Counseling psychology is essentially the application of psychology to the solving of the problems of everyday stresses, e.g, career planning, marriage guidance and family difficulties. It can be studied at masters and doctoral levels.
This page provides more information about the field, and about the contents of the degree. It also has information and links to where to study it, an outline of the career prospects, the salaries, and more. Although the information about the field is relevant to all students, this page mainly provides links to schools for students who wish to study counseling psychology online. If you wish to explore the on campus psychology programs available, go to the campus universities page.
What do you study in a counseling psychology degree online?
Counseling psychologists help people to solve interpersonal problems. To do this they use many techniques, including one-on-one interviews, group sessions and hypnosis. These are all skills that need to be learned. A good rapport between the counselor and the patient is essential for counseling sessions to be successful, so good interpersonal and communication skills are very important.
A typical counseling psychology degree would include:
- Career development
- Human growth and development
- Interpersonal communications and relationships
- Group work
- Social and cultural diversity
- Research and program evaluation
- Professional identity
Counseling psychology career requirements
For most counseling careers you need to have a relevant first degree (e.g., psychology, sociology, or education), and have successfully completed graduate level courses or a graduate degree in counseling psychology. You also need a minimum of 600 hours of supervised clinical counseling experience. This will allow you to work as a Careers Counselor, Executive Coach, Family and Marriage Counselor, or similar.
But to be licensed to practice as a counselor in the US you also need to have a master’s degree (or PhD) in counseling and up to 2,000 hours of supervised clinical internship, in addition to taking a state-administered exam.
The American Psychological Association (APA) accredits doctoral training programs in counseling, as well as institutions that provide internships for doctoral students in counseling psychology.
What are the career prospects?
As a graduate of an online counseling psychology program you would advise people on how to deal with problems of everyday living, including career or work problems and problems faced in different stages of life. You might be helping people overcome addictions and substance abuse, marriage and domestic issues. As a graduate of a counseling psychology degree you might work in K-12 education settings, hospitals, and non-profit organizations. Make sure the program you take is accredited by an accrediting body appropriate for the profession you wish to enter, such as the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the American Psychological Association (APA), the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), or the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE).
The demand for psychology counselors seems to be increasing. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, employment of counseling professionals should grow rapidly until at least 2018. Employment for behavioral disorder counseling should increase dramatically. The greater enrollment in schools will lead to a rapid growth in numbers of school counselors.
List of schools and programs
Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education. Eligible students can receive college credit for prior military experience and coursework—up to 75 percent of the credit needed for a Kaplan University undergraduate degree.*
- BS in Psychology - Substance Addictions
- MS in Psychology - Addictions
- MS in Psychology - General Psychology
- And more...
Capella combines outstanding academics with a supportive faculty and staff in a program designed for working adults.
An education that blends theory and practice to fuel your career
- MS - Counseling Psychology
- MS - Mental Health Counseling (CACREP-accredited)
- MS - Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy (CACREP-, COAMFTE-accredited)
- And more...
LeTourneau University is an interdenominational Christ-centered university offering more than 80 programs that prepare students for success in areas including the arts and sciences, aviation, business, education and engineering.
- Master of Arts in Counseling - Dual Specialization Track
- Master of Arts in Counseling - Professional Counselor Specialization (LPC)
- Master of Arts in Counseling - Marriage and Family Therapy Specialization (LMFT)
- And more...
Earn Your Degree from U.S. News & World Report-Ranked Florida Tech – 100% Online
Grounded in a tradition of excellence since 1958, a degree from Florida Tech puts you in good company. With a longstanding reputation of unmatched academics, Florida Tech has educated NASA scientists, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and highly decorated military generals. Join distinguished alumni and empower yourself with a career-building degree that employers value.
- Associate of Arts in Applied Psychology
- Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology
As the largest private university in North America, University of Phoenix has locations nationwide, and is available online in most countries around the world. Whether you're seeking a college degree at an associate's, bachelor's, master's, or doctoral level, we can help you reach your academic goal and sooner than you might think.
- M.S. in Counseling/Clinical Mental Health Counseling
- M.S. in Psychology/Industrial- Organizational Psychology
- A.A. in Psychology
- And more...
As a student at South University, you will have the opportunity to learn from accomplished faculty members who have real-world experience in the subjects that they teach. Our small class sizes allow you to receive personalized attention from instructors, and the encouragement to recognize your goals for the future and the means to achieve them.
- Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MA)
- Psychology (BA)
Pioneering distance education since 1985, Liberty University is now the nation’s seventh largest university. With more than 300 online and residential areas of study, Liberty offers programs from the certificate to doctoral level.
- MA in Professional Counseling - 60 Hour
- MA in Marriage and Family Therapy
- Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling
- And more...
At Globe University we prepare students for exciting careers in high-value fields. Imagine getting paid for what you love doing. It all starts with career-based training at any one of our Globe University campuses.
- Certificate Mental Health Technician
- M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
- Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy
- Marriage and Family Therapy Advanced Certificate
- And more...
Be a part of the world’s premier institution for humanistic studies at Saybrook University. Pursue an advanced degree in psychology, mind-body medicine, organizational systems, and human science.
- M.A. Psychology, Counseling Specialization