Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Counseling is to prepare interpersonally skilled and culturally attuned professionals who promote mental health and wellbeing. These professionals support the holistic wellbeing of individuals and families across the lifespan in communities and schools throughout Montana and beyond.

Programs Offered

Montana State University’s graduate counseling program offers students an intensive training opportunity, focused on the acquisition of professional counseling knowledge and skills required to facilitate healing and growth for individuals, families, and community systems.

The counseling program offers three graduate counseling degree options: Clinical Mental Health Counseling;Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling; and School Counseling. Certificates are available in both Addiction Counseling and Mental Health Support. The links provided below provide more detailed information regarding the distinctions between the three master’s degree concentrations and how to determine which track best matches a prospective student’s career goals. Counseling students will graduate with strong foundational knowledge and experience that will facilitate their success as counselors in a variety of professional settings.  All three of our master's-level programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling option combines didactic and experiential course work to give students grounding in theories and principles of mental health counseling and extensive experience in supervised application of those theories and principles. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program prepares students to enhance their personal and professional development as counselors; to increase their ability to understand the characteristics and concerns of various client populations and their environments; to develop their knowledge and skills in use of theory-based counseling models; and to train them in the use of scientific methods of inquiry and evaluation. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree meets educational requirements for a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the State of Montana.

This program option is designed to prepare counselors to address a variety of mental health and relationship issues from a family systems framework. Students in this program are trained to work with individuals, families, or couples from a systems perspective. Students in the Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling option work in a variety of counseling contexts where they see children, adolescents, individuals, couples, and families. This extended focus beyond individual counseling provides a well-rounded training experience. The Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling program meets the educational licensure requirements for a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in the State of Montana.

Competent counseling practice is informed and guided by theory and evidence-based best practice. The school counseling degree emphasizes thorough knowledge of counselees' developmental and cultural contexts. During counseling practicum, students are closely supervised in their use of practical counseling skills, counseling theories, and professional practice in the K-12 school setting. Supervised practice continues and is expanded during internship. The School Counseling option meets educational licensure requirements for a Licensed School Counselor Specialist in the State of Montana.

The addiction counseling certificate program is an online academic program that prepares students to pursue licensure as a Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC) in Montana.  Please note, this is a graduate certificate program – not a master’s degree program. Students must have a bachelor's degree in a relevant field with a GPA of 3.0 to apply. However, we encourage motivated students with a GPA less than 3.0 to contact us to discuss the application process.
The graduate online certificate in mental health support will provide mental health training for career professionals to better support those who work in environments that intersect with human services. This certificate requires 12 credits of online coursework. Coursework is focused on development and helping theories, multicultural and diversity/inclusion education and support, helping skills and attending behavior, crisis management and trauma, reducing stigma around mental health, consultation, career, and leadership theory. This certificate program is offered summers only to accommodate faculty schedules as well as to increase accessibility to those working in K-12 as well as the university setting.




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