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School Counseling


The School Counseling program, in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education Leadership, Educational Psychology, and Foundations, in the College of Education, offers degrees at the master's and educational specialist levels. A doctoral degree in Counselor Education and Supervision is also offered. Graduates of the master's program are eligible for licensure as a school counselor in the state of Mississippi, and graduates of the specialist and doctoral programs are also eligible for licensure as a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in the state of Mississippi. Courses taught in the school counseling program use the college of Education's Conceptual Framework for General Advanced Program. The master's level school counseling program is accredited by both NCATE and CACREP. The doctoral level program in Counselor Education and Supervision is also accredited by CACREP.

A degree in school counseling provides numerous opportunities for employment. Recent graduates from our program have not only been employed as school counselors in the pre-K - 12 educational environment, but have also obtained positions as child behavior therapists, counselors for the Armed Forces, counselors at the community college level, career counselors, and various positions at university settings, such as career counseling, academic advising, etc.

Faculty in the school counseling program seek to prepare graduates to be advocates for the appropriate role of the school counseling in pre-K - 12 educational environments, leaders in the educational field, supportive agents for teachers and parents, and advocates for children and adolescents. Through rigorous coursework and clinical experiences, graduates are trained to provide a wide array of prevention and intervention services in the school setting. Our program focuses on teaching graduates how to successfully integrate the Mississippi Counseling Model, the ASCA National Model, and the National Standards for School Counselors into a comprehensive school counseling program that focuses on helping each and every child to be successful. Students will learn the foundation of counseling, developmental issues and concerns, counseling skills, and group counseling strategies to help students with daily struggles, as well as program evaluation, research methods, and assessment strategies to assist with program management and implementation.

Students in the school counseling program will have the ability to gain and demonstrate knowledge through advanced readings, interactive discussions, small group work, and numerous field experiences. In addition to field-based activities in content courses, students will also participate in a 100 (for those with a current MS teaching license) or 600 hour practicum and a 600 hour internship that is completed in an accredited pre-K - 12 environment under supervision of a licensed professional school counselor. Faculty work with students to help ensure beneficial placement settings for both supervising counselors and students.

M.S. Degree in School Counseling

60 Graduate Credit Hours Required
Courses taught in the school counseling program use the College of Education's Conceptual Framework for General Advanced Programs. The school counseling program is accredited by both the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Council on the Accreditation of Counselor Education (CACREP). This program of study prepares individuals who wish to work in a pre-K - 12 school setting as a school counselor. In addition to completing coursework, licensure requirements include passing the PRAXIS 1 general exam and PRAXIS 2 exam for school counseling.

Core Curriculum Courses (24 Hours)
Course Code Course Name Hours
COE 8013 Counseling Skills Development (Prerequisite: COE 8023) 3
COE 8023 Counseling Theory 3
COE 8203 Placement and Career Development 3
COE 8043 Group Techniques/Procedures (Pre: COE 8013, 8023) 3
COE 8063 Research Techniques for Counselors 3
COE 6903 Developmental Counseling and Mental Health 3
COE 8073 Cultural Foundations in Counseling 3
COE 8083 Assessment Techniques in Counseling 3
COE 8303 Family Counseling Theory (Pre: COE 8023) 3
COE 8633 Psychosocial Rehabilitation 3
COE 8703 Principles of Clinical Mental Health Counseling 3
School Counseling Curriculum (9 Hours)
Course Code Course Name Hours
COE 8903 School Counseling Services 3
COE 8923 Seminar in School Counseling (Pre: COE 8903) 3
  Select only one of the Following Electives  
COE 8913 Counseling Children 3
EPY 6113 CBehavioral & Cognitive Behavioral Interventions 3
EPY 8253 Child & Adolescent Development & Psychopathology 3
Field Experience (9 or 12 Hours)
Course Code Course Name Hours
  (Select the appropriate set of practicum/internship hours)  
*COE 8053 Practicum [100-hour] (Prereq: COE 8023, 8013, 8043, 8903) 3
*COE 8730 Internship [600-hour] (Prerequisite: COE 8053) 6
**COE 8150 Acad Yr. School Counseling Practicum [600 hours] 6
**COE 8740 Acad Yr. School Counseling Internship [600] 6
* Students who hold a standard Educator License    
** Students without a standard Educator License    
Suggested Electives (3-6 hours)
Course Code Course Name Hours
COE 8173 Counseling the Gifted Student 3
COE 8183 Utilizing Art in Counselling 3
COE 8363 Psychological Aspects of Disability 3
COE 8373 Medical Aspects of Disability 3
COE 8623 Advanced Law & Ethics 3
COE 8803 Crisis Response in Counseling (Prereq: COE 8023 3
COE 8773 Counseling the Chemically Dependent Client 3
COE 8783 Counseling he Chemically Dependent Family 3
Other (must be approved by advisor prior to enrolling in course) 3
A maximum of 12 semester hours may be transferred from an accredited institution with faculty advisor’s approval

*Students who do not hold a standard educator license must complete a 600 hour practicum during the fall semester and a 600 hour internship during the spring semester of their final year. These students will have 3 hours of electives and students who do hold a standard educator license will have 6 hours of electives.

Professional Experience
In addition to all academic requirements of the Department, the College of Education, and the Graduate School, student should attempt to make full use of their graduate experience and are encouraged to demonstrate professional commitment to the field of School Counseling. Membership in professional organizations, as well as presentation and attendance at local, state, regional, and national conferences and workshops are strongly encouraged.

Master's Comprehensive Exam in Counseling

School Counseling Core and Specialty Area Objectives

1. Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the multiple professional roles and responsibilities of counselors and the ethical standards that apply to those roles and responsibilities.

2. Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of diversity though the application of multicultural, advocacy, and social justice practices and skills across client populations, settings and concerns.

3. Student will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of factors that affect human development and abilities across the lifespan.

4. Students will demonstrate knowledge, skills, and strategies for assessing abilities, interests, values, personality, and other factors that influence career development across the lifespan.

5. Students will demonstrate knowledge and skills to include the application of theoretical frameworks and ethically and culturally relevant strategies for establishing and maintaining in-person and technology-assisted relationships.

6. Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of types of groups related to client’s goals and other considerations that affect group work across varied counseling settings.

7. Students will demonstrate knowledge of statistical concepts and psychometric properties necessary to understand and utilize assessment information for diagnosis and treatment planning.

8. Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of evidence-based counseling practices used to inform counseling outcomes.

9. Students will engage in multicultural, advocacy, and social justice practices in counseling.

Specialty Area Objective

10. Students will demonstrate skills in developing a comprehensive school counseling program which promotes students’ academic, career, and personal/social success.

Graduate Assistantships

Full time graduate students enrolled in the program are eligible to apply for assistantships throughout the university. Applicants should begin the process early to secure an assistantship. Students with assistantships work twenty hours per week and may receive tuition reimbursement and a stipend. For more information and to obtain an application please visit

A variety of financial aid is also available to eligible students. Information about student financial aid may be obtained via the Mississippi State University website at

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Master's in School Counseling program is for Fall semester only, with March 1st as the application deadline. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from a fully accredited four year educational institution, and earned a minimum GPA of 3.00 (based on a 4.00 system) on the past 60 hours of coursework on all baccalaureate and graduate work already completed. Additionally, applicants are required to provide official transcripts, a personal statement describing the applicant's interest in the program and his/her career plans, and three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant's education, skills, abilities, and character. Further information may be obtained from the Graduate School Bulletin, and the graduate application may be obtained online at

Website Resources for School Counselors

Contact Information

Cheryl A. Justice, Ph.D., LPC
Coordinator, Graduate Programs in School Counseling
Associate Professor
Allen Hall, Room 508-F