Program Advisors: Kristi Bitz, Jarilyn Gess, Michelle Westbrock
In keeping with the mission of the University of Mary and the traditions of the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, the Master of Science in Counseling (MSC) program seeks to:
- Develop competent leaders in service to others
- Promote scholarship and evidence-based practice
- Encourage integration of Christian values with professional ethics
- Prepare individuals for advanced levels of professional service in diverse communities
Master of Science in Counseling (MSC)
The University of Mary Master of Science in Counseling offers advanced education for those seeking clinical and direct practice opportunities in mental health, education and human services settings. Completion of the program will position students for professional credentialing and licensure in specific fields of practice.
The program curriculum is designed to provide foundational coursework in counseling theories, practice models, and professional ethics as well as specializations in addiction counseling, clinical mental health counseling, school counseling, and student affairs. Term three of the program of study provides the counseling track courses after the successful completion of the Practicum before the internship begins. If the 100 hour COU 590 Practicum and all foundational coursework is successfully completed, the student may make application for the internship by completing appropriate forms.
Upon successfully completing the coursework, comprehensive program exam, optional thesis, practicum, and internship, graduates will have demonstrated academic competence, ethical and evidence based practice, and personal growth.
The curriculum is based on the outcomes and standards of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the North Dakota Board of Counseling Examiners (NDBCE), the North Dakota Board of Addiction Counseling Examiners (NDBACE), the Education Standards and Practices Board (ESPB), and the Department of Public Instruction (DPI).
To educate ethical and evidence based professional counselors in a collegial learning environment that will foster competence in:
- Effective communication and relationships
- Critical thinking, analysis and decision making
- Leadership development in profession and community
Professional skill development for education and human services counseling
- Self understanding, growth and enrichment
- Contributions to professional knowledge base of counseling through research and scholarship
- Integration of Christian and Benedictine values with professional ethics
- Culturally sensitive practice
Distinctive Features and Requirements
- Minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA equivalent of 3.0 on a 4.0 point scale; if the GPA is not a 3.0, a scheduled one on one meeting with the program Director is an available option.
- Undergraduate major in Psychology, Counseling, Social Work, Education, or closely related human services or healthcare field is optimal
- Coursework or experience in the following areas: developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, statistics, and methodology
- Any areas found to be unmet can be petitioned for waiver or completed during the first semester in the program
Pre-admission Background Check Requirement
Background checks are required for Admission to the Counseling program in order to verify eligibility to participate in the required COU 590 Practicum, COU 695 Internship, and COU 614 Internship Seminar. Both the Criminal Background Check and the Child Abuse and Neglect Background Inquiry completed by the North Dakota Department of Human Services will be completed.
In the event a derogatory is reported, it may jeopardize admission to the program as well as licensure. It is meant to protect students from progressing academically towards a degree where the applicant may not be able to attain a Practicum, Internship, and/or become licensed.
Licensing Boards in the State of North Dakota review applicants with felonies on a case by case basis. They may or may not become licensed. It is the applicant's obligation to address this with the appropriate Licensing Board.
In addition, it is the applicant's responsibility to accurately report any felonies and provide an explanation addressing the following items:
1. Brief description of the incident/arrest;
2. Specific charges;
3. Related dates;
5. Reflect on how this impacted your life.
If an incident/arrest occurs following acceptance into the program, it is the applicant's duty to inform the Counseling Program Director.
Qualifying Conference Requirements for the Master of Science in Counseling
- Minimum academic performance in completed coursework of 3.0 average
- Completion of all unmet areas of admission criteria
- Satisfactory progress on program outcomes for personal and professional behavior
- Continuing Requirements for the Master of Science in Counseling
- Requirements for beginning Internship in the Master of Science in Counseling
- Completion of all appropriate application forms
- Completion of state and federal background checks, individual assessment, and child abuse and neglect check prior to the required COU 590 Practicum experience.
Candidacy Requirements for the Master of Science in Counseling Program
Programs of Study
Professional counselors interested in providing substance abuse services to individuals and families complete courses specific to addictions, including psychopharmacology, substance abuse counseling and prevention strategies. The internship is completed in a training site approved by the North Dakota Board of Addiction Counselor Examiners. A minimum of 1400 supervised training hours is required. Students apply for an internship to the Consortium of the Board of Addiction Counselor Examiners prior to February 1 of each academic year.
Required Core Courses
- COU 510 Professional Orientation and Ethics
- COU 520 Social and Cultural Foundations of Counseling
- COU 530 Dynamics of Self
- 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 611 Crisis Counseling
- COU 612 Relationship Counseling
- COU 613 Issues in Sexuality
- COU 614 Counseling Internship Seminar
- COU 695 Internship
- COU 698 Counseling Thesis (optional)
- ALU 799 Graduate Studies Assessment
Addiction Counseling Track Courses
- COU 600 Psychopharmacology
- COU 602 Prevention and Intervention Strategies
- COU 604 Substance Abuse Counseling
Each student may complete a thesis if they wish to. This should be decided in consultation with the Counseling Program Director during the Qualifying Conference in the first year.
The thesis option emphasizes original research. It represents a student's capacity for detailed, in-depth research or advanced scholarship. A thesis must demonstrate a student's ability to clearly define a worthwhile problem, to conduct a thorough investigation, to organize the findings, to draw defensible conclusions, and to give an oral presentation of the findings. After the student has been admitted to candidacy for the degree, a research proposal is written and the thesis committee is selected.
Comprehensive ExamThe comprehensive exam is required and emphasizes an assessment of the entirety of learning that takes place in the program. It involves case assessment, demonstration of individual and group skills, development of a therapeutic plan, theoretical and methodological explanation and application. This examination is administered during the 4th Term of the program. Students are required to master the material on the examination before the degree is conferred.
Non-Degree Seeking Candidates
There are a number of reasons a student may select to be non-degree seeking. The most common being students already holding a Master's Degree and who are seeking a specific licensure. If this is the case, please meet with the Program Director for approval. Persons may also take courses for personal growth and development.