Counseling Department

Application for Master of Counseling Program

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Seats in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling are full. Accepting applications only for those seeking the School Counseling Major for 2017-2018.

To apply to the program, please go to http://www.isu.edu/apply/ and click on Graduate Application for Spring, Summer, Fall 2017.

The Pocatello two year Master's degree programs are:

The Meridian three year Master's degree program is:

Requirements for Admission

The applicant will need to:

  1. Have a bachelor's degree from a college or university accredited in the United States or its equivalent from a school in another country. (Must complete degree before onset of classes in the Fall semester in year of acceptance.)
  2. Meet the guidelines for admission set forth by the Graduate School and the Department of Counseling. Those individuals meeting both criteria will be invited for an interview. The minimum master's level standards are:

    (last 60 credits)

    Standardized Test

    3.0 to 4.0

    40th Percentile on at least one area of the GRE or 40th Percentile on the MAT

    2.5 to 2.999   

    Combined Verbal and Quantitative (V + Q) score of 300 on GRE or 45th Percentile on the MAT

    Below 2.499  

    No Admission

    NOTE: The method of calculating an Admission GPA is based on the last 60± semester undergraduate credits (90± quarter credits), using complete semesters (quarters). In the case of those students who have not completed the baccalaureate degree, the grade point average will be calculated on the last 60 credits at the time of application. If the applicant does not meet both GPA and percentile requirements, but meets one of the parameters, they can be admitted with performance requirements.

  3. Prospective students are expected to come to campus (Pocatello or Meridian) for an in-person interview. Selected applicants will be interviewed by the Department of Counseling Admissions Committee as part of the admissions procedure. Ultimately, one's GPA and test scores qualify one to take part in the in-person interview process.

PLEASE NOTE: The Department of Counseling interviews applicants, and admits students yearly during the spring semester for course work beginning the next fall semester.

HRSA Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students

The Department of Counseling at Idaho State University actively seeks to attract, retain, and serve the needs of underrepresented minority students as well as disadvantaged students. To that end, we have scholarships available to assist disadvantaged students to address the considerable financial barriers associated with graduate studies in counseling. Students who qualify could be awarded partial to full tuition funding through our scholarship program. In addition, applicants eligible under the Western Regional Graduate Programs exchange are eligible for in state tuition.

For further information, please contact:
Dr. Leslie Stewart 
Dr. Randy Astramovich 

Western Region Graduate Program

As of the 2016-2017 school year, the Department of Counseling is now part of the WRGP (Western Region Graduate Programs). The WRGP is a consortium of states that agree to substantially discount out of state tuition for graduate students from these states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands are eligible for consideration.

Master of Counseling Program Goals and Objectives

The general objective of the Master of Counseling (M.COUN.) degree is to prepare students to be professional counselors. The Department of Counseling faculty believe that the development of a strong professional identity, a rich knowledge base, and expertise in the skills of counseling are essential to functioning as a professional in each counseling setting.

The Master of Counseling degree is designed to be the strong foundation upon which graduates enter a lifetime career in the helping professions. This program prepares counselors to respond to the multitude of changes in society and to the ever-expanding counseling profession. In addition to knowledge and experience in the following eight common-core areas, graduates also have specialized knowledge and skills as identified in the objectives of the Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling; Clinical Mental Health Counseling; School Counseling; and Student Affairs Counseling majors.

The Department of Counseling has curricular and professional objectives for each student. Each of these objectives has specific outcome measures.

Curricular Objectives

  1. Students will have knowledge of human growth and development so that they can understand the nature and needs of individuals at all developmental levels.
  2. Students will have knowledge of social and cultural foundations to be effective in a multicultural and diverse society.
  3. Students will be knowledgeable and skillful in counseling and consultation processes.
  4. Students will be knowledgeable about group development, dynamics, counseling theory, group counseling methods, and group work approaches.
  5. Students will be knowledgeable and understand career development and related factors.
  6. Students will understand and be knowledgeable about individual and group approaches to Assessment and Evaluation.
  7. Students will be knowledgeable about various Research Methods and basic Statistics.
  8. Students will be knowledgeable about the profession of counseling including history, organizational structures, ethics, standards and credentialing.School counseling students will obtain certification as school counselors.

Student Professional Objectives: In addition to the above curricular objectives, the Department of Counseling has program wide objectives. These include:

9.   School counseling students will obtain certification as school               counselors.

10. Students in all majors (Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling;       Clinical Mental Health Counseling; School Counseling; and Student
      Affairs Counseling) will obtain the appropriate state licensure.

Only applicants who have submitted all materials on or before the application deadline will have their material reviewed by the Department of Counseling Admissions Committee to determine status as a competitive, qualified applicant. Due to the competition for limited seats in the Master of Counseling program, satisfactory completion of the entry level requirements does not guarantee acceptance.

Selected applicants will be interviewed by the Department of Counseling Admissions Committee as part of the admissions procedure. The Admissions Committee will make the final decision regarding admission. This decision will be based on grade point and test score rankings as well as the Committee’s impression of the applicant’s interpersonal style and compatibility of personality with the program’s training philosophy.

Conditions for Retention/Dismissal

Retention Policy

Department of Counseling faculty are confident that each student admitted has the potential to be successful in graduate study. Success in course work, clinical practice, case presentations, comprehensive exams, oral exam, and enactment of the core dispositions are examples of continuation standards within the Department. Such successes facilitate students’ progress toward completing a degree in the Department of Counseling. However, admission into the counseling program does not guarantee success. Faculty expect students to fully engage in all aspects of the learning environment, showing openness to new experiences and risk taking necessary to develop as a person and professional counselor. The student’s major advisor plays an integral role in giving feedback to a student thus providing opportunities for continued growth and development. Engagement in all aspects of the academic experiences developed by faculty in the Department exemplify professional competence and will increase the probability of successful completion of the program.

Dismissal Policy

The Department of Counseling faculty members have a professional responsibility to serve as gatekeepers for the counseling profession. Counseling is a discipline that requires active and complex gatekeeping to protect the public welfare of our communities. In particular, gatekeeping refers to the responsibility of all counselors, counselor educators, and student counselors, to intervene with counselor trainees, supervisees, professional colleagues, and supervisors who engage in behavior that could threaten the welfare of those receiving counseling services. This responsibility is mandated in the ethical standards of both the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) by specifying that counselors must act to rectify the problematic condition through appropriate organizational and professional channels (ACA, 2014, Section F.5.; NBCC, 2005, Section A; McAdams & Foster, 2009).

Faculty, site supervisors, and doctoral students systematically discuss and evaluate students’ progress in the program. When impediments are identified the student will be informed verbally and in writing. Impediments may include, but are not limited to, those offered by Frame and Stevens-Smith (1995):

  1. inability to be open, flexible, positive and cooperative
  2. unwilling to accept and use feedback
  3. unaware of impact on others
  4. inability to deal with conflict and accept personal responsibility
  5. inability to express feelings effectively and appropriately

The above examples are also found in the description of the Core Dispositions. If others (i.e., faculty, doctoral level supervisors, and site supervisors) have made similar observations, the Department Chairperson, major advisor, or other faculty will initiate a meeting with the student to discuss the apparent impediment to progress toward professional competence. Remedies and expected behavior changes will be discussed and outlined in written and verbal form.

Students will be given specific feedback on the nature of their impediment(s) as well as steps to remove this barrier(s) to progress toward professional competency when appropriate. In many instances a Professional Progression Plan (PPP) will be crafted to provide clear and specific ways the student can improve and continue to progress in the program. However, in more extreme cases (e.g., student poses a potential harm to self or others), faculty may choose to remove the student from the program without a PPP. In such cases, faculty will meet to discuss the student’s failure to meet continuation standards (i.e., retention requirements) and a vote for dismissal will be entertained, guided by Graduate School policy.

The PPP represents a formal agreement between the Department and student who has been identified as having impediments to their progress as a counselor in training. Upon receipt of the PPP the student will review the plan and provide their signature indicating an understanding of the requirements expected and as agreement to meet the requirements described within. A student who chooses not to sign the PPP should understand this will initiate a faculty meeting to discuss the student’s failure to meet continuation standards, and a vote for dismissal will be entertained, guided by Graduate School policy. The Chairperson will inform the student of the appeals process.

Dismissal of a master’s student can be initiated in a variety of circumstances including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. Earns a B- or below in COUN 6696 Prepracticum Counseling Techniques,
  2. OR earns a B- or below in COUN 6621 Counseling Ethics,
  3. OR six credits at or below 2.7 (B- or below),
  4. OR below a 3.0 GPA (B),
  5. Or when students earn less than 3.0 (B) in Practicum COUN 6697 or Internship COUN 6698.

In addition, students earning a 2.7 (B-) or below in clinical coursework must petition and gain approval from the graduate faculty in the department in order to continue in the program. The Department of Counseling follows the Appeal Process detailed in the Appeals and Dismissals section of the ISU Graduate Catalog http://coursecat.isu.edu/graduate/

Due to the nature of the program, students can be dismissed for professional competence concerns (i.e., unrelated to success with course assignments and grades). The American Counseling Association Code of Ethics (2014) requires counselor educators provide remediation and/or dismissal from counseling programs when “they become aware of limitations that might impede performance” or when students are unable to demonstrate “they can provide competent counseling services to a range of diverse clients (6.f.b.).” As stated above, gatekeeping is an ethical mandate for counselor educators and designed to protect counselors in training and their current and future clients. Professional competence concerns that could lead to dismissal include, but are not limited to, impairment as described by Frame and Stevens-Smith (1995), academic dishonesty, ethical violations, lack of professional comportment, personal attitudes or value systems that conflict with effective counseling relationships, and personal concerns or psychopathology.

In all cases of dismissal, the student will be notified in writing by certified mail, return receipt requested, that he/she is dismissed and must be told in the document that he/she has the right to appeal according to the Idaho State University Graduate policy.

Dismissal for Academic Dishonesty

Academic Dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating and plagiarism. For the complete statement on academic dishonesty, please refer to the current ISU Graduate Catalog at http://coursecat.isu.edu/graduate/. Examples of ethical violations include, but are not limited to, the improper use of technology, failure to secure informed consent, and breach of confidentiality. Lack of professional comportment, includes but is not limited to, a lack of engagement in course requirements, issues within interpersonal relationships with peers, doctoral students and faculty, and inappropriate use of power with clients and other students. The faculty believe the enactment of the core dispositions embodies the values of the counseling profession and deficiencies in these areas could lead to dismissal. All students are encouraged to seek counseling and attend to their mental health. A student’s unwillingness to attend to intra- or inter-personal impediments contributing to impairment may lead to dismissal.

Dismissal Process

Process is continuous from the start to graduation.

Application Schedule

Suggested Minimum Time Line


August 15-
January 15
Apply to Graduate School and Department of
Counseling, go to http://www.isu.edu/apply/
January 15-
February 1
Applications reviewed by Department of Counseling Admission Committee.
Early February:
Candidates selected for on-campus interviews
Interview conducted Mid-February (ISU Pocatello).
Interview conducted Early February (ISU-Meridian).
Late February:
Applicants notified of admission decisions.
April 15:
Secondary admissions process may be conducted.
Notify alternates of admission (if applicable).
New Graduate Student Surveys Sent/Returned.
Advisor Assignment Letter Sent.
Registration for Fall Semester Courses.


Approximate Program Costs (Subject to Change Without Notice)

Application Fees:

ISU Graduate School                   $60.00

ISU Department of Counseling    $30.00


Course Fees:

Current course fee costs for resident, non-resident and summer sessions

are listed in both the ISU Graduate Catalog http://www.isu.edu/graduate

and the Class Schedule http://www.isu.edu/class_schedule.shtml

Program Fees:

Liability Insurance                          $15.00/year

Program Fee                                  $495.00/semester

Additional costs include, but are not necessarily limited to,

books/learning materials, graduation fees, and registration fees to

attend professional conferences.          


    Last Modified: 04/21/17