Master of Science in Clinical Counseling

Visit the MSCC webpage for program information, contact information, and an online application.

The Master of Science Clinical Counseling Program is a professional development program.  Graduates of this program are employed in a variety of clinical counseling arenas including correctional centers, mental health centers, psychiatric institutions, and private practice.  Graduates may be eligible to obtain a license in Missouri as a professional counselor, pending satisfactory completion of requirements.


To provide a professional development experience wherein students gain the knowledge and skills necessary to be prepared to apply for licensure in Missouri as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).


To graduate competent, socially conscious, reflective, evidence-based counselors who are able to meet the needs of a diverse society and are prepared to meet the highest standards set by the profession and the licensing standards of the majority of states.

Degree Program

A degree from the Master of Science in Clinical Counseling (MSCC) program requires a minimum of 48 credit hours and may be completed in less than three years through a full-time course of study.  Students may choose to pursue electives beyond the 48 hours and may also opt for part-time study.  This program adheres to all policies of the Graduate Program at Central Methodist University.  See sections entitled Curriculum Requirements and Graduation Requirements for further information.

Course Delivery

Courses are typically taught in a traditional setting, one to two evenings per week from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  Up to 10% of course offerings may be in synchronous hybrid format, using a system such as ITV.


Central Methodist University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  Although the MSCC program prepares graduates for licensure as an LPC in the State of Missouri, the program is not accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

Admission Requirements

  1. Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
  2. 18 or more hours of coursework in psychology, counseling, social work or a closely related field
  3. Undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale.  Exception:  Applicants with undergraduate GPAs lower than 3.0 will be considered for provisional admission based upon consideration of multiple factors (for example:  competitiveness of undergraduate institution, GPA in psychology courses and GPA in the last 60 hours of undergraduate study).  Students admitted provisionally will be moved to regular status if they achieve a 3.0 GPA in the first 9 hours of study.  If they do not, the student will be disenrolled from the program.
  4. Criminal background check deemed acceptable by the MSCC Admissions Committee in consultation with the Missouri Division of Professional Registration[TK1]
  5. Demonstration of adequate written communication skills
  6. Demonstration of appropriate interest and aptitude for counseling profession

Application Process

  1. Apply on-line at http://www.centralmethodist. edu/graduate/counseling/index.php.
  2.  Send official transcripts of all previously completed college/university coursework.
  3. Complete criminal record check through Certified Background at a cost of $50.00 to applicant (instructions will come from admissions office after application is made).
  4. Submit three, one-page written statements on the following topics.

    Experiences and interests that have brought you to pursue a career in counseling?

    Professional career goals?

    Experiences you have had with diversity and what you learned about yourself.

  5. Submit two reference letters from individuals knowledgeable about applicant’s potential to complete graduate work and to function successfully as a counselor.

Items 2, 4, and 5, above should be emailed to: or posted to CGES Admissions Office, Central Methodist University, 411 Central Methodist Square, Fayette, MO 65248.

Upon receipt and review of all information and supporting documents, applicants will be notified of their admission status.  The University reserves the right to refuse admission to anyone who does not meet standards for admission.

Curriculum Requirements

  1. Transfer credit.  Transfer hours will be accepted on a case-by-case basis and at the discretion of the Admissions Committee. 
  2. GPA.  A 3.0 cumulative GPA must be maintained and a grade of “C” or above must be obtained in all divisional courses. Courses in which a student obtained a grade of less than a “C” will not count toward graduation.
  3. Maximum program length.  The MSCC program must be completed within six years of enrollment.
  4. Professional liability insurance.  Students are required to purchase and show proof of individual professional liability insurance prior to the student’s enrollment in any practicum or internship course and for the duration of their enrollment in those courses. Liability insurance is offered by a variety of private insurance companies and by or through some professional organizations (see more information in the student handbook).  Students will not be allowed to enroll in practicum/internship courses until they have shown proof of their coverage.
  5. Evaluation, remediation and dismissal.  It is the priority of program faculty to assist students to be successful in their career aspirations.  However, because of concern about potential harm to clients and to the counseling profession, members of the faculty evaluate student’s academic and professional conduct on a regular basis in order to assure the suitability of students for the profession of counseling.  In some cases, personal behavior that might interfere with professional functioning is also evaluated.  If the student is not making satisfactory progress, he or she will be referred to a committee whose members will consider whether remediation or dismissal is appropriate.  Additional information on the evaluation, remediation, & dismissal process is in the Student Handbook. 
  6. Supervision.  No current CMU student shall supervise another CMU student as part of any CMU course.  This specifically includes all practicum, internship, and student-teaching experiences or related courses.  Students should consult the appropriate advisor if they have any questions regarding their assignment for the aforementioned experiences.  

Graduation Requirements

  1. Satisfactory completion of 48 credit hours, including 36 hours of core academic courses, 9 hours of required practice courses (including 1 practicum and 2 internships), and 3 additional hours of elective coursework. 
  2. A 3.0 cumulative GPA with a maximum of two course grades of “C”.  Courses in which a student obtained a grade of less than a “C” will not count toward graduation. 
  3. Satisfactory completion of the Comprehensive Preparation Counseling Examination (CPCE).

Note. The academic courses in the program prepare students to take the CPCE, which must be passed in order for students to graduate.  Three (3) attempts to pass the exam will be allowed.  Upon failure to pass the exam the third time, additional coursework must be satisfactorily completed, after which one last attempt to pass the exam will be allowed.  Students who do not pass the final CPCE must complete a written comprehensive examination in the areas of the CPCE where deficits were apparent (as defined by the program).  Students must pass this final exam or be disenrolled from the graduate program. 

National Certification

Central Methodist University participates in the Graduate Student Application Program (GSA-NCC) of the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), called the “jump-start program”, in order to allow students to work toward board certification.  Through the GSA-NCC, the National Counseling Exam (NCE) is available during the last two semesters of the Master’s Program and within six months of graduation from the program.  Upon passing the NCE through this program, providing proof of graduation, and following requirements provided by the NBCC, students may move on to become a National Certified Counselor (NCC).  The NCC is the only general-practice counseling credential with nationwide recognition.  National counselor certification from NBCC is not a license to practice; rather, it proves to the public and employers that the counselor has met the national standards set by the counseling profession. For more information about the National Board for Certified Counselors and their affiliates, go to

State Licensing Requirements

Counselors must be licensed by the state in which they practice.  Every state has different licensing requirements.  In Missouri, passing the National Counseling Exam (NCE) is part of the State of Missouri Licensure process, hence, passing the exam while in the program gives candidates a “jump-start” on completing a major component to becoming licensed to practice in Missouri. 

Passage of the NCE and completion of state requirements, including acquiring a supervisor, may allow students to become a Provisionally Licensed Professional Counselor (PLPC).  When PLPCs complete other Missouri requirements for licensure, including 3,000 hours of postgraduate clinical experience, they may then be eligible for licensure as an LPC.

Applicants for licensure must meet current requirements as established by the State of Missouri, Department of Economic Development, Division of Professional Registration, Committee for Professional Counselors, and RSMo 337.507 Missouri Revised Statutes.  For further information, go to, or do a web search for RSMo 337.525 Missouri Revised Statutes.