Counselor Education

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Counselor Education

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Winther Hall 6035










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Want to learn more about our program? Sign up for an information session! Also, our FAQ section has answers to many common questions. Please call (262) 472-5426 or email for any additional questions.


Information Sessions

Persons interested in learning more about UW-Whitewater's Master of Science Degree in Counseling are encouraged to attend an information session facilitated by the Counselor Education faculty members and graduate assistants.

In addition to receiving information on program format, admission procedures and requirements, faculty, and courses, there will be an opportunity to ask questions and tour Winther Counseling Services.

 Want to sign up for an Information Session? 

Our next information session dates

  • Friday, April 16th,  10:00 am - 12:00 pm (virtual); Click here to attend our virtual session 
  • Wednesday, July 14th, 5:30 - 7:30 pm  (virtual)
  • Friday, August 20th, 10:00 am- 12:00 pm (virtual)
  • Friday, September 17th, 10:00 am- 12:00 pm (virtual)

Please click the link to sign up through our google doc:  Student Information Session

Admissions Criteria

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  • Overall undergraduate grade point average of 2.75* on a four-point scale
  • Sufficient background in the behavioral sciences including coursework in the following:
    1. Human Development
    2. Abnormal Psychology
    3. Statistics
  • No GRE required

Students may be admitted to the program with these "deficiencies" (prerequisites not yet completed). Identified deficiencies must be removed prior to enrollment in coursework beyond the first nine (9) credits. Courses taken to remove deficiencies may be at the undergraduate or graduate level. Credit earned to remove deficiencies will not count toward the degree requirements for the Master of Science in Counseling.

*Students seeking an exception (based on an undergraduate GPA of less than 2.75) to the admissions standards should do the following:

  1. Follow the Admissions Procedures (Step 1 and 2) listed in our Admissions page.
  2. Submit a letter requesting an exception clearly identifying reasons that justify this exception.
  3. Provide information supportive of this exception (e.g., additional references, Graduate Record Exam scores, life experiences, etc.).

On receipt of these materials, the regular admissions procedures will be followed. Academic background (including specific deficiencies) will be examined and discussed in the admissions interview.

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Application and Program Requirements

Internships and Experience

Courses and Emphases


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Application and Program Requirements

About how many students apply to the program and how many do you accept?

The Counselor Education Program receives approximately 100-120 applications per year and typically offers admission to 48 applicants.

What can I do to make my application stronger?

Strong applications will include a reflection of past experiences within the field of counseling as well as other programs related to counseling, therapy, and helping professions. Applications may also highlight one's work, both paid and unpaid. Overall, one's involvement, passion, and commitment to working within professional settings is important to include. In addition, seek letters of recommendation from professional and academic references who are familiar with you as a person and a student, can speak to your abilities, and have worked closely with you on a major project. Finally, a strong academic background and an application free of grammatical errors are also valued.

What can I do to make my goal statement stand out?

Your goal statement should be a clear explanation of the choices, experiences, and thoughts that have encouraged you to pursue a career in counseling. Allow yourself time to review each of the paths that have helped you arrive to this point. How and why did you come to this decision? Who or what were your influences? Why do you think you will be happy as a counselor? Why have you chosen a certain emphasis over another? What types of work do you foresee yourself doing in the future? With what populations? Allow the reader to hear your true voice!

Is the GRE required in order to apply for the program?


Is a thesis required to complete the program?

No! However there is an option to complete a thesis, and this is strongly suggested if you are considering a PhD program in the future.

Are there scholarships available?

Yes! There are currently two scholarships available to all UW-Whitewater Counselor Education students: the Lefler Guidance & Counseling Scholarship and the Intentional Acts of Kindness Scholarship. The Lefler Guidance & Counseling Scholarship is awarded to a current student in our program who has completed at least 12 credits and the Review of Progress. This scholarship is given in the amount of $750. The Intentional Acts of Kindness Scholarship recognizes a current student in our program who is doing good work and good deeds through service and volunteer involvement within their communities. This scholarship is awarded in the amount of $1,000. More information is available on the department website.

If I do not get accepted this year, what are my chances if I reapply next year?

If you are not accepted, you are encouraged to take some time to reflect on the process, your career goals, and your desire to apply again. Feedback will be provided that will assist you in moving forward with the process again. If you choose to reapply, please take the time to update your application materials.


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Internships and Experience

Will I receive any clinical experience in the program?

Yes! Throughout the program you will take four classes that will provide you with experiential learning from a clinical perspective. These four courses include Principles of Counseling, Group Procedures in Counseling, Supervised Practicum and Counseling Internship. These courses will allow you to learn, practice, and enhance skills necessary for the field of counseling. These clinical experiences are substantial opportunities that will prepare you to be ethical and professional counselors. Further, clinical work in Principles, Group, and Practicum is enhanced through our state-of-the-art technology located in the Winther Counseling Services (see question #7 for additional information).

Is the third year internship paid?

Though there is a potential of receiving a paid internship position, it is not common; however, the education and learning you will gain throughout the process will be priceless!

Can I complete my third year internship in another state?

Yes. Our goal is to help you receive placement that is a good fit for you educationally, personally, and proximally.

Does your program offer any study abroad opportunities?

Yes!  Right now the Counselor Education program offers two study abroad opportunities taking place during alternate (odd/even) years in the summer.  One opportunity (even years) will take you to Scotland, with fellow classmates, where you will experience the sights, sounds and culture of a beautiful country, live inside a castle and enjoy learning. The other opportunity (odd years) will take you to the country of Guatemala where you work with Operation Groundswell and engage in service learning opportunities.


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Courses and Emphasis

Are all of the classes held in the evening?

Courses are offered Monday through Thursday and are arranged into two different time periods: 1:00 – 3:30 pm and 5:30 – 8:00 pm.  This is done to accommodate the various life styles of our students.  Though these are offered for a majority of the courses, there are some which are only offered during the evening section, beginning at 5:30 pm.  Please note:  Additional classes may occasionally be offered on Fridays or Saturdays.  

Please note: Additional workshops are occasionally offered on Fridays or Saturdays.

Do students take classes in the summer?

Yes. Students typically take up to two classes during the summer session.

Can I choose to enroll in more than one emphasis?

We have some options that allow students to take coursework in more than one emphasis. At the time of your enrollment in the program, you will be asked to choose one of three emphases: Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) or School Counseling. Along with the required courses, students in the CMHC emphasis will take two elective courses. For instance, CMHC students could take the higher education or school courses as elective courses. In all cases, you are welcome to enroll in courses beyond your emphasis.

Can I work and take classes full-time?

Many students are able to maintain employment, whether part time or full time, while also choosing to enroll as a full- time student. Though some students have shown the ability to work a full-time job while being a full-time graduate student at the same time, our faculty advises against this if possible. Graduate school is an individualized process, however, which is why we suggest that you make the decision based on your personal capabilities and needs. Most students have some form of outside employment.

Can I enroll as a part-time student?

Yes! Students will be given the opportunity to choose to enroll part time or full time. Those who choose to enroll on a part-time basis typically take 3 to 6 credits per semester. Regardless, you will have seven years to finish the Counselor Education Graduate Program.


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How long does it typically take a student to complete the program?

Full-time students register for 9 credits per semester, including 6 credits during selected summer sessions. This allows students the ability to complete the program in three years.

Is UW-Whitewater the best Counselor Program in the state?

Though there are some key differences among all state programs and they offer a wide variety of experience, Whitewater’s Counselor Education program is a thorough and comprehensive learning experience that stands out among its competitors.  First, though the field is changing, we are one of few programs in the state that are CACREP accredited. More information on CACREP is available at


Second, a unique aspect of the program is the training that takes place through the Winther Counseling Services. The Winther Counseling Services is staffed by Counselor Education masters students during their practicum, and committed to providing free and confidential individual and group counseling services to UW-Whitewater students and community members. Supervision and consultation is provided by licensed Counselor Education Faculty.


Winther Counseling Services is a suite of rooms consisting of two classrooms, four interview rooms, and an office/observation room located in Winther Hall 3004. All rooms are equipped with computers and cameras to allow for recording and observing sessions. In addition to being utilized in various classes, the Winther Counseling Services is where students in their practicum experience will receive a majority of their learning.


The Counselor Education Program was also recognized in 2016 by the Teaching Excellence Award for academic programs and departments. The honor recognizes programs that demonstrate an exceptional commitment to teaching and learning by the University Of Wisconsin Board Of Regents. 

What is the current job market like for counselors?

The current job market for those entering the clinical mental health field of counseling is very promising.  The outlook for this position is increasing nationwide at a rate of 26%, which is faster than the average rate.  The job outlook for the field of higher education and school counseling is increasing at the rate of 12% which is about the average rate.  Regardless there is an increase and this is very promising for all fields!

If I complete the program here in Wisconsin, will I be qualified for licensure in another state?

While there is not portability of licenses (for most professions), our curriculum prepares you to move easily and meet the licensure requirements for other states (in both community and school settings). More information about licensure for community-based counselors can be found on ACA's website.  More information about licensure for school counselors in different states can also be found here. Your program advisor will work with you to find answers to more specific questions.

Where do students usually live while enrolled in the program?

The university does not offer housing specifically for graduate students on campus; there are several residence halls that house upper class students.  In addition, there are various housing facilities off-campus.  A majority of our students commute to campus, driving from Milwaukee, Madison, Illinois and many places in between!  Please inquire further should you be interested in carpooling!

Will my disabilities be accommodated in the program?

UW-Whitewater's Center for Students with Disabilities offer necessary services for all students regardless of disability and will work with the student to provide the appropriate supports. Additionally, our faculty and staff is dedicated to providing all students with the appropriate services in order to support the process of education and academic success!


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