Feb 29, 2024  
2023-2024 SGPP Catalog and Student Handbook 
2023-2024 SGPP Catalog and Student Handbook

Counseling and Psychological Services, M.A.

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Program Description

The Master of Arts in Counseling and Psychological Services prepares graduates for professional work in counseling, psychotherapy, and other psychological services. It is designed to enhance the student’s understanding of the complex nature of human behavior and social interaction, and to develop tools for assessing human problems and assisting individuals in developing greater understanding and acceptance of themselves and their relationships with others. Graduates work in a wide variety of settings.

The program is designed to help students meet the educational requirements for Minnesota licensure for Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC).  Master’s level students enrolled in the M.A. in Counseling & Psychological Services Program have the option to apply to the Psy.D. Program as an early entry student (see specific requirements outlined by the PsyD program). If accepted into the Psy.D. Program, students then transition to the doctoral program and finish out their master’s degree within the doctoral program, using courses from both the master’s and doctoral programs combined.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of the Master of Arts in Counseling and Psychological Services program are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Use appropriate written, verbal, and nonverbal communication skills with counseling clients and professionals.
  2. Counsel clients of diverse backgrounds based upon an awareness and appreciation of diversity.
  3. Provide reasoning in support of diagnosis and treatment interventions.
  4. Apply the fundamentals of research in counseling psychology to practice.
  5. Apply ethics to counseling, incorporating the rules and regulations of the profession, critical thinking, and compassion.
  6. Articulate appropriate plans for future professional development that include ongoing supervision/consultation.
  7. Apply knowledge and theory of counseling to practice.
  8. Assess client strengths, attributes, and problems.
  9. Apply knowledge and skills to selected areas of psychological practice.

Program Structure and Delivery

Courses in Minneapolis and Rochester are delivered in a blended format, integrating face-to-face classroom meetings and online activities or interactions in a planned, instructionally valuable manner. Courses offered in the remote-only cohort are delivered via a combination of online synchronous and asynchronous class sessions.

Students complete a supervised practicum experience in a counseling or mental health setting under direct supervision as part of the degree requirements. This experience consists of a minimum of 700 hours, usually two semesters of 350 hours each, with a practicum supervision seminar class taken at the same time.

Degree Requirements

Core Courses 18 cr.
Assessment Courses 6 cr.
Counseling Courses 9 cr.
Additional Required Courses 6 cr.
Required Practicum Experience 6 cr.
Required Capstone Course 3 cr.
Total 48 cr.

Required Practicum Experience: 6 cr.

The student completes a supervised practicum experience in a counseling or mental health setting under direct supervision. This experience consists of a minimum of 700 hours, usually two semesters of 350 hours each. A practicum supervision seminar class must be taken concurrently.


Students may wish to take electives to fulfill licensure requirements or return as special students to take electives for this purpose.

Early Entry Option to Counseling Psychology, PsyD program

For those seeking early entry to the PsyD program, please see admission requirements section of the PsyD listing.

Counseling Psychology, Psy.D. 

Requirements for both M.A. in Counseling and Psychological Services and Addiction Studies Graduate Certificate

For those students seeking both the M.A. in Counseling and Psychological Services and Addiction Studies Certificate please see the dual program requirements.

Counseling and Psychological Services, M.A. and Addiction Studies Graduate Certificate  


The majority of the faculty members and advisers for the Master of Arts in Counseling and Psychological Services program have earned doctorate degrees. Faculty members are selected for their educational and professional experience and expertise.

Admission Requirements

Applicants may apply for admission to master’s degree programs at any time during the year. Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution and maintained an overall grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale. Applicants must demonstrate the language proficiency necessary for successful graduate coursework. Applicants may complete an interview with a program administrator as part of the admission process.

Application Process

Applicants must submit the following:

  1. Completed application form with the nonrefundable application fee (fee not required for alumni or students seeking readmission or veterans and active military personnel), and
  2. An official transcript(s) issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed bachelor degree and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits. (An official transcript is one that is sent to the university by the credit-granting institution. Transcripts from countries other than the U.S. must be evaluated on a course by course basis by a university accepted evaluation service, such as World Education Services, Educational Credential Evaluators, Educational Perspectives, or One Earth International Credential Evaluators and be deemed equivalent to accredited U.S. university standards).  Evaluations from an approved member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES.org) will also be accepted.
  3. An admissions essay addressing the following questions in 500 words or less:
    1. What are your career goals and how would a master’s degree in Counseling and Psychological Services help you meet your goals? 
    2. Why are you interested in Saint Mary’s Counseling and Psychological Services MA program specifically?
    3. What location are you interested in attending and why?
    4. What will make you a successful graduate student in our program?
  4. Three letters of recommendation that verify professional and/or volunteer experience and academic ability; and
  5. A current résumé listing educational background and work experience.
  6. Applicants with international transcripts may require an English language proficiency exam (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or MELAB accepted.)

Please Note: Application materials should be sent to the attention of the Office of Admission on the Twin Cities Campus.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Office of Admission
2500 Park Ave S
Minneapolis, MN  55404

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