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Master of Arts in Counseling

Transform Your Future. Make a Difference in the Lives of Others

Counseling student discussion during class

The CACREP-accredited Master of Arts in Counseling program offers you a rich and diverse learning experience that prepares you for opportunities in a wide array of professional counseling settings.

Two 61-credit hour tracks are offered in Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling. You can also take the required classes in the other track in order to be eligible for licensure in both settings (clinical and school). Combining the tracks requires six additional credits for a total of 67 credits.

Lenoir-Rhyne sustains longstanding clinical community partnerships in both programs, providing you with vibrant internship and practicum experiences.

Experience Professional & Personal Growth

The journey toward becoming a professional counselor is a rewarding one, ripe with opportunities for personal growth and professional development. Most graduates of counseling programs find that the training process transforms their own lives even as they are learning to be change agents in the lives of others.

Challenge Yourself

You will be introduced to new theoretical frameworks and ways of understanding human behavior. You will be challenged to examine your biases and reflect upon how your life experiences affect your work with clients. You will be asked to step outside your comfort zone as you practice new skills and explore new perspectives. And throughout the program, you will be supported as you develop your personal style of counseling.

In counseling, a master’s degree is the terminal degree to practice independently. Our program prepares students with a strong foundation in clinical skills training. Lenoir-Rhyne offers several skills-based classes, including techniques, advanced techniques, practicum, and two semesters of internship.

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Take the next step toward completing your Masters in Counseling degree at Lenoir-Rhyne University.

Take the next step toward completing your MA in Counseling degree at Lenoir-Rhyne University.

Why Choose Lenoir-Rhyne University

Students in classroom
Designed for Working Professionals

Balance work and life on the path to completing your counseling degree. Take classes at your own pace and on your terms—full-time, part-time, on-campus, online, or hybrid. You may begin program studies any semester—summer, fall, or spring term—at any of our three campus locations: Asheville, NC, Hickory, NC, or Columbia, SC.

School counselor and student
Hands-On Experience

Counseling program faculty bring significant work experience and come from varied theoretical orientations to provide a rich learning environment for students. Internships provide students with hands-on experiences working with seasoned professionals. 

Counseling student group discussion
CACREP Accreditation

Lenoir-Rhyne University offers a CACREP-accredited program. This is a prestigious accreditation that streamlines the licensure process. Our program meets the training requirements for North Carolina and most states. Contact us for more information about licensure requirements. 


Exceptional & Dynamic Faculty

The faculty of the CACREP-accredited Counseling Degree Programs in Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling are dedicated to educating and training counseling professionals to function in culturally diverse settings. We recognize the need to address the economic, educational, and social inequalities that prevail in our communities.

The program acknowledges a commitment both to the students who will pursue preparation as professional counselors and to the larger public served by our graduates, for whom we all share a responsibility. It is due to this commitment that the faculty members hold high standards in the process of training professional counselors in school and community settings. The programs are designed to provide a challenging, yet supportive environment that promotes professional orientation, development of a counseling identity, ethical practice, commitment to inquiry, and self-awareness. As a result, we expect our students to develop a commitment of service to others, and to the pursuit of excellence in the counseling profession.

Meet the Counseling Faculty →

Counselor Examination & Licensure

We are committed to developing professional counselors to work effectively and ethically with diverse clients in a variety of settings, including PreK-12 schools, colleges and universities, community mental health centers, hospitals, as well as private practice and social services agencies. 

Upon receiving a Master of Arts in Counseling degree, students meet coursework requirements for eligibility to take the examination to become a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC) in North Carolina and South Carolina. Students satisfactorily completing the School Counseling program requirements and receiving a passing score on the PRAXIS specialty examination are eligible for licensure as a school counselor in North Carolina.

Career Paths

Clinical Mental Health Counselors
  • Counselor work settings may include: community agencies, hospitals, private practice, residential treatment centers, government agencies, VA, and faith-based organizations.
  • Trained to work with individuals, families, couples, and groups.
  • Trained in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental disorders as well as helping clients struggling with normal, developmental issues, and life transitions. Help clients work toward personal goals and holistic wellness.
School Counselors
  • School counselors work in either elementary, middle, or high school settings. School counselors develop and implement comprehensive school counseling programs (through the ASCA National Model) to support students in their academic, social/emotional, and vocational career development. School counselors wear many different hats and serve as liaisons between students, teachers, administrators, and parents. 

Student Outcomes

The following table provides a snapshot of student outcomes during the 2019-2020 academic year for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling program tracks.

Degree Track


Completion Rate

Exam Pass Rate

Job Placement

M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling





M.A. in School Counseling





Teena Brooks

My internship experience at local non-profits provided valuable hands-on experience and helped me grow both personally and professionally." —Teena Brooks, M.A., LCMHC, BC-TMH Alumni of the LRU Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

Take the Next Step

Achieve your personal and career goals. Enroll in the Master of Arts in Counseling program at Lenoir-Rhyne where your ambition and dedication will prepare you for what's next. Our enrollment counselors are here to help you explore your options and advance your career.

Enrollment - Hickory & Columbia

Nichole Siemering
Counseling Enrollment Specialist

Enrollment - Asheville 

Jan Wolff
Counseling Enrollment Specialist

Program Contact

Neal Gray, Ph.D.
Professor of Counseling, Chair of the School of Counseling and Human Services
Hickory Campus


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