Masters in Guidance Counseling Degree Program Overview

Learn about courses included in guidance counseling master's degree programs. Find out about certification and licensure requirements for working in this field.

View 8 Popular Schools »

Essential Information

Guidance counselors provide personal, educational and vocational support to primary and secondary school students. They perform assessments, including those focused on aptitude, learning abilities and academic interests. Master's degree programs in guidance counseling offer professional training and closely monitored experiential learning to teachers and others interested in becoming guidance counselors.

Master's degree programs in guidance counseling include instruction in counseling theory, interviewing techniques and assessment tools for work with elementary, middle and high school students. Programs meant to transition certified teachers to work as guidance counselors are typically designed to meet public school system standards. Most master's programs in guidance counseling require supervised counseling sessions for students to gain practical experience. These degree programs may lead to Master of Arts, Master of Science or Master of Education degrees.

Educational Prerequisites

Guidance counseling master's degrees are commonly available at 4-year colleges and universities. Applicants are required to possess a bachelor's degree, though rarely in a specific, related field such as education. Admission often requires a personal statement noting the applicant's work history and reason for pursuing a master's degree in guidance counseling. Most programs require GRE scores.

Program Coursework

Guidance counselors help students with personal problems, course selection and career planning. A master's degree in guidance counseling prepares future counselors for their multiple roles through a diverse range of coursework such as the following:

  • Guidance counseling theory and technique
  • Human growth and development
  • Student appraisal
  • Educational planning
  • Vocational counseling theory
  • Group counseling theory
  • Interviewing skills development
  • Counseling practicum

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

There were approximately 237,480 educational, guidance, school and vocational counselors employed in 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov). Between 2010 and 2020, this number is expected to grow 19% as student enrollment expands at all levels, college students request more career guidance and rehabilitation centers need more career counselors. Elementary and secondary school guidance counselors had a mean annual salary of $62,970 in May 2012.

Certification and Continuing Education Information

Requirements regarding licensure for guidance counselors vary by state. Many states require all guidance counselors to have completed a master's degree and hold state certification. Others have less stringent regulations, though some coursework is typically required. Those looking for career advancement, or professorial or research careers can pursue a Ph.D. in guidance counseling.

Show me popular schools

Related to Master's Degree Program in Guidance Counseling

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Online Schools with Masters in Guidance Counseling: How to Choose

Guidance counseling involves working with children to aid and develop goals for their future. Though most commonly associated...

Online Masters in Guidance Counseling Program Overview

School counselors are needed at all levels of education to help students cope with and understand personal, behavioral and...

PhD in Guidance Counseling: Info for Doctoral Students

Explore Ph.D. degree programs that are related to guidance counseling. Read about prerequisites and common course topics for...

Guidance Counseling Continuing Education Programs

Learn about continuing education requirements for guidance counselors. Discover where to find these courses and find out about...

Types of Counseling Careers: Info for Aspiring Counselors

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants to master's programs at the University of Kansas must have already earned a bachelor's degree.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • Master's - Curriculum and Instruction
        • Master's - Educational Administration

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Colorado (1 campus)
    • Nevada (1 campus)
    • Utah (1)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    Do you prefer online or campus based learning?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 21 years of age or older and have completed some college or 24 years of age or older and a high school graduate for a Bachelor's degree
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • MS in Educational Effectiveness

    Which degree level do you plan to pursue?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be at least 16 years old and have a high school diploma or GED.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • M.S. Educational Leadership
        • M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Education
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Curriculum and Instruction
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • Educational Evaluation and Research
      • ESL Teaching
      • Philosophical Foundations of Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Education
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • International and Comparative Education
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics