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Online EdS in Counseling

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Advance Your Counseling Career with a Research-Focused Degree

100% Online

1 Year

30 Credit Hours

$465 per Credit (In-State)

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Complete this form to receive information about coursework, admissions, tuition, and more.

Earn an Online Degree and Expand Your Knowledge of Counseling

With an Education Specialist in Counseling degree from Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM), you’ll explore trauma-informed assignments that are designed to advance your knowledge of counseling, increase your earning potential, and open new career paths.

In this fully online program, you’ll choose concentrations that will help tailor your degree to your needs and interests. Get started now to move toward your new future in counseling.

Teacher Certification Options

Advance to a Class AA certification in Alabama by earning your Education Specialist in Counseling degree at AUM. Upon completion of this online program, you’ll be prepared to sit for the National Counselor Examination for board certification, which can increase your pay and give you new career opportunities.

Certification requirements vary by state. Be sure to review the requirements for your location so you can meet them after completing your program.

Certification Details

Program Details

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Tailor Your Counseling Degree to Your Needs

The online education specialist degree in counseling offers the choice of specific concentrations to help tailor your degree to your career needs. The courses in these concentrations are designed to build on your counseling knowledge and expertise.

School Counseling

Course Highlights

  • Counseling Children and Adolescents
  • School Crisis Plans
  • Survey of Special Education

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Learn to better understand counseling from a mental health perspective with a focus on grief, sexuality, and more.

Course Highlights

  • Early Childhood Mental Health
  • Grief Counseling
  • Spirituality in Counseling

An In-Depth Look at Counseling Principles

10 Online Courses

Class AA Preparation

The EdS in Counseling program courses are taught by experienced faculty and designed to build on your counseling knowledge. Depending on your choice of concentration, you’ll study topics such as supervision in counseling, human sexuality and mental health, grief counseling, human growth and development, school crisis plans, and more. This fully online program will also prepare you to advance to Class AA certification in Alabama.

Elective Options

  • Cultural Issues of Family in Distress
  • Early Childhood Mental Health
  • Introduction to Play Therapy
  • Spirituality in Counseling
Curriculum Details

Get Started with Your Online EdS in Counseling

Application Deadline 08/12/24 Fall 2024 Semester

Start Date 08/19/24 Fall 2024 Semester

You can start your online application to the Education Specialist in Counseling program at AUM anytime, and our enrollment team will be there to help you along the way. Check out the chart below to find more information on what you’ll need to get started.

Online Application FormApply Now
Application Fee$25
Degree and Minimum GPA
  • Applicants to the EdS in School Counseling program must hold a master’s in school counseling with at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Applicants to the EdS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program must hold a master’s degree in a counseling-related field, such as psychology, social work, or marriage and family therapy with at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale
TranscriptsOfficial transcripts of all completed coursework from your previous college experience.
Additional Requirements
  • Resume
  • Three letters of reference
  • Background check
Transfer CreditsTransfer up to 12 credit hours into the program. Request information for details.

AUM offers rolling admissions, so it’s always a great time to apply. If you have questions, request information to connect with our admissions team.

Admissions Details

A Cost-Effective Degree in Counseling

AUM takes pride in being ranked as a best value school by U.S. News & World Report.1 We strive to deliver affordable degrees that will accelerate our students’ careers and earning potential. In the Education Specialist in Counseling program, you will take fully online courses, work with expert faculty, and have access to career services that will help you make important decisions. You can find more information about tuition in the chart below.

Cost per Credit Hour$465 for Alabama residents and $511 for non-residents
Total Number of Credit Hours30
Total Estimated Cost, Minus Fees$13,950 – $15,330
Additional Fees
  • Technology fee: $10/credit hour
  • Online fee: $40/credit hour
  • Administrative service fee: $35/semester
Other Costs to Budget ForYou may have costs in addition to tuition, such as textbooks, supplies, and fees. Take these into consideration as you budget for your degree.

Military Benefits

Auburn University at Montgomery is proud to support the educational goals of military veterans, active-duty service members, reservists, guardsmen, and their families. We participate in the Yellow Ribbon program, and Military Friendly® ranked us among the Top 10 schools for 2023-2024. Moreover, our Veteran and Military Resource Center offers an array of resources for fostering a smooth admissions process and online student experience.

Financial Aid Opportunities

At AUM, we strive to make your online degree program as affordable as possible, with cost-effective tuition for in-state and out-of-state students. We encourage you to complete your FAFSA® form to determine your financial aid eligibility — the school code for Auburn University at Montgomery is 008310.

Tuition Details

Achieve a AA Certification in Alabama

When studying school counseling in the Education Specialist in Counseling program at AUM, you’ll prepare yourself to advance from a Class A certification to a Class AA certification, increasing your earning potential and level of expertise.

Certification requirements vary from state to state, but Alabama standards comprise three different certification levels. Below, you can see the minimum education required for each level in Alabama.

  • Class B: Bachelor’s degree in counseling
  • Class A: Traditional or alternative master’s degree in counseling
  • Class AA: Education Specialist degree in counseling

How to Obtain Class AA Certification

As soon as you’ve earned your Education Specialist in Counseling degree with a concentration in school counseling from AUM and obtained a transcript, you’ll be eligible to apply for a Class AA certification in Alabama. This process is done through our College of Education.

You’ll need to meet these requirements to earn Class AA counseling certification through AUM’s traditional EdS in Counseling program:

  • A valid Class A Professional Educator Certificate in the same teaching field(s) used as a basis for admission to the Class AA program.
  • A survey of special education course is required unless that course was taken for prior level certification. An individual who completed a survey of special education course must take a diversity course that focuses on methods of accommodating instruction to meet the needs of students with disabilities in inclusive settings, multicultural education, teaching English language learners, rural education, or urban education. A course used to meet this requirement for one level of certification may not be used to meet the requirement for a higher level of certification.
  • Satisfactory completion of a state-approved program with a minimum GPA of 3.50 on all courses on the approved program plan will be required.
  • Successful completion of a practicum shall be required for initial certification in a special education teaching field.

At the present time, there is no testing requirement for Class AA certification for teachers except for teachers who earn initial Class AA certification as a collaborative special education teacher (K-6) or (6-12). Such teachers must meet the Alabama State Department of Education’s Praxis II requirements.

Student with counselor

Take the Next Steps in Your Counseling Career

With an Education Specialist in Counseling degree from AUM, you’ll position yourself to begin or advance a career in private practice counseling, school counseling, play therapy, clinical mental health counseling, or in a related position. You will also have access to our Career Development Center, which will help you every step of the way as you search for new opportunities or work to apply what you’ve learned to your current career.

Exciting Careers in Counseling

School Counselor $56,5103 per year

Mental Health Counselor $47,4903 per year

Program Outcomes

In this fully online education specialist program, you’ll learn valuable skills like the clinical supervision of counselors and providing trauma-informed care to special populations. You’ll also work to improve your leadership and communication skills through courses that explore counseling in a variety of different facets. Upon completion, you will be prepared to seek Class AA certification in Alabama or reduce supervision hours required for the LPC.

What You’ll Learn

Meet Our Faculty

At AUM, you’ll feel supported by expert faculty members who bring valuable teaching and professional backgrounds to each online class. Our online instructors have completed extensive training in designing and teaching online courses, further elevating your experience as an online student.

Paul Hard

Dr. Paul F. Hard

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Paul F. Hard, Chair of the Department of Counselor, Leadership, and Special Education

Paul F. Hard, PhD, LPC-S, NCC, is chair of the Department of Counselor, Leadership, and Special Education at AUM. He received his PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from The University of Alabama in 2007. Hard also holds advanced degrees in theology and has 25 years of ecclesiastical experience.

Hard is a supervising LPC in Alabama and a nationally certified counselor. He has over 28 years of experience in clinical mental health work and has previously served as chair of the Southern Region of the American Counseling Association, past president of the Alabama Counseling Association and the Alabama Mental Health Counselors Association, and member of the Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling.

Hard is a recipient of the Jean H. Cecil Distinguished Counselor Educator Award, the AASCB Service Award, the ALCA Distinguished Professional Service Award, the ACA Large Branch Award for Best Membership Service, and twice the ALCA President’s Award. His research interests include ethics, best practices, supervision and training, multicultural issues, LGBTQ+ issues in therapy, complicated grieving, and spirituality in counseling.

A Quality Experience for Online Learners

Earn your degree online from Auburn University at Montgomery to experience a quality education with the flexibility to succeed in class and your career. You can complete your coursework using your laptop or mobile device with opportunities to study when and where it’s convenient.

  • Academic support: Access online advising and tutoring
  • Career services: Prepare to succeed after graduation
  • Help desk: Get technical assistance for your program
Discover AUM Online

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  1. U.S. News & World Report. “Auburn University at Montgomery Rankings.” Retrieved January 18, 2024, from
  2. Military Friendly®. “Auburn University at Montgomery.” Retrieved January 18, 2024, from
  3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. “May 2022 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Alabama.” Retrieved January 8, 2024, from