Counselor Education

Supplemental content for MS in Counseling with a Concentration in Clinical Mental Health

Admission Information

Applicant Qualifications

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

Application Deadline

  • November 15 & March 15 (twice yearly deadline) for fall semester entry

The admissions process requires a formal interview. 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.

As part of the interview, applicants will be required to provide a brief, spontaneous writing sample.

Applicants are required to provide the following materials: 

  • Application: Online Application
  • Application fee: Waived for all applicants.
  • 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.
    • International College transcripts: In addition to an official copy of the transcript, an official evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency is required
  • Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
  • Essay: In addition to the general requirements of the program, candidates for the counseling master's program should provide a narrative, preferably typed, in the form of a brief autobiography that relates the applicant's experiences that have led to an interest in counseling and application to the counselor education program.
    Candidates are also asked to address the following statement: "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 block your ability to empathically listen to client experiences that are different from your own. The entire narrative, including the autobiography and the statement, should be limited to three typewritten, double-spaced pages which will be evaluated in terms of clarity of expression, grammatical construction, and other facets of English composition, as well as the quality of responses.
  • 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.
  • GRE or MAT test scores are optional for the applicant to submit.
  • 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 below regarding test scores and requirements.

Where to send transcripts and application materials

Official transcripts and other supporting documents can be sent to:

Application Processing Center

University of Maine System

P.O. Box 412

Bangor, ME 04402-0412

Colleges and universities that participate in the electronic submission of transcripts can send official transcripts to Resumes, essays, and other documents can also be sent to

For a transcript or recommendation to be considered official, it must be sent by the institution or the person writing the recommendation.


International Applicants

In addition to the standard application materials, international students must also provide the following materials:

  • College transcript evaluation: official course-by-course evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency
  • Declaration of Finances form accompanied by the appropriate financial documentation
  • English proficiency test scores may be required for students whose first language is not English. See below for details.

Applicants whose first language is not English

Students whose first language is not English may be required to provide test scores or credentials for English language proficiency.

USM accepts the following test scores and qualifications for admission into graduate programs:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOFEL): scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test, 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): scores of 6.5 or higher
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): scores of 60 or higher
  • Duolingo Test of English:  scores of 105 or higher. Duolingo scores are being accepted on a trial for the 2022-23 academic year.
  • Bachelor's degree taught with English instruction

Questions regarding your experience and the requirements can be addressed with the Office of Admissions (

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.

Learn More

For more information about courses and credit hours, view our Program Requirements.


Questions about our Clinical Mental Health Counseling Concentration? We'd love to meet you and tell you more! Our Information Sessions are an excellent way to learn more about the Counselor Education program and about graduate study at USM. Register today.