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

MS in Counseling: Student Affairs

Graduate degree; Master of Science

The student affairs concentration of the MS in Counseling program prepares students to be expert student affairs administrators and student development educators who provide counseling services in a higher education setting. This graduate program is designed to help you realize your potential as a practicing counselor and administrator, and develop a strong set of professional ethics based in Christian, Catholic, Benedictine values.

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

Student Affairs Program Highlights

At the University of Mary, you have the opportunity to earn your master’s degree in counseling in an accelerated, flexible, evening program format:

  • Complete your MS in counseling in as little as 20 months in the accelerated graduate program.
  • Balance work and family time in a convenient evening program that meets two nights per week.
  • Work closely with faculty who bring professional counseling experience to the classroom.
  • Learn in a curriculum grounded in Christian, Catholic, Benedictine values that will enrich your career and everyday life.

Career Outlook

Career opportunities for student affairs counselors are expected to grow, with an anticipated 12 percent increase in employment between now and 2022.*

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

Requirements for the Master of Science in Counseling Program
Student Affairs

Required Core Courses

  • COU 500 Counseling Orientation Seminar
  • COU 510 Professional Orientation and Ethics
  • COU 520 Social and Cultural Foundations of Counseling
  • COU 530 Human Growth and Development
  • COU 540 Career Counseling and Testing
  • COU 551 Research and Program Evaluation for Counseling
  • COU 570 Counseling Methods and Techniques
  • COU 572 Counseling Theories
  • COU 574 Group Counseling Theories and Techniques
  • COU 580 Assessment Techniques
  • COU 582 Psychopathology and Assessment
  • COU 590 Counseling Practicum
  • COU 614 Counseling Internship Seminar
  • COU 650 Family Counseling
  • COU 695 Internship
  • HUM 799 Graduate Studies Assessment

Student Affairs Track Courses

  • COU 630 Foundations in Higher Education
  • COU 631 Student Development Theory and Research in Higher Education
  • OU 632 Student Affairs Organizational Behavior and Leadership in Higher Education 


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.
  • Official Transcripts (undergraduate and graduate)
  • 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 considering a focus in student affairs counseling, you might also be interested in the following MS in Counseling program concentrations offered at the University of Mary: