Master of Arts in Counseling

Program Description

A 60-hour program that prepares you to become an applied counseling practitioner with a unique educational developmental orientation to work with adults and children in social, mental health, and human service agencies.

You can enroll in this program at our Flagstaff, Phoenix, or Tucson campuses.

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As a student in the MA Counseling program, you’ll take courses, do fieldwork, and participate in practica and internships that will prepare you to be a general practitioner in social, mental health, or human resource agency settings.

Upon obtaining your degree, you’ll be prepared to provide counseling services in the following areas:

  • human growth and development
  • social and cultural foundations
  • helping relationships
  • career and lifestyle development
  • research and program evaluation

Our department stresses two important areas of focus:

  • training of professionals to have specialized expertise in rural and ethnocultural areas
  • development of skills in structuring interagency partnership that connect at-risk children, youth, and families with comprehensive human services to support success in schools

This program meets the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) coursework requirements of Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners and for national counselor certification of the National Board for Certified Counselors.

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Northern Arizona University is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The accreditation runs through March 31, 2016. 

Read about CACREP outcome
In the 2013-2014 academic year, there were twenty (20) graduates of Northern Arizona University’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.  Five (5) persons completed their degree requirements on the main campus in Flagstaff and fifteen (15) were students in the Phoenix based program. Our graduates consistently achieve high pass rates on the NCE exam, with an overall success rate for first time test takers exceeding 90%.  Of the persons who graduated, 96% completed the program within the expected time period and 100% of those program graduates were employed in their field within 3 months of graduation.

Application Due Date

Flagstaff Location

  • Completed application files are reviewed and admission decisions are made once each year for the program.
  • All application materials must be received by the Educational Psychology Department by February 15.
  • Applications will be reviewed and admission notifications are sent to students by approximately April 1. 
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that your application file is complete. Incomplete files are not reviewed. 

Other Locations

  • Application deadline dates vary for MA Counseling programs at sites other than Flagstaff. Please check the EPS program admissions and deadlines regarding the application deadline for the next cohort.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that your application file is complete. Incomplete files are not reviewed.

Mission and Objectives

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Mission Statement for the EPS CACREP-Accredited Programs

The mission of the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredited masters programs is to prepare professional counselors who meet national standards of the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) as well as state counseling licensure or certification in their specialty area.  Our programs are designed to be comprehensive in nature and to focus on the development of evidence-based counseling practice in a variety of settings and with clients from culturally diverse backgrounds.

Objectives for Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling Programs

We prepare professional counselors using theoretical and experiential approaches to work effectively in community and school work settings by:

  1. Recruiting and admitting qualified graduate students who are able to successfully engage in the learning activities of a training program to prepare professional counselors.
  2. Providing studies in understanding the nature and needs of individuals at all developmental levels.
  3. Providing studies to increase knowledge and competencies in issues and trends in a multicultural and pluralistic society.
  4. Developing effective counseling skills.
  5. Providing studies in group dynamics and developing group counseling skills.
  6. Providing an understanding of career development and related life factors and developing career counseling skills.
  7. Providing an understanding of assessment processes and developing skills in individual and group approaches to assessment and evaluation.
  8. Providing an understanding of research, statistics, and program evaluation as they apply to the practice of counseling.
  9. Promoting a clear sense of professional identity in counseling, which includes professional ethics, legal responsibilities, participating in professional organizations, and obtaining necessary credentials.
  10. Providing supervised counseling experiences that allow students to integrate and apply the knowledge and skills that they have acquired to practice.
  11. Evaluating the progress of students throughout the program and providing necessary feedback to enhance their professional development as they become professional counselors.
  12. Conducting periodic evaluation of the counselor training programs to assure that we are maximizing the accomplishments of program objectives.

Program Policies

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  • Electronic portfolio: You must purchase and maintain an electronic portfolio through Task Stream, sections of which you will upload for review. We will use your portfolio to review our program and assess its outcomes. Data will also be submitted to NCATE and CACREP during review cycles.
  • Credit transfer and GPA policies: Visit the GraduateCollege website for more information about these policies.

Program of Studies

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The program of study is the agreed-upon plan between you and your faculty adviser on completing program requirements.

It is used as a verification document when you apply for graduation.

The original, signed program of study should be given to the Department Chair to be placed in your file in the Educational Psychology Department and you and your adviser should both keep copies.

Amendments to your program of study can be made with your adviser’s approval.

Some of your courses may have prerequisites you must meet before enrolling. Find more information in the academic catalog.

Clinical Hours

View the clinical hours table to find out how many hours are required in clinical, testing, and intervention counseling classes.

The timeline policy for a master’s degree can be viewed through the Graduate College. 

Related Forms

EPS Course Offerings by Semester

Recommended Sequence of Courses
Program of Studies (valid through Spring 2012 admissions)
Program of Studies (effective beginning with Fall 2012 admissions)
Program of Studies (effective beginning with Fall 2013 admissions)
Program of Studies Worksheet 

Professional Code of Ethics and Licensure Guidelines 

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Students in this Master’s program should follow the professional code of ethics and certification/licensure guidelines established by the following organizations:

National Board for Certified Counselors
American Counseling Association
Board of Behavioral Health Examiners - State of Arizona 
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs 

Counseling Program Faculty

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Dr. Pit Kolodinsky, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator
Phone: 928-523-8495

Dr. Russ Bull, Assistant Clinical Professor
Phone: 928-523-0503

Dr. Thomas DeStefano, Professor
Phone: 928-523-6302

Dr. Y. Evie Garcia, Associate Professor
Phone: 928-523-7106

Dr. Susan Longerbeam, Associate Professor
Phone: 928-523-8800

Dr. Eugene Moan, Professor
Phone: 928-523-9604

Dr. Timothy Thomason, Professor
Phone: 928-523-1341

Phoenix (North Valley)

Dr. Steven Farmer, Assistant Clinical Professor and Program Coordinator
Phone: 602-776-4646


Dr. Joyce DeVoss, Professor and Program Coordinator
Phone: 520-879-7940

Academic Catalog Listing

See the academic catalog for full details on this degree, including a course listing and emphasis requirements.

Counseling, Master of Arts