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School Counseling

Address mental health and relationship problems with students in public or private primary and secondary schools.

School Counseling – Master of Education (M.Ed.)

In the School Counseling major option at Montana State, students take a core of counseling and human development courses while also studying aspects of counseling that are specifically connected to primary and secondary school settings. The program emphasis strives to provide the necessary self-awareness, knowledge, and skills for School Counseling students to become competent and capable professional school counselors, while also following the rigorous standards of Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and the American School Counselor Association.

In addition to School Counseling, the Counseling program at Montana State also offers a M.S. in Marriage, Couples & Family Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling.




Montana State professors Anna Elliott, Jayne Downey and Rebecca Koltz were co-principal investigators on a $2.3 million grant for a program designed to train high-quality school and mental health counselors to work in rural areas of Montana. The grant, from the U.S. Department of Education, will be used for a five-year project called the Rural Mental Health Preparation/Practice Pathway.




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Carnegie Classified
The prestigious Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education® ranks Montana State University among the Top 5 public, 4-year universities for Very High Research Activity with a STEM-dominant research doctoral program.


WICHE Partnered Program
This graduate program honors the WICHE partnership for students from 15 western states. If you’re a resident of a WICHE state, you qualify for tuition significantly less than standard non-resident tuition. Learn more.


CACREP Certified
All three of Montana State’s Counseling programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), which is required in at least 23 states for the educational requirements for licensure. 




Fund Your Education

The Graduate School at Montana State is dedicated to helping students secure funding to support their time at MSU. Some resources the Department of Health & Human Development and the Graduate School offer includes:

Additionally, teaching assistantships may be available within the Department of Health & Human Development. Counseling assistantships can include a summer appointment in addition to the academic year appointment. Research assistantships may be available with individual faculty members who have funded grants or contracts. Stipends vary depending on the type of appointment, the requirements of the job, the experience of the applicant and available funding.

Human Development Clinic

Candidates in the Counseling program have the opportunity to work at the Human Development Clinic, which is staffed by faculty and graduate students alike. The purpose of the clinic is twofold:

  • to provide low-cost mental health services to the adults and children of the Gallatin Valley and beyond
  • to serve as a training facility for graduate students in marriage and family counseling and mental health counseling. All graduate student counselors are supervised by university faculty who are licensed mental health professionals

All requests for services remain confidential, and those services include individual counseling; couple, child and family counseling; career counseling; Parenting Through Divorce workshops; consultations and referrals; and opportunities for continuing professional development and education.




Careers after Graduation

MEd alumni in School Counseling embark on a wide range of careers within 10-years of their graduation.

Nearly 87% are working in nonprofit and about 12.5% for for-profit. Top industry employers include Gallatin County Schools and Compassion Project.

Across all career paths the estimated salary of alumni within 10 years of graduation ranges from $50,000 to $90,000 with an average of $60,000 (source of data Academic Analytics).


Admissions Requirements

Each program within the Graduate School at Montana State has its own particular requirements for admission, and the Counseling program is not different. To ensure that you start your application on the right foot, please review the admissions requirements for the Counselingprogram. This includes any additional deadlines that theDepartment of Health and Human Development may have aside from the Graduate School, which does practice rolling admissions.