Master of Science in School Counseling

Prepare to address the social, emotional, academic, behavioral, and cognitive well-being of children and adolescents in a school setting.

This CACREP-accredited program is designed to prepare you to work as a school counselor in public or private P-12 settings. Academic study and clinical training built on national standards and models offer a comprehensive approach to effectively delivering and managing school counseling programs. Learn to advocate for the personal, educational, and social needs of students. The School Counseling program is state-approved.

Outcome goals and graduates’ proficiency levels

These results show recent Capella graduates' proficiency levels in the expected learning outcomes for this program. Faculty make this assessment in the capstone course—the final course in which Capella students demonstrate what they’ve learned.

2012-2013 Demonstration of Program Outcomes MS in School Counseling

  • Non-Performance
  • Basic
  • Proficient
  • Distinguished

  • 0%
  • 20%
  • 40%
  • 60%
  • 80%
  • 100%

Apply ASCA National Standards for Students to the school counseling discipline.
Communicate with sensitivity, understanding, and respect in all professional interactions.
Apply the ACA and ASCA Codes of Ethics to professional behavior and the practice of school counseling.
Think critically and write effectively in the school counseling discipline and professional practice.
Deliver culturally, ethnically, and life-style sensitive individual and group counseling services to students in school settings.
Apply brief counseling and child and adolescent development theories and research to school practice.


Outcome Demonstrations
Source: Aggregated outcome assessment results from Q32012 – Q22013 capstone courses



Master of Science (MS) in School Counseling1, 2, 3 specialization

  • General School Counseling

Quality and Professional Relevance

  • Capella University' s Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, and Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy programs are accredited by the American Counseling Association's Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) from July 18, 2009 through March 31, 2020. The 2013 Counseling Education Unit Annual Report is available
  • Capella is the leader in online counseling education and offers a broad portfolio of counseling-related specializations.
  • All members of Capella's counseling faculty hold doctoral degrees from accredited institutions.
  • This program is state-approved.
  • Graduates across all masters' counselor education specializations have a 79% pass rate on the National Counseling Exam.4
  • 228 learners graduated from the School Counseling program between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013.
  • The current completion rate for learners from the School Counseling program that enrolled between summer 2007 and summer 2010 and graduated within 24 quarters is 23%. 5
  • 18 % of School Counseling graduates surveyed reported job placement within 180 days of graduation. 6

1Capella University cannot guarantee licensure, certification, or endorsement. State regulations vary regarding professional licensure and salary benefits. It is the learner's responsibility to understand and comply with requirements for their states. Where applicable, teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether a program may qualify for salary advancement. For more information on licensure, see: http://www.capella.edu/counseling-psychology-degrees/licensure/ (Washington state learners are advised to go to: http://pathway.pesb.wa.gov/outofstate for more information).

2This program has not been reviewed or approved by Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania residents will have to apply and meet requirements for certification as out-of-state candidates.

3The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners requires graduates to first earn a Minnesota license and (if applicable) endorsement prior to applying for an Iowa license or endorsement. Capella assists learners seeking an Iowa license with understanding the Minnesota requirements and contacting state educator licensing offices. An Iowa resident seeking subsequent licensure from the Iowa Board of Education Examiners must contact that Board for licensure requirements in Iowa. See the education licensure site at www.capella.edu/licensure.aspx for contact information.

4Capella is notified of exam scores by the exam proctor only if the exam takers identify Capella as a recipient of their scores. 80 out of 101 Capella learners and alumni took and passed the April 2013 NCE exam.

5Completion rate is the percentage of learners admitted from summer 2007 through summer 2010 who have graduated from the program within 24 quarters. Of the 1448 learners that enrolled, 334 graduated within 24 quarters.

6Capella does not offer job placement. Percentages reported for job placement rates are based on alumni self-report of career accomplishments. Source: survey of 228 alumni who graduated between 7/1/12 and 6/30/13. Of the 57 alumni that responded to the survey, 42 reported being employed within 180 days of graduation.

School of Social and Behavioral Sciences Master's Degree Graduates

Data from graduates across all Social and Behavioral Sciences masters programs have been combined for these Career Outcomes results.

Capella's Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences master's graduates report satisfaction with responsibilities and career growth potential. About 40% of graduates are employed in government/public sector or mental health industries. An additional third are employed in higher education, healthcare, non-profit, or social/community service settings.

Satisfaction with Capella Social & Behavorial Sciences Master's Graduates

Percentage of respondents who answered "satisfied" or "very satisfied"
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q2 2012 – Q1 2013.

Approximately half the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences master's graduates report advancing in their careers or receiving salary increases. They also say assumed a leadership role or changed careers.

Improvement in Skills & Abilities Social & Behavorial Sciences Master's Graduates

Percentage of respondents who indicated they had accomplished each item
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q2 2012 – Q1 2013.

School of Social and Behavioral Sciences Master's Degree Graduates

Data from graduates across all Social and Behavioral Sciences masters programs have been combined for these Student Experience results.

Most graduates of the School of Social & Behavioral Sciences master's degree programs report that earning a master's degree has helped them meet program and career goals. They are likely to recommend Capella to friends and family.

Satisfaction with Capella Social & Behavorial Sciences Master's Graduates

Percentage of respondents who answered affirmatively
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q2 2012 – Q1 2013.

School of Social & Behavioral Sciences master's degree graduates say that they gained valuable skills and abilities which are applicable in a range of professional settings.

Improvement in Skills & Abilities Social & Behavorial Sciences Master's Graduates

Percentage of respondents who rated themselves as "proficient" or "distinguished" on ability to demonstrate the skill or ability on the job.
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q2 2012 – Q1 2013.

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Capella believes in being clear about the real cost, time, and value of a Capella degree The Gainful Employment disclosures, required by the US Department of Education (DOE) (under 34 CFR 688.6 ), provide some information about completion, expenses and occupations based on learners who graduated between July 2012 and June 2013. Most of our students are part-time so they might not take a full course load or attend all 4 quarters each year. We took that into account in calculating these data. For example, we define program length for certificates and master's and doctoral degrees as the number of calendar quarters it takes a typical student to complete a program. The DOE has defined time to complete for a Bachelor's degree as 4 years. Program cost is based on the specific pricing structure for each program which is either a cost per credit or a cost per active quarter.

Other related information may be found on the Learning Outcomes, Career Outcomes, and Student Experience tabs on this page.

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Learn more about these values and how they are calculated»

Earn Your Master's Degree

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Alumni Success Story Quote

Photo of Sandy Richardson, MS Sandy Richardson, MS

"Even before I graduated, I became better at what I was doing professionally."

Read Sandy's story »