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Department of Counseling


Master of Arts Degree in Counseling

The Department of Counseling offers the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Counseling with programs in Community and School Counseling. Additional coursework can be taken in addictions counseling, couple and family counseling, multicultural counseling and sports psychology. Students may earn credit toward a state license and/or certification to practice in either community or school settings (Licensed Professional Counselor and/or Certified School Counselor). The Community and School Counseling programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

Program Admission Requirements

  1. Application for admission is conducted through the UTSA Graduate School. Applicants must hold a 3.0 grade point average during the last 60 hours of their undergraduate studies to be eligible for admission to the counseling program. Admission to the program is competitive. Competitive applicants often exceed minimum requirements.
  2. International students must have a minimum score of 100 on the TOEFL Internet-based test, 600 on the TOEFL paper-based test, or 7 on the IELTS.
  3. Applicants without adequate coursework preparation in Education, Psychology, Sociology or a related field may be required to take COU 3103 Helping Skills and, at the discretion of the admissions committee, to complete up to 15 additional hours of preparatory courses as a condition of admission. Contact the Graduate Advisor of Record for the M.A. in Counseling for more information.
  4. Three Applicant Rating Forms and a two-page narrative statement are required (see current requirements, forms, and directions available on the UTSA Graduate School Web site: http://graduateschool.utsa.edu). Interested persons should contact the Student Development Specialist for the Counseling program or check the Web site for more information. The number of students admitted to this program may be limited.

Degree Requirements. Candidates for the Master of Arts degree in Counseling must earn a minimum of 48 semester credit hours. Students must pass a comprehensive written examination toward the end of their formal coursework. The comprehensive examination may be repeated, but students who fail the examination two times must petition the Department for re-examination.

  1. 39-48 semester credit hours of required courses:

    COU   5103   Introduction to School Counseling (for students specializing in School Counseling)
    or
    COU   5203   Introduction to Community Counseling (for students specializing in Community Counseling)
    COU   5213   Counseling Theories
    COU   5223   Clinical Assessment and Appraisal Strategies for Counselors
    COU   5233   Group Theory and Process
    COU   5243   Diagnosis in Counseling
    COU   5253   Child and Adolescent Counseling in a Systemic Context (for students specializing in School Counseling)
    COU   5283   Counseling in a Multicultural Setting
    COU   5393   Development of Counseling Skills
    COU   5683   Practicum in Counseling
    COU   5713   Community Counseling Internship I
    COU   5723   Community Counseling Internship II
    COU   5793   School Counseling Internship I
    COU   5803   School Counseling Internship II
    COU   5813   School Counseling Internship III
    COU   6003   Consultation and Program Evaluation (for students specializing in School Counseling)
    COU   6153   Career Development and Choice
    EDP   5033   Human Development Across the Life Span
    EDU   5003   Research Methods


  2. Community Counseling Program (9 semester credit hours):

    Option 1. Thesis Option: 6 hours of thesis, plus a 3-hour research methods or statistics course to be approved by the Thesis Committee Chair (total of 48 semester credit hours).

    Option 2. Nonthesis Option: 9 hours of electives (total of 48 semester credit hours).
  3. School Counseling Program (9 semester credit hours):

    Thesis Option: Requires 9 hours beyond the 48 hours applied to the degree (6 hours of thesis, plus a 3-hour research methods or statistics course to be approved by the Thesis Committee Chair).

Standards and Procedures

As part of meeting the program objectives set forth in the Department of Counseling Program Student Handbooks and UTSA Graduate Catalog, students are expected to conduct themselves in an ethical, responsible, and professional manner. This conduct is evaluated through the Fitness to Practice (FTP) policy as an element of students’ academic performance. The purpose of the FTP review process is to regularly monitor students’ professional and personal development (CACREP, 2001) to ensure that students demonstrate appropriate progress toward developing the necessary behaviors, attitudes, and professional competencies to practice as a counselor-in-training. Refer to the Department of Counseling’s Web site for the Fitness to Practice policy.

Only two courses with the grade of “C” will be accepted toward this degree. Students must earn a grade of “B” or better in all clinical courses (COU 5393, COU 5683, COU 5713, COU 5723, COU 5793, COU 5803, COU 5813). Students who earn a “C” or lower in a clinical course must retake that course and earn a grade of “B” or better before progressing in the clinical course sequence.

A minimum of a 3.0 grade point average will be required for graduation. Students who obtain more than two grades of “C” will be placed on academic probation and may be required to complete appropriate remedial work.

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Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Counselor Education and Supervision

The Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision is intended to prepare professionals for future careers in academic, clinical, research, supervisory, and consultation settings. This degree program is nationally accredited through the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Program graduates will have opportunities to acquire: (a) advanced theoretical knowledge, (b) advanced clinical skills, (c) research skills, and (d) advanced clinical supervision skills. Students will be expected to formulate their own philosophy and approach to counselor education and supervision. Multicultural competencies will be emphasized throughout the program.

The Doctoral program objectives include opportunities for:

  • Research
  • Scholarly writing
  • Clinical supervision with practicum students
  • Supervised co-teaching experiences
  • Advanced clinical competencies
  • Advanced multicultural competencies

Program Admission Requirements. Admission to the program is limited and competitive. Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the program. Competitive applicants often exceed minimum requirements.

  1. A master’s degree in counseling or in a related mental health field requiring a minimum of 48 semester credit hours equivalent to the master’s degree requirements of the UTSA Counseling program and/or Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Preference will be given to graduates of CACREP accredited master’s programs. Students with fewer than 48 semester credit hours may be considered for admission to the program with conditional status, pending completion of the deficient hours and satisfactory completion of courses fulfilling CACREP core course requirements.

  2. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 in master’s level courses in counseling or in a related mental health field.

  3. A portfolio consisting of the following items, which will be evaluated by the Doctoral Program Committee:

    1. A 48-hour (or greater) master’s degree transcript documenting a grade point average of 3.0 or better in counseling or an approved related mental health field;
    2. International students must have a minimum score of 100 on the TOEFL Internet-based test, 600 on the TOEFL paper-based test, or 7 on the IELTS;
    3. Three letters of recommendation attesting to the student’s academic and personal attributes for success in the program and potential for contributing substantially to a field of study related to the degree;
    4. A written personal statement/essay describing research interests and purpose for pursuing the Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision;
    5. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores not older than five years;
    6. Documented experience in a work environment (formal positions or internships) where counseling was the primary professional emphasis (may include but not limited to one-on-one counseling, counseling for couples, psychological assessment and testing, group or community counseling);
    7. Professional résumé listing prior experiences in the field of counseling.

  4. Successful completion of a finalist interview and rank order selection by the departmental faculty.

The program offers two application deadlines. To meet the Fall application priority deadline, applicants must submit all required materials by October 15. To meet the Spring application deadline, applicants must submit all required materials by February 1.

Degree Requirements. Students pursuing the Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision will be required to pass a qualifying examination prior to admission to candidacy. All candidates will be required to submit a scholarly contribution in the form of a dissertation as partial fulfillment of requirements for this Doctorate (see Dissertation handbook). All students will be evaluated by the fitness to practice policy of the department (see Doctoral handbook).

  1. Foundation courses:

    48-semester-credit-hour Master’s degree or equivalent

  2. General core courses (37 semester credit hours):

    COU   6003   Consultation and Program Evaluation
    COU   6323   Advanced Psychological Assessment
    COU   7121   College and University Teaching Seminar
    COU   7133   Seminar in Professional Development
    COU   7213   Advanced Theories of Counseling
    COU   7283   Advanced Multicultural Counseling
    COU   7313   Practicum in Counseling
    COU   7383   Advanced Practicum in Multicultural Counseling
    COU   7413   Internship I
    COU   7513   Internship II
    COU   7583   Supervision of Counseling
    COU   7593   Practicum in Counseling Supervision
    COU   7893   Advanced Research in Counseling and Development


  3. Research courses (12 semester credit hours):

    COU   6893   Foundations of Research in Counseling and Development
    COU   7103   Qualitative Research Methods in Counseling and Development
    EDU   7043   Educational Research Statistics: Descriptive and Comparative
    EDU   7063   Inferential Statistics


  4. Approved emphasis curriculum area courses (9 semester credit hours)

  5. Dissertation (9 semester credit hours):

    COU   7993   Dissertation
    COU   7996   Dissertation

Standards and Procedures

As part of meeting the program objectives set forth in the Department of Counseling Program Student Handbooks and UTSA Graduate Catalog, students are expected to conduct themselves in an ethical, responsible, and professional manner. This conduct is evaluated through the Fitness to Practice (FTP) policy as an element of students’ academic performance. The purpose of the FTP review process is to regularly monitor students’ professional and personal development (CACREP, 2001) to ensure that students demonstrate appropriate progress toward developing the necessary behaviors, attitudes, and professional competencies to practice as a counselor-in-training. Please refer to the Department of Counseling’s Web site for the Fitness to Practice policy.

Students must earn a grade of “B” or better in all courses. Students who earn a “C” or lower in a clinical course (COU 7313, COU 7383, COU 7413, and COU 7513) or clinical supervision course (COU 7583 and COU 7593) must retake that course and earn a grade of “B” or better before progressing in any clinical and clinical supervision course sequence. Students must complete the general doctoral core courses, except internship, before taking their doctoral qualifying examinations (see Counseling Doctoral Program Handbook for additional details and procedures). Before beginning the doctoral dissertation or data collection, students must successfully complete their doctoral qualifying exam, secure UTSA Institutional Review Board approval, complete all University, College, and Department requirements, and receive dissertation chair approval.

A minimum of a 3.0 grade point average and a successful dissertation defense are required for graduation.

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