Frequently asked questions about counseling (M.A.)
For whom is the master’s degree in counseling program designed?
- Those who have graduated from an accredited undergraduate institution;
- Those who wish to become competent counselors who are capable of working within a variety of professional settings;
- Those who wish to serve others in the counseling process, develop their leadership abilities in the counseling field, and seek to reconcile relationships within the counseling setting;
- Those who are interested in exploring how faith is related to the counseling profession;
- Those who wish to be trained by faculty members from a faith-based institution;
- Those who wish to be academically prepared to sit for the exam to become a licensed professional counselor, a licensed marriage and family therapist, or a certified school counselor in Pennsylvania.
For whom is each degree track designed?
The clinical mental health counseling track meets the standards for accreditation under the Council of Accreditation for Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and prepares you to take the exam to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Pennsylvania.
The school counseling track meets the regulations set forth in the Pennsylvania Code and the Council of Accreditation for Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The program prepares you to take the Praxis II exam and become a certified school counselor by the Pennsylvania Department of Education in elementary and secondary school counseling.
The marriage, couple and family counseling track meets the standards for accreditation under the Council of Accreditation for Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and academically prepares you to take the exam to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in Pennsylvania.
The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) in counseling is designed for students who already have a master’s degree in an appropriate counseling-related field, who desire to want to take continuing education often to meet the state requirements for sate licensure or certification. The particular courses (a minimum of 12 credits) for students in the CAGS program will be tailored to the specific needs of each student.
Is the counseling program accredited?
All three tracks of Messiah College’s master's in counseling program are accredited by The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). CACREP is the national accrediting agency for graduate-level degree programs in counselor education that demonstrate prescribed levels of academic and professional excellence. In addition Messiah College is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Higher Education. For more information visit our page on accreditation.
Do I need to know which of the three tracks I plan to pursue to apply for the admittance to the counseling program?
You are permitted to take up to nine credits in the program without declaring a particular track. Students who need particular courses to prepare them for licensure will also be allowed to take the courses they need with permission from the director of the program.
Do I have to declare my intended timeline for completing the program when I apply? May I change my mind?
When accepted into the program, you will be asked to declare whether you intend to complete the program in two, three, or four years. Once you have declared your intention, your advisor will work with you on scheduling your courses. You do have the ability to change the length of time it will take you to complete the program and you will be able to change your academic plan once admitted.
What is the difference in pace between the two-, three-, and four-year program models?
The two-year model would be considered an accelerated model, requiring students to take four courses over 16 weeks throughout most of the program. The three-year model would follow the same time frame as the two-year model, except the internships are taken in year three. The four-year model is a relatively evenly paced, four-year distribution of the courses.
May I take longer than the four-year track to complete the program?
Students are recommended to consider the two, three, or four year model, but you may take up to six years to complete the program if that is the option that works best for you. Students are expected to be continuously enrolled from the time they begin their program.
What are the admissions requirements?
Admissions requirements can be found on our Admission Information Page.
When/how will I be notified of my acceptance into the program?
Once your file is complete, your application will be reviewed. You will be contacted for scheduling an interview. Once an admission decision has been made, you will be notified in writing.
What is the cost of the program?
Please visit our tuition and fees page for more details.
Is financial aid available for graduate students at Messiah?
Yes; in addition to the deferred billing for employer reimbursement option, there are other financial aid options available. Visit our financial aid page for more details.
May I transfer course credits into Messiah’s graduate program?
Yes. Read our transfer credit policy to learn more.
Who teaches Messiah’s graduate program in counseling?
All of the courses, whether online or in the classroom, are taught by experienced Messiah College faculty, who are active educators and accomplished scholars. Messiah’s faculty will mentor you to and encourage growth in your faith and your profession. Visit our faculty profile page to learn more about the individual professors who teach in the graduate program in counseling.
Read additional graduate program FAQs