May 29, 2024  
2019-2020 Governors State University Academic Catalog 
2019-2020 Governors State University Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Counseling, M.A.

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The College of Education  offers a graduate major in Counseling with a choice of three sequences: clinical mental health counseling, marriage 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 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

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 program is determined by the program faculty. Program faculty reserve the right to request personal interviews with applicants to the program. Admission decisions are final and cannot be appealed.

  1. have recommendation of the faculty based on the submission of supplementary application packet which includes:
    1. official transcripts of all previous college work;
    2. counseling application form;
    3. three Personal Reference Forms; and
    4. Statement of Character form.

      Information related to the program and special application materials for the Master of Arts in Counseling program are available from the GSU Office of Admission and on the university website at or

      Office of Admission
      Governors State University
      1 University Parkway
      University Park, Illinois 60484
  2. have completed all prerequisite courses with a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher. If these are not completed at the time of admission, they must be completed prior to attaining candidacy. Prerequisite courses for the Clinical Mental Health and Marriage and Family Counseling sequences include introductory statistics, a course in research methodology, a course in abnormal psychology (PSYC-3430 ), and course work in Addictions Studies at the 5000 level (Marriage and Family sequence must complete ADDS-6300 ) or above totaling three credit hours; applicants for the School Counseling sequence must have completed a course in Introductory statistics, a course in research methodology, and course work in Addictions Studies at the 5000-level or above totaling three credit hours.


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.

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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