The programs in our Counseling Division are designed to prepare individuals for positions in a variety of counseling professions. Following the 8 core competencies outlined by CACREP, the Division's objectives are to prepare counselors who will ethically promote the well-being of individuals, families, mental health organizations and communities located in metropolitan, rural and global settings.

We offer five degree programs and five graduate-level certificates within the Division. Follow the links below to learn more about each program. When applying, please select the appropriate concentration in the online system.

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All of our Master's degree programs and our Doctoral program are accredited by nationally recognized accrediting bodies. The Clinical Mental Health, Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling, and School Counseling concentrations are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Our MS in Rehabilitation Counseling is currently ranked #20 in U.S. News and World Report's list of best Rehabilitation Counseling programs!


Access our CACREP Vital Statistics Report 2018. Read our January 2019 letter from CACREP.

Guiding Documents

Five mission statements provide structure and purpose to the Department of Counseling. First, the Mission Statement of the University provides a framework for focusing on engaged scholarship, learner centered programs, and responsible stewardship. Second, the College of Education specifies the preparation of candidates to serve a diverse community. Third, The Mission Statement of the American Counseling Association (ACA) defines Professional Counseling and identifies the role of the Professional Counselor in various settings. Fourth, the mission statement of the counseling program connects the preceding mission statements to the art and science of educating Professional Counselors. Finally, each counseling concentration has developed a specific mission statement to further develop the precepts outlined by the counseling department mission statement. From these documents, the department faculty members have identified eight over-arching program objectives for student learning outcomes.

Counseling Program Mission

The University of Memphis Counseling programs are dedicated to:

  • Providing a learner-centered environment for students to engage in experiential learning activities while also fostering the students' development of self-care and self-reflexive practices that will support their continued success as counselors beyond graduate school.
  • Fostering multicultural competence and social justice through increasing self-awareness and respect for human dignity and diversity.
  • Training ethical and competent counselors with a repertoire of skills grounded in evidence-based practice to engage in with the diverse communities in which they live.
  • Assisting emerging counselors in developing a professional counselor identity that values a developmental, strengths-based, wellness approach to helping clients enhance their quality of life.

Program Objectives

  1. Students will develop a professional counselor identity consistent with respective credentialing for specialty area (e.g. licensure, certification) and demonstrate professional and ethical behavior consistent with professional codes of ethics in their interaction with fellow student/colleagues, faculty, and clients that values a developmental, strengths-based, wellness approach to helping clients enhance their quality of life.
  2. Students will develop cultural knowledge, self-awareness, skills, and strategies for counseling and advocacy within a diverse community
  3. Students will demonstrate an understanding of theory and practice as they relate to diverse developmental experiences across the lifespan and in diverse contexts and settings.
  4. Students will describe and apply a variety of career counseling theories, models, assessment, and techniques and how they apply to diverse populations in a global community.
  5. Students will demonstrate an ability to create an environment conducive to developing counseling relationships consistent with client goals and evidence based skills in assessment, counseling, case conceptualization, treatment planning, and documentation.
  6. The students will understand principles of group dynamics, including group processing components, developmental stage theories, group members' roles and behaviors, and therapeutic factors of group work that include group leadership or facilitation styles and approaches and characteristics of various types of groups.
  7. The students will demonstrate ethically and culturally competent test and non-test assessment selection, administration, scoring, and interpretation skills related to academic/educational, career, personal, and social development, including risk assessment in a variety of settings.
  8. The students will demonstrate the ability to identify, critically evaluate, and apply quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research to inform and evaluate counseling practice.

Please see our Counseling Graduate Student Handbook for more detailed information. 

Application Process

Applicants are selected during the fall and spring semesters based on their undergraduate record, graduate record (where applicable), Graduate Record Examination results, personal interview conducted by program faculty, a completed goal statement, letters of recommendation that address the applicant's suitability for the counseling profession, ethics, and demonstration of diversity related endeavors.

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Scholarship Opportunity

The department has been awarded a grant from the Rehabilitation Services Administration intended to fund the tuition, fees, and stipends for master’s students in either the Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling or the Rehabilitation Counseling programs. The intent of the grant is to increase the number of rehabilitation counselors prepared to work in vocational rehabilitation settings. Rehabilitation counselors are counselors with a specialty in working with individuals that have a disability and their families.

Students interested in this scholarship opportunity should complete the RSA Scholarship application.  If you have any questions please contact Dr. Steve Zanskas at szanskas@memphis.edu for additional information.  

University of Memphis – Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 4082. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. University of Memphis is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.