How do I apply?
Please contact the Office of Graduate Admission for additional information.
What is required for admission?
Admission requirements for the MS and MA can be found here.
Does my undergraduate coursework meet the admission requirements?
Admission to the Psychological Counseling programs presumes that students possess a minimum of 24 undergraduate credits in psychology, including Personality Theory, Statistics, Abnormal Psychology, and Research Methods. Applicants who do not meet these requirements will be required to register for the necessary undergraduate courses.
The Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling is intended for those students who want to attain the highest-level master’s degree in the field. It is the first 60-credit degree in counseling made available in New Jersey, and is CACREP accredited for a master’s degree in mental health counseling. The degree meets all of the educational requirements for the licensed professional counselor (LPC) license in New Jersey, and similarly it is the best choice for students who may plan to move to another state to obtain their LPC license.
The 30-credit Master of Arts in Psychological Counseling offers a core curriculum that gives students a solid foundation in counseling procedure, intervention skills, quantitative methods, and assessment methods. Electives in nine basic course areas allow students to explore current practices in the counseling field.
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After completing my studies, how do I become a licensed counselor?
After completing the MS, students may apply to the state to seek licensure. The LAC (Licensed Associate Counselor) in New Jersey requires the passing of an examination and the required course work. After obtaining the LAC, you may apply for the LPC. The LPC requires supervised professional experience. Consult the state’s Web site for more specific information: http://www.state.nj.us/oag/ca/proc/
Can I take more than 9 credits in a semester?
Students are generally not permitted to take any more than 9 credits in any one semester.
How many independent studies can I take?
Monmouth University policy allows up to 6 credits of independent study to be applied toward a graduate program. This generally means two 3-credit experiences. Monmouth University policy also limits students to one independent study during any one semester.
Can an independent study be used in lieu of a course listed in the catalog?
No, it may not. The Monmouth University Graduate Catalog specifically states that “Independent study courses permit a student to pursue a research project or guided readings in a subject area not substantially covered in the curriculum” (emphasis added). This specifically prohibits the use of independent studies to cover the content of courses currently listed in the catalog.
How many credits do I need to have to take the NCE? Are there particular courses I need to take the NCE?
It is recommended that you take the exam during the semester prior to graduation or the semester during which you plan to graduate. The content of the NCE is similar to the CPCE (comprehensive exam), so the best plan is to take the two exams during the same time period. The NCE is offered every April and October. The following courses/content areas are covered on the exam:
Content Areas & Work Behaviors
PC 515: Human Development Through the Lifespan
PC 529: Multicultural Counseling
PC 525: Counseling Theory and Techniques
PC 550: Group Counseling
PC 570: Career Counseling
PC 506: Testing and Assessment in Counseling
PC 603: Research Methods in Counseling
PC 505: Mental Health Counseling
How do I apply for the NCE? Do I have to take it at Monmouth University? Why does it cost more to take it here?
In order to apply for the exam, you must complete a paper application and include a money order (NBCC does not accept other forms of payment). The applications can be found in the psychological counseling department's main office. Notices will be sent out twice a year when the applications are available. You do not have to take the exam at Monmouth University. Completing the exam while still a student is beneficial for a couple of reasons:
I am completing the practicum/internship, and I wonder whether any of these hours will count toward the experiential requirement (4500 hours) of the New Jersey LPC license.
Hours accumulated during any field assignment can count toward the experiential requirement as long as you do not list the associated 595 or 680 courses in the 45 credits distributed in the nine categories for the license’s educational requirements.
I have a prior graduate degree in “_____________ Psychology.” Based on that degree, am I potentially eligible for an LPC license in New Jersey?
No. As of 2006, NJ requires that all applicants for the LPC must possess a master’s degree with the specific words “counselor” or “counseling” in the title of the degree.
I have taken some graduate college courses (but did not obtain a degree) in counseling, psychology, or education prior to entering Monmouth’s MS. Can these courses be transferred into the MS? Can these courses be applied toward the requirements for my LPC license in New Jersey?
That depends. If the courses are very close in scope and content to our courses, a limited number may be allowed to be transferred toward the MS (up to 12 credits). These courses MUST be free-standing—that is, courses that were not applied to obtain any graduate degree, and proper paperwork to transfer these credits must be completed (please see your advisor). However, just because some of these courses may be accepted toward the MS, there is no guarantee that the NJ licensing board will allow the applicant to use these courses toward the LPC. Applicants must be especially aware that courses in any discipline other than counseling usually are not permitted to be applied toward the LPC license in NJ.
Can I meet the requirements for the LCADC (Licensed Clinical Alcohol/Drug Counselor) in Monmouth’s Mental Health Counseling program?
Yes, you can obtain an LCADC by taking specific electives. The LCADC is a state license (similar to the LPC). In order to qualify for licensure you must have a master’s degree in counseling and 270 hours of alcohol/drug specific coursework. You must also have two years or 3000 hours of supervised experience working with substance use disorder clients. You must also pass a written national exam and an oral exam. In order to complete the 270 hours in the Psychological Counseling program, you will need to take PC 540 Intro to Drug/Alcohol Abuse, PC 542 Treatment of Drug/Alcohol Abuse, PC 545 Psychopharmacology, and PC 543 Substance Awareness in the Schools (the other hours are derived from various courses that contain alcohol/drug related lectures, e.g. Psychopathology, Group Counseling, Crisis Intervention, Marriage & Couples Counseling, and Family Counseling, etc.). For further information on the licensure requirements, please go to the LCADC Board’s Web site: http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/alcohol/
When I graduate with a Master of Science (MS) degree, where would I work?
Graduates will be prepared for employment in drug and alcohol counseling centers, rehabilitation clinics, human resource agencies, and various other mental health and health care settings where mental health counseling is needed. Also, students are academically prepared for licensing as a private practitioner in New Jersey.
What’s the difference between a psychologist and a counselor? Can both professionals perform the same tasks?
These are sister professions, both based on psychological principles, but requiring different degrees for independent practice. With the exception of school psychologists, who can practice (only within school settings) with a master’s degree, psychologists must generally obtain a PhD or equivalent doctoral degree (and a psychology license) to practice, while mental health counselors are eligible for licensure in NJ after completing a master’s degree (60 credits of graduate study are required). After licensure, psychologists generally perform a wide range of duties, including counseling/psychotherapy, psychological testing, and forensic work (like child custody evaluations), and some states allow psychologists who complete additional medical training to prescribe medications. Conversely, professional counselors are authorized to perform counseling/psychotherapy and limited-scope assessments (for example, as part of career counseling). There does seem to be a trend with counseling that focuses more on a strength-based wellness approach vs. the disorder focus. In addition, there are many psychological instruments that are only available to psychologists (such as intelligence tests, the MMPI, etc.).
What’s the difference between social workers and mental health counselors?
To engage in independent practice, both professions require a master’s degree with a similar amount of total credits. While licensees of both professions generally perform counseling/psychotherapy, social work practice is primarily based on the principles of social work, while mental health counseling is primarily based on psychological principles. The training of counselors also involves more focus on counseling theories and techniques and specific therapy approaches, whereas social workers focus on support systems available for people in need.