Master of Science in Counseling

All graduate degrees

The counseling program at Southern provides practical knowledge combined with a highly supervised clinical experience. Students receive abundant support and evaluation, so they enter practicums and internships well-prepared and graduate with confidence about working with clients.

Southern advantages

  • CACREP accreditation:  Both of the program emphases of the M.S. in Counseling degree have been conferred accreditation by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
  • Christian-based:  The program is grounded in Adventist Christian principles and designed to train professionals for work in any setting.
  • Diverse faculty:  The multicultural faculty members and widely varied professional experiences of the instructors and supervisors provide for abundant interpersonal growth and interaction.
  • Comprehensive program:  Our program provides the academic preparation necessary for licensure anywhere in the United States.
  • Convenience:  Classes meet one day a week.
  • Flexibility and efficiency:  Full-time students can complete the program in as few as six or seven semesters. Part-time enrollment is also available.
  • Smaller classes:  Personal attention and group camaraderie are the well-designed result of limited class sizes.

Eligibility and prerequisites

  • Bachelor's degree:  A bachelor’s degree (in any area) from an accredited program
  • GPA requirement:  A minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.25
  • Behavioral science courses:  Undergraduate upper-division coursework in the behavioral sciences (6 hours)

Admission process

  1. Graduate application:  Submit a graduate application (with non-refundable fee of $25). Apply now
  2. Transcripts:  Submit official college and university transcripts. Many institutions subscribe to the convenient transcript-request service at National Student Clearinghouse, or you may also contact your institution directly. Have your transcripts sent to Melodie Lopez in the Graduate Studies office ( If you earned your prerequisite degree at Southern, you do not need to complete this step.
  3. Recommendations:  Submit three letters of reference along with the required recommendation forms (completed by work supervisors or professors). The forms may be distributed as part of the online application process, or you may manually distribute the forms to your recommenders. Download form  ?
  4. Statement: Submit a statement of purpose. View guidelines
  5. Resumé:  Submit your resumé by email to
  6. Background check:  Successfully complete an approved background check. (Alternatively, verification may be submitted by your current employer.) Download form
  7. Personality test:  Complete the 16 PF Personality Test results. Email Mikhaile at for instructions.
  8. Criminal/sex-offender statement:  Submit the Criminal-Record Statement. Your signature on this form gives the School of Education and Psychology permission to retain your criminal-history record and affirms that you are not a registered sex-offender.  Download form
  9. Interview:  Schedule an interview with the faculty (after all other steps are completed) by emailing Mikhaile at

Application deadlines

Term U.S. Residents International
Fall April 1 April 1
Winter October 1 September 1
Summer April 1  Not applicable

International students

Applicants who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States are considered international students and must meet additional requirements for admission.

  • View international-student admission requirements »

    1. Applicants from non-English institutions must submit certified English translations and evaluations of official university records, including demonstration of the equivalency of a bachelor's degree.
      Transcript evaluations must be submitted directly to Southern from one of the following agencies:
    2. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries must demonstrate English proficiency.
      Unless an applicant is a native English speaker or received the college/university degree from an English-medium institution, s/he must have a minimum TOEFL score of 100. TOEFL scores are valid for two years from the test date. Learn more at »

    3. Submit Declaration of Finances.
      International students must have financial resources sufficient to support themselves for the calendar year, in addition to an international-student deposit of $3,000 (USD). Download Form
      • To be issued an I-20 Form, students must also provide a letter from financial sponsors (including their name and address), as well as copies of bank statements for the last three months showing the balance history for the student's account or the financial sponsor's account.

International students who will be coming to Southern's campus need some additional information about travel documents and living on campus.

  • View more information for international applicants

    • Form I-20:  After all qualifying documentation is received, Southern Adventist University issues a letter of acceptance and the Form I-20. The letter and form must be presented to the U.S. consular officer when applying for a student visa. Only students approved by the Immigration and Naturalization Service for attendance at Southern may enroll.
    • On campus:  International students are encouraged to arrive on campus two weeks prior to the beginning of classes. They should contact the international student adviser as soon as they arrive. Graduate Studies must be notified if there is any change in the arrival date after admission has been granted. Individuals with student visas are required to be enrolled in a full course study (a minimum of nine graduate credit hours) during the school year.
    • Employment:  International students with an F-1 Student Visa may work on campus, provided that employment is available and provided that the student is enrolled in a full course of study and is making progress to the completion of a degree. On-campus employment is limited to 20 hours per week while classes are in session and 40 hours per week during university vacation days.
    • When you are ready to travel: International students should not leave their homeland until they have in their possession:
      1. An admission letter of acceptance from Southern Adventist University
      2. Form I-20 issued by Southern Adventist University
      3. A valid passport
      4. A valid F-1 Student Visa to travel to the United States
      5. Sufficient funds for the first year at Southern Adventist University


Course guide

Select an emphasis:

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling emphasis prepares professional counselors for a variety of settings and with a variety of populations. The curriculum focuses on providing candidates with strong foundational knowledge and clinical practice. Coursework addresses areas covered by state licensing exams.

The School Counseling emphasis prepares professional school counselors to work in PreK-12 school settings. The curriculum provides knowledge and skills for addressing a variety of student issues faced in elementary, middle, or high school settings.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling core courses Credits
  COUN 510 Advanced Lifespan Development 3
  COUN 514 Drugs and Addictions 3
  COUN 516 Career Counseling  3
  COUN 520 Principles of Counseling 3
  COUN 521  Psychopathology 3
  COUN 530 Assessment and Appraisal   3
  COUN 537  Ethics and Legal Aspects of Counseling 3
  COUN 553  Group Counseling and Procedures 3
  COUN 556 Theories and Techniques of Counseling 3
  COUN 561  Multicultural Issues in Counseling 3
  COUN 570  Counseling in Community Agencies 3
  COUN 575 Administration of Counseling Services  3
  COUN 582  Clinical Practicum I  1
  COUN 583 Clinical Practicum II: Clinical Mental Health Counseling  2
  COUN 584 Clinical Internship: Clinical Mental Health Counseling  6
  COUN 590 Marriage and Family Counseling I  3
  COUN 593 Child and Adolescent Problems and Treatment  3
  COUN 598  Research and Program Evaluation  3
Clinical Mental Health Core Total   54
Elective courses Credits
  Select six hours from the following courses:  
  COUN 507 Sexuality: Issues in Counseling 2-3
  COUN 565 Topics in Counseling  1-3
  COUN 591 Marriage and Family Counseling II  3
  COUN 595 Independent Study 1-3
  COUN 599 Master’s Thesis 6
Elective Total   6
  Total   60
School Counseling Core Courses Credits
  COUN 503 Foundations of School Counseling 3
  COUN 510 Advanced Lifespan Development 3
  COUN 514 Drugs and Addictions 3
  COUN 516 Career Counseling 3
  COUN 520 Principles of Counseling 3
  COUN 528 Learning and School Counseling Interventions 3
  COUN 530 Assessment and Appraisal 3
  COUN 537 Ethics and Legal Aspects of Counseling 3
  COUN 553 Group Counseling and Procedures 3
  COUN 556 Theories and Techniques of Counseling 3
  COUN 577 Administration of School Counseling Services 3
  COUN 582 Clinical Practicum I 1
  COUN 583 Clinical Practicum II: School Counseling 2
  COUN 584 Clinical Internship: School Counseling 6
  COUN 598 Research and Program Evaluation 3
School Counseling Core Total   48
  COUN 599 Master's Thesis (May be taken in increments of 1-6 hours) 6
Thesis Total   6
  Total   50 – 56


Ileanna Freeman
Ileanna Freeman


Tami Navalon
Tami Navalon

Assistant Professor

Liane de Souza
Liane de Souza

Associate Professor

Tron Wilder
Tron Wilder

Associate Professor

Get Started

Hello from Southern! I am looking forward to working with you as you achieve your academic and professional goals. Whether you are a recent graduate or nontraditional student, I want you to feel welcome, so please feel free to contact me by phone or email with any questions you may have. I am here to help!

Mikhaile Spence

Graduate Enrollment Counselor