As a counselor you are guiding your clients on a journey toward reaching their own solutions, providing hope, encouragement and ultimately, moving people forward on the path to a better life. Our online Master of Science in Counseling (MSC) will prepare you to become a critical thinking practitioner, deepen your counseling identity, overcome client challenges, and change lives.
The 60-credit MSC program is delivered primarily online and in accelerated seven-week blocks. The online format offers you the most convenience to fit your life. The program includes two weekend residences and weekly group synchronous virtual class supervision during all field experiences.
Program and Outcomes
Gwynedd Mercy University is committed to your professional development. The faculty not only serve as mentors to our students, but value them as professional colleagues. Our focus is on developing ethical, knowledgeable, skilled counselors who are ready to begin their professional careers.
The program utilizes a CACREP and PDE based curriculum to promote in its students the knowledge and skills necessary for certification/license as competent professionals.
Students benefit from the flexibility of online courses in addition to applying this information in “real life” counseling experiences using two weekend residencies and extensive faculty supervised field requirements.
Between 2018 and 2020, our graduates have had a 100% pass rate on their School Counseling Certification exam. That’s the GMercyU difference.
Graduates will come away with:
- Eligibility for License as a Professional Counselor (LPC) in the State of Pennsylvania for all concentrations of study. In addition, concentration students are eligible for certification as school counselors in Pennsylvania.
- Proficiency in counseling knowledge and skills based on CACREP standards.
- A strong consistent counseling disposition.
- The capacity to demonstrate multicultural sensitivity, knowledge and competency.
- Firm convictions to implement the ethical guidelines of the American Counseling Association and its divisions in all counseling practice.
- Skills to use evidence-based intervention and assessment techniques.
- The ability to articulate the necessity of counseling advocacy and engage in advocacy activities regarding the Mercy tradition.
MSC graduates are positioned for success in a variety of roles including but not limited to:
Core Curriculum and Concentrations
Core Curriculum – 30 credits
The MSC is built around a Core Curriculum that provides an excellent foundation of counseling techniques for practical applications and for the pursuit of doctoral studies.
- Counseling Skills – 3 credits
- Human Development – 3 credits
- Foundations for Counseling – 3 credits
- Research Methods – 3 credits
- Practicum – 3 credits
- Theories in Counseling – 3 credits
- Assessment Techniques in Counseling – 3 credits
- Social Justice, Multicultural & Diversity Issues in Counseling – 3 credits
- Career Development – 3 credits
- Substance Use/Abuse – 3 credits
All concentrations require a 600-hour internship and a 100-hour practicum.
Clinical Mental Health Concentration – 30 credits
The Clinical Mental Health concentration trains students to develop expertise in counseling adolescents, families and adults and/or gaining the credentials to assume supervisory positions in mental health community agency settings.
- Counseling Agencies – 3 credits
- DSM/Psychopathology – 3 credits
- Marriage and Family Counseling – 3 credits
- Group Counseling and Facilitation Skills – 3 credits
- Internship I (CMH) – 3 credits
- Internship II (CMH) – 3 credits
- Internship III (CMH) – 3 credits
- Electives – 9 credits
School Counseling Concentration – 33 credits
The School Counseling concentration is a Pennsylvania Department of Education approved school counseling certification program. The School Counseling curriculum is consistent with the design of the American School Counseling Association’s (ASCA) National Model. Graduates of the program are eligible to apply to the Pennsylvania Department of Education to become certified as K-12 school counselors in the State of Pennsylvania.
- Disabilities in the School Counseling Setting – 3 credits
- Needs of English Language Learners in the School Counseling Setting – 3 credits
- Intervention Techniques in School Counseling – 3 credits
- Organization of School Counseling – 3 credits
- Group Counseling and Facilitation Skills for the School Setting – 3 credits
- Internship I (SC) – 3 credits
- Internship II (SC) – 3 credits
- Internship III (SC) – 3 credits
- Electives – 6 credits
The Master’s Certification is available for Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling.
The Program in School Counseling offers students the opportunity to successfully complete a program of studies that would allow the student to apply for a Pennsylvania certificate for school counseling (K-12). The recommendation for this certificate is contingent upon passing the Praxis II Professional School Counselor exam.
Students in this program must complete a minimum of 48 credits in the Counseling Program. Field experience requirements for this program are;
- For students without a PA school counselor certificate – 100 hours of Practicum, 210 hours of Internship I and 210 hours of Internship II. The student must complete one internship in an elementary setting and one internship in a secondary setting.
- For student with either a PA school counselor certificate in either elementary or secondary school counseling – 100 hours of Practicum and 210 hours of Internship in their second area of certification.
Students that want to be eligible to become a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Pennsylvania and most other states, and hold their Master’s Degree in Counseling and have earned 48 credits, can take an additional 12 credits of graduate counseling work to be eligible to take the National Counseling Exam (NCE).
Program Application Requirements
Master Degree in Counseling
Applicants for admission to the Counseling Program must meet the following requirements:
- A Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of Higher Education
- Completion of the following undergraduate prerequisites:
- 3 credits in General Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Theory or another foundational course
- 3 credits in Research Methods or Statistics
- Submission of official transcripts from all academic institutions attended
- Earned a minimum grade point average (GPA) of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
- For students with a GPA lower than 3.0: A combined Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning score of 292 or higher for admission of students into the Counseling Program. Students taking the GRE must also complete the Analytical Writing test as well. Acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). This requirement is waived for:
- Applicants whose GPA is above a 3.0 or
- Applicants who currently possess a graduate degree.
- Completion of the Gwynedd Mercy University Graduate Application
- Submission of two letters of recommendation from:
- An academic who can attest to the applicant’s academic ability (preferred) and
- A professional or supervisor who can attest to the applicant’s professional qualification, abilities, and temperament for the field
- A personal statement (3-5 pages maximum) that address the following:
- Who you are and your reasons for choosing a career in counseling
- Why you have chosen GMercyU’s online counseling program
- What being a counselor means to you and your personal characteristics that make you uniquely suited for this career
- Your expectations of learning in an online program and your ability to meet these expectations
- How you plan to complete the field placement demands of the program
- A group interview with the program director
Applicants for admission will be considered based on their academic ability, expression of interests and goals, life experience, and personal interview.
Post-Master’s Certification Program in School Counseling
- Have a master’s degree in counseling or a program related to a counseling program
- Provide two letters of recommendation
- Submit a current resume
- Submit official transcripts from previously attended post-secondary institutions
- Earned a minimum grade point average (GPA) of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
- Completion the application
Post-Master’s Certificate in Clinical Health
Afford graduates with a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Gwynedd Mercy University’s Master in School Counseling (48 credit) program to complete the educational requirements to sit for the National Counselor Exam (NCE). Successful completion of the National Counselor Exam would allow these graduates to become National Certified Counselors (NCC) and complete the educational requirements to become Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) in Pennsylvania and most other states. Additional post-graduate supervision is required for license.
To be eligible to take the NCE applicants must complete a Master’s Degree in Counseling and complete 60 credits of graduate counseling course work. Graduates for the Master in School Counseling program at Gwynedd only completed 48 credits for the awarding of the master’s degree. Students who graduate from these programs need an additional 12 credits of graduate counseling work (including a 200 hour internship experience) to be eligible to take the NCE. The program requires 36 weeks of study.
Start Earning Your Degree
Getting started is easy. Contact Gwynedd Mercy University today to and you will be one step closer to earning your Master of Science in Counseling.
Licensure: This program was designed to meet the licensure requirements of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. If you reside in a different state, you should carefully review your home state’s licensure requirements prior to enrolling in this program. For more information, please visit our Program Licensure Requirements page.