“What do I need to do to apply for the program?”

Visit our how to apply page

“How much does it cost to apply?”

The nonrefundable application fee is $75.

“What if I don’t have any experience in counseling?”

That’s okay! Many students pursue counseling as a life transition or second career. OSU’s M.Coun in Clinical Mental Health Counseling provides a well-rounded curriculum grounded in the 8 core areas of counselor education to prepare students to begin working in the counseling field upon graduation.

“What can I do with a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling?”

Find potential careers on the Ecampus website

“What if I graduated from college 5 (or 10, 15, 20, 25, 30) years ago?”

No problem! For an increasing number of people, professional counseling may be a second or third career. Completion of a baccalaureate (i.e., Bachelors) degree is a prerequisite for admission, and year of graduation does not matter.

“What prerequisite coursework is recommended?”

Ideally, candidates will have some background or knowledge of psychology and human development, potentially from degrees in Psychology, Addiction Studies, Human Services, Child and Family Studies, Nursing, Public Health, or related fields. Even majors like Sociology or Anthropology may contribute to a knowledge base that will be useful in Counseling. Prospective students who do not possess this background may wish to complete a MOOC (massive open online course) like Introduction to Psychology or Human Services in order to gain foundational psychology and human services-related knowledge in preparation for content in a graduate level curriculum in professional counseling. Here is one example, an open-source Introduction to Psychology course from Yale University.

“How long does the program take to finish?”

The M.Coun CMHC program takes approximately 3.5-4 years to complete, with courses scheduled every quarter.

“What is a quarter system?”

OSU adheres to a quarter-term calendar rather than a semester calendar. This means that classes meet for four 11-week quarters, with breaks of 1 to 3 weeks in between.  See OSU academic calendar for information on the start and end dates of a particular quarter.

“Can I attend full-time?”

No, currently there is no full-time option for the M.Coun. CMHC program. Students take two 3-credit courses per quarter term.

“What is a hybrid program, anyway?”

The hybrid format at OSU refers to courses that include in-person, face-to-face class meetings that meet for a full day (in our program, twice per term) and asynchronous online learning activities via the Internet. Some courses may include a few synchronous online webinars/meetings in addition to the full-day in-person meeting(s). The platforms we use for these activities may include Canvas, Zoom, and/or Adobe Connect. The flexibility of this format enables students to attend class whose schedules and responsibilities might otherwise prevent them from doing so. OSU’s Center for Teaching and Learning includes research and best practice recommendations for asynchronous and hybrid learning environments. Research has shown that hybrid, or blended, learning environments can equal or exceed traditional classroom settings in terms of student satisfaction, performance and learning outcomes (Garrison & Kanuka, 2004; Swan, 2004; Kintu & Zhu, 2016).

“What skills are needed to do well in a hybrid format?”

While the hybrid format works well for some students, not all students thrive in this format. Student characteristics that are correlated with successful outcomes in a hybrid learning environment include:  self-regulation, time management, attitude toward blended learning, social support, and technology competencies (Kintu & Zhu, 2016). Completing an online self-assessment may assist prospective students in determining whether this type of program could work for you. Some free examples of assessments are linked below:

Test of Online Learning Success (Kerr, Kerr, & Rynearson, 2017)

Online Learning Readiness Questionnaire (UNC, 2010)

“Is this program accredited?”

Yes. OSU has a long tradition of excellence in counselor education and our M.Coun program is accredited by CACREP, the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. To read more about CACREP standards and why accreditation matters visit the CACREP website.

“Why should I choose an accredited program?”

Visit the CACREP website to see why choosing an accredited program is significant.

“Can I work while I attend the program?”

Yes! Our program was designed to meet the needs of working students and students whose responsibilities would not accommodate the face-to-face “seat time” requirements of a traditional full-time program.

“What supports are available to M.Coun students?”

In addition to a faculty advisor, all Ecampus students have access to NetTutor, an online academic support resource that offers assistance with topics like Psychology and Statistics and has a Writing Tutor and Paper Center to work with students on writing and editing.

“How much does it cost?”

Try out the Ecampus tuition calculator to see how much it would cost for you.

There is a distance education fee and a matriculation fee for Ecampus students in addition to tuition. Use the tuition calculator to estimate your cost of attendance. Please note, Ecampus students are not required to pay fees for on-campus services such as health services, technology, and the recreation center, as these are not services you will use.

“How am I going to pay for graduate school?”

Visit the graduate school website to see more about payment.

“Will I be eligible for teaching assistantships, research assistantships or graduate assistantships?”

These forms of financial support are currently only available to on-campus, full-time students. Occasionally, unpaid positions may be open to Masters students.

“Where can I find sites for my practicum or internship?”

We encourage students to begin identifying sites that might be able to provide appropriate clinical skill-building and supervision early in their program. As our main campus is in Oregon, we have some connections to Oregon-based agencies. Students living outside of Oregon are responsible for identifying and securing their own practicum and internship sites. All field placement sites have to be approved by the Counseling Program. The program will work with students collaboratively to address issues related to practicum and internship placements.

“Will I get paid for internship?”

While the program does not compensate students financially for this part of your clinical training and education, students are welcome to seek compensation for internship hours. Students may use their current employment sites as practicum or internship sites with permission from the program coordinator if the assigned duties while interning: (a) are consistent with the goals of graduate-level Clinical Mental Health Counseling, (b) differ significantly from current/prior employment experience, (c) have been approved by the employer, and (d) meet the site requirements stipulated by OSU’s counseling program. In other words, students’ internships are designed to offer training and to build skills in the areas of intake, assessment, diagnosis, treatment and consultation.

“Will I be eligible for licensure as a professional mental health counselor when I graduate?”

Yes and no. As a graduate of a CACREP-accredited program, you will be eligible to begin working toward licensure in many states, and if you pass the NCE, you will be eligible to apply to the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) upon completion of your degree for certification as a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC); however, specific requirements for state licensure vary by state. Most states require counselor trainees to complete 2-3 years of supervised experience as registered interns, associate counselors, or under a limited permit before earning full licensure as licensed professional counselors (LPCs) or licensed mental health counselors (LMHCs). Some states (e.g., CA) also require additional coursework beyond the graduate degree in order to obtain a full license. Students are strongly encouraged to visit the State Board that handles licensure for the state(s) in which they wish to practice to learn about specific requirements. Please review the professional counseling licensure board relevant to you for detailed information on licensure requirements, policies, and application process. NBCC provides a listing of state licensure boards in the U.S. that you may contact directly.