Master of Science in Clinical Counseling

CACREP LogoThe CACREP-accredited Master of Science Clinical Counseling Program is a professional development program.  Graduates of this program are employed in a variety of clinical counseling arenas including correctional facilities, mental health centers, psychiatric institutions, and private practices. Upon satisfactory completion of the counseling program, graduates will have met the educational requirements to be licensed in Missouri as a professional counselor.


To provide a professional development experience wherein students gain the knowledge and skills necessary to be prepared to apply for licensure in Missouri as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).


To graduate competent, socially conscious, reflective, evidence-based counselors who are able to meet the needs of a diverse society and are prepared to meet the highest standards set by the profession and the licensing standards of the majority of states.


The MSCC Program philosophy begins with the belief that individuals are unique, holistic and developing beings with the capacity for thinking, feeling, reflecting and choosing.  We further believe that health, a state and process of being/becoming a whole/integrated person, which consists of a continuum from peak wellness to death, is an overriding goal for all helping professions.  Counseling assists individuals, families and communities to examine their life and environmental patterns and to attach personal meaning to those patterns.  Counseling helps individuals interact more productively with their environment, enabling them to grow and to have more meaningful life experiences.  Counselors work within a system of health care delivery and are responsible for collaboratively working with other mental health providers toward positive outcomes for clients/communities.  Counseling education is a dynamic and on-going process wherein students, through research and education, synthesize a large body of knowledge from various disciplines, in the process of growing as a professional.

Master of Science in Clinical Counseling Outcomes: 

The following program objectives are the outcomes that students are expected to accomplish as a result of successful completion of the curriculum:

  1. Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice: Demonstrate an understanding of the counseling profession, develop an identity as a counselor, and demonstrate a willingness to provide counseling services within the ethical guidelines of the counseling profession.
  2. Social and Cultural Diversity: Develop an awareness of, and an appreciation for, social and cultural influences on human behavior and to recognize the impact of individual differences on the counseling process.
  3. Human Growth and Development: Develop an understanding of developmental aspects of human growth and appreciation for the nature of human development and its integration within the counseling process.
  4. Career Development: Develop an understanding of career development and related life factors and the effects on an individual’s mental health and lifestyle and its application within counseling.
  5. Counseling and Human Relationships: Demonstrate effective individual and group counseling skills which facilitate client growth and demonstrate the ability to evaluate progress toward treatment goals.
  6. Group Counseling and Group Work: Develop both theoretical and experiential understandings of group purpose, development, dynamics, counseling theories, group counseling methods and skills, and other group approaches.
  7. Assessment and Testing: Gain knowledge and skills in assessment techniques and apply basic concepts to individual and group appraisal.
  8. Research and Program Evaluation: Develop the ability to read, critique, evaluate, and contribute to professional research literature.
  9. Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Be proficient with the assessment and treatment of clients with a broad range of mental health issues.

Degree Program

A CACREP-accredited degree from the Master of Science in Clinical Counseling (MSCC) program requires a minimum of 60 credit hours and may be completed in less than three years through a full-time course of study.  Students may choose to pursue electives beyond the 60 hours. This program adheres to all policies of the Graduate Program at Central Methodist University. See sections entitled Curriculum Requirements and Graduation Requirements for further information.

Course Delivery

Each semester, students attend class one to two evenings per week from 5 or 5:30 p.m. to 9 or 9:30 p.m.   Approximately half of the courses meet, face-to-face, every week. The other half of the courses meet face-to-face every other week and on the alternate week they meet online. All courses are supplemented with some online components.  


Accreditation information for the MSCC can be found here.

Admission Requirements

  1. Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
  2. 18 or more hours of coursework in psychology, counseling, social work or a closely related field
  3. Undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale. 
    Exception: Students admitted conditionally will be moved to regular status if they achieve a 3.0 GPA in the first 9 hours of study. If they do not, the student will be disenrolled from the program. Students admitted conditionally will be moved to regular status if they achieve a 3.0 GPA in the first 9 hours of study.  If they do not, the student will be disenrolled from the program. Applicants with undergraduate GPAs lower than 3.0 can appeal to be conditionally admitted with a letter explaining how they expect to have satisfactory academic performance in graduate school.  Conditional admission will be considered based upon multiple factors (for example: applicant rationale for satisfactory performance, competitiveness of undergraduate institution, GPA in psychology courses and GPA in the last 60 hours of undergraduate study).
  4. Criminal background check deemed acceptable by the MSCC Admissions Committee in consultation with the Missouri Division of Professional Registration
  5. Demonstration of adequate written communication skills
  6. Demonstration of appropriate interest and aptitude for counseling profession

Application Process

  1. Apply online.
  2. Send official transcripts of all previously completed college/university coursework.
  3. Student submitted transcripts or letters of recommendation are not accepted. Please direct your transcript request and recommendation authors to send the documents directly to
  4. Complete a criminal record check. To initiate this process, applicants must first complete the criminal record check waiver and privacy form and return it to the MSCC Program's Park Hills location by fax (573-518-2160), email (, or in person (CMU office, AS 116, on the campus of Mineral Area College in Park Hills). Applicants may contact the CMU/MSCC Park Hills site's general number at 573-518-2112 if they have further questions. Upon receipt of the waiver, MSCC will provide the information needed to complete a criminal record check; the approximate cost to the applicant is $53.
  5. Submit three, one-page written statements on the following topics. 
    a. Experiences and interests that have brought you to pursue a career in counseling? 
    b. Professional career goals? 
    c. Experiences you have had with diversity and what you learned about yourself.
  6. Submit two reference letters from individuals knowledgeable about applicant’s potential to complete graduate work and to function successfully as a counselor.

Items 2, 3, 4, and 5, above should be emailed to: or posted to CGES Admissions Office, Central Methodist University, 411 Central Methodist Square, Fayette, MO 65248.

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.

Curriculum Requirements

  1. Transfer credit. Transfer hours will be accepted on a case-by-case basis and at the discretion of the Admissions Committee. 
  2. GPA. A 3.0 cumulative GPA must be maintained and a grade of “C” or above must be obtained in all divisional courses. Courses in which a student obtained a grade of less than a “C” will not count toward graduation.
  3. Maximum program length. The MSCC program must be completed within six years of enrollment.
  4. Professional liability insurance. Students are required to purchase and show proof of individual professional liability insurance prior to the student’s enrollment in any practicum or internship course and for the duration of their enrollment in those courses. Liability insurance is offered by a variety of private insurance companies and by or through some professional organizations (see more information in the student handbook). Students will not be allowed to enroll in practicum/internship courses until they have shown proof of their coverage.
  5. Evaluation, remediation and dismissal. It is the priority of program faculty to assist students to be successful in their career aspirations. However, because of concern about potential harm to clients and to the counseling profession, members of the faculty evaluate student’s academic and professional conduct on a regular basis in order to assure the suitability of students for the profession of counseling. In some cases, personal behavior that might interfere with professional functioning is also evaluated.  If the student is not making satisfactory progress, he or she will be referred to a committee whose members will consider whether remediation or dismissal is appropriate. Additional information on the evaluation, remediation, & dismissal process is in the Student Handbook. 
  6. Supervision. 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.  

Graduation Requirements

  1. Satisfactory completion of 60 credit hours, including 51 hours of core academic courses and 9 hours of required practice courses (including 1 practicum and 2 internships).
  2. A 3.0 cumulative GPA with a maximum of two course grades of “C”. Courses in which a student obtained a grade of less than a “C” will not count toward graduation. 
  3. Satisfactory completion of the Comprehensive Preparation Counseling Examination (CPCE).

Note. The academic courses in the program prepare students to take the CPCE, which must be passed in order for students to graduate. Three (3) attempts to pass the exam will be allowed. Upon failure to pass the exam the third time, additional coursework must be satisfactorily completed, after which one last attempt to pass the exam will be allowed. Students who do not pass the final CPCE must complete a written comprehensive examination in the areas of the CPCE where deficits were apparent (as defined by the program).  Students must pass this final exam or be disenrolled from the graduate program. 

National Certification

Central Methodist University participates in the Graduate Student Application Program (GSA-NCC) of the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), called the “jump-start program”, in order to allow students to work toward board certification. Through the GSA-NCC, the National Counseling Exam (NCE) is available during the last two semesters of the Master’s Program and within six months of graduation from the program.  Upon passing the NCE through this program, providing proof of graduation, and following requirements provided by the NBCC, students may move on to become a National Certified Counselor (NCC). The NCC is the only general-practice counseling credential with nationwide recognition. National counselor certification from NBCC is not a license to practice; rather, it proves to the public and employers that the counselor has met the national standards set by the counseling profession. For more information about the National Board for Certified Counselors and their affiliates, go to

State Licensing Requirements

Counselors must be licensed by the state in which they practice.  Every state has different licensing requirements. In Missouri, passing the National Counseling Exam (NCE) is part of the State of Missouri Licensure process, hence, passing the exam while in the program gives candidates a “jump-start” on completing a major component to becoming licensed to practice in Missouri. 

Passage of the NCE and completion of state requirements, including acquiring a supervisor, may allow students to become a Provisionally Licensed Professional Counselor (PLPC). When PLPCs complete other Missouri requirements for licensure, including 3,000 hours of postgraduate clinical experience, they may then be eligible for licensure as an LPC.

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.  For further information, go to, or do a web search for RSMo 337.525 Missouri Revised Statutes.

Clinical Counseling Courses

Note: The counseling domain as required by 20 CSR 2095-2 (Code of State Regulations –which can be found at is indicated in parentheses following each class description. Core (required) classes are also designated.


CL520 (formerly PY520) Introduction to Psychological Measurement.  3 hours. The purpose of this course is to help the counseling student develop an understanding of the assessment process and an overview of the different areas of counseling and psychological evaluation and the different tests used in those areas. The course does not teach test administration and scoring.  Core (CSR, G)

CL530 (formerly PY530) Individual Intelligence Assessment.  3 hours. The focus of this course will be the administration, scoring, and interpretation of individual intelligence tests. The student will study the nature of intelligence, theories of intelligence, behavioral observation skills, and the importance of the clinical interview. There will be labs in which the student will learn to administer specific intelligence tests. The course will focus on the Wechsler scales.  Elective (CSR, G)


CL505 (formerly PY505) Career Development.  3 hours. This course provides an in-depth look at the theoretical and conceptual approaches, and the assessment techniques used in career counseling. This will include the assessment of career interests, work skills, career decision making, career beliefs, work values, and career decision making.   Core (CSR, F)


CL563 (formerly PY563) Counselor Practicum I. 3 hours. Prereq: PY501; PY510; PY525; PY535; graduate status; application, and approval of academic advisor. Liability insurance is required of all practicum students; students will submit a copy of their liability insurance before beginning at their practicum site. In this course, students will learn and develop counseling skills, initial diagnostic competencies, client record keeping, and the formation of treatment plans through a combination of lecture, demonstration, experiential activities, and guided practices.  Students will receive supervised experience in counseling and interview evaluation, including use of audio and video tapes, and client and supervisor feedback.  The student must be supervised at the ratio of at least one (1) hour of one-to-one supervision for every ten (10) hours of experience in the setting.  Each student is required to complete three (3) semester credit hours of practicum.  For each three (3) credit hours, the student must log a minimum of 40 clock hours of direct service with actual clients and 60 hours of indirect counseling, for a total of at least 100 training clock hours, before moving on into their internship phase. The practicum experience is set in both a classroom and a clinical field setting.  Core (CSR, K)

CL564 (formerly PY564) Counselor Practicum II. 3 hours. Prereq: PY563; graduate status; application, and approval of academic advisor.  Students in the MS Clinical Counseling program are required to complete a learning practica of 100 hours before moving on into their internship phase. Counseling Practicum II offers an additional opportunity to fulfill practica hours. See PY563, above, for the course description and requirements. This is an elective section of practica. (CSR, K)

CL573 (formerly PY573) Counseling Internship I. 2-3 hours. Prereq: PY563 or combination of PY563/PY564; graduate status; application, and approval of academic advisor. Liability insurance is required of all internship students; students will submit a copy of their liability insurance before beginning at their internship site.  Internship is an intensive counseling experience that provides the student with the opportunity to perform a variety of counseling activities expected of a professional mental health counselor. Students will learn and develop counseling skills, initial diagnostic competencies, client record keeping, and the formation of treatment plans through a combination of lecture, demonstration, experiential activities, and guided practices. Students will receive supervised experience in counseling and interview evaluation, including use of audio and video tapes, and client and supervisor feedback. In the field placement portion of the internship, the student will work under the direct supervision of a professional who is a licensed professional counselor, a licensed psychologist, a licensed psychiatrist, or a licensed social worker.  If a student is employed where they do their internship, the students’ employment hours and responsibilities cannot be counted toward their internship hours and responsibilities.  The student must be supervised at the ratio of at least one (1) hour of one-to-one supervision for every ten (10) hours of experience in the field setting.  Each student is required to complete six (6) semester credit hours of internship, within which he or she must log a minimum of 240 clock hours of direct service with actual clients and 360 hours of indirect counseling, for a total of at least 600 training clock hours.  The internship experience may be broken up into 2-3 graduate credit hours per semester, depending on agreement between advisor and student.  Internship is set in both a classroom and a clinical field setting.  Core (CSR, K)

 CL574 (formerly PY574) Counseling Internship II. 2-3 hours. Prereq: PY573, graduate status; application, and approval of academic advisor. PY574 is a continuation of PY573; see PY573, above, for the course description and requirements.  Core (CSR, K)

 CL575 (formerly PY575) Counseling Internship III. 2-3 hours. Prereq: PY574, graduate status; application, and approval of academic advisor. See PY573 for a description of the course contents and course requirements.  This is an elective section of internship.  (CSR, K)


CL510 (formerly PY510) Counseling Theory. 3 hours. This course will explore various theories in the field of professional counseling. It will look at personality dynamics, treatment factors, and specific treatment techniques of each theory.  Core (CSR, A)


CL501 (formerly PY501) Diagnosis & Psychopathology. 3 hours. This course will provide an in-depth review of the assessment process that is used in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The course will provide a historical perspective on abnormal behavior and its definition as well as a review of the diagnostic and assessment phase of psychological disorders and various theories that look for the causes of abnormal behavior. This course will further develop the ability of the student to identify diagnostic criteria of the various disorders that a professional counselor may be asked to treat. Core (CSR, J)


CL552 (formerly PY552) Group Counseling Techniques. 3 hours. This course will provide an overview of group theories and the basic elements of the group process. This course will be didactic and experiential in nature and will provide the student with the opportunity to practice interventions in a small group setting.  Core (CSR, E)


CL512 (formerly PY512) Foundations of Sexuality in Counseling. 3 hours. This courses addresses the practice theories and techniques for assessment, evaluation, and treatment of sexual concerns (including: sexuality concerns, sexual exploration, physical/emotional intimacy, disability, chronic illness, pain, and sexual difficulties).  Variations in human sexual function and expression will be discussed from physiological and socio-cultural viewpoints.  Core (CSR, D)

CL514 (formerly PY514) Behavioral Emergencies and Crisis Intervention. 3 hours.  This course will address the theories and techniques for the evaluation and management of behavioral emergencies and of other crises that confront counseling clients and individuals in the community.  Behavior emergencies explored include suicide, violence, grave risk to defenseless victims, and drug or health-related states of impaired judgment. Other crises explored include grief and loss, sexual assault, terrorism, natural disasters, and provider burnout. Core (CSR, I & D)

CL527 (formerly PY527) Foundations of Addictions Counseling. 3 hours.  This course will focus on historical and cultural patterns of addictions and addictive behaviors, knowledge and attitude toward chemical abuse, theories of chemical dependency, and recognition and identification of addictions. Core (CSR, D)

CL535 (formerly PY535) Techniques of Interviewing. 3 hours. This course is designed to help the student develop the interview and communication skills necessary for a counselor to establish a helping relationship with a client. The counselor must be able to gather information, identify problems, complete a psychosocial history, and formulate a treatment plan. Core (CSR, D)

CL544 (formerly PY 544) Advanced Counseling with Evidence Based Therapies 3 hours. This course emphasizes using research/professional literature, in combination with an understanding of a client to aid in choosing effective therapy. The course begins with an explanation of evidence-based therapies.  Four specific therapies will be examined at depth: Cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders; interpersonal therapy for depressive disorders, exposure therapy for PTSD, and integrated therapy for co-occurring disorders.  A review of those four therapies will include the history of the theory behind the therapy, an explanation of the components of the therapy, evidence for efficacy, and experiential exposure to the techniques and protocols of the therapy.  Core (CSR, D)

CL546 (formerly PY 546) Neurobiology & Psychopharmacology in Counseling 3 hours. An introductory level course on neurobiology and psychopharmacology for students preparing for a career in counseling, this course introduces the nervous system and how/why the body acts as it does on drugs.  The pharmacodynamics & pharmacokinetics for each major class of psychotropic medications is covered along with the psychosocial treatments recommended to be concurrent with medications.  Approaches to talking with clients about medication and medication compliance are presented as are models for collaborating with prescribing professionals.  Other topics introduced are social and cultural issues that impact responses to psychotropic medication; research on common medication issues for children, the elderly, and individuals with alcohol or drug-related disorders; and current research on the use of herbaceuticals.  The course concludes with an examination of the neurobiology of sleep, of attachment in the psychotherapy relationship, and of wellness.  Core (CSR, D)

CL548 (formerly PY548) Foundations of Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling 3 hours. This course introduces students to a broad range of theories of marriage, couples, and family therapy. Cognitive-Behavioral Theory, as it is applied to couples and families, and a theory of relationship enhancement are examined in detail. Throughout the course, assignments will enable students to apply theoretical concepts and develop therapy skills. Core (CSR, D)


CL524 (formerly PY524) Counseling Across the Lifespan. 3 hours. This course examines the nature of the developmental process, from birth to death.  The course will look at biological, psychological, and sociological aspects of development.  The course will review developmental theories in each area and the educational needs of individuals at different points of their lives.  Core (CSR, B)


CL500 (formerly PY500) Introduction to Clinical Counseling. 3 hours. This course is an introduction into the field of clinical counseling.  Students enter graduate-level counselor-education programs from a variety of educational and experiential backgrounds.  A graduate with a Master’s degree in Clinical Counseling can be employed in a multitude of settings.  The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to some of the knowledge and skills a counselor needs to know, to some of the areas in which the counselor can apply these skills, and to some of the theories and ethical issues important to the professional counselor.  Core (CSR, I)

CL525 (formerly PY525) Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling. 3 hours. The purpose of this course is to familiarize the prospective counselor with the code of ethics, legal standards, licensing, role identity of counselors versus other helping professionals, fee structures, and the impact of fees on the counseling profession. No information in this course is a legal opinion.  The instructor is not a lawyer.  The information given in this course is intended solely to increase the counseling student’s awareness of some of the issues in the field. Core (CSR, I)

CL557 (formerly PY557) Current Issues and Supervision in Clinical Counseling. 3 hours. This course will provide a synopsis of the Clinical Counseling program as well as offering a lead into the practicum experience.  An examination of current issues in counseling, licensure, legislation, affiliation, supervision, and an understanding of the public and private practice domain will be investigated. Elective (CSR, I)


CL550 (formerly PY550) Research Methodology. 3 hours. This course is designed to familiarize the student with a variety of research methodologies that may be used in conducting research in the counseling field. Core (CSR, H)

CL595 (formerly PY595) Thesis Research. 1 hour. This course will provide an opportunity for students to establish and turn in a proposal for topic approval, acquire approval and begin the research process for master thesis as well as provide regular supervision during the process. Elective (CSR, H)

CL597 (formerly PY597) Master Thesis. 3 hours. The completion of a master’s thesis gives the counseling student the opportunity to extend and expand their knowledge of the counseling field and pursue proficiency on the journey to their Ph.D. The individual will integrate their knowledge of counseling, report writing, and research methodology, along with quantitative and qualitative analysis methodologies.  Elective (CSR, H).

CL598 (formerly PY598) Thesis Continuation. 1 hour. This course provides students with continuing support in completing their research thesis.  Elective (CSR, H)


CL542 (formerly PY542) Social & Cultural Diversity in Counseling. 3 hours. This course is designed to provide students with a didactic theoretical and experiential learning environment that will challenge them to (a) critically conceptualize the cultural awareness of self and others; (b) identify sociopolitical influences involved in oppression and privilege; (c) examine specific cultural issues of non-majority populations; (d) explore the research, theoretical models, and techniques to enhance counseling skills and level of multicultural competency; (e) and identify counseling implications when working with diverse populations. Core (CSR, C)

CL560 (formerly PY560) Special Problems. 1-3 hours. An independent study or research course for an individual student that may cover a wide range of topics in clinical counseling. Prerequisite is permission of instructor. Elective.

CL590 (formerly PY590) Professional Clinical Development Seminars. 1-3 hours. The seminars cover a wide range of clinical topics including but not limited to state licensure, supervision, and working with a multitude of populations. These courses are designed to assist in the development and enhancement of the professional counselor identity. Elective.