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Master of Science in Counseling

The Master of Science in Counseling degree is designed to prepare individuals to function as counselors in mental health centers, community agencies, governmental agencies, employee assistance programs, prisons, psychiatric hospitals, drug and alcohol abuse treatment programs, college and university student affairs, religious settings, and private practice.  The Master of Science degree in Counseling at UNG was developed to meet the state and national regulatory criteria leading to licensure and certification as professional counselors.

Our curriculum addresses the needs of our diverse world while helping students understand the process of human development and relationships, counseling theory, and change. Utilizing problem-based learning and incorporating required internships and practica; the program provides students with both academic and practical professional experience and training.

Campus Availability

Dahlonega

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Track

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling track prepares students to enter a variety of occupations in the counseling and mental health field. 

Students in this track will find jobs in a variety of settings including:

  • mental health centers
  • employee assistance programs
  • psychiatric hospitals
  • substance abuse treatment programs
  • private practice
  • college and university counseling centers
  • sexual assault agencies
  • criminal justice settings
  • and more...

Clinical Addictions Counseling Track

The Clinical Addictions Counseling Track prepares counselors to work with individuals and families affected by substance abuse and other addictive behaviors in education, prevention and intervention settings. The study of this track focuses on assessment, treatment, and relapse prevention as well as models of prevention and intervention for addiction. Graduates of the Addiction Counseling cognate may choose to work in private practice or in a variety of community agencies offering counseling services for substance abuse.  

Students in this track will find jobs in a variety of settings including:

  • drug or alcohol treatment centers
  • community service boards
  • community agencies with county court partnerships
  • hospitals

College Counseling and Student Development Track

The College Counseling and Student Development area of study prepares counseling professionals who want to provide meaningful support to college students as they seek to maximize their personal and educational development. Graduates will be prepared to work both with students experiencing normal developmental issues and students in crisis, at an individual, group, and programmatic level.

Students in this track will work towards careers in student affairs including:

  • academic advising
  • disability services
  • multicultural affairs
  • career services
  • leadership and service learning
  • orientation
  • admissions
  • residence life
  • student activities
  • and others 

Accreditation

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling track is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Post-Secondary Accreditation (COPA). The department is actively pursuing accreditation for the Addictions Counseling and College Counseling & Student Development tracks.

Furthermore, the university is an accredited member of the Association of Military Colleges and Schools and the Association of Georgia Colleges.

Counseling Credentials

Graduates of the UNG counseling program are eligible for one or more state and national credentials.

Because the Counseling program is CACREP-approved, all fully enrolled students can take the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) during their last semester of the program. The NCE is the first step toward becoming a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Georgia (and many other states). The NCC credential is a prerequisite for several specialty certifications offered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC), including school counseling, clinical mental health counseling, addictions counseling, and clinical supervision.

Clinical Experiences

Three levels of supervised clinical work in the counseling program at UNG are required of students matriculating towards the M.S. degree: labs, practicum activities, and internship experiences. The following is a brief description of what these components entail.

Labs

In conjunction with most core counseling courses, co-requisite lab experiences are offered. These lab activities allow students to directly apply knowledge from a specific course in a supervised clinical experience. For example, students in the Counseling Theories course use several theory-based counseling interventions with a volunteer client; Career Development students administer and interpret a battery of career assessment instruments, and Group Counseling students function as a group facilitator. In other courses, students work with client populations (e.g., children, adolescents, older persons, families, couples) appropriate to course content.

Practicum & Internship

During the Practicum/Internship year, students log hours with actual clients at a counseling agency in the field. Students are involved in all aspects of a counselor's role at a specific site. Internships enable students to integrate professional knowledge and skills through their work with clients, students, and new colleagues. Through these experiences, students become familiar with intake procedures, appropriate case note format, and crisis intervention, and focus on developing conceptualization skills and self-awareness relevant to their clinical work.

There is diversity and range in Practicum/Internship sites within the North Georgia geographic area. Clinical mental health counseling sites include agencies that offer family and children's services. Other sites include community mental health centers, inpatient and outpatient settings for substance abuse and psychiatric clients, hospice, support services for victims of domestic violence and abuse and those with HIV/AIDS, facilities for at-risk youth or delinquents, hospital programs for cancer patients and their families, pastoral care, and private practice settings. Students are encouraged to select one or more sites that fit their professional interests and career goals.

Master's students are required to complete a minimum of 100 hours for practicum; most log 150 hours or more. Internship is a two-semester, 600-hour experience.

Internships

Internships provide opportunities for practical clinical/field experience with actual clients in community agency settings. Get more detailed information on our internship page

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