Master of Science in Clinical Counseling


The 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 approximately three years through a full-time course of study.  Students may choose to pursue electives beyond the 60 hours but will not be eligible for financial aid. 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 between 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The other half of the courses are hybrid courses, which meet face-to-face every other week and on the alternate week they meet online.


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 showing a conferred baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
  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 by email ( You may also send it to admissions at 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.
    1. Describe personal and professional experiences and interests that have brought you to pursue a career in counseling.
    2. After you obtain a master’s degree in counseling, what are your professional career goals?
    3. Culture is our “way of being” and our how we perceive the world. Cultural diversity refers to the shared language, beliefs, values, norms, and behaviors that are shared across generations (Schaefer, 2006). Examples of cultural diversity may include one’s language, race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, age, ability, and ethnicity. Provide an explanation of your personal understanding of cultural diversity and include experiences you have had with diversity and what you learned about yourself.
  6. Submit two reference letters from either clinical or academic professionals who can speak to your academic and clinical potential in a master’s level clinical counseling program. Authors of the recommendation letters may include, but are not limited to, undergraduate professors, academic advisors, and clinical supervisors. Letters submitted by personal friends or acquaintances will not be accepted. These letters must address both your future potential as a graduate student and clinician.

Items 2, 3, 5, and 6, 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, a success plan will be created to assist in improving student outcomes by the advisor. If the student needs further remedy, 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 located 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 Counselor Education Comprehensive Examination (CECE).

Note. The academic courses in the program prepare students to take the CECE, which must be satisfactorily completed in order for students to graduate. Students must attempt or be currently registered for the CECE before being allowed to start their internship field experience. Additional information about the CECE will be provided to students by the MSCC Director of Assessment at New Student Orientation, as well as throughout the program in advance of scheduling the CECE test administration.

MSCC Professional Conduct Policy  

The MSCC Program is a professional development program. As such, falsifying any documentation including, but not limited to, any program application materials as well as field experience documents e.g., application/s, weekly documentation materials, hourly activities, supervisor qualifications, and supervision activities may lead to formal disciplinary actions by the department.   

The MSCC Department will discipline students for infractions of the MSCC Professional Conduct Policy with various sanctions which it deems appropriate, up to and including suspension or expulsion from the MSCC Program. Penalties internal to a course, including grades and expulsion from the course, are at the discretion of the instructor. Students can appeal instructors' internal course penalties to the Graduate Committee (graduate petitions). The decision of the committee is final.   

Instructors must report all penalties which they impose for academic/professional misconduct, with a brief account of the offense, to the Advisor/Director, so that all violations are recorded. For serious or repeated offenses, the MSCC Director will notify the Director of Graduate Programs. Either may impose further penalties beyond the course penalty.  These penalties include but are not limited to notations in the student's file, remediation, notations on the student's transcript, probation, suspension, and/or expulsion. 

 Notification provided to the Clinical Counseling department of a student’s criminal involvement while in the program will be scrutinized and may result in immediate removal from the program and/or communication to the state licensing board and other relevant credentialing entities.  

 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.

If you have chosen to attend CMU and you are planning to become licensed in a state other than Missouri, it is important that you verify licensure requirements in your chosen state. Please find the link to check your state for their educational expectations here: License Disclosures  

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.

Majors and Minors

Major Minor

Master-of-Science-in-Clinical-Counseling Mental Health Certificate

CL500 - Introduction to Clinical Counseling - 3 Semester Hours

CL501 - Diagnosis and Psychopathology - 3 Semester Hours

CL505 - Career Development - 3 Semester Hours

CL510 - Counseling Theory - 3 Semester Hours

CL512 - Foundations of Sexuality in Counseling - 3 Semester Hours

CL514 - Behavioral Emergencies and Crisis Intervention - 3 Semester Hours

CL520 - Introduction to Psychological Measurement - 3 Semester Hours

CL524 - Counseling Across the Lifespan - 3 Semester Hours

CL525 - Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling - 3 Semester Hours

CL527 - Foundations of Addictions Counseling - 3 Semester Hours

CL530 - Individual Intelligence Assessment - 3 Semester Hours

CL535 - Techniques of Interviewing - 3 Semester Hours

CL542 - Social and Cultural Diversity in Counseling - 3 Semester Hours

CL544 - Advanced Counseling with Evidence Based Therapies - 3 Semester Hours

CL546 - Neurobiology and Psychopharmacology in Counseling - 3 Semester Hours

CL548 - Foundations of Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling - 3 Semester Hours

CL550 - Research Methodology - 3 Semester Hours

CL552 - Group Counseling Techniques - 3 Semester Hours

CL557 - Current Issues and Supervision in Clinical Counseling - 3 Semester Hours

CL560 - Special Problems - 1 Semester Hours

CL563 - Counselor Practicum I - 3 Semester Hours

CL564 - Counselor Practicum II - 3 Semester Hours

CL573 - Counseling Internship I - 3 Semester Hours

CL574 - Counseling Internship II - 2 Semester Hours

CL575 - Counseling Internship III - 3 Semester Hours

CL590 - Professional Clinical Development Seminars - 1 Semester Hours

CL595 - Thesis Research - 1 Semester Hours

CL597 - Master Thesis - 3 Semester Hours

CL598 - Thesis Continuation - 1 Semester Hours

Last updated: 08/07/2023