2016 Most Affordable Online Counseling Degrees

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These 25 most affordable online counseling degrees have annual tuitions that range from $4,500 to $13,960, and 13 of these schools have tuitions under $10,000. These schools offer degrees at all levels and cover such counseling disciplines as addiction counseling, substance abuse counseling, biblical counseling, clinical mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, and more.

We required schools to offer at least an online bachelor's degree or higher in counseling to be considered for this ranking. A full methodology can be viewed here.

Looking for an Online Counseling Degree? Search Over 30,000 Online Programs:
Rank College Annual Tuition Counseling Degree Levels Offered
#1 #1 Aspen University Annual Tuition $4,500 Counseling Degrees: Bachelor's and Master's
#2 #2 City Vision University Annual Tuition $6,000 Counseling Degrees: Bachelor's and Certificate
#3 #3 Delta State University Annual Tuition $6,012 Counseling Degrees: Master's
#4 #4 Luther Rice University & Seminary Annual Tuition $6,960 Counseling Degrees: Bachelor's and Master's
#5 #5 University of Alabama Annual Tuition $7,020 Counseling Degrees: Master's
#6 #6 University of Louisiana-Monroe Annual Tuition $7,125 Counseling Degrees: Master's and Doctoral
#7 #7 Fort Hays State University Annual Tuition $7,592 Counseling Degrees: Master's and Certificate
#8 #8 Northwestern State University of Louisiana Annual Tuition $8,400 Counseling Degrees: Bachelor's and Certificate
#9 #9 University of West Alabama Annual Tuition $8,794 Counseling Degrees: Master's and Certificate
#10 #10 Carolina College of Biblical Studies Annual Tuition $8,850 Counseling Degrees: Bachelor's
#11 #11 California Southern University Annual Tuition $8,925 Counseling Degrees: Master's
#12 #12 University of North Dakota Annual Tuition $9,550 Counseling Degrees: Master's
#13 #13 Southern New Hampshire University Online Annual Tuition $9,600 Counseling Degrees: Bachelor's
#14 #14 Summit University Annual Tuition $10,080 Counseling Degrees: Bachelor's and Master's
#15 #15 Winston-Salem State University Annual Tuition $10,442 Counseling Degrees: No Longer Available.
#16 #16 Ottawa University Online Annual Tuition $10,500 Counseling Degrees: Bachelor's and Master's
#17 #17 Liberty University Online Annual Tuition $11,250 Counseling Degrees: Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, and Certificate
#18 #18 Walden University Annual Tuition $11,799 Counseling Degrees: Master's and Doctoral
#19 #19 University of Kentucky Annual Tuition $11,952 Counseling Degrees: Master's
#20 #20 Eastern Kentucky University Annual Tuition $12,000 Counseling Degrees: Bachelor's
#21 #21 Ohio Christian University Annual Tuition $12,450 Counseling Degrees: Bachelor's, Master's, and Certificate
#22 #22 Grand Canyon University Annual Tuition $12,656 Counseling Degrees: Bachelor's and Master's
#23 #23 Southwestern Assemblies of God University Annual Tuition $12,840 Counseling Degrees: Bachelor's and Master's
#24 #24 University of Phoenix Annual Tuition $13,320 Counseling Degrees: Bachelor's, Master's, and Certificate
#25 #25 Capella University Annual Tuition $13,960 Counseling Degrees: Master's, Doctoral, and Certificate
1
  • Annual Tuition: $4,500
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC

As the most affordable online school on our list, with an annual tuition of an even $4,500, Aspen University offers bachelor’s and master’s programs in Psychology and Addiction Counseling. Courses in the bachelor’s program range from Medical Terminology and Pharmacology to Substance Abuse, Counseling, and Child Psychology. For a more advanced view on the psychological and neurological aspects of addiction, complete the master’s degree program where required courses include Substance Abuse Prevention, Neurobiology of Addiction, Advanced Counseling Skills, and Clinical Supervision.

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2
  • Annual Tuition: $6,000
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC

City Vision University offers a certificate program that accompanies their bachelor’s program. To earn a bachelor’s degree in Addiction Studies, students take a variety of classes from social and behavioral sciences like Counseling in the City, Recovery Dynamics, Mental Illness and Addiction, and Family Issues and Recovery. Students can also complete 10 different courses in the addiction specialization to earn the certificate in addiction studies.

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Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

Online Certificate Programs (1)

3
  • Annual Tuition: $6,012
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC and CACREP

Accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, a special organization that promotes quality counseling programs in educational settings, Delta State University offers a master’s degree in Educational Specialist in Counseling. Courses included Human Growth and Development, Marriage and Family Counseling, Crisis Intervention Techniques, and more. Tuition is set at just over $6,000 per year.

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Online Master's Degrees (1)

4
  • Annual Tuition: $6,960
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: ABHE and TRACS

This Georgia-based religious university offers two degree programs for prospective counselors. Their bachelor’s program, which includes a major in biblical studies and a minor in biblical counseling, enables graduates to become biblical counselors at local churches, counseling centers, or in the field. Courses include a Survey in Theology as well as classes on the Life of Christ, Acts of the Apostles, and Revelation. The master’s degree option in biblical counseling includes fewer biblical courses and more courses in psychology and counseling. Neither program prepares students for state licensure.

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5
  • Annual Tuition: $7,020
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC and CACREP

For just over $7,000 per year, students can study at the University of Alabama to earn a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. The program gives students a chance to learn about supporting clients and their families as they learn to connect with their communities to overcome their disability. They will also learn about group counseling, advocacy, case management, and quality-of-life goals. Coursework for this program includes classes in Counseling Theory, Career Development, Multicultural Counseling, and Functional and Medical Aspects of Disabilities.

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6
  • Annual Tuition: $7,125
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

The master’s program at University of Louisiana-Monroe, which has a tuition rate of just over $7,000 annually, offers two different counseling paths. Students can choose from the Clinical Mental Health Counseling track—which deals with child, adolescent, and adult counseling—or the School Counseling track for elementary and secondary education. Both involve a large number of counseling courses. A three-year doctoral program in Marriage and Family Therapy is also available. This program includes courses in Family Therapy, Family Systems, Marital Therapy, Psychopathology, and a dissertation seminar.

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7
  • Annual Tuition: $7,592
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC

At Fort Hays State University, many options for fully online counseling degrees are available. Master of Science specializations include School Psychology, Counseling, or Education Specialist in School Psychology. Graduate classes include a variety of counseling classes such as Counseling Skills Development, Management of Counseling Programs, Social and Cultural Foundations, and Professional and Ethical Issues in Counseling as well as an educational research class.

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8
  • Annual Tuition: $8,400
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC and CACREP

Rather than your typical counseling degree, Northwestern State University of Louisiana offers a Bachelor of Science in Addiction Studies. The coursework for the program includes a mixture of general education and major requirements, with the major requirements themselves being a mixture of addiction studies and psychology courses. For the addiction studies aspect, students will take courses in Screening and Assessment, Family Dynamics, Addiction Counseling Skills, and Case Management. For the psychology aspect, they will instead take Abnormal Psychology, Seminar in Alcoholism, Developmental Psychology, and Introduction to Experimental Methods. Once initially licensed, students also have the option to complete the Early Intervention Certificate, which includes Identification and Evaluation of Children During the Developmental Period, Interactive Teaming and Physical and Medical Management, and Diagnosis and Correction of Reading Disabilities.

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9
  • Annual Tuition: $8,794
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

The University of West Alabama has many options for anyone seeking a career in the field of counseling. From the Master of Education in School Counseling, with or without certification, to the Master of Science in Continuing Education, with specializations in Counseling and Psychology, Family Counseling, and Guidance and Counseling, the distinct options in addition to the annual tuition rate of just over $8500, make UWA a smart choice. Some of the coursework for these programs include Techniques of Counseling, Systems of Psychotherapy, and Career Development and Counseling.

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10
  • Annual Tuition: $8,850
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: ABHE

Complete a Bachelor’s degree of Biblical Studies with a minor in Biblical Counseling in less than two years at Carolina College of Biblical Studies. This type of counseling degree allows students to communicate diverse concepts of leadership to various people through experience with biblical ideals. Courses that students are required to take for this program include those on church history, worldviews, ethics, and finance.

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11
  • Annual Tuition: $8,925
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: WASC WSCUC and DEAC

For those considering a career in counseling, the Master’s degree in Psychology from California Southern University will help you get there. With an annual tuition rate of just under $9,000, it’s an affordable way to obtain a graduate degree. Many of the topics covered in the program will prepare students for family therapy or clinical counseling settings. Classes offered within the degree program include Ethical Issues in Marriage, Child and Family Therapy, Family Systems Theory, Psychology of Aging, Psychology of Trauma, and Career Counseling.

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12
  • Annual Tuition: $9,550
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC

Still under $10,000, the University of North Dakota offers a two-and-a-half-year Master of Arts in Counseling with an Emphasis in School Counseling program. This is a great way to get a degree that will allow you to work within a school setting, whether it is elementary, middle, or high school. In addition to coursework, students will be visiting school campuses on multiple occasions to observe and practice in a professional environment. Courses include Counseling Methods, Methods of Research, Group Theory and Practice, and Life-Span Development in Counseling. Students can also add an additional emphasis of either Addiction Counseling or Community Mental Health Counseling.

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13
  • Annual Tuition: $9,600
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NEAS CIHE

Southern New Hampshire University offers two fully online degrees related to the discipline of counseling, BA Human Services Concentration in Child and Family Services and BA Psychology – Addiction. Students in these programs will take some basic psychology classes like Introduction to Psychology and Statistics for Psychology before completing others on Sociology, Experiential Learning, Scientific Investigations, and an internship.

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14
  • Annual Tuition: $10,080
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE and ABHE

Prospective counseling students can complete either an online bachelor’s or a master’s program at Summit University. The bachelor’s degrees in counseling or counseling ministries will teach students a basic biblical philosophy on top of counseling principles. Counseling courses include those in Abnormal Psychology, Professionalism, Personality Theory, and Social Psychology. Similarly, the master’s programs offer many of the same courses along with those in Counseling Theories, Counseling Techniques, and Human Development.

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15
  • Annual Tuition: $10,442
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Earn a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling degree for a little over $10,000 per year at Winston-Salem State University. Students who enroll in this program will learn about this type of counseling, but they will also be eligible to sign up for the National Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) exam. The aim of this master’s program is to prepare students for a career in rehabilitation. Courses like Group Counseling, Vocational Assessment, and Foundations of Rehabilitation Counseling will prepare them for their career field.

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16
  • Annual Tuition: $10,500
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC

At Ottawa University, students interested in counseling can choose from two different options. First, the bachelor’s program, which is offered in Addiction Counseling, prepares them for jobs in treatment facilities, hospitals, and other counseling agencies. Courses will discuss addiction, alcoholism, chemical dependency, and co-occurring disorders, with courses in Human Development, Psychopharmacology, Clinical Addiction, and Special Issues. Alternatively, students can obtain a master’s degree in counseling—a more general degree with more career options. Required classes include Counseling Theories, Models of Research, Cultural Concerns in Counseling, and Psychological Testing. Annual tuition is just above $10,000.

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17
  • Annual Tuition: $11,250
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC and CACREP

Liberty University offers a wide range of degree programs, from the associate level to doctoral level. The associate degree gives a general overview for those interested in Christian Counseling, with various psychology classes thrown in as well. There are also bachelor’s programs in Christian Counseling, featuring courses like Christian Counseling for Children and Issues of Christian Counseling. Students can obtain a master’s degree in Professional Counseling, though it is also designed through a faith-based lens, offering courses including Integration of Spirituality and Counseling, Multicultural Counseling, and Crisis Counseling. Earn a Doctorate in Counseling with an emphasis in Advanced Clinical Skills by focusing on clinical instruction and real-life application.

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Online Associate Degrees (1)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (4)

Online Master's Degrees (36)

Online Doctoral Degrees (5)

Online Certificate Programs (2)

18
  • Annual Tuition: $11,799
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC and CACREP

Coming in at just under $12,000, Walden University has a great variety of degree options. Students seeking a master’s program are able to choose from those in Addiction Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling as well as School Counseling. The curriculum for each is high quality with real-world components that lead to on-the-job experience. Those who are seeking a doctoral degree can also enroll in the Counselor Education and Supervision Program, which focuses heavily on residency programs for face-to-face training as well as research.

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Online Master's Degrees (28)

Online Doctoral Degrees (20)

19
  • Annual Tuition: $11,952
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

The University of Kentucky offers one fully online master's degree in counseling, their Master's in Rehabilitation Counseling. For an annual tuition just under $12,000, this degree program will cover courses such as Mental Health Diagnosis and Treatment Planning, Crisis, Disaster, and Trauma Response for Persons With Disabilities, and Chemical Dependence.

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Online Master's Degrees (1)

20
  • Annual Tuition: $12,000
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC, ACCET, and CACREP

With an annual tuition at $12,000, the Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree from Eastern Kentucky University joins problem-solving psychology components with the critical thinking and communication skills necessary in becoming a counselor. Available concentrations include Substance Abuse, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Forensic Psychology, Child and Family Psychology, Workplace Psychology, and Cognitive Science. While the program does not make students automatically eligible for licensure, there are steps they can take after graduation to become licensed counselors.

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21
  • Annual Tuition: $12,450
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC and ABHE

There are many options for students seeking a Counseling degree at Ohio Christian University. The BA in Substance Abuse Counseling, where students will learn about chemical abuse and how to supervise those who are addicted, includes courses like Introduction to Substance Abuse, Psychopharmacology, and Abnormal Psychology. Those looking for a master’s program can earn a graduate degree in Pastoral Care and Counseling, which includes classes like Spiritual Issues in Pastoral Counseling and Pastoral Intervention in Crisis. The last option at Ohio Christian University is the Counseling Certificate, which requires only four courses on psychology, substance abuse, counseling and spiritual recovery.

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Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

Online Master's Degrees (1)

Online Certificate Programs (1)

22
  • Annual Tuition: $12,656
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC

At Grand Canyon University, you have a few options for degree programs. A bachelor’s program is available in general Counseling, but it is especially perfect for those interested in becoming addiction counselors considering that there are available concentrations in Addiction, Dependency, and Substance Abuse. In addition to counseling skills and psychology, students will learn about the legal system, ethics, and treatment strategies. There are also several master’s programs available—great for a variety of students who want to focus on a specific niche. Choose from programs in trauma counseling, marriage and family therapy, and more.

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23
  • Annual Tuition: $12,840
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

For less than $13,000 per year, students can attain degrees from a university that is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Students can choose between three undergraduate programs: BA in Child & Family Studies, BA in Counseling Ministries, or the BS in Counseling. Some of the coursework includes classes in Counseling Children, Addictive Behavior, Advanced Counseling Methods, and Behavioral Science Research. For graduate options, students can choose between the MEd in School Counseling or the MS in Counseling Psychology - Human Services, which offers courses like Crisis Intervention, Clinical Psychopathology, Counseling in a Pluralistic Society, and Ethical and Legal Issues.

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24
  • Annual Tuition: $13,320
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC

At the University of Phoenix, the Bachelor’s degree in Human Services with an emphasis in Addiction shows students how chemical dependency is tied to biological and environmental aspects as well as genetics and a person’s psychological state. This program has a certificate track associated with it—a shorter option that isn’t a full bachelor’s degree, but can be used for professional purposes. It focuses on skills necessary for interventions, action plans, and treatment. Another certificate track is the Family and Child Services option, which deals with the unique problems families face. For a graduate degree, consider the Master of Science in Counseling/Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs, where students learn to apply their skills and problem-solving abilities in a clinical setting.

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25
  • Annual Tuition: $13,960
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC and CACREP

For a university with more options than many of the others, consider Capella. In master’s degrees alone, there are eight options, including addiction studies, sex therapy, studies in human behavior, and more. Those searching for doctorate degrees can obtain one in General Counselor Education and Supervision. This program also includes experience within the career field along with courses like Advanced Counseling Theories and Leadership and Advocacy in Counseling. For certificates, there are several options. All are graduate certificates. Choose from Contemporary Theory in Addictive Behavior, Contemporary Theory in Couple and Family Systems, and Contemporary Theory in Mental Health Services.

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Our tuition numbers reflect data collected from the National Center for Education Statistics.

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This indicates that a school has an annual tuition of $15,000 or less as reported to the National Center for Education Statistics or based on the school's website.