Jul 25, 2024  
Graduate Catalog | 2018-2019 
Graduate Catalog | 2018-2019 Previous Edition

Counseling, M.A.

The Master of Arts in Counseling program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) in School Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and Addiction Counseling.  In addition, the program offers an additional secondary Play Therapy concentration.

All concentrations qualify graduates to become a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (LPCA) in the state of North Carolina.  Graduates can also apply for credentialing as an Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) through the National Board of Certified Counselors.

The School Counseling concentration qualifies graduates for advanced-level K-12 school counseling licensure in North Carolina.  Those completing the Addiction concentration can apply to become certificated as a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist (LCAS) through the NC Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board.  The Play Therapy concentration meets the educational requirements, as specified by the Association for Play Therapy (APT), for the Registered Play Therapist (RPT) credential, is recognition of academic achievement, and enhances professional standing.

Program Objectives

As prospective professional counselors, graduates of the program are prepared to: counsel clients, both individually and in groups, on educational, career, life planning, social, emotional, physical, spiritual, and organizational concerns; provide information to clients for educational, social, career, and/or life planning; consult with other professionals concerning client needs; and conduct needs assessments, evaluations, and other activities for program design.

Additional Admission Requirements

In addition to the general requirements for admission to the Graduate School, the criteria for admission to the M.A. in Counseling program include an applicant’s potential success in forming effective interpersonal relationships in individual and small-group contexts; aptitude for graduate-level study; career goals and objectives; openness to self-examination; and potential for personal and professional self-development.  Students are not required to have an undergraduate major in any particular field to enter the counseling program.  Admission decisions are based on applicants’ individual profiles and made by a committee of program faculty.  Applicants with the highest profile rankings are invited to campus for an interview process; the number invited is determined by the number of anticipated openings in the program.  Students are admitted to the program in the Spring of each year, and they are expected to begin their studies the following Summer or Fall semester.  The application deadline for each year’s admissions process is December 1.

Degree Requirements

The M.A. in Counseling program requires a total of 60 credit hours, including core courses for all students and specialization courses for students in School Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, or Addiction.  In addition, the programs offers an additional secondary Play Therapy concentration.  Each concentration includes a series of required courses, clinical experience courses, and elective courses.


Addiction Concentration

Clinical Experiences (Addiction Setting) (9 credit hours)

Elective Courses (9 credit hours)

These courses must be approved by the student’s advisor.

Clinical Mental Health Concentration

Clinical Experiences (Clinical Mental Health Setting) (9 credit hours)

Elective Courses (12 credit hours)

These courses must be approved by the student’s advisor.

School Counseling Concentration

Clinical Experiences (School Setting) (9 credit hours)

Elective Courses (12 credit hours)

These courses must be approved by the student’s advisor.

Secondary Concentration (Optional) (12 credit hours)

Play Therapy Concentration

Elective Course (3 credit hours)

Select one of the following:

Comprehensive Exam

Students must successfully pass the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam (CPCE) to graduate from the program.  Students are expected to consult with their advisors during the first 24 hours of coursework concerning procedures and preparation for this experience.


All students should plan their program of study by December of their first year of study with their advisors.


Students who graduate from the School Counseling concentration are eligible, upon passing the exam required by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI), to be recommended for school counseling licensure from the North Carolina DPI. All graduates are eligible to apply for the credential of Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (LPCA) through the NCBLPC upon completion of the application and required exam.

Total = 60 Credit Hours