Counseling, M.A. Degree Requirements

Please note: The Master of Arts in Counseling program is no longer accepting new applications for our Columbia campus location after October 2023. Only students who are currently enrolled at the Columbia location are eligible to apply to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in South Carolina. Licensure eligibility in South Carolina does not apply to students enrolled at our Hickory or Asheville locations. 

Offered in Hickory, Asheville and Columbia

The Lenoir-Rhyne master of arts degree in counseling is designed to prepare individuals for positions as professional counselors in agencies and/or school settings. Students have the opportunity to take courses on any of our three campuses. The curriculum at all three sites is identical, and students will have the opportunity to interact with the LR faculty based on each campus. The counseling program places primary emphasis on the development of strong clinical skills. Upon receiving the master of arts degree in counseling, students will meet the educational requirements for eligibility to apply to become a National Board Certified Counselor (NCC), and Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC) in North Carolina, or Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in South Carolina. Students satisfactorily completing the school counseling program requirements and receiving a passing score on the PRAXIS specialty examination will be eligible for licensure as a school counselor in North Carolina.

The master's degree is the entry-level degree for persons entering the counseling field. The counseling course of study is designed to begin during the fall or spring semester. Although students are allowed to enter the program in the summer semester, course selection will be limited due to prerequisite introductory courses that are not available until the fall semester.

All students in the counseling program must have in effect counselor liability insurance through the American Counseling Association Insurance Trust during the time they are enrolled in the counseling program. In addition, students are required to purchase a subscription to Tevera, the counseling portfolio management system. The one-time subscription cost for Tevera is included in the first semester charges. Any counseling practicum/intern receiving a grade lower than a B/3.0 in a practicum/internship will not be recommended for state licensure or National Board Certification.

Comprehensive Examination

Students are required to pass a two-part comprehensive examination. First, students must complete a nationally standardized exam (CPCE) that measures competency across the eight core areas of counseling. Students must pass this examination prior to internship. Students who fail this examination may be required to do remediation, additional coursework and/or assignments and re-test. Students who fail subsequent re-tests may be dismissed from the program. The second part of the examination (Specialty Capstone Project) requires a written, comprehensive assessment of the specific program of study. This capstone project is completed during internship. Students who fail this assessment will not be permitted to graduate.