Counselor Education

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The School of Education offers graduate studies leading to a (i) M.S. Ed in Counselor Education and (ii) Ph.D. in Education with a concentration in counselor education. The purposes of these graduate programs are to prepare professional counselors to engage in the practice and research in their program areas of interest.  

For the Ph.D. degree, individualized courses of study are linked to the teaching and research capabilities of the faculty. Sufficient latitude is provided so that students in concert with their adviser and committee plan programs that capitalize on student interests and faculty capabilities. (Enrollment is currently suspended in the Ph.D. program)

Master of Science in Education

Academic experiences leading to the Master of Science in Education degree are provided through a concentration in counselor education in clinical mental health counseling. Graduates are prepared to pursue advanced graduate studies or assume roles as professional counselors in schools, colleges, and other agencies or both.

Admission and Retention

Students seeking admission to master’s degree studies must apply to and meet requirements for admission to the Graduate School and be approved by the program. Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), an undergraduate grade point average of 2.7 (A = 4.0), letters of recommendation, and evidence of successful experience or commitment to the profession are required for admission. Each application is considered on an individual basis. Professional qualifications, graduate courses taken, and student goals are also considered.

The adviser, along with the faculty of the program area, is responsible for reviewing student progress each semester. Students are required to maintain a 3.0 grade point average and to be progressing toward their professional goals within the guidelines formulated in the advisement process. Failure to make progress or violations of program, college, or Graduate School regulations may result in dismissal from the program.

In the event a student is believed to be in violation of ethical or professional behavior that is a serious threat to client welfare, faculty or the clinical supervisor may prohibit the student from seeing clients prior to the review procedure. This 10 step process is articulated in the Master’s Handbook. All persons involved with the student’s practicum or internship will be immediately informed of the decision. In the event a serious form of unprofessional behavior has occurred, remediation may not be an option. If the faculty believe formal actions are immediately needed, the review procedure moves directly to a formal hearing with the student. Lack of participation in this hearing by the student shall result in removal of the student from the program.

Specific information about programs and how to apply may be obtained by calling 618/536-7763 or writing to: Coordinator, Counselor Education, Mail Code 4618, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL  62901.

This program requires a nonrefundable $65 application fee that must be submitted with the application for Admissions to Graduate Study in Counselor Education. Applicants must pay this fee by credit card.

Program Requirements

The master’s degree focus is in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Clinical Mental Health is a 61 semester credit hour program.

Central to any program is a unified curriculum rather than a collection of courses. The curriculum areas include: Professional Identity, Social and Cultural Diversity, Human Growth and Development, the Helping Relationship, Group Work, Assessment, Research and Evaluation, and Clinical Instruction. In addition, students are required to complete a thesis or six credit hours of approved research course work. Specific courses are dependent on area of emphasis and career goals.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Education

*Enrollment in Education Concentration (Ph.D.) has been suspended.

Advanced studies leading to a Ph.D. degree are offered by the School of Education. The Ph.D. program in Counselor Education and Supervision is a concentration area for the degree Ph.D. in Education. Individualized programs of study, based on a core foundation, are required for each candidate. Students, along with their doctoral committee plan programs related to student background and interests, the professional requirements of the program, and the professional competencies of the faculty.


Students must apply to the Coordinator of Counselor Education, School of Education, Southern Illinois University, Mail Code 4618, Carbondale, IL  62901. Phone: 618-536-7763. Specific questions about programs and how to apply should be directed to the address identified above or by phone.

A non-refundable application fee of $65 must be submitted with the application. Attach your check or money order, payable to Southern Illinois University, to the top of the application form. Do not send cash. Only checks or money orders payable to United States banks will be accepted.

Admission and Retention

Applications are reviewed by the program faculty and recommendations forwarded to the School of Education and the Graduate School. Test scores from the Graduate Record Examination are required. A personal interview with a candidate is required. Admission to the program is dependent on: (1) the applicant’s grades in their master’s program, (2) GRE scores, (3) prior course work, (4) letters of recommendation, and (5) availability of qualified faculty to supervise the applicant’s doctoral work. Applicants are expected to have prior course work from or equivalent to a CACREP accredited master’s degree program in counseling. Applicant’s who do not have a qualifying master’s degree will have their graduate transcripts reviewed to determine what courses will be required before they can begin the doctoral curriculum. In some cases completing a master’s degree in counselor education may be required.

Student’s academic and professional performances are assessed throughout their time in the program. The faculty regularly communicate with one another regarding individual student performance, as part of best practices in instruction, professional development and gate-keeping. As counselor educators in training, students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that is congruent with the role of a professional counselor educator. This includes presentation of self on and off campus, all forms of communication, including in person and electronic, on-line presence, and overall comportment.

The faculty also conduct a formal annual review of all students, at minimum at the one-year point in students’ course of study. In addition to a review of a student’s compliance with the policies set forth by the College of Graduate School, students are assessed on five criteria: cumulative graduate GPA; personal and social maturity; interpersonal relations; written and oral communication skills; and professional and ethical conduct. Students must obtain a minimum average rating of satisfactory three in each of the assessment areas. Satisfactory student performance at the one-year review must be supported by two-thirds of the graduate faculty for program continuation. Following the annual review, students receive a letter informing them of the results of their assessment. Students receiving less than satisfactory scores in any area will be given the opportunity to develop a remediation plan with their advisor except in situations requiring more immediate action, such as removal from client and/or student contact and/or the program.

If at any point in a student’s program, a serious form of unprofessional behavior has occurred, remediation may not be an option. Students can be removed from the program for unethical or unprofessional behavior, regardless of academic standing. If a student is believed to be in violation of ethical or professional behavior that threatens client and/or student welfare, the student will be prohibited from seeing clients and/or working with students. All persons involved with the student’s practicum or internship will be immediately informed of the decision.

A detailed, 11-step student remediation plan is articulated in the Doctoral Program Handbook.

The performance of each doctoral candidate is reviewed each semester. Maintenance of 3.0 grade point average and compliance with policies of the program, department, the college, and Graduate School are also required.

Core Requirements

The required program of study consists of a minimum of 86 semester hours beyond the master’s degree and includes a 12-hour professional core in the School of Education, a 44-hour Counselor Education program core (minimum counseling classes 17 + research classes 15 + clinical hours 12 = 44 credit hours), six hours of electives and a minimum of 24 hours of dissertation credit. Course work taken in other departments or institutions prior to admittance may be accepted as part of the program of study at the discretion of the student’s doctoral committee and upon approval of the Dean of the School of Education and the Graduate School.

Research, Teaching, and Practicum Experience

Students are required to complete a minimum of six credit hours of advanced practicum in three areas: COUN 594 (1-6) individual, group, and either marital, couple and family or career. Each student develops an internship plan that is consistent with his or her career goals. The internship plan does not include dissertation work. Students may request approval of an internship plan after completing all practica and the course on supervision. Program faculty must approve the plan before beginning the internship; however, a request to amend the plan may be submitted in writing to the program chair during internship.

Preliminary Examinations

All Ph.D. candidates must pass a preliminary examination over their doctoral course work before formal admission to candidacy. The doctoral committee with the concurrence of the department is responsible for the development and evaluation of the preliminary examination.

Doctoral Committees

Students are assigned a doctoral adviser upon admission to the program. Before the end of the first year of doctoral study a doctoral committee is constituted. At this time a new chair may be chosen to head the committee which assists and evaluates students in their program. The committee also is responsible for an oral examination over the completed dissertation and student’s general knowledge of the professional field.