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Best 8 Online Doctorate in School Counseling in 2021

April 23, 2021 | Staff Writers

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Professional school counselors are tasked with the responsibility of assisting students to achieve academic success while facing challenging issues related to social and emotional aspects of the school. Generally, the minimum requirement for entering this profession is a master’s level degree; however, many professionals seeking an administrative or leadership role find that enrolling in a campus-based or online doctorate in school counseling degree programs is enormously valuable.  

Individuals interested in earning an online doctorate in school counseling degree should understand that completing a Ph.D. degree is a serious commitment. Doctoral programs typically take 3 to 4 years to complete; however, part-time doctoral students may spend up to ten years completing this terminal degree in school counseling.

Universities across the nation offer fully online or hybrid doctoral degrees in school counseling to accommodate working professionals’ needs. Candidates for doctorates in counseling develop the knowledge and competencies necessary to help young people develop personal character and career readiness. They also add to the existing research on school counseling with their own discoveries.

Defining the Difference Between a School Counseling Ed.D. & a Ph.D. Degree.

A school counseling professional seeking a doctorate degree in school counseling will need to further decide which type of doctorate degree –

  • A Doctor of Philosophy or a Ph.D. – which focuses on contributing to current research and theoretical knowledge. A Ph.D. is suitable for those interested in working as researchers, scholars or counselor-educators
  • A Doctor of Education or Ed.D.  – Which focuses on the application of existing theories and knowledge to practical challenges. An Ed.D. The degree is most suitable for those seeking careers as an advanced practitioner, administrative or program developer.

The Council of Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) is the primary accrediting agency tasked with accrediting graduate level (master’s & doctoral degrees) in counseling degrees across the nation. It is noted that CACREP accredits campus-based or online doctorate in school counseling degree programs.

Many doctoral degree students continue to work full-time while pursuing their online doctorate in school counseling degree, which is why online degrees are often preferred as they offer the required flexibility to work and study according to the student’s time availability.

Best 8 Online Doctorate in School Counseling Programs

1. The University of West Georgia (UWG Online)

The University of West Georgia’s College of Education (UWG COE) offers a Doctor of Education (Ed.D) degree program in Professional Counseling and Supervision that accepts twelve students each year but can be finished in two to approximately three years of study.  Classes for the University of West Georgia’s online doctorate in school counseling degree program include professional writing & research, ethical leadership in education, and building inclusive education environments, among others.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 241.00 per credit for online students.
  • Credit Required to Graduate – 60 graduate credit units.
  • Unique Features of this Program – UWG only requires an on-campus orientation and offers an accelerated option for those with acceptable previous education/experience.

2. The University of North Texas (UNT Online)

The Education College at the University of North Texas offers a CACREP-accredited Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Counseling that is available online. The 72 mandated credit hours for this online doctorate degree program are integrated to include classes, research, dissertation, and practicum. Students graduate from this Doctor of Philosophy program in Counseling to find rewarding careers as a guidance director, advanced practitioner, or counselor educator, among others.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 277.79 per credit (Texas Residents), $ 686.79 per credit (nonresidents).
  • Credit Required to Graduate – 72 graduate credit units, plus nine credit hours of research tools.
  • Unique Features of this Program – UNT offers a variety of resource centers and clinics for doctoral students to apply research.

3. The University of Arkansas (UA Online)

The University of Arkansas’s College of Education and Health Professions offers a CACREP-accredited Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program in Counselor Education and Supervision (CNED) that is available entirely online. The core coursework for the University of Arkansas’s online doctorate in school counseling degree program includes advanced group theory, introduction to play therapy, cultural foundations, and counseling, plus an internship, practicum, and doctoral dissertation, among others.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 491.22 per credit (Arkansas residents),  $ 1,228.93 per credit (nonresidents).
  • Credit Required to Graduate – 69 graduate credit units.
  • Unique Features of this Program – Doctoral degree students may opt to choose cognate courses in related areas up to 12 credits.

4. Oregon State University (OSU Online)

Oregon State University offers a Ph.D. in Counseling that is completed with an active and supportive cohort throughout the degree program. OSU’s online doctorate in school counseling degree program includes classes in group counseling, diversity & social justice, advanced counseling theory, and supervision, to name a few.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 590.00 per credit unit
  • Credit Required to Graduate – 150 quarter credit units, plus a 630-hour internship.
  • Unique Features of this Program – USU requires two on-campus visits each quarter in Portland, Oregon.

5. Mississippi College (MC Online)

As the state of Mississippi’s oldest institution of higher education, Mississippi College offers a Doctor of Professional Counseling (DPC) degree program that is the first of its kind in the nation. Classes for Mississippi College’s online doctorate in school counseling include models of counseling, advanced lifespan developmental processes, and introduction to advanced research, plus a clinical supervision field experience, to name a few.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 660.00 per credit for all students.
  • Credit Required to Graduate – 72 graduate credit units.
  • Unique Features of this Program – The DPC program from Mississippi College is the first clinical doctorate for professional counselors.

4. Hampton University (HU Online)

Hampton University’s Counseling Department offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program in Counselor Education and Supervision that is ranked among the top online doctorate in school counseling degree programs in the nation. Degree candidates enrolled in one of Virginia’s best online school counseling programs typically complete the degree in 3.5 years. Classes for this terminal school counseling degree include ethics & legal aspects of counseling, human sexuality, and advanced group and systems theory, to name a few.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 665.00 per credit for online students.
  • Credit Required to Graduate – 64 graduate credit units, plus a practicum and two internships.
  • Unique Features of this Program – Students have the option of selecting from the school counseling or community mental health-counseling track.

5. Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania (SU Online)

Shippensburg University offers a Doctor of Education (Ed.D) degree program in Professional Counseling and Supervision that prepares degree candidates for careers in advanced clinical supervision or practice. Shippensburg University’s online doctorate in school counseling degree program is CACREP accredited and requires both a 100-hour practicum and two 300-hour internships to meet the program’s requirements.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 671.00 per credit (Pennsylvania residents), $ 1,006.00 per credit (nonresidents).
  • Credit Required to Graduate – 57 graduate credit units.
  • Unique Features of this Program – Clinical supervision is the cornerstone of the doctoral degree program.

6. The University of the Cumberlands (UC Online)

The University of the Cumberlands (UC Online) offers a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision that prepares students to make a significant impact in many industries like higher education, human services, and psychology, to name a few. The core coursework for UC’s online doctorate in school counseling degree program includes andragogy in counselor education, legal & ethical issues in counselor education and supervision, and neuro-anatomy and behavioral medicine for professional counseling, plus 27 credits of clinical and research requirements, among others.

  • Tuition Fees –  $ 700.00 per credit unit (Kentucky residents).
  • Credit Required to Graduate – 66 graduate credit units.
  • Unique Features of this Program – Concentrations in Addiction, Advanced Counseling, or Leadership.

7. The University of New Orleans (UNO Online)

The University of New Orleans offers a Ph.D. in Counselor Education that can be complete 100% online and is accredited by CACREP. Degree candidates enrolled in UNO’s online doctorate in school counseling degree program have a maximum of eight calendar years to complete the doctoral level degree. Graduates of UNO’s online doctoral degree will have met the academic qualifications for those seeking to become an NCC – a national Board Certified Counselor or an LPC in Louisiana.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 1,012.00 per credit unit (Louisiana residents), $ 1,519.78 per credit (nonresidents).
  • Credit Required to Graduate – 60 graduate credit units, plus a 100 practicum, plus a 600-hour internship.
  • Unique Features of this Program – UNO’s offers flexible options for its limited residency requirement.

8. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (CSPP Online)

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (CSPP Online) offers a CACREP-accredited Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision that can be completed entirely online in only three years. This online doctorate in school counseling degree program is designed for are licensed (or license-eligible) and offers two academic specializations – teaching and supervision of mental health counseling or leadership in mental health counseling.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 1,537.00 per credit for online students.
  • Credit Required to Graduate – 60 graduate credit units, plus six-100 internships and practicums.
  • Unique Features of this Program – CSPP offers practicum opportunities through the school’s Virtual Clinical Training Center.

Our Ranking Methodology

The above-noted online doctorate in school counseling degree programs offers those individuals interested in earning this prestigious degree from a cross-section of available options from which to choose. These ten online doctorate in school counseling degree programs are ranked, with the most affordable doctorate degree programs shown first.

Most of these online doctorate in school counseling degreeprograms offer the completion of the terminal degree in school counseling entirely only online or with very limited required campus visits or residencies.

These online doctorate in school counseling degree programs have been evaluated by BestValueSchools.org, with information and data extracted from the following sources –

  • Each institution of higher education’s college or program website.
  • The College Navigator Website (NCES) is administered by the National Center for Education Statistics.
  • The Department of Labor, when applicable.

The tuition information that was used in the assessment and analysis represents the latest available fees on a ‘per credit’ basis. By delineating the tuition fees on a ‘per credit’ basis, potential degree candidates can truly compare ‘apples to apples.’

To calculate the program’s total cost, simply multiply the required credit units by the per credit cost.

Concerned About the Information for One of the Online Doctorate In School Counseling Degree Program’s Listed Above?

Have you noticed data in need of an update? Please reach out to BestValueSchools.org to allow us to update the program data.

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