Master of Arts
Master of Arts in Human Services

Overview

The Master of Arts in Counseling degree is awarded to candidates who successfully complete a minimum of sixty semester hours in a planned and directed program of study. The program consists of a common core of courses to provide knowledge in eight areas: human growth and development, social and cultural foundations, helping relationships, group work, career and lifestyle development, appraisal, research and program evaluation, and professional orientation. The program also supplies clinical instruction with practicum and internship experiences. In addition, students must select a program specialty area-school counseling or clinical mental health counseling-in which they complete their internships and take courses that assure at least entry-level competence.

Continuance in the program and admission to candidacy are based on success in academic courses and on personal, ethical, and performance considerations.

Graduates are eligible to sit for the National Counselor examination. Those who complete the school counseling program are eligible to apply for licensure with the public schools of North Carolina.

Admission to the Program

Admissions decisions are based on consideration of a combination of criteria: college grade-point average, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, recommendations, professional commitment, work or volunteer experience in the human services field, and suitability for the profession. Applicants being considered for admission are required to have a personal interview with program faculty or staff. Candidates for the counseling programs are not required to have a specific undergraduate major or minor. Applicants may request that the GRE requirement be waived for their admissions application. The admissions committee considers previous academic performance and graduate degrees heavily in GRE waiver request decisions.

Criminal Background Check

Acceptance to the program will be contingent on the successful completion of a criminal background check. The background check is standardized and mandatory for all students. Any student who has a criminal offense documented through this procedure will have to address this on a case-by-case basis with the Program Director and Department Chair. Areas of concern may include, but are not limited to, felony convictions, especially those involving harm to others, theft or fraud convictions, and patterns of misdemeanors other than moving traffic violations.

On Campus and Online Programs

There are two counseling tracks offered through the Department of Counseling: the school counseling track and the clinical mental health counseling track. Both are offered on campus and via online delivery systems. The campus programs are for full-time students. Applications are accepted for entry into the on-campus programs for the fall semester only. The online programs are for part-time students. Applications are accepted for entry in the online programs for the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Course and admission requirements for on-campus and online students are the same.

Master of Arts in Counseling - School Counseling

The school counseling track provides prospective school counselors with the knowledge, skills, and competence necessary to establish and conduct effective developmental guidance and counseling programs in schools, kindergarten through the 12th grade. The course of study which leads to a license in school counseling in North Carolina is based on the requirements of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). School counseling students are not required to hold a teacher’s license to enter the program.

Master of Arts in Counseling - Clinical Mental Health

In the clinical mental health track, students are prepared for counseling in a wide variety of community settings and agencies. The course of study is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

Master of Arts in Human Services (Online Only)

The Master of Arts in Human Services degree is offered by the Department of Counseling via online delivery only. The degree is awarded to candidates who successfully complete a minimum of 39 semester hours in a planned and directed program of study. The program consists of 30 hours of courses in common with the Masters in Counseling program, an additional 6 hours of specialized study in human services administration and programming, and 3 hours of field experience. Applications are not currently being accepted for entry in this program.

Residency Requirements – Online Only

Two Thursday night through Sunday at noon residency experiences are required for online classroom students. These face-to-face sessions will allow faculty to engage in competency and readiness evaluations as well as to plan and evaluate practicum and internship arrangements. Students will also complete the experiential group requirements at this time. Dates will be announced six months in advance.