Counseling — School Counseling Concentration

Program Type
Master’s Program
Degree
Master of Science (MS)
Mode of Study
In Person

Cost per credit hour

In-state: $445.
Out-of-state: $1,350. See details and other costs

Credit hours

60 required credit hours. Most courses are equal to 3 credit hours. Browse course list

Financial aid

Over 150 graduate assistantships available with stipend & tuition assistance, plus scholarship & fellowship opportunities. Explore aid

Admissions

No GRE requirement. Formal interview required. Apply for fall term. View application process & deadlines

Program Highlights

  • Earn your degree on your terms: Study full-time and finish in as few as 2 years or study part-time and finish in 4 years.
  • Become eligible for certification in K-12 School Counseling from the Maine Department of Education.
  • Meet the requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), levels K-12, in Maine. Qualify to be a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) with additional courses and internship hours.
  • Qualify to sit for the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE).
  • Complete your practicum and internship experiences through one our 110 partner school sites, with on-site supervision and faculty support.
  • Study with faculty who are committed to your success and work closely with you to develop a program tailored to your interests and goals.
Two students stand together and listen while holding a folder.

Certifications

Graduates meet the requirements for Professional School Counselor Certification through the Maine Department of Education, as well as Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), levels K-12, in the state of Maine. With additional coursework and a clinical internship, grads can also qualify to be a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC).

Two students sit at a table and take notes.

Program requirements

Train to plan and deliver school counseling programs that promote the academic, career, and social-emotional development of children and adolescents. You’ll learn advocacy and collaboration skills to better serve students in educational environments.

A Counselor Education faculty member explains program requirements.

School practicum and internship

Throughout the practicum and internship you’ll receive support from an on-site liaison, your faculty supervisor, and your peers. As part of direct work with students in elementary, middle, and high school, you’ll practice case management, individual counseling, assessment, group work, collaboration, and advocacy.

A school counselor has a discussion with a student in their office.

Career opportunities

Program graduates are qualified to become employed in elementary, middle, and secondary schools in Maine. More than 98% of our graduates have become successfully employed in the field or have chosen to pursue further education.

Graduate students attend their orientation in a lecture hall, with a staff member speaking at a podium.

Graduate student support

Our Office of Graduate Studies connects you with opportunities for professional development, scholarships, and graduate assistantships. They also foster our graduate student community through Peer Mentorship and the Graduate Student Board.

An aerial view of the University of Southern Maine Gorham campus.

Expert faculty

Our core faculty have doctorates in counseling, and our part-time faculty have years of practical experience in the field. Faculty members engage in continuous scholarship related to areas such as counselor self care, altruism and moral courage, rehabilitation and aging, suicide awareness, and resiliency.

A person smiles with the CACREP accreditation logo.

Accreditation

Our program is fully accredited through the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP). It is only one of two CACREP-accredited programs in Maine.

Two women sit at a table and review paperwork together.

Scholarship opportunities

Scholarships offer financial aid that doesn’t need to be repaid. We encourage students in graduate degree programs to apply for scholarship opportunities.

A woman in a red sweater sits and works on a laptop.

Connect with us

Our monthly Graduate Information Sessions are an excellent way to learn more about the benefits of our program, as well as our admissions and financial process.

Register today
You may also be interested in…
Next steps

Our graduate admissions counselors are here to answer your questions about the admissions process, our academic programs, and student support services.

Get info
Meet us
Apply

Students walk down the sidewalk by Wishcamper Center on the Portland campus on a sunny day.

Admission information: MS in Counseling — School Counseling Concentration

Application deadlines & interview timelines

Deadline & timelineFall term startSpring term start
Application deadlineFebruary 15October 1
Interview timelineMarch 15-22November 1-7
Admissions decisions will be sent out approximately three weeks after the interviews. Additional details about interviews are provided below.

Applicant must have a bachelor’s degree, from a regionally accredited college or university, and have earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) in a baccalaureate degree program; Applicants who do not have a 2.5 overall GPA must enclose a letter asking for special consideration, in which they provide evidence of an ability to complete graduate studies successfully. Without such a letter, applicants who fail to meet eligibility requirements may be automatically denied.

Applicants are required to provide the following materials:

General requirements

  • Application: Online application
  • Application fee:
    • In-state, out-of-state, and Canadian applicants: Free to apply
    • International applicants: Submit US $50 fee to apply
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). A transcript is official when sent directly from the institution.
  • Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
  • Students whose first language is not English may be required to take one of the following: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE) or Duolingo. Applicants must submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information regarding test scores and requirements.

Additional requirements

  • Essay: For the essay, candidates are asked to address the following two statements. Your answers for both statements should be limited to about 750 words (approx 2-3 pages) combined. It will be evaluated in terms of clarity of expression, grammatical construction, and other facets of English composition, as well as the quality of responses.
    • 1. In the form of a brief autobiography relate your experience that has led to your interest in the counseling profession.
    • 2. As counseling professionals, we are constantly seeking areas in ourselves that bear examination and change. As future practitioners, you will be witness to a wide variety of client experiences. Please discuss areas in yourself that may challenge your ability to empathically listen to client experiences that are different from your own.
  • Recommendations: Three letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant’s knowledge of current scholarship, capacity to connect theory and practice in posing and solving educational problems, achievement of excellence in educational practice, and demonstrated capability and motivation to engage in advanced graduate study.
  • Interview with faculty. The admissions process requires a formal interview. Applications will be reviewed and qualified applicants will be invited to interview. Interviews can take place in person or via video call, depending on availability. Candidates to be interviewed will be rated on three areas of personal criteria: understanding of and commitment to the counseling field, self-awareness, and thinking skills/decision-making ability.

Transfer Credit

A maximum of six credit hours may be approved as transfer credit, provided these credits were earned no more than three years prior to matriculation and grades of B or better were received. Additional transfer credit may be approved by the program chair in exceptional circumstances, including certificates of graduate study program courses. Students who complete the MHRT-C before admission may request up to the 15 credits taken for transfer upon admission to the Rehabilitation Counseling concentration provided they meet approval criteria.

Graduate students in master’s level counseling programs at other accredited universities may transfer into the program if they take their final 21 hours, including the internship requirement, in USM’s counselor education program.

Professional Licensure and Certification Notice

Students with a criminal record who are pursuing degrees leading to application for professional licensure or certification should contact the appropriate licensure or certification body prior to matriculation to ensure eligibility.

International student instructions

View additional application requirements

English proficiency test scores

View test requirements

Where to send application materials

Get our mailing address and email address