Master of Science in Counseling

Professionals seeking a new credential to support their counseling career can enroll in Faulkner University’s Master of Science in Counseling program. The 61-credit hour program is offered in a hybrid format, giving students the convenience of online learning with the accountability and access to the traditional classroom. Founded on Christian principles, the graduate program integrates a Christian-based worldview within the mental health profession.

Program Objectives

The graduate program bridges traditional academia with practical experiences for a well-rounded education. The program explores various areas of counseling and mental health while integrating Christian principles to the profession. Courses are designed to develop your counseling skills through a variety of classes and collaborative classroom and field experiences. The curriculum has been developed to meet the state and national regulatory criteria, leading to licensure and certification of professional counselors.

Our Master of Science in Counseling develops professionals of strong moral and ethical character who apply biblical principles of genuineness, empathy, and integrity to their profession. Students also gain the skills and expertise to become leaders in the field, as well as mentors for those pursuing a counseling career.

Graduates of Faulkner’s Master of Science in Counseling program are prepared to work in a variety of clinical settings, including community agencies, state agencies, churches and Christian ministries.

Program Design

Nearly 85 percent of coursework is taught online. Students will be required to meet on campus twice during the program for Clinical Training I and Clinical Training II. These trainings take place from Tuesday to Saturday and are scheduled for the third full weeks in January and September each year. The Counseling Practicum and Internship in Counseling course requirements are hands-on field experiences.

Program Licensure

Graduates will be eligible to pursue licensure in the state of Alabama upon graduation from the Master of Science in Counseling program. Faulkner University cannot guarantee that the state of residence’s counseling board will accept the degree in order for the graduate to pursue their professional counseling license. However, there is some reciprocity in other states. It is the responsibility of the prospective student, student, or graduate to verify with the counseling board in their state of residence of the eligibility of licensure within that state.

COU 6310: Introduction to Counseling Theories (3 credits)
This course of study provides a broad understanding of professional theories and application to the counseling process, including roles and functions; professional goals and objectives; professional organizations and associations; professional history and trends; ethical and legal standards; professional preparation standards; and professional credentialing for the online masters in counseling.

COU 6320: Life Span Development (3 credits)
This is an introduction to the basic principles of human development with a focus on development across the lifespan. The course addresses the theoretical foundations and the pragmatic implications found in developmental psychology. Emphasis placed on the application to professional counseling.

COU 6325: Career and Guidance Counseling (3 credits)
This course includes a study of career development theories and models, the processes involved in career decision-making, the diverse life-roles and their interaction with work and other roles. Students will participate in career interest inventories and the discussion of contemporary career choices in the counseling profession.

COU 6330: Counseling Diverse Populations (3 credits)
This course will introduce the history and development of counseling individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Professional issues such as ethics, research, and theories of counseling will also be discussed for the online master’s in counseling.

COU 6340: Analysis of the Helping Relationship (3 credits)
This is a study of the techniques of counseling with an emphasis in gathering, analyzing and interpreting case data. Includes an analysis of the dynamics of counselor/counselee relationship. Special attention is given to helping each student develop a personal theory and techniques.

COU 6345: Counseling in the Community (3 credits)
This course will provide an overview of the field of counseling, which emphasizes theories and philosophies underlying current practices in the field of counseling. Course content will cover the history of the counseling profession, contemporary practices in community mental health, and future projections for the counseling profession.

COU 6350: Group Counseling (3 credits)
This course provides a broad understanding of group development, dynamics and counseling theories; leadership styles; basic and advanced methods of conducting groups in a counseling setting.

COU 6360: Measurement and Assessment (3 credits)
Introduction to the history and theory of measurement and assessment as it applies to counselors. This section of the course will be tailored to professionals who may interact with other professionals across a wide range of settings to include schools, universities, hospitals, and community mental health centers.

COU 6365: Research Methods (3 credits)
This course covers the different methodologies that apply in conducting research in the counseling profession. It provides a review of historical research approaches and moves into standard and unique research methods. Topics of emphasis include research protocol, basic approaches, survey techniques, educational investigations, and applied studies.

COU 6370: Integrations of Theology and Counseling (3 credits)
This is an in-depth examination of the principles and practices for integration of values in counseling. The course will address the historical influence of theology on the development of counseling theories and practices. The course will also address the issues, concerns, and criticisms of the integration of theology and counseling.

COU 6375: Legal and Ethical Issues (3 credits)
This is an in-depth study of the theories and principles of ethics and moral development and the impact of these upon individuals, families, communities, professional, and public decisions/policies. The study will also exam the relevant dilemmas faced in the delivery of professional behavioral, family, and social services to individuals, families, and groups in today’s health-care systems.

COU 6380: Diagnosis and Treatment (3 credits)
This course of study provides an introduction to the process of diagnosing and treating individuals with mental disorders. Emphasis is placed on using the DSM-IV-TR as well as recent relevant literature to inform the diagnostic and treatment process.

COU 6390: Counseling Practicum (3 credits)
This course is designed to provide part-time practical experience while completing hours in a clinical setting. Counselors-in-training will be placed in mental health settings (such as community agencies and substance abuse treatment programs). Historical, philosophical, psychological, and sociological foundations of community counseling will also be discussed. Course enrollment requires consent of advisor and Graduate Counseling Program Director.

COU 6995: Internship in Counseling (9 credits)
This course is a pre-professional course, designed to culminate the studies in the profession of counseling and to prepare you for future employment or further graduate study through clinical experience. Counselors-in-training will be placed in mental health settings on a full-time basis. Course enrollment requires the consent of advisor and Graduate Counseling Program Director.

COU 6396: Clinical Training I (5 credits)
Clinical Training I is a four (4) day intensive experience for the purpose of face-to-face interaction, further orientation to the counseling professions and preparation for field work in the student’s practicum and internship courses. The training will specifically focus on skills development, multicultural issues, legal and ethical issues in counseling practice, and group work. Academic Advising will also be available during this time. Clinical Training I must be completed before the student can participate in Practicum (COU 6390) or Internship (COU 6995).

COU 6397: Clinical Training II (5 credits)
Clinical Training II is a four (4) day intensive experience for the purpose of face-to-face interaction that is designed to address a more advanced issue in counseling; such ae training will specifically focus on skills development, multicultural issues, legal and ethical issues in counseling practice, and group work. Academic Advising will also be available during this time. Clinical Training I must be completed before the student can participate in Practicum (COU 6390) or Internship (COU 6995)

Choose one of the following electives:

COU 6315 Marriage and Family Theory (3 credits)
This is an introduction to systems, social learning, and psychodynamic marital theory. Attention is given to dysfunctional manifestations within family systems and factors related to family strengths. Emphasis placed on the counseling approaches of Marriage and Family Therapy.

COU 6385 Substance Abuse Counseling (3 credits)
This course is a graduate-level introduction to the field of substance abuse counseling. The course is designed to help the student understand the etiology of substance use, to facilitate the development of addiction counseling competencies, and to increase the student’s level of confidence relative to providing substance abuse evaluation, education, and treatment. Emphasis will be placed on developing and practicing substance abuse counseling skills.

COU 6395 Suicide Intervention and Counseling (3 credits)
This graduate-level course will address the epidemiology of suicide, demographic and incidence information about at-risk groups, risk factors, protective factors, warning signs, assessment of emergency risk and chronic risk, intervention strategies, nomenclature, national strategy planning, prevention advocacy, and attention to the bereaved and complicated mourning and subsequent postvention.

Total Hours: 61

Admission Requirements

Prospective students enrolling in the Master of Science in Counseling program must meet the following admission requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university; you must provide transcripts from all institutions attended.
  • A minimum overall GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate coursework and a minimum major GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for graduate coursework.
  • Passing scores on graduate admissions exams, including the GRE (285) or MAT (at least 370). Exam results cannot be more than five years old and must be forwarded directly to Faulkner from the testing service.  This requirement is waived if the student had a GPA of 3.0 or above on their undergraduate degree or if they already hold a master’s degree.
  • Three letters of recommendation with specific comments regarding the applicant’s academic work, professional experience and ability to successfully complete graduate study. The letters are usually from the applicant’s faculty members or supervisory personnel.
  • A goal statement (approximately 400 words) specifying the applicant’s personal goals for their professional development as a counselor and future employment in the field. The statement should include a rationale for attending Faulkner University to help reach their goals as well as a description of previous professional experience and how that experience will support them in the program and professional field of counseling.

To Apply

  1. Submit a completed online application.
  2. Complete and print the Official Transcript Request  form and submit it to all previously attended schools with the appropriate fee.
  3. Send all additional items via mail to:

Faulkner University
Attn: Graduate Enrollment
5345 Atlanta Hwy
Montgomery, AL 36109