Ed.S. Degree Requirements  

Degree requirements – 36 semester hours

The Educational Specialist Degree in School Counseling requires a minimum of 36 semester hours of graduate credit beyond the master’s degree. The 36 credit hours include a three hour seminar in Current Trends in Professional School Counseling and completion of an internship and capstone project under the direction of a Mercer Counseling faculty member. Successful completion of a faculty developed comprehensive examination is also required for successful completion of the degree.


The maximum amount of transferred credit is limited to 6 semester hours. Certain conditions must be met to transfer graduate credit to Mercer’s graduate program.  The institution must be regionally accredited and the candidate must be admitted to the institution’s graduate program.  Graduate work taken at other institutions must be part of a planned program leading to a degree equivalent to the degree of Educational Specialist in School Counseling at Mercer.  The work must be appropriate for the candidate’s planned program. Only courses in which the candidate earned a “B” or better will be considered for transfer credit. Courses taken for another degree previously earned may not be applied to the Ed.S.


Plan of Study

Before or during the first semester of study each candidate will develop a formal plan of study for the Ed.S. degree, designating all courses he or she plans to take in the program. The candidate should consult with their program Advisor. Once approved, the Advisor will distribute the completed plan to the candidate, retaining one copy for departmental files.

A plan of study may be amended at any time using appropriate forms and following the procedure described above. Until formal approval of an amended plan of study is made, the original or current modification of the plan will be in effect.


Program Requirements for the Ed.S. in School Counseling Program


Coursework Core Requirements:


Research (3 credit hours)

COUN 8XX - Research and Statistics I


Counselor Related Courses (18 credit hours)

COUN 7XX - Advanced Counseling Theory

COUN 7XX - Advanced Group Counseling and Leadership

COUN 7XX - Advanced Career Counseling and Development

COUN 7XX - Advanced Ethical and Legal Issues in Counseling

COUN 8XX - Counselor Supervision

COUN 7XX - Advanced Issues in Diversity and Social Justice


School Counseling Specific Courses (6 credit hours)

COUN 7XX - Advanced Exceptionalities: ASCA applied to counseling exceptional students COUN 7XX - Advocacy and Professional Development in School Counseling


ChooseTwo (6 credit hours)

COUN 7XX - Addiction Prevention and Intervention with Youth & Families

COUN 7XX - Educational Leadership for School Counselors

COUN 7XX – Issues of Educational Law and School Counselor Ethics

COUN 7XX - Theories of Child and Family Counseling & Consultation

COUN 7XX - Theories of Adolescent and Family Counseling and Consultation


Capstone Experience: 


Seminar (3 credit hours)

COUN 7XX - Seminar in Current Trends in School Counseling


Educational Specialist Comprehensive Examination

Each candidate will be required to successfully complete comprehensive exams in Theory and in Professional Practice. Comprehensive exams will be designed by the school counseling faculty in consultation with program faculty. The comprehensive exams will be administered twice annually, in January and July, and should be taken upon completion of each candidate’s planned course of study.


Capstone Project

During the candidate’s third semester of study, the candidate will identify a particular pathway that he or she wishes to take in his or her school counseling career. This could include, but is not limited to, one of the following:


  • Professional School Counseling in the P-12 Schools
  • Supervisory roles within the P-12 Schools
  • Supervisory roles at the district, state, or national level
  • Post secondary advisement or counseling


The candidate will then complete a thesis related to an issue inherent in the chosen career path. In addition, the candidate will complete a 300 hour field experience in the chosen career path. This field experience will become part of coursework and assessment requirements for COUN 7XX-Seminar in Current Trends in School Counseling.


*Notice Regarding Acquiring School Counseling Certification:

Candidates who hold a master’s degree in a counseling field other than School Counseling may apply and have a transcript evaluation completed as part of the application process.  Upon completion of the transcript evaluation one of the following two possibilities exists for these candidates:

Candidates seeking initial certification in School Counseling and who hold a 54 hour (CACREP equivalent) master's degree in a counseling field other than School Counseling may earn the program's recommendation for the S-6 Certificate by completing the Ed.S. in School Counseling, and all of the following school specialty courses: COUN 631, COUN 632, COUN 633, COUN 623, and COUN 640.


Candidates seeking initial certification in School Counseling and who hold less than a 54 hour (CACREP curriculum equivalent) master’s degree in School Counseling or in a counseling field other than School Counseling may earn the program's recommendation for the S-6 Certificate by completing the Ed.S. degree program in School Counseling and all of the course work in the M.S. in School Counseling not completed previously.



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