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Masters of Science in Counseling

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.

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“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

+Mission

The mission of Thomas University’s CACREP-accredited Master’s of Science in Counseling 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 Masters of  Science in Counseling (MSC) program accomplishes this through the following objectives:

  • Faculty will provide rigorous and intellectually challenging studies that require creativity, discipline, and personal responsibility.
  • Students will become competent in a variety of counseling areas, including but not limited to: theoretical foundations and techniques, ethical practice, case management, group work, crisis counseling, diagnostic procedures, cultural awareness and medical and psychosocial issues through the completion of 60-credit hours of coursework.
  • Students will learn through classroom, practicum and internship, and community experience how to address the needs of persons with physical, mental, emotional, and psychological disabilities and chronic illness in a manner that is consistent with the program’s mission of advocacy and awareness.
  • The MSC program will provide students with the curriculum content that abides by CACREP standards for state licensure as a professional counselor in all states, and 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.
  • For students who previously graduated from a 48-credit hour program and are looking for additional coursework to apply for the CRC or state licensure, Thomas University offers a Bridge Program that can help non-degree seeking students to complete the academic requirements for these credentials. (See video on Bridge Program).
  • CACREP is a recognized agency by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and holds full membership status with the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA), and the International Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE). TU is accredited under the 2009 CACREP standards which are available for review here (Hyperlink in standards).
  • 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.

+Accreditation

Institutional Accreditation

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

Program Accreditation

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 2022-2023.

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.

+Admissions

Students applying to the Masters of Science degree in Counseling program need to submit the following:

You can order college transcripts from prior colleges at www.getmytranscript.com.

Send official transcripts to admissions@thomasu.edu.

or

Admissions Office
Thomas University
1501 Millpond Road
Thomasville, GA 31792

All documents can be emailed to admissions@thomasu.edu.

+Courses

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.

  • Foundations and Techniques of Counseling
  • Substance Abuse Counseling Methods
  • Crisis and Trauma Counseling
  • Theories & Techniques of Counseling
  • Theories and Techniques of Group Counseling
  • Assessment and Testing
  • Psychopathology and Diagnosis
  • Ethics and Professional Orientation
  • Foundations of Career Development and Job Placement Services
  • Human Growth & Development
  • Research and Program Evaluation
  • Counseling Practicum (100 hours)
  • Counseling Internship I (450 hours)
  • Counseling Internship II (450 hours)
  • Counseling Capstone
  • One Specialization
CIP Code 51.1504

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
  • Psychosocial & Multicultural Aspects
  • The Helping Professional: Case Management & Community Resources
  • Abnormal Behavior
  • Marriage & Family Counseling
Choice of one of the following courses depending on state licensure requirements:
  • Human Sexuality
  • Psychopharmacology
TOTAL CREDITS 60 CIP Code 51.1504

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
  • Medical Aspects of Disability & Chronic Illness
  • Psychosocial & Multicultural Aspects
  • The Helping Professional: Case Management & Community Resources
  • Marriage & Family Counseling
Choice of one of the following courses, depending on state licensure requirements:
  • Abnormal Behavior
  • Human Sexuality
  • Psychopharmacology
TOTAL CREDITS 60 CIP Code 51.1504

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   12 Credits

  • Ethics in Addiction Counseling
  • Co-Occurring Disorders and Trauma
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Psychosocial and Multicultural Aspects
  • Counseling Internship III
  • Human Sexuality IF required for state licensure

TOTAL CREDITS                   60

CIP 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

  • Introduction to Graduate Programs
  • Diversity and Exceptionality
  • Collaborative Classrooms
  • Counseling Children and Families
Choice of one of the following courses depending on state licensure requirements:
  • Abnormal Behavior
  • Human Sexuality
  • Psychopharmacology

TOTAL CREDITS                   60

CIP 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

+Additional Program Information

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

Exam DateGraduates SittingGraduates PassingPass RateStudents SittingStudents PassingPass Rate
10/2020-7/20215120%9444%
10/14/2019-7/31/20203133%472350%
10/14/2018-7/31/20193133%4250%
10/14/17-10/13/20187239%8563%
National Pass Rate40%58%

National Counselor Exam (NCE) and National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Exam (NCMHC) Pass Rates

Exam DateGraduates SittingGraduates PassingPass RateStudents SittingStudents PassingPass Rate
Spring 2021
0 0 0 98 91.4%
Fall 2020
00022100%
Spring 2020
00011100%
  • Thomas University's Master's of Science in Counseling program is CACREP accredited until 2023
  • The employment rate of Thomas University's Counseling 2020-2021 graduates is 100%
  • The Average time to complete the 60--credit hour program is as follows:
    • Full-time (9 credit hours per semester) 2.3 year (7 semesters)
    • Part-time (6 credit hours per semester) 3.3 years (10 semesters)

MSC Annual Report

Academic YearEnrollment
(fall semester)
GraduatesRetention
2021-22180n/an/a
2020-211593189%
2019-201192595%
2018-191012090%
2017-18832488%
2016-17763385%

BHWET Grant

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:

  • Students must be willing to commit 100 clinical hours/semester to an integrated health setting. If students are beginning or receiving BHWET funds in Internship I and/or Internship II, they must be willing to commit 450 clinical hours/semester to an approved integrated health setting.
  • Practicum and Internship stipend provided
  • Specialized training in integrated behavioral health at no cost
Requirements:
  • Fieldwork setting targeting behavioral health in sites that qualify as medically underserved or experiencing a health care professional shortage, as per HRSA’s definition
  • Commitment to training and networking activities
  • Full Fieldwork (RCE 680, RCE 681, & RCE 682) commitment
  • Agreement with and signature on the BHWET commitment letter

For additional information, contact Candace Strickland, BHWET Coordinator.

RSA Grant

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 Assistantship

  • Applicants must be accepted and in good standing as a student in the graduate program supporting the assistantship.
  • Work Hours in Exchange for Tuition:
    • 15 hours for 15 weeks (one semester) -- 225 total hours for 9 credits’ tuition remission
    • 8 hours for 15 weeks (one semester) – 120 total hours for 5 credits’ tuition remission

Application Process

  • Applicants must complete the Graduate Assistantship Application by each semester deadline – November 15 (for spring) and July 15 (for fall).
  • Applicants submit application to Financial Aid who will forward all applications to the graduate program division chair for his/her selection for each semester. The selected student is subject to a criminal background check.

Graduate assistants may receive the assistantship a maximum of two semesters.

Graduate Assistantship Duties

  • Assistantship positions are designed to provide the student with a meaningful work experience in the field of study while enabling and/or supporting a division project or initiative. Duties and responsibilities are described in assistantship position descriptions posted each semester.
  • The division chair or a designated faculty member designated is responsible for supervising the graduate assistant.
  • Supervision is aided by required submission of a task list and work hours log given to the supervisor by the end of each month of the semester.
  • The supervisor will complete a mid-term evaluation to ensure that the graduate assistant is meeting the assignment objectives, as well as an end-of-semester evaluation providing summative documentation of the work accomplished, its quality, and timeliness.

+Bridge Program

The Division of Social &  Behavioral Sciences offers an online Masters of Science in Counseling (MSC)  Bridge Program for those who wish to pursue post-masters counseling licensure but hold a Master’s degree in Counseling with less than 60 credit hours or need additional graduate level coursework. The Bridge Program can be completed in one semester or over several semesters enabling the student to meet the 60-hour credit requirement in order to be licensure eligible for Professional Counselor (LPC) or Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). The following online courses are offered:

  • Human Sexuality
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Psychopathology and the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)
  • Substance Abuse Counseling Methods
  • Abnormal Behavior
  • Psychopharmacology

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.

+Careers

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:

  • Federal and State Government Agencies
  • Brain and Spinal cord injury centers
  • Rehabilitation hospitals
  • Rehabilitation engineering agencies
  • Assistive technology/prosthetics
  • Vocational Assessment centers
  • Career Centers
  • Orientation and Mobility Training centers and more

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:

  • In-patient treatment centers
  • Out-patient treatment centers
  • Individual and family services
  • Hospitals
  • Corrections
  • State and local government agencies
  • Support groups and more

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:

  • Elementary schools
  • Middle schools
  • High schools
  • Public schools
  • Private schools
  • Alternative schools

For a full list of the curriculum required for this track, see the Courses Tab.

Resources and Professional Organizations

  • American Counseling Association
  • American Rehabilitation Counseling Association
  • American Mental Health Counseling Association
  • Licensed Professional Counselors Association
  • National Rehabilitation Association
  • National Council for Rehabilitation Educators
  • Careers in Vocational Rehabilitation
  • National Clearinghouse for Rehabilitation Training Material
  • World Institute on Disability
  • National Council on Disability
  • Rehabilitation Services Administration

+Chi Sigma Iota Honor Society

Chi Sigma Iota Thomas UniversityCSI 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.

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