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Counseling Psychology

Master of Science in Counseling Psychology

The Master of Science (M.S.) in counseling psychology is a 60-semester-credit-hour program designed for students who would like to work for profit or nonprofit mental health agencies, mental health and mental retardation centers or hospitals, or in rehabilitation settings, academia or private counseling settings. Some of our students go on to doctoral programs.

Periodic modifications are made in the counseling program, depending on licensing board rules and practicum site demands and availability. The two state licensing boards are the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists and the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors.

To be considered for admission, individuals must submit a Graduate Application for Admission Form and supporting materials to the College of Graduate Studies and Research. Admission requirements are listed below.

Graduate Application for Admission Form

  • Counseling Program

    Master of Science in Counseling Psychology

    The Master of Science (M.S.) in counseling psychology is a 60-semester-credit-hour program that prepares students to become licensed psychological associates or licensed professional counselors.

    Periodic modifications are made in the counseling program, depending on licensing board rules and practicum site demands and availability. The two state licensing boards are the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists and the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors.


    The M.S. program in counseling psychology provides the pre-master educational requirements for licensure as a licensed psychological associate (LPA) and/or a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in the State of Texas (Note: licensure requirements for LPC include additional post-degree supervised experience, and requirements vary across states).

    Typically, full-time students can complete the program in two years. For students who may decide to pursue a doctoral degree in psychology, the program provides opportunities for research experience through participation in ongoing research projects and/or by initiating individual research projects via a specialized research course or a master’s thesis.

    Thesis and Non-Thesis Options

    Students have the option of completing the master’s degree program with or without a thesis. Students in the non-thesis option must complete a Comprehensive Exam (see the Graduate Study Handbook for details). Students in the thesis option complete six semester credit hours of thesis work and must pass a comprehensive oral exam over their completed degree work.

    Departmental Mission

    The mission of the department is to engage students in the discovery of knowledge in the social and behavioral sciences. The graduate programs in psychology build on the foundation of scientific discoveries in the core areas of the field and focus on the development of professional insights and skills necessary for becoming effective and productive practitioners, researchers and instructors.

    Program Mission

    The purpose of the M.S. in counseling psychology program is to provide comprehensive training within a scientist-practitioner model. The program aims to educate competent, responsible, and ethical future counselors, who have an understanding of the scientific principles of counseling psychology and the skills necessary to apply those principles in the mental health field. The program prepares graduates to pursue credentials as a licensed psychological associate (LPA) and/or a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in the State of Texas.

    Student Success

    Because of the nature of the discipline, we attract students who want to be “healers and helpers.” Successful students in counseling psychology are usually personable, sensitive, warm, empathic and more mature than other people their age. They are expected to deal with ambiguity, because their training requires that they appreciate the gray areas in all types of human behavior. They should be good listeners and solution-oriented.

    Since counseling requires two-way communication, our counseling students are expected to have good communication skills. Even though their main training is in counseling theory and techniques, they also have the opportunity to develop great research skills by taking research (PSY 6391) and thesis (PSY 6699) courses.

    One of the major emphases in our counseling training program is to foster greater student personal responsibility. Therefore, our students are expected to be responsible human beings first, before they can be responsible counselors. Our training, high expectations and quality of students have resulted in a 100 percent pass rate since 2005 on the National Counselor Examination (required for LPC license in Texas).

    Program Goals

    The mission, philosophy and values of the program are represented in these goals:

    • To provide students with a broad understanding of general counseling theory and practice.
    • To provide educational opportunities so that students will also develop their knowledge of research and theory in the basic domains of scientific psychology, including social, developmental, vocational and health psychology, thus providing a holistic approach to counseling. 
    • To facilitate students’ acquisition of counseling skills through exposure to educational and practical experiences.
    • To provide the basic training and experiences necessary for students to pursue becoming licensed professional counselors or licensed psychological associates in the state of Texas. (Although the educational requirements of many states can be met through the M.S. in counseling psychology program, it is each student’s responsibility to determine his/her state’s requirements and plan an educational experience to meet those requirements.)
    • To endow graduates with counseling competencies in diverse settings and with diverse populations – and to train students who are socially responsible and ethical in professional practice, and who demonstrate their knowledge of the role of diversity in all areas of counseling psychology practice.

    Program Objectives

    Upon completion of the program, graduates should be able to:

    • Demonstrate entry-level knowledge of core theoretical principles of counseling.
    • Distinguish between the practice of individual and group therapeutic interventions and demonstrate entry-level skills needed for both.
    • Demonstrate entry-level knowledge of marriage and family therapy models.
    • Evidence an awareness of multicultural issues in the therapeutic environment.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the stages of human growth and development.
    • Evidence the skills necessary to assess psychopathologies according to the current DSM taxonomy, and understand professional strengths and limitations in working with particular psychopathologies (demonstrate knowledge of when and how to refer to other professionals).
    • Demonstrate knowledge and practice of a variety of psychological assessment techniques.
    • Assimilate the codes of professional counseling ethics by showing commitment to the ethical and legal standards of the profession, including sensitivity to individual, gender and cultural differences.
    • Demonstrate an entry-level understanding of major theoretical frameworks for career development.
    • Demonstrate competencies with a variety of individual and group counseling approaches in supervised internships.

    Program Expectations

    The M.S. in counseling psychology is subject to certain academic and personal requirements. Students are expected to:

    • Complete all courses in the prescribed M.S. in counseling psychology curriculum with a minimum grade point average of 3.0.
    • Show evidence of a level of personal maturity and stability that is needed in counseling-related vocations.
    • Demonstrate entry-level expertise in the diagnosis of mental disorders.
    • Demonstrate entry-level expertise in the development of treatment plans.
    • Demonstrate entry-level expertise in the implementation of treatment plans.
    • Demonstrate professional integrity and conduct based on legal and ethical standards with clients and staff.
    • Demonstrate entry-level competence in case presentations, oral reports and written reports.
    • Demonstrate competency in multicultural awareness and diversity as it pertains to counseling situations of assessment and treatment.
    • Demonstrate competency in knowledge of human development (child, adolescent and adult).
    • Demonstrate entry-level competency in a broad range of counseling orientations and therapies.             

    Program Outcomes

    In addition to the general requirements of the College of Graduate Studies and Research, degree candidates must demonstrate:

    • Master Knowledge and Skills in Psychology
      • Students will be able to access and use relevant knowledge and skills in counseling psychology.
    • Ethics
      • Students will demonstrate comprehension and use of ethical principles appropriate to psychology.
  • Admissions

    Counseling Psychology 

    Students are welcome to apply for admission regardless of their undergraduate major. Those who have fewer than 18 credit hours of undergraduate psychology are required to complete a graduate leveling course that provides training in the foundational areas of psychology.  

    Students who want to be considered for our program need to have a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher. Students with a GPA below 3.0 may be considered for admission (see below).

    Admission Requirements:

    Application Deadlines

    Other Application Deadlines:

    Priority Admission Review for the Counseling Psychology program

    • March 15 for Fall admissions
    • October 15 for Spring admissions

    Applications for the Counseling Psychology program will be reviewed beginning on March 15 for fall admissions and October 15 for spring admissions. Applications received by these dates will receive priority and will be processed before registration so new students can register on time for a better selection of classes. After the priority deadlines, applications will be reviewed when they are received and students will be admitted based on space available in the program. 

    Fall: July 15

    International Student Fall: July 15

    Spring: December 1

    International Student Fall: December 1


    *Formula (if your GPA is below 3.0):  

    [GPA times 100] + Quantitative + Verbal + Converted Analytical ≥ 730.

    • GRE Analytical Writing Conversion Scale: The GRE Analytical Writing sub test is scored on a scale of 1-6. This score is converted to the metric of the other sub tests as follows:

    1.0-2.0 = 130           
    2.5 = 135
    3.0 = 140
    3.5 = 145
    4.0 = 150
    4.5 = 155
    5.0 = 160
    5.5 = 165
    6.0 = 170 

  • Assistantship

    Graduate, Research and Teaching Assistantship

    Our department provides financial support to graduate students by offering 11 assistantships. Six are graduate assistants (GAs), two are research assistants (RAs), and three are teaching assistants (TAs).

    Job Availability, Application and Wages

    New students as well as current students can qualify for the GA and RA positions by submitting this application to the department office.

    The GA and RA salaries are $7490 for two semesters ($13.50 per hour for 17.5 hours per week). 

    The three TA positions are available only to students who have completed at least 18 graduate credit hours prior to the appointment. TA candidates use the same application form as GA and RA applicants and also submit it to the department office. The TA salary is $11,095 for two semesters.

    Duties of Graduate Assistants and Research Assistants

    Graduate assistants have responsibility for a wide range of duties designed to support the undergraduate instructional program. Each works under the supervision of a faculty member who directs their work assignments.

    Research assistants are assigned to work on research projects determined by the faculty project directors.

    Both GA and RA positions are considered half-time employment and enable students to make normal progress toward their degrees.

    Duties of Teaching Assistants

    Teaching assistants receive teacher training in the fall and spring semesters by assisting their directing faculty members. In this capacity, they lead instructional discussion sessions with undergraduates and practice lecturing.

    Selection Procedure

    The selection of Graduate Assistants and Research Assistants are typically done during the summer prior to the upcoming academic year in which the appointments begin. The GAs and RAs are selected by the graduate advisors, psychology faculty members who provide the training and supervision of those who are appointed.  Interested students should apply for the positions by May 1, so that their application can be given full consideration.

    The selection of Teaching Assistants are typically done during the spring semester prior to the upcoming academic year in which the appointments begin.  TAs are selected by Dr. Kristi Cordell-McNulty and Dr. Crystal Kreitler, psychology faculty members who provide the training and supervision of those who are appointed. Interested students should apply for the positions by March 1, so that their applications can be given full consideration.

  • Student Ambassadors

    Counseling Psychology Ambassadors

    Feel free to contact an ambassador if you have any other questions about our program or would like a student’s perspective.

    • Hailey

      Haylie Gatewood

      Hi! My name is Haylie Gatewood. I am a wife, mother, student, and youth minister. I have been a member of the ASU family since 2015, and I have loved every minute of it! I am currently working on my masters in counseling psychology, and I plan to become a licensed professional counselor. I have a special place in my heart for adolescents, and individuals that have endured trauma. Therefore, my goal is to work with both groups of individuals after I become a counselor. My hobbies include napping, reading, and watching television.

    • Soberanes

      Jonathan Soberanes

      Hello, my name is Jonathan Soberanes. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Business from Angelo State University, where I also spent my last two years playing baseball. I am currently a graduate student chasing a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology degree here at ASU. I wish to work at a private practice in Dallas, Texas someday, helping children and adolescents through some of life’s changing phases. Some hobbies include: exercising, reading, and playing guitar. 


  • Contact Us

Counseling Psychology

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