College of Education Menu

Upcoming Events

More Events

Master of Science in Counselor Education

The master's program is developmental in nature and attracts students interested in working in a variety of educational and human service settings. Students enter the master's program to focus on one of the following specialization areas: School counseling, clinical mental health counseling, or student affairs and college counseling.

Mission of the Program

The mission of the Counselor Education program at East Carolina University is to promote human development and learning by preparing professional counselors to assist children, adolescents, and adults with educational, career, social, and personal decisions. Begun in 1951, the master's of science degree (M.S.) in Counselor Education is the beginning level program for people wanting to enter the counseling profession.

Program Approval and School Accreditation

The program of study is approved by the North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction in accordance with competencies required for a school counselor license, and the College of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The master's program in counselor education satisfies the educational requirements for graduates to be eligible to sit for the National Counselor's Examination (NCE) and to apply for a license with the North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC).

The Counselor Education program offers an overview of many theories of practice and encourages students to develop personal styles and approaches to professional helping. A key feature of the program is the flexibility given to students to design elective study to suit their career interests. Faculty members represent diverse theoretical orientations, counseling experiences, and research interests. All full-time faculty hold doctorates in Counselor Education or counseling psychology.

 Apply Today

For More Information:

Dr. Kylie Dotson-Blake
Ragsdale 219


Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs

Presently, the Counselor Education program admits students for the summer and fall terms. Applications for both summer and fall admissions are due by February 1st.

Selection for admission is based on these criteria:
  1. Academic achievement- Applicants must first meet the requirements of the Graduate School, which includes at least a 2.75 undergraduate GPA and scoring in the 30th percentile on the GRE or MAT. Failure to meet these requirements keeps applicants from meeting the minimum standards for the Graduate School.  All undergraduate majors are considered.
  2. Demonstrated leadership or significant work experience- Candidates are expected to demonstrate leadership and experiential qualities through activities such as student teaching, human service activities, and volunteer work.
  3. Examination Score- An acceptable score on either the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) is required (scoring in the 30th percentile meets the Graduate School's minimum requirements, but does not guarantee admission).
  4. Letters of recommendation- Three letters of recommendation should be included in the application. These letters should be from supervisors, former professors, and others who attest to the candidate's ability and potential as a future counselor.
  5. Statement of Intent- All applicants to the program will be required to include a Statement of Intent with application materials. This statement should highlight applicants' reasons for applying to the Counselor Education program.
  6. Interview and Writing Exercise- Applicants who are invited for an interview are required to complete a writing exercise. After the interview and writing sample are completed, a final decision on admission is made by the Counselor Education faculty.
  7. Competitive Process – Admission into graduate programs is a competitive process.  Having strong scores and high GPAs does not guarantee an applicant admission into the Counselor Education program.  Not everyone who applies is granted admission into the program and the Counselor Education faculty make final decisions regarding those applicants who are admitted into the program.

    Newly admitted students are asked to complete COAD 6400-Introduction to Counseling and Human Services, COAD 6404-Counseling Theories, and COAD 6409-Counseling Skills and Techniques, early in their program to make appropriate progress towards graduation. Student progress is reviewed by counselor education faculty as part of continued matriculation through the program.

Graduate School Admissions

Application for admission to the Graduate School is made on forms furnished by the Graduate School. All applicants for admissions pay a nondeductible, non-refundable fee. The application form and all supporting documents should be received by the Graduate School, Ragsdale Building, (252) 328-6012. The online application can be found at

Masters degree in counselor education, the deadline for applications is February 1st for both summer and fall terms. Applicants are asked to furnish official transcripts from each institution attended since high school, test scores from the MAT or GRE, and at least three letters of recommendation. Once the application is complete and has been forwarded by the Graduate School to the Counselor Education program, the applicant will be contacted about completing a writing sample and interview. Links to the application may be found by visiting the website for the East Carolina University Graduate School.

The Master of Science in Counselor Education requires a minimum of 60 semester hours, including 45 hours of core course work and 15 hours of electives. A thesis is optional. Students must pass a Counselor Education Comprehensive Examination to complete degree requirements.

Required Core Courses in Counselor Education (45 semester hours)
  • *COAD 7480 Research Methods and Design in Counseling or
  • *ADED 6491 Research Problems in Adult Education
  • COAD 6400 Introduction to Counseling & Human Services
  • COAD 6401 Analysis of the Individual
  • COAD 6402 Career Counseling and Development
  • COAD 6404 Counseling Theory and Techniques
  • COAD 6405 Group Procedures
  • COAD 6407 Social and Cultural Issues in Counseling
  • COAD 6409 Counseling Skills and Techniques
  • COAD 6412 Developmental Counseling & Learning: A Life-Span Approach
  • COAD 6414 Family Approaches in Professional Counseling
  • COAD 7408 Professional, Legal, & Ethical Issues in Counseling
  • COAD 6482 Supervised Counseling Practicum
  • COAD 6991 Counseling Internship I
  • COAD 6992 Counseling Internship II
  • One career option:
    • COAD 6406 Counseling in Schools (Required for school counseling licensure)
    • COAD 6411 Student Affairs and College Counseling
    • COAD 6415 Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Elective Courses (minimum 15 semester hours):
    • Sample Electives
    • Practicum and Internship Description
For a full listing of all of the names and descriptions of the courses within this program, please visit the Counselor Education section of the Graduate Catalog

Counselor Education Course Rotation Schedule

  • COAD 7480 (Research)
  • COAD 5370/6400 (Intro)
  • COAD 6402 (Career)
  • COAD 6404 (Theory)
  • COAD 6405 (Group)
  • COAD 6406 (School)
  • COAD 6411 (College)
  • COAD 6415 (Clinical Mental Health)
  • COAD 6409 (Techniques)
  • COAD 6412 (Development)
  • COAD 6482 (Practicum)
  • COAD 6991 (Internship 1)
  • COAD 6992 (Internship 2)
  • COAD 6401 (Analysis)
  • COAD 6402 (Career)
  • COAD 6407 (Social/Cultural)
  • COAD 6409 (Techniques)
  • COAD 6414 (Systems Theories)
  • COAD 6482 (Practicum)
  • COAD 6992 (Internship 2)
  • ADED 6491 (Research Option)
Summer 1:
  • COAD 5370/6400 (Intro)
  • COAD 6404 (Theory)
  • COAD 6414 (Systems Theories)
Summer 2:
  • COAD 6412 (Development)
  • COAD 7408 (Ethics)
  • Other potential electives as needed.
Counselor Education Licensure

The counselor education program qualifies students for different licenses depending on the requirements fulfilled. There are two licenses available with a master's degree in counselor education. One is a license as a school counselor, which is received from the North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction. Graduates of the M.S. in counselor education who have fulfilled requirements for school counselor license are eligible to apply for an "M" license.

The other license available to graduates of the counselor education program is the LPCA (Licensed Professional Counselor Associate), which is governed by the North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors.

School Counselor Licensure

Students seeking school counselor license through the Counselor Education program at East Carolina University follow one of two routes depending on their individual situation:

I. Full master's degree program for students with an undergraduate degree or with a non-counseling master's degree. The counselor education program requires a minimum of 60 semester hours of graduate course work in prescribed areas leading to the master's degree. Successful completion of the program, including electives appropriate for school counseling, and a passing score on the Praxis School Guidance and Counseling Specialty Exam are needed to qualify for a school counselor license.

II. Students who already possess a Masters degree in either Community/Agency Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling should contact their local office of the Regional Alternative Licensing Center (RALC – who will review their transcript. The Department of Higher Adult and Counselor Education is pleased to offer three of the courses that RALC often requires, which include the following:

  • COAD 6402 Career Counseling & Development
  • COAD 6406 Counseling in Schools
  • COAD 6409 Counseling Skills and Techniques

These courses are typically offered online once per year. Once you receive your plan of study from RALC, you would need to apply to East Carolina University Graduate School as a non-degree student.

For more information about this process, please click on the following link for a more detailed explanation:

North Carolina Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)

A bill passed by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1994 created a Board of Examiners for Licensed Professional Counselors. The counselor education master's program qualifies students with 54 semester hours (students beginning graduate coursework prior to June 1, 2013 must complete 60 semester hours) to sit for the licensing examination (NCE, National Counselor Examination). Application must be made to the North Carolina LPC Board. For information call (919) 661-0820 or

The counseling profession consists of practitioners who work in educational, mental health, healthcare facilities, and other settings to help people make decisions, solve problems, establish or improve relationships, and reach life goals. Although professional counselors work in different settings with seemingly dissimilar missions, they are united by an understanding and command of basic helping skills and a common knowledge of approaches to counseling, human development, measurement and assessment, and psychological, social and cultural theories.

Major professional associations include the American Counseling Association (ACA), its 17 divisions, and its state chapters. Some of the prominent divisions of the ACA are the American School Counselor Association (ASCA); American College Counseling Association; American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA); the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors (IAMFC); and the National Career Development Association.

The counselor education program at East Carolina University provides a foundation in counseling theory, helping skills, assessment, and developmental theories. It offers graduate students, who come from varied undergraduate backgrounds, an opportunity to study and develop their own personal style and approach to professional counseling. Students are encouraged to focus their elective study on course work that best meets their career interests. The program has three career options that include: school counseling, counseling in higher education, and clinical mental health counseling.

All Counselor Education students enrolled in practicum or internship must be supervised by an appropriately credentialed site supervisor. The Department of Higher, Adult, and Counselor Education has designed a Counselor Education Supervisor Training Site, which is intended for potential site supervisors, but hopefully is also useful to all counseling professionals hoping to serve as supervisors of counselors-in-training.

Counseling Education Annual Vital Statistics

Counselor Education, MS

Students majoring in counselor education must complete a minimum of 60 s.h., including 45 s.h. of core research, theory and practical courses, and 15 s.h. of electives from education, psychology, sociology, human environmental sciences, or health according to the student's needs as approved by the advisor. The program includes common core curricular experiences in eight areas: professional orientation and ethical practice, social and cultural diversity, human growth and development, career development, helping relationships, group work, assessment and research and program evaluation. Additionally, students choose a professional specialization: clinical mental health counseling, school counseling or student affairs and college counseling. Individualized programs of course work will be designed to promote the competencies required of counselors in the professional specialization chosen by students. The program also includes clinical practicum and internship experiences to promote professional development. A departmental interview will be required for admission.
Required courses:
  • COAD 6400 - Introduction to Counseling and Human Services
  • COAD 6401 - Analysis of the Individual
  • COAD 6402 - Career Development and Counseling
  • COAD 6404 - Counseling Theory and Techniques
  • COAD 6405 - Group Procedures
  • COAD 6407 - Social and Cultural Issues in Counseling
  • COAD 6409 - Counseling Skills and Techniques
  • COAD 6412 - Developmental Counseling and Learning: A Life-Span Approach
  • COAD 6414 - Family Approaches in Professional Counseling
  • COAD 6482 - Supervised Counseling Practicum
  • COAD 6991 - Counseling Internship I
  • COAD 6992 - Counseling Internship II
  • COAD 7408 - Professional, Legal, and Ethical Issues in Counseling
  • COAD 7480 - Research Methods and Design in Counseling
  • Choose one professional specialization course from:
    • COAD 6406 - Counseling in Schools
    • COAD 6411 - Student Affairs and College Counseling
    • COAD 6415 - Clinical Mental Health Counseling
17-468 COE Health Sym Poster

East West Integrated Health Symposium to be held November 3

East Carolina University faculty, staff, and students who are interested in discussing and learning more about integrated health should plan to attend the East West Integrated Health Symposium from 1:30-4:00 pm on November 3, 2016 at the ECU Heart Institute. The symposium was proposed and arranged by the ECU Clinic Consortium and features a keynote address from Dr. Christine Moravec, a Staff Research Scientist and Director of Basic Research in the Kaufman Center for Heart Failure within the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Continue reading →

Learn More

Feature Image Seal

Counselor Education Program welcomes new faculty

The Counselor Education Program is excited to have two new tenure-track faculty join the program Dr. Avent received her Doctorate of Philosophy in Counseling and Counselor Education and Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She served as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Counseling at The University of Texas at San Antonio for three years prior to coming to ECU. Her research interests include: examining the role of religion/spirituality in African American mental health Continue reading →

Learn More


Class of 2016 ECU 40 under 40 – 3 named in College of Education

Dr. Kylie Dotson-Blake, Levy Brown and Shawn Moore, were recently named as members of the Class of 2016 ECU 40 Under 40. Dotson-Blake is an Associate Professor in the College of Education and Counselor Education Program Coordinator.  She received her BS in Health and Human Performance from East Carolina University in 2000 and her Masters of Arts in Education in 2002. Brown is the Dean of Arts & Sciences at Lenoir Community College.  He received his undergraduate degree from East Carolina University in 2002.  He Continue reading →

Learn More


Dr. Daniel Dickerson Represents ECU on Fulbright Commission Panel Addressing STEM Study Abroad Partnerships with the Czech Republic

Dr. Daniel Dickerson, associate professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology Education and ECU STEM CoRE (Collaborative for Research in Education) Co-Director, is among a small group of scholars from across the United States selected to sit on a Fulbright Commission sponsored STEM Expert Panel to address university faculty from across the Czech Republic regarding STEM study abroad possibilities. He will join faculty from MIT, Purdue, Michigan, Georgia Tech, and other STEM intensive institutions. The STEM Expert Panel is part of a capacity Continue reading →

Learn More

Cannan, Ashley

Counselor Education Program welcomes Ashley Cannan

The Counselor Education Program is happy to add Ashley Cannan to the team! Mrs. Cannan is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of North Carolina and a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor with the Association for Play Therapy. Ashley received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Samford University in Birmingham, AL and a Master of Arts in Community Counseling, with a specialization in Play Therapy, from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL. Since 2001, Ashley has worked with children, adolescents and their families across Continue reading →

Learn More