Jul 21, 2024  
2021-2022 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2027 
2021-2022 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2027 [Archived Catalog]

Counseling: Mental Health Counseling (MA)

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Affiliation: School of Health Sciences & Education


The Counseling program at Truman State University strives to equip caring, committed, competent, and culturally aware individuals with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required to become professional counselors in school and community settings. Students may either focus on a Master of Arts in Counseling:  Mental Health Counseling, geared toward community-based work as Licensed Professional Counselors, or a Master of Arts in Counseling: School Counseling, geared toward meeting the academic, career, and personal/social needs of culturally diverse students in the elementary, middle, and secondary schools as Certified/Licensed School Counselors.

This program focuses on developing the knowledge, skills, and dispositions involved in becoming a reflective practitioner in the art and science of counseling. To assist counselors-in-training in this process, particular attention is given to the counseling relationship; cultural awareness; skill development; ethical and reflective practice; and wellness, prevention, and intervention. Each specialization provides focused study on issues germane to that area of practice within the counseling profession. Students in both the Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling degree plans complete the necessary curricular and experiential requirements to pursue initial entry-level licensure or certification.


The Counseling program curriculum is aligned with the standards of the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Truman is concurrently launching its self-study process for CACREP accreditation with the beginning of this program, and graduates of this program will be deemed to have graduated from a CACREP-accredited program, provided they graduated within 18 months of initial accreditation. Students should consult the state licensing board in their state of residence to verify any additional requirements for their state. 


The Counseling program at Truman State University has the following objectives:

  • The preparation of students for advanced degrees in professional counseling;
  • The preparation of students to demonstrate compassion, competence, professionalism, and leadership in the counseling profession;
  • The preparation of students to apply research skills in advanced academic work and professional counseling practice;
  • The preparation of students to utilize theoretical models and research findings in:
    • Developing effective counseling relationships;
    • Working with culturally diverse clients and students in various counseling settings;
    • Promoting wellness, mental health, and prevention;
    • Assessing various behaviors and personality traits;
    • Creating and implementing treatment plans appropriate to client needs, counselor expertise, and employment;
    • Developing, organizing, administering, maintaining, and evaluating counseling services in a variety of employment settings.


Upon completing the Master of Arts in Counseling program, each graduate will:

  • Possess and apply the knowledge base of professional counselors in school and community settings, consistent with the graduate’s specialization;
  • Demonstrate the skills necessary to create and maintain a counseling relationship;
  • Engage in self-reflective practice, including the ability to evaluate counseling strengths and growth areas and to develop self-improvement and self-care plans;
  • Exhibit an understanding of and appreciation for inclusivity and cultural differences and strengths;
  • Understand and employ standards of ethical counseling practice;
  • Embody a professional counselor identity; and
  • Make decisions based on professional standards, common practice, and current research.

The counseling program is offered exclusively online following a cohort model and is designed to meet the most commonly accepted national standards for counseling preparation: those of the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). In accordance with those standards, both the Counseling: Mental Health Counseling and Counseling: School Counseling degrees are comprised of 60 credits, including field-based practicum and internship experiences under the supervision of university faculty and other qualified professional counselors.

Qualified applicants are admitted for either the fall or spring semester of each year. Courses in the fall and spring follow a semester format; generally, summer classes are 10 weeks long. Students with recent course credit from a CACREP-accredited counseling program may request a transfer of up to 6 hours of graduate coursework. Students must supply the course syllabus from the section and the semester the course was taken. Credit transfers from other programs or from previously awarded degrees will not be considered for degree completion. Students may not transfer COUN 656G, COUN 663G, COUN 672G, Practicum, or Internship. Credit for courses completed more than six years prior to the granting of the degree are not eligible for transfer. The counseling program reserves the right to deny a transfer of credits for other courses from CACREP-accredited programs, particularly if, in the judgment of the faculty, the proposed transfer course does not adequately align with the Truman curriculum.


To be considered for admission, a prospective student must submit:

  • A completed online application.
  • Official copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts, reflecting an earned baccalaureate degree from a college or university accredited by one of the six regional accrediting bodies recognized by the US Department of Education or the extra-national equivalent.
  • GRE scores, for students with an overall undergraduate GPA below 3.000 (ETS code 6483).
  • A personal statement, as described on the departmental website.
  • Professional contact information (e.g. institutional or corporate email address and telephone number) for three professional references.
  • A completed criminal background check dated within 1 year of admission.

After the receipt of all materials, applicants will be invited to participate in a required interview, conducted online.

An applicant with a bachelor’s degree granted by an institution outside the United States must include a transcript evaluation provided by a service listed on the counseling program website. Please see the International Graduate Student Admission section of this catalog for other applicable information.


All students must pass an FBI background clearance before being placed in practicum or internship assignments. The background check must be current (within one year) when applying for certification.


  • Completion of all program coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.00.
  • Regardless of GPA, no more than 2 grades of “C” may count toward degree requirements. No grade below “C” may count. Please note that some states require grades of “B” or better in every class for applicants to be licensed.
  • A passing score on the comprehensive examination, as determined by the department.
  • Admission to and completion of all required practicum and internship experiences.
  • Successful resolution of any ethical, professional, or dispositional concerns formally expressed by the department.



Professional Practice Requirements: 3 Hours

Students must also complete the following course in professional practice.

Practicum and Internship: 9 Hours

The remaining 9 hours of coursework consist of

Certification and Licensure

Certification and licensure are determined on a state-by-state basis. Graduates seeking Licensed Professional Counselor status typically must complete a series of post-master’s internship hours under the supervision of a qualified counseling professional before full licensure is granted.  In some states, graduates seeking Licensed/Certified School Counselor status have similar requirements.  As requirements change regularly, it is the student’s responsibility to verify the requirements applicable to the state in which they ultimately intend to work. Truman State University maintains a website with state licensure information, updated annually, at consumerinformation.truman.edu/stateauthorization/. Students are expected to update their permanent address each semester to help ensure they can be properly informed about changes in licensure rules in their home state.

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