Major in Counseling

Counseling Check Sheets

Fall 2015: Addictions Counseling, and College Counseling and Student Affairs concentrations!

NOTE: Effective fall semester 2014, applicants to the Counseling program must provide a current background check to be considered for admission to the program. Please see the Education Student Services web site ( for further information. Please submit the Background Check Release Form with your application packet.

The Master of Science in Education with a major in Counseling has two concentrations:

1) School Counseling

2) Clinical Mental Health Counseling

The school counselor concentration will prepare counselors to support teachers and other school personnel as well as parents in addressing the needs of students related to academic, career preparation and personal growth and development. Students will be prepared to serve schools with grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12. The major in Counseling is an approved preparation program for School Counseling Licensure through the Division of Teacher Education and Accreditation, Tennessee State Department of Education.


The Clinical Mental Health Counseling concentration will prepare counselors for addressing the mental-health needs of the community. See below for the Tennessee Professional Licensure (TPL) requirements.




The College of Education, Health and Behavioral Sciences is required to follow the directives of the State Department of Education, which has the authority to make changes in certification standards. The university does not claim to prepare counselors for distinct specialties with its general-degree programs in counseling. Students should consult their adviser or the coordinator/designee to ascertain if their career goals require specialization in a certain area of counseling. Students who graduate from the counseling program and plan to enter private practice or need licensure for employment are responsible for meeting the licensure requirements in Tennessee for the Licensed Professional Counselor. Students are instructed to write the Tennessee Department of Health Related Boards, 283 Plus Park Blvd., Nashville, Tennessee 37247-1010 for the board's licensure standards, which may exceed the university's counseling degree program requirements.


NOTE: In order to be recommended for licensure as a School Counselor, the State Department of Education stipulates that candidates without teaching experience will have a semester-long orientation experience in a (PreK-12) school as an early part of the preparation program. Students will meet this requirement by successful completion of Counseling 712 Learning Theories and 30 hours of observation (15 hours in an Elementary K-6 school and 15 hours in a Secondary 7-12 school).


Tennessee Professional Licensure (TPL) for Mental Health/Community Counseling


Completion of the 60-hour clinical mental health program will satisfy the course requirements for the master's degree. Students completing the Clinical Mental Health Counseling concentration should consult with their adviser regarding additional requirements beyond the credits earned in the Master's degree that are necessary for professional licensure.

Admission to Candidacy

Degree-seeking students are eligible to apply for admission to candidacy once they have enrolled in a minimum of 15 credit hours. NOTE: Students must have satisfactorily completed Counseling 725 and Counseling 740 prior to completing application.  To apply for Admission to Candidacy, students must:

1) Submit online application for "Admission to Candidacy." The application is available on the Education Graduate Program website The Education Graduate Office will verify eligibility. The application must be submitted in order to participate in the four-day residency (held biannually). Students will be notified of session they will be required to attend (January or June).

2) Successfully complete a four-day residency which is required for full admission to candidacy and continuation in the Counseling program. Successful completion of residency and approval for candidacy requires favorable evaluation by faculty at the end of residency.

Students who are not admitted to candidacy may reapply for admission one additional time within one calendar year from date of notification. NOTE: Degree-seeking students may not complete more than 24 credit hours without successfully completing the four-day residency and admission to candidacy.




All counseling majors are required to attend a four-day residency in either January or June in order to be admitted to candidacy in the counseling program. At the time of application to candidacy, students will register to attend the upcoming residential meeting. The program will be held on the Martin campus.


Practicum Requirement


Each student in the counseling program must complete a semester-long supervised practicum experience (Counseling 785). The practicum requirement is available to students only upon the approval of the instructor and must be taken prior to the internship. Application for completing the practicum requirement must be submitted one semester in advance of the semester the experience is desired. An application may be obtained from the coordinator/designee of Education Graduate Programs.


Internship Application


The internship is a field experience in which students are required to apply the knowledge and skill acquired in previous coursework to actual school/community settings. Students must complete an internship application online the semester prior to enrollment. The application may be completed online at: The internship requirements will be fulfilled at a site approved through the Education Graduate Office. A registration hold will be placed on student records to prevent registration for internships before application is complete.


All prerequisites, core courses and the practicum requirement must be completed before the internship is begun.




September 30 - Application due for Spring internship

January 30 - Application due for Summer or Fall internships

NOTE: A preliminary school internship application is due September 15 for Spring internships and Januay 15 for Fall internships. All placements for school internships must be made through the Director of Field Services in Education Student Services. Applications are processed for one semester at a time.


Critical Paper


Each internship student must summarize and evaluate the internship experience in a critical synthesis paper.


Comprehensive Examination


A comprehensive written examination must be taken by all students pursuing the Master of Science degree with a major in Counseling. The examination will test a student's competencies and knowledge in the chosen area of specialization. The comprehensive examination must be taken during the semester in which the student expects to receive the degree. The comprehensive exam will be administered online through Blackboard. A minimum score of 70% is required for successful completion.



The following materials are required for review by the Counseling Admissions Board (CAB)

  1. Three letters of recommendation from school superintendents, principals, teachers, professors and/or employers. Each letter must provide clear evidence that addresses the candidate's counseling skills and/or potential which will enable the individual to become a counselor. Letters must be mailed by the reference.
  2. A two-page, double-spaced typed essay that fully describes the candidate's skills and experiences relevant to becoming a successful counselor. The candidate must also discuss the perceived personal abilities and attributes that will enable the counseling candidate to become a successful counselor.
  3. A current resumé. The resumé needs to describe fully the candidate's degrees and importantly, the person's occupational experiences—particularly any counseling experiences obtained.
  4. Written acknowledgment of required participation in a 4-day on-campus residency. Students will be notified a semester in advance of their eligibility to participate. Students are responsible for all travel and lodging costs.
  5. Written acknowledgment of teaching experience. Documentation of teaching experience must be provided by the applicant's school system on appropriate letterhead.  Applicants without teaching experience must submit a signed acknowledgement of this requirement.  (see form below)
  6. Current background check and background check release. Please see the Education Student Services Criminal Background Check web site for directions and forms.


On Campus Residency Form

Acknowledgement of Teaching Experience


Application to Graduate School includes the following:

1) Apply for admission on on-line at  

2) Submit official transcripts of all colleges and universities attended to Office of Graduate Studies, 227 Administration Building, Martin, TN 38238.

3) Submit all required documents for review by Counseling Admissions Board.  Packet will not be forwarded for review until all materials have been received by the Office of Graduate Studies.


Please submit all counseling documents and admission materials to:

Office of Graduate Studies
The University of TN at Martin
227 Administration Building
Martin, TN  38238


NOTE:  Admission is dependent up submission of these documents and a positive review by the Counseling Admissions Board.


For further information, please contact the Education Graduate Programs Office at, or use our online request form.

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