Degree type(s): Master's
Degree field(s): Counseling
Location(s): Bismarck, ND; Fargo, ND

MS in Counseling: Military Families Emphasis

Graduate degree; Master of Science

Military families face unique challenges, such as stress related to deployment, and managing a home and finances while a loved one is overseas. The military families counseling emphasis of the MS in Counseling program focuses on the special needs of service members and their families.

The military families counseling emphasis may be included as part of the Master of Science in Counseling offered by the University of Mary or added to an existing master's degree. 

The counseling master’s degree is offered as an evening program at the University of Mary’s satellite campus locations in downtown Bismarck and Fargo, North Dakota.

Military Families Counseling Program Highlights

The master’s counseling program at the University of Mary meets two nights per week. In the military families emphasis of the program, you will learn from an experienced service member and have unique opportunities to:

  • Complete your master’s degree in counseling in as little as 20 months.
  • Balance work and family time while earning your master’s degree in counseling in flexible evening classes.
  • Gain hands-on practice experience through coursework, practicum, and an internship.
  • Learn in a collaborative environment and a curriculum grounded in Christian, Catholic, Benedictine values.

Career Outlook

With an anticipated 18 percent increase in the overall employment of counselors between now and 2018, there continues to be a growing number of opportunities for professional counselors.*

*U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics

Students seeking a MS in Counseling will study in a cohort format and begin the program in the fall semester (August) of every year. Non-degree seeking students do not follow the cohort model and may register for courses, as needed.

The Master of Science in Counseling degree, military families emphasis, includes courses in substance abuse counseling, counseling military families, and trauma and loss in military families.

Students are not required to complete a clinical internship, if pursuing a military emphasis.

Pre-requisites and/or co-requisites (if applicable) added to an existing MSC: 

COU 570, 572, 574, 612 or a MSC or other master's degree in a related field.

COU 604 Substance Abuse Counseling

COU 670 Counseling Military Families

COU 680 Trauma and Loss in Military Families


Even as one of the most affordable private universities in the nation, the University of Mary does offer a variety of scholarships. In fact, 99% of main campus undergraduate students receive some form of scholarship! 

Some scholarships are available for specific academic programs, such as nursing, while other scholarships are available for certain student populations, such as military and veteran students

We strongly encourage you to contact your personal admissions representative to discover all of the options that might be available to you. In many cases, a program specific scholarship is just one component of a complete financial aid package. 

Our admissions professionals will work together with our Office of Financial Assistance to ensure that you get the best financial aid package possible to finance your education. 

Admission requirements for the MS Counseling program include:

  • Minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA equivalent of 3.0 on a 4.0 point scale. Applications will be considered from students with a GPA <3.0, and provisional acceptance into to the program may be granted, on a case-by-case basis.
  • Undergraduate major in Psychology, Counseling, Social Work, Education, Criminal Justice, or closely related human services or healthcare field is optimal.
  • Two professional recommendation letters
  • Professional statement of interest and career goals
  • FBI Background Check
  • Child Abuse and Neglect Check

For additional admission requirement details, please contact Dr. Julijana Nevland at 701-355-8014 or our admissions office at 800-288-6279.

Acceptance at the University of Mary does not automatically qualify you to pursue a program in one of the academic programs of study. Application requirements are specific to each major or academic program.

We recommend consulting your advisor for details. Applications are reviewed by the faculty members of the program. You will be notified that you have been admitted, admitted provisionally, or denied admission to the program.


If you are thinking about pursuing a master’s degree in counseling with an emphasis in military families counseling, you might also be interested in the following MS in Counseling programs offered at the University of Mary: