Master of Science in Counseling


The Master of Science in Counseling program at Carson-Newman provides high-caliber academic study along with firsthand experiences in clinical and school settings. Our local, state and national affiliates offer professional development, networking opportunities and a glimpse into real-world counseling scenarios. 

We understand that students bring their own personal stories to the study of counseling, and this breadth of life experiences and worldviews enhances the diversity of our programs.  Our collaborative learning environment fosters both academic and professional success and sets the stage for long-term relationships with faculty, counseling professionals and classmates.

Carson-Newman offers three specialization options:  

  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Professional School Counseling 
  • A dual degree in both Clinical Mental Health and Professional School Counseling

Plans of study are developed to meet credentialing requirements. Licensure as a professional counselor or marriage and family therapist requires supervised counseling beyond the graduate degree and specific examinations required for the licensure area. All students are required to complete comprehensive examinations, and passing scores are required for the receipt of the master’s degree.  


60 credit hours

The program is completed in a hybrid format, online and onsite.


Carson-Newman has a post-graduation placement rate of nearly 100% in both school counseling and clinical mental health programs. 

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) and School Counseling (SC) programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and meet educational requirements for licensure as a professional counselor in Tennessee and many other states. 


A graduate degree is an investment in your future, and we want to equip you to succeed.

• As a graduate student at Carson-Newman you’ll receive access to the full Microsoft Office suite.

• Graduate students enrolled in at least six (6) credit hours qualify to apply for federal financial aid. If you qualify, you can borrow up to $20,500 per year, which is more than enough to cover the total program cost.

• You’ll be assigned a personal faculty advisor, who will help draft a course plan tailored to your specific goals.


Our no interest payment plans help reduce up-front costs. Enrolling in a payment plan allows you to make monthly payments on your direct charges instead of paying your full balance before classes start.

Our Office of Financial Aid is available to guide you through the many options available to graduate students at Carson-Newman.


You’ll follow a prescribed curriculum depending on your area of emphasis. All coursework combines academic study with first-hand learning experiences as you prepare for licensure in your specialty.

In accordance with CACREP (2016) Standards, syllabi for our courses are available for prospective and admitted students to review.  If you would like to preview syllabi for any of our courses, please contact and indicate which syllabi you would like to receive.

Carson-Newman’s clinical mental health counseling specialization prepares you for individual, group and family counseling. With this degree, you’ll find a wide range of vocational options in the mental health field as well as the pursuit of credentials as a licensed professional counselor (LPC) or marriage and family therapist (LMFT). All licensure requirements for the LPC and the LMFT are regulated by the state.

Through the professional school counseling program at Carson-Newman, you’ll be prepared as a counselor for pre-kindergarten through grade 12. With a minimum total of 54 semester hours, candidates who successfully complete course requirements, earn a passing score on the professional school counselor specialty area test of the National Teachers Examination (Praxis Series), and earn a passing score on the Program Comprehensive will fulfill requirements for Tennessee licensure.

The MSC/EdS dual degree program at Carson-Newman allows you to complete the degree requirements for both professional school counseling and clinical mental health counseling. With this option, you’ll receive both degrees at the completion of the EdS degree concentration. This dual degree option requires that the coursework for both degrees be completed at Carson-Newman. The concentration areas may be taken in either order.


At Carson-Newman, you’ll develop personal relationships with faculty who teach, mentor and coach you toward success.

  • Ashley Bryant-Cheney —Admissions Counselor & Administrative Assistant
  • Carolyn Carlisle — Chair of Counseling & Associate Professor of Counseling
  • Kim Hawkins — Dean, School of Education and Counseling & Associate Professor of Education
  • Megan Herscher — Associate Professor of Counseling, Field Placement Coordinator and Clinical Mental Health Program Coordinator
  • Jane Joyce — Director of Blevins Institute
  • Jennifer Moralejo — Assistant Professor of Counseling
  • Anna Lora Taylor — Assistant Professor of Counseling
  • Nathan West — Assistant Professor of Counseling


New students are admitted to counseling graduate programs at Carson-Newman for the fall and spring semesters. Requested application submission dates are:

Fall Enrollment Deadline
February 1

Spring Enrollment Deadline     
October 1

The enrollment deadlines are firm, and all application materials should be submitted prior to the deadline for consideration.

In addition to the common admission requirements for all C-N graduate programs, applicants to the counseling graduate program (MSC) must meet these minimum qualifications:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university. We welcome applications from international students
  • A minimum overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.0

Applicants will also be asked complete the following: 

  • Professional resume
  • Statement of purpose
  • Interview to assess motivation for professional development, communication skills, self-awareness, confidence and potential for working with diverse populations
  • Two recommendations: one academic and one employer (online request recommendation form)
  • Background record check


Do you have questions about the Master of Counseling degree from Carson-Newman? See our helpful list of Frequently Asked Questions below.

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Contact our helpful admissions team.


With a Master of Counseling degree from Carson-Newman, you’ll be prepared for whatever counseling career path you pursue. These are just a few of the possibilities:


  • Individual, group, marriage and family counselor
  • Addiction and rehabilitation counselor or psychotherapist
  • Licensed professional counselor
  • Licensed clinical professional counselor
  • Human services educator
  • Higher education counselor
  • Student affairs administrator
  • Licensed mental health counselor
  • School counselor
  • Residential treatment counselor
  • Career counselor

Yes, in fact most students in our program are working adults. We offer a hybrid counseling training program with a combination of online and classroom coursework. Traditional classes meet on campus in the late afternoon and evening.

Depending on the number of courses taken each semester, students typically complete the professional school counseling program or the clinical mental health counseling program in seven to nine semesters. Each specialization requres 60 hourse of course work.

Students usually take two or three courses each semester.

With this option, you have the opportunity to earn degrees toward licensure in two fields of counseling: school counseling and clinical mental health counseling. In the dual degree program, you will complete both a Master of Science in Counseling (MSC) degree and an Educational Specialist (EdS) degree. Both areas of concentration are completed together, and the degrees are awarded at the same time.

The Graduate Studies in Counseling Department offers a limited number of competitive scholarships and graduate assistantships to our students. More information on Graduate Assistantships is located here. Other competitive scholarship opportunities are sent to current counseling students as they become available. Federal work student positions are available for those who qualify with financial aid.

With an extensive network of partners, Carson-Newman is uniquely equipped to give you opportunities for hands-on learning as you pursue your degree.


  • Bethany Christian Services
  • Camelot
  • Carson-Newman Counseling Center
  • Central Baptist Church, Bearden
  • Faith Promise Church, Knoxville
  • First Baptist Church Morristown
  • Joining Hands Health
  • Morristown Behavioral Health
  • New Hope Morristown
  • Pathways White House
  • Stepping Out Morristown
  • Walters State Community College
  • Well Springs
  • Youth Villages


Chi Nu Upsilon is an honor society for professional counselors. It is the local chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, an international honor society that values academic and professional excellence in counseling. We promote a strong professional identity through members (professional counselors, counselor educators, and students) who contribute to the realization of a healthy society by fostering wellness and human dignity. The mission of C-N and CSI is to promote scholarship, research, professionalism, leadership, advocacy, and excellence in counseling and to recognize high attainment in the pursuit of academic and clinical excellence in the profession of counseling.

To be eligible for membership, students must have completed at least 18 hours of graduate coursework in a counselor education degree program, have earned a grade point average of 3.5 or better on a 4.0 system, and be recommended for membership in CSI by C-N including promise for a capacity to represent the best about professional counseling including appropriate professional behavior, ethical judgment, emotional maturity, and attitudes conducive to working to advocate for wellness and human dignity for all. For more information, contact C-N sponsors: Dr. Herscher at or Dr. Nathan West at


The Graduate Studies in Counseling (GSC) program engages in a systematic evaluation of its two primary program offerings: Professional School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling.  One purpose of this evaluation is to determine to what extent our students master counselor competencies as identified by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP).  We assess the growth and development of our students’ knowledge, skills and demeanor in four stages: Program Entry, Progression through Training, Clinical Field Experience, and Transition into the Profession.  Our continuous assessment system utilizes multiple measures including student work samples, examinations, Key Learning Objectives Assessment (KLOA), professor and site supervisor ratings, self-assessments, and other evaluations.  To review an outline of our Continuous Assessment System, click here.  We invite you to examine our outcome and assessment reports contained in the Evaluation Dashboard by clicking the links below.   

Graduate Studies in Counseling faculty review a variety of admissions data to determine if an applicant can be successful in graduate level work and has the potential for a career in the helping profession of counseling. For admission, we require:

• Official transcript(s) of undergraduate work
• Background Check
• Interview with MSC faculty
• Statement of Purpose
• Resume of work and service history
• Three references (academic, employment, and personal)

We analyze undergraduate transcripts (GPA & course of study) to determine the applicant’s aptitude for graduate level studies. We conduct an interview to understand the applicant’s motivation to become a professional counselor and experiences with diverse populations. We review the resume and references to learn of the applicant’s commitment to service and work in helping others.  A GRE or comparable exam may be requested if additional information is needed to appropriately determine an applicant’s potential for graduate studies.

Review the Admissions Data of our students.

We offer Masters of Science in Counseling (MSC) degrees in Professional School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling. In accordance with standards of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), we measure and report student learning outcomes as students progress through their training. Students in our two entry level programs are assessed on their mastery of counselor competencies that comprise the core standards of CACREP. These include fifty-six (56) standards of the core professional identity in eight dimensions, i.e., professional orientation and ethics, cultural diversity, human development, career development, helping relationships, group work, assessment, and research.


We adapted the Key Learning Objectives Assessment (KLOA) system to measure each counselor competency. We assign each competency to one of our thirty MSC courses for mastery and assessment. A measurement benchmark of four on a six-point Likert scale is set for each competency and is considered by our program faculty to represent mastery of that particular competency. In addition, a KLOA score of three or higher represents adequate mastery of that particular competency.


Data from our 2018 KLOA system found that students mastered eighty-four percent (84%) of the one hundred ninety-seven KLOA competencies at the four-point threshold. Our goal is that students will master standards at the eighty percent level; results show that we exceeded this program goal.

In 2015, GSC faculty found that some competencies should be more appropriately assigned to other courses for mastery and assessment. We realigned the competencies and found that our students obtained a higher level of mastery.

In addition, we analyzed how our students performed in each of the eight core professional identity dimensions.  We present summary reports by semester.  Please review this component of our Continuous Assessment System by clicking the links for each core dimension below.

KLOA Assessment System Stage 2

GSC faculty assess three areas of field experience: Counseling Practicum, Professional School Counseling Internship, and Clinical Mental Health Counseling Internship. The Practicum experience is designed to develop the counseling skills of students by working with live clients in professional settings.  The Internship experience places students in work settings appropriate for their training to allow them to develop overall knowledge,skills and disposition appropriate for their specialty field.

Students in clinical field experiences are assessed on their competencies by both their GSC program supervisors and their site supervisors.  Program supervisors use the Key Learning Objectives Assessment (KLOA) system to evaluate student mastery of competencies.  Site supervisors use Internship and Practicum rating forms provided by the GSC department and are found in the Practicum and Internship Handbooks.  For a review of clinical field evaluation reports, please click links below.

3.1: KLOA of Practicum Field Experience
3.2: KLOA of PSC Internship Field Experience
3.3: KLOA of CMHC Field Experience
3.4: Practicum Ratings by Supervisors
3.5: PSC Intern Ratings by Site Supervisors
3.6: CMHC Intern Ratings by Site Supervisors

GSC faculty compile evaluation data on students as they near the end of their training and after their graduation.  Comprehensive Examination, Self-assessment, Professional Evaluation provide data of student readiness to enter the field of professional counseling.  Surveys of graduates and their employers offer program faculty an analysis of the GSC training our students receive. To review summary reports of these multiple assessments, click links below.

4.1: Comprehensive Examination Report
4.2: Professional Examination Report
4.3: Exit Survey Report
4.4: Employer Survey Report
4.5: Graduate Survey Report

The C-N graduate degree programs in counseling are competitively priced to make continued education a reality for you.

$475 per credit hour + $50 per credit hour technology fee

Graduate students at C-N may also be eligible for federal and state financial aid.

Apply for Aid


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