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Top Schools for Counseling and Guidance

Counselors work in school and community settings, providing support to children and adults to help them cope with problems and develop life skills. In most circumstances, counselors need at least a master's degree to be licensed to provide counseling services.

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Top Counseling and Guidance Schools

1. College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA

The College of William and Mary ranked 33rd on the U.S. News & World Report list of top national universities in 2012, as well as 18th for student counseling and personnel services in 2011. Founded in 1693, this public research university is one of the oldest colleges in the country.

The School of Education offers a 3-year master's degree program in school psychology, as well as a 2-year master's program in counseling. The counseling program offers concentrations in marriage counseling, school counseling and community counseling and includes an internship. Doctoral students can pursue a Ph.D. in Counselor Education.

2. Pennsylvania State University in University Park, PA

U.S. News & World Report ranked Pennsylvania State University fourth for rehabilitation counseling programs and fifth for counseling and personnel services in 2011. Through the Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling and Special Education, students can complete a master's degree program in elementary school counseling, secondary school counseling, rehabilitation counseling, mental health counseling or career counseling.

In addition to completing clinical experiences, students in the rehabilitation counseling program examine concepts in chronic illness, mental health, service delivery and clinical assessment. Penn State also offers master's and Ph.D. programs in counselor education.

3. University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI

The University of Wisconsin offers a terminal Master of Science in Counseling program, which explores multicultural counseling, consultation and professional behavior. It also offers a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology program, which is accredited by the American Psychological Association. Additionally, the School of Education features a counseling psychology training clinic, which supports faculty research and offers psychology and mental health services to clients. U.S News & World Report ranked the University of Wisconsin tenth among the country's public schools and 42nd among national universities in 2012.

List of Ten Good Counseling and Guidance Programs

School Name Distinction Location
College of William and Mary School counseling program allows students to begin working in schools during their first semester Williamsburg, VA
George Washington University Master's degree in rehabilitation counseling offered entirely online Washington, D.C.
Ohio State University Offers master's degree tracks in clinical counseling and school counseling Columbus, OH
Pennsylvania State University Rehabilitation counseling students can focus on addictions or psychiatric rehabilitation University Park, PA
University of Florida Ranked second by U.S. News & World Report for student counseling and personnel services programs in 2011 Gainesville, FL
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Students in the counseling program must complete a 1-year internship before pursuing a doctoral degree Champaign, IL
University of Iowa Ranked second for rehabilitation counseling by U.S. News & World Report in 2011 Iowa City, IA
University of Maryland Offers undergraduate, graduate certificate, master's and doctoral programs through its Department of Counseling and Personnel Services College Park, MD
University of North Carolina Division of Rehabilitation Counseling and Psychology offers student research projects, such as the Older Workers with Disabilities Pilot Project Chapel Hill, NC
University of Wisconsin - Madison Ranked first for rehabilitation counseling and sixth for student counseling and personnel services by U.S. News & World Report in 2011 Madison, WI
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