Jul 19, 2024  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Counseling Psychology: Research Concentration, MS

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Psychology Graduate Degree Programs

The Psychology Department offers two Master of Science degrees and two graduate level certificates. The degrees are Counseling Psychology and Psychology. The graduate certificates are in Psychology and Child and Adolescent Counseling. The graduate psychology programs of Avila University are part of a values-based community of learning which respects the worth and dignity of all persons.

These purposes are accomplished through rigorous courses of study that focus on the integration of psychological theory and application. Each program’s curriculum is designed around sets of educational outcomes that specify the knowledge and skills students are expected to demonstrate upon graduation. Successful graduates will demonstrate an understanding of people and situations they can expect to encounter in their professional lives.


Please see the Admissions  page of this catalog. In addition to those requirements, applicants must also submit:

  1. Two letters of recommendation:
    1. Letters of recommendation should be from previous faculty, supervisors, or community leaders who are able to assess the potential future success of the applicant in a graduate program;
    2. Family members, familial-type relations, and friends are expressly prohibited from being recommenders.
  2. Background check (counseling psychology applicants only)”
    1. The background check is considered separately from all other admission criteria when determining admission eligibility. Information on how to request a background check can be found on the Avila University Department of Psychology website.

Transfer Credit

Transfer applicants may request an evaluation of transfer credit once admitted to the program by completing an Evaluation of Transfer Credit Request form. Students in the psychology degree program may request the transfer of up to 9 credit hours. Students in the counseling psychology program may request transfer credit for up to 15 graduate level credit hours. Quarter hours may be transferred to meet specific course requirements, but will only be counted for equivalent hours. The awarding of any transfer credit is at the discretion of the department.

If a previous graduate degree was completed at Avila University, a minimum of 24 additional, non-duplicative credit hours must be taken for any subsequent graduate degree. All previous hours completed for a different degree program may be counted as transfer credit.

Psychology Schedule

The Avila Psychology degree programs are offered in a traditional semester format, primarily in the evenings. The counseling psychology practicum and internship experiences may require day and weekend time commitments. The research concentrations in both degree programs may require lab experiences during daytime hours.

Master of Science Degree in Counseling Psychology

The Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology is a 60-credit degree program (62 credits for the Research concentration) designed to help graduates meet the Kansas and Missouri state educational requirements for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Kansas state requirements for licensure as a Licensed Masters-Level Psychologist (LMLP).

The counseling psychology program has a two-step admission process: acceptance into the program and acceptance into candidacy. Students must be admitted into the candidacy stage to complete required coursework necessary for degree completion.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology requires the following criteria be completed within 7 years:

  1. 60-62 credit hours of graduate coursework
  2. Cumulative 3.0 GPA
  3. 750 clock-hour clinical experience of which 375 hours must be direct client contact
  4. Successful completion of a capstone exam or departmental assessment

Master of Science Degree in Counseling Psychology as a Second Degree

Completing the Counseling Psychology program as a second Master’s degree requires the completion of a minimum of 36 additional semester hours after the awarding of the first Master’s degree at Avila University.

Student Status within the Counseling Psychology Program

Good Standing

  1. Has successfully met all entrance requirements;
  2. Has maintained an overall grade point average of 3.0 or better with no grade below “C.” Only 6 hours of “C” grades are allowed in the Counseling Psychology program. The Department of Psychology determines for which courses a grade of “C” is allowed; and
  3. Has not yet received “Counseling Candidate” status.


  1. Newly admitted Counseling Psychology students may be classified as “probationary” if any portion of their entrance requirements is less than satisfactory. The probationary student must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 for the first 15 hours of graduate coursework. The student will be eligible for reevaluation at the end of that period, at which time they can apply for candidacy status.
  2. A student may change status from “Student in Good Standing” to “Student on Probation” if any of the following criteria are met: overall grade point average falls below 3.0, the student receives a grade of “D” or lower during any semester, or the student has been placed on a remediation plan.
  3. Students on probation have 9 credit hours in which to return their grade point average to 3.0 or above to regain “Good Standing.” Failure to raise their grade point average may lead to dismissal from the program.

Counseling Candidate

  1. Students in “Good Standing” status who complete the application process and gain approval from the graduate faculty will have “Counseling Candidate” status.
  2. Students who are not approved for candidacy will be denied “Counseling Candidate” status. The graduate faculty will determine under what circumstances the student will be allowed to reapply.
  3. Students who are not approved for candidacy status may reapply after completing the requirements set out by the department.
  4. Students with “Counseling Candidate” status may have their status revoked at the discretion of the department for violating any policy in this catalog or for not meeting the expectations outlined in the Graduate Psychology Student Handbook.

Counseling Candidacy

Counseling candidacy is a student status granted by the department. Candidacy may be granted after an application and review process are initiated by the student in the program. To be eligible for candidacy, a student must have completed at least 15 credit hours at Avila with a minimum 3.0 grade point average. Students initiate the candidacy process by completing an application and self-evaluation in the semester prior to enrolling in PY 694 .

Once all candidacy criteria are met, the graduate faculty will conduct a review of the applicant to determine readiness for becoming a Counseling Candidate. Students will not be allowed to register for PY 694 until they are Counseling Candidates. Application deadlines do apply and are set by the department each semester. All students in the Counseling Psychology program are expected to follow the policies outlined in this catalog and in the Graduate Psychology Student Handbook. Failure to do so may lead to disciplinary action by the department, result in the revocation of “Counseling Candidate” and/or “Good Standing” status, or warrant dismissal from the program.

Counseling Psychology Internship

The internship experience allows students to apply in practice what they have learned in the program at a mental health facility of their choice, with on-site supervision. Interns are required to accumulate a minimum of 750 clock-hours of experience (6 credits) over a period of at least two semesters. Students completing internship must register for PY 695  each semester until they complete the minimum hours requirement.

The department requires that all students complete a second background check prior to enrollment in their first term of internship.

Professional Conduct

Students in the Counseling Psychology program are expected to conduct themselves as professionals-in-training both inside and outside the classroom and adhere to the American Counseling Association’s code of ethics. We encourage and expect students to treat others (including classmates and instructors) with sensitivity and dignity. Impairment, incompetence, ethical misconduct, academic dishonesty in any form, or other problematic behaviors may be identified and addressed in a variety of ways and by a variety of persons, including but not limited to students, faculty, supervisors, clients, and/or members of the community.

If the behaviors or attitudes are egregious, the student may be dismissed immediately. If the behaviors or attitudes are less severe, they will be discussed in a confidential meeting with the student’s faculty advisor and/or Program Director and/or other departmental faculty/staff (overseen by the Program Director and/or Department Chair) who will make a plan for remediation in a specified time frame. During that time, the student will be placed on probation. At the end of the stated period, the student can return to Student in Good Standing or Candidate Status, continue on probation or be dismissed depending upon the ability to successfully complete the corrective action. Students may appeal this process at any time. For further details about the Professional Conduct policy, consult the Graduate Psychology Student Handbook.

Counseling Licensure

While the Counseling Psychology program aims to meet the Kansas and Missouri state educational requirements necessary for licensure as a professional counselor or master’s level psychologist, graduation does not guarantee licensure eligibility. Certain requirements specific to a particular state, poor licensure exam results, criminal activity, and/or other applicant behavior and restrictions may render a graduate ineligible for licensure. To ensure your degree program contains all requirements needed for licensure, please refer to the respective state’s licensure granting agency and consult with your faculty advisor.


If multiple concentrations are pursued, nine unique hours must be attained in each concentration.

PY 600  may not be used toward the 60-credit degree program requirement needed for graduation from graduate psychology degree programs.


  1. Scholarship: Students will acquire, critically evaluate, and communicate knowledge within the counseling psychology field.
  2. Professional Attitude and Behavior: Students will comport themselves professionally within a counseling context, as indicated by the ethical standards for professional counselors, including the ability to maintain appropriate boundaries, accept and implement feedback, and demonstrate interpersonal and intrapersonal awareness.
  3. Cultural Competence and Advocacy: Students will demonstrate awareness, knowledge, and skills related to culturally competent professional behavior in the field of counseling psychology and will demonstrate advocacy for social justice in the global community.
  4. Professional Practice: Students will use appropriate counseling and appraisal skills with an emphasis in counseling settings and will demonstrate knowledge related to professional consultation, presentation, and evaluation.


The outcomes for the graduate psychology degree programs will be assessed through a combination of written and performance examinations and assignments, in addition to self, peer, instructor, internship supervisor, and psychology faculty evaluations and reviews. These outcomes will be outlined in detail in individual course syllabi. Benchmarks for assessment are internally set by the department. Students may also obtain a copy of these outcomes in the Graduate Psychology Student Handbook.

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