Feb 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
    
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Counseling, M.S. CNS


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Mario De La Garza, Program Director

The Master of Science in Counseling program prepares students for the counseling profession, which involves the application of the developmental and social sciences in assisting children and adults with psychological growth, relationship concerns, and social adjustment problems.

Students acquire knowledge in the disciplines that underlie counseling, including education, psychology, human development, learning and social change. They develop clinical skills in counseling and assessment and become familiar with the legal, ethical and clinical considerations confronting practitioners. Repeated practice and role-play with feedback and strategic modification are critical to mastery of the skills and are, consequently, an essential part of the program.

The Counseling program offers three accredited specialty areas of study including Clinical Mental Health; Marriage, Couple and Family; and School Counseling. In addition, students may pursue elective concentrations in Addiction, Child and Adolescent Counseling, LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy and the Art and Science of Trauma Treatment.

A successful graduate can pursue state licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and/or a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC), as well as obtain the Certified School Counselor (CSC) credential, depending on the designated specialization and electives. Students who have completed the requisite coursework and clinical experience requirements may also pursue credentialing as Registered Play Therapists.

Admission Requirements

These are the admission requirements for the counseling program:

  1. A completed online application.
  2. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
  3. Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education previously attended.
  4. Three letters of recommendation.
  5. A two-page, double-spaced essay on why the applicant wants to study counseling, career aspirations, and aspects related to the applicant’s cultural background that might influence either one.
  6. An acceptable GRE graduate school entry exam score for an undergraduate GPA lower than 3.000 (on a 4.000 scale). Acceptable GRE scores must meet the following minimum requirements: 156 - Verbal; 146 - Math and 3.5 in Writing.
  7. Resume.
  8. Applicant must also pay a non-refundable application fee.
  9. If English is not the student’s native language or if the student attended school outside the US, scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) must be submitted via the online application. The minimum acceptable section scores are: Listening (26), Reading (26), Writing (24), and Speaking (24).

Applications are reviewed administratively and by faculty. Qualifying applicants who score the highest on the admissions requirements will be invited for a group interview and must submit a background check.

Requirements for the Degree


The Master of Science degree in counseling requires completion of 63 credit hours that includes a common core curriculum of 54 credit hours for all three specialties.

Total: 54 Credit Hours


Clinical Mental Health Specialty


The Clinical Mental Health Specialty fulfills the educational requirements for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Texas. Students must take three elective courses. Elective courses may be taken according to student interest, or may be taken to concentrate in particular areas. Students should be aware that some courses that count as electives may be required in order to work with certain populations in the Center for Family Counseling. 

Choose 3 courses from the following:

Total: 9 Credit Hours


Marriage, Couple and Family Specialty


The Marriage, Couple and Family (MCF) Specialty fulfills the educational requirements for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in the state of Texas. In addition to the common core curriculum, students pursuing the Marriage, Couple and Family Specialty must complete the following courses for a total of 63 credit hours:

Total: 9 Credit Hours


School Counseling Specialty


The School Counseling Specialty prepares students to pursue certification as an elementary or secondary Certified School Counselor (CSC) and fulfills the educational requirements for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Texas. Students considering this specialty must have teaching experience prior to starting the program. In addition to the common core curriculum, students following the School Counseling Specialty must complete the following for a total of 63 credit hours:

Total: 9 Credit Hours


Total: 63 Credit Hours


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