Master of Arts: Counseling

Requirements for the Master of Arts

Requirements for a master's degree include a minimum of 30 credit hours but vary according to the major and emphasis area. Regardless of program length, at least 60 percent of the coursework on the degree program must be numbered 5500 or above. At least a 3.0 GPA must be maintained, with no grade lower than a C earned in any 5500-level course. Any courses on the 300 and 400 level to be included in a master of arts program must be taken for graduate credit and only by arrangement with the advisor. No grade lower than B- may be earned in any 300- or 400-level course to be used toward a graduate degree. In addition, 80 percent of the credits for the degree must be passed with a grade of B (3.0) or better.

As soon as possible after regular admission to graduate study, the student should meet with a faculty advisor to develop a program of study. This program must be filed with the Education Student Services Office prior to the completion of 50% of applicable degree coursework for further approval by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and filing with the Registrar. Program revisions may be requested later but also must be approved by the student's advisor, the dean's representative, and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

Twenty percent of resident graduate coursework may be transferred from other accredited universities' graduate programs. A maximum of 49 percent of acceptable graduate work (no grade below B) may be transferred from other campuses of the University of Missouri. Credits are transferred only with the recommendation of the advisor and the consent of the dean's representative in the School of Education, Social Work, and Psychological Sciences. Transfer credit must not be more than seven years old at the time of program completion.

Transfer credit may be allowed for correspondence courses, provided the credits meet the above criteria. A maximum of six semester hours of continuing education courses that have been taken for graduate credit (workshops, special topics) may be included on a master's program. Students must provide a letter from the transfer institution clarifying the grade equivalent for transfer work posted as "credit" or "pass."

For regular courses taken through continuing education at UMKC to apply on degree programs, the student must be admitted to graduate study and have an approved program on file, including the continuing education courses.

Credit more than seven years old at the time of degree completion must be validated. To validate a course, the student must meet with the instructor of the current equivalent course to devise a plan in which the student's current knowledge of the coursework can be assessed. Faculty may ask the student to write a paper, review current literature, or take examinations to determine whether the student's knowledge of the subject is acceptable. A maximum of 30 percent of the student's program of study may be validated under this procedure. All validation must be completed prior to the completion of the final semester of enrollment for the degree.

A thesis is not required for the master of arts degree, although the option for a thesis is available. A final integrating experience or independent or group research study may be required of those not selecting the thesis option.

https://education.umkc.edu/academics/masters-program/ma-in-counseling/

Requirements for Retention

Students must:

  1. Meet all admission requirements.
  2. File a planned program of study in consultation with a faculty advisor, securing approvals from the dean's representative and the School of Graduate Studies. 
  3. Complete all coursework listed on the approved program of study.
  4. Maintain an acceptable graduate GPA with no grades below B- (3.0) in 300- or 400-level courses, no grades below C (2.0) in any 5500-level course, at least 80 percent of the degree program completed with a grade of B (3.0) or above, and a 3.0 average maintained in all graduate coursework, regardless of whether the courses are on the actual degree program.
  5. Apply for the degree (graduation) by the posted deadline during the final term of enrollment.
  6. Enroll in at least one credit hour during the term they intend to graduate.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Theories and skills of counseling The counseling relationship Social and cultural foundations of counseling Career development Assessment Research methods Professional identity Group theory and skills Ethical standards and issues Diagnostic systems Preventive intervention and consultation Human development and biological factors in human functioning Additional School Counseling Student Learning Outcomes* Student development Program implementation Professional relationships Leadership and advocacy Ethical and professional conduct Cultural competence

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates demonstrate skills and knowledge in the following areas:

  • Theories and skills of counseling
  • The counseling relationship
  • Social and cultural foundations of counseling
  • Career development
  • Assessment
  • Research methods
  • Professional identity
  • Group theory and skills
  • Ethical standards and issues
  • Diagnostic systems
  • Preventive intervention and consultation
  • Human development and biological factors in human functioning

Additional School Counseling Student Learning Outcomes*

  • Student development
  • Program implementation
  • Professional relationships
  • Leadership and advocacy
  • Ethical and professional conduct
  • Cultural competence

*The UMKC Counseling Program Goals are based on the Missouri Standards for the Preparation of Educators (MoSPE).  The MoSPE Standards for School Counselors are the foundation for certification in Missouri.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Counseling programs at UMKC’s School of Education, Social Work, and Psychological Sciences is to prepare students to meet the varied psychological, social, and educational needs of individuals, couples and families in diverse urban communities. Based on national and state standards for excellence in counselor preparation, the programs prepare students to be credentialed as professional school counselors and licensed professional counselors.

Overview of the M.A. in Counseling

The Counseling Program is accredited by the Master's in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council. The master's degree is the first professional degree in counseling. Graduates holding this degree will gain the basic understanding and skills necessary for professional practice as a counselor.  The program currently offers three emphasis areas leading to the M.A. degree: School Counseling, Couples and Family Counseling and Mental Health Counseling.

Eligibility for school counselor certification is based on meeting DESE requirements for grade point average, the Missouri School Counseling Content Assessment (MoSCA) and the Missouri School Counselor Evaluation System (MEES). The other counseling emphases are designed for students who wish to work in a variety of settings other than the public schools. Those earning degrees in counseling become employed in community colleges, four-year colleges, specialized areas in large universities (e.g. career planning and placement), the court system and community-based mental health services. Many students go on for advanced degrees. Students in this program will take all of the coursework needed to be eligible for licensure as a professional counselor in the state of Missouri. Students may also arrange their internship setting placements similar to those in which they plan to work.

Requirements for Admission

  • Overall undergraduate 2.75 GPA or better, or 3.0 or better (4.0 scale) in the last 60 semester hours.

Admission Procedures

Applications for the mental health and couples/family emphasis areas are accepted twice a year: by Sept. 1 to be admitted for the spring semester or by March 1 to be admitted for the fall semester. School Counseling applications are accepted and reviewed year-round.  It is recommended all application materials be submitted at least one month prior to the beginning of the semester in which the student wishes to enroll.

Students who wish to apply to the program will have to submit two separate applications, one to the University (see A. below) and one to the Counseling Office (see B. below).

A. Send to the UMKC Admission office:

  1. Application for Admission (available on-line at www.umkc.edu/admissions).
  2. $35 (domestic online) or $50 (international) non-refundable application fee.
  3. Official transcripts from all colleges/universities previously attended (in sealed envelope or sent directly from universities).

Mailing Address

University of Missouri-Kansas City
Office of Admissions
120 Administrative Center
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499

B. Send to the Counseling office:

  1. M.A. Counseling Application (detailed instructions available on the application; https://seswps.umkc.edu/admissions/index.html).
  2. Three letters of reference (use rating forms in the application packet).
  3. Statement defining personal and professional goals.
  4. Additional requirements may apply for international students.

Mailing Address

University of Missouri-Kansas City
ATTN: Counseling Program Office
215 Education Building
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499

Requirements for Graduation

Students must complete all courses in the M.A. program with a B or better in all coursework.

Students must apply for graduation by the posted deadline during their final term of enrollment. All students must be enrolled during the term they intend to graduate.

For more specific information about the master's in Counseling see https://education.umkc.edu/academics/masters-program/ma-in-counseling/

Degree Requirements

* Note: Only courses with an asterisk may be taken prior to being admitted to the program.
# Note: Course can be taken if officially admitted to a graduate degree program.

Required Core Courses (All Emphases)
CPCE 5500Introduction To Professional Counseling *3
CPCE 5503Psychopathology: Diagnoses And Classification3
CPCE 5505Career Development I #3
EDUC-R&P 5508Principles And Methods Of Research *3
CPCE 5515Assessment Methods In Professional Counseling3
CPCE 5520Theories of Counseling3
CPCE 5530Methods Of Counseling3
CPCE 5531Counseling Practicum I3
CPCE 5532Counseling Practicum II3
or CPCE 5533 Couples And Family Therapy Practicum
CPCE 5540Theories And Methods In Group Counseling3
CPCE 5551Counseling in a Pluralistic Society3
CPCE 5553Ethics And Professional Issues In Counseling3
CPCE 5575AInternship In Counseling I3
CPCE 5575BInternship In Counseling II3
Please select one emphasis area: 18
Couples and Family Emphasis Area
Theory And Methods Of Sexual Counseling
Couples And Family Therapy
Theories and Techniques of Family Systems Therapy
Prevention, Consultation, and Program Evaluation in Community Settings
Advanced Developmental Science Across the Lifespan *
3 hours elective coursework
Mental Health Emphasis
Theory And Methods Of Sexual Counseling
Special Counseling Methods - Substance Abuse
Prevention, Consultation, and Program Evaluation in Community Settings
Advanced Developmental Science Across the Lifespan
6 hours elective coursework
School Counseling Emphasis
Fndtns Of Elementary & Secondary School Counseling & Guidance
School Counseling Programs
Organization And Administration Of Counseling Programs
Education of the Exceptional Child and Youth (5404 section)
Advanced Developmental Science Across the Lifespan (Elementary, Secondary, and K-12 counselors)
Strategies For Effective Classroom Management (Required for those who do not hold a current teaching certificate.) *
Teaching Methods And Practices (Required for those who do not hold a current teaching certificate.) *
Total Credits60