The Master of Science in Counseling (MSC) degree is designed to prepare highly skilled counselors who are committed to advocating for and serving the needs of those in their community. Thomas University offers a fully online program with four specialization tracks for students to choose from: Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling, Addictions Counseling, and Professional School Counseling. All courses are taught by doctoral level professors with years of experience and credentials in the field. Each core curriculum class maintains a cap of 1:12 faculty-to-student ratio, with fieldwork supervision maintaining a 1:6 ratio. Small class sizes offer individual attention for exploration of content with peers and professors, giving students the opportunity to develop the interpersonal skills required to be an effective counselor.
This 60-credit hour program prepares students for practice through rigorous didactic training and clinical fieldwork experience that can be completed in their local geographic area. The foundational curriculum is comprised of 45-credit hours that encompasses all licensure curriculum, with the remaining 15-credit hours rounding out the requirements for the specialization area. Students who choose to pursue multiple specializations will need to complete the required course work and clinical hours for the additional specialization.
The MSC program will provide students with the curriculum content that abides by CACREP standards for accreditation and meets state licensure requirements to become a professional counselor in all states. Students are eligible to sit for the NCE/NCMHCE and CRC as early as successful completion of 75% of program coursework. Students need to check that state requirements for licensure in the state in which they reside are completed prior to graduation.
Thomas University has been approved by the State of Georgia to participate in the National Council for State Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of post-secondary distance education and pertains to approval of distance education courses that are offered across state lines by institutions that already have degree authorization in at least one state. As a participant in NC-SARA, Thomas University can offer distance education to any other SARA state member.
“The advantage I enjoy every day on my job as an LPC Intern is only possible because of the outstanding education that I was privileged and honored to receive at Thomas University ”
– Randy Cribbs, 2019 CMHCRC graduate
Program Director: Dr. Lora Hoffman 229-226-1621
The mission of Thomas University’s CACREP-accredited Master of Science in Counseling program is to create a dynamic learning environment that advances the intellectual and personal development goals of our students to work as professionals in the field of mental health counseling, clinical rehabilitation counseling, professional school counseling and/or addiction counseling, and to train students to effectively advocate on behalf of the clients they serve.
The Master of Science in Counseling (MSC) program accomplishes this mission through the following objectives:
Thomas University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, bachelor’s, master’s and education specialist degrees. Questions about the accreditation of Thomas University may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033, by call 404-679-4500, or by using information available on the SACSOC website
Currently, the Master of Science in Counseling program is dually accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling, with the Addiction track and Professional School Counseling track undergoing the accreditation process in 2023-2024.
The CACREP reaccreditation process is being actively pursued and a self-study was submitted in preparation for the site visit. This is a normal process, once every 8-years, for all CACREP accredited programs to ensure your quality education. We anticipate a CACREP reaccreditation in July 2024.
All specialization tracks offered in the MSC program will prepare students for licensure as a professional counselor. Each state has specific requirements for the licensed counselor designation, often known as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). TU’s Master of Science in Counseling program meets the educational requirements in all states, including clinical fieldwork hours. Prospective students are encouraged to review and understand the requirements of their respective state licensing agency prior to enrollment at TU. Please download the Counseling State Licensure List to obtain contact information for the licensing agency in your state. Several states also require additional state-specific workshops. For more information regarding additional state-specific workshops, please contact Dr. Cristina Jones.
Following the initial review of materials, applicants will be assessed on a holistic basis, using the Admissions Rubric. Attention will be given to relevance of career goals, aptitude for graduate-level study, potential success in forming effective counseling relationships, and respect for cultural differences.
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The Masters of Science in Counseling degree requires a total of 60 credits. The Foundational Counseling Core is comprised of 45 Credit Hours. All students must also complete at least one Specialization of 15 credit hours for a total of 60 credits.
The Addiction Counseling Specialization is comprised of the following courses which are in addition to the 45 credit hours in the Foundational Counseling core.Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialization 15 credits
The Addiction Counseling Specialization is comprised of the following courses which are in addition to the 45 credit hours in the Foundational Counseling core.Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling Specialty 15 credits
The Addiction Counseling Specialization is comprised of the following courses which are in addition to the 45 credit hours in the Foundational Counseling core.
Alcohol and Addictions Specialization 15 Credits
TOTAL CREDITS 60CIP Code 51.1504
The Professional School Counseling specialization is available to students pursing the master's program in Counseling and is in addition to the required 45 credit hours required in the Foundational Counseling Core.
Professional School Counseling Specialization 15 Credits
TOTAL CREDITS 60CIP Code 51.1504
For those who hold a graduate degree in counseling but are excluded from licensure eligibility as an LPC or LMHC in their state due to lack of graduate credit hours or specific coursework, TU's Bridge program is an excellent opportunity to take additional counseling coursework to meet the state licensure requirements.
Licensure applicants can meet licensure requirements by taking courses such as Psychopathology & Diagnosis, Human Growth & Development, Psychopharmacology, Crisis & Trauma Counseling, Substance Abuse Counseling Methods, and Human Sexuality as post-graduate studies.
This program also benefits college graduates who wish to gain Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling (CRC) certification.
Courses are offered online in an asynchronous format that affords working professionals the opportunity to complete these courses while maintaining their busy lifestyles.
CIP Code 42.2803
Thomas University’s Master of Science in Counseling degree program is approved to offer students the opportunity to sit for their licensure (NCE/NCMHCE) exam and CRC exam after 75% of program coursework in completed.
The National Counselor Exam (NCE) and the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Exam (NCMHCE) are offered twice a year, during the spring and fall semesters. Fieldwork faculty will work with students to help plan out the registration and application for exams within the final 3 semesters of the program. Students are required to determine which exam in required in the state in which they live and/or plan to practice. More information can be found at http://www.nbcc.org or by visiting your state’s professional licensure website.
The Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) Exam is offered three times a year during the spring, summer and fall. Students are encouraged to sit for this exam prior to program completion. For more information, visit Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) website.
Students who pass their exams during program completion will graduate with their National Certified Counselor (NCC) and CRC already earned, improving marketability in the workforce.
Students pursuing their addiction credential will need to complete the required clinical training hours in the field prior to testing.
Students pursing certification as a Georgia school counselor must take and pass the GACE during program completion.
*Full licensure as an LPC/LMHC is not achieved until the student completes the required post-graduate supervised clinical hours in their state.
Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) Exam Pass Rates
|National Pass Rate
National Counselor Exam (NCE) and National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Exam (NCMHC) Pass Rates
Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program: Preparing students for the demands of vulnerable populations with unmet behavioral health needs.
The Thomas University Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Master of Science in Counseling (MSC), has received a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The BHWET Program for Professionals grant will further advance and expand the behavioral health workforce by preparing students in master's level clinical counseling programs for professional clinical practice in integrated behavioral health and collaborative team settings.
With commitment to vulnerable populations, TU’s Master of Science in Counseling BHWET grant recipients will be trained to meet the specific and unique needs of persons living in medically underserved rural and urban communities. Student placements will be focused on providing effective behavioral health treatment modalities at interprofessional and team-based care field placement sites or ones that are working toward, or have instituted the integration of interdisciplinary teams.
For students who are starting their Fieldwork Practicum:
For additional information, contact Candace Strickland, BHWET Coordinator.
Thomas University's Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) Grant enables scholarships for graduate students with a strong desire to serve persons with disabilities and have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. For more information regarding the RSA Scholarship, please contact Don Lewis, Dr. Cristina Jones or Pauline Patrick.
Rho Chi Sigma Honor Society Grant
This grant is for an incoming Masters of Science in Counseling students each Spring Semester. A student is nominated by a faculty member, and an officer of Rho Chi Sigma in the Fall Semester, and the chosen student is awarded the grant at the yearly induction ceremony. Students who show school spirit, a willingness to serve others, and a dedication for advocacy are the key elements sought when nominated. Funds vary from year to year but range from $200-$500 per year.
Graduate assistants may receive the assistantship a maximum of two semesters.
Graduate Assistantship Duties
For instructions on how to find out specific licensure requirements related to your state, refer to the following video where Dr. Pauline Patrick walks you through the steps.
Graduates of Thomas University’s Clinical Mental Health and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling degree program will be prepared to enter a variety of career environments based on the individual’s passion for helping people. Our graduates are competent in a full range of clinical areas including ethics, counseling theories and techniques and diagnosis to name a few.
Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling
The Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling track prepares students to help people with physical, mental, developmental, intellectual and/or emotional disabilities live, work and thrive as independent, contributing members of society. Rehabilitation counselors work with clients with congenital or acquired disabilities achieve their personal, social, psychological and vocational goals by evaluating client strengths and minimizing environmental, social, and attitudinal barriers that interfere with independence.
Students in the Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling specialization are eligible to pursue the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) credential, as well as licensure as a professional counselor (LPC/LMHC).
Clinical Rehabilitation Counselors are employed in a variety of settings including:
For a full list of the curriculum required for this track, see the Course Tab.
Addiction Counseling Specialization
The Addiction Counseling track prepares students to support clients with drug and/or alcohol problems by teaching them how to modify their behavior and develop coping mechanisms, with the intention of full recovery. Due to the high incidence of relapse, addiction counselors often work with clients on an on-going basis by providing individual and group counseling. Since many clients with addiction issues also have a co-occurring mental health condition, students who pursue this track will be eligible for both the Certified Master Addiction Counselor credential and the professional counselor credential (LPC/LMHC).
Addiction Counselors are employed in a variety of settings including:
For a full list of the curriculum required for this track, see the Course Tab.
Professional School Counseling Specialization
The Professional School Counseling track prepares students to work with PreK-12 school-aged children by helping them reach their academic, social, personal and career goals. School counselors advocate for students’ well-being by addressing issues such as bullying, depression, learning disabilities, poor academic performance and parental issues by developing a positive and realistic path to overall wellness. School counselors develop strategies with teachers, administrators and parents to help students succeed based on student need.
The Professional School Counseling track leads to certification as a school counselor, as well as licensure as a professional counselor (LPC/LMHC).
School counselors are employed in settings such as:
For a full list of the curriculum required for this track, see the Courses Tab.
Resources and Professional Organizations
CSI is an international honor society that values academic and professional excellence in counseling. By promoting a strong professional identity through members (professional counselors, counselor educators, and students), CSI contributes to the realization of a healthy society by fostering wellness and human dignity.
Founded at Ohio University in 1985, Chi Sigma Iota has over 96,000 members who have been initiated into the Society, and growing by over 6,000 new members per year. They are affiliated with campus-based chapters contributing to their counselor education programs and communities. Chapters are supported at least in part by funding from CSI.
One of the largest associations of professional counselors in the world, CSI’s annual active membership is equally balanced between professional and student members. Among the professional members, over 1,600 are counselor educators and supervisors while the remainder are practicing counselors in all settings and specialties of counseling. CSI activities occur primarily through our active chapters located in counselor education programs in five regions in the United States and in counselor training programs beyond U.S. borders.
Thomas University’s Chi Sigma Iota
Thomas University founded the first “Rehabilitation Counseling” chapter in the Honor Society’s history, and we are proud of our Chi Sigma Iota chapter, “Rho Chi Sigma.” Over the years, we have expanded our chapter to incorporate an annual plan that includes advocacy for multiple local charities. We provide outreach to various local communities and offer students the chance to be active members of our chapter through leadership and participation efforts to spread the efforts of the counseling profession. Our chapter offers yearly training seminars to our members, access to nationwide networking sites, free webinars, and research material to support the counseling field.
Students with a minimum GPA of 3.5 and whom have completed at least three full time semesters can request review for induction. Our student run organization has an active Facebook page that once inducted you are asked to join. Students are encouraged to run for office and elections are held yearly. We are a service led honor society, and charity and advocacy are our key goals each year. We strive to server others and welcome graduate students in the Masters of Science in Counseling (MSC) program to join this amazing organization, and become part of a network of other members, that can assist you through your career of helping others.