Master of Science in Clinical Counseling

Visit the MSCC webpage for program information, contact information, and an online application.

Graduates of this program will be employable in clinical counseling arenas such as correctional centers and psychiatric institutions, or in private practice. They may be eligible to obtain a license in Missouri as a professional counselor, pending satisfactory completion of requirements.


The Master of Science Clinical Counseling Program is a professional development program. The mission of Central Methodist University's MS in Clinical Counseling program is to prepare practitioners to function as professional counselors, who meet the State Of Missouri's requirements for Licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

The counselor must have an understanding of an individual's development through the life span and must have formal academic knowledge, applicable skills, and clinical learning experiences necessary to help individu­als, families, and groups solve problems they face in the social contexts in which they live, learn, work, and play. This program will provide the skills and knowledge necessary for graduates to earn this license.

Degree Program

The degree program is a minimum of 48 credit hours in length and may be completed in less than three (3) calendar years through a full-time course of study.  Students may choose to pursue electives beyond the 48 in order to attain an emphasis in a selected area as courses arise. Students may also opt for part-time study. All coursework must be completed within six years of enrollment.

Requirements included in the 48 credit hours are three (3) credit hours of supervised practicum and 6 hours of internships along with the successful completion of the Comprehensive Preparation Counseling Examination (CPCE) and an approved scholarly literature review paper.

This program adheres to all policies of the Graduate Program at Central Methodist University.

NOTE: In order to graduate, all students in this program must pass the Coun­selor Preparation Comprehensive Ex­amination (CPCE) based on completed coursework. Three (3) attempts will be allowed.  Upon failure to pass the exam the third time, continuing coursework must be at­tained and only upon passing this coursework will one last attempt will be allowed. Students who do not pass the standard exam must complete a written comprehensive examination in the areas which deficits were apparent as defined by the program. Students must pass this fi­nal exam or be disenrolled from the Graduate program.

Admission Requirements

In order to be admitted, candidates must apply and may do so in person or online.

Candidates should:

  1. Submit a completed application form and pay the appropriate application fee.
  2. Provide Background Check within 9 hours (instructions below).
  3. Provide all official transcripts of previously com­pleted college and University coursework:
    1. An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (or better) is re­quired for candidate with fewer than nine (9) hours of previous graduate work.
    2. Successful completion of the Miller Analogies Test.
    3. For candidates with previous graduate work, a 3.0 GPA in graduate courses com­pleted.
  4. Have completed a baccalaureate degree from an ac­credited college or university.
  5. Have completed an undergraduate major in Psy­chol­ogy or earned at least 18 hours of college cre­dit in Psychology or a related field prior to enrollment in the graduate program.
  6. Submit a letter of intent, a résumé, a short au­to­biogra­phy, and a 2-3 page scholarly essay on why the can­didate would like to be a counselor - includ­ing fu­ture career plans and goals - as well as ref­erence letters from two persons knowledgeable about the applicant's potential to complete graduate work and to function successfully as a counselor.

Admissions Exceptions

Applicants seeking a special exception to the admissions standards (based on an undergra­duate GPA of less than 3.0) should

  • submit all application materials stated above.
  • submit a letter requesting an exception clearly identifying reasons which justify this exception.
  • provide information supportive of this exception (e.g. additional references, MAT, GRE, life experiences, etc.).

Upon receipt of these materials, the regular admissions procedures will be followed.

National Certification

Central Methodist University participates in the Gradu­ate Student Application Program (GSA-NCC) of the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) through the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE) in order to allow students to work towards becoming board eligible as well as offering students availability to other services. Through the GSA-NCC, the National Counseling Exam (NCE) is available during their last two (2) semesters of the Master's program as well as to students who have graduated from the program so long as testing is completed within six (6) months of graduation from this Master's program.  Upon passing the NCE through the jump-start program, providing proof of graduation, and following requirements provided by the NBCC, students may become board-eligible and may move on to become a National Certified Counselor (NCC). The NCC is the only general-practice counseling credential with nationwide recognition.

Licensing Requirements

Graduates of the program who have not taken the NCE during the jump-start program will be eligible to apply to take the NCE after graduation.  Furthermore, passage of the exam and completion of state requirements including acquiring a supervisor may allow students to become a Provisionally Licensed Professional Counselor (PLPC) and upon completion of Missouri's requirements for licensure including 3,000 hours of postgraduate clinical experience, Licensed Professional Counselor status may be achieved. License information

NOTE: Applicants for licensure must meet current requirements as established by the State of Missouri, Department of Economic Development, Division of Professional Registration, Committee for Professional Counselors, and RSMo 337.507 Missouri Revised Statutes.

Additional information

Graduation requires completion of a minimum of 48 hours of graduate coursework with a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale with a maximum of two course grades of "C."

Courses with grades below "C" will not count toward graduation.

Upon receipt and review of all information and supporting documents, applicants will be notified of their admission status. The University reserves the right to refuse admission to anyone who does not meet standards for admission.

During their program, Masters of Science Clinical Counseling Graduates should have no more than 2 "C"s in their academic career. If more than two "C"s are earned then student will move to a probationary status until grades are improved or course is retaken at student's expense.

All work must be completed within a six-year period from the time of formal admittance to the program.

Grounds for Refusal of Licensure

Consult the Missouri Statutes for information regarding licensure eligibility (RSMo 337.525 Missouri Revised Statutes).

Criminal Record Check

Students are required to have a criminal record check completed and on file by the end of the first semester of enrollment. Students who do not have results on file will not be permitted to continue in the program. There are NO waivers for the criminal record check. Students are personally responsible for the cost of the criminal record checks.

Process for Criminal Record Check

  1. Obtain the criminal background check at the links made available here and on the web site.
  2. Complete the form and send all required fees to the address provided.
  3. Students are responsible for all fees in the mailing process.
  4. Criminal background checks deemed unacceptable based on past criminal history will be handled on an individual basis in consultation with the Committee for Professional Counselors.

Professional Insurance

Students are provided professional liability insurance under the form of an umbrella plan; students must pay a fee for said insurance on an annual basis for as long as the student is enrolled in the Clinical Counseling Program. (See fee information) However, students are required to purchase and show proof of individual professional liability insurance as required by the program prior to the student's enrollment in their practicum coursework. Information regarding insurance may be obtained from the regional site coordinator. Other insurance sites: NBCC,CPH & Associates,HPSO

NOTE: No current CMU student shall supervise another CMU student as part of any CMU course. This specifically includes all practicum, internship, and student-teaching experiences or related courses. Students should consult the appropriate advisor if they have any questions regarding their assignment for the aforementioned experiences.