UMKC Catalog


Master of Arts: Counseling and Guidance

The Counseling and Guidance Program has as its primary purpose the preparation of professional counselors. The master's degree is the first professional degree in counseling. Graduates holding this degree will gain the basic understanding and skills necessary for professional practice as a counselor.

The program currently offers four emphasis areas leading to the M.A. degree: Elementary and Secondary School Counseling, Couples and Family Counseling, Mental Health Counseling and Gerontological Counseling. Students are not currrently being admitted in the General or Substance Abuse Counseling Emphasis areas.

Those electing the school counseling emphasis will, upon successful completion of the coursework and passing of the Praxis Exam for counseling, be eligible for school counselor certification in Missouri. The other counseling emphases are designed for students who wish to work in a variety of settings other than the public schools. Those earning degrees in counseling become employed in community colleges, four-year colleges, specialized areas in large universities (e.g. career planning and placement), the court system and community-based mental health services. Many students go on for advanced degrees. Students in this program will take all of the coursework needed to be eligible for licensure as a professional counselor in the state of Missouri. Students may also arrange their internship setting placements similar to those in which they plan to work.

Student Learning Outcomes

The goal of the master’s program in Counseling and Guidance is to develop competent counseling practitioners who are eligible for licensure or certification in Missouri and Kansas.

Graduates demonstrate skills and knowledge in the following areas:

  • Theories of counseling
  • The counseling relationship
  • Human growth and development
  • Social and cultural foundations of counseling
  • Career development
  • Assessment
  • Research methods
  • Counseling skills
  • Professional identity
  • Ethical standards and issues
  • Psychopathology and Diagnosis
  • Program development and management (school counseling emphasis)


Courses for the master's program in Counseling and Guidance are primarily offered at the Volker campus. Select school counseling courses are offered at the UMKC Northland campus; however, not all courses will be made available at that site. Applications for the program are accepted twice a year: by Sept. 1 to be admitted for the spring semester or by March 1 to be admitted for the fall semester. Application materials must be sent to both the UMKC Office of Admissions and the Division of Counseling and Educational Psychology. It is suggested that students apply to the University as soon as possible to allow for processing time. Materials sent to the UMKC Admissions Office should be received by the application deadlines; materials sent to the Division of Counseling and Educational Psychology can be postmarked by the application deadlines.

Admission Criteria:

  • Overall undergraduate 2.75 GPA or better, or 3.0 or better (4.0 scale) in the last 60 semester hours.
  • Official GRE scores obtained within the last five years. The GRE requirement can be waived if the applicant is a graduate of a post-bachelor degree program with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.  

Applying to the Program

Students who wish to apply to the program will have to submit two separate applications, one to the University (see A. below) and one to the Division of Counseling and Educational Psychology (see B. below).

A. Send to the UMKC Admission office:

  1. Application for Admissions (available on-line at
  2. $35 (domestic online) or $50 (international) non-refundable application fee.
  3. Official transcripts from all colleges/universities previously attended (in sealed envelope or sent directly from universities).
  4. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) (official copy).
Mailing Address
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Office of Admissions
120 Administrative Center
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499

B. Send to the Counseling and Guidance office:

  1. M.A. Counseling and Guidance Application (detailed instructions available on the application).
  2. Three letters of reference (use rating forms in the application packet).
  3. Statement defining personal and professional goals.
  4. Additional requirements may apply for international students.
Mailing Address
University of Missouri-Kansas City
ATTN: Division of Counseling and Educational Psychology
215 Education Building
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499

For more specific information about the master's in Counseling and Guidance see

Degree Requirements

* Note: Only courses with an asterisk may be taken prior to being admitted to the program.
# Note: Course can be taken if officially admitted to a graduate degree program.

Required Core Courses (All Emphases)
   (42 credit hours)

* CPCE 5500Intro. to Professional Counseling3
# CPCE 5505Career Development I3
* EDUC-R&P 5508
Principles & Methods of Research3
   CPCE 5515Assessment Methods in Professional Counseling3
   CPCE 5520Theories of Counseling 
   CPCE 5530Methods of Counseling 
   CPCE 5531Counseling Practicum I 

   CPCE 5532
   CPCE 5533

 Counseling Practicum II
 Couples & Family Practicum

   CPCE 5540 Theories and Methods of Group Counseling 
   CPCE 5551 Counseling in a Pluralistic Society
   CPCE 5553Ethics & Professional Issues in Counseling 3
   CPCE 5575A Internship I 
   CPCE 5575B Internship II 
Couples and Family Emphasis AreaHours
   CPCE 5503Psychopathology: Diagnoses & Classification3
   CPCE 5527Theory/Methods of Sex Counseling3
   CPCE 5541Couples & Family Therapy3
   CPCE 5542Theory & Techniques of Family Systems Therapy3
   CPCE 5590CFSeminar in Couples & Family therapy3
* EDUC-R&P 5513 Lifespan Human Develpment 
  Approved Elective (1)
 Mental Health Emphasis Hours
   CPCE 5503Psychopathology: Diagnoses & Classification 
   CPCE 5527Theory/Methods of Sex Counseling
   CPCE 5590MH Seminar in Mental Health Counseling
   CPCE 5521Special Counseling Methods - Substance Abuse 
   # EDUC-R&P 5513      Lifespan Human Development3
 Approved Electives (2 courses)6
 Gerontological Counseling Emphasis Hours
   CPCE 5503Psychopathology: Diagnoses & Classification3
   A&S 5500Interdisciplinary Colloquium on Aging3
   A&S 5501The Experience of Health in Aging3
   SOCIOL 410RAging in Contemporary Society3
   CPCE 5525Counseling the Older Adult3
   CPCE 5590GCSeminar in Gerontological Counseling3
 Approved Elective (1) 3
 School Counseling EmphasisHours
   CPCE 5502Foundations of Elementary & Secondary Guidance3
   TCH-ED 5404 (1) Education of the Exceptional Child and Youth3
   CPCE 5504School Guidance Programs3
   CPCE 5550Organization and Administration of Counseling Progams3
 * EDUC-R&P 5510
 * EDUC-R&P 5512
 * EDUC-R&P 5513

Child Behavior & Development
   (Elementary and K-12 counselors only)
Adolescent Development & the School
   (Secondary and K-12 counselors only)
Lifespan Human Development
   (Elementary, Secondary, and K-12 counselors)

 * EDUC-C&I 5512(2) Strategies for Effective Classroom Management3
 * EDUC-C&I 5517(2) Teaching Methods & Practices3
 (1) Many people with a teaching certificate already have this course. You may not need to retake it. 
 (2) Required for those who do not hold a current teaching certificate