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.
The 72-credit hour program is completed in an average of 2 1/2 to 3 years, with students enrolling full-time each academic term (i.e., 9-12 credit hours during fall & spring terms and 6 credit hours during summer term). Students complete both coursework and applied clinical experiences. Coursework is completed in both general content areas and clinical areas unique to the program specialty. Students complete one practicum and one clinical internship, providing opportunities to learn about and assume counselor roles and responsibilities.