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More and more people are interested in online mental health counseling programs. These are slightly different from other online programs, mainly because they will often require some actual practicums. The degree programs vary in length from 60 to 90 credit hours and it is generally required to take part in a residency of at least two weeks. With most universities, students will be encouraged to choose a specialization or take part in a number of specialized courses. For instance, they can look at marriage and family, forensics or trauma counseling.

Another big difference is that most universities will require online students to take two or more classes at the same time, and that they do so in a specific order. With traditional universities, on the other hand, students would be able to determine their own course of study. The most important thing, however, is to ensure that the university you have chosen is fully accredited, which is necessary if you want to become a licensed practitioner and if you want to have transferable credits towards your continuous professional education. Let's take a look at the five best online mental health psychology degree programs.

#1 Capella University

Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling

Capella University offers a highly popular mental health counseling degree. Students will first be introduced to this specialized field by doing survey courses that focus on human development. Next, they will learn about research methodology. This is followed by core classes in subjects like counseling methods, theory, personality and ethics. In order to complete the program, students have to take part in both practicum and colloquium classes, which is integrated in the 10 week virtual course.

Tuition

$487 per credit

#2 Walden University

M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

At Walden University, students can take part in a 90-hour master's program that focuses on mental health counseling. The course includes 80 credit hours to be spent on core classes, 9 credit hours of internship and practicum and one hour in a foundation class of the student's choosing. Furthermore, degree completion will require two residencies of six days each. The focus of the course is either trauma and crisis counseling or forensic counseling.

Tuition

The tuition for the full 90 credit hours is $41,850. However, if someone has the maximum transferable credits, then this would be reduced to $24,995.

#3 University of Massachusetts

Mental Health Counseling, MS (online)

At the University of Massachusetts, students can take part in a mental health counseling degree that is offered almost fully online. It does include a two week residency, but the school ensures that housing rates are kept very low for those students that want to remain on campus for that period. The program includes 60 credit hours and does require students to take part in a practicum if they want to graduate.

Tuition

The tuition for the degree varies depending on the course of study and whether you are an in state or out of state student.

#4 Southern New Hampshire University

BA Psychology: Mental Health Online Degree

The online psychology degree at Southern New Hampshire University concentrates on mental health. It is a theoretical course, which allows you to get to work in a community based setting while preparing to take part in a graduate study afterwards. It is a course that focuses on pre-professional experience, allowing you to move on to counseling or clinical psychology afterwards. It helps students to gain a greater understanding of human behavior. The university encourages students to continue to learn by taking part in master's degree programs afterwards. The BA does not prepare students to become licensed in the field of psychology, but it does give them a greater understanding of the field itself and it allows them to get to know the ins and outs of the profession before deciding whether they want to gain leadership skills in it or not.

Tuition

$960 per course

#5 Northcentral University

MA in Psychology Online

Northcentral University is a popular for-profit, private and online school. It was the first university to offer accredited Ph.D. degrees online. Every week, new classes will start. At this point, a student is matched to a specific faculty member and each course is delivered by a mentor to ensure the best educational journey. They offer a range of different specialties, including health psychology, gender diversity, mental health policy and practices, general psychology and industrial organizational psychology. They have a particularly strong focus on ethics and cultural diversity.

Tuition

$675 per credit hour

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