Prepare for a rewarding career helping others

The Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) prepares students to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), or both.

The Counseling program is designed to serve students who range in life experiences. This is reflective of the community they will ultimately serve. The MAC is typically completed in three years, with three semesters a year and two classes per semester. Students can also complete the program in two years if they elect to take three classes per semester. 

Students will be exposed to a variety of approaches for treating mental health, from the latest research on the relationship between neuroscience and mental health to eastern philosophies and treatments that have been practiced for thousands of years. Students benefit from an experiential curriculum, accomplished faculty comprised of working mental health professionals and innovative electives, such as art therapy, mindfulness, and dealing with PTSD. 

Degree Plan

For detailed descriptions and timing of courses, please see the Graduate Bulletin (course catalog).

I. CORE COURSES (24 CREDIT HOURS):

  • Critical Evaluation of Research in Counseling
  • Counseling Skills and Techniques
  • Counseling Theories
  • Abnormal Human Behavior
  • Counseling Diverse Populations
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Legal and Ethical Issues for Health Care Professionals
  • Introduction to Systems Theories in Counseling

II. LICENSED PROFESSIONAL COUNSELOR CONCENTRATION (30 CREDIT HOURS):

The following courses, in addition to the eight core courses, are required for the LPC concentration:

  • Group Counseling
  • Drugs: Therapy and Abuse
  • Assessment, Diagnostics and Treatment Planning
  • Assessment Techniques
  • Career Development and Planning

In addition, you’ll select three electives, which should be taken during the last three terms of study:

  • Techniques in Child and Adolescent Counseling
  • Special Topics/Settings
  • Introduction to Assessment in Marriage and Family Therapy

Two practicum courses are also required. You must take these courses during your last two terms.

  • Counseling Practicum I
  • Counseling Practicum II

OR

LICENSED MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST CONCENTRATION (30 CREDIT HOURS):

The following courses, in addition to the eight core courses, are required for the LMFT concentration:

  • Techniques in Child and Adolescent Counseling
  • Techniques in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Group Counseling
  • Assessment, Diagnostics and Treatment Planning
  • Introduction to Assessment in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Advanced Topics in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Special Topics/Settings

Three practicum courses are also required. You must take these courses during your last three terms.

  • Counseling Practicum I
  • Counseling Practicum II
  • Counseling Practicum III: Marriage and Family

OR

LPC AND LMFT COMBINED CONCENTRATION (36 CREDIT HOURS):

The following courses, in addition to the eight core courses, are required for the LPC/LMFT concentration.

  • Techniques in Child and Adolescent Counseling
  • Techniques in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Group Counseling
  • Drugs: Therapy and Abuse
  • Assessment, Diagnostics and Treatment Planning
  • Assessment Techniques
  • Career Development and Planning
  • Introduction to Assessment in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Advanced Topics in Marriage and Family Therapy

Three practicum courses are also required. You must take these courses during your last three terms.

  • Counseling Practicum I
  • Counseling Practicum II
  • Counseling Practicum III: Marriage and Family

As a part of the program’s philosophy and educational training program, you’ll participate in training experiences that encourage self-growth. These exercises may require an appropriate degree of self-disclosure, which you won’t be graded on. This confidential information will not be discussed outside of the classroom.

Tracks

Students have the opportunity to take one of three tracks: LPC, LMFT, or LPC and LMFT combined. For each track, students must take the eight core courses in addition to the courses listed for the concentration.

Concentration I: LPC (54 hours)

The following courses, in addition to the eight core courses, are required for the LPC concentration. 
  • Group Counseling
  • Drugs: Therapy and Abuse
  • Assessment, Diagnostics and Treatment Planning
  • Assessment Techniques
  • Career Development and Planning
In addition, students will select three electives, which should be undertaken during the last three terms of study. 
  • Overview of Treatment with Children and Adolescents
  • Special Topics/Settings (may be repeated with different topics)
  • Introduction to Assessment in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Two practicum courses are also required, Counseling Practicum I and II.

Concentration II: LMFT (54 hours) 

  • Overview of Treatment with Children and Adolescents
  • Special Topics/Settings (Advanced Elective)
  • Techniques in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Group Counseling
  • Assessment, Diagnostics and Treatment Planning
  • Introduction to Assessment in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Advanced Topics in Marriage and Family Therapy 

LMFT Practicum

Three practicum courses are required for students who take the LMFT concentration, or both the LMFT and LPC concentrations: Counseling Practicum I, II, and III.

Concentration III: LPC and LMFT Combined (60 hours) 

  • Overview of Treatment with Children and Adolescents
  • Techniques in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Group Counseling
  • Drugs: Therapy and Abuse
  • Assessment, Diagnostics and Treatment Planning
  • Assessment Techniques
  • Career Development and Planning
  • Introduction to Assessment in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Advanced Topics in Marriage and Family Therapy

Learning Goals

Upon completing the MAC concentration degree plans, students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the theoretical foundations of counseling, describe their own professional style and approach, and integrate theory and style into practice
  • Demonstrate an understanding of applied ethical standards and the ability to practice counseling using ethical and moral principles
  • Demonstrate the skills required for effective client evaluation and assessment, treatment planning, and implementation of appropriate counseling strategies and techniques and appropriate follow-up methods
  • Understand the characteristics of various social, cultural and ethnic groups and the impact these characteristics have upon the counselor and counseling profession
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which behavior, attitudes and values, both their own and those of others, impact professional counseling relationships
  • Demonstrate the ability to conceptualize, analyze, critique and report research data, studies and abstracts
  • Meet the academic requirements to apply for a temporary license from the Texas State Board of Licensed Professional Counselors, the Texas State Board of Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, or both Students who meet the above requirements will receive a Master of Arts in Counseling degree from St. Edward’s University

Outcomes

The MAC program offers an educational and training experience that prepares students to work as professional counselors or marriage and family therapists in a variety of settings, including hospitals, residential treatment centers, nonprofit agencies, government, for-profit organizations and private practice. As graduates of the program, students may choose to focus on working with children, adolescents, adults, families or couples.

To become a licensed professional counselor, graduates of the MAC program must:
  • Pass the national NCE examination to fulfill the Texas state board requirement to become Licensed Professional Counselors and
  • Complete 3,000 hours of supervised field experience with a temporary license (LPC-1)

Our Masters of Arts in Counseling program has a 95% passing rate for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) exam.

To become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, graduates of the MAC program must:
  • Pass the state LMFT examination to fulfill the Texas state board requirement and
  • Complete 3,000 hours of postgraduate supervised field experience with a temporary license (LMFT-A) and a board-approved LMFT supervisor

A student's career path could include:

  • Working with adults and teens who suffer from addictions, eating disorders or depression
  • Counseling distressed couples and families
  • Providing counseling services within a nonprofit organization
  • Developing his or her own private practice


“The MAC program has helped me figure out where I want to take my licensure and who I want to help.”— Sreena Schroeder