Counseling Department

Kirsten Murray, Chair

The Department of Counseling educates students for employment in school (K-12 and higher education) and community mental health and human service settings. At the doctoral level, students are trained as counselor educators in faculty positions in higher education and in leadership positions in the counseling profession. Counselors are practitioners, consultants, and coordinators who assist in problem solving, decision-making, and personal growth and development in individual, family, school, and/or career issues. Counselors receive training in the eight core areas identified by the American Counseling Association and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs:

  1. Human growth and development,

  2. Social and cultural diversity,

  3. Counseling and helping relationships,

  4. Group counseling and group work,

  5. Career development,

  6. Assessment and testing,

  7. Research and program evaluation, and

  8. Ethics and professional orientation.

At the Master s level, we offer a School Counseling M.A. and a Clinical Mental Health Counseling M.A. Both options require additional specialty courses and comprehensive written and oral examinations focused on the student's career track. The more advanced graduate degrees (Ed.S., Ed.D., and Ph.D.) develop depth, supervisory, pedagogy, research, and leadership skills in these areas.

The M.A., Ed.S., Ed.D., and Ph.D. are offered in Counselor Education. Information regarding specific requirements and program options is available from the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education website. The M.A. and Ph.D. programs are accredited by CACREP. The School Counseling M.A. program is also accredited the Montana Board of Public Education.

Admission to Counseling

Applicants for this program should contact the Department for more specific admissions information. Requirements include official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended; three current letters of recommendation; and a letter of application stating academic and professional background, purpose in obtaining the degree, and thoughts about eventual employment and career direction. Applicants have the option to include GRE scores. The priority deadline for the M.A. and Ed.S. programs is February 1st, and for the Ed.D. and Ph.D. programs, it is December 15th . Admission is competitive.

Certification Requirements

The Counselor Education M.A. School Counseling concentration leads to Montana Class 6 Specialist licensure with a K-12 school counseling endorsement. The Counselor Education M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling concentration prepares graduates for licensure candidacy as Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors (LCPC) in the state of Montana and fulfills at least 700 hours of the clinical hour requirement toward licensure.