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Master of Science - Columbus State University

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Master of Science

Program Description

The M.S. program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The 60 semester hour degree program is designed around the eight areas of (1) Human Growth and Development, (2) Social and Cultural Foundations, (3) The Helping Relationship, (4) Group Dynamics and Processes, (5) Lifestyle/Career Development, (6) Appraisal of Individual, (7) Research and Evaluation, and (8) Professional Orientation. Curricular experiences include clinical supervision of a 100 hour practicum and two 300 hour internships in a field of setting.


The M.S. program is designed to prepare persons to function as counselors in a variety of community settings including, but not limited to, mental health centers, community agencies, hospitals, residential treatment centers, corrections or other helping or human service oriented programs.  

A number of counseling courses are moving to an online format. Most courses, however, require an in-class experience.

Career Opportunities

Employment Opportunities for all counselors are expected to grow faster than average until 2010. The need for employment/vocational counselors will continue to grow as the welfare program continues to require beneficiaries to find jobs. There will be a strong demand for counselors in the following specialty areas: substance abuse, behavioral, mental health, marriage and family, and rehabilitation counselors. Employers seem to be providing more EAP (Employee Assistance Programs) programs to employees and their families. The overall growth rates for counselors, social and religious workers is expected to be 18.8% change from 2000-2010. The highest growth rates are expected to be in residential care (70%), health and allied services (58%), and job training and related services (35.4%).

Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the following requirements:
  • An earned undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university
  • A 2.75 (regular admission) or 2.5 (provisional admission) cumulative undergraduate GPA
  • Minimum GRE scores of 143 (141 for provisional) on Verbal, 142 (141 for provisional) on Quantitative, and 3.0 Analytical Writing
  • CSU and departmental applications

Candidates for the program must complete departmental screening that includes an interview process. Departmental screening will be conducted after potential candidates have applied for admission to Columbus State University. Contact the Department of Counseling, Foundations, and Leadership for additional information.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will:
  • Demonstrate foundational knowledge of the role and functions of the professionalmental health counselor regarding theprovision of mental health treatment services.
  • Develop and demonstrate proficiency in mentalhealth counseling, interpersonal relationships, development, prevention andintervention including proficiency in issues of diversity and advocacyand counseling theories andchange strategies.
  • Develop and demonstrate skills in assessment,group therapy, program and clinical evaluation and clinical diagnosis.
  • Develop and demonstrate skills in research andevaluation of counseling services and outcomes.

Additional Program Requirements

Evaluation of a student's performance is continuous and involves consideration of the student's academic performance in all course work and clinically related experiences. A required student portfolio is one means of achieving this continuous evaluation of students. An exit examination is also required.

Students should meet with their advisors to determine the most appropriate sequence of courses in their program of study. The culminating 700-hour clinical experience is considered the most important aspect of this program. The application process for practicum and internship includes prerequisite course work and pre-registration. Due to the intensity of the internship experience, six (6) credit hours is considered a full-time load when students are enrolled in internship. Students wishing to exceed this limit must first obtain permission from the department.

Program of Study

Area 1 Professional Core Required Hours: 9
COUN 6115 Ethics and Professional Issues in Counseling
COUN 6225 Counseling Skills 1
COUN 6110 Research Methods and Design in Counseling

Area 2 Concentration Required Hours: 45
COUN 6000 Portfolio/Exit Exam
COUN 6105 Psychological Aspects of Substance Abuse
COUN 6117 Diagnosis in Counseling
COUN 6118 Career Development
COUN 6119 Human Growth and Development
COUN 6155 Counseling Theory
COUN 6175 Cultural Perspectives in Counseling
COUN 6245 Individual Analysis
COUN 6265 Group Techniques and Procedures
COUN 6405 Applied Practice in Community Counseling
COUN 6698 Internship in Community Counseling
COUN 6785 Seminar in Community Counseling
COUN 7165 Counseling Children
COUN 7215 Family Therapy Process and Practice
COUN 7225 Crisis Intervention

Area 3 Electives Required Hours: 6
Select six semester hours from the following:
COUN 6185 Gender Issues in Counseling
COUN 6255 Play Therapy
COUN 6555 Selected Topics in Counseling
COUN 6899 Independent Study
COUN 7185 Family Psychopathology
COUN 7275 Adv Tech in Marr/Family Therapy
COUN 7285 Marriage and Family Assessment
COUN 7286 Marriage Systems Theory/Therapy

Total Hours Required: 60
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