Online Counseling Degree Programs

Prepare for Licensure With an Online Counseling Degree From GCU

Grand Canyon University’s online counseling degrees can prepare you to counsel clients from diverse backgrounds. Designed to ensure you are academically prepared to meet the requirements for licensure, our online counseling programs from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences help you prepare to become a counselor.

As a counselor, you will work with clients who are impacted by psychological, social, behavioral and emotional issues. Choose from a variety of online counseling degree programs at GCU, from our Bachelor of Science in Counseling non-licensure degree to our online master’s in counseling degrees, including the clinical mental health counseling, school counseling, addiction counseling and Christian-focused counseling emphasis areas.

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Requirements To Become a Counselor

All U.S. states require a master’s degree in counseling to become licensed as a counselor. You will need to work with the appropriate board in your state to ensure that courses from GCU’s online counseling degrees meet the requirements for licensure or certification. GCU’s graduate-level online counseling programs were developed to meet the academic requirements established by the National Board for Certified Counselors and/or Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners. Find out more about GCU’s online counseling school programs from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Online Counseling Degree Admission Requirements

The length of time it takes to become a counselor depends on your prior education and experience. If you are seeking an online master’s in counseling, any undergraduate- or graduate-level coursework you have already completed may affect the time it takes to become a counselor. Once you earn your counseling degree, licensure requirements vary by state. Select the Request Info button at the top of this page to learn more about your opportunities at GCU and your options for transferring credits to one of our programs.


Earn Your BS in Addiction Counseling Degree Online

Pursue your calling with GCU’s BS in Counseling degree online with an emphasis in addiction counseling. Study foundations of addictive disorders, family dynamics, ethics, counseling theories and more. After earning this counseling degree you may choose to earn a master’s in counseling following completion of the program.

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Online Christian Counseling Degree Program

Learn how to integrate Christian principles into your professional counseling practices with GCU’s Christian counseling degree online program. Develop a deep understanding of the gospel while learning foundations of counseling theory to help you prepare to counsel both believers and nonbelievers.

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Online Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Degree Emphasis Options

The College of Humanities and Social Science’s degree in clinical mental health is a licensure track program ideal for students seeking ways to promote mental well-being with a professional degree as a counselor. With four emphases to choose from, you have the ability to develop expertise in your preferred area of study. Upon completing the program, graduates are equipped to help people from diverse backgrounds find mental health and emotional healing.

Discover how to improve the lives of children by earning a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an Emphasis in Childhood and Adolescent Disorders. Child and adolescent-focused courses as well as practicum and internship experiences, equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to serve these populations.

Apply biblical beliefs in a practical way. This online master’s in counseling degree with an emphasis in Christian counseling helps prepare you for careers in the professional counseling intervention field as you learn how to implement Christian principles and Scripture into treatment and care.

GCU’s MS in Clinical Mental Health with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy helps prepare graduates with the skills and techniques needed to provide counseling services to couples and families.


Learn how to help victims of abuse, violence, natural disasters and other traumatic events. Our MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an Emphasis in Trauma degree helps broadens your knowledge of counseling theory so you can assess and treat trauma-related disorders.


Position Yourself for Possible Career Advancement With an Online Master’s Degree in Addiction Counseling

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The online addiction counseling degree can prepare you to counsel those with substance use and addiction disorders. The courses are focused on counseling theory, ethical practice, assessment and group counseling skill development. Or, choose a Christian online counseling program with an emphasis in addiction counseling to gain a strong biblical foundation while also learning how to help treat individuals with substance use and addiction problems.

GCU’s online counseling degree programs allow you to earn your degree around your busy schedule. Maintain work-life balance while gaining a quality education.

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences strives to promote critical thinking with applied practice to help prepare you for today’s evolving workforce.

FAQs About Online Counseling Degrees

Holding a relevant bachelor’s degree in areas such as counseling, psychology, social work or criminal justice may give you an opportunity to help others in some capacity. Depending on state and job requirements, some may choose to work as academic or career counselors in schools. However, in order to practice as a licensed counselor, you will need to earn a master’s in counseling degree to meet the educational requirements. Review your state specific requirements for more information.

To open a private practice, you will first need a master’s degree to become licensed as a counselor. An advanced online counseling degree from an accredited institution provides the education you need to apply for a license or certification. Once you are certified by the state board as a licensed professional counselor, you may be able to practice in areas that comply with your license or certification, including opening a private practice.

Before opening your private practice, however, it is recommended that you gain experience in a professional counseling setting. You’ll learn from other more experienced counselors as well as develop your counseling skills. Learning how another facility operates can also give you the insights you need to structure your own private practice and set yourself up for success.

Online counseling degrees that are earned from an accredited school are held to the high standards of the accrediting body. Pursuing an online master’s in counseling offers you flexibility and options to position yourself for possible advancement in your career.

A career in counseling can be a great choice for those who want to help people in a clinical setting achieve mental health wellness. Also, if you are looking for a career with a positive job outlook, counseling is worth considering. According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, job growth for substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors is on track to grow by an estimated 18% from 2022 to 2032, accounting for an estimated increase of 71,500 jobs in the field.1

Counselors are needed in a wide range of fields and settings, including hospitals, schools, clinics, prisons and even private practice.2

1 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2023, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder and Mental Health Counselors, retrieved on September 20, 2023.

2 Retrieved from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Work Environment in July 2022.

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