To become a counselor through an online program in today’s society is a solid undertaking. It’s not solely the Covid-19 pandemic and its subsequent restrictions for education that warrants a counseling degree online, yet it can be viewed as the driving force. There are other–more sufficient–reasons to view an online psychology counseling degree as a career path, however, and the why’s are equally as important as the where’s and the when’s.
For example, the counseling profession boasts high projected growth rates of 14%-29% through the year 2029. Mental health counselors will be more in demand; specialty areas of substance abuse, marriage and family counseling, and behavioral disorders have a strong outlook for job growth, especially in rural and underserved communities. A counseling degree online education can be an affordable alternative to attending classes on campus. An online program prepares job seekers and career enthusiasts with independent and individual counseling opportunities once they graduate.
Methodology: How We Ranked the Best Online Counseling Degree Programs
Bachelor’s Degree Center knows that online students want to see their education pay off, so editors feature only legitimate, accredited institutions. From our initial pool, programs are ranked according to their alumni salary, cost, and student reviews, so prospective students can trust that their online degree in counseling will be worth it.
1. Washington State University Global Campus
Washington State University Global Campus offers the best online counseling degree programs for students who are interested in working as a counselor or another similar profession. Students must learn the value of listening as well as have the ability to be compassionate and understanding. Counseling degree programs have many different specializations to choose from. With a clinical counseling concentration, students will be able to assist their patients with their mental and emotional well-being.
Washington State University – Global Campus is well-known for its academic excellence and willingness to provide its students with every advantage. The commitment the university has to its students is well-known throughout the academic community. Earning the best online counseling degree is just the first step.
What We Like: Faculty members are always working to ensure that students who are participating in an online degree program have priority access to an instructor if a problem arises.
Degree: Clinical Counseling concentration
2. University of Wyoming
The University of Wyoming provides one of the best online counseling degree programs in the western states. As an online course for students who are in their Junior/Senior years, the counseling degree program provides essential skills that will help the student identify specific behaviors and assist their patients in overcoming any obstacles they may face. Having a degree in psychology will allow the student to work directly with patients, providing them peace of mind and reassurance that is needed as they face difficult times.
The University of Wyoming has a solid reputation for providing excellent academic courses for its students who are pursuing an online counseling degree. Faculty members are able to offer sound advice from real-life experiences that will help the student gain additional understanding of delicate matters.
What We Like: As students complete their counseling degree, they can begin to look forward to a long and productive career as a psychologist.
3. Drexel University
Drexel University provides students with the best online counseling degree programs available in the area. Students are taught how to analyze and identify specific behaviors to help patients overcome anxiety, depression, and many other mental or emotional problems they may be experiencing. Teaching students compassion and understanding is only part of the equation. Students who earn a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Counseling can use their degree to assist their clients overcome even the most difficult times.
Drexel University is one of the most well-known schools of higher learning when it comes to quality coursework and exemplary staff. Faculty members work to assist their students so that they understand every aspect of the field they are interested in entering. An online counseling degree program may be just what is needed for the student to succeed in reaching their ultimate goal of becoming a counselor.
What We Like: The online coursework makes it easy for students to work and take part in their classes at the same time.
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Counseling
4. East Central University
East Central University offers the best online counseling degree programs for students who are interested in a career in human services counseling. This type of degree gives the student the skills they need to assist people who are having mental and emotional issues. By identifying specific behaviors, a counselor can assist the patient in overcoming obstacles and challenges that may have a detrimental effect on their overall health and well-being. With an online B.A. in Human Services counseling.
East Central University is a proven leader when it comes to academic excellence. The online counseling degree programs offer the same quality coursework as the programs that are taught in the classroom. Faculty members have spent years in their field helping others. As instructors at the college level, they are now offering their expertise to the students who are now taking their place as counselors and mentors.
What We Like: The university’s online counseling programs are designed to help build the future careers of its students.
Degree: B.A. in Human Services Counseling
5. Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University’s BS in Counseling gives students who are interested in enrolling in the best online counseling degree programs the opportunity to do so. The programs offered by the university give the student the knowledge they need to help their patients overcome issues they may have with drugs, alcohol, or other substances. Students who earn a BS in counseling with an emphasis on addiction, chemical dependency, and substance abuse can help their patients work through their problems and get the rehabilitation treatment they need.
Grand Canyon University is well-known for its dedication to its students as well as its commitment to academic excellence. By offering online courses, the university is able to give students who must remain employed an opportunity to earn their education and move on to a bigger, better career. Every student who enrolls in the university’s online counseling degree program is one step closer to a more secure future.
What We Like: Faculty members make themselves available for students who may run into an obstacle or two along the way.
Degree: BS in Counseling with an Emphasis in Addiction, Chemical Dependency, and Substance Abuse
6. University of South Dakota
The University of South Dakota offers students who are interested in a career as a counselor the best online counseling degree programs available in the area. These programs provide the student with the ability to identify potential addictive behaviors and assist patients in learning how to cope with their addictions. With a degree in addiction counseling, students can find work in rehabilitation centers or as counselors who assist their patients on an outpatient basis. This type of degree program allows the student the satisfaction of knowing they are making a difference in their patients’ lives.
Online counseling degree programs provide the flexibility that many students need to be able to return to school. With the right degree program and professional faculty members who can offer guidance and support, students are able to earn their degree and create a career they can be proud of. Being able to help individuals with addiction counseling can literally change their lives. Having the ability to help will make the student the catalyst for that change.
What We Like: The University of South Dakota is one of many schools that offers the highest quality of coursework to its students.
Degree: Addiction Counseling
7. Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University’s Clinical Counseling Psychology BA gives students an opportunity to enroll in the best online counseling degree programs in the state of Florida. These programs are created to provide psychology students with the resources they need to offer assistance to individuals who are coping with mental or emotional stress. Students are taught how to listen without judgment and use the knowledge they receive to help their patients make it through a difficult period. Earning a B.A. Psychology – Clinical/Counseling, is the key to being able to help the individuals who need it the most.
Saint Leo University is commonly thought of as one of the top Catholic universities in the state of Florida. The university offers accredited degree programs that students can use to build their careers. Experienced faculty members offer insight that students won’t get out of a textbook. They work hand in hand with their students to ensure they have a firm understanding of the materials being presented.
What We Like: With a B.A. in clinical counseling, graduates can begin to lay the foundation for their careers.
Degree: B.A. Psychology – Clinical/Counseling
8. Faulkner University
Faulkner University’s BA in Counseling Psychology offers students the best online counseling degree programs they can use to become counselors in a variety of settings. Courses in these programs include ethics, behavioral sciences, communication, and sociology. Students are taught how to be effective listeners so they can get to the root of their patients’ problems. With a B.A. in Counseling Psychology, students are able to learn the skills and abilities they will need to be effective at helping their patients get the peace of mind they need.
Faulkner University has over 27 online programs. Because of the large number of online degree programs, students from all over the world can enroll. With over 35 countries being represented in online and traditional classrooms, almost 50% of the student population is made up of minorities. The average class size is approximately 15 students. This makes it easy for students to get the one on one attention they need.
What We Like: Having a B.A. degree in clinical counseling is the best way to build a career as a counselor.
Degree: Counseling Psychology (B.A.)
Faulkner University BA in Counseling Psychology
9. Walden University
Walden University gives counseling students an opportunity to enroll in one of the best online counseling degree programs. These degree programs are developed to give students the tools and resources they need to be able to help their clients overcome mental and emotional difficulties. Students who are interested in pursuing a career in counseling can choose from a variety of offerings that will help them reach their goals. Graduating with a psychology degree gives a student every opportunity to make a difference in their patients’ lives.
Walden University has a reputation for being one of the most advanced schools of higher learning in Minnesota. The university offers a wide variety of online degree programs that are developed to help working students achieve their ultimate goal of earning their diploma. Flexible schedules allow students the freedom to attend school and work at the same time.
What We Like: This winning combination can mean a brighter future following a career path that allows the graduate to assist those who need it most.
Degree: variety of offerings
10. Southwestern Assemblies of God University
Southwestern Assemblies of God University offers counseling students who are interested in the best online counseling degree programs a chance to earn their diploma while they remain at work. Online degree programs for psychology majors are developed to help students become more effective at meeting the needs of the individuals they serve. By earning an online BA in counseling students will have the tools they need to embark on the career they have always wanted.
Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a Christian-based university that has a reputation for both academic excellence and a dedication to helping its students succeed. The university has chosen every faculty member on their own merit as professionals in their field.
What We Like: By providing students with these valuable resources, they are able to get the education they need and pursue career goals that allow them to change peoples’ lives.
Degree: BA in Human Services
11. Trinity College of Florida
Trinity College of Florida’s Psychology Counseling BA gives students a chance to enroll in the best online counseling degree programs in the state. By choosing this degree program, students learn a variety of skills that allow them to listen more attentively and identify sudden patterns in behavior that can signal emotional or mental upset. Students who are wanting to build a career as a psychologist or counselor can find the resources they need with a B.A. in Psychology-Counseling from Trinity College.
Trinity College of Florida takes great pride in being able to offer students degree programs in an online format. The faculty members understand that this gives students an opportunity to return to school and still go to work. The staff and faculty at the college work to ensure that each student is able to get the education they need to be successful in their career as a counselor.
What We Like: By providing the support that the students need, the instructors can guide them in the right direction as graduation day draws near.
Degree: B.A. Psychology-Counseling
12. Southern New Hampshire University
Students who are looking for the best online counseling degree programs can turn to Southern New Hampshire University. The university offers online degree programs that allow them to work toward the career of their dreams. Many students have to work while attending school so it’s important that the degree program they choose offers them all of the skills and information they need to move forward in their career. Earning a mental health degree online with a BAA in Psychology Concentration, they can not only earn their degree but use it to help those who need it.
Southern New Hampshire University offers many different degree programs online. Individuals who cannot leave work to attend school would not be able to pursue a career in counseling if no online courses were available. When embarking on a new career, students need a degree program that is able to provide them with all the tools they will ever need. SNHU does that and more.
What We Like: The staff at the university are constantly trying new and innovative ways to keep students on track and moving forward.
Degree: Mental Health Degree Online – BA in Psychology Concentration
13. Crown College (MN)
Crown College provides the best online counseling degree programs in the area. Students who choose to pursue this type of degree do so because they are interested in helping others. This type of online degree program works well for students who need to continue working while they are going to school. Not only are they able to continue to make a living, they are also learning new ways to assist others through counseling and mentoring. Having a BS/Joint Study of both Psychology/Counseling gives students an opportunity to learn as much as they can about their chosen career field.
Crown College is one of many Catholic schools that uses a faith-based curriculum. The college adheres to the rich traditions from the past and employs faculty members and staff who feel the same. By offering online counseling-online degree programs, the college ensures that any student who wants an education has the opportunity to get it. It’s up to the student to utilize it to its fullest.
What We Like: The online format offers the same exceptional education as that received in a classroom.
Degree: BS Joint study of both Psychology/Counseling
14. Ecclesia College
Ecclesia College’s BS in Psychology and Counseling can offer students the best online counseling degree programs in the state. Students who enroll in these degree programs are offered courses on behavioral sciences, ethics, sociology, and psychology. Courses are developed so that students understand the importance of listening and can understand their patients’ mindset. The goal of earning a BS in Psychology and Counseling is to be able to understand things from the perspective of the patient. While that may not be easy to do, with the right skills and abilities, the student may be able to empathize and show compassion.
Ecclesia College is a Christian-based school that provides the highest quality of education possible. Students can rely on the faculty and staff to guide them through the education process, supporting and encouraging them as they continue to work towards their goals.
What We Like: By completing their courses online, students enjoy a flexible class schedule that allows them to study when it is most convenient for them.
Degree: BS in Psychology and Counseling
15. Prescott College
Prescott College’s BA in Psychology and Human Development offers students the best online counseling degree programs in the southwest. Students are able to study psychology, human development, behavioral sciences, and many other courses that are able to provide insight as to how the human mind works. Students who choose to pursue this type of BA in Psychology and Human Development do so because their ultimate goal is to be able to better understand mental and emotional behaviors and why people act the way they do. As a career, the primary goal is to help others.
Prescott College is well-respected for the commitment it continues to make to its students. The curriculum offered by the college is second to none in terms of academic excellence. Faculty members are hand-picked for their years of experience and dedication to providing students with the support and guidance they need as they face new challenges.
What We Like: Offering all of this in an online format makes it easy for students to pursue their goals.
Degree: Psychology And Human Development (BA)
Why should I get my online counseling degree?
A typical online psychology counseling degree program takes two to three years to complete, and within that time frame, students attend online classes, yet must perform their practicum and internship in person. An online psychology counseling degree curriculum generally encompasses coursework in eight different areas of study:
- Career development
- Assessment and Testing
- Human Growth and Development
- Counseling and helping relationships
- Professional counseling orientation and ethical practice
- Group counseling and subsequent group work
- Social and cultural diversity
- Research and program evaluation
Each of the above will prepare the online counseling participant to become a licensed professional, as well as a pave the way for a future career and become a catalyst for change. An online counseling specialization provides students with the knowledge to work in specific settings, like elementary schools, whereas students concentrating in substance abuse learn about addiction and the recovery process. It’s important to note that online therapy learning has been proven to be as effective as an in-person classroom therapy education.
However, you should contact the school to first determine if earning an online counseling degree is right for you. Some benefits or advantages of receiving an online degree include:
Easier access–Student who live in remote areas or who have limited mobility or limited access to transportation may be more motivated to participate in online courses.
Reduced cost–Online psychology counseling eliminates the costs associated with travel time and gas.
Consistency–Online counseling decreases absences due to poor weather conditions or sickness, allowing you to participate in coursework on a regular basis.
More intense therapy–Online sessions can be scheduled more frequently, as students do not have to commute long distances.
Increased progress–Since choosing to become an online counselor might provide more intense training, it can accelerate progress.
Psychological comfort–Learning in your own comfortable environment can help with eliminating the social stigma related to in-person counseling.
Flexibility–Students have access to more specialists and teachers, and can select those who can work with their schedules.
What kind of degree should I get to become a counselor?
Because counselors work in many different settings and help patients with mental illnesses, disorders, imbalances, and substance abuse issues, earning a bachelor’s degree online is a first step toward becoming a licensed professional counselor. To this end, a master’s degree and several years of supervised clinical work is required to actually begin to see patients in your own office environment. Online counseling degrees offer preparation for graduate-level studies, and several master’s in counseling programs prefer applicants who have studied counseling or a related field.
Online counseling degrees offer flexibility for students who are also working professionals. These web-based programs normally follow the same curriculum as traditional options, leading to similar advancement opportunities for graduates. Earning your bachelor’s online is also ideal for students who must balance other commitments–such as child or family care–in addition to their work or class schedules.
The most important consideration for what kind of online degree to obtain for prospective students is accreditation status. Several colleges and universities in the United States receive accreditation from agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, and the accreditation process involves an extensive review of a particular school’s educational programs and student services. Any school’s accreditation can impact course credit transferability, as well as a student’s eligibility to obtain financial aid. Therefore, a student should ensure the school offering the online psychology counseling program has earned national or regional accreditation.
What kind of job can I obtain with a bachelor’s in counseling?
It’s inspiring to know that prospective counselors face a bright employment outlook. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts forth a jobs and growth economic report every quarter of every year–and thus far–substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and the mental health counseling fields should add around 79,000 jobs by 2029. School and career counselors are also going to fare well, in that their growth rate for jobs increases by 8% for the same duration period as mentioned above.
Entry-level counseling positions can be either part-time, full-time, or at another level within a larger department in an organization. Some examples of bachelor’s in counseling jobs at the entry-level include:
- Probation Counselor
- Social Worker
- Mental Health Therapist
- Entry-level Behavior Therapist
- Psychotherapist for a private practice
- ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) Interventionist
- Counseling fellow for healthcare organizations
- Unit specialist for addicts in recovery centers
- Residential counselors in residential group living environments
- Outpatient behavioral health therapist
- Crisis counselor
Granted, there are numerous entry-level counseling positions that aren’t listed here; however, it’s imperative to seek out what resonates with your specific qualifications and motives. Various job recruitment sites such as Indeed.com, Ziprecruiter.com, or SimplyHired.com–to name a few–are continually searching for those applicants who need counseling jobs with a bachelor’s in psychology. It’s a competitive market, yet one that will prove worthy once you get your foot in the door. Part-time bachelor’s in counseling jobs are constantly in demand, so check resources and prepare to make help others in a significant way.