M.Ed. in Applied Behavioral Studies: Professional Counseling
The program is designed to train students to become professional counselors and render services to individuals, groups, and families experiencing normal adjustment difficulties of a personal, social, or career nature in settings such as community counseling centers, mental health clinics, youth & guidance centers, human service agencies, drug and alcohol treatment facilities, university counseling centers, abuse shelters, religious counseling centers, and private practice (once licensed). Students are encouraged to secure internships in settings consistent with their specific areas of professional interest.
To attain the professional counseling concentration, students must accrue at least 60 credit hours, including field experience. The sequenced, mental health program of study is designed to meet academic requirements of the Oklahoma Board of Behavioral Health to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).
Students must first meet requirements for the 33 hour M.Ed. degree in Applied Behavioral Studies (ABS), then complete 5 more courses (which includes field experience) in order to have the "Professional Counseling" designation added to their transcript—bringing the total to 60 credit hours (as required by Oklahoma). Most courses are offered in the evening, but flexible daytime schedules are necessary for Practicum and Internship.
The program is designed for fall admission and is "fast-track" in that most of the courses are offered in a once-per-week, 8-week session. This allows full-time students beginning in the fall to finish in two years (and part-time students beginning in the fall to finish in about four years).
Some courses, such as Practicum and Internship, will be offered in longer sessions. Each 3 credit hour course requires a one-weekend seminar while 4 credit hour courses will require more. Some summer course work is required. Because of this unique structure, students may have to attend some classes on days when the university is otherwise closed. Special fees apply to a few classes.
Emphasizing a practitioner-wellness model, counseling is viewed as an integration of art and science at OCU. As such, the counselor's effectiveness becomes a product, in part, of personal awareness and creativity.
The experiential philosophy of the program reflects this belief by emphasizing students' personal growth and development as critical in the training of counselors. It is therefore assumed that students not only desire, but also intend to pursue the inspection of their own personal identity, growth, and development--both inside and outside the classroom—as an integral part of their graduate studies in counseling at OCU.
Fall-1st 8 weeks
ABS 5713 Counseling Theories
ABS 6813 Human Development
Fall-2nd 8 weeks
ABS 6903 Research Methods
ABS 5314 Assessment I
Spring-1st 8 weeks
ABS 6513 Socio-cultural Foundations
ABS 5703 Behavior Pathology
Spring-2nd 8 weeks
ABS 5363 Counseling Children & Adolescents
ABS 6975 Professional Orientation/Ethics
ABS 6743 Group Process
ABS 5813 Career Development
ABS 6714 Advanced Counseling Techniques (1st 8 weeks)
ABS 5364 Topics: Personality Theory (2nd 8 weeks)
ABS 6776 Practicum (both terms)
ABS 6314 Assessment II
ABS 6979 Internship (both terms)
[* curriculum/sequence subject to change; bottom 5 classes require candidacy status (see below) and denote a required course to be taken beyond the 33 hour M.Ed. in Applied Behavioral Studies in order to have the "Professional Counseling" designation added to the transcript--if seeking the LPC; 3 & 4 year plans of study also available]
Near completion of the 33 hour M.Ed. in Applied Behavioral Studies, students will be evaluated and must "advance to candidacy" in order to continue study toward the Professional Counseling concentration (for those seeking the LPC). This requires grades of at least 3.0 in each course as well as demonstrating a high degree of professionalism,responsibility, reliability, ethical behavior, knowledge, writing ability, a non-combative, non-abrasive attitude, and a disposition deemed suitable by the faculty. An oral candidacy interview may also be requested.
If a student's grade point average (GPA) falls below a 3.0 before or after candidacy, he/she will be placed on academic probation with one semester to raise the GPA to 3.0 or higher. Students entering on probation must raise their ABS GPA to at least a 3.0 within the next 9 semester hours taken. A student placed on probation twice may disqualify him/her from continuation. Only one course grade in the C range is acceptable. Under no circumstances is a grade below the C range acceptable.
See Graduate Catalog for any other requirements.
- An earned bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university recognized by the U.S. Dept. of Education (or its foreign equivalent recognized by the country in which the degree is granted).
- Minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0. Students may be admitted on probation, at the discretion of the program director, with a cumulative GPA of 2.750-2.990.
- Submission of official transcripts from all institutions, reflecting all course work taken.
- Ability to communicate (both written and oral) proficiently in the English language.
- 2 satisfactory recommendation letters from college instructors. If the bachelor's degree is more than 5 years old, a significant sample of former scholarship may be submitted in lieu of an instructor's letter. In this case, the other letter can be from a supervisory person of employment.
- A personality/disposition deemed suitable for the helping and crisis intervention disciplines.
- An interview may be requested.
- Deadline for completed applications is exactly two weeks prior to the beginning of the semester (please inquire if the deadline has been extended).
Students whose native language is other than English must demonstrate proof of English language proficiency. Applicants must achieve a score of at least 80 on the internet-based TOEFL, 550 on the international paper-based TOEFL, or an overall IELTS score of 6.0 with at least 5.5 on each band score. The requirements may also be met by completing level 112 of the intensive program at an ELS language center.
Email Dr. Bryan Farha (Director)
Telephone: (405) 208-5387 (Dr. Farha)
Toll-free: (800) 633-7242 (Admissions)
OCU is the state's only top 25 Western Master's Level Institution ranked by U.S. News and World Report.Learn More