Master's Program in Counseling Psychology


Career psychology, with an emphasis on positive psychology, provides the theoretical basis for this program.  It prepares one to practice in a variety of settings, most notably college career or advising centers, other student affairs settings, or business settings where there may be opportunity for defining or developing career roles for students or employees.  MU's Career Center is where students practice what is learned in classes making this a strong scientific-practitioner model of training.

Program Objectives

To achieve the mission of the program - to prepare individuals to practice successfully as career coaches or counselors in the multiculturally, socially, and economically diverse work settings.  Six program objectives have been established. The candidate in the program:

  1. Will be able to demonstrate competence in individual and/or group career counseling or career coaching.
  2. Will be able to select and apply appropriate career theory with clients and will be able to articulate own personal theory of career counseling or career coaching.
  3. Will be able to select and use appropriate career assessments and information to promote clarity of choices and effective transitions.
  4. Will be able to use knowledge and awareness of diversity issues to understand unique aspects of the career development of clients.
  5. Will be able to demonstrate ability to integrate career and social/emotional counseling issues.
  6. Will be exposed to a wide range of career planning services (and service delivery modes) and be able to transfer those services to a new work setting.


The "program planner," which guides the curriculum for this degree can be found here.


The purpose of developing a career counseling portfolio as your comprehensive exam is to provide a sense of integration of the varied skills you have developed over the course of your master’s degree.  Procedures are here.

Accreditation, Certification and Licensing

The program leads to the granting of the M.Ed. degree. Students obtaining this degree will also have most of the necessary courses to apply for a license as a Professional Counselor (Licensed Professional Counseling; LPC) in the State of Missouri, but most positions that our students gain following their Masters degree do not require licensure.  However if you are planning to apply your skills in more of a private practice or community mental health setting, such certification may be important to you. If so, contact the State of Missouri licensing committee at 573-751-0018.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the M.Ed. master's degree requires a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA from an accredited undergraduate institution, a completed Department application form, at least three letters of recommendation, and official reports of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The preferred combined score of the GRE on the Verbal and Quantitative is 1000 or higher. One of the most important admittance requirements is a strong interest in career coaching or counseling. Applicants should indicate their specific interest.

The preferred TOEFL score for International students is 580 for the paper test or 237 on the computer test for the masters, educational specialist, and Ph.D. degrees. In all cases, the Department seeks qualified applicants from diverse backgrounds with regard to race, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and disability status.

Professional Associations

Students are encouraged to join and become actively involved in the associations of the profession both on the state and national level. Depending on the eventual career path of the student, different organizations will serve them better. A discussion of the most helpful organizations given unique career paths should be initiated with the students' advisor. Some typical organizations that students within the Masters in Career Counseling area join are:

  • American Counseling Association (ACA)
  • American College Personnel Association (ACPA)
  • National Career Development Association (NCDA)

Career Center and Library Resources

The Career Center at the University of Missouri is a major resource for Masters students in the Career area. The Center is one of the largest and most programmatically diverse centers of its kind in the world. The Career Center has a long history (founded in the early 70's) on the MU campus and is nationally known for its paraprofessional program, its web site, and its integration of research and practice. Many Masters students gain assistantships working in various aspects of the center which provides excellent exposure to the Center as well as providing the Center with excellent staff!

The University library system carries these major career counseling journals including:

  • Journal of Counseling and Development
  • Career Development Quarterly
  • Journal of Vocational Behavior
  • Journal of Career Assessment
  • Journal of Career Development

Key Faculty in the Program

A number of our faculty teach courses and conduct research in the career area. Those most directly involved in this area are: Drs. Lisa Flores, Norm Gysbers, Mary Heppner, Puncky Heppner and Joe Johnston. You may read more about their background and interest by going here.

Career Opportunities

A wide variety of career opportunities exist for graduates of the masters in career coaching and/or counseling program. Many of our graduates have gone on to direct career centers, become career counselors at college or university centers, worked in student affairs offices on college campuses. Still others gain positions in business and industry as career or life coaches, consulting, or in employee assistance programs.