Counselor Education - Online and Distance Education

Counselor Education

Graduate Certificates | Counselor Education

Counselor Education

Entrance Exam: Not Required

The online Graduate Certificate in Counselor Education (GCCE) requires 13 credit hours and may be completed within one year. It is designed for school teachers, administrators, support staff, advisors, and tutors in different educational institutions (schools and universities), human service workers in government or community agencies, and individuals interested in counseling work. Graduates of this program can provide paraprofessional counseling to assist licensed counselors. They can also become advocates and offer support for their students/clients.


Admission to the GCCE requires one of the following:

  • An undergraduate degree from an accredited 4-year college with a GPA of 3.0 on a 4-point scale in the major or in the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate study, or
  • A master's degree.

Applicants who do not meet the GPA requirement may be admitted provisionally based on past work experiences as a professional in the field of K-12 education, higher education, human resource development, or training and development. If they earn at least a B (3.0) in the first three credit hours of coursework, they will be admitted to the certificate program.

Admission for the program is on a rolling basis; students may begin in Fall, Spring, Summer I or Summer II.


This 13-credit graduate program includes four graduate courses. At 2020-21 tuition rates, the cost of these courses is $462 per credit for North Carolina residents and $1,311 per credit for non-residents. Thus, the total estimated cost for the program is $6,006 for North Carolina residents and $17,043 for non-residents. See Online and Distance Education Tuition and Fees for cost details.

Plan of Study

Award of the GCCE requires a minimum overall GPA of B (3.0) in certificate program courses. None of the courses may be taken for credit only. No transfer credits from other institutions are allowed for the certificate. All students must be registered through NC State University. All GCCE requirements must be completed within four calendar years. All certificate students are expected to maintain continuous enrollment every semester (excluding summer sessions) until all course work is completed. Under unusual circumstances, a one-semester leave of absence will be granted if the student is unable to enroll in a course; written approval from the program director must be obtained before the beginning of the semester.

Career Prospects

    People who work in schools or educational institutions in such positions as teachers, administrators, advisors, or tutors or in fields requiring frequent human interaction such as human services or training and development may benefit from the GCCE program. The program provides basic counseling and communication skills, multicultural skills, and training in advocacy and support which can be applied in schools, communities and other settings. It is particularly designed for individuals who desire to help students and other clients individually or in groups on their academic, emotional, behavioral, career, and family problems. Credit hours earned in the GCCE program may be applied to a master's programs in counselor education at NC State or at another institution.

    For more information about the counseling profession see: