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Master of Science in Counseling (MSC)

Graduate Degree

The UIU Advantage

UIU’s online Master of Science in Counseling degree program prepares students to become professional counselors for a unique profession that emphasizes prevention of emotional and mental disorders, early intervention when problems are identified, and empowerment of clients. Counselors not only assist individuals; they are committed to working for social justice in our society and learn to work effectively with a diverse clientele.

This program of study includes a core of courses essential to all counselors, emphasis area courses in Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling, and field experiences.  Students must complete a minimum of 60 credit hours and pass a final comprehensive examination. Field experiences include a 100-hour practicum and minimum two 300-hour internships (600 hours) in which students practice the skills they have developed under the supervision of faculty.

Why Master of Science in Counseling at UIU?

  • Courses are offered 100% online to accommodate working families and adult learners.
  • Attend as a full-time or part-time student. Most students complete this degree in 2-3 years.
  • Field experiences take place in the area where you live.
  • Course curriculum is aligned to meet the Council on Accreditation for Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) standards.
  • Learn from faculty who have real-world experience and are experts in the fields they teach; enjoy the support of helpful, caring staff who are there for you from start to finish.

Areas of Emphasis

  • Mental Health Counseling prepares graduate students to serve as counselors in a variety of community settings, including but not limited to hospitals, substance abuse treatment facilities, colleges, universities, private practice, rehabilitation facilities, court systems, crisis and disaster mental health services and many more.
  • School Counseling prepares graduate students to serve the community as counselors in public, charter, and private schools (pre-K through 12th grade).

MSC Mission Statement

UIU’s online Master of Science in Counseling program prepares exemplary graduates to serve in a variety of positions in community mental health and school settings.  We establish academic expectations for an intellectual climate and provide a supportive environment for a diverse student body to grow and develop personally, interpersonally, clinically, and professionally. We prepare graduates who:

  • Possess a clear and consistent awareness of themselves and their impact on others.
  • Acquire knowledge and skills to practice effectively and ethically.
  • Excel as practitioners and practice lifelong learning.
  • Provide leadership to the community and advocate on behalf of their clients and their communities.
  • Value professional integrity and diligence.
  • Commit to the compassionate service of humanity and foster the growth, development, and wellness of individuals and communities at the local, state, national, and international levels.


  • Objective #1: Students will attain strong theoretical foundations in the eight core areas of counseling.
  • Objective #2: Students will be able to successfully apply knowledge and skills covered in graduate level courses to counseling settings.
  • Objective #3: Students will develop and demonstrate multicultural competence in counseling.
  • Objective #4: Students will develop strong identities as professional counselors.
  • Objective #5: The student population body will be diverse with respect to race, gender, sexual orientation, and other cultural identities.
  • Objective #6: Master’s graduates will secure professional positions in counseling settings.

MSC Information Booklet

Download a copy of the MSC Information Booklet.

Build Your Program

MSC Courses

See course descriptions for the classes you need for your Master of Science in Counseling degree.

Academic Calendar

Keep up with your academic program’s registration deadlines, session dates, holiday breaks and exam schedules.

Careers with an MSC

Graduates may find employment in a variety of settings, including hospitals, substance abuse treatment centers, schools, colleges, universities, private practice, rehabilitation facilities, community counseling agencies, court systems, and crisis and disaster mental health services.

Ready For More?

Request more info now.

Distance Learning

UIU Student on computer

Convenient, Focused Scheduling

UIU Master of Science in Counseling students have the advantage of focusing on fewer classes at once with the Two-at-a-Time schedule. Plus, convenient evening or online courses ensure your education fits your unique lifestyle.

The Master of Science in Counseling program is offered through UIU’s School of Arts and Sciences.

Panagiotis Markopoulos

Faculty Spotlight

Panagiotis Markopoulos, Ph.D.
Director of Master of Science in Counseling Program, Lecturer of Counseling

Dr. Markopoulos has received numerous research awards as it pertains to his research using virtual reality in treatment for children who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Dr. Markopoulos is an active presenter and a guest speaker in national and international counseling related conferences. Dr. Markopoulos was recently invited by Edinboro University, located in Pennsylvania, to present a webinar in which he addresses autism and career development, entitled: ‘Career Development for Individuals Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder: What Counselors Need to Know.’

Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answers to students’ most frequently asked questions about UIU’s Master of Science in Counseling. If you don’t see the answer you need, contact us for help.

What can I do with a Master of Science in Counseling (MSC)?

Graduates of the master’s degree program are usually employed as professional counselors in a variety of settings, including but not limited to hospitals, substance abuse treatment centers, schools, colleges, universities, private practice, rehabilitation facilities, community counseling agencies, court systems, crisis and disaster mental health services and other settings in which counseling or other mental health services are offered.

Is the counseling program accredited?

The master’s in counseling program has been recently revamped and moved to a fully online format. The program is CACREP-aligned.

Is there a clinical internship?

Yes. Field experiences include a 100-hour practicum and 600-hour (minimum) internship in which students practice the skills they have developed under the supervision of faculty.

Can I be a part-time student in the program?

Students are able to be part-time or full-time students in the program.

What is the cost of tuition?

Tuition is $480/credit hour for fall and spring (16-week semester) and $460/credit hour for summer (14-week semester).

What are the requirements for admission?

Prospective master’s degree students must meet the admission requirements established by Upper Iowa University. To be considered for admission to the program, an applicant must have an undergraduate grade-point average of at least 2.50. Presentation of the minimum undergraduate grade-point average does not guarantee admission. Admission decisions are based on all criteria considered in relationship to the need of the program and number of students who can be reasonably accommodated. Applicants who present undergraduate grade-point averages that are lower than those listed above may be considered for admission, pending the evaluation of other indicators.

How do I apply to become a student in the MSC program?

Please follow the instructions below to successfully complete your application.

  1. Complete UIU’s online application.
  2. Write a personal statement that references the guidelines presented in the next question of this FAQ, and attach to the online application.
  3. Send official transcripts from ALL previously attended institutions.
  4. Provide names and contact information for three professional references who can attest to your personal and professional qualities and your readiness for graduate study. These individuals will be contacted directly by the UIU Registrar’s Office and asked to independently upload their letters of recommendation on your behalf. Ideal references will speak to your academic ability and/or potential for graduate study, experience in the helping professions (volunteer/employment), character, and experience with individuals whose background or culture differed from yours. References may include employers or internship/volunteer supervisors, faculty, mentors or community members (e.g., religious or community leaders). Please do not include family members, personal therapists/counselors, those you have supervised, or clients.

Only those applications that are complete and include all the required documentation will be considered for review. If the applicant does not complete the application process by the deadline, the applicant can contact the Registrar’s Office and indicate if they wish to be considered for the next application deadline.

What are the guidelines for creating the Personal Statement that is required to apply to the MSC program?

The personal statement is a thoughtful essay (1-2 pages, 12-pt font, double-spaced) that addresses the following elements:

  1. A summary of your educational and work experiences and how they have contributed to your readiness for counselor education.
  2. The reason you are pursuing a master’s degree in counseling, and what prompted you to do so at this point in your life.
  3. The experiences that shaped your beliefs about diversity, multiculturalism, social justice, and people’s capacity for change.
  4. Your professional goals and how a UIU Master of Science in Counseling degree can help you accomplish your professional goals.

What are your application deadlines?

Fall: August 14

Spring: December 11

Summer: April 30

What happens after I submit my application?

Once an application and the required materials (i.e., personal statement, official transcripts, and three letters of recommendation) are received and reviewed by UIU Counseling faculty, applicants selected to proceed in the application process will receive information regarding dates and times for group screening interviews. These screening interviews will be conducted online through a videoconferencing platform in small groups and last approximately 45-60 minutes.

At the conclusion of the screen interview process, UIU Counseling faculty will conduct a final review of applications/supporting materials and select applicants for admission. Applicants will be notified by email of their admissions status within 1-2 weeks.

Can I transfer credit to UIU toward my MSC degree?

A student, with approval from the major professor and the Counseling program, may transfer 12 semester credits of graduate credit in which grades of B or better were earned that were taken in residence at another university. Clinical courses cannot be transferred. These transfer hours may be included in the program of study. Transfer credits, as well as all credits earned toward the degree, must have been taken within the eight years prior to graduation. Credit for individual courses taken more than eight years before the completion of the degree may be validated by the student’s major professor upon demonstration that the student has current knowledge covered in the course.

Can I enroll as a non-degree seeking student?

Individuals may be admitted into UIU’s online Counseling program as a non-degree graduate student. Non-degree seeking students can take these four (4) foundation courses:

  • Theories of Counseling
  • Lifespan Growth and Development
  • Research & Program Evaluation
  • Ethical, Legal & Professional Issues in Counseling

Enrollment and/or completion of these four (4) counseling courses will not ensure admittance to the Counseling graduate program. Other courses in the Counseling graduate program may not be taken until the applicant is admitted as a UIU Master of Science in Counseling student.

Who may I contact if I have additional questions?

For more information, please contact our Counseling program at [email protected].