DEPARTMENT OF COUNSELOR EDUCATION
MS Clinical Mental Health Counseling (60 credits) | MEd School Counseling (51 credits)
Frequently Asked Questions
Thank you for your interest in our program! Below, you will find general information about our department as well as specific information about our two graduate degree programs.
- How long will it take to complete this program? Full-time students (4 courses per semester), will take approximately 2 years for the MEd and 2.5 for the MS
- Will I be able to work while attending? Many of our students do work while completing their graduate degree; however it is quite challenging when completing field work when you are at your site three days per week and are taking courses.
- Where and when are classes held? All classes are held at the Graduate Center (off campus – free, ample parking!!!) at 4:00-6:45 or 7:00-9:45, Monday-Thursday. You will have to take both 4:00 and 7:00 classes to finish your degree.
- What is the typical class size? Our class sizes range from 6-12 for field classes and 12-24 for core classes.
- What if my undergraduate degree is in a different field? That’s okay! We welcome students from a variety of backgrounds.
- Who can I contact if I have more questions? You may contact the Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Karen Dickinson.
- What is involved in the field work? The field work consists of three separate semesters: The first field semester is practicum, which requires 100 hours in the field, the second and third field semesters are for internship and they each require 300 hours in the field.
- How are placements decided? Our director of field placement (Garbo Goodkin) is available to assist you in this process, but we do allow you to find your site.
- How do I apply? In order to apply, please visit the Graduate College website and click on Graduate Admissions if you have questions, or click How to Apply.
- What are the deadlines to apply? We admit once a year for a fall start for both programs. The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling application deadline is February 1st. This program is full-time and cohort-based. Successful completion of an individual and group interview is required for admission into this program. The MEd in School Counseling application deadline is March 1st. This program may be full-time or part-time. Successful completion of a group interview is required for admission into these programs.
- What are the requirements to apply? All of the following must be submitted before your application can be considered. A 3.0 GPA is required to apply to either program. Additional requirements include official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions you have attended, 2 letters of recommendation, a personal goal statement, and attendance in the interview day. Your application cannot be considered until all required items are submitted. You do NOT need to submit GRE scores.
- How many students typically get accepted into the programs? The number of applicants varies from year to year, and the number of accepted students does as well. Our programs are competitive, which allows us to ensure smaller class sizes and adequate field site placements.
- Are graduate assistantships available? Graduate Assistantship positions are highly competitive. The likelihood of being hired is based on a number of factors, probably the most important is experience for the position being hired. In the case of our department, research experience is vital. There are many assistantships in departments across campus.
- What do I do after I am accepted? Once you are accepted, you will receive a letter from The Graduate School informing you of your acceptance, followed by a letter from the Department of Counselor Education with specific information on your advisor, new student orientation, course sequence, etc. Accepted students have two weeks to accept their offer and pay the $100 deposit. Accepted students may then register for courses.
- If I were to earn my MEd in School Counseling, would I be able to use that degree to earn my LPC? If you continue your coursework to earn a total of 60 credits, as well as pass the licensure exam and complete 2 years/3,000 hours of post-graduation supervised counseling, you can earn your Licensed Professional Counselor credential, which allows you to work in private practice or other clinical settings.
- Is CACREP important when looking at programs in which to apply? CACREP accreditation can be very important when considering a counselor education program. CACREP standards mirror PA’s licensure laws (as well as many other states) and establish minimum requirements for class sizes, faculty qualifications, program resources, and curriculum. National accreditation (in any field) provides assurance that the program is meetings standards for professional preparation.
- Any advice for graduate students entering this field? Graduate school is challenging- and it’s supposed to be! Upon earning a master’s degree in counseling, you enter a profession where you impact the lives of others. We expect our students to take it as seriously as we do as counselor educators. This is an awesome profession that requires knowledge, and development of skill and attitude/identity as a counselor. Academically, we require a great deal of reading, writing, and presenting. We also ask for a great deal of reflection: on yourself, on how you interact with others, and on your own development and growth as a counselor. Sitting with someone who is willing to share their story with you is an important responsibility.
We commit to helping our students be successful and as a student being successful means you are committed to hard work, time management and being fully invested in becoming a counselor. The more you put into your time in the program, the more you will grow as a counselor!