May 24, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog 
2024-2025 Catalog

Counseling, M.A.

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Note: This Program is subject to be changed due to a pending proposal.  Please watch for changes by June 1, 2024.

The College of Education and Human Development  offers a graduate major in Counseling with a choice of three sequences: clinical mental health counseling, marriage, couple, and family counseling, or school counseling. Individuals are prepared to enter the counseling profession with a special focus on urban settings. Students interested in counseling receive skill preparation for direct service to clients; for diagnostic, consultative, and evaluative services; and for preventive intervention. Possible employing agencies and institutions include mental health clinics and hospitals, corporations, governmental social agencies, public and private schools, community colleges, various community intervention programs, and correctional institutions. This major also prepares students for advanced graduate work at other institutions. A 600-hour internship placement is required.

Accreditation and ISBE Licensure

All three counseling sequences: clinical mental health counseling, marriage, couple, and family counseling, and school counseling are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counselor Education and Related Programs (CACREP).

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has approved the School Counseling sequence as leading to the Educator License with an endorsement in School Counseling. All School Counseling students must present evidence of passing the ISBE School Counselor Proficiency Test before they are permitted to begin internship and before they are recommended for licensure.

Admission Criteria

To be considered for admission to the counseling program, students must complete a counseling application packet, and meet the minimum requirements for admission. Admission requirements and application materials may be obtained through the MA in Counseling website:

In addition to the GSU graduate application for admission, applicants must:

  • have a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.75 or higher for all undergraduate course work attempted;
  • or have a G.P.A. of 3.0 for the last 60 hours of bachelors degree.
  • If a student meets neither of the above minimum requirements, but the cumulative G.P.A. for all undergraduate coursework attempted is between 2.5 and 2.74, a student must:
    • attain a score of at least 302 on the verbal and quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Examination - General Test (score of 1050 if the test was taken prior to August 2011); OR
    • take ENGL-1010  (writing course), COUN-6600 , and COUN-6630  and complete with “B’s” or better. (NOTE: completion of these courses does not guarantee admission.)
  • any cumulative G.P.A. below a 2.5 will not be considered.

Admission to the counseling program and one of its three sequences is competitive. There is no guarantee of admission just because an applicant meets or exceeds the minimum criteria.

The minimum criteria for admission consideration are described as follows.

  1. Submission of all required documents by the application due date
  • Counseling Application Form
  • Statement of Character
  • One copy of official transcripts of all previous college work
  • Three personal reference forms
  • If applicable: The GRE

     2. One of the following academic performance standards must be met:

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher for all undergraduate coursework OR
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher for the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework

If an applicant does not meet either of the above minimum requirements, but the cumulative GPA for all undergraduate coursework attempted is between 2.5 and 2.74, a student must:

  • Attain a score of at least 155 on the verbal portions of the GRE OR
  • Take COUN 6600, COUN 6630 and ENGL 1010 (or equivalent writing course) and achieve a GPA of B- (3.0) or higher.

Applicants with a cumulative GPA below 2.5 may not be considered.

Any applicant with a cumulative GPA below 2.5 may not be considered. Applicants meeting the required criteria may be invited to an interview for further admissions consideration.

Office of Admission and Student Recruitment

Governors State University

1 University Parkway,

University Park, Illinois 60484;

Phone: (708) 534-4490

Application packet must be submitted by February 15 for fall admission and August 15 for spring admission. Admission may be affected by accreditation standards and requirements.

The application link website:

The website link to access the requirements and procedures for the MA Counseling program specifically is (note the requirements follow):

MA Program Learning Objectives

Eight Common-Core Learning Objectives

Professional Orientation and Ethical Practice

Explain professional functioning and identity, including collaborating with other helping professionals in an ethical and socially just manner.

Social and Cultural Diversity

Demonstrate multicultural competence working with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Human Growth and Development

Assess client’s growth and development across the lifespan related to individual and family experiences along with cultural influences.

Career Development

Explain current theories of career development and how they can be applied in counseling practice.

Counseling and Helping Relationships

Employ theoretically grounded counseling interventions to establish theory-based client outcomes.

Group Counseling and Group Work

Facilitate group dynamics and application of group theory in group counseling practice.

Assessment and Testing

Employ ethical and culturally responsive assessment practices, strategies, and interventions in counseling practice with diverse clients.

Research and Program Evaluation

Integrate ethical, culturally competent, and socially just practices into counseling research processes.  

Specialty Tracks/Areas Learning Objectives

CMHC Specialty

Apply ethical and socially just counseling theories and interventions to clients presenting problems and diagnoses.

MCFC Specialty

Apply systems theories in an ethical and socially just manner to couples, marriages, and families from a diversity of cultural backgrounds.

SC Specialty

Create, implement, and evaluate data-driven school counseling programs designed to meet the academic, career, and social/emotional development of all students.

Admission to Candidacy

After admission as a degree-seeking student, a student must apply for candidacy. Students who have been admitted conditionally may not apply for candidacy until those conditions have been met. Application forms are available online. Application for candidacy should be made within two weeks of the start of the term in which degree candidacy is sought. To qualify for degree candidacy, a student must:

  1. be admitted to the program;
  2. complete COUN-6600 , COUN-7720 , COUN-7810 , and COUN-7847  with a grade of “B” or better in each course; and
  3. show proof of professional liability insurance.

In addition, students in the school counseling sequence must display, or be judged as developing, the dispositions expected of graduate students as listed in the section, Licensure of Teachers and Other School Professionals .

The candidacy committee will review applications and inform students of their candidacy status within six weeks of application. Students should refer to the “Handbook for the Counseling Program” for further details.

Degree Requirements

Students must meet all university requirements for a master’s degree.

Students may not enroll in any of the following courses until candidacy has been earned and course prerequisites are completed:  COUN-6625 COUN-7722 , COUN-8633 , COUN-8825 , COUN-8842 , COUN-8844 , COUN-8845 , COUN-8848 COUN-8858 , COUN-8859  and PSYC-7650 .

A 600-hour internship sequence is required for all counseling students.

Students must complete all core and sequence coursework having earned a grade of “B” or better. If any course grade is below a B, that course must be retaken. Any course with a grade less than a “B” cannot be used as a prerequisite for another course until It is retaken.

Counseling Sequences

Select one of the following sequences:

Total - 60 Hours

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