Through the master’s program in Counseling, you will learn from a supportive faculty and gain practical experience in a diverse, urban setting. Choose from among three different emphasis areas to match your learning experiences to your interests

Master of Arts in Counseling

With an emphasis on individual and cultural diversity and social justice, we prepare students for careers in counseling tailored to their individual interests.  Those earning MA degrees in Counseling find employment in a variety of settings, including colleges, community-based mental health facilities, independent practice, the court system, and PK-12 schools.  Graduates also enter doctoral programs in counseling-related areas.

What will the program look like?

All students in the program complete 39 credit hours of core courses and 15-21 additional credit hours in their areas of emphasis. The core courses provide students with a strong skill set and theoretical foundation, while the emphasis area courses provide specialization skills. Our students are trained to become competent counseling practitioners who are eligible for licensure or certification in Missouri and Kansas.  Eligibility for licensure in other states has not been determined.

The Counseling program requires students be available to complete two consecutive semesters of practicum (10 hours per week) and two consecutive semesters of internship (17 hours per week). A special feature of our program is our in-house clinic serving the surrounding community. Students in the couples and family and mental health emphasis areas complete their practicum training at the Community Counseling and Assessment Services. School emphasis practica are completed in K-12 schools in the region.

Please note that the vast majority of internships occur during regular business hours. A full-time student can usually complete the degree in 2 ½ – 3 years.

MA Frequently Asked Questions

Emphasis Areas

Couples and Family
  • Learn to understand family dynamics and relationship systems
  • Be prepared to work therapeutically with couples and families in varied family life cycles
Mental Health
  • Provide psycho-educational and strengths-based counseling to meet the mental health needs of diverse clients
School Counseling
  • Apply for practicum and internship placements in diverse school settings in the Metro area
  • Begin working at a school site under provisional certification
  • Create an electronic portfolio to use throughout your career

Program Faculty

Application Deadlines

  • Couples and Family and Mental Health: March 1 for Fall entry; September 1 for Spring entry
  • School Counseling: School Counseling applications are accepted and reviewed year-round. It is recommended all application materials be submitted at least one month prior to the beginning of the semester in which the student wishes to enroll

Admissions Criteria

An overall undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 or better or 3.00 or better in the last 60 semester hours or equivalent (4.0 scale).

At this time, no test scores are required.

Additional Requirement for International Applicants

Success in the counseling profession relies heavily on oral expression and, therefore, the Counseling and Counseling Psychology division faculty require that all non-native English speaking international applicants demonstrate their proficiency in English, preferably by taking the internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (iBT TOEFL). Applicants are expected to demonstrate their oral English proficiency by obtaining a score of at least 23 points (score range 0-30) on the speaking section and at least 20 points (score range 0-30) on the listening section of the iBT TOEFL before their applications are reviewed by the admissions committee. Please be aware that the minimum admission score for the iBT TOEFL test set by the UMKC International Student Affairs Office is 79, and that the Counseling and Counseling Psychology division requires specific minimum scores on the speaking and listening subtests in addition to the University requirement. While iBT TOEFL scores are strongly preferred by the Counseling and Counseling Psychology division faculty, scores on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) will also be considered as evidence of English proficiency. Applicants taking the IELTS are expected to demonstrate their oral English proficiency by obtaining a score of at least 7 (score range 0-9) on the speaking subsection of the IELTS and a 6.5 (score range 0-9) on the listening subsection. In addition, applicants are expected to obtain a score of 6.5 on the total IELTS before applications are reviewed by the admissions committee. Please note that the minimum admission score for the IELTS test set by the UMKC International Student Affairs Office is 6, and that the division requires specific minimum scores and a higher overall score than the University requirement. NOTE: Both TOEFL and IELTS scores must not be more than two years old.

To apply, submit all required materials through the electronic portal

Required Materials

Official transcripts from an accredited institution showing the awarding of an undergraduate degree.

  • Statement of Purpose: a concise statement (no more than 500 words) concerning your professional goals, professional interests, and experiences
  • Resume or curriculum vita
  • The names and contact information (including email) for three professional references.
    • Identified individuals should be professional references. This excludes friends and family members.
  • References should address your suitability for professional studies in counseling.
  • Raters should have knowledge of your skills in most of the following areas: interpersonal and intellectual functioning, research, counseling, and written and oral communication.

Questions about the application process can be directed to the Counseling and Counseling Psychology Division Office: 816-235-2492, or

Please Note: We do not provide feedback to applicants about their application materials or the interview process. Admission to UMKC does not guarantee admission to the Master of Arts in Counseling Degree Program