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Master of Arts in Professional Counseling

The Master of Arts degree in Professional Counseling prepares graduates to become Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) in the State  of  Texas.  Becoming  an  LPC  allows  graduates  to render counseling  services  in  a  variety  of  settings  such  as  community counseling  centers,  drug  and  alcohol  treatment  facilities,  college  and  university  counseling  centers,  Christian  counseling  centers, private psychiatric hospitals, domestic violence shelters, churches, rehabilitation centers, and private practice. The burgeoning interest in professional counseling and the growing disillusionment with a "morally neutral" approach to counseling indicates the need for a graduate program that will apply biblical presuppositions as the starting points and goals in a counseling approach. Presently, all classes leading to the MA in Professional Counseling degree are taught in the evening and on the weekend.

University Mission Statement

The mission of Dallas Baptist University is to provide Christ-centered quality higher education in the arts, sciences, and professional studies at both the undergraduate and graduate levels to traditional age and adult students in order to produce servant leaders who have the ability to integrate faith and learning through their respective callings.

Program Mission Statement

The Master of Arts in Professional Counseling is a 60-hr graduate program that integrates faith with clinical mental health counseling theory and practice from a Christ-centered worldview to produce servant leaders for work as Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) in various clinical settings in Texas and for ministry to a diverse world.

Program Objectives (CACREP) 

  1. Provide Christ-centered quality counseling education in order to produce graduates who integrate faith and learning in a diverse world.

  2. Produce graduates who demonstrate the appropriate knowledge, skills, and dispositions required for the successful practice of clinical mental health counseling.

  3. Equip graduates with the prerequisites to pass the NCE (National Counseling Examination) and meet the qualifications for licensure as a professional counselor in Texas.

  4. Cultivate a professional counselor identity among faculty through organizational involvement, research, publications, presentations, and community service.

Program Learner-Centered Goals

  1. Graduates will demonstrate the appropriate knowledge, skills, and dispositions required for the successful practice of clinical mental health counseling.

  2. Graduates will be ethically and legally competent practitioners of professional counseling.

  3. Graduates will be culturally competent, professionally equipped professional counselors.

Program Student-Learning Outcomes

1.1   Demonstrate the appropriate knowledge, skills, and dispositions of a successful clinical mental health counselor.

1.2   Practice and promote resiliency, optimal growth and development, and wellness for self and clients across the lifespan.

2.1   Apply ethical and legal standards responsibly as a clinical mental health counselor.

3.1   Synthesize learning to develop and maintain a culturally-competent professional identity as a clinical mental health counselor.

3.2   Apply understanding of theoretical foundations, relationship dynamics, and therapeutic factors vital to assessing, diagnosing, and treating both individuals and groups in clinical practice.


Admission Process

Applicants to the Master of Professional Counseling program will submit all required application forms to the graduate office. Application files will be forwarded to the MAPC Admissions committee for review. The MAPC committee will schedule personal interviews with applicants. The committee will consider each applicant’s (1) relevance of career goals, (2) aptitude for graduate level study, (3) potential success in forming effective counseling relationships, and (4) respect for cultural differences. Committee recommendations will be sent to the university’s graduate admissions committee for final admission decisions.

Orientation of New Students

At the beginning of each semester (fall, spring), new students will attend a student orientation scheduled by the MAPC director. At the orientation, the program director will (1) distribute and review the MAPC Student Handbook, (2) discuss students’ ethical and professional obligations and personal growth expectations as counselors-in-training, and (3) review eligibility requirements for LPC licensure in the state of Texas.

The orientation will also include a review of the MAPC Counseling Agreement Contract. By signing this agreement, new students are stating their willingness to be evaluated on nine characteristics deemed necessary for the development of an ethical and competent counselor. These characteristics are implied from the expectations of professional and personal competence and responsibility and are as follows: openness, flexibility, positiveness, cooperativeness, willingness to use and accept feedback, awareness of impact on others, ability to deal with conflict, ability to accept personal responsibility, and ability to express feelings effectively and appropriately. In addition, the student's signature on the contract expresses agreement to attend eight counseling sessions during the first two semesters in the MA in Professional Counseling Program.

Transfer Students

Applicants desiring to transfer from a master’s counseling program at another university to the MA in Professional Counseling Program at DBU are required to submit an official letter which states that the applicant is a student in good standing and is eligible to complete that program as well as enroll in practicum classes. This letter should be from the Dean or the Program Director on school letterhead and is to be submitted with the application to the DBU program. Transfer courses can only be accepted from CACREP approved programs.

Program Continuance

Continuance in the program past the first 12 hours is pending submission of a satisfactory score on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or Graduate Record Examinations® (GRE®). 


There are four undergraduate-level psychology prerequisites: Introduction to Psychology or general psychology, statistics, and 6 hours of upper-level psychology. Continuance in the program past the first 18 hours is pending successful completion of these prerequisites.

Master of Arts in Professional Counseling Practicum/Internship

The Practicum/Internship experience consists of three courses, COUN 6317 Practicum (S-L), COUN 6318 Internship I (S-L), and COUN 6319 Internship II (S-L), completed sequentially. The Practicum/Internship is the culmination of the MA in Professional Counseling degree program and is intended to provide practical experience for students as they make plans to enter the counseling profession. The 3 (three) courses include supervised delivery of direct counseling services in an approved agency or institution. Students are evaluated on a wide range of personal and professional criteria which includes analysis of video-recorded counseling sessions and seminar discussions of counseling theories, methods, and techniques. (S-L) = Course(s) with field-based service-learning component.

Students should attempt to enroll in the 3 (three) Practicum/Internship courses sequentially. In order to progress through the 3 (three) courses, a grade of “B” or higher must be earned. In the event of any grade below a “B,” the course will have to be repeated until at least a “B” is earned. The student is responsible for any remedial work that may be suggested by the faculty in order to successfully complete the Practicum/Internship course.

Students are not automatically eligible to enroll in Practicum/Internship as they matriculate through the MA in Professional Counseling program. In order to proceed to Practicum, students must apply for candidacy for Practicum. To be eligible, students must complete the following steps:

  • Student must have completed the 8 required personal counseling sessions.

  • Student must have completed the 12 hours of undergraduate prerequisite courses.

  • Student must have a current GPA of 3.0 or above.

  • Students must apply for candidacy to the Practicum/Internship.

  • Students must pass the Comprehensive Counseling Assessment (CCA).

  • Students must have completed the following courses (30 hours):

COUN 5310 - Introduction to Professional Counseling
COUN 5311 - Ethics in Professional Counseling
COUN 5312 - Counseling Theories and Techniques
COUN 5313 - Group Counseling Methods
COUN 5314 - Lifespan Human Development
COUN 5315 - Psychological Testing
COUN 5316 - Research Methods
COUN 5317 - Counseling Culturally Diverse Clients
COUN 5318 - Basic Counseling Skills
COUN 6310 - Career Counseling and Lifestyle Development

Student must secure a Practicum site before enrolling in Practicum. If the student chooses another site for Internship, the student must secure and internship site before enrolling in Internship I.

To apply for candidacy, students will contact the program director and request approval to proceed to Practicum. The program director will conduct a faculty review of the student’s progress in the program and will determine if the student has performed in a satisfactory manner in the program to that point. If approved by the faculty review, the student will take the Comprehensive Counseling Assessment, an exam which measures knowledge attainment from the 10 required courses. Upon passing the exam, the student will be granted candidacy for the Practicum.

If the student fails the Comprehensive Counseling Assessment on the first attempt, the student will meet with the Program Director to review the student’s scores, identify the content areas with the lowest scores, and together they will design a remediation plan to prepare the student to re-take the exam. The student must re-take the exam no less than 15 days and no more than 30 days after the first attempt. If the student fails the second attempt, the student will meet with the program director to identify the two lowest content area scores on the exam and will be required to retake the courses corresponding to those content areas. Upon completion of the two courses, the student will be allowed one final attempt to pass the exam. A student who fails the exam for the third time will not be allowed to continue in the program.


The program of study provides students the necessary course work to meet academic requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor. Course requirements include 60-61 credit hours consisting of:

Content Courses

COUN 5310 - Introduction to Professional Counseling
COUN 5311 - Ethics in Professional Counseling 
COUN 5312 - Counseling Theories and Techniques
COUN 5313 - Group Counseling Methods
COUN 5314 - Lifespan Human Development
COUN 5315 - Psychological Testing
COUN 5316 - Research Methods
COUN 5317 - Counseling Culturally Diverse Clients
COUN 5318 - Basic Counseling Skills
COUN 6000 - Comprehensive Counseling Review
COUN 6310 - Career Counseling and Lifestyle Development
COUN 6311 - Addictive and Compulsive Disorders
COUN 6312 - Psychopathology I  
COUN 6313 - Psychopathology II 
COUN 6314 - Marriage and Family Counseling
COUN 6315 - Theological Perspectives in Christian Counseling
COUN 6316 - Advanced Counseling Methods and Crisis Intervention
COUN 6324 - A Christian Approach to Human Sexuality
COUN 6317 - Counseling Practicum
COUN 6318 - Counseling Internship I (S-L)
COUN 6319 - Counseling Internship II (S-L)
COUN 6101 - Counseling Internship Continuation*

*This course is designed for students who do not finish the 600 hours required for Internship at the end of COUN 6319 Internship II. Students may enroll in COUN 6101 one time, in order to complete the required hours. A final grade for COUN 6319 Internship II will be issued upon completion of the 600 hours.

After completion of the graduate counseling program, the graduate is eligible to apply for state LPC licensure. In order to become licensed in Texas, the program graduate must pass the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) and complete a 3000-hour supervised counseling internship.

Total Credit Hours Required


Total Credit Hours Required with additional COUN 6101


(S-L)=Course(s) with field-based service-learning component.

Refer to individual course descriptions for course requisites.


Find course descriptions by category under the Graduate Course Descriptions section in the navigation panel.