Moulton Tower with clouds in the background.


The Counseling Master's Program at the University of South Alabama is committed to preparing dynamic, culturally competent counselors who embrace diversity and dedicate themselves to be reflective, life-long learners, social-justice advocates and systemic change agents who proactively promote the social, emotional, psychological, spiritual, economic, and physical health of youth, adults, families, and communities. 



Students can choose from the following programs:


The University of South Alabama is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Both counseling master's programs are accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP). 

Frequently Asked Questions

Please see this PDF for a list of FAQs for the counseling programs.

Training Model

Both the school counseling and clinical mental health counseling degree programs are primarily face-to-face instructional experiences. Some classes can be taken online, but most core counseling classes require in-person attendance. All classes are in the late afternoon or evening. Counseling faculty utilize a variety of instructional methods including lecture, discussion, student presentations, Team-Based Learning strategies, role playing, and use of simulated clients and experiential learning methods. 

▼   Counselor Education Program Instructional Objectives

Students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate professional and ethical competence in interactions with the faculty, peers, supervisors, and clients.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge in key curricular areas: professional orientation and ethics, social and cultural diversity, human growth and development, career development, helping relationships, group work, assessment, diagnosis, research, and program evaluation.
  3. Demonstrate a commitment to cultural competence, including being respectful of the dignity of all humans, affirming of diversity, and self-aware of personal strengths and/or limitations in working with a variety of populations.
  4. Demonstrate a commitment to the high level of personal and professional behavioral standards expected of students in counselor education.
  5. Demonstrate competence in counseling individuals.
  6. Demonstrate competence in leading small groups (task, psycho-educational, counseling, and therapy).
  7. Demonstrate writing competence in the form of documents, records, and professional papers.
  8. Demonstrate a personal commitment to building competencies required of working in a variety of teamwork roles, including both leadership and supportive roles.
  9. Demonstrate a proactive commitment to lifelong learning.
  10. Demonstrate a working knowledge of technology particularly as data acquisition and processing interface. 
▼   Admission Requirements

The Counselor Education Program admits students once per year in fall semester. The priority admissions application deadline for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is March 15th and for the School Counseling program the priority admission deadline is April 15th, 2022.Students who have submitted an application by this date will be priority consideration for admission. Students whose applications are completed after this date may still be considered if faculty determine that evaluating additional candidates is necessary.

  1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
    Official transcripts* can be sent by mail or electronically. Instructions can be found under “Help” on the application.
    *USA students applying to a USA graduate program in the College of Education and Professional Studies should complete a transcript request form (PDF) found on the University Registrar's Office website.
    In the Name/Organization field for the transcript recipient write, "USA Graduate School". There is no charge associated with this request. This option applies only to USA transcripts for students applying to USA graduate programs.

  2. GPA Requirement: A minimum overall grade-point-average (GPA) of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale based on the GPA used as the basis for granting the degree and posted on the official transcript from a regionally accredited institution at the time the degree was earned OR a 2.5 GPA on the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate course work posted on the official transcript from a regionally accredited institution at the time the degree was earned.
    GPA Exception: Individuals who have earned a bachelor 's degree from a regionally accredited institution at the time the degree was earned and who do not have a qualifying GPA for admission may seek admission based on a qualifying score of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). For the GRE, this standard is defined as having a score at the 50th percentile on all of the following subtests: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. For the Miller Analogies Test, students must have a score at or above the 50th percentile based on the total group percentile rank score. For Alternative Class A programs, applicants must submit a qualifying alternate score on the Alabama-prescribed Praxis subject-area test.

  3. A typed double-spaced statement of 2-4 pages in length regarding the applicant's career goal(s) and purpose(s) for pursuing a graduate degree in Counselor Education (submitted through the WebAdmit online portal).

  4. Three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant’s academic and/or professional abilities (submitted through online WebAdmit portal).

  5. A professional curriculum vitae or resume (submitted through the WebAdmit online portal).

  6. An applicant whose application is deemed to be acceptable will be invited to participate in a required personal interview with the counseling program faculty.

To apply - click here to get to the admissions login page.

▼   Financial Aid

Counseling graduate students may consult USA's list of scholarships available at the web page linked below. In addition there are a limited number of graduate assistantships. To apply for potential assistantships in CEPS, please inform one of the program faculty and they will guide you through the process of applying.

▼   CACREP Vital Stats Report for Counseling Programs

Number of graduates in the past year:

  • CMHC - 13
  • SC - 9

Completion rate:

  • CMHC - 95%
  • SC - 92%

Licensure or certification examination pass rate:

  • CMHC - 100%
  • SC - 92%

Job placement rate of students/graduates:

  • CMHC - 100%
  • SC - 100%

[Note: SC = School Counseling; CMHC = Clinical Mental Health Counseling]

▼   Program Faculty

Core Faculty

Yvette Getch, Ph.D. 
Counseling Programs Coordinator 

Danny McCarty, Ph.D.

Amy Upton, Ph.D.

Affiliate Faculty

Ryon McDermott, Ph.D.

Adjunct Faculty

Jean Clark, Ph.D.

Chelsea Greer, Ph.D.

Hakeem Lamumba, Ph.D.

Harvey Joanning, Ph.D.

Delisa Johnson, Ph.D.

Marjorie Scaffa, Ph.D.

▼   Program News

Margie PemuClinical Mental Health Counseling alumnus, Margie Pemu, was accepted into the CACREP-accredited counselor education Ph.D. program at the University of Arkansas for the fall 2021 cohort. Margie grew up in Nigeria, coming to the U.S. at age 13. During her master's degree program at USA Margie interned through the Mobile Court Juvenile Collaborative and Prism United, a non-profit supporting LGBTQIAP+ youth.

Margie Pemu in front of University of Arkansas stadium.


At U. of Arkansas, Margie will be mentored by Dr. Kristin Higgins and her work will be focused on pathways that promote antisocial or conduct disorders and lead to juvenile delinquency, as well as exploring which holistic, evidence-based interventions can be implemented to improve the quality of life for justice-involved persons and adolescents struggling with gender identities and/or sexual orientation. 


Dr. Amy UptonSchool Counseling faculty member, Dr. Amy Upton, is currently serving as president of the Alabama School Counseling Association and on the Executive Council of the Alabama Counseling Association. She has also recently testified before the Alabama legislature regarding recent legislation intended to restrict medical procedures for transgendered minors, and restrict school counselors' ability to keep the confidentiality of transgender youth seeking care.