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The 59 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Counseling

An online master’s in counseling leads to professional opportunities with greater responsibilities, salaries, and job stability. There are a number of counseling degree options—usually master of science programs—that are designed to prepare you for state licensure and professional certification. However, many accredited online counseling degrees do not lead to licensure, but instead equip students with an added background for work in human services or education jobs that do not require additional certification. This includes careers from academic assessment to juvenile services, research jobs, and substance abuse counseling. Make sure to check if you need licensing to practice in your career path, and look for a degree accordingly.Marriage and family therapy is an included major within this category as it is one of the fastest growing licensed professions in the field.

Consider also that master of science in counseling degrees are designed for those with a bachelor’s in this field, while master of art in counseling programs are pursuable with a general bachelor’s degree. It is important to choose the online master’s in counseling that best suits your academic and professional needs as well as your current budget. Considering the difference between the most expensive and economical programs can reach up to $105, 000, it certainly pays to get educated before you enroll.

GetEducated has surveyed 177 accredited online master’s in counseling, substance abuse counseling, and marriage and family therapy from 97 schools to bring you a “Best Buy” list. This list provides you with the highest caliber programs at the most economical price.

Average Cost (In-state): ~$37,000
Least Expensive: Amberton University ~$9,840
Most Expensive: New York University ~$114,368

Our data-driven research creates a truly reliable system of scientific rankings. There are no fancy formulas here. We meticulously calculate total full-time tuition—including any fees—for the most accurate total cost. Our rankings cannot be bought, and therefore factually showcase the cheapest online master’s in counseling programs. The online counseling degrees listed above the gray dividing line are official 2020 “Best Buys” and cost less than the national average.

59 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Counseling

RankSchool / DegreeStatePriceNote
1
Amberton University
(TX)
$9,840.00
All Students
2
The Baptist College of Florida
(FL)
$11,850.00
All Students
3
Clarks Summit University
(PA)
$13,525.00
$10,525.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
4
Fort Hays State University
(KS)
$13,812.00
All Students
5
Concordia University-Saint Paul
(MN)
$14,220.00
$12,600.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
6
University of West Alabama
(AL)
$14,432.00
All Students
7
University of Oklahoma
(OK)
$14,439.15
$34,595.55
In-State
Out-of-State
8
Texas Woman's University
(TX)
$14,538.24
$28,886.24
In-State
Out-of-State
9
Governors State University
(IL)
$14,781.00
$26,077.00
In-State
Out-of-State
10
Winston-Salem State University
(NC)
$14,918.00
$42,200.00
In-State
Out-of-State
11
University of South Dakota
(SD)
$15,371.40
All Students
12
North Carolina Central University
(NC)
$15,398.40
$53,498.40
In-State
Out-of-State
13
Fort Valley State University
(GA)
$16,419.00
All Students
14
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
(NE)
$17,309.00
$31,457.00
In-State
Out-of-State
15
Liberty University
(VA)
$17,846.00
$8,350.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
16
Houston Baptist University
(TX)
$18,250.00
All Students
17
Pentecostal Theological Seminary
(TN)
$18,286.00
All Students
18
Western New Mexico University
(NM)
$18,937.20
$22,846.20
In-State
Out-of-State
19
Montana State University-Billings
(MT)
$19,174.00
$33,496.00
In-State
Out-of-State
20
Grand Canyon University
(AZ)
$19,705.00
$15,285.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
21
Southwestern Assemblies of God University
(TX)
$20,065.00
All Students
22
Utah State University
(UT)
$21,012.68
$23,920.00
In-State
Out-of-State
23
Post University
(CT)
$21,090.00
All Students
24
Western Kentucky University
(KY)
$21,210.00
$7,500.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
25
Grand Canyon University
(AZ)
$21,225.00
$16,545.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
26
Bellevue University
(NE)
$22,060.00
All Students
27
Concordia University Wisconsin & Ann Arbor
(WI)
$22,104.00
All Students
28
Hampton University
(VA)
$22,445.00
All Students
29
West Texas A & M University
(TX)
$23,022.10
$49,357.90
In-State
Out-of-State
30
Ottawa University
(KS)
$23,395.00
All Students
31
University of the Cumberlands
(KY)
$24,600.00
All Students
32
The University of Alabama
(AL)
$25,200.00
All Students
33
Drexel University
(PA)
$25,740.00
$21,915.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
34
University of West Alabama
(AL)
$26,165.00
All Students
35
Huntington University
(IN)
$26,300.00
All Students
36
University of Houston-Victoria
(TX)
$26,429.52
$51,749.52
In-State
Out-of-State
37
University of North Texas
(TX)
$27,140.58
$52,460.58
In-State
Out-of-State
38
Touro University Worldwide
(CA)
$27,200.00
All Students
39
Lee University
(TN)
$27,500.00
All Students
40
Indiana Wesleyan University
(IN)
$27,744.00
All Students
41
Capella University
(MN)
$27,755.00
$25,067.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
42
Liberty University
(VA)
$28,215.00
$13,300.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
43
University at Buffalo
(NY)
$28,428.48
$30,631.20
In-State
Out-of-State
44
University of Louisiana at Monroe
(LA)
$30,000.00
All Students
45
San Diego State University
(CA)
$31,440.00
All Students
46
American International College
(MA)
$32,335.00
All Students
47
Clarks Summit University
(PA)
$33,175.00
$27,175.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
48
Crown College
(MN)
$34,280.00
All Students
49
University of Massachusetts-Boston
(MA)
$34,500.00
All Students
50
New England College
(NH)
$34,560.00
All Students
51
Indiana Wesleyan University
(IN)
$34,680.00
All Students
52
University of Wisconsin-Stout
(WI)
$34,800.00
All Students
53
Liberty University
(VA)
$35,393.00
$16,600.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
54
Grand Canyon University
(AZ)
$35,925.00
$27,865.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
55
Houston Baptist University
(TX)
$36,000.00
All Students
56
Concordia University Irvine
(CA)
$36,040.00
All Students
57
Capella University
(MN)
$36,464.00
$32,957.60
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
58
Adler Graduate School
(MN)
$36,990.00
All Students
59
Bellevue University
(NE)
$37,000.00
All Students
NOTE: The following schools did not make our Best Buy ranking but are also great online options.
School / DegreeStatePriceNote
Gwynedd Mercy University
(PA)
$37,190.00
All Students
Gwynedd Mercy University
(PA)
$37,190.00
All Students
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
(PA)
$37,536.00
$43,806.00
In-State
Out-of-State
University of the Southwest
(NM)
$37,590.00
All Students
Capella University
(MN)
$37,655.00
$34,017.50
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
Auburn University
(AL)
$37,800.00
All Students
Faulkner University
(AL)
$38,355.00
All Students
Northwest University
(WA)
$38,385.00
All Students
Nova Southeastern University
(FL)
$39,050.00
All Students
Lock Haven University
(PA)
$39,384.00
$58,014.00
In-State
Out-of-State
Southwestern Assemblies of God University
(TX)
$39,535.00
All Students
West Virginia University
(WV)
$39,564.00
All Students
Mid-America Christian University
(OK)
$39,720.00
All Students
Antioch University Online
(OH)
$40,082.00
All Students
Grace College and Theological Seminary
(IN)
$40,440.00
All Students
Southern New Hampshire University
(NH)
$40,570.00
$31,150.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
LeTourneau University
(TX)
$40,740.00
All Students
Nova Southeastern University
(FL)
$41,420.00
All Students
Thomas University
(GA)
$41,750.00
All Students
Cornerstone University
(MI)
$42,085.00
All Students
Northcentral University
(CA)
$42,600.00
$30,000.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
The George Washington University
(DC)
$42,619.00
All Students
Ottawa University
(KS)
$42,700.00
All Students
Walden University
(MN)
$42,730.00
$37,019.50
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
Grand Canyon University
(AZ)
$42,745.00
$33,125.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
Hope International University
(CA)
$42,800.00
All Students
University of Kentucky
(KY)
$43,092.00
All Students
Mercy College
(NY)
$43,886.00
All Students
Alliant International University
(CA)
$44,015.00
All Students
Nova Southeastern University
(FL)
$44,320.00
All Students
Colorado Christian University
(CO)
$44,490.00
All Students
Eastern University
(PA)
$44,890.00
All Students
Amridge University
(AL)
$45,225.00
$25,725.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
Amridge University
(AL)
$45,225.00
$25,725.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
Capella University
(MN)
$45,580.00
$41,197.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
Meridian University
(CA)
$46,166.00
All Students
Regent University
(VA)
$46,450.00
$35,800.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
Regent University
(VA)
$46,450.00
$35,800.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
Our Lady of the Lake University
(TX)
$46,730.00
$42,290.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
Walden University
(MN)
$47,590.00
$41,174.50
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
California Baptist University
(CA)
$47,755.00
All Students
Richmont Graduate University
(TN)
$48,223.00
All Students
Abilene Christian University
(TX)
$48,495.00
All Students
Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies
(MN)
$48,729.80
All Students
Union Institute & University
(OH)
$49,408.00
All Students
Medaille College
(NY)
$51,150.00
$48,600.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
Bay Path University
(MA)
$51,300.00
All Students
Nyack College
(NY)
$52,150.00
All Students
Palo Alto University
(CA)
$52,917.00
All Students
Prescott College
(AZ)
$55,775.00
All Students
Adler University
(IL)
$55,948.00
All Students
Our Lady of the Lake University
(TX)
$58,758.00
$53,208.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
Alliant International University
(CA)
$59,680.00
All Students
Stetson University
(FL)
$60,000.00
All Students
Sofia University
(CA)
$60,025.00
All Students
Divine Mercy University
(VA)
$61,456.00
All Students
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
(CA)
$72,095.00
All Students
Wake Forest University
(NC)
$88,050.00
All Students
Syracuse University
(NY)
$97,200.00
All Students
Northwestern University
(IL)
$112,128.00
All Students
New York University
(NY)
$114,368.00
All Students

14  Program is no longer accepting new students.

Accreditation Note: To qualify for a ranking, the online master’s in counseling program must be regionally accredited. Additional programmatic accreditation is noted in the rank table.

1   Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
3   Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE)
6   National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC)
40  National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD)

Rankings Note: These online college rankings are based on a GetEducated Summer 2020 review of regionally accredited online master’s in counseling programs. Total cost includes full-time tuition and fees and was valid at the time of collection and specific to the online learning program. School profiles for the Request More Information in our directory may reflect a slightly different cost based on different editorial update schedules. The published cost is an estimated sticker price for the entire online master’s in counseling including fees. Actual costs may vary by student. Factors such as transfer credits, prerequisite courses, professional licensing and financial aid availability will affect final cost.

Editorial Note: Online schools do NOT pay to be included in any GetEducated online degree ranking. These online master’s in counseling rankings are editorially independent, open to any regionally accredited or candidate college that offers a master’s degree that is available at least 80 percent through online learning and that is open to enrollment by the public. If your online college is regionally accredited and not currently reviewed by GetEducated, please contact us for inclusion.

These rankings of the cheapest online schools for counseling may NOT be re-posted online or reprinted in any format without a license from GetEducated ®. Consumer finance bloggers and writers can contact our editors for a free custom article on the best online master’s in counseling for use on your website. Our mission: Help consumers GetEducated ® about the best online colleges for cost and credibility.