Master's (M.Ed.) International School Counseling + PA State Certification (Hybrid)

International School Counseling Master's Degree
Our training focuses on the school, the community, and the family.

Quick Facts

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  • Application requirements: Two letters of recommendation, minimum of 3.0 GPA for undergrad, transcripts, essay. 
  • Deadline(s): September 15 for winter semester start
  • Course Requirements: 16 courses (48 credits) 
  • Typical Course Load: Fall (1-2 courses), Winter Intersession (1 course), Spring (1-2 courses), Summer (3 courses) 
  • Time to Completion: 2-3 years
  • Alumni Current Positions: Graduates work as school counselors, college counselors, teachers and principals/heads of school. 
  • Ranking: Ranked #1 by for the 2019 Best Online Master's in School Counseling Programs


Lehigh’s Master of Education degree in International School Counseling is designed for those living outside the United States who work at international schools with students from different countries, including the United States. 

Master’s candidates do the majority of coursework online, but are required to take intensive in-person classes in the summer that are offered in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania or an international location. In even years (e.g, 2020), three summer classes are held in Athens, Greece. Graduates of the program who are U.S. citizens can receive Pennsylvania certification as school counselors. International students may receive certification in other states (e.g., New Jersey), but not Pennsylvania. Students will need to inquire with States directly.

The course of study prepares students to work with individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds and developmental stages, helping them to gain skills for living in a complex society. Students learn how to help children and families navigate the transitions they face living in a culture different from their own. 

The M.Ed. requires the completion of 16 courses (48 credits) based on the standards of the Pennsylvania Department of Education.  A typical course load of one or two courses in the fall, one during January Intersession, one or two in the spring, and two or three in the summer enables students to complete the program in two to three years. 

Courses include such offerings as Counseling and Therapeutic Approaches, Education and Inclusion of Individuals with Special Needs in K-12, Introduction to Family Counseling and Helping Skills in International Settings. 

Practical experience is an important part of the degree with students expected to complete a minimum of 100 hours of field work. The culminating experience is two semesters of an internship of 15-20 hours a week. Many of the students are currently in positions in international schools outside the United States.  To be part of the program, students must be working in or able to obtain a practicum and internship at an international school – not in the United States. The culminating experience is the student’s comprehensive portfolio.

Lehigh’s faculty brings to the curriculum a wide variety of experiences as well as expertise in the latest research, best practices and techniques in counseling. A low student-to-faculty ratio allows master’s candidates to work closely with mentors. 

Those interested should complete an online application and provide undergraduate and (if applicable) graduate transcripts. Applicants must have achieved at least a 3.0 grade point average as an undergraduate. They are required to submit an essay and an acknowledgement that they understand the College of Education policy on clearances. Candidates should also provide two letters of recommendation. Only U.S. citizens can receive Pennsylvania certification as a school counselor. 


Graduates of Lehigh’s M.Ed. in International School Counseling work as school counselors, college counselors, teachers and principals/heads of school. 


Lehigh University ranked No. 1 for the Master's of Education in International School Counseling degree for the 2019 Best Online Master's School Counseling Degrees.

Special notification

School counselors do not require CACREP accreditation to practice in schools in the United States. CACREP accreditation is not required for a license as a professional counselor in many jurisdictions within the U.S. 


Year 1  
Winter Session (online)    
CPSY 472 Human Development Across the Lifespan+ 3
Spring Semester (Online)    
CPSY 442 Counseling and Therapeutic Approaches+  
Summer Institute I ^    
CPSY 452 Helping Skills in International Settings^ 3
CPSY 453 International School Counseling I^ 3
CPSY 456 International School Counseling II^ 3
Fall Semester (online)  
CPSY 427 Assessment and Appraisal in Counseling+ 3
CPSY 436 Culture-Centered Career Intervention+ 3
Year 2  
Winter Session (online)  
EDUC 403 Research+ 3
Spring Semester (online)  
SPED 332 Introduction to Inclusion and Exceptional Education+ 3
CPSY 457 International School Counseling III: Issues and Practicum+ 3
Summer Institute II ^  
EDUC 471 Diversity and Multicultural Perspectives^ 3
CPSY 430 Professional Seminar^ 3
CPSY 438 School-based Small-group Counseling^ 3
Fall Semester (online)  
CPSY 480 Master's Internship I+ 3
SPED 465 Advanced Inclusionary Practices in K-12+ 3
Spring Semester (online)  
CPSY 483 Master's Internship II+ 3
Total Credits 48

+ = ONLINE; ^ = In Bethlehem or International Location

NOTE:  Online courses may be offered in a variety of formats, including synchronous (i.e., everyone online at the same time), asynchronous (i.e., each student goes online at different times based on his/her schedule), or a combination of these formats.

Click here to view the course catalog which provides descriptions of the courses.