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School Counseling


School counseling programs prepare people to counsel students in various school settings including college.

In school counseling programs people learn to help students with problems they are having at school or at home. They also learn to advise students on issues such as getting a job or going to college.

School counseling programs include topics such as:


Very few schools offer bachelor’s degrees in school counseling.

Many colleges and universities offer graduate degrees in school counseling. A master’s degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor’s degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master’s degree.

Some schools offer a concentration in school counseling as part of an educational psychology degree.

See schools that offer this program.

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores.

Additional requirements at most schools include:

Typical Course Work

Graduate Program Courses

This graduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Graduate programs that lead to a doctoral degree typically includes:

Nearly all school counseling programs require students to complete a yearlong practicum. This means that you gain direct experience with actual students. Usually you "shadow" a professional counselor while she meets with students, teachers, and parents. You also perform duties such as writing reports, conducting evaluations, and compiling data. When you have accumulated a certain number of hours of observation, you can begin counseling students yourself. You are supervised at all times by professors and licensed counselors.

During the practicum, students continue learning about counseling techniques and psychological problems. They also learn firsthand what it's like to be a school counselor. They learn to apply their course work to real-life situations. Students can also apply their practicum experience to their professional work after they complete their degree.

Things to Know

A few schools require you to have a teaching certificate and/or teaching experience.

Many programs are offered part time, with day and evening classes.


King-Snohomish Area

City University of Seattle

Seattle Pacific University

Seattle University

Spokane Area

Eastern Washington University

Gonzaga University

Whitworth University

Tacoma Area

University of Puget Sound

West Side Area

Western Washington University