Faulkner University

Master of Science in Counseling

Counseling is a rewarding field that offers plenty of room for growth. To take advantage of these opportunities, you’ll need the right education, and getting a degree can be challenging for working adults. At Faulkner University, a private, Christian liberal arts institution in Montgomery, Alabama, students can earn a master’s degree in counseling on their terms with the Master of Science in Counseling. With a mostly online format, it’s a great way to get the education you need to grow your career.

An Online Counseling Program with a Christian Perspective

Students in the Master of Science in Counseling program complete graduate-level coursework designed to meet state and national regulatory criteria. A combination of virtual learning and practical experience prepares each student for eventual licensure, certification, and work in a variety of clinical settings, including community and state agencies, churches, and Christian ministries.

The online portion of the program is led by dedicated educators with expertise in counseling and teaching, providing the same quality education on-campus students receive at our Montgomery, Mobile, Birmingham, and Huntsville locations. Upon completing the program, students will:

  • Develop the skills necessary for successful counseling
  • Be prepared to serve diverse populations
  • Build the skills, knowledge, and awareness required for social justice and advocacy work
  • Demonstrate a strong sense of professional ethics

The program also prepares students to infuse a spiritual focus into their counseling practice due to Faulkner University’s commitment to Christian principles. A strong moral and ethical framework will serve graduates well as they build a career shaped by their values.

Best Christian Colleges – Top Counseling Schools and Best Value Schools – Most Affordable badges

A Master's Degree in Counseling with Online Flexibility

The Master of Science in Counseling program includes 61 credit hours, approximately 85% of which will be completed online. Students are also required to complete:

  • Clinical Training I/Clinical Training II: These in-person sessions are held on campus in January and September and require students to attend Monday through Friday as scheduled
  • Counseling Practicum
  • Internship in Counseling

Online courses include:

Counseling Theory

  • COU 6310 Counseling Theories

Developmental Foundations

  • COU 6320 Life Span Development
  • COU 6325 Career and Guidance Counseling
  • COU 6330 Counseling Diverse Populations

Helping Relations

  • COU 6340 Analysis of the Helping Relationship

Group Work

  • COU 6350 Group Counseling

Assessment and Research

  • COU 6360 Measurement and Assessment
  • COU 6365 Research Methods
  • COU 6380 Diagnosis and Treatment

Professional Counseling

  • COU 6310 Counseling Theories
  • COU 6370 Integrations of Theology and Counseling
  • COU 6375 Legal and Ethical Issues

Electives (one of the following)

  • COU 6315 Marriage and Family Theory
  • COU 6385 Substance Abuse Counseling
  • COU 6355 Crisis Intervention
  • COU 6335 Child and Adolescent Counseling

Upcoming Clinical Trainings

Due to COVID-19, students may only complete the online portions of Clinical Training I and II for fall 2020. The on-campus portion will be postponed to a later date.

Clinical Training I and II for Spring 2021 will be held March 15-19, 2021.

Students are also required to complete the departmental exit exam and professional portfolio prior to graduation. Please review our course requirements for more about the program’s structure.

Master of Science in Counseling Online Program Requirements

Students pursuing the Master of Science in Counseling must meet several requirements for admission, including a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. At this time, the MAT and GRE are currently waived due to COVID-19 restrictions. Further program requirements apply.

Program Licensure

Upon graduation from the Master of Science in Counseling program, graduates will be eligible to pursue licensure in the state of Alabama. Although there is some reciprocity in other states, if a student chooses to pursue this degree, Faulkner University cannot guarantee the counseling board in the student’s state of residence will accept the degree for the graduate to pursue their professional counseling license. It is the responsibility of the potential student, current student, or graduate to verify with the counseling board in their state of residence the eligibility of licensure within that state.

Complete Your Master’s Degree in Counseling Online

Working in the field of counseling allows skilled professionals to make a positive impact on the lives of many. With the Master of Science in Counseling program at Faulkner University, you can receive the quality education you need to advance your career with the flexibility required to manage work, family, and study. Contact us today for more information, or apply online now at no cost.

Non-Degree Seeking Students

Professionals seeking a new credential to support their counseling career can enroll in specific courses as a non-degree seeking student. Pursuing coursework as a postgraduate can be advantageous to those pursuing licensure or other counseling credential. Contact the CMHC Department or Graduate Enrollment for further information.

Courses and Descriptions

COU 6000 Graduate Program Orientation
This course will cover needed content for successful matriculation through the Clinical Mental Health program, including training, field placements and post graduate pursuits. Program policies, procedures, expectations and requirements are discussed. In addition, the student will learn about the graduate counseling program’s place in the larger university context. 

COU 6310 Counseling Theories
This course provides a broad understanding of professional theories and application to the counseling process, including roles and functions; professional organizations and associations; professional history and trends; ethical and legal standards; professional preparation standards, and professional credentialing.

COU 6315 Marriage and Family Theories
This course is taught as an elective in the CMHC program and is designed to increase the students’ knowledge of working with couples and families. Introduction to systems, social learning, and psycho-dynamic marital theory will also be addressed. Attention will be given to dysfunctional manifestations within family systems and factors related to family strengths. Further emphasis is placed on the counseling approaches of Marriage and Family Therapy. COU 6315 is an elective for the CMHC program.

COU 6320 Life Span Development
An introduction to the basic principles of human development with a focus on development across the life span. The course addresses the theoretical foundations and the pragmatic implications found in the developmental psychology. Emphasis placed on the application to professional counseling.

COU 6325 Career and Guidance Counseling
The 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 discussion of contemporary career choices in the profession of counseling.

COU 6330 Counseling Diverse Populations
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 be discussed.

COU 6335 Child and Adolescent Counseling
This course prepares school and mental health counselors to address the specific needs of children and adolescents, with emphasis on developmental needs specific to therapeutic interventions, and common emotional issues. Group and individual counseling techniques, and treatment planning. COU 6335 is an elective for the CMHC program and required in the School Counseling Program

COU 6340 Analysis of the Helping Relationship
This course will explore the techniques of counseling while focusing on analytical, interpretive and rapport building skills. The content will include a study and analysis of the counselor/client relationship while helping the student develop the necessary skills in working with a diverse client population. Ethical guidelines and consideration will also be discussed

COU 6345 Counseling in the Community
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
This course provides a broad graduate-level understanding of group development, dynamics and counseling theories; leadership styles; basic and advanced methods of conducting groups in a counseling setting. Ethical and multicultural issues in the group context are also discussed.

COU 6355 Crisis Intervention in Counseling
This course focuses on the development of skills and knowledge for crisis intervention and management in counseling including prevention planning, intervention strategies and evaluation.

COU 6360 Measurement and Assessment
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
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
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
An in-depth graduate-level study of the theories and principles of ethics and moral development and the impact of these upon individuals, families, communities, professional, public decisions/policies and school counselors. The study will also examine the relevant dilemmas faced in the delivery of professional behavioral, family, and social services to individuals, families, groups in mental-health and school settings.

COU 6380 Diagnosis and Treatment
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-V as well as recent relevant literature to inform the diagnostic and treatment process

COU 6385 Substance Abuse Counseling
This course presents substance abuse studies, individual and group counseling and family systems approaches to prevention and intervention. The course provides an overview of models, assessment instruments to identify addictive behavior, methods and skills for treating addictions and collaborating with other health professionals. The course presents clinical models (developmental, solution-focused, biopsychosocial, motivational interviewing, stages of change, self-help) from which interventions are drawn. Emphasis is on prevention needs (to combat the risk factors to use from the beginning), building a professional network to aid clients with their needs and providing support for clients to live a lifestyle of recovery. COU 6385 is an elective for the CMHC program

COU 6390 Counseling Practicum
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.

COU 6596 Clinical Training 1
Clinical Training I is a five-day intensive experience with introduction to basic helping skills needed for counselors preparing for the student practicum experience. The course includes lecture, but is mainly experiential and focuses on therapeutic listening, empathy, individual and group skills, as well as cultural and self-awareness.

COU 6597 Clinical Training 2
Clinical Training II is a five-day intensive experience for the purpose of face-to-face interaction that is designed to address more advanced issue in counseling; such as supervision and consultation, the licensing process, professional identity development, and career exploration. Advanced skills training is also a focus. The course is designed to be concurrent with enrollment in either Practicum (COU 6390) or Internship (COU 6995).

COU 6695 Internship in Counseling
This course is a pre-professional course, designed to culminate the studies in the profession of counseling and to prepare you for possible licensure, future employment or further graduate study through clinical experience. Counselors-in-training will be placed in mental health settings on a full-time basis.

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 are scheduled for the third full weeks in January and September each year and take place from Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Central Standard Time. The Counseling Practicum and Internship in Counseling course requirements are hands-on field experiences.

Practicum and Internship Information

The Practicum and Internship are the parts of the program that focus on the practical experience in working with people. This is the first opportunity you will have to incorporate your professional skills with clients. During the Practicum course student is required to complete 100 total hours of direct and indirect counseling hours. During the Internship course the student is required to complete 600 hours of direct and indirect counseling hours. Students will complete these hours at a counseling related agency and receive supervision in the process.

Clinical Training Information

The Clinical Training experiences are the only on-campus requirements during the program. On two occasions the student is required to attend a five-day intensive skills training residency on the campus of Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama. Clinical Training will include time for advising with the faculty, lecture from faculty and other professionals in the field, but focus mainly on skills development for working with clients. The typical schedule is from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm daily. Lunch is provided for students on-campus during the training. Information will be sent to students regarding Clinical Training policies, area accommodations, resources, etc. prior to training sessions.

Daily CT Schedule Example

Clinical Training 1

8:00 – 8 :15                 Sign In

8:15 – 10:15                Individual Skills Session

10:15 – 11:45              Child and Adolescent Counseling Lecture

11:45 – 12:45              Lunch

1:00 – 2:30                  Group Skills Session

2:45 – 5:00                  Treatment Planning & Clinical Writing

 

Clinical Training 2

8:00 – 8 :15                 Sign In

8:15 – 10:15                Individual Skills Session (Advanced)

10:15 – 11:45              Licensure Process

11:45 – 12:45              Lunch

1:00 – 2:30                  Group Skills Session (Advanced)

2:45 – 4:00                  Legal Issues Lecture  

4:00 – 5:00                  Experiential Skills Activity   

State Licensure

Upon graduation from the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, graduates will be eligible to pursue licensure in the state of Alabama. Although there is some reciprocity in other states, if a student chooses to pursue the CMHC degree, 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. It is the responsibility of the potential student, student, or graduate to verify with the counseling board in their state of residence of the eligibility of licensure within that state. You may find the following website helpful in determining your state’s requirements.

 

https://www.counseling.org/docs/licensure/72903_excerpt_for_web.pdf

Department Faculty

Please use the link below to access our Faculty page and feel free to contact us with any questions about our programs.

https://www.faulkner.edu/department/master-of-science-in-counseling-program-msc/

FAQ

How long does it take to complete the program?

The Clinical Mental Health Program is designed to be completed in two years with the student attending full-time. However, some students prefer to take courses on a part-time basis which would increase degree completion time an extra semester or more. Other students might also wish to spread the Practicum and Internship experiences over more than one semester for each course. This would also increase the time to complete the degree. Once enrolled, your advisor will work closely with you to balance the needs of your educational experience to meet your goals.

Where can I stay during Clinical Training?

Montgomery Alabama has a number of hotels and other accommodations within a short driving distance to campus. Please contact our Departmental Secretary at 334-386-7248 for information on accommodations including discount rates at certain hotels.

How do I find a Practicum or Internship site?

The main responsibility of finding a Practicum or Internship site lies with the student. However, the CMHC program Faculty and Clinical Coordinator will assist the student in any way possible in securing a placement. In the first Clinical Training experience students will be provided with a list of every site placement utilized by the program with a focus on their specific area of residence. In addition our Clinical Coordinator will liaise with potential site the student is considering as needed.

Can I get licensed after graduating from Faulkner’s CMHC program?

Upon graduation from the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, graduates will be eligible to pursue licensure in the state of Alabama. Although there is some reciprocity in other states, if a student chooses to pursue the CMHC degree, 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. It is the responsibility of the potential student, student, or graduate to verify with the counseling board in their state of residence of the eligibility of licensure within that state. You may find the following website helpful in determining your state’s requirements.

https://www.counseling.org/docs/licensure/72903_excerpt_for_web.pdf

Is the program CACREP accredited?

The program is currently pursuing CACREP accreditation but is not yet accredited. Please contact the Department Chair Dr. Heath Willingham for questions about the accreditation process and/or status.

Will I be required to be on campus during my degree program?

During the program the student will be required to attend Clinical Training 1 and 2 on the campus of Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama. Please see the link for Clinical Training Information above.

What is the cost of attending the program?

Tuition and Fees

Summer 2020-Spring 2021

Tuition $555 per semester hour
General Fee $300 per semester ($200 if 5 hours or less)
Online Course Fee $65 per semester hour
Applicable Course Fees see full tuition and fee schedule

What kind of job and salary can I expect with a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling?

Depending on the specifics of the position, job opportunities include direct counseling or staff positions in the following settings: community mental health centers, inpatient/outpatient clinics, hospitals, research labs, university student services, career services, and faith-based organizations and independent practice. Salaries for graduates vary across professional settings and positions. For more information on average salaries of mental health counselors, please review the Occupational Outlook Handbook at the Bureau of Labor Statistics below.

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/

What are you looking for in an applicant to the program?

We are looking for people of character and integrity that want to help others. The applicant should want to work hard to become the best counselor they can be, as well as be committed to the success of their future clients and an advocate for the profession.

Do I need a degree in psychology or related field to get accepted into the program?

We have students in our clinical mental health counseling program from a variety of educational and vocational experiences. Though several of our students do have some background in related fields, it is not required.

Apply Now

  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

Admission Requirements

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

Announcement:

MAT and GRE CURRENTLY WAIVED DUE to COVID-19 restrictions

For the Fall and Spring enrollment, the GRE/MAT will be waived, however, you still must meet the overall GPA minimum requirement of a 2.75.

  • Completed graduate application
  • 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 degree or 3.0 in graduate courses.
  • Passing scores on the MAT (at least 370) or GRE (at least 285). 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 already holds 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.
  • Video Interview

Tuition

Tuition and Fees

Summer 2020-Spring 2021

Tuition $555 per semester hour
General Fee $300 per semester ($200 if 5 hours or less)
Online Course Fee $65 per semester hour
Applicable Course Fees see full tuition and fee schedule