Master of Science- Counseling (School and Clinical Mental Health Counseling)

Master of Science Degree with an Emphasis in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Mission Statement

The mission of the MS in clinical mental health counseling emphasis program in the Department of Psychology and Counseling at Pittsburg State University is to prepare qualified graduate students to be effective counselors who will provide a variety of quality professional counseling services to those with whom they work and to prepare them for appropriate licensure, professional development and/or advanced graduate study.  The primary focus of training is directed toward those who will begin their professional counseling careers in the four-state area of Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Graduates are also well trained to seek licensure, work, and further graduate study throughout the United States and the global community.

Program Description

The program includes a core of courses based upon the content areas recommended by the National Board for Certified Counselors and required in the accreditation standards of the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.  Students must demonstrate competency in three major areas in order to complete the degree and become eligible for endorsement or recommendation as a counselor:  effective personal functioning, professional commitment, and skilled practice.  The clinical mental health counseling program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) as a Community Counseling program through June 30, 2011.  Students wishing to pursue registration or licensure as professional counselors should understand that additional years of supervised experience (beyond the degree) are required by the state in which licensure is sought.  For professional counselor licensure in Kansas, a total of 60 graduate hours is required.  For further information, please refer to the MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Guide and Student Orientation Manual available at the following website

Inclusive Recruitment Policy

It is the policy of the MS in clinical mental health counseling program at Pittsburg State University to seek and welcome applications from qualified persons representing a diverse society and world.  The faculty strongly believes that the training environment is enhanced by interaction among a multiculturally diverse student body and faculty, and that counseling practitioners must be prepared to work in a society and world with clients across a wide range of diversity.  Although oral English skills are necessary to complete the training program, a number of students from countries other than the United States, as well as representative of minority cultures in the U.S., have graduated from the program.  The broad-spectrum admission policy used to review applications assures the flexibility to give special consideration to unique features of an applicant’s personal and cultural background that would add to the diversity of the student body.  In addition, the emphasis upon multicultural diversity in the MS clinical mental health counseling program is consistent with the affirmative action and proactive diversity policies of Pittsburg State University and the College of Education.

Specific Requirements

Graduate students may meet requirements for the MS degree with a major in counseling by completing a program planned in close collaboration with their academic advisor. The MS program in clinical mental health counseling requires a minimum of 32 core hours required of all counseling majors, including a research proficiency component, 12 hours of required coursework specific to the clinical mental health counseling program emphasis, four hours of psychology and counseling directed electives, and 16 hours of supervised fieldwork experience in practicum and internship settings.  The research requirement may be satisfied as described in the section Graduate Research Requirements.    


Master of Science Degree with an Emphasis in School Counseling (Pre K-12)

The MS degree with an emphasis in School Counseling prepares candidates for professional careers as school counselors in Pre K-12 settings.  Candidates interested in pursuing the MS degree in School Counseling are strongly encouraged to complete an undergraduate degree in education.  Although two years of teaching experience was required for candidates planning to secure employment as school counselors in the state of Kansas in the past, that is no longer a requirement but is still recommended.  Candidates without a degree in education or teaching experience will be required to complete additional coursework not reflected on this program guide. In addition to completing the following 48 hour program of study in School Counseling, a passing score on the PRAXIS II specialty test in Guidance and Counseling (code 20420) is needed as well.