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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Elementary Counseling

Majors Overview August 12, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in elementary counseling and their education requirements, coursework, and job and wage outlook.

Master’s Programs in Elementary Counseling

Most states require incoming students to a master’s degree program in school counseling to hold professional licensure. Students in these programs, including the Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Elementary and Secondary School Counseling, or Master of Art (M.A.) in School Counseling, become adept at facilitating the success of middle and elementary school students.

Students typically focus on research while gaining expertise in gathering, interpreting and conceptualizing contemporary research in fields such as education, child development, and psychology. Students take about two years to complete most of these programs.

The central focus of the program is often on the use of the results of published experimental data or development of original educational or psychological experiments. Students learn about working with children in groups or individually to assure them of academic success in the early stages of education and to prepare them to move into secondary school. Schools also require participation by students in a type of supervised field experience, such as an internship. Students also learn another central skill, namely, ways of consulting with parents and teachers in developing appropriate plans of action for troubled students. Students also learn how to stay current on developments, trends, and research in the psychology, counseling, and education fields.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree and submit a personal statement, letters of recommendation, standardized test scores, and in some schools, a resume. Those who have participated in research at the postgraduate or undergraduate level and who have aptitudes in behavioral science, psychology, or statistics get preference.


Program coursework focuses on didactic instruction and is a combination of theory from education and psychology. Some programs involve participation by students in field observations. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Behavioral disorders and treatment
•Parent-teacher relations
•Counseling techniques
•Child development
•Applied statistics
•Research methodologies

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of twelve percent has been predicted for school counselors (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2014, educational, guidance, vocational and school counselors brought in an average annual wage of $56,040.

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