Oct 04, 2023  
2020-21 Graduate Catalog 
2020-21 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Professional Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling Concentration, Ed.S.

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Christopher Quarto, Concentration Program Director
(615) 898-5933

Robin Lee, Program Director
(615) 898-2304

The Ed.S. in Professional Counseling offers concentrations in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. The goal of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling concentration is to prepare students to provide professional counseling services in mental health-related settings. Students are offered preparation to diagnose and treat select mental and emotional disorders and to promote optimal mental health.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Professional Counseling program is not automatic for students meeting minimum admission requirements. Admissions decisions for the Professional Counseling program will be made after reviewing all materials and determining the applicant’s capacity, suitability, and preparation for graduate study in this area.

Successful applicants typically have demonstrated the following:

  1. 3.00 or higher undergraduate GPA (If an applicant’s GPA is lower than 3.00, Professional Counseling faculty will consider applicant’s academic performance during the last 60 hours of his or her undergraduate program);
  2. Completion of an undergraduate course in abnormal psychology with a minimum grade of B;
  3. A score of 146 or higher on the verbal section of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or 385 or higher on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) for applicants whose overall undergraduate grade point averages are below 3.50. A graduate admissions test score is not required for applicants with overall undergraduate grade point averages of 3.5 or above (on a 4.00 scale).
  4. Three positive references on Professional Counseling recommendation form;
  5. A written essay/statement of purpose on the supplemental application form in which the applicant’s reason for pursing a master’s degree in Professional Counseling with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is congruent with the focus/emphasis of the program;
  6. Resume that includes name, address, and phone number of applicant; school applicant attended and applicant’s major, minor, and grade point average; honors and awards; and employment and volunteer experiences;
  7. If invited, participate in a half-day interview within the first six (6) hours of coursework (invitation based on how the applicant compares to other applicants in relation to the previous six requirements). The interview is conducted by Professional Counseling faculty, a practicing mental health professional, and school counselor. An invited applicant must review the Professional Counseling handbook and the most current version of the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics prior to the interview day and agree in writing to abide by the contents of those documents-should they be admitted into the program-on the day of the interview. Applicant must receive a positive recommendation from the faculty and counselors for program admission.

Note: Meeting minimum requirements for program admission does not guarantee admission, as applicants are selected on a competitive basis.

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Application materials for Summer/Fall admission must be submitted by February 10; September 10 is the deadline for Spring admission.

Applicant must

  1. submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php). Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
  2. submit official transcripts of all previous college work;
  3. submit official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE);
  4. submit a current resume;
  5. complete and submit a Professional Counseling Program supplemental application. This is available online at www.mtsu.edu/edu_leadership/professional_counseling/admission.php;
  6. submit recommendation forms that are specific to the counseling program. These are available at www.mtsu.edu/edu_leadership/professional_counseling/admission.php. If possible, two of the recommendations should come from faculty who can attest to the applicant’s academic abilities. The third can come from someone who has either supervised the applicant’s work, has been a colleague, or has known him/her for at least three years (other than family).

Professional Counseling faculty will review all completed application files (all of the above), and if minimal requirements are met, will arrange with the applicant for participation in an admissions interview during the spring or fall semester. The admissions committee consists of Professional Counseling faculty members and at least one practicing mental health professional and school counselor.

Following the admissions interview, Professional Counseling faculty will make admissions decisions. The following are considered in the decision-making process:

  1. input from regular, adjunct, and affiliate program faculty (if the applicant has taken or is currently taking classes);
  2. input from practitioners who served on the admissions committee;
  3. each applicant’s potential success in forming effective interpersonal relationships in individual and small-group contexts;
  4. each applicant’s aptitude for graduate-level study, including technological competence and computer literacy;
  5. each applicant’s career goals and objectives and their relevance to the program;
  6. each applicant’s openness to self-examination and personal and professional self-development;
  7. each applicant’s openness to and respect for diversity in its many forms; and
  8. each applicant’s written acknowledgment that they reviewed the Professional Counseling handbook and the most current version of the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics prior to the interview day and agree to abide by the content of those documents-should they be admitted into the program-on the day of the interview.

Applicants will be formally notified of the admission decision by the College of Graduate Studies within 30 days of the admissions interview. If accepted into the Professional Counseling program, the applicant must within two weeks notify the program coordinator of his/her intention to enter the program.

Internship Grade and Professional Dispositions Policy

Successful completion of Clinical Mental Health Counseling internship entails earning a grade of B- of higher and rubric ratings of “Acceptable” and/or “Target” in all six professional dispositions categories (i.e., Collaborative, Ethical, Professional, Reflective, Self-Directed, and Critical Thinker). Successful completion of two semesters of internship is a requirement for the Ed.S. degree.

If a student earns less than a B- in their first or second semester of internship and/or if they receive an “Unacceptable” rubric score in one or more of the six professional disposition categories then they will be required to repeat and successfully complete a semester of internship. Students will be given the opportunity to repeat a semester of internship, if necessary, only once during their program.

Remediation will be required if a student must repeat a semester of internship. Targets of remediation will vary from student to student and will be determined by the faculty. Remediation procedures will be employed in accordance with the Professional Counseling Program Continuous Evaluation policy.

Degree Requirements

The Specialist in Education in Professional Counseling with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling requires completion of a minimum of 61 semester hours.

Candidates must successfully complete the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (may be taken no more than twice).

Curriculum: Professional Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling

The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements.


  • PSY 3230 - Abnormal Psychology with a minimum grade of B (or an equivalent undergraduate abnormal psychology course taken at another accredited educational institution)

Program Notes

A 100-hour practicum and 600-hour internship in a mental health setting is required.

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