Jul 18, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Counseling, Master of Arts

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

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

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Graduate Catalog Addendum  

Program description

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


The Master of Arts in counseling with a school counseling emphasis is an accredited program determined by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and prepares students for Michigan 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 Oakland University Graduate School by the semester deadlines listed below. Incomplete applications will not be sent to departments for admission review.

Application requirements

To be considered for graduate admission, applicants must submit all Graduate Application Requirements and additional department requirements by the published application deadlines:

  2. Additional department application requirements
  • Grade-point average of 3.0 in all undergraduate coursework is ordinarily considered the minimum standard for admission.
  • All applicants must submit two essays as part of the application requirements::

Essay one:  Applicants explain reasons for entering the counseling program and employment goals. Applicants should describe experiences and accomplishments in working with children, youth and/or adults.  Additionally, applicants must describe their strengths and areas for growth from their perspective as well as the perspective of others.

Essay two:  Applicants are asked to recall constructive feedback from past instructors and supervisors and describe a time when they were given constructive feedback and how they responded to it.  The Counselor Competency Statement must be used as a guide and is available on the link (https://www.oakland.edu/counseling/).

The statements of purpose will be evaluated based on a) clarity of goals, b) whether or not the applicant’s goals are congruent with our program, c) experience and accomplishments, d) awareness of strengths and areas for growth, e) ability to receive and accept feedback, and f) writing skills.

  • Requirements for recommendations
    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 potential, readiness for graduate study, and interpersonal skills.  All letters of recommendation will be rated on a case-by-case basis.
  • Following a review of the above requirements, select students will be invited to an interview.

Admission review and assessment

Admission to graduate school at Oakland University is selective. In making admission recommendations to Oakland University Graduate School, 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.

Related links

Degree requirements

The Master of Arts in Counseling degree program is awarded upon satisfactory completion of 60 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.

Course requirements (60 credits)

a. Core requirements

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

c. Capstone courses

  • (4 credits)
  • (4 credits)
  • (4 credits)
  • Internship work is done at an appropriate school site. Michigan now has provisions for Preliminary Authorizations for Employment as a School Counselor (with a teaching certificate), 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 must complete all 60 required credits of the Master of Arts in Counseling prior to receiving Oakland University’s recommendation for the School Counseling Licensure.



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 for all financial aid recipients each semester.

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 academic program. In order to remain in good standing, a student must achieve a minimum GPA of at least B in every class and make satisfactory progress toward the degree.

Good academic standing is a requirement for:

  • Holding a Graduate Assistantship
  • Receiving a fellowship or scholarship
  • Advancing to candidacy for a graduate degree
  • Going on a leave of absence
  • 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, earn a B or above in each course and make satisfactory progress toward the degree. With one grade under B, a student is on academic probation, and their status will be reviewed by the faculty. No grade below C can be applied toward a degree and two grades below B or one below C 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. It is expected that students will maintain contact with their adviser throughout their program. Open advising is also available. Contact the Department of Counseling 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; on file by the completion of the first course, CNS 5050 ; and submitted by the student to Oakland University Graduate School by the end of the student’s first semester of graduate coursework. Sample plans of study are available at http://www.oakland.edu/counseling/.

Note:  Credit granted for successful completion of a course toward an undergraduate degree program may not be repeated for a graduate degree. If a substitution is approved, the minimum number of program-approved graduate credits will be required. A Petition of Exception - OU Course Waiver/ Substitution requesting the substitution must be approved.

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.



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