Master of Arts in Counseling
The Master of Arts in Counseling program prepares you to succeed as a counselor in diverse educational, community, private, and non-profit settings. This is a 60-semester-hour program designed for those who intend to pursue Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) certification. Graduates of the MA in Counseling Program are eligible to apply to the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) for Professional Clinical Counselor Intern (PCCI) status. As a PCCI, you would then complete 3,000 hours of work and pass 2 national exams to receive LPCC status. There are 2 specialization options for LPCC eligibility:
School Counseling: For candidates who desire to work in a K-12 school setting. You will gain experiences that include individual counseling, group and educational counseling, career and college counseling, teacher consultation, and prevention programming. The completion of this specialization will also result in eligibility to receive a Pupil Personnel Services Credential for the State of California. This program is approved by the State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.
Community Mental Health Counseling: For candidates who desire to work in a community mental health settings or outpatient hospital settings. You will gain experiences offering mental health counseling to clients from a variety of age groups and presenting with a variety of clinical issues. Additional experiences may include group counseling, assessment, and family counseling.
1. Completion of the Graduate Division application form, submitted directly to the Graduate Admissions Office.
2. Two official copies of transcripts from all colleges/universities attended, sent directly to the Graduate Admissions Office.
3. Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0; or a 3.05 GPA in the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate course work taken or a 3.0 GPA in at least 9 semester hours of graduate level coursework is required. An appeal may be filed through the Exceptions process.
4. International applicants must submit a minimum score of 100 for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOFEL) or a minimum score of 7 for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) in order to be considered for admission.
5. A letter of application (intent) to the Academic Program Director in which the following questions are addressed:
a. Why the applicant wants to be a counselor;
b. The characteristics the applicant possesses that he or she thinks will make him/her an effective counselor;
c. In what specific ways does the LMU Counseling Program help the applicant achieve his/her professional goals;
d. the applicant's commitment towards preparing himself/herself to be an effective counselor (e.g., devote the required time to an internship; become active in related professional organizations); and
e. a summary of experience with individuals from diverse backgrounds (e.g. culture, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and social class).
6. Two letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation should come from professors or instructors who can comment substantively on the applicant's academic ability and potential to do graduate level work. Letters of recommendation from friends, relatives, or co-workers are not acceptable. Forms may be accessed in the online application.
7. Certificate of Clearance (COC): Completion of fingerprint clearance (Livescan) process through the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI must occur prior to enrollment in first semester classes. Fingerprint applications are available on the School of Education website.
8. Interview and approval by Academic Program Director or Assistant Director.
9. After steps 1-8 above have been completed, the candidate's file will be reviewed for provisional or controlled admission. Under these designations, candidates are able to enroll in their first semester of coursework.
10. Completion of the CBEST no later than the end of the first semester of enrollment. The CBEST is not required for those students pursuing the Master degree without the PPS credential. Intern candidates must pass CBEST prior to beginning the internship program.
11. Signed Candidate Disposition Forms from two faculty members in the School of Education with whom the candidate has had courses are required before a candidate is granted Formal Admission.
12. All entering candidates should first enroll in EDSS 6391 Foundations of Counseling . Candidates will be reviewed for formal acceptance upon completion of this course and steps 1-11 above. The course list provided in the Counseling Handbook (see Counseling Program webpage) is the preferred order of courses. The first two courses completed in the program are EDSS 6362 Counseling Theories and Techniques and EDSS 6391 Foundations of Counseling . It is best to take EDSS 6394 Helping Skills the next semester after completing EDSS 6362 . Helping Skills is the first practice course that relates to the content learned in Theories. EDSS 6386 Practicum in Culturally Responsive Counseling is the second practice course and must be completed after the prerequisite course, Helping Skills. These courses cannot be taken concurrently.
13. Basic Computer Skills: All applicants must verify that they have basic computer skills that are necessary for success in the School of Education. Applicants may either verify their skills by signing a self-verification form provided by the School of Education or take EDUX 846, Basic Computer Skills of Educators, during their first year.
14. Prior to beginning fieldwork, candidates must verify 100 clock hours in a "practica" experience (e.g., shadowing a counselor, observing classroom instruction, attending school-based meetings, peer counseling, personal or group counseling experiences). Eighty of these hours are accumulated in the required course work.
15. Comprehensive Examination (CE): Candidates are required to enroll in and receive credit for EDSS 6995 Comprehensive Examination as a requirement for program completion. There is a fee charged for this zero-semester-hour course. The Comprehensive Examination examines a candidate's content learning and ability to apply acquired knowledge and experiences to a set of practical problems. PLEASE NOTE: All courses must be completed prior to taking the comprehensive exam, with the exception of Psychopharmacology, Addictions, Human Sexuality, Trauma, Community Psychology, Fieldwork I and Fieldwork II. You must inform the University of your intent to graduate in a specific term by submitting an online Application for Degree to the Office of the Registrar - whether or not you intend to participate in Commencement. Candidates may participate in commencement with 9 semester hours (including fieldwork) remaining to complete after the Spring semester. You must apply prior to the degree date in that term to qualify for graduation. Note that there is a difference between participating in Commencement and graduating from LMU. Although you may be eligible to participate in the ceremony, you are not considered to have graduated until you have fulfilled all degree requirements and your degree is posted on your transcript. The filing of the Application for Degree is only one of several degree requirements and does not guarantee a degree will be awarded. If degree requirements cannot be completed (including passing all sections of the Comprehensive Examination) the degree application is canceled, and you must submit a new application for a subsequent semester. If a candidate does not pass all sections of the Comprehensive Examination (CE), s/he will be required to retake the section(s) not passed during the next administration in the following semester of the CE. The candidate will receive an incomplete (I) and will need to reapply for degree. The candidate will be advised within 10 days of taking the CE, which section(s) will need to be retaken. There will not be a fee associated with retaking the CE provided all sections are passed within one year of sitting for the initial administration. If the sections which need to be retaken are not passed within the one year period, the candidate will be required to re-enroll in EDSS 6995 Comprehensive Examination and will be responsible for the fee.