Mental Health Counselor Online

Whether in college, high school or in the workforce, these programs are for you. Learn more from our website regarding Mental Health Counselor Online, online mental health counseling degree, online mental health counseling free, online mental health counseling certificate programs & online mental health counseling jobs.

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best online mental health counseling programs

Life can be complicated and busy. Sometimes it’s difficult to pursue dreams that require rigorous education or training. Luckily, online programs are available to those who aren’t able to attend or find it challenging to learn through a traditional classroom setting. For those who wish to become a counselor, online education can be a viable option.

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The need for highly trained mental health counselors is on the rise. A master’s in mental health counseling provides you the tools and skills necessary to become a practicing mental health counselor. The duties of a mental health counselor far exceed what the average person might think. A mental health counselor is not only responsible for tending to the emotional and mental needs of a patient, but they possess the qualifications necessary to diagnose a patient and decide the appropriate treatment options to suggest.

Why choose online versus a traditional classroom setting?

The benefits of choosing an online program stretch far and wide. Often with flexibility in pacing, some students find they thrive best seeking a degree online.

If you’re interested in obtaining your degree online, you may want to speak with a counselor from your desired program. He or she can help you talk through your unique situation and give you more information about the requirements for the program you’re interested in.

All in all, a nontraditional path toward your career as a counselor does not have to stop you from achieving licensure. In fact, pursuing your career online could be an empowering process that lets you work in a way that’s more tailored to your needs. Depending on the program you choose, you can become a licensed counselor from wherever works best for you.

An online mental health counseling degree offers a flexible, affordable path to a new career. Online degrees often offer more flexible options, allowing distance learners to enroll in accelerated programs or study at their own pace. Online learning lets students tailor their schedules around personal and professional commitments. Many learners can graduate in 1-2 years. Graduates are knowledgeable about counseling theories, human development, group work, assessments, and diagnosing mental illnesses. An accredited program readies master’s degree-holders to earn licensure and counsel children and adults in clinical settings.

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Graduates are knowledgeable about counseling theories, human development, group work, assessments, and diagnosing mental illnesses. An accredited program readies master’s degree-holders to earn licensure and counsel children and adults in clinical settings.

A mental health counselor’s duties often fall on a spectrum. One end being helping those with normal cognitive processes deal with difficult events in their lives such as grieving the loss of a loved one, or coping with the devastation of losing a job, and the other being helping those with less than normal cognitive processes figure out ways to manage a mental illness such as bipolar disorder or clinical depression. A masters in clinical mental health counseling is required for counseling licensure in all states.

When considering pursuing a masters in mental health counseling online you may be wondering how a virtual learning space is conducive for learning how to properly and effectively interact with patient in need. Most accredited online masters in mental health counseling programs require that you have a certain amount of in-person clinical experience, and ensure that their curriculum resembles that of an on-campus masters in mental health counseling program. Though this is true, there are still a few things you want to consider while looking for the best online masters in mental health counseling programs. This includes student support, in-person clinical experience and placement assistance, live discussions, class size, and of course, accreditation.

The Online Master’s in Mental Health Counseling Experience

When looking for an online masters in Mental Health Counseling program you want to take into account the type of virtual experience being provided. For example, online student support services, clinical experience placement assistance, class size and live discussions are essentials for ensuring that. Online student support services will provide you with access to campus faculty and staff while you are logged on.

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In order to become a licensed Mental Health Counselor you must complete the required clinical experience hours. Being an online student can make placement difficult as some programs do not provide much assistance when it comes to clinical experience placement. However, there are programs that offer special support to online students in finding convenient internship placement sites. Finally, class size and live discussions make for an interactive and fun virtual learning experience. A 15:1 ratio and synchronous learning allows students and instructors to begin fosters and facilitating a productive virtual learning space.

The great thing about pursuing a master in Mental Health Counseling online is that all you need is a built-in camera, a microphone, and a strong wifi connection. With these three things you can participate in face-to-face live discussion with your fellow classmates and instructors.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master’s in Counseling Program?

An online master’s in counseling program builds upon a student’s undergraduate education, focusing on advanced skills. While coursework varies, most programs include core courses in assessment and testing, group counseling, ethical practice, and cultural diversity. The following section delves into typical classes in an online master’s in counseling program.

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Group Counseling

This course covers group dynamics and counseling techniques specific to small groups. Lessons explore how to engage group members and evaluate relationships within a group setting. Additional topics include the stages of group therapy and how to evaluate the effectiveness of group counseling.

Counseling Diverse Populations

Students learn the skills and theories needed to evaluate and counsel people from diverse populations. Covered topics include social identification, ethnicity, gender roles, and advocacy. Degree-seekers also learn about their role in promoting social justice.

Ethical, Legal, and Professional Standards

This course focuses on the legal and ethical issues specific to counseling practices. Coursework covers topics such as confidentiality and malpractice. Students investigate state-specific licensure standards and professional organizations.

Crisis Counseling

Degree-seekers learn the impact of trauma and crisis intervention procedures. Covered topics include assessing and preventing suicide risk, and a counselor’s role in an emergency management response team.

Addiction Counseling

This course provides an overview of counseling practices for alcohol and drug addiction. Covered topics include 12-step facilitation and other models of recovery, at-risk populations, and available community resources. Additional topics include the evaluation and treatment of addictions related to eating, gambling, shopping, hoarding, and sex.

What Can I Expect From an Online Master’s in Counseling Program?

An online master’s in counseling prepares graduates to help a diverse group of people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, schools, and private practice. Succeeding in this career requires empathy, patience, and strong interpersonal and communication skills.

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Most online master’s degrees in counseling require 60 credits and take 2-3 years to complete. Practical and internships provide the experience required for state-specific and occupation-specific licensure.

Most master’s in counseling programs require students to choose a concentration for a specialty, however, students are not committed to this specialization for life. While progressing through their program, students will acquire some level of training for a multitude of counseling subjects, such as addiction counseling and mental health counseling, regardless of the specialization chosen. Specializations tend to play a more important part in a student’s career after graduation when they seek licensure for a specific concentration.

Students should still pursue programs that align with their area of interests and should consider specializations when choosing a program. Some schools offer the following specializations in counseling:

Addiction and Substance Abuse Counseling

This specialization provides students with the skills required to evaluate and treat individuals with addictions.

Mental Health Counseling

This concentration prepares students for a career as a licensed professional clinical counselor or marriage and family therapist.

Trauma Studies

This concentration teaches students about the impact, prevention, and treatment of traumatic stress.

School Counseling

Students interested in working in an education setting may consider this specialization.

Christian Counseling

This specialization focuses on faith-based fundamentals and prepares students to work in Christian ministries or churches.

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What Can I Do With an Online Master’s in Counseling Degree?

Career Outlook

A master’s in counseling online prepares students to help individuals, families, and groups suffering from mental and behavioral disorders. These professionals work in a variety of settings, including private practice, hospitals, community service organizations, addiction centers, correctional facilities, and schools.

Counseling should be an in-demand field over the next decade. The BLS projects 22% job growth for marriage and family therapists and 25% job growth for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors between 2019 and 2029.

Learn more about counseling careers and see where an online master’s in counseling can take you by visiting our counseling career guide.

Career Paths

Addiction and Recovery Counselor

Addiction and recovery counselors assist and support individuals recovering from addictions that may include alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, hoarding, and eating disorders. These counselors help their patients understand the root cause of their addictions and develop a recovery plan, which may include behavior modification techniques. Many of these professionals use the principles of 12-step programs to support their clients.

Trauma Response Counselor

A trauma response counselor recognizes the impact of trauma and understands how to treat its effects, including post-traumatic and acute stress disorders. These professionals provide patients with evidence-based trauma treatments like cognitive processing therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. These counselors may focus on specific groups, such as veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

School Counselor

School counselors help K-12 students succeed in their social and academic lives. These professionals work with students, teachers, and parents as they identify the causes of poor school performance, behavioral problems, and social disorders. School counselors may also provide academic and career guidance and address the issues of bullying, addiction, and domestic abuse.

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Marriage and Family Counselor

Marriage and family counselors address relationship issues within the family unit. Issues commonly encountered include behavior problems with children, lack of communication between family members, and substance addiction. Through observation, evaluation, and diagnosis, these therapists help family members understand and address the underlying causes of their interpersonal challenges.

Mental Health Counselor

Mental health counselors work in a variety of settings, including private practice, hospitals, correctional facilities, rehabilitation centers, and social service agencies. With the expansion of telehealth in recent years, working from home can also be an option. These professionals help people experiencing social and emotional problems, phobias, anxieties, and other mental health challenges. Some mental health counselors specialize in a particular group, such as children, the elderly, or the incarcerated.

accredited online mental health counseling programs

CACREP Accreditation: CACREP Accredited External link online masters in Mental Health Counseling programs must all meet a set of general standards. These standards are determined by The Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Programs (CACREP). CACREP accredited programs all meet a number of content objectives. Some of these standards include human growth and development, group work, and the history and development of Mental Health Counseling techniques, models and theories. If an online masters in mental health counseling program is accredited by CACREP the program is likely to be focused on quality, excellence and equity.

A CACREP accredited program tends to be ethically sound and addresses the needs of society at large. Their focus is encouraging leadership, and protecting the public. Your CACREP accredited program is guaranteed to strategic and theoretical diversity while pushing for best practices and program improvement.

MPCAC Accreditation: MPCAC Accredited External link programs place an emphasis on students competence. These programs must meet a list of curriculum criterias in order to become MPCAC accredited. The curriculum according to the MPCAC standards are listed below:

  • Professional identity, and ethical and professional standards
  • Evidence-based theories and practice of counseling and psychotherapy
  • Multiculturalism and diversity
  • Tests, measurements, and other assessments of behavior
  • Career development and/or the role of work in peoples’ lives
  • Biological basis of behavior
  • Developmental basis of behavior
  • Social/organizational/community basis of behavior
  • Understanding and use of supervision during applied experiences

Online Master’s in Mental Health Counseling Programs
Each online masters in mental health counseling will have its own unique program structure and application process. Some similarities exist throughout programs, however, and in most circumstances the required materials needed to apply match those outlined below:

Application: Once you have found the accredited online masters in Mental Health Counseling program of your choice you will fill out an online (or paper) application and pay the subsequent application fee.

Test Scores: Many schools require that you submit you GRE general test scores, or your TOEFL/IELTS scores for international students. Some schools however do not require you submit any test scores at all. However, be prepared to mail in your GRE General Tests scores or your TOEFL/IELTS scores to your chosen institution.

Transcripts: All accredited Mental Health Counseling masters program require that you send them a copy of your transcript from any postsecondary school you have attended. You can do this by requesting all transcripts in advance and uploading the official copy online. Requests transcripts in advance of the application deadline, and upload one official copy of each transcript from any postsecondary schools you have attended.

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Professional Work History: Upload a copy of your most recent resume or curriculum vitae as part of your application.

Essays and Personal Statements: In most cases the submission of a personal statement (written in essay form) is required. You may even be required to submit multiple essays to your school of choice to express fully the intent of your application. Below are some common topics that should be mentioned in your personal statement.

  • Your main academic and personal interests
  • Experiences in school or work that have helped to prepare you for this course of study
  • Why you wish to study for the degree you’ve chosen
  • Why you wish to study at the university
  • Your plans for the future after you earn your degree

Application Fees: Application fees may vary from around $25 to $75 per program.

online mental health counseling degree

LeTourneau University

LocationLongview, TX

A Christian school in Longview, Texas, LETU offers more than 140 graduate and undergraduate academic programs, including an online MA in clinical mental health counseling. The university boasts a 93% placement rate for counseling graduates.

This program emphasizes a holistic approach involving counseling skills and clinical assessment related to individuals, couples, families, and group counseling. Graduates are eligible for licensure as both a professional counselor and a marriage and family therapist. Coursework prepares students to sit for the National Counseling Exam, and LETU graduates boast a 94% pass rate.

The degree consists of 66 credits, including 45 core credits and six credits of clinical theology coursework. Student’s also take 15 credits of specialization classes, choosing from options like addictions counseling and couples therapy, as well as a practicum and internships. Students must also attend a four-day intensive lab held at the Longview campus.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
School Status: Private
Tuition: $615/credit
Credit Requirements: 66 credits
Program Length: 2-3 years
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact the School

Clarks Summit University

LocationSouth Abington Township, PA

Voted one of the most beautiful Bible colleges in the U.S., CSU lies near the Pocono and Endless Mountain regions of Pennsylvania. The school offers 21 master’s options for distance learners, including an MS in counseling that prepares students for counseling careers that emphasize biblical teachings.

The program consists of 60 credits and features nine elective classes that enable students to focus on their area of interest. Elective courses include counseling children, spiritual issues in counseling, and understanding and treating addictions. The fully accredited program prepares graduates to sit for the National Certified Counselor exam and apply for licensure as a licensed professional counselor.

Five eight-week sessions are offered annually. While most courses are available entirely online, students must complete three one-week, on-campus modules. Tuition discounts are available for Christian workers and members of the military.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Counseling
School Status: Private
Tuition: $565/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.View School Profile3

Liberty University

LocationLynchburg, VA

Liberty — a Christian university located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of central Virginia — was founded by the late Jerry Falwell in 1971. This school requires no standardized admission testing and has not raised its tuition in several years.

The school’s MA in clinical mental health counseling program prepares graduates to obtain their licensure as a licensed professional counselor. All courses are taught from a Christian perspective and include classes such as integration of spirituality and counseling and crisis counseling. The program requires two on-campus intensive courses, while the practicum and a two-semester internship may be carried out in the student’s local area.

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Students can transfer in up to 30 approved credits. This counseling program holds accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
School Status: Private
Tuition: $565/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2.5 years
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.7 minimum

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.View School Profile4

Eastern University

LocationSaint Davids, PA

Initially founded as Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Eastern University now oversees Pennsylvania campuses in St. Davids, Philadelphia, and Harrisburg. The core values of faith, reason, and justice form the basis of all of the school’s educational programs.

The university offers an online, 60-credit MA in clinical counseling program for generalists. Students can also choose one of two concentrations. The applied behavior analysis certification track focuses on behavioral assessments, as well as intervention and prevention strategies. It can be completed online and readies graduates for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination.

Alternatively, the trauma studies concentration trains students to understand the impact of trauma, as well as the prevention and treatment of traumatic stress. This program features evening classes at the university’s main campus, as well as asynchronous online courses.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: MA in Clinical Counseling
School Status: Private
Tuition: $743/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 3 years
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or MAT scores recommended

Contact the School

Concordia University Wisconsin

LocationMequon, WI

As a Lutheran Christian university, CUW provides students with an education committed to the wellbeing of body, mind, and spirit. The school’s 45-credit M.S.Ed in counseling program offers students the choice of pursuing a professional counseling track or a school counseling track.

By completing additional coursework, students can also earn their substance abuse counselor in training credentials through the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, as well as a graduate certificate in Christian counseling. This 15-credit training program may appeal to students interested in counseling in a church or Christian agency setting.

All courses are offered online. As part of the Wisconsin licensing requirement for school counselors, candidates must complete a three-part portfolio. Participants also complete a practicum and an internship, which feature 600-700 hours of direct, hands-on experience.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Education – School and Professional Counseling
School Status: Private
Tuition: $630/credit
Credit Requirements: 45 or 60 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Applying to a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program

In order to apply to counseling master’s programs, prospective students need at least a bachelor’s degree. Schools typically prefer candidates with an undergraduate degree in psychology, education, or a related field. However, some schools consider applicants who studied something entirely different. If you chose an unrelated undergraduate major, you can always boost your application by volunteering at a mental health services agency.

Applicants should also possess a minimum undergraduate GPA ranging from 2.5-3.0. They should submit their official transcripts, resume, and recommendation letters. Some programs also require a personal essay in which students describe their education and career goals. Many schools expect prospective students to submit standardized test scores from the GRE or MAT as well. During the application process, candidates may need to participate in an admissions interview.

online mental health counseling certificate programs

The field of counseling in general is a growing discipline. People seeking help with personal issues is becoming more common and less stigmatized. Well trained counselors to meet this growing need has led to an increase in accessible training, including online counseling certificate programs. The online counseling certificate programs listed below cover a variety of counseling certifications, education levels and prerequisite requirements. Certificates listed include Certificates in Substance Abuse Counseling,  Family and Couples Counseling, School Counseling, Mental Health Counseling, and Bereavement and Trauma Counseling, among others. 

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This list of affordable counseling certificate programs includes 19 online programs plus one affordable on-campus program. Included in our list for 2021 are certificates for post-master’s, post-bachelor’s as well as stand alone certificates with minimal prerequisite requirements. Prospective students should contact their state to inquire about requirements for licensing  or other requirements that would lead to employment. 

This ranking of the 20 most affordable counseling certificate programs is from an initial pool of 23 counseling certificate programs online. Programs are ranked by in-state tuition costs taken from the College Navigator website. Profile information was retrieved from individual school program websites. Contact your school of interest for the most current program and tuition information. Students seeking licensure would contact their state licensing agency for specific education and clinical hours requirements in their state. 

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  1. Albany State University, Albany, GA

2. Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA

3. Utah State University, Logan, UT

4. University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD

5. Lamar University, Beaumont, TX

6. Post University, Waterbury, CT

7. University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

8. University of Memphis, Memphis, TN

9. Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, AZ

10. University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND

11. University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY

12. Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

13. Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ

14. University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati,OH

15. Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, IN

16. Gwynedd Mercy, Gwynedd Valley, PA

17. Capella University, Minneapolis, MN

18. Regent University, VIrginia Beach, VA

19. Madonna University, Livonia, MI

20. Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA

Saint Joseph’s University

20. St Joseph’s University,  Philadelphia, PA

Tuition $17,802

WEBSITE

Saint Joseph’s University’s counseling certification online program prepares graduates to work as certified addiction counselors. SJU’s Addiction Counseling Certificate program is a 12-credit, fully online counseling certificate program that can be completed in as little as two semesters. This program may also be combined with the M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program, with the 12 credits counting toward this 60-credit program. Students in the program are part of Saint Joseph’s University’s Center for Addiction and Recovery Education (CARE), which provides research and education to help address addiction-related issues. Applicants to this online counseling certificate program that are not part of the M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program must have a relevant graduate degree as a prerequisite to be accepted. This online Addiction Counseling Certificate meets the Pennsylvania Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC) certification, the National Board for Certified Counselor (NBCC) and the Master Addictions Counselor (MAC) requirements. 

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19. Madonna University, Livonia, MI

Tuition $16,200

WEBSITE

Madonna University’s counseling certificate program online is a three-course certificate program in Bereavement: Trauma, Loss and Grief. This online certificate program is for professionals wishing to improve their counseling skills in this area. Applicants can have a master’s degree or bachelor’s degree to complete. This specialty counseling certification online is meant to be part of the tool kit for those working with grieving individuals and families, and those who have experienced traumatic loss or life-changing events and are seeking support. Skills and knowledge gained in this online program can be applied in private practice or when working in an interdisciplinary team in hospice, palliative care, and end of life care settings.

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18. Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA  

Tuition $15,552

WEBSITE

Regent University offers five online counseling certificate programs, including: Certificate of Graduate Studies in Mental Health Counseling, Certificate of Graduate Studies in Trauma Counseling, Certificate of Graduate Studies in Psychology and Counseling, Certificate of Graduate Studies in Marriage, Couples and Family Counseling,  and Certificate of Graduate Studies in School Counseling. The programs each require 9-12 graduate level credits, and all are presented from a Christian worldview.  These counseling certificate programs online are also offered in an on-campus format. Applicants to any of these online counseling certificate programs are required to have a master’s or doctorate degree. The programs promise to equip candidates with the specialized training needed to advance their career, and may provide state credentialing requirements. 

17. Capella University, Minneapolis, MN  

Tuition $14,767

WEBSITE

Capella University’s counseling certificate programs online are offered in four program specializations. Graduate Certificates in Counseling can be earned in: Contemporary Theory in Addictive Behavior, Contemporary Theory in Mental Health Services, Systemic Couple and Family Therapy, and Contemporary Theory School Based Services. These online counseling certificate programs are designed as an affordable and flexible way to increase knowledge and understanding of human behavior and are not designed to meet counselor licensing requirements. Online counseling certificate programs from Capella University require five courses and have flexible start dates. Military discounts and other scholarships may be available. 

16. Gwynedd Mercy University, Gwynedd Valley, PA

Tuition $13,967

WEBSITE

Gwynedd Mercy University’s counseling certification online in School Counseling (Pre-K-12) boasts a 100% pass rate on the School Counseling Certification Test in Pennsylvania since 2018. This robust online certificate program prepares students with skills and knowledge to guide students and includes 510 hours of field experience. Students in this post-master’s program complete interactive collaborative courses one at a time in an accelerated seven-week time block. Upon completion of this counseling certification online, graduates will have the skills, knowledge and practical counseling strategies needed for certification as an Elementary and Secondary School Counselor (PreK-12) within the state of Pennsylvania (students from other states should check their state’s requirements). Check out this rigorous curriculum to get on your way to contributing to the growth and development of students as a school counselor. 

15. Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, IN

Tuition $13,512

WEBSITE

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This online counseling certificate program from Indiana Wesleyan University is designed to offer a Christ-centered approach to increasing your skills in the counseling profession. IWU’s 18-credit hour graduate Certificate in Addictions Counseling online is for people seeking specialized academic preparation in Addictions Counseling and is available to applicants with a bachelor’s degree or higher. This counseling certificate program online may be what you’re looking for to increase your skills in counseling and break into this specialized counseling field. 

14. University of Cincinnati , Cincinnati, OH

In-State Tuition $13,224

Out-of-State Tuition $24,966

WEBSITE

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University of Cincinnati’s counseling certificate program online is a professional certificate in Substance Abuse Counseling from the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services (CECH). This online certificate program is designed for applicants possessing a bachelor’s degree or who are in the process of getting their bachelor’s degree in another discipline. This robust online certificate program provides a knowledge base in Substance Abuse Counseling to be used in settings including counseling, corrections, administration and substance abuse prevention. Graduates will have met Ohio’s requirements for licensure and may require additional practice hours (students from other states should check with their state’s requirements).

13. Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ

In-State Tuition $12,500

Out-of-State Tuition $18,432

WEBSITE

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This post-master’ certificate in Advanced Counseling from Montclair State University can be completed in 12-18 credit hours and is offered with alternative scheduling as on-campus, hybrid or Saturday classes to help meet the needs of working students. This Advanced Counseling Certificate promises to prepare graduates as culturally competent counselors prepared to work in a variety of settings with diverse populations. This program is designed to meet state and national standards for Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC). Graduates of this Advanced Counseling are prepared to work in schools, community agencies, student affairs positions, and substance abuse treatment centers. 

12. Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

In-State Tuition $11,720

Out-of-State Tuition $26,160 

WEBSITE

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Arizona State University’s counseling certificate program online in Addiction and Substance-Use Related Disorders will get you the training needed to advance skills and knowledge in this important field. This counseling certificate program online promises to provide the transfer of scientific knowledge and evidence based treatment to clinical practice. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree or currently in a master’s or higher program in a behavioral health field or those with a master’s or doctorate who need professional training in this area will find this program advantageous in furthering their career. Check out this program to get the training you need for becoming a successful substance abuse counselor in treatment centers, community mental health services, primary care, criminal justice system, hospital, schools and military related services. 

11. University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 

In-State tuition $11,310

Out-of-State tuition $23,100 

WEBSITE

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University of Buffalo’s counseling certificate programs online are short, focused, advanced graduate level certificates that promise to give students the skills and knowledge to advance in their specialization. These programs are offered in on campus and online formats. These counseling certifications online are stand alone or can be taken as part of another program at University of Buffalo. Specialties include Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, and Mindful Counseling for Wellness and Engagement. All three of these specialities include Experiential Contact Hours to provide hands-on experience to solidify knowledge and skills and provide networking opportunities. 

10. University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND

In-State Tuition $11,060

Out-of-State Tuition $16,590

WEBSITE 

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This certification online in Counseling with a K-12 emphasis includes two four-day sessions each summer on campus in Grand Forks, giving students valuable hands-on learning opportunities. These four campus visits give students valuable networking and interaction with faculty and fellow students. The certificate has two tracks available: one for students with a master’s degree in Mental Health or Community Agency Counseling, and one for students with a master’s degree in Education. All students complete a supervised school counseling practicum in a K-12 school setting in their home community. In addition to online library services, students in this counseling certification online program have access to online library services, career services, their own academic advisor, veteran and military services, financial aid services, and unlimited academic coaching and online tutoring.

9. Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, AZ 

Tuition $10,528

WEBSITE

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Grand Canyon University’s online counseling certificate programs are rigorous programs designed to equip professionals in five areas of specialization. Applicants can choose from: Trauma Certificate, Marriage and Family Therapy Certificate, Childhood and Adolescent Disorders Certificate, Christian Counseling Certificate, and Addiction Counseling Certificate. These affordable counseling certificate programs online help students immerse themselves in courses on their own time schedule, making it possible for working professionals to further their education. Each online counseling certificate program requires 12-15 credits, with opportunity to transfer credits towards the requirements. These online classes are 8 weeks long, helping students to stay focused on completing their certificate. 

8. University of Memphis, Memphis, TN

In-State Tuition $9,216

Out-of-State Tuition $12,672

WEBSITE

The University of Memphis’ counseling certificate programs online are offered in three areas of counseling: College and Career Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and School Counseling.  The College and Career Counseling Certificate is an online and field based post-degree program focused on developing the technical skills needed to help high school students transition to college and vocational programs. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Certificate online program is designed for those with a master’s degree in school counseling, rehabilitation counseling or college counseling, or for those currently enrolled at The University of Memphis master’s degree in school counseling program. The School Counseling Certificate is for those currently pursuing or who have already obtained a graduate degree in clinical mental health counseling, rehabilitation counseling, clinical rehabilitation counseling, or college counseling.  Check out these programs further to understand licensure requirements in Tennessee and your home state. 

7. University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

In-State Tuition $8,350

Out-of-State Tuition $19,048

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University of South Florida’s counseling certificate programs are 15-credit programs that can be completed within two years. Choose from Addiction and Substance Abuse Counseling or Marriage and Family Therapy Certificates to further your professional skills. The Addiction and Substance Abuse Counseling Certificate is offered as a Post-Master’s or Bachelor’s Certificate, and is beneficial to those in sociology, social work, psychology, criminology, pre-med, nursing, or any other related human service field. The Marriage and Family Therapy Certificate enables professionals in mental health, rehabilitation counseling, counselor education, social work, psychology, or other human service fields to enhance knowledge and skills in Marriage and Family Therapy. These affordable certificate programs are offered on-campus. 

6. Post University, Waterbury, CT 

Tuition $7,500

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Post University’s affordable online counseling certificate programs may be the ticket to expanding your counseling practice. PU’s online mental health counseling certificate programs are post-master’s certificates in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Alcohol and Drug Counseling. These counseling certificate programs online enable students to continue working in their current position while pursuing this online certificate. Graduates of one of these certificates programs can expect to be ready to take the next steps to get their professional counseling license. Students in these online counseling certificate programs are assisted in researching their state’s requirements for licensure prior to beginning the program. 

5. Lamar University, Beaumont, TX

In-State Tuition $6,397

Out-of-State Tuition $13,759

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Lamar University’s affordable online Mental Health Counseling Certificate program is designed for working Post-Master’s students who have completed a master’s degree in counseling, psychology or a related subject.  Students enrolled in this counseling certificate program online are preparing for the Texas state Licenses Professional Counseling (LPC) certification examination. This online certificate program is an 18-credit hour program that provides the knowledge and clinical experience to meet the requirements for the LPC exam in Texas. Students are immersed in advanced counseling topics including diagnosis, treatments and etiology, and the most current research that applies in clinical practice. Students should check licensing requirements in their home state.

4. University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD 

In-State Tuition $6,062

Out-of-State Tuition $11,656

WEBSITE Mental Health Counseling Certificate

WEBSITE Certificate in Addiction Counseling and Prevention

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University of South Dakota’s online counseling certificate programs include the online graduate Certificate in Addiction Counseling and Prevention, and the online graduate Certificate in Mental Health Counseling.  The Certificate in Mental Health Counseling is a 12-credit program covering advanced topics in crisis intervention, psychopathology, and clinical supervision. With spring, summer, or fall start dates, students can expect to complete this online Certificate in Mental Health Counseling in about a year. USD’s Online Graduate Certificate in Addiction Counseling and Prevention is an innovative 15-credit hour program that promises to prepare addiction counseling professionals to meet the complex needs of substance abuse patients. This online certificate program focuses on evidence based education that will enable counseling professionals to provide quality counseling to individuals dealing with addiction.  These counseling certificate programs online allows practicing professionals the flexibility to continue their education while in their current employment.  

3. Utah State University, Logan, UT 

In-State Tuition $5,996

Out-of-State Tuition $20,327

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Utah State University’s affordable online post-master’s Certificate in Rehabilitation Counseling is open to applicants with three years of related professional experience and two years of supervised rehabilitation counseling experience. This robust online counseling certificate program is designed for applicants with graduate training in one of the following academic areas:  Behavioral Health, Behavioral Science, Disability Studies, Human Relations, Human Services, Marriage and Family Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Psychology, Psychometrics, Rehabilitation Administration/Services, Social Work, Special Education, and Vocational Assessment/Evaluation. This is a 22-credit program made up of eight courses, with offerings such as Theories and Techniques in Counseling, Psychosocial Aspects of Disabilities, and Case Management. Students interested in this program have flexibility in their education schedule with spring, summer and fall start dates.

2. Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA

Tuition $3,670 

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This counseling certificate program online from Kennesaw State University is an affordable online Mental Health Technician Professional Certificate. This may be the ticket to enter the challenging field of mental health. This online Mental Health Technician program provides students with a solid mental health background. Graduates of the program will have an entry level academic background to work with individuals with mental health issues. Six key topics including Abnormal Psychology, Mental Health Technician, Direct Support Professional, Better Interpersonal Communication, Personal Excellence, and Introduction to Addiction & Recovery. Disorders beginning in childhood, mood disorders, psychoses, schizophrenia, sexuality, and eating and anxiety disorders as well as therapies and treatments are examined. Students develop skills and learn methods to provide clients with assistance in daily living skills, personal health hygiene and maintenance, adhering to a medication regiment, and behavioral development.

1. Albany State University, Albany, GA

In-State Tuition $3,438

Out-of-State Tuition $13,716

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This 18-credit Addiction Counseling Certificate program online from Albany State University is offered for those seeking broader career opportunities in addictions. These courses satisfy the academic requirements for the Certified Addiction Counseling (CAC I or CAC II) credential in Georgia. This online certificate program’s flexible format allows students to enter the program any semester and complete the certificate program online in two or three semesters. Check out your state’s requirements to enter the field of Addiction Counseling. These courses may also be taken for Continuing Education for those already in the field. 

online mental health counseling jobs

A master’s in counseling online prepares students to help individuals, families, and groups suffering from mental and behavioral disorders. These professionals work in a variety of settings, including private practice, hospitals, community service organizations, addiction centers, correctional facilities, and schools.

Counseling should be an in-demand field over the next decade. The BLS projects 22% job growth for marriage and family therapists and 25% job growth for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors between 2019 and 2029.

Learn more about counseling careers and see where an online master’s in counseling can take you by visiting our counseling career guide.

Career Paths

Addiction and Recovery Counselor

Addiction and recovery counselors assist and support individuals recovering from addictions that may include alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, hoarding, and eating disorders. These counselors help their patients understand the root cause of their addictions and develop a recovery plan, which may include behavior modification techniques. Many of these professionals use the principles of 12-step programs to support their clients.

Trauma Response Counselor

A trauma response counselor recognizes the impact of trauma and understands how to treat its effects, including post-traumatic and acute stress disorders. These professionals provide patients with evidence-based trauma treatments like cognitive processing therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. These counselors may focus on specific groups, such as veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

School Counselor

School counselors help K-12 students succeed in their social and academic lives. These professionals work with students, teachers, and parents as they identify the causes of poor school performance, behavioral problems, and social disorders. School counselors may also provide academic and career guidance and address the issues of bullying, addiction, and domestic abuse.

Marriage and Family Counselor

Marriage and family counselors address relationship issues within the family unit. Issues commonly encountered include behavior problems with children, lack of communication between family members, and substance addiction. Through observation, evaluation, and diagnosis, these therapists help family members understand and address the underlying causes of their interpersonal challenges.

Mental Health Counselor

Mental health counselors work in a variety of settings, including private practice, hospitals, correctional facilities, rehabilitation centers, and social service agencies. With the expansion of telehealth in recent years, working from home can also be an option. These professionals help people experiencing social and emotional problems, phobias, anxieties, and other mental health challenges. Some mental health counselors specialize in a particular group, such as children, the elderly, or the incarcerated.

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