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Counseling, MS

Master of Science in Counseling

Professional counselors help adults and children address personal challenges, improve relationships and build coping skills. The University of Central Missouri’s Master of Science in Counseling degree will prepare you for a career that allows you to improve the lives of individuals in a variety of settings.

UCM’s master’s degree in Counseling builds on your bachelor’s degree to provide you with advanced preparation and qualifications for a career as a licensed professional counselor working one-on-one, with couples, families or groups, or as a certified school counselor. Accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), our Counseling master’s program helps you develop an area of professional specialization and broadens your career options. 

Click here to learn about available on-campus counseling options.

Get your Master of Science in Counseling at one of UCM’s two campuses

Take classes for your master’s degree in Counseling at either our Warrensburg or Lee’s Summit campuses – or both. Either way, you can take advantage of UCM’s flexible program options while learning from our experienced faculty, who have years of teaching and professional counseling experience.

Vision Statement

The Counseling Program at the University of Central Missouri aspires to prepare individuals for exemplary practice as Professional Counselors in school and clinical mental health settings.

Mission Statement

The Counseling program at UCM prepares professional counselors at the Master and Education Specialist levels who:

  • Demonstrate all the necessary knowledge, skills and dispositions
  • Are reflective practitioners
  • Advocate for clients, the counseling profession and society
  • Are prepared to serve a dynamic, diverse and complex society
  • Adhere to the current version of ethical standards of the American Counseling Association

Program Requirements and Accrediation Information

CACREP Accredited logo

CACREP-accredited degree program

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99% post-grad employment rate

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Association for Play Therapy recognition

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State-of-the art counseling clinics

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Attend in Warrensburg or Lee’s Summit

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School & clinical mental health tracks

What you will study

If you focus on clinical mental health counseling at UCM, you’ll learn to help clients address mental health challenges, relationship issues and substance abuse problems. 

The school counseling pathway can lead to certification through DESE to work as a school counselor and assist students in grades K–12 overcome learning obstacles, build social and emotional skills and achieve academic goals.

Both of UCM’s Counseling master’s degree pathways prepare you to work in individual or group counseling settings. The topics you’ll study may include:

  • Parent and Family Counseling
  • Counseling Diverse Populations
  • Introduction to Group Work


Excellence in Counseling

  • Among the Best Graduate Schools (Abound, 2022)
  • One of Missouri’s Best Public Colleges and Universities (Academic Influence, 2021)
  • One of GradReport’s Best Colleges (Salary Score in Missouri, 2021)


Unique learning opportunities in counseling

In the UCM Counseling master’s degree program, you’ll get practice and build confidence in your counseling skills throughout grad school. We’ve built experiential learning into your coursework, giving you ample opportunities to hone your counseling skills. Some of these include:

  • Counseling skill development: A pre-practicum (beginning skills course) to practice your counseling skills with a fellow student.
  • Group counseling: UCM’s Counseling degree program allows you to co-facilitate small groups with peers.
  • Play therapy: Learn how to guide children through supervised child-centered play therapy. You’ll receive all educational requirements needed to become a Registered Play Therapist. If you earn advanced standing and consent from the Play Therapy Institute Director, you could take additional courses at the Play Therapy Institute to work toward this certification from the national Association for Play Therapy (APT).
  • Practicum/internship placements: Site-based practicums and internships at participating schools and mental health facilities give you the hands-on counseling experience you need to prepare for the licensure process and work as a school counselor.


What can you do with a master’s degree in Counseling from UCM?

Our Master of Science in Counseling will prepare you for a career in one of two distinct career tracks. Prepare for a career as a professional counselor in clinical mental health or a school counselor who works with students.

Clinical mental health counselors work in public and private community/clinical counseling centers, businesses, educational institutions, private practices, hospitals and employee assistance programs and non-profit agencies. 

School Counselors work in elementary, middle and high school settings and address students’ emotional, social and academic, or career concerns. They oversee school counseling programs, provide individual and group counseling, provide counseling class lessons and career counseling, and consult with teachers, parents and guardians.

Explore jobs with a Counseling degree

Use the interactive tool below to learn more about salary potential, job growth and career opportunities for counselors.




Financial assistance options for your Master of Science in Counseling

The University of Central Missouri offers scholarships such as these for graduate students earning a Counseling degree:

  • Dr. K. Dale Memorial Scholarship
  • William Burl Hammers Memorial Scholarship

As one of LendEDU’s top-ranked universities for low student debt, we also offer a variety of other resources to help you finance your Counseling master’s degree. You may also qualify for one of the scholarships offered by the College of Education.

Use the UCM Scholarship Finder to learn more about program-specific scholarships.


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Take your degree further.

Build on your master’s degree in Counseling to advance your career with a doctoral degree from UCM.

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Explore programs related to counseling.

If you’re interested in a master’s degree in Counseling but not sure which direction is best for you, consider these other UCM graduate programs:



UCM is the longest continuously CAEP accredited public institution in Missouri


The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs has accredited the Counseling Program (Masters degrees for School and Clinical Mental Health Counseling concentrations) for an eight-year period with conditions through October 31, 2026.

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