College of Education and Kinesiology

Master of Arts in Counseling and Guidance

Mental Health Counseling Degree Plan | Marriage & Family Counseling with a Military Emphasis Degree Plan | School Counseling Degree Plan

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General Information

It is the goal of the Guidance & Counseling Program to serve the needs of the San Antonio community, local school districts, and our military community by developing highly skilled school counselors, mental health counselors, and marriage and family therapists. The Department of Leadership & Counseling offers a Master of Arts in Counseling and Guidance.

Who Should Apply?

Individuals with a bachelor’s degree and an interest in developing the skills necessary to be effective mental health professionals should apply. Applicants interested in School Counselor Certification will need to document two years of teaching experience in an accredited school.

Program Details

The Master of Arts degree (M.A.) in Counseling & Guidance requires 48 hours of counseling coursework and includes three specialized tracks:

  • School Counseling,
  • Mental Health Counseling, and
  • Marriage & Family Counseling with a Military Emphasis.

The School Counseling track is designed for students wishing to work in the school setting. This specialized track emphasizes the implementation and management of school counseling programs while training highly skilled mental health professionals to utilize therapeutic and developmental principles to effect change. The School Counseling track satisfies academic requirements for School Counselor Certification in the State of Texas as well as Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the State of Texas.

The Mental Health Counseling track prepares students for employment in a wide variety of mental health and human services settings. This track allows for 9 hours of specialized training in student-selected coursework and satisfies academic requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the State of Texas. Students in this program learn to apply mental health, psychotherapeutic and lifespan development principles to facilitate client adjustment and development.

The Marriage & Family Counseling with a Military Emphasis track focuses on the unique needs of the military community. Designed to satisfy the academic requirements needed to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in the State of Texas, this program emphasizes the application of family systems theories and techniques in the provision of mental health services to individuals and groups.

Prerequisites and Fitness to Practice

Students seeking admission to the program must meet the basic requirements of Texas A&M University-San Antonio. Applicants without an appropriate background may be required to complete preparatory coursework as determined by the Program Coordinator.

Admission to the program does not guarantee fitness to remain in the program. Only those students who meet program standards will be allowed to continue in the program. Students pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Counseling & Guidance must meet fitness-to-practice standards that are assessed by faculty throughout the program. These standards include demonstration of emotional and mental fitness in their interaction with others as well as conformance with codes of professional counseling associations and of the state of Texas. Students who fail to demonstrate fitness or conformance to appropriate codes may be asked to enter into a remediation plan in order to remain in the program. If a remediation plan is developed, students must demonstrate satisfactory remediation prior to being allowed to proceed toward graduation. In rare cases, a student‘s ability to practice may exceed remediation and a recommendation for removal from the program is possible.


Normal course loads consist of 6-9 hours per semester. Candidates for the Master of Arts degree in Counseling and Guidance must earn a minimum of 48 semester credit hours and maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0. Students must pass a comprehensive examination, administered during the final semester of coursework, as part of the requirements for graduation with the Master of Arts degree.

Course requirements are specialized across the three counseling tracks and include:

  • Theoretical Foundations
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Social and Cultural Foundations
  • Helping Relationships
  • Group Work
  • Career and Lifestyle Development
  • Appraisal
  • Research and Program Evaluation
  • Professional Orientation/Ethics
  • Practicum

Specialized training includes:

  • Military Experience of Trauma
  • Systemic Interventions with Youth
  • Counseling with the Military Community
  • Substance Abuse
  • Developmental Counseling Curriculum
  • School Counseling
Application Process

Each applicant must submit their application and required documents by the appropriate semester deadline to the Office of Admissions. The application is available online at Apply Texas. For questions regarding the application process, please contact the Welcome Center at (210) 784-1300. Please mail official transcripts to Texas A&M University-San Antonio • ATTN: Graduate Admissions • One University Way • San Antonio, TX 78224.

Graduate Admissions Information: (210) 784-1300 | Information about this program: (210) 784-2522

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