The mission of CIU’s Clinical Counseling Program is to offer professional training in clinical mental health counseling within a biblical worldview in order to provide Christ-like therapeutic relationships for healing and growth. The training model focuses on the heart (personal and spiritual development), the head (professional knowledge and research), and the hands (effective interpersonal and clinical skills).
Program Delivery Options
The clinical counseling degree is offered in multiple delivery formats. Students may choose to complete all coursework residentially or may complete coursework online. Students who choose to complete coursework residentially will have a few classes that are offered in the online format, such as internships which allow students to complete fieldwork in areas outside of Columbia, SC. Students who choose to complete coursework online will have to come to campus twice during the program for 4-5 days as part of two classes (CNS 6620 and CNS 6912) that meet in person for a few days and have other online components. These two residencies will allow students to meet faculty and peers in person as they develop and demonstrate counseling competencies.
- Online application
- Application fee
- Affirm to be a Christian and agree with CIU’s Statement of Faith
- Official transcript for highest earned degree and any master’s level credits earned
- A minimum 3.0 GPA for the most recent degree obtained.
- Students whose GPA falls between 2.8 and 3.0 may be considered for admission on a conditional basis if they submit their requests in writing accompanied by appropriate rationale.
- Prerequisites: Have completed the following undergraduate courses with a minimum 2.0 (“C”) grade (or a score of 50 on the CLEP)
- Introduction to Psychology or General Psychology
- Applicants without these courses can be conditionally accepted pending successful completion of the courses.
- Essay (800 words total)
- Professional Reference
- In person or Online Interview
Residency and Transfer Policies
A maximum of 12 credits will be considered for transfer toward the “Counseling Core” from another accredited school. No transfer of credit will be accepted for the following courses: CNS 5305 - Applied Biblical Foundations of Counseling , CNS 5306 - Foundations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling , CNS 5313 - Personal and Spiritual Development , CNS 5342 - Found-Marriage, Family Counseling , CNS 6912 - Advanced Counseling Technique and Practicum , CNS 6931 - Internship 1 , CNS 6932 - Internship 2 . Transfer credit must be approved by the student’s advisor and the dean.
Non-Degree Seeking Students
Students accepted as non-degree seeking students or students in other graduate-level programs at CIU may take a maximum of 12 graduate hours in the Master of Arts in Counseling degree. Admission into a course does not imply admission into the Master of Arts in Counseling program. Students may choose from the following courses: CNS 5075 - Multicultural Counseling , CNS 5306 - Foundations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling , CNS 5310 - Counseling Theory , CNS 5330 - Professional Orientation and Ethics , CNS 5342 - Found-Marriage, Family Counseling , and CNS 5410 - Research, Statistics, and Evaluation . Internship courses are open only to Master of Arts in Counseling students.
Admission to candidacy in the M.A. in Counseling program is a checkpoint to ensure that students are progressing appropriately in their professional skills, academic understanding, and personal and spiritual development in order to continue toward internship and graduation. Details of the application process for candidacy are found in the Program Handbook. All undergraduate psychology prerequisites must be completed and credits transferred to CIU before candidacy can be granted. Students who wish to pursue candidacy must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater. Students are responsible for submitting their application to candidacy to the Counseling Educational Assistant.
- Students are responsible for completing and submitting all documents related to candidacy for review by the faculty.
- All undergraduate psychology prerequisites must be completed and all external credits must be transferred to CIU before candidacy can be granted.
- Students must have completed the following eight courses before candidacy can be granted: CNS 5306 Foundations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling, CNS 5310 Counseling Theory, CNS 5313 Personal and Spiritual Development, CNS 5330 Professional Ethics, CNS 5342 Foundations of Marriage and Family Counseling, CNS 5420 Psychopathology, CNS 6410 Counseling Techniques, and CNS 6440 Group Counseling.
Program Hours, Practicum, Internship
The M.A. in Counseling program requires 60 credit hours for graduation. This total includes six hours of electives that may be chosen from the list of designated electives below.
A practicum experience of 100 hours with a minimum of 40 hours of direct services and an internship of 600 hours with a minimum of 240 hours of direct service are required as part of the 60 course credits. Students typically complete the program over a three-year period.
The M.A. in Counseling program meets the requirements for the academic coursework and clinical training for licensure as a Professional Counselor Associate (LPC/A) in the state of South Carolina. While the standards for licensure in South Carolina are similar to other states, students who wish to pursue licensure from another state should research the requirements for the state in which they intend to practice. Any program changes must be approved by the student’s advisor and dean early in the program. Most states require a minimum of two years postgraduate supervised practice before full licensure is granted.
The expected time limit for completing all the requirements for the MA in Counseling degree is seven years, measured from the date a student begins coursework in the degree. Students may request that courses completed outside the expected limit be reviewed by the dean’s office on a case-by-case basis.
Students must satisfy the following requirements in order to graduate:
- Complete all practicum, candidacy, and internship requirements
- Complete all required hours of specified coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and no grade lower than a “C”
- Receive a satisfactory faculty recommendation based upon emotional, spiritual, and professional health and maturity
- Affirm CIU’s doctrinal statement.