The Department of Psychology, Counseling and Special Education offers an undergraduate minor in Counseling as well as the Master of Science, Master of Education, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. These graduate programs prepare students for a variety of professional work settings, including community agencies, schools, student affairs, practice in higher education, and private practice. The master’s degree programs with School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling emphasis and the doctoral degree program with Counselor Education and Supervision emphasis are accredited by CACREP.
As a part-time program, most students complete master’s degrees in 3 ½ to 4 years. We are excited to report that we have an ultimate 100% pass rate among those students who choose the School Counseling emphasis. Due to privacy and confidentiality concerns, the Board of Examiners of Licensed Professional Counselors elects not to report National Counselor Examination and Jurisprudence Examination pass rates. Historically, those graduates who actively seek counseling-related employment are employed in the field within 6 months after graduation. Recently, School Counseling graduates have not enjoyed as much success. Since the state’s 2011 budget shortfall, school counseling jobs have been cut or as school counselors retired or resigned, positions were left vacant. On the other hand, Community Counseling (now Clinical Mental Health Counseling) graduates have seen a rise in demand both locally and across the state. Overall, our graduates enjoy approximately a 78% 6-month job placement rate.
Students in our PhD program enjoy comparable success. This program is also a part-time program, with many students completing the program within 5 -6 years. Our 6-year completion rate is approximately 48%, while our 10-year (the maximum time permitted) completion rate is 80%. Approximately 90% of our PhD graduates achieve desired employment within 6 months of graduation.
Courses towards the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees are offered on the main University campus in Commerce, at the Metroplex Center in Mesquite, and at the Collin Higher Education Center in McKinney. Students may complete the MS requirements at any one location, if they choose. The PhD program is centered in McKinney. While some courses are offered at other locations, PhD students should plan to complete the majority of their coursework requirements at the McKinney location. The MEd degree is a 100% online degree. Degree plans are located on the website for your convenience. You will find them located on the Forms page.
Financial aid for graduate students is available, consisting primarily of student loans. The University and Department do offer several scholarships. Department scholarships primarily are for PhD students and include the following: Fisher Scholarship, Lampe Scholarship, McQuarry Scholarship, Murphy Scholarship, Talbott Scholarship, Truax Scholarship, White Scholarship. These scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit, but do include varying qualifying criteria.
A variety of graduate assistantships are available on campus, including a limited number of teaching assistants in the department for qualified PhD students. The University offers a limited number of fellowships for qualified PhD students. Financial aid information can be found here.