Counseling Handbook and Frequently Asked Questions
A: We take all majors/minors.
A: Students should apply to the site they plan to attend. Space is limited so transferring from online to on-campus or on-campus to online is discouraged.
Initial Review: Faculty review all applications and rate applications on a rubric that rates the following: GPA, prior experience, quality of recommendation, quality of writing in SOP, and if SOP meets guidelines.
Initial Decision: Faculty determine if an applicant should move to interview, waitlist for an interview, or deny.
Admission Interview: Applicants moved to interview are emailed with interview times. Applicants attend a one-hour virtual group interview that requires responding to questions, reading an article, and engaging in a non-facilitated group discussion with each applicant in the group.
Admission Decision: Faculty either accept the application for admission, waitlist for admission, or reject.
The CMU Counseling Program currently has limited ability to take applicants each semester. Acceptance is competitive. The faculty review all applicants and strive to make decisions quickly but response time may vary.
Practicum & Internship
A: Practicum and Internship sites that offer evening (after 5:00 pm) and weekend hours are extremely rare. Students should plan their work schedules around completing practicum and/or internship hours during a regular workday.
A: No, practicum and internship are capstone experiences that occur at the end of your program.
A: Maybe, but only if your current employer has a position that only a Master’s level clinician or School Counselor should perform.
A: Yes, but we don’t recommend it for the total experience.
A: No, becoming a mental health professional requires time to learn and apply complex concepts. The full-time program takes 2.5 years, the part-time program takes 3.5 years.
A: Yes, but the only reason to complete two concentrations is if you want to be a school counselor AND provide counseling outside a school, in a state outside of Michigan.
A: No, licensing and accreditation requirements require students to complete all required coursework.
What is the difference between a Masters in Social Work, a Masters in Psychology or a Masters in Counseling?
A Master of Social Work
Students are trained to be either a therapist, a school social worker who provides services to children diagnosed with learning disabilities in a K-12 setting, a case manager in a hospital setting (like a care coordinator), or an administrator. The focus of the program is on social/systemic explanations for individual problems. Students who want to be therapists learn skills during their internship while taking courses in all areas of social work. They begin the internship immediately and learn as they go. This degree is best for individuals who want a broad education with options to work in many areas.
A Master's in Counseling
Students are trained to be clinical mental health, school, or addiction counselors. A counseling program’s focus is to train students to provide individual and group counseling, career counseling, consultation, assessment, diagnosis and crisis, and trauma counseling. Counseling programs focus on wellness. Students learn counseling techniques from faculty, practice in a 100-hour practicum, and complete an internship at the end of the program. This degree is best for individuals who want to work directly with clients in a variety of settings, but not for students who might want to work in a hospital at some point as a care coordinator or a social work administrator.
A Master's in Psychology
Students are trained to work with clients as a therapist. The difference between psychology and counseling is the heavy focus on assessment and pathology in psychology. Psychology students learn to administer and score IQ tests and personality tests. They are not trained in career counseling and take three courses in assessment. They complete the internship at the end of the program. This degree is best for students who want to do assessment/testing or go on to a Ph. D in Psychology.
Counseling student handbook
The counseling student handbook contains information regarding:
- Program details
- Counseling program and graduate studies policies and procedures
- Course listings by concentration
- Professional licensure requirements in all 50 states
- Course syllabi and delivery
- Educational and professional engagement resources
PLEASE NOTE: In order to access the embedded links in the student handbook, you must download the pdf file to your device and open in Adobe Acrobat. Links are not accessible in a browser.