The mission of the Oregon State University graduate program in counseling is to prepare professional leaders who promote the social, psychological and physical well-being of individuals, families, communities and organizations. We believe that such professional leaders stand for social, economic and political justice and therefore must be prepared to be proactive educators, change agents and advocates in the face of injustice. Professional leaders are sensitive to life span developmental issues, demonstrate multicultural awareness, and recognize a global perspective as integral to the preparation of professional leaders.
Two graduate degrees are offered in counseling: the Master of Counseling (MCoun) and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
The counseling minor is currently closed to new admissions.
The MCoun degree has two major options: School Counseling—offered at the Corvallis and OSU-Cascades locations—and Clinical Mental Health Counseling—offered at OSU-Cascades.
Both the School Counseling Major Option and the Clinical Mental Health Counseling are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The PhD in Counseling is also accredited by CACREP.
The School Counseling Major Option is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and by Oregon’s Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC).
Master of Counseling Degree (MCoun): Offered via OSU-Cascades
The Master of Counseling degree with either a School Counseling Major Option or a Clinical Mental Health Major Option is offered through OSU-Cascades. See full program details on the OSU Cascades website.
Master of Counseling Degree (MCoun): Offered via Ecampus
The Master of Counseling degree with a School Counseling Major Option is offered through Ecampus. The program is a 75-credit program to be completed in three years and is offered in a hybrid format (50% online). Classes are taught at the Chemeketa Community College Center for Business and Industry in Salem. The Master of Counseling degree uses a competency-based approach to prepare school counselors. The program prepares the counselor to provide comprehensive school counseling programs that serve all students. Counselors will learn to utilize strategies to work with their students’ academic, personal/social, and career development needs. Preparation consists of a sequential program that integrates academic knowledge and theory with closely supervised counseling practice. Self-exploration and personal development are integral components of the program.
Graduates are eligible for the InitialI School Counselor License upon completion of additional steps required by the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission.
Admission to the Master of Counseling program at ECampus
Application must be made to the Graduate School and to the Counselor Education Program. The minimal prerequisite is a bachelor’s degree. Admission is not based exclusively on academic success in courses. Screening includes a minimum GPA of 3.00 and a personal interview in which the applicant’s educational goals, experience, and employment background are reviewed. Academic background, personal and emotional stability, and educational and professional goals of each candidate are evaluated before admission is granted. Prior counseling-related academic work from an accredited institution may meet, in part, the requirements of the program. Admission is competitive and by cohort and begins with the summer session.
Academic performance is not the sole criterion for admission to, and continuation in, certain courses, such as practicum courses and internships. The university may evaluate an individual’s background to determine the likelihood that he or she will maintain standards of professional conduct necessary in the discipline. An evaluation may consider current performance along with past experiences and actions that could affect a student’s ability to perform in the particular course or program.
It should also be noted that individuals who want to become school counselors but who do not have a teaching license are eligible to apply for the school counselor track.
Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling: Offered via Ecampus
The PhD degree in Counseling is designed to prepare experienced counseling professionals to extend their roles in the counseling profession. The doctoral program is appropriate for those whose career path is that of research and teaching in counselor preparation programs, in student development at a college or university level, or in supervisory positions in schools or agencies.
Requirements for the PhD
A minimum of 150 credits is required beyond the baccalaureate degree. The program includes thesis, internship, and the balance of credits in specialty areas, including participation in doctoral seminars. Doctoral students can meet the majority of their residency and course requirements in two years of full-time study.
Admission to the PhD Program
It is expected that individuals entering the PhD program will have completed a master’s degree in counseling that covers the nine areas of concentration required by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational programs (CACREP). The nine areas are human growth and development, social and cultural foundations, helping relationships, groups, career and lifestyle development, appraisal, research and program evaluation, professional orientation, and clinical instruction. Areas not covered in the student’s master’s program or through continuing higher education must be taken in doctoral study.
Applicants are preferred who have a minimum of two years of post-master’s experience as a counselor. Preference will be given to National Certified Counselors (NCCs), state Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs), and those who are licensed through a school counseling licensing body such as Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices. It is also expected that applicants will have participated in counseling as a client prior to admission to the program. Desirable, but not essential, is work in the field of education such as teaching, school administration, curriculum or instruction, and/or educationally related work in child, youth, or adult development programs.
An application packet may be obtained from the College of Education website. Included in the application will be demonstrated evidence of counseling competence through submission of a videotaped counseling session. A personal interview is also a final step in the application process.
Admission is by cohort to begin each summer term.