The entry-level program consists of a minimum of 72 credit hours, leading to the Master of Education (M.Ed.) and Education Specialist (Ed.S.) dual degrees. Students who elect to complete a master thesis are awarded a Master of Arts (M.AE.) rather than the Master of Education. A master’s thesis is completed by students who are interested in further developing their research skills and who want to prepare for a doctoral degree. The entry-level program is so named as it prepares graduates to enter the counseling profession and pursue licensure or certification. Students are exposed to a variety of theoretical frameworks and are encouraged to develop their own theory of counseling.

Specialty Area

Marriage and Family Counseling

A dual master’s and specialist program for students interested in working with diverse families through counseling agencies, providing couples counseling for people desiring a higher functioning relationship, or serving children in need of advocacy and support.

The Marriage & Family Counseling/Therapy program specialization emphasizes an eco-systemic approach to understanding human problems and generating solution opportunities: Students learn to moderate solution-oriented conversations among interested parties (i.e., stakeholders) who are invited to seek “double descriptions” of mutual concerns and problems, to listen carefully to each other, to entertain and invent multiple solution possibilities, and to construct new narratives of cooperation and commitment.

The M.Ed./Ed.S. and M.AE./Ed.S. program in Marriage and Family Counseling is designed to equip students with the pre-professional competencies required for Registered Intern status and, following 2 years of post-degree supervised clinical experience, licensure in the State of Florida as Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) and/or Mental Health Counselors (LMHC). The 72-credit hour entry-level program prepares entry-level Marriage and Family Therapists for careers in public and private social service agencies, hospitals, churches, businesses (e.g., Employee Assistance Programs), and independent practice settings.

The Marriage and Family Counseling program faculty are committed to helping students (a) develop knowledge and skill as “empirical practitioners”, that is, practitioners who can deliver effective clinical and psycho-educational services and can use a variety of research methods to evaluate the impact of clinical and psycho-educational practice; (b) enhance the breadth and depth of their professional competence; (c) utilize both individual clinical-developmental theoretical perspectives and systemic multi-cultural social-ecological theoretical perspectives in the design of mental health interventions and programs; and (d) gain in-depth exposure to a variety of modes of mental health intervention and service delivery.

School Counseling

This 72 credit hour, dual master’s and specialist program provides students with the specialized knowledge and skills required for placements as school counselors in public or private elementary, middle, or secondary schools.

The M.Ed./Ed.S. and MAE/Ed.S. program in School Counseling is designed to equip students with the pre-professional competencies required for Florida Department of Education Certification in School Counseling. The 72 credit hour program provides students with the specialized knowledge and skills required for placements as school counselors in public or private elementary, middle, or secondary schools.

Students enrolled in the School Counseling program, a state-approved and NCATE (National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education) and CACREP (Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs) accredited school counselor preparation program, must provide passing scores for all pertinent sections of the Florida Teacher Certification Examination (FTCE) including the General Knowledge test (math, English language skills, reading comprehension, and essay), the Professional Education examination, and the Subject Area Examination in Guidance and Counseling K-12 prior to graduation from the program. Questions about this requirement or any other certification related questions may be addressed to the College of Education Office of Student Services.

Mental Health Counseling

The Mental Health Counseling program is a dual Masters (M.Ed.) and Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree program offering coursework on all common core areas of counseling as outlined by CACREP standards for mental health counseling programs. This includes coursework in trauma and crisis, community counseling, counseling diverse populations, substance abuse, and other mental health areas.

The entry-level 72-credit hour Mental Health Counseling program prepares students for positions as Mental Health Counselors in community, state, federal, and private social service agencies and for EAP positions in business and industry. Graduates provide services, such as child, youth, couple, family, employment, health, gerontological, substance abuse, and wellness counseling.

The M.Ed./Ed.S. and MAE/Ed.S. program in Mental Health Counseling is designed to equip students with the pre-professional competencies required for Registered Intern status and, after a minimum number of years of post-degree supervised clinical experience, (a) licensure in the State of Florida as Mental Health Counselors and (b) clinical membership in NBCC’s Academy of Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselors. Additionally, some students may choose to continue their studies in a doctoral program.

Students who complete the program are eligible to take the National Counselor Examination (NCE) offered by the National Board For Certified Counselors (NBCC) in order to qualify for National Certified Counselor status. They are also eligible to become members of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA).

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    Program Requirement

    • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. college or university, or a degree deemed equivalent by the University of Florida Office of Admissions.
    • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 upper-division (last 60 credits) undergraduate work.
    • An acceptable grade point average for previous graduate work.
    • No GRE requirement.

    Program Highlight

    Entry: tbd
    Typical Course Load: 9 credits per semester
    Full-Time/Part-Time: Full-Time
    Application Deadline: See dates published by the college
    Average Class Size: tbd
    Program Completion: 3 years