Apr 24, 2018  
2011-2012 Graduate Catalog 
2011-2012 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Arts in Counseling

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Department of Counseling
491B Pawley Hall  (map)
(248) 370-4179 • Fax (248) 370-4141

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Lisa D. Hawley
435F Pawley Hall
(248) 370-2841

Program description

The Department of Counseling offers a Master of Arts degree in counseling for individuals who wish to work in professional counseling roles with children, youth, adults and families in school or community settings. The program can accommodate both full-time and part-time students.


The Master of Arts in counseling degree program is fully accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) in two areas: Community Counseling and School Counseling. Graduates are prepared for state counseling licensure.

Admission terms and application deadlines

Before an applicant’s file can be reviewed for full program admission, all application documents must be received in Graduate Admissions by the semester deadlines listed below.

  • October 1, 2011 for the Winter 2012 semester
  • April 15, 2012 for the Fall 2012 semester
  • October 1, 2012 for the Winter 2013 semester
  • April 15, 2013 for the Fall 2013 semester

International applicants:  International applications are reviewed for fall and winter admission only. To ensure adequate time for review, international applications must be completed at least six months before the desired date of intended enrollment to the University. All international application materials must be submitted by May 1 for fall admission and by September 1 for winter admission.

Application requirements

To be considered for graduate admission, applicants must submit all of the following university and program application documents by the published application deadlines.

University graduate application requirements
  • Application for Admission to Graduate Study         
  • Official transcripts providing evidence of an earned baccalaureate degree from an accredited U.S. institution, OR a degree equivalent to a four-year U.S. baccalaureate degree from a college or university of government-recognized standing.
  • Official transcripts for all post-secondary educational institutions from which the applicant earned a degree (beginning with the first baccalaureate) and for all enrollment in graduate-level coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree. International university transcripts must be evaluated by a professional credential evaluation service.
    • As part of the admission requirements, graduate programs may require official transcripts from post-secondary educational institutions from which the applicant earned an associate’s degree and all enrollment in coursework both pre- and post-bachelor’s degree.
  • Two official and original Recommendation for Graduate Admission forms.
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • International supplemental application and supporting documentation  must be submitted before international applicants can be issued the Certification of Eligibility (I-20). This certificate is required to apply for a student visa from the U.S. embassy or consulate.
Program application requirements
  • Supplemental program form   
  • All applicants must submit a written statement of purpose that explains reasons for entering the counseling program and employment goals. Applicants should describe experiences and accomplishments in working with children, youth and adults.
  • Recommendations are important to the application procedure. The two required references must be from professionals, professors, or employers who can attest to the applicant’s academic ability and effective interaction with youth and adults.
  • All applicants must successfully complete a group interpersonal skills interview with the Department of Counseling. 
  • Credentials, including transcripts and recommendations, providing clear evidence of academic distinction.
  • Grade-point average of 3.0 in all undergraduate coursework is ordinarily considered the minimum standard for admission.
  • Applicants must have completed a minimum of 24 credits of undergraduate or graduate credits in the behavioral sciences such as psychology and sociology before admission to the program (this requirement is evaluated by the admissions committee).

Admission review and assessment

Admission to graduate study at Oakland University is selective. In making admission recommendations to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, each department assesses the potential of applicants for success in the program by examining their undergraduate records, goal statement, letters of recommendation, prerequisite courses and any other admission requirements established by the academic department.

Admission to the Master of Arts in counseling degree program is selective; meeting minimum criteria does not guarantee acceptance into the program. In addition to graduate admission general requirements, applicants must also satisfy the admission requirements established by the academic program.

Applicants with an undergraduate GPA less than 3.0 with the appropriate academic background and strong letters of recommendation may be considered for admission with limited standing. Applicants who qualify for this admission status must complete a minimum of 16 credits of graduate-level work, with a GPA of 3.0 or above within the first year of their program, to be advanced to full admission.

Degree requirements

The Master of Arts in counseling degree is awarded upon satisfactory completion of 48 graduate-level credits in an approved program of study.

Students who complete the degree and who have a valid teaching certificate may be recommended for counselor endorsement at the K-9, 7-12 or K-12 level, depending on completion of the specific course requirements for each endorsement level. Students must consult with the internship instructor or internship coordinator regarding endorsement.

All graduates of the program are eligible to apply for a professional counselor license issued by the state of Michigan. Graduates may also qualify for other credentials. Students should consult their advisers for further information.

Course requirements

a. Core requirements

All candidates for the Master of Arts in counseling must take five core courses:

Note: CNS 500 and CNS 510 are prerequisite or corequisite to all other counseling courses.

b. Research and clinical courses

Students must select an emphasis either in school or community counseling as the setting for their coursework, research and internship. A plan of work must be on file by the completion of the first course. The courses required for each emphasis and setting are listed below.

Both concentrations permit students to gain expertise and experience in areas of interest and required disciplines by taking four credits of electives, as well as the following six courses: 

Note: Since clinical courses must be taken in sequence, students are urged to take CNS 661 immediately after their core courses.

1. Counseling emphasis in community/agency settings

Students who are preparing for counseling positions in community, business and agency settings take:

Internship work is then done at an appropriate community/agency site.

2. Counseling emphasis in school settings

Students who are seeking endorsement as a shool counselor or who are preparing for the School Counselor License must take:

Students in this emphasis must take sections of all of the following courses, which are designated as school counseling emphasis: 

Internship work is then done at an appropriate school site. Michigan now has provisions for Preliminary Authorizations for Employment as a School Counselor, which allows students to become employed after all coursework is completed except the internship and the elective. Preliminary Authorization for Employment expires after three years, at which time the master’s must have been completed.

With the above coursework, students with valid Michigan teaching certificates can be endorsed in Guidance and Counseling on their teaching certificate. A state exam is required.

Those who choose not to be teacher certified will need to take the additional 12 credits in the post-master’s school counseling specialization which leads to an Oakland University recommendation for the new School Counselor License.

c. Electives (4 credits required)

Note: A proposal for independent research in an area of special interest may also be submitted for approval as an elective under CNS 560. The student must first obtain a commitment from an interested faculty member to sponsor this work.

Program Options

Main Campus

Students are admitted for fall or winter semesters and may plan an intensive two-year concentrated program or a part-time flexible program.

An intensive two-year concentrated program is most appropriate for students with strong undergraduate preparation in areas such as psychology, sociology, social work, or other related helping fields. Students who enroll for 12 credits are usually not employed full-time during the program.

Sample two-year program plan


Year 1


Year 2

      Fall CNS 500
CNS 510
CNS 520
CNS 661
CNS 664
CNS 660
      Winter CNS 530
CNS 540
CNS 640
CNS 666
      Summer I CNS 564/574  
CNS 564/574 and CNS 663
(Community/Agency emphasis)

      Summer II

CNS 561/571 and CNS 663 
(School setting emphasis)


Sample part-time program plan


Year 1


Year 2


Year 3

Year 4
      Fall CNS 500
CNS 510
CNS 540  CNS 660  CNS 664
      Winter CNS 520 CNS 661 Elective  CNS 666
      Summer I CNS 564/574  CNS 640   CNS 663  

      Summer II

CNS 530

  CNS 561/571    

Macomb University Center

The Macomb University Center Program is an off-campus master’s program in counseling for students residing or working in the Macomb County area. The program is cohort based and allows completion of the degree in two full years and one semester. Students are admitted to the program as a cohort in fall only and must take all courses (except laboratory classes and electives) at the Macomb Center and in the prescribed sequence. Admission to the program is selective and applicants must meet all regular admission requirements. A completed application for fall admission must be received by April 15.

Typical Macomb University Center cohort program plan


Year 2


Year 2


Year 3
      Fall CNS 500
CNS 510
CNS 520
CNS 640
CNS 660
 CNS 666
      Winter CNS 530
CNS 540
CNS 663
      Summer I

CNS 661
CNS 564/574

 CNS 664  
   or  or  

      Summer II

CNS 561/571
CNS 661

  CNS 664  



Advanced specializations

The department offers advanced specializations for current students who desire to specialize at the master’s level and for postmaster students who wish to add advanced skills. (Specializations may be taken concurrently with the master’s program.) Admission to specializations is limited and competitive. Prospective students can obtain admission information from the specialization coordinator. Students who are admitted are expected to complete the specializations in sequence and within one calendar year. Each specialization consists of advanced theoretical coursework, advanced techniques and an advanced clinical internship.

1. Specialization in Addictions Counseling (12 credits)

(Begins each Fall)

Michael P. Chaney
440B Pawley Hall
(248) 370-3084


Specialization course requirements (12 credits)

2. Specialization in Advanced Career Counseling (12 credits)

(Begins each Fall)

Brian J. Taber
440F Pawley Hall
(248) 370-4173


Specialization course requirements (12 credits)

3. Specialization in Child and Adolescent Counseling (12 credits)

(Begins each Fall)

Robert S. Fink
491C Pawley Hall
(248) 370-2012


Specialization course requirements (12 credits)

5. Specialization in Mental Health Counseling (12 credits)

(Begins each Summer)

James T. Hansen
450E Pawley Hall
(248) 370-3071


Specialization course requirements (12 credits)

6. Specialization in Wellness Counseling (12 credits)

(Begins each Fall)

Luellen Ramey
491A Pawley Hall
(248) 370-4169

Specialization course requirements (12 credits)

Satisfactory academic progress

Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for all financial aid recipients. The required types of monitoring include Time Limit, Completion Rate, Excessive Withdrawals and GPA Requirements. Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state and university aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional details.

Good academic standing

All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing  throughout the entire course of their graduate program. To be in good academic standing, a graduate student must make satisfactory progress toward fulfilling degree requirements, including the completion of critical degree milestones as set forth by the applicable program and maintain a minimum semester and overall GPA of 3.0.

Good academic standing is a requirement for:

  1. Holding a Graduate Assistantship
  2. Receiving a fellowship or scholarship
  3. Advancing to candidacy for a graduate degree
  4. Going on a leave of absence
  5. Obtaining a graduate certificate or degree from Oakland University.

Additionally, graduate students must meet all department academic standards which may be more stringent than the minimum set forth by the University.

Department requirements:  In order to remain in good standing a student must maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.0 and make satisfactory progress toward the degree. With one grade under 3.0, a student is on academic probation, and their status will be reviewed by the faculty. No grade below 2.0 can be applied toward a degree and two grades below 3.0 or one below 2.0 will automatically lead to an evaluation of progress and possible dismissal.

Graduate students who are not in good academic standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or dismissal from further graduate study.

Related program information

Student advising

Upon admission to the counseling program, students are assigned faculty advisers. All students are required to complete a degree program plan, which must be approved by their assigned adviser before the completion of CNS 500. It is expected that students will maintain contact with their adviser throughout their program. Open advising is also available. Contact the Counseling Department for open advising hours.

Plan of study

All accepted applicants, in consultation with their assigned faculty program adviser, must develop a plan of study that details specific courses the students will use to satisfy their degree requirements. The plan of study must be approved by the faculty program adviser and submitted to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.

Master’s and graduate certificate students must submit a department-approved plan of study by the end of their first semester of graduate coursework. Doctoral students must submit an approved plan of study prior to completion of the first year of coursework.

Code of ethics

Along with scholarship preparation, high levels of ethical conduct are considered essential for those who are involved in counseling adults and children. Students are expected to comply with the current Code of Ethics of the American Counseling Association. Violations will be brought before the faculty and could result in dismissal from the program.

Petition of Exception

Students may request waivers or modifications of specific program requirements by filing a Petition of Exception form with the Chair of the department. The Chair will make recommendations to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, who will review the petition and notify students of any action taken.

Student handbook

Click here for a copy of the Master of Arts in Counseling Student Handbook.



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