School Counseling


Concentration Coordinator

Michelle Brasfield, Ed.D.
Ball Hall 105d
Memphis, TN, 38152
(901) 677-8618 (cell)

Important Links

Mission Statement

The mission of the school counseling master's degree program at The University of Memphis is to prepare professional school counselors to implement developmentally informed, data driven, ASCA National Model ® school counseling programs to support the growth of their student clientele across academic, career, and personal-social life domains.

Program Overview

We are a comprehensive school counseling program that leads to licensure by the Tennessee State Department of Education as a School Counselor. Most schools require that counselors they hire be licensed or certified as school counselors by the state in which they are employed. Within the program students learn counseling skills and develop competency to implement developmentally driven, evidence supported, school counseling programs aligned to The American School Counselor Association's National Model ®. Graduates of our program have the course work and skills to immediately operate effectively at any grade level they are assigned.

Students Without Teaching Experience

Students who have not had one year of teaching experience in a K-12 setting are required by the Tennessee Department of Education to participate in a preliminary school induction experience. To meet this requirement, students will complete 25 hours of school observation and write a reflection paper. Students will also need to complete a background check (https://www.memphis.edu/tep/clinical/background-checks.php) prior to the school observation. Additionally, students are required to complete a special education course (SPED 7000), unless they have completed a comparable course at the undergraduate or graduate level.

Funding Opportunities


This is unique funding opportunity from the U.S. Department of Education, dedicated to supporting the next generation of robust Professional School Counselors-in-training. If you are within the last 24 credit hours of your school counseling degree (or school counseling certificate), please consider applying for the ASPIRE grant!

The ASPIRE grant provides:

  • 24 credit hours of tuition assistance
  • An annual stipend of $2,200
  • Full paid coverage of ancillary costs associated with field placements, such as your Tevera membership, Memphis-Shelby County Schools background checks, professional membership/liability insurance through ASCA, and one Praxis exam

It is required that your practicum and internship placements will be with our partnering school district, Memphis-Shelby County Schools, so please note that requirement if you are interested in this funding opportunity.

Please apply using the link below and reach out to Dr. Melanie Burgess with any questions!



Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester Application: March 1
  • Spring Semester Application: October 1

Application Procedures

Applicants must apply through the university's online system here. All applicants must submit:

  1. Official transcripts of all colleges attended at both the undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) levels
  2. Three letters of reference. These letters must be specifically written for current application into the School Counseling program, signed by the reference, and printed on his/her official letterhead. Academic references are strongly desired (at least one is required), and should be in an appropriate position to make academic recommendations (e.g., current or former advisor or professor). Professionally applicable sources will be accepted; personal references will not be accepted.
  3. A personal statement (1-3 pages) that must include applicant's goals and rationale for applying to the School Counseling concentration. In this statement, applicants may include a brief description of career experiences (teaching or research in the area, working with PK-12 populations, etc.), and explain how these experiences are linked to their educational aspirations. All personal statements should be well-articulated and demonstrate professional writing quality (formal; accurate grammar and spellings).
  4. A professional resume that delineates previous work, educational experiences, membership and involvement in professional organizations, and scholarly activities. The resume should support the potential for strong performance in the program.

MS Program Information

  • 48-52 hour CACREP approved degree program (prior to fall 2023 admission)
  • 60-62 hour CACREP approved degree program (fall 2023 admission and after) 
  • 750 hours of field experiences at the elementary, middle, and high school levels
  • Options for public, private, and charter school field experiences
  • Full & part time program enrollment plans
  • Flexible program completion options
  • College and Career CounselingCertificate
  • Certificate in Clinical Mental Health available for those who apply and are admitted 

Program outcomes

We are committed to ensuring our students receive the highest quality professional induction experience to prepare them to successfully adjust to dynamic school environments. Our students are frequently commended by our partners in the schools for their high degree of knowledge, skills, and adaptability. Our graduates successfully find employment across the country and locally they can be found across public, private and charter school settings. 

Professional Organizations: 

Advisory Board

Each concentration has an advisory board comprised of faculty, students, alumni, and community partners who meet annually. The advisory boards are tasked with reviewing data from formative and summative sources, curricula audits, and providing program recommendations. Feedback from advisory committee is used to inform curricula modifications, and changes to program policies and protocols.