Counseling with a Specialization in School Counseling (M.Ed.)

CIP Code



The mission of the Master of Education (MED) in Counseling program is to prepare highly competent professionals who can respond to the lifespan mental health needs of a multicultural community. Graduates of the UTRGV MED in Counseling program are committed to advocacy and leadership in the communities they serve. Students in the School Counselor Specialization are prepared to be an integral part of the academic services in P‐16 schools and trained to facilitate the growth and learning of students by providing services in guidance curriculum, responsive services, individual planning, and systems support. The school counselor also provides direct services to students and coordinates services with programs and agencies within the school and in the community.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the graduate program in counseling, prospective candidates must first meet all requirements for graduate admission to UT Rio Grande Valley, as well as the other requirements listed below:

  1. Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 in the last 60 semester credit hours. If applicant does not meet the minimum undergraduate GPA criterion of 3.0, GRE general test with minimum scores of 150 Verbal, 141 Quantitative, and 4.0 Analytical are required for conditional admission
  2. Three letters of recommendation at least one of which must be from a former professor.
  3. Personal  statement  detailing  professional  goals  and  reasons  for pursuing the graduate degree.
  4. Resume including educational background and work experience.
  5. Personal interview (Upon completing application).
  6. Cleared Criminal background check

Application for admission must be submitted prior to the published deadline. The application is available at

Appeal Process for Students Denied Admission

Students who are denied admission for any reason may appeal to the Counseling Department Appeals Committee in the following manner:

  1. File a letter of appeal to the committee for consideration in the next regular semester.
  2. Provide an essay that details significant life events, with an emphasis on achievements and responsibilities that would indicate an ability to undertake graduate work and a probability for success in the field of counseling.
  3. Complete an interview by the Counseling Department Appeals committee. The Appeals committee may accept the appeal, deny the appeal or accept the appeal with conditions, e.g., additional academic work, personal counseling, and/or similar experiences.

Admitted Students

Admitted students are required to attend the Counseling Department Student Orientation. Students are expected to abide by all counseling-related ethical codes and legal statutes, including but not limited to those set forth by the American Counseling Association, the American School Counseling Association, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists, the Association for Specialists in Group Work, the Texas State Board of Examiners for Licensed Professional Counselors, as well as any others associated with the type of counseling intervention being provided. Failure to comply with ethical standards will result in consequences deemed appropriate by the Counseling program faculty, including dismissal from the program.

A student must earn a ‘B’ or better in every course. In the event that a student does not meet the aforementioned requirement, the student must seek advisement to schedule the course repeat.

Progression Requirements

Students earning more than two Cs during the program may be exited from the program.

Counseling candidates must successfully complete five benchmarks to ensure progress through the program. Benchmarks include:

  1. A grade of ‘B’ or better on the theoretical orientation paper in COUN 6328
  2. A grade of ‘B’ or better on counseling videos assessing counseling skills in COUN 6365
  3. A satisfactory rating on goodness-of-fit to practice conducted each semester by faculty team meeting (students who receive unsatisfactory ratings will be placed on a growth plan with recommendations to successfully improve in the program; see the program website for the full text of this policy)
  4. Successful completion of the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) as determined by one (1) standard deviation below the national mean

Exit Requirements 

  1. Completion of all course requirements with a minimum 3.0 grade point average.
  2. Satisfactory completion of all benchmarks

Program Requirements

Required Courses - 57 Hours

COUN 6301Introduction to Research Methods in Counseling


COUN 6304Human Growth and Development for Counseling Professionals


COUN 6310Professional Orienation to Counseling


COUN 6311Professional, Ethical, and Legal Issues in Counseling


COUN 6313Personal/Social Development of the Counselor


COUN 6314Assessment and Appraisal Techniques in Counseling


COUN 6327Counseling Theories, Methods & Techniques I


COUN 6328Counseling Theories, Methods & Techniques II


COUN 6340Abnormal Human Behavior


COUN 6345Career Development Theories


COUN 6347Addictions Counseling


COUN 6349Child and Adolescent Counseling


COUN 6351Treatment Planning and Crisis Intervention


COUN 6361Couples and Family Counseling


COUN 6364Social and Cultural Issues in Counseling


COUN 6365Counseling Practicum


COUN 6368Group Counseling Theories and Methods


COUN 6369Counseling Internship I


COUN 6370Counseling Internship II


Specialization Course - 3 Hours

COUN 6344School Counseling and Guidance


Capstone Requirement

Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam (CPCE)

Total Credit Hours: 60