2010 - 2011 Master of Science in Professional Counseling

Program Goals | Admission | Retention | Academic Probation | Graduation | Program Requirements | Course Descriptions

Core Faculty: Janine Wanlass, Laura Bennett-Murphy, Colleen Sandor
Associate Faculty: Barbara Smith, Angela Hicks, Jennifer Simonds, Cathleen Power, Lesa Ellis

Program Mission

The Masters in Professional Counseling Program at Westminster College educates students in the fundamentals of psychological theory and practice in an experiential and interpersonal learning environment that facilitates personal and professional growth. Our aim is to train professional counselors with a sound basis in ethical behavior, psychological theories, and professional skills, creating a knowledge base and capacity for thinking that can be translated into effective counseling practice with individuals, families, and groups from diverse backgrounds. We strive to guide our students to become more self-aware and self-reflective as they hone their intellectual and emotional skills. We encourage critical thinking, emphasize professional honesty and integrity, and foster a commitment to providing services to local communities.

Program Goals

The program of study is designed to develop a student's ability to:

  • Practice in the field of psychology with a comprehensive understanding of ethical and professional behavior.
  • Establish a professional identity in a career as a professional counselor within a local community.
  • Articulate a fundamental knowledge of research, theory, and practice in the field of psychology from a broad range of clinical perspectives.
  • Engage in critical thinking skills and develop a heightened self-awareness.
  • Appreciate and practice counseling skills with an acute sensitivity to issues of diversity.
  • Seek professional consultation with colleagues and supervisors, facilitating engagement in a life long learning process.
  • Assess individuals, families, and groups using appropriate theory and skills and derive appropriate intervention strategies to help these clients resolve their problems of living.

Admission to the Program

See the Admission to the College section for admission requirements.

Retention in the Program

The student must:

  1. Design and file an acceptable program plan with the Director of the Masters in Professional Counseling program.
  2. Maintain a grade point average of 3.0. If the student receives a grade of C+ or lower in any course, the credit hours for this course do not count toward graduation requirements.
  3. Pass comprehensive exams at an acceptable level prior to starting an internship placement.
  4. Complete the program within 5 years.
  5. Comply with ethical standards for counselors and all policies for practicum students, interns, or employees at community clinical placements. Failure to do so may result in suspension or dismissal from the program.

Academic Probation Policy

See the Grading and Academic Standards section for graduate academic probation and suspension policies.

Appeals for Readmission

See the Grading and Academic Standards for information on appeals for readmission.

Program Probation and Dismissal Policy

A student may receive a practicum/internship/classroom warning of program probationary status at any time during a field or classroom experience if the instructor determines that the student's performance is unsatisfactory. The written warning will outline what the student must do to meet the course requirements. Students placed on program probation will be formally evaluated at the end of that course. Program probation will be removed if the student is able to satisfy the conditions listed in the written warning; however, any program probationary status will be documented in the student's record.

A student can be dismissed from the Masters in Professional Counseling program for any of the following reasons:

  • Violation of the academic honesty policy.
  • Violation of the ethical code for counselors.
  • Failure to maintain a GPA appropriate for the program.
  • A documented pattern of unprofessional behavior in the classroom or clinical setting.
  • A documented violation of agency policy or procedures in a clinical placement.

Graduation Requirements

Candidates for graduation should apply to the Registrar's Office approximately two regular semesters prior to planned completion of graduation requirements. Applications for December graduation are due in September, and applications for May and August graduation are due in October. Please see the Academic Calendar for more specific dates. Candidates are notified of remaining degree requirements within four weeks after applying for graduation.

To be eligible for a master's degree or graduate certificate, students must satisfy the following conditions:

  • Meet all credit hour and other course requirements.
  • Maintain an overall grade point average of 3.0 or above.
  • Be enrolled at Westminster College during the semester in which they wish to graduate.
  • Maintain good academic standing.
  • Earn a grade of B- or higher in all graduate courses.

Note: Only graduate-level coursework may be applied toward degree or certificate requirements.

The final responsibility for being informed about, and adhering to, graduation requirements rests with the individual.

Program Requirements

Students must complete at least 60 hours of graduate course work drawn from the following:

MSPC Requirements
Credit Hours
I. Required Courses 60
  MSPC 610 Counseling Ethics and Professional Roles
MSPC 612 Statistics and Research Methods
MSPC 614 Psychopathology and the DSM
MSPC 618 Individual Psychotherapy
MSPC 620 Infant and Child Development
MSPC 622 Lifespan and Career Development
MSPC 625 Test and Measurement Theory
MSPC 628 Couple, Family, and Group Psychotherapy
MSPC 631 Applications of Cognitive Behavioral Theory
MSPC 633 Child Psychotherapy
MSPC 636 Clinical Assessment
MSPC 639 Multicultural Counseling
MSPC 640 Counseling Practicum
MSPC 642 Substance Abuse Treatment
MSPC 644 Applications of Psychodynamic Theory
MSPC 650* Special Topics Seminars
MSPC 652 Advanced Psychodynamic Theory
MSPC 660 Internship I
MSPC 661 Internship II
MSPC 670* Thesis Research

*All numbered courses are required; however, students may choose either 6 hours of special topics seminars or 6 hours of thesis research. Students are required to take and pass comprehensive exams prior to their internship year. (Students should be aware that completion of this program is partial preparation for licensure as an L.P.C., since additional clinical practice hours are needed to meet the licensure requirements. Utah requires 4,000 supervised clinical hours prior to licensure.)