Impact a generation to believe in their abilities. You’ll do that here.

The school counseling program trains you to make a difference. Students seeking guidance on navigating school, peer pressure, bullies. Students determining their futures and what academic paths they should take. These are the lives and decisions you can support as a school counselor.

The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

What You’ll Do

The program focuses on preparing you for counseling certification as an elementary or secondary counselor.  You’ll be prepared by:

  • Gain knowledge in the nine core counseling areas.
  • Gain hands-on experience with interviewing and counseling skills through a supervised practicum.
  • Become competent in your selected theory category to specific student client cases through a supervised internship.

What Can You Do with a Master's Degree in School Counseling?

Over 90% of graduates are employed as school counselors, primarily in the Southeast region.

Internship and Employment Opportunities of Recent Graduates

  • Elementary School Counselors
  • Secondary School Counselors
  • K-12 School Counselors

School Counseling Degree Map

Explore the courses you'll need to complete your degree

Outcomes & Careers

  • $50k

    Mental Health Counselor

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a mental health counselor is $49,710.

  • $82k

    School Psychologist

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a clinical, counseling, and school psychologist is $81,500.

  • $60k

    School and Career Counselors

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a school or career counselor is $60,140.

What You'll Study

Degree Map

With a master’s degree in school counseling, you’re prepared to serve as certified school counselors in K-12 Missouri schools. There will be one practicum (150 hours) and 9 credits of internship (600 hours). High-quality, experienced, full-time faculty provide support, supervision, and mentorship throughout the program. The program is CACREP-Accredited and DESE-Approved.

The preferred application date to submit all application materials is February 1 of the year in which admission is desired. Admission is considered for fall and summer semesters only. In addition to the criteria established for general admission to graduate studies, applicants must have the following:  

  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale 
  • One letter of recommendation submitted directly to the Office of Admissions prior to admission. The letter should be addressed to the Director of Admissions. 
  • Either hold a valid professional teaching certification at the appropriate level or provide evidence of competency in the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's required areas of teaching methods, teaching practices, classroom management, and psychology of the exceptional child by completing two specific education courses. 

International applicants must also have a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 OR TOEFL score of 95. This requirement is for non-United States citizens who are not native English speakers. Students from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are exempt from English proficiency verification. 

Students will have an interview with member(s) of the counseling faculty prior to admission. Students must complete a personal statement essay describing their decision to pursue counseling as a career prior to the scheduled interview (submit directly to the Department of Psychology and Counseling). Following the interview, faculty will offer provisional admission, probationary admission, or deny admission.

To become fully admitted, applicants must complete the following: Satisfactorily complete CP610 Counseling Orientation and Ethics during their first semester and submit two additional letters of recommendation directly to their advisor. 

Probationary Admission 

Probationary admission will be considered by the program admissions committee if the applicant has a 2.75 to 2.99 undergraduate GPA or if the applicant has achieved a GPA of 3.25 during the last 60 hours of undergraduate work. Students admitted to the counseling program on probation must attain a 3.5 GPA for the first 9 hours of graduate work. Unless authorized by the advisor, probationary students must include the following courses in the first 9 hours of coursework: CP610 Counseling Orientation and Ethics, CP 612 Counseling Theories, and CP691 Research Methods and Program Evaluation in Counseling. A student earning any grade less than a "B" in any of the first nine hours, but still maintaining a 3.0 GPA, will be allowed to repeat the course one time and must earn a grade of "B" or better. 

Appeals Process

Applicants who are denied admission can appeal to the Counseling Program Admission Committee.

Required Courses

  • CP610 Counseling Orientation and Ethics (3)
  • CP611 Developmental Theories (3)
  • CP612 Counseling Theories (3)
  • CP613 Social and Cultural Aspects of Counseling (3)
  • CP614 Counseling Skills (3)
  • CP615 Career Development (3)
  • CP616 Group Counseling (3)
  • CP617 Assessment in Counseling (3)
  • CP630 Foundations of School Counseling (3)
  • CP631 Crisis Intervention and Consultation (3) 
  • CP632 Applications of School Counseling (3)
  • CP643 Psychodiagnostics and Treatment (3) 
  • CP652 Introduction to Play Therapy (3) 
  • CP658 Advanced Play Therapy (3) 
  • CP661 Addictions Counseling (3) 
  • CP680 Counseling Practicum (3) 
  • CP682 Internship Elementary (3) 
  • CP683 Internship Secondary (3) 
  • CP684 Internship School Counseling (3) 
  • CP691 Research Methods and Program Evaluation in Counseling (3)
  • GR698 Master's Final Comprehensive Examination (0) 


  • Teaching Certificate  

or if no teaching certificate:

  • EX390 Psychology and Education of the Exceptional Child
  • EX635 Psychology and Education of Students with Special Needs  


  • EA658 Instructional Strategies and Classroom Management 


  • SE635 Theory of Learning and Instructional Strategies 

Graduate Assistantships

The graduate assistantship (GA) is designed to provide support during full-time graduate study. It’s an opportunity for the graduate students to serve in a professional role while establishing a professional relationship with faculty and administrators. In addition to a per-year stipend, GAs gain valuable experience. There are two kinds of assistantships: teaching and administrative.

College of Education, Health and Human Studies

This degree is housed within the College of Education, Health and Human Studies. The college boasts programs that train students in mind, body, and soul. So, whether you want to teach, to care, to support, or to fix, we have a program to get you there.

Become a Redhawk.

Do more than dream about the future. Take the first steps to make it all happen.

Getting the Job

Your education is just one piece to launching an extraordinary career. Once you’ve mastered the material, you still have to find the job you want, make the right connections, sell your knowledge and experience—and if all this is giving you anxiety, don’t panic. SEMO’s Career Services office is here to help you with the next step. They’ll provide the expertise and support you need, so you’re landing your dream job in no time.

Graduate Coordinators

Graduate coordinators serve as the contact for graduate programs. The coordinators are most often faculty within the college that houses the program, helping you to get questions answered and first-hand knowledge of the degree requirements and placement opportunities.

Accreditations and Verifications

  • CACREP (Counseling and Related Educational Programs)
  • Association for Behavior Analysis International
Office Location
Scully 404
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 5700
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701