Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the admission requirements?
To be admitted to the master's degree program in Counseling, a student must:
- have earned an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university and maintained an overall GPA in all work attempted of 2.75 or higher.
- have received a score of 800 or higher on the GRE or 397 on the MAT (41 under the old MAT scoring system).
- complete the application for graduate admissions.
- submit a handwritten autobiography discussing where you come from, where you are now, where you see yourself going, and how the degree fits into your goals.
- submit 2 official transcripts for ALL undergraduate and graduate work attempted.
- appear for a personal interview with the admissions committee.
- pay the $25 application fee.
- What is the application deadline?
Applications for admission are accepted twice a year: for Fall semester and for Spring semester. The deadline for application is July 1 for Fall semester and November 1 for Spring semester. ALL application material must be RECEIVED by the deadline before a student can be considered for admission. If the student's application is missing any of the required material, you will receive notification of the missing items as the deadline approaches. If you are unable to submit a portion of the required application materials by the deadline, we will be happy to roll your application over for consideration next semester thus giving you additional time to submit the required information without losing your application fee or having to re-apply or resubmit portions of the packet we have already received.
- How can I get an application packet?
You can apply on line on this website or we can mail you hard copies of the application. Simply email your address and request for a packet to Jenkins_MJ@mercer.edu and we will send it right out.
- When does the program begin?
We admit students Fall and Spring semester each year. Fall classes usually begin the last week of August and Spring classes usually begin the first week of January.
- What does it cost to apply for the program?
The application fee for the program is $25. In addition, there may be other costs involved for the official transcripts from your undergraduate college and fees associated with taking the GRE or MAT.
- How long does it take to complete the program?
The program is 56 semester hours. Fulltime students (9 hours each semester) can finish the program in approximately in two calendar years including summers. Part time students (6 hours each semester) usually take approximately 3 years to finish.
- What type of entrance test (GRE or MAT) are required? What are the minimal scores to apply for the program?
We accept both the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Miller's Analogies Test (MAT) for admission. On the GRE we require a minimum score of 800. The MAT changed their scoring system in 2004. If you took the MAT prior to September 2004 the required score is 41. If you have taken the MAT since then or have not yet taken it, the required minimum score is 397.
- What is the minimal GPA to be accepted into the program?
The minimum overall GPA on all work attempted is 2.75.
- What are the major departmental emphasis or goals in the program?
The program is a general program in counseling but does emphasize the need for a person to be self aware in order to be an effective counselor. Many of our courses require that the student practice introspection and self disclosure in order to fully understand what his/her issues are. If one does not understand his/her own perceptions and motives one is subject to the potentially destructive forces of transference and counter-transference in the counseling process.
- What is the accreditation for the Counseling Program?
The Counseling program as a division of Mercer University's College of Continuing and Professional Studies is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). In addition, the Counseling program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The School Counseling program is accredited by the Professional Standards Commission (PSC) of Georgia for Teacher Certification.
- What is considered a fulltime student?
A fulltime graduate course load is 9 semester hours. Since most of our students work full or part time, we frequently encourage students to begin with 6 hours to make the adjustment to graduate school and step up to 9 hours in the future if they desire.
- When are courses offered?
Courses are offered in the evenings beginning at 5 p.m., with two courses scheduled each evening: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and 7:45 to 10:15 p.m. Classes meet once per week.
- What is the difference between graduate and undergraduate work load?
The major difference between undergraduate and graduate school is the work load. We tell students to be prepared for 2 or 3 times more reading and writing in the graduate program than they were used to in undergraduate. Another major difference in the counseling program is that you are preparing for a professional license. Every course we teach has a bearing on the license exam and on professional practice so students are learning what they need to be practicing professional.
- What is entailed in the practicum and internship experience?
Practicum and Internship is the first experience in professional counselor for many students. It is important that the student choose a site based on what type of population s/he wants to work with and what type of counseling s/he wants to do after graduation. Because of this, the student is responsible for finding the site. The department helps by giving the student names and contacts at various agencies in the metro area but it is the student’s responsibility to make the contact, interview, and make arrangements for placement.
- What is the degree obtained after you complete the program?
The Master of Science degree in Counseling requires 56 semester hours for completion.
- What are the requirements for graduation?
The requirements for graduation include adequate grades in the coursework, successful completion of the practicum/internship experience and the third important requirement is successful completion of the exit exam. For our exit exam, we use the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam (CCPE).
- What else do I need to do to become a Licensed Professional Counselor after I complete the degree?
After finishing the program you will have completed two of the three steps toward licensing as a professional counselor. 1) You will have completed a qualifying degree and 2) you will have passed the licensing exam. The third piece is three years of supervised practice after you graduate. Once you graduate and find a job you are eligible to apply the Associate Professional Counselor (APC) license with the state of Georgia. Then after you complete the three years of supervised practice after you graduate you will then be eligible for the License as a Professional Counselor (LPC).
- Will my LPC transfer to other states?
All 50 states with licenses for masters level counselors. 44 of the states use the same exam that Georgia does but may have different coursework or experience requirements. Consult the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) website at http://www.nbcc.org for individual state requirements.
- When do I take the national exam (NCE)?
You make take the national exam during the last semester of your enrollment in the Mercer program.
- What will a LPC allow me to do?
Professional Counseling is practiced in virtually every setting where human services are delivered. This degree opens a wide variety of doors that are limited only by the student’s initiative. Whatever population you desire to work with will have opportunities for counselors.