Online Master of Education with School Counseling Specialization

Online Master of Education with School Counseling Specialization

The master of education in human development counseling with a specialization in school counseling is developed by faculty within the Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College department of human and organizational development. The curriculum provides a rigorous and humanistic training model that prepares students to become effective K-12 school counselors. Students will be able to translate theoretical knowledge and extensive research into successful counseling programs that help children thrive and succeed.

The program prepares students for licensure in public and private schools.

Why Earn an Online Master’s in School Counseling?

Master’s programs in school counseling prepare students to have a significant impact on individuals, schools, families and communities. School counselors work directly with K-12 children to assess their overall well-being. They also consider social, emotional and environmental factors to create programs that support success in school and beyond. Counselors are uniquely positioned to have a lasting and positive effect on children and their families.

Program Requirements

The online M.Ed. in human development counseling with a specialization in school counseling is a 48 credit hour program and can be completed in two to three years. Students are required to complete three terms of field experiences and must attend two on-campus immersions.

Online M.Ed. Curriculum

The online M.Ed. in human development counseling with a specialization in school counseling trains students to effectively meet the academic, social, psychological and emotional needs of children in K-12 environments.

Students in the M.Ed. with a school counseling specialization program will:

  • Develop a thorough and comprehensive knowledge base in the areas of social/behavioral sciences
  • Acquire counseling and helping skills, such as individual counseling, supervision, testing, consulting, group work, interviewing, diagnosis and assessment
  • Gain knowledge of the organization and administration of schools, as well as clarity regarding the role of professional counselors in K-12
  • Use research/evaluation tools relevant to the delivery of helping services in a community agency, school or corporate setting
  • Understand the wide scope of diverse populations that will be encountered in work settings


Additionally, students focus on the following key areas of study in order to meet program objectives and develop critical skills:

Social and Cultural Diversity
Students develop counseling skills using theories of multicultural counseling, self-awareness, advocacy and conflict resolution.

Human Growth
Students gain an understanding of human needs at all developmental stages, learning theory and how to facilitate wellness.

Helping Relationship
Students learn about counseling in a multicultural society, crisis intervention strategies, and counselor characteristics and skills influencing the helping process.

Research and Assessment
Students focus on research/evaluation tools relevant to the delivery of helping services in either a community agency, school or corporate setting.

Career Development
Students explore the complexities of organization and administration in schools and within the counseling profession.

Ethical Practice
Students build good judgment and decision-making practices related to advocacy, social justice, ethical concerns and legal considerations in professional counseling.

Program Components

The online M.Ed. brings together online learning and in-person experiences to offer students a program that is robust and challenging.

Weekly Online Classes

Live, online classes led by Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College faculty engage students in group discussions, question-and-answer sessions and guided learning. Each class session explores topics covered in students’ online course work, such as professional orientation, counseling theories, conflict resolution and vocational guidance. See course descriptions here.

Two On-Campus Immersions

Students are required to attend two on-campus immersions in Nashville, Tennessee, that bring together online M.Ed. students and their professors. Through collaborative projects, students demonstrate mastery of subject matter while developing their personal models of counseling.

Field Experiences

Students gain hands-on experience in the field by completing three terms of internships. Students have the opportunity to face contemporary challenges within human development counseling while developing their personal approaches to counseling.

Get Started

The Peabody College M.Ed. program is focused on helping school counselors become strong advocates and guides for K-12 children. If you’re ready to get started, contact an admissions counselor at 855-338-4540 or request information.