college counselor degree

College Counseling Degree (Master of Science)

Earn Your College Counseling Degree at GMercyU

College can be an exciting time, but also a stressful one. You can prepare for a career helping young adults navigate academic and personal difficulties—as well as help them coordinate their professional plans—as a college counselor. Earn your Master of Science in Counseling – College Counseling with Gwynedd Mercy University.

The GMercyU Difference

In keeping with the overall mission of our College Counseling Program, the college counselor concentration aims to prepare you for professional practice as a competent, confident, and ethically sound college counselor. Through our scientist-practitioner model, you’ll be ready to provide support, guidance, and advocate on behalf of your students. In addition, we will challenge you to act as an advocate for social justice and mental wellness for all.

As soon as you are enrolled, our experienced, caring faculty and staff will view you as a working professional, and hold you to our high academic, clinical, and ethical standards. Their personal attention and mentorship will empower you to find your personal counseling identity and prepare for licensure and a meaningful career.

*Licensure: This program was designed to meet the licensure requirements of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. If you reside in a different state, you should carefully review your home state’s licensure requirements prior to enrolling in this program.

Admission Requirements – Master’s Degree in College Counseling

We will consider you for admission to our school counselor degree program based on your academic ability, expression of interests and goals, life experience, and personal interview.  

To apply, you must:

  1. Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education;
  2. Demonstrate completion of the following undergraduate prerequisites:
    1. 3 credits in General Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Theory or another foundational course
    2. 3 credits in Research Methods or Statistics;
  3. Submit official transcripts from all academic institutions attended;
  4. Demonstrate achievement of a minimum grade point average (GPA) of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (see below if your GPA was lower than 3.0 and you do not currently hold a graduate degree);
  5. Complete of the Gwynedd Mercy University Graduate Application and pay the application fee;  
  6. Submit of two letters of recommendation from:
    1. An academic who can attest to your academic ability (preferred), and
    2. A professional or supervisor who can attest to your professional qualification, abilities, and temperament for the field.  
  7. Complete a personal statement (3-5 pages maximum) that address the following:
    1. Who you are and your reasons for choosing a career in college and higher education counseling;
    2. Why you have chosen GMercyU’s college counseling program;
    3. What being a college or university counselor means to you, and personal characteristics that make you uniquely suited for such a career;
    4. Your expectations of learning in an online program and your ability to meet those expectations;
    5. How you plan to complete the field placement demands of the program.
  8. Attend a personal interview with program staff.

NOTE: If your GPA was lower than 3.0, you must provide proof of acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).  We require a combined score of 292 or higher, and you must also complete the analytical writing test.

The GRE requirement is waived for applicants who currently hold a graduate degree or applicants who achieved a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Transfer Credits

You may transfer up to six (6) credits of graduate work completed at an accredited institution for comparable courses into the GMercyU program, provided you earned at least a B in each course. Transfer credit decisions are made on an individual basis.  

College Counseling Program Curriculum

Our master’s degree college counseling consists of 60 credits of course work. The core curriculum makes up 30 of those credits, and the other 30 are within the college counselor concentration.

These courses include:
•    CNS 503: DSM/Psychopathology - 3 credits
•    CNS 509: College Student Development - 3 credits
•    CNS 511: Current Practices in Student Affairs Administration - 3 credits
•    CNS 536: Group Counseling and Facilitation Skills - 3 credits
•    CNS 604: Internship I (CCSA) - 3 credits
•    CNS 605: Internship II (CCSA) - 3 credits
•    CNS 606: Internship III (CCSA) - 3 credits
•    CNS: Electives - 9 credits
You will complete a total of 100 hours of practicum experience, plus 600 total hours of supervised internship, divided among three internship sites.

Help Guide Students with a Master’s in College Counseling

This 60-credit master’s degree prepares you to wear many hats in community colleges, career placement firms, colleges, and universities as an advisor to and advocate for students. You will also develop knowledge and skills for group counseling and identifying signs of mental illness, which can manifest during late adolescence and early adulthood.

The college counseling degree combines online courses with two weekend residencies and field experiences. You can complete your master’s degree in counseling as little as three and a half years.

College Counselor Career Outcomes

Potential job titles related to this degree include:

  • Academic Advisor
  • Academic Counselor
  • Advisor
  • Career Services Counselor
  • Student Advisor
  • Residential Life Counselor
  • Student Affairs Advisor

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2016 median annual salary for school counselors across the sectors that employed them most were:

Occupations  Median Annual Salary

Junior colleges, colleges, universities, and professional schools; state, local, and private

$ 48,500

Other educational services; state, local, and private

     $ 48,380

Health care and social assistance

     $ 37,080

Due to population growth, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the nation will need an additional 36,700 educational and career counselors over the 2016-2026 period. At a growth rate of 13%, this occupation is expected to grow faster than the national average of 7% for all jobs.