If helping people overcome life's challenges is your passion, consider an online counseling degree.
Counseling and Psychology are very popular degree programs for undergraduate students and can provide a great foundation for a wide range of careers. Some students are attracted to the field because of its association with counseling and hope to find work providing therapeutic advice for those struggling with addiction, family conflicts, spiritual crises, and more. Thankfully, there are a number of both secular and religiously affiliated universities that offer B.S. and B.A. degrees in Counseling for just this purpose. Furthermore, many of these degrees are available online, making them easily accessible to working adults located anywhere in the country.
You may also want to check out our ranking of affordable online colleges.
If you have been thinking about going to college online to earn a Counseling degree but feel like you don't know where to begin, you no longer have an excuse!
To get you started, we used NCES/College Navigator data to compile a list of the 10 most affordable online colleges that offer baccalaureate programs in this field. Feel free to peruse the online counseling degree descriptions below; we have also provided links to the schools' websites so you can get more information – and maybe even apply! The schools are listed from most to least expensive, with public schools being ranked according to the average of their in-state and out-of-state tuition rates. As you do your online counseling degree research, make sure to ask the university representatives about what tuition rate you qualify for and what you need to do to get certified or licensed as a counselor in your home state.
Note: This article may contain sponsored links. These are designed to help you connect with programs easily.
Cheap Online Counseling Degree Program Rankings
10. Brescia University
Online Bachelor of Science in Addictions Counseling
Brescia University's baccelaureate degree in Addictions Counseling offers students an advanced study of counseling methods that will prepare them for both state and national certifications. The online counseling degree curriculum takes an in-depth look at addiction treatments and is constantly evolving as counselors develop new methods for understanding mental health issues. Students must complete 42 credits within the major and can choose from a range of interesting courses, including "Addictions and the Family," "Behavioral Psychopharmacology," and "Recovery and Relapse Prevention." After completing this accredited online college program, most graduates will still need to fulfill additional counseling hours under supervision in order to achieve state certification. According to U.S. News, Brescia is one of the top 50 universities in the south, making it a great choice for online college students all across the country.
9. University of Cincinnati
Online Bachelor's Degree Program in Substance Abuse Counseling
The University of Cincinnati's online college offers a degree in Substance Abuse Counseling that focuses specifically on issues related to chemical dependency. The institution differentiates itself as a top online college in multiple ways, including staffing the School of Human Services with well-respected faculty who are experienced in both research and counseling. Unlike at many universities, students attending college online at UC are under no obligation to travel at all; the entire degree is available over the internet. UC has long been named a "top tier" school by U.S. News, but has also been labeled one of the top 200 schools in the world, according to Times Higher Education (a UK-based publication).
Tuition: $10,784/yr (In-state) $25,816/yr (Out-of-state)
8. Southwestern Assemblies of God University
Counseling Ministries Degree Online
People who major in counseling can choose to specialize in a number of different areas. While some gravitate toward degrees in substance abuse, others prefer to attend religious institutions that offer spiritually-based counseling programs. If that's your preference, you might consider Southwestern Assemblies of God University. Although the online baccelaureate degree in Counseling Ministries is part of the online college, students are nonetheless required to complete substantial field experiences in ministry in order to graduate. Courses include both foundational subjects like developmental psychology and more targeted topics, like the interplay between selfhood and the Christian faith. The aptly named "Students Review" webite gives SAGU an overall B+ grade and reports that 82% of graduates say they would return to the school. These reviews put the top online college among the ranks of such well-known institutions as Stanford and Berkeley for education quality.
7. Grand Canyon University
Online Bachelor of Science in Counseling with an Emphasis in Addiction, Chemical Dependency, and Substance Abuse
Grand Canyon's B.S. in Counseling comes with a comprehensive major that covers all aspects of addiction, chemical dependency, and substance abuse. In addition to covering all the theories behind counseling, the curriculum also engages students in a discussion of treatments for patients of every age: adults, adolescents, and children. Graduates of the affordable online counseling degree program will have a myriad of career opportunities and could work in mental health centers, rehabilitation clinics, or in private practice. This is one of the best online colleges for students from many states, and GCU provides a useful enrollment agreement that spells out what the practicum requirements are for students in different areas. This accredited online college has achieved an 81/100 "Smart Rating" from FindTheBest.com, which speaks to its impressive reputation for academic excellence, selectivity, and affordability.
6. Trinity College of the Bible
Online BA Degree – Major in Biblical Counseling
Trinity College is another institution that offers an online counseling program with an emphasis on religious studies. Students learn how to counsel other Christians through grief and hard times, and often end up working in churches or with other spiritual organizations. Because the college offers an extensive selection of online college degrees, distance learners get access to the host of services, including a virtual library. All 120 credits of this bachelor of arts degree are available online, and students can log in or access online support whenever they want. As a seminary with a very specific curriculum, Trinity has voluntarily chosen to forgo the accreditation process; instead, the university stakes its reputation as a top online college on the credentials of its faculty and its high enrollment rate. The college has produced multiple notable alumni, including a bishop and current congressman.
5. Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology w/ Concentration in Prevention Specialist Online
Perhaps the biggest attraction of Northwestern State University's online college psychology program is that GetEducated.com currently labels it a "Best Buy," in higher education, a reliable sign of both quality and affordability. Not only is it one of the best online college's for aspiring counseling professionals, it also offers a specialization in substance abuse and prevention that is ideal for those interested in chemical dependency. The cheap online counseling degree curriculum is split into three main arenas – general psychology, clinical psychology, and addiction studies – to ensure that you benefit from a truly comprehensive exploration of counseling topics. Students local to the area can apply for certification or licensure as an addiction professional through the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.
Tuition: $6,207/yr (In-state) $16,327 (Out-of-state)
4. University of South Dakota
Online Bachelor of Science in ADS
The University of South Dakota's distance learning division functions as a fully accredited online college, and its Addiction Studies Department has received an additional accreditation. Its curriculum is approved by the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC), a component of the reputable Higher Learning Commission. Members of the online Bachelor's in Counseling degree program gain a strong foundation in academics while also getting valuable hands-on experience in real-world situations. Instruction is based entirely on scientific, evidence-based practices and qualifies students for certification at the state, national, and even international level. Given its impressive credentials, it's no wonder that U.S. News, Forbes, Princeton Review, GetEducated.com, and Victory Media have all recognized USD for its academic quality, affordability, and commitment to serving the needs of veterans.
Tuition: $8,022/yr (In-state) $10,104 (Out-of-state)
3. Arlington Baptist College
Bachelor of Science in Biblical Counseling Online
The last university on this list with a religious affiliation, Arlington Baptist is an affordable online college option for Christian students. The B.S. in Bible Counseling is a 100% distance education program, with the exception of a required practicum. In addition to "Gen. Ed." courses, students must also build a solid foundation in Bible studies before progressing to counseling-specific classes. Toward the end of your accredited online counseling degree you will dive into the heart of the curriculum and study subjects like marriage and the family, Christian life issues, and human personality. You can even take an entire course on the "Essential Qualities of a Biblical Counselor." College Prowler highlights the fact that students often stick around at ABC, and only 11% of attendees transfer out at some point in their education.
2. Mid-Continent University
Bachelor of Science in Psychology & Counseling Degree ONLINE
Mid-Continent University offers an accelerated, combined psychology and counseling degree that only recently moved online. The program is meant to offer adult learners an education that will open the door to a wide range of careers, as well as prepare students for graduate school. The faculty describe this accredited online college as both convenient and affordable – and the less than $9,000 price tag proves it! You can complete coursework any time you want through the 24/7 online system. Take classes two at a time and get to know your "Cohort Community" – an educational approach that emphasizes both manageability and group interaction. FindTheBest gives this top online college an impressive 88/100 "Smart Rating," and also notes its great financial aid programs.
1. Aspen University
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Addiction Counseling Online
Aspen University is an incredibly cheap online college with an annual price tag of just over $6,000, and that's before financial aid! Students interested in psychology and/or counseling can enroll in the institution's related baccelaureate program, which focuses on individual and family therapy, healthcare ethics, and substance abuse treatment. Although anyone can apply to Aspen, the degree is ideal for experienced professionals looking to enhance their resumes with an additional career-specific degree. Course topics include juvenile justice, child psychology, group therapy, addiction counseling theories, and much more. This school is a nationally accredited online college, and in-house surveys reveal that 99% of students agree that Aspen helped them achieve their goals – a hard number to beat!
For rankings similar to our online counseling degree list, please also review Top 20 Cheap Online Psychology Degree Programs (Bachelor's) 2019.
About the Author:
Iris Stone began her writing career when she started working as a freelance writer and researcher in 2011. Her freelance business soon took off and she now owns and operates a writing and editing firm that works with clients all across the country. Despite the time it takes to run a business she still does much of the writing herself, and her work has included a variety of content related to education policy, colleges and universities, academic programs, and graduates' careers. Her interests actually span far beyond writing, and she is currently studying to be a physicist! Check out her Google+ Profile.
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