursuing the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, they are required to have 60 credit hours to graduate. They will complete core courses such as Human Growth and Development, Counseling Theories and Practice, Diagnosis and Treatment of Adult Psychopathology, Substance Abuse, and Psychological Testing for Individual Evaluation. Both practicum and internship programs are required for graduation, aside from graduate-level courses.

Types of Aid: Veterans Benefits, Grants, Scholarships, Payment Plans, and Loans

Admission Requirements:

  • $50 non-refundable application fee
  • Completed application
  • Baccalaureate degree
  • Minimum GPA of 2.5
  • Personal statement
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Interview

Accreditation:  Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

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Nova Southeastern University makes graduate education more affordable and attainable through different types of financial assistance. Prospective graduates must submit their FAFSA requirements in a separate application, aside from the university’s standard admission processes. Upon completion of FAFSA, they may be eligible to become scholarship awardees, avail of loan options, and other need-based or merit-based grants.

Learn more about Nova Southeastern University’s Master of Science in Counseling Program.

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Online Master of Clinical Mental Health Counseling Degree Program

Lock Haven University

Lock Haven, Pennsylvania

Tuition Fee: $2,068.20 per semester (Residents) | $2,999.70 per semester (Non-Residents)

Lock Haven University’s inexpensive online Master of Clinical Mental Health Counseling program prepares students to become licensure-ready for the counseling industry in many states throughout the US!

This program has three specialty tracks, namely Counseling Military/Veterans and their Families, Counseling Children and Adolescents, and General Clinical Mental Health Counseling. About sixty credit hours must be reached for completion of the program. 51 out of 60 credit hours are based on graduate-level counseling coursework. Multicultural Counseling, Psychopathology and Differential Diagnosis, Group Counseling, Assessment & Testing in Mental Health Counseling, and Career Development and Counseling are some of the core required courses in the CMHC program. A 600-hour internship and a 100-hour practicum are also needed for graduation.

Types of Aid: Graduate PLUS Loans, Alternative Loans, Graduate Assistantships, and Scholarships

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed online application
  • Official transcripts
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of professional goals
  • Faculty and group interview

Accreditation:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
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Lock Haven University’s different types of financial aid options help both undergraduates and graduates to finance their studies. A team of financial aid experts is readily available to help prospective graduate students at Lock Haven to provide them with the right financial aid package. To qualify for financial assistance, applicants must submit complete FAFSA requirements.

Learn more about Lock Haven University’s Master of Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

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Seton Hall University

Online MA in School Counseling

South Orange, New Jersey

Tuition Fee: $1,354 per credit

The affordable online Master of Arts in School Counseling program at Seton Hall University is delivered through the university’s College of Education and Human Services. The 48-credit hour program has a foundation, core counseling, and clinical coursework, as well as an internship program that culminates in the program. Throughout the graduate counseling program, prospective students obtain the expertise and skillset to offer counseling, prevention, and early diagnosis services to help adults and children achieve optimal development. The program has garnered approval from the New Jersey Department of Education. Depending on the students’ preference, they can earn their degrees in eight semesters over 2 to 2.5 years of study. A face-to-face residency requirement is required at the start of the program. Prospective graduates will take required courses such as Abnormal Psychology, Counseling Skills, Psychology of Human Development, Counseling and Community Agencies, and Appraisal and Assessment in Counseling.

Types of Aid: Federal Direct Loan, Loan Repayment, Alternative Loan, Graduate Assistantships, Scholarships, Corporate Tuition Reimbursement, Corporate Direct Bill Arrangements, Scholarships, and External Fellowships

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed application for graduate admission
  • Baccalaureate degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Three letters of professional recommendation
  • Resume
  • Personal statement
  • $75 application fee

Accreditation:

  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
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With numerous financial aid options for both undergraduates and graduates, Seton Hall University offers a more affordable and achievable way to finish their studies. For professional students, the university offers corporate tuition reimbursement for eligible applicants. Students can also apply for graduate assistantships that help them earn stipends to fund their graduate studies.

Learn more about Seton Hall University’s Master of Arts in School Counseling Program.

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How much do students usually pay in a Master’s in Counseling program?

Both on-campus and online master’s programs in counseling differ significantly in tuition and fees. When looking for a suitable degree program, you should take note of other factors aside from the per credit hour costs. On-campus graduate students generally have more expenses beyond tuition. Additional expenses include technology fees, books and supplies, transportation, and room/lodging expenses. Prospective graduates pursuing a master’s degree in counseling online can significantly save money on housing/accommodation, relocation expenses, and transportation. Distance learning isn’t necessarily more affordable than on-campus fees.

An online master’s degree in counseling typically ranges from $200 to $600 per credit hour in terms of tuition rates. Some schools also have online degree programs costing up to $1,000 per credit hour. In many cases, an online Master’s degree in Counseling program requires 36 to 60 credit hours. That said, tuition fees alone cost between $18,000 to $65,000 per academic year, depending on your school. On-campus master’s degrees in counseling programs have almost the same tuition rates, but additional expenses are also accounted for in terms of moving, transportation, and accommodation.

What are the possible careers for Master’s degree in Counseling degree holders?

  • Marriage and Family Therapists (Median Annual Wage: $49,610) – Marriage and Family Therapists help patients work through challenging phases in their lives, such as career changes and divorce. They are taught how to cope with stressful situations as well as developing good habits for redirecting thought processes. These professionals begin by assessing or evaluating their patients then identify if they can treat them themselves or refer them to a specialist. MFTs are required to have a master’s degree in psychology or counseling before practicing in their professions. All states have a mandatory requirement that all therapists should be licensed and have completed 2,000 to 5,000 hours of supervised practicum or clinical experience.
  • Genetic Counselors (Median Annual Wage: $81,880) – Genetic Counselors work directly with patients and assess their medical histories. Also, these professionals examine prospective genetic health concerns in their futures and counsel them on how to deal with health issues. They also refer patients to specialists in specific medical fields to further diagnose and assist them beyond initial assessments and counseling. In most cases, a state licensure examination and masters’ degree in counseling is required.
  • Rehabilitation Counselors (Median Annual Wage: $35,950) – Rehabilitation Counselors help patients with physical and mental challenges, generally when they’re going through transitory periods in their lives. These professionals work with the military personnel in coping up with their physical and mental effects of active service. Also, rehabilitation counselors work with graduate students while transitioning into the workforce. They also work with the elderly who require assistance with everything related to their disabilities, injuries, or illnesses. The majority of employers require rehabilitation counselors to complete a master’s degree in counseling or any related discipline. Depending on the state, licensure requirements vary. To increase your earning and career potential, becoming a certified counselor should be in your plans.
  • School Counselors (Median Annual Wage: $57,040) – School Counselors are generally employed in private elementary and secondary, local, and state schools. They interact directly with learners in small groups or exclusive one-to-one sessions. These professionals assist students in planning for their future and cope with stress in their everyday lives. School counselors also teach students, staff, and teachers about careers, college, drug abuse, and bullying. Some states and academic institutions require school counselors to earn both state-issued licensure, endorsement, or certification, and a master’s degree in counseling.
  • Substance Abuse Counselors (Median Annual Wage: $46,240) – Substance Abuse Counselors assist patients, as well as their families, recognize addiction issues and problematic behavior and habits. After that, they develop treatment plans for patients’ recovery. They coach their patients on coping mechanisms and methods to transform their daily routine. These professionals refer clients when required to specialists and other resources to ensure they receive the optimum treatment and care they need. The majority of substance abuse counselors have state licensure and a master’s degree in counseling.
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What are the standard requirements for admission for an online Master’s in Counseling program?

Each graduate student admission application undergoes a comprehensive review by the respective school’s admission team. It is to assess whether candidates would thrive in the graduate counseling program. Depending on the school’s admission requirements, writing samples and personal statements play a significant role. Admissions in a masters’ degree in counseling are almost similar to applications for other traditional degrees; however, they’re slightly more comprehensive. In general, applicants will submit GRE scores, letters of recommendation, copies of official transcripts, statement of purpose, CV/resume, and graduate admission application form.

An Online master’s degree in counseling programs’ admissions may also include a personal or group interview between the applicants, and the admissions team/faculty. When choosing potential programs, consider the test scores and GPA. Also, you must carefully examine how well you’ll fit and thrive with the department’s program curriculum, strengths, and vision.

Prerequisites:

  • Licensure
  • Minimum GPA
  • Undergraduate degree
  • Work/Professional Experience

Common Admission Requirements:

  • Application Fee
  • Application for Graduate Admission
  • GRE/GMAT Scores
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Official Transcripts
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