Behavioral Sciences/Counseling (B.A./M.A.)

B.A./M.A. Program in Behavioral Science/Counseling and Human Development: Mental Health or School Counseling

The B.A./M.A. program provides the best preparation for students who wish to pursue clinical mental health or school counseling careers. To accomplish this, the program integrates core theoretical and knowledge areas in psychology and sociology into a Behavioral Science major at the undergraduate level. At the graduate level, the program integrates the core theoretical knowledge and skill areas in professional counselor education needed for practice as a clinical mental health counselor or school counselor. B.A./M.A. coursework integration results in a holistic, streamlined educational program wherein students can meet educational licensure requirements in school counseling or clinical mental health counseling in approximately 6 years.

The program develops counselors who assist others in making differences in their lives. To meet this overall goal, students apply theoretical models to the understanding of human behavior and demonstrate the professional attitudes, behaviors and counseling skills needed to integrate their knowledge and skills with the ethical practice of counseling with diverse populations.

General program goals include:

  • Develop within students the knowledge, competencies and attitudes necessary to function as professional counselors.
  • Assist students to develop a sense of their identity as counselors and the professional orientation needed to work for the welfare of diverse clients.
  • Assist students to understand both the scientific and humanistic perspectives in behavioral science and to apply this knowledge to counseling practice.
  • Prepare students for specialized roles as clinical mental health counselors and school counselors.

B.A./M.A. students are dually admitted to the B.A. in Behavioral Science and the M.A. in Counseling & Human Development. In addition to meeting separate admission requirements for the B.A./M.A. program (beyond general admission to the university), students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in their undergraduate coursework, follow all undergraduate and graduate academic policies and procedures, and meet appropriate interpersonal and professional behavior standards to remain in good standing in the program. With the permission of their advisor, B.A./M.A. students take four graduate courses during the last four semesters of their undergraduate degree program: BSC 502: Research Methods and Program Evaluation; BSC 510: Principles/Techniques/Theories of Counseling and Development: BSC 526: Group Process and BSC 560: Introduction to Counseling and the Counseling Profession. Upon completion of the undergraduate requirements for the B.A. portion of the program, students are awarded the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Science. An official Change of Status form must be obtained from the Program Director of Social and Behavioral Sciences and filed with the Registrar to change the student status from undergraduate to graduate.  Upon completion of all graduation requirements in the Counseling and Human Development program, students are awarded the Master of Arts in Counseling & Human Development (with Clinical Mental Health and/or School Counseling).

Admission to the B.A./M.A. program follows three possible tracks:

Track 1

Track 1 is for high school seniors through university freshmen students. Prospective students must meet two of the following three criteria:

  • Have a minimum high school grade point average of 3.7 or university grade point average of 3.5.
  • Have a minimum ACT score of 27 or SAT score of 1200.
  • Graduate in the top 10% of their high school class

Prospective students must also meet the following criteria:

  • Complete an application form and submit it to the Program Director, Social & Behavioral Sciences.
  • Submit a writing sample.
  • Participate in an interview with the B.A./M.A. faculty.

Students who do not meet requirements to enter the B.A./M.A. program as freshmen may apply through Track 2.

Track 2

Track 2 is open to students after their freshman year who meet the following criteria:

  • Complete 30 semester hours, including transfer credits, with a minimum 3.5 GPA.
  • Complete PSYC 120, SOC 101 and one elective in Psychology or Sociology (a total of 9 credits in Social and Behavioral Sciences).
  • Submit the B.A./M.A. application, writing sample, and transcript to the Program Director, Social & Behavioral Sciences.
  • Participate in an interview with B.A./M.A. faculty.

Students in the B.A./M.A. program must follow all undergraduate and graduate academic policies and procedures including a change of status for the graduate program.