Department of Health and Human Development
The Department of Health and Human Development at Montana is easily the largest such department in the state, with three graduate-level degrees that prepare counselors for success in schools, in the public sector, and in private practice. The department's programs are fully accredited by CACREP, which is both the leading and most prestigious accreditation body for counseling programs in the United States. Roughly 25 students are admitted to the program each year, with counseling or non-counseling undergraduate degrees. Minimum GPA requirements, GRE test scores, and letters of recommendation are required for admissions consideration.
M.S. in Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling / Therapy
Those students who elect to study an in-depth course relating to couples and marriage counseling will start off with the university's core curriculum for all counseling students. These courses will emphasize dispute resolution, group counseling, family and marital problems, youth counseling skills, and sociocultural foundations. Then, those same students will begin to study in-depth issues that most direct affect today's families and couples. Coursework in appraisal, advanced family counseling, marital and relationship counseling, and others will be pursued during this second phase of the program.
In addition to extensive coursework that looks into the cultural and relational foundations of today's most common family and relationship problems, students will be heavily involved in research. In fact, all counseling students are required to take at least one educational research during their time at the university. They'll also participate in an internship or be trained under the supervision of an experienced counselor as they satisfy the university's key objective of health services provision. After completion of all 60 credits, students will move from the candidacy phase to full graduation with their Master's of Science degree.
M.S. in Mental Health Counseling
Students who opt for the university's Mental Health Counseling concentration will engage in the same foundational course of counseling courses that those in other disciplines take at Montana State University. After this initial coursework is completed, they'll move firmly into concentration-related courses that study the history of mental illness, its impact on families and individuals, and how counseling can play a role in both managing and solving the crises that arise due to mental health.
Like their peers in the family counseling program, those who opt to study mental health counseling will be guided through significant research and professional conduct courses. The university will place counselors into mock counseling settings and instruct them in the most ethical and impactful ways to handle a variety of situations. Students will also be strongly encouraged to join the American Counseling Association and the American Mental Health Counseling Association prior to graduation. These organizations enforce professional ethics and offer excellent learning opportunities over time as graduates enter the occupation with their graduate-level training. As with the degree in family counseling, this program requires 60 credits to be completed in order for candidates to successfully petition for graduation.
M.Ed. in School Counseling
The M.Ed. program in school counseling is actually unique among the department's offerings, since it isn't a regular Master's of Science degree. To that end, those who elect to study this form of counseling will not be required to take the university's traditional counseling core. Instead, the coursework required of students in this program will be more focused on school administration, delivery of services to students, educational and occupational ethics, privacy and privilege, and common social situations that effect student behavior, learning ability, and leadership.
In addition to learning about the best ways of handling common student situations and delivering one-on-one counseling, those who enroll in this program will be exposed to lesson planning as well. Many school counselors plan group coursework for younger students regarding everything from bullying to problems in the home, and Montana State's program ensures that new counselors develop, design, and deliver these courses in a way that's ethically sound and appealing to the specific age group with which they are dealing.
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Health and Human Development
Montana State University
P.O. Box 173540
Bozeman, MT 59717
Phone: (406) 994-3242