Master of Arts in Counseling

Ottawa University offers several distinct educational opportunities. The Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC)meets the educational requirements in Arizona for licensure as an associate counselor. Students have the option of completing concentrated areas of study. The post-master’s certificates of advanced graduate studies (CAGS) is a program reserved for master’s level professionals who have received a master’s degree in counseling or a related field.

Students may be eligible to waive practicum requirements and substitute an approved elective if they are licensed by the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners and have two years of work experience as a substance abuse counselor. Students must receive approval from the director of counseling.

Concentrations Available: 

  • Christian Counseling
  • Expressive Arts Therapy
  • Gerocounseling
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Treatment of Trauma, Abuse and Deprivation
  • Professional Counseling

Graduates of Ottawa University’s Master of Arts in Counseling are well-qualified professionals who have advanced their intellectual and academic development and have developed greater understanding and knowledge of concepts, ideas, and information in the profession through research, examination, inquiry, and application.

The goal of the Master of Arts in Counseling is to graduate well-qualified, competent, caring individuals who are prepared to:

  • Achieve professional licensure as a licensed associate counselor (LAC in Arizona).
  • Understand and follow ethical guidelines for professional counselors.
  • Practice only at his/her level of competence.
  • Have good, basic diagnostic skills.
  • Have a good understanding of various treatment options relative to diagnosis/client needs (including multicultural sensitivity).
  • Offer a good understanding of resources and referrals to meet client needs.
  • Model healthy personal and interpersonal behaviors (e.g., conflict management)
  • Demonstrate professional communication skills (spoken and written).
  • Continue professional development through life-long learning.
  • Have basic skills for management and practice development.
  • Be a contributing member of his/her community.

Advanced graduate study prepares individuals to perform moreeffectively in current areas of service and to qualify for positions of greater responsibility. Independently licensed counselors may work in educational/university, health care, business, mental health agency counseling, and private practice settings, and/or may provide consulting, supervision, and training services.

Admissions Requirements for Graduate Study in Counseling

The admissions selection process is designed to identify students who have potential for completing the counseling program and achieving licensure as a professional counselor. Due to the sensitive nature of work in the area of professional counseling, students are admitted on the basis of many different expressions of their qualities and abilities: academic preparation, work experience, and factors relating to character and personality.

Academic Preparation

Admission requirements include an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university and 12 semester credit hours of psychology or related behavioral science/health services/social science courses. The program prerequisite courses are abnormal psychology, developmental psychology/human development, theories of personality, or equivalents. It is strongly recommended that the applicant has taken an undergraduate statistics course in addition to the 12 hours named above; if not, those admitted to the program will be required to complete a graduate clinical foundations course. A minimum GPA of 3.0 (on 4.0 scale) in field-related coursework is expected. Similar proficiency is expected in upper-level work (final 60 hours of bachelor degree work) in the humanities and related science courses. Performance in coursework in areas such as computer technology, media design, engineering, and others not as directly relevant to preparation in behavioral health is given less weight in evaluating academic preparation. Applicants must provide transcripts for all undergraduate and post-graduate work.

Work Experience

Students who have volunteer and/or work experience in professional counseling environments bring an added level of preparation. This type of experience may be considered when academic coursework has not been in the psychology/health services/social sciences area. Personal psychotherapy experiences may provide a familiarity with professional counseling activities, but this is not an automatic qualifier for appropriateness for graduate study in professional counseling. A current resume, outlining all work and volunteer experiences, and noting reasons for leaving positions, is required of all applicants.

Non-Academic Preparation

Section F.1 (teaching, training, and supervision) of the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice states: Counselors do not endorse students or supervisees for certification, licensure, employment, or completion of an academic or training program if they believe students or supervisees are not qualified for the endorsement.

Personal preparation for graduate-level study in professional counseling assumes that the individual demonstrates sustained personal, emotional, relationship, and lifestyle stability.

Reference Forms

Applicants must submit three completed reference forms from former professors, professionals within the mental health field, or work supervisors qualified to comment on the applicant’s potential for successful graduate study in professional counseling. These questionnaires require comments on the applicant’s intellectual, academic, personal, social, and emotional qualities that may pertain to graduate study and to success in the field of counseling psychology. Reference forms are included with the application packet. It is the applicant’s responsibility to forward them to those individuals from whom s/he wishes a reference. The reference information is then forwarded directly to the graduate office to be added to other application materials.

Personal Statement on Career Development

Applicants must submit a two-page essay. The topic of the essay should center on professional career development. The applicant to should address how past experiences have influenced their current decision to pursue higher education. Ultimately, the essay should illustrate to the reader why the applicant wishes to be in the counseling profession. The essay should demonstrate the ability to organize thoughts in writing and present them in a clear manner.


An interview may be requested of some applicants.

Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies

An individual who holds a masters degree in counseling or a related field and wishes to complete academic eligibility for licensure as a professional counselor and/or seeks continuing professional education may apply for the certificate of advanced graduate studies option. A minimum of 15 hours of coursework in the professional counseling graduate program is required for the CAGS certificate. Admission standards: master’s degree in an approved area of counseling official transcripts; resume of work and volunteer experiences; two three letters of reference; completion of appropriate prerequisite coursework for courses selected in CAGS study; interview.

Additional Information

Professional Certification/Licensure

All the programs offered in the Master of Arts in Counseling are designed to meet the education requirements of the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners in Professional Counseling. Final decisions regarding licensure rest with a respective state’s licensing Board. Students interested in certification in a specialized area (e.g., art therapy, marriage and family therapy) are responsible for requesting updated information from certifying bodies about current certification requirements in order to plan their graduate coursework. Final decisions regarding certification in areas of concentration are determined by the certifying bodies. Post-graduate individuals with a master’s degree in professional counseling or equivalent, which does not fulfill all the course/training requirements to meet eligibility for licensure, may complete such requirements through our certificate in advance graduate studies (CAGS) program. Also, professionals who are already licensed and wish to expand their expertise into new areas of specialization may do so through our CAGS program.

Counseling Career Education Ladder

Individuals with bachelor’s degrees who wish to pursue graduate studies in counseling-related studies, but are not in a position to complete the 60 semester credit hour program at this time should consider completing the 36 semester credit hours MA in HR in Substance Abuse Counseling. Later, using many of the Ottawa University courses in transfer, one may be eligible to complete a 60 semester credit hours Master of Arts in Professional Counseling as a second master’s degree. The minimum residency requirement for a second master’s degree in MAC is 30 semester credit hours. The coursework for the first master’s degree should be completed no earlier than seven years before starting on the second master’s degree.

Field Placement: Practicum and Internship

The field placements of practicum and internship provide the counseling student an opportunity to provide behavioral health services in a community agency setting under the direct supervision of a licensed professional. During these experiences students are required to participate in a classroom seminar. The seminar provides a training opportunity for the student to exercise new skill sets, focus in on particular areas of interest, and refine theoretical integration utilizing case conceptualizations. Practicum and internship start dates are the spring I and summer terms. Students should consult with their academic advisor in regards to the best time for them to begin their field placements.


The practicum field placement is two semesters in length and requires that a student collect, at a minimum, 300 hours of supervised field experience at their practicum site. Students attend seminar for one and half hours weekly. Practicum seminar is a pass/fail course. Students must successfully complete all assignments in practicum I to be eligible for enrollment in practicum II and continuation of their practicum experience. Students may not collect hours when not enrolled in a section of practicum.


The internship field placement is three semesters in length and requires that a student collect, at a minimum, 600 hours of supervised field experience at their internship site. Students attend an internship seminar for two hours weekly. Internship seminar is a pass/fail course. To begin internship a student must of successfully completed practicum I and practicum II. Students are required to pass internship I to be eligible for enrollment in internship II and continuation of their Internship experience. Furthermore, students must successfully complete all assignments in internship II to be eligible for enrollment in internship III and continuation of their internship experience. Students may not collect hours when not enrolled in a section of internship.


To be eligible for practicum a student must be in good academic standing, have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 and have completed, at a minimum, 18 semester credit hours in the degree program. Additionally, to be eligible a student must have taken and passed both counseling in the helping professions and professional and ethical issues in counseling with a “B” or better.

Practicum/Internship Field Placement Procedures

Students interested in beginning practicum are required to attend a practicum/internship workshop. The workshop is free of charge and initiates the field placement process. The following outlines the current process. Students are advised that the process is subject to change.

  • Students must purchase student malpractice insurance
  • Complete a practicum/internship site agreement
  • Submit two faculty recommendations
  • Complete and sign an enrollment form.


Each practicum or internship site must assign a permanent supervisor who provides weekly supervision to the counselor trainee. This site supervisor must be certified as an independent practitioner at the master’s level or above in an area covered by the Board of Behavioral Health Examiners, licensed by the Board of Psychologist Examiners, or certified as a school counselor or school psychologist by the Board of Education (for school guidance counselor MA in Ed students). In addition to the site supervision, each student is assigned to a trainee group which meets with an Ottawa University faculty member.

Prerequisites for Field Placement – Practicum (MAC and MA in HR counseling students)

  • Minimum of 18 semester credit hours of graduate coursework including PYF 8012 Professional and Ethical Issues in Counseling.
  • Recommendations from two graduate instructors. (Obtain forms from office of graduate studies.)
  • Approved practicum proposal showing a minimum of 300 contact hours written for the selected site.
  • Signed site agreement form.
  • Active malpractice liability insurance.
  • Enrollment in an Ottawa University practicum group
  • Final approval by field placement coordinator.

Prerequisites for Field Placement - Internship

  • Successful completion of practicum.
  • Recommendations from practicum group supervisor and from a faculty member from a clinical or specialization course.
  • Approved internship proposal showing a minimum of 600 contact hours over three semesters.
  • Signed site agreement form.
  • Active malpractice liability insurance.
  • Enrollment in an Ottawa University internship supervision group.
  • Final approval by field placement coordinator.

Practicum and Internship Proposal

The format for the proposal is to be typed and must follow the outline provided in PYF 8012 Professional and Ethical Issues in Counseling.

Special Statement on Attendance for Counseling Students

Attendance at all class meetings is expected. The content of courses in counseling and the nature of counselor training require counseling students to look at aspects of human values, beliefs and behaviors that may be personally disturbing to them. It is necessary, however, for professional counselors to understand the full range of human development and experience and to maintain proper respect for the client as an individual, whether or not the professional agrees with or approves of aspects of the client’s life. It is important that counseling students remain open to learning about the humanness of their potential clients. An individual student also may find that certain course content may trigger an issue from his/her past or present life that makes staying in class for a particular presentation emotionally difficult; therefore, it is important for counseling students to have a means to excuse themselves from a course activity that may be personally disturbing. The procedure to follow in such cases is as follows:

  • If anticipated, notify the instructor in advance to obtain a substitute assignment.
  • Take responsibility to have a fellow student collect hand-out materials and share notes for the part of the class missed.
  • If a student becomes aware of this situation during a class, the student should quietly leave the class, remaining in the area, and return to class as soon as possible to take part in the critique and discussion.
  • The student also should notify the instructor at break or after class about the general reason for leaving and should seek a substitute assignment.

Satisfactory Progress


Graduate students in the counseling (MAC) program are expected to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 each term while in the program. Students who receive more than two grades of “C” or less or who obtain a GPA less than 3.0 in coursework may be dismissed from the program immediately. Courses with grades below a “C” are not accepted towards the degree. Students in the MAC program are encouraged to apply for a leave of absence if circumstances in their lives become prohibitive and interfere with expected attendance and timely, adequate completion of course and training activities.

Students must complete no less than six hours of applicable credit within each year after enrolling in the program to be considered an active student. Inactive students wishing to re-enter the MAC or MA in HR-SAC programs must consult with the program director for approval and will be subject to any curriculum changes that have occurred since their last enrollment. A student who does not attempt any coursework in an academic year will be required to participate in an abbreviated reapplication process to include a 300 -500 word essay on career development, two letters of reference, and an interview with the admissions committee.

Non-academic: Special Statements on Student Behavior

Due to the sensitive nature of the work of counselors, student progress is also evaluated on factors such as personal integrity and emotional maturity.

The progress of each graduate counseling students will be reviewed once a year by MA in PC administration and faculty. The review will focus on the development of the student’s character and academic process. The criteria for the review is based upon the goals of the counseling programs (see page 106).

Graduate counseling students are expected to conduct themselves with honesty and integrity with respect to research, clinical activities, reports, presentations, and other course requirements. Examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to: misrepresentation of another author’s words and/or ideas as one’s own without proper referencing/footnoting in a paper or presentation, fabrication and misrepresentation of research results or clinical documentation or logs, signing supervisors’ or other approvers’ names to supervision or other reference forms, submitting the same paper/presentation or substantial portions of it for two separate courses without prior consent of the instructors concerned, allowing another student to use your product as his or her own without proper credit to you as the author, writing a paper for or providing answers on a project/assessment for another student who is representing these as his or her own, having another individual complete an assignment or assessment for you which you offer as your own product without proper identification of the contributor/editor. Academic dishonesty can result in dismissal from the program. All students who attend graduate counseling classes must also abide by the following:

Policy on Student Impairment, Ethical Misconduct, Problematic Behavior, and Competence


The purpose of this policy is to clarify and identify areas of professionalism and ethical conduct expected of the students in the graduate professional counseling program at Ottawa University (and/or taking courses designated as PYC/PYF in the professional counseling curriculum), and to describe the procedures for identifying, assessing, and addressing issues related to impairment, ethical misconduct, problematic behavior, and competence.

The program for graduate studies in professional counseling at Ottawa University has a responsibility to protect clients, students, faculty, and the public from harm. The program also has a responsibility to protect students’ rights. This policy has been developed with both of these principles in mind.

The policies are consistent with the American Counseling Association’s code of ethics and standards of practice. It is the responsibility of each student and faculty member to uphold the standards of professional and ethical conduct and to confront and question instances when unprofessional or unethical conduct is suspected. To have knowledge of unprofessional or unethical conduct and not confront it places one in violation of Section H.2 of the code of ethics and standards of practice of the American Counseling Association, which explicitly assigns professionals the responsibility to monitor peer conduct and confront unethical behavior. This policy of conduct applies to all students who enroll in PYC/PYF courses, independent of their degree/certificate program.



Defined as an interference in professional functioning that is reflected in one or more of the following ways:

  • Inability or unwillingness to acquire and integrate professional standards into one’s repertoire of professional behavior;
  • Inability to acquire professional skills and reach an accepted level of competency; or
  • Inability to control personal stress, psychological dysfunction, or emotional reactions that may affect professional functioning.

More specifically, such health or mental health conditions often include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • physical and emotional hardships
  • chemical dependency
  • stress, burnout, and workaholism
  • extreme personal/relationship difficulties
  • emotional and mental disorders

A person may experience health or mental health difficulties without being considered impaired. Thus, a definition of the term impairment must include both a deterioration in functioning and an associated health or mental health condition.

The following examples serve to illustrate some, but not all, possible forms of student impairment:

  • A student is witnessed by his peers to be drinking alcohol during class breaks. He is falling behind in his academic work, and often falls asleep in class. Both faculty and students have noticed a drastic change in his behavior over the past few months.
  • A student who is typically known to be quite competent organized gradually begins to fall behind academically. At first, she works with her instructors to make up the work. Then, after several weeks of sporadic attendance, she no longer attempts to get caught up.
  • Other students notice that she is tearful and withdrawn whenever they see her. When they express their concern, she tells them she thinks she has become severely depressed.
  • A clinical supervisor begins to notice that a student has been arriving on site later and later over the past several weeks. When she asks the student about this behavior, he makes an excuse and promises to improve. Not only does he continue to arrive late, he also begins to make significant mistakes on paperwork and to miss appointments with clients. Meanwhile, he tells several classmates that he is considering divorcing his wife of 10 years. He appears visibly distraught and distracted to his peers.

(Source: Wright State School of professional psychology handbook)


Defined as a lack of ability, which may include either professional or interpersonal skill, or academic deficiency. When students continue to provide psychological services beyond their current level of competence, this is an ethical violation.

Ethical Misconduct

Occurs when the ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct produced by the American Psychological Association (APA) and/or the American Counseling Association’s code of ethics and standards of practice are not followed. These codes are intended to provide both the general principles and the specific decision rules to cover most situations encountered by psychologists/counselors in their professional activities. They have as their primary goal the welfare and protection of the individuals and groups with whom psychologists/counselors work. It is the individual responsibility of each psychologist/counselor to aspire to the highest possible standards of conduct. Psychologists/counselors respect and protect human and civil rights, and do not knowingly participate in or condone unfair discriminatory practices.

Problematic Behavior

Refers to a student’s behaviors, attitudes, or characteristics that may require remediation, but are perceived as not excessive or unexpected for professionals in training. Performance anxiety, discomfort with clients’ diverse lifestyles and ethnic backgrounds, and lack of appreciation of agency norms are examples of problematic behaviors that are usually remedied and not likely to progress into impairment status. (Adapted from Lamb, Cochran and Jackson, 1991. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 22, 291-296.)


Impairment, incompetence, ethical misconduct, and/or problematic behavior may be identified in a variety of ways and by a variety of persons, including but not limited to students, faculty, University staff, clinical supervisors, clients, and/or members of the public. Responses to concerns may range from informal advisement, to formal review with remediation, to formal review with temporary suspension from program, or to dismissal from graduate program.

Courses of Action

In some situations, informal action may be an appropriate first step. Here, the student, staff person, clinical supervisor, or faculty member speaks directly with the individual, discussing the area(s) of concern and attempting to guide the individual towards change. The individual making the informal intervention should document concerns and actions, as well as the student’s responses, in the form of notes, that are forwarded to the director of graduate studies in professional counseling. These notes would be retained in confidence and no further action would be taken unless there are similar reports by others and/or indication that the informal action was not successful for this student. Any reports to the director by this student are also documented by the director and held in confidence in the director’s files.

Making a formal charge of unethical or unprofessional conduct with either the director or assistant director of graduate studies in professional counseling is an appropriate initial action when the violation does not seem amenable to an informal corrective action or if the violation is of a more serious nature. It is also possible for the students, staff, clinical supervisors, faculty, or members of the general public to employ both informal and formal approaches. For example, one who intervenes informally in an instance of suspected unethical or unprofessional conduct and is not satisfied with the results of that intervention may decide to proceed to formal action.

Students, staff, clinical supervisors, faculty, or members of the general public who are unsure whether to intervene informally or formally (or whether they are obligated to take action at all) are urged to seek counsel and advice from the director or assistant director of graduate studies in professional counseling.

Formal Intervention

Initial formal, written reports of suspected unethical or unprofessional conduct should be made either to the director of graduate studies in professional counseling or, if related to practicum/internship activities, to the assistant director of graduate studies in professional counseling. The written statement should address the following questions:

  • What are the actual behaviors that are of concern, and how are those behaviors related to the goals of the program?
  • How and in what settings have these behaviors been manifested?
  • What were the negative consequences for the graduate program, training agency or others (e.g., clients, other students) of the problematic behaviors.
  • Who observed the behaviors in question?
  • Who or what was affected by the behavior (other students, clients, agency, atmosphere, training program, etc.)?
  • What was the frequency of this behavior?
  • Has the student been made aware of this behavior, and, if so, how was it done, and has the feed back to the student regarding the behavior been documented in any way? What was the student’s response to the feedback?
  • How serious is this behavior on the continuum of ethical and professional behavior?

(Adapted from Lamb, Cochran and Jackson, 1991.)

Determining Appropriate Action

The director and/or assistant director of graduate studies in professional counseling, or an investigative committee appointed by the director, will take appropriate action to evaluate the nature and severity of the issues raised in the complaint. Faculty, supervisors, or others identified in the report as related to the incident(s)/behavior(s) in question can be contacted for additional information on the complaint. The director and assistant director of graduate studies in professional counseling (and the director of another OU graduate program in which the student is enrolled, i.e., business or education, if appropriate) (hereafter known as the review team) will schedule a meeting with the student within 10 days of receiving the written complaint. At this meeting, areas to be reviewed and discussed will likely include the nature, severity, and consequences of the situation and specifics, as outlined in the nine questions addressed in the complaint. The student will be asked to reply to the issues raised. In addition, possible avenues of remediation will be discussed: the student will be asked to make suggestions for remediation, as well as those presented by members of the review team.

While each case is different and requires individual assessment, the following factors may indicate that the problem is more serious and may represent an impairment rather than a problematic behavior:

  • The student does not acknowledge, understand or address the problematic behavior when it is identified.
  • The problematic behavior is not merely a reflection of a skill deficit that can be rectified by training.
  • The quality of service delivered by the person suffers.
  • The problematic behavior is not restricted to one area of professional functioning.
  • The behavior has the potential for ethical or legal ramifications if not addressed.
  • A disproportionate amount of attention by training personnel is required.
  • Behavior that does not change as a function of feedback.
  • Behavior negatively affects public image of agency of the University or training site.

Ample time will be allowed in this meeting for the student to present his/her view of the situation and to ask questions. After this meeting with the student, the review team will meet to determine next steps. If it is determined that further steps are required in response to the situation, they will develop a written plan for remediation or some other appropriate course of action and will schedule a meeting to discuss this concern with the student within four weeks of their initial meeting with the student. Students may submit their own ideas for remediation in writing to the director of graduate studies in professional counseling during this period. The review team will consider the student’s recommendations in developing their own recommendations. The plan will be in writing and documented by the director of graduate studies in professional counseling. The written report of the review team will be reviewed in a second meeting with the student within four weeks of the first meeting.

Team findings and recommendations may include, but are not limited to:

  • Student continues in program activities while completing, under monitoring, a recommended plan for remediation.
  • Student continues in program but with a limitation on program activities while completing, under monitoring, a recommended plan of remediation.
  • Student is temporarily suspended from program activities (leave of absence) while completing, under monitoring, a recommended plan of remediation.
  • Student is permanently suspended from program with recommendations for personal remediation.

The student will be given the opportunity to accept the recommendations, to provide a written rebuttal, and/or to appeal. If the student chooses to provide a rebuttal, the review team will meet again to consider any new evidence presented by the student, and will provide written documentation of their decision within three weeks of the date the rebuttal was received.

If the student wishes to appeal the review team’s decision, he or she may contact the associate dean of human services and business. Regardless of the outcome of the meeting, the student and the director of graduate studies in professional counseling (and the director of the student’s graduate program, if appropriate) will schedule a follow-up meeting to evaluate the student’s adjustment to the process, and to recommend potential sources of guidance and assistance when necessary.

The remediation process will follow the written plan, which must include scheduled review dates and target dates for each issue identified. Examples of actions that may be included in the remediation plan include – but are not limited to – an increase in didactic instruction, a decrease in course load, a decrease in or temporary suspension of clinical responsibilities, increased supervision and/or faculty advisement, leave of absence, and individual psychotherapy. Progress must be reviewed at least once each semester for one year, or until the situation is considered remedied. Additional reviews may be scheduled as necessary. After each review, a copy of the current Remediation Plan, including student comments and the review team’s signatures must be filed in the student’s portfolio. If progress is viewed by the review team as insufficient, they may recommend either a change in the remediation plan or dismissal. The student will have an opportunity for rebuttal or appeal, as described above. Further grievance procedures follow those outlined in the Ottawa University student handbook (p. 49).

Emergency Suspension

The director of graduate studies in professional counseling may impose an emergency suspension when a student’s behavior constitutes a grave breach of professional ethics, when such behavior places other people’s welfare in jeopardy, or threatens to disrupt the educational process of the school. Students placed on emergency suspension will not be permitted to continue to participate in some or all of the activities related to graduate study in professional counseling and/or PYC or PYF courses (e.g., to take examinations or submit papers or other course work, engage in practicum/internship activities) without written permission from the director of graduate studies in professional counseling. Emergency suspensions will remain in effect until the review team recommends another course of action.

Additional Points of Emphasis

  • Clearly not every contingency can be covered in this policy.
  • Exceptions may be made in unusual circumstances and/or
  • if public/student welfare is at risk.
  • Confidentiality should be maintained at all times.
  • This policy is subject to annual review/revision.

Degree Requirements

Core/Foundation Courses

















PYF 8600, 8610 Field Placement - 9 credit hours

Students may not begin field placement until 18 credit hours have been completed, including PYC 7922 Counseling Theories, PYC 8040 Advanced Psychodiagnostics, PYF 8012 Professional and Ethical Issues in Counseling and PYF 7132 Counseling and the Helping Professions.  PYF 7132 and PYC 7922 must have been completed with a grade of "B" or better.  Students in provisional or probationary status are not eligible to begin field placement.

Students who did not meet the program prerequisite courses of abnormal psychology, developmental psychology/human development, theories of personality, or equivalents at admission may be required to complete additional coursework.

MAC Blackboard Shell

Graduate Statistics Workshop (non-credit):

Comprehensive Examination (non-credit):

Professional Growth Seminars

  • MA in HR – Substance Abuse Counseling - 18 semester credit hours
  • MA in PC – 36 semester credit hours

Christian Counseling

This cooperative program with Phoenix Seminary is designed for students who are interest in a program that meets educational requirements in counseling combined with coursework providing a focus for Christians who works as counselors in Christian and secular settings.  Students in the Christian Counseling specialty must be simultaneously, but separately, admitted to both the Ottawa University and the Phoenix Seminary programs.  The program consists of significant coursework from both schools.  Upon successful completion of all requirements for each school, graduates are awarded the Ottawa University Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) and the Phoenix Seminary graduate diploma in Christian Counseling (GDCC) by their respective institutions.  The following courses are required for Ottawa University's degree. 

Required Core Courses:

PYF 7001 Graduate Seminar in Clinical Foundations (If required per acceptance letter)

PYC 7422 Social and Cultural Concerns in Counseling

PYC 7922 Counseling Theories

PYC 7832 Human Growth and Development

PYC 7932 Group Counseling and Dynamics

PYF 7162 Methods and Models of Research

PYF 8012 Professional and Ethical Issues in Counseling

PYC 7802 Psychological Testing

PYC 7822 Life Planning and Career Development

PYC 8040 Advanced Psychodiagnostics, Treatment, Planning, and Program Evaluation

PYF 8600 Field Placement

PYF 8610 Field Placement

Required Concentration Courses:

CF 500 Counseling Skills

PYC 7862 Biological Bases of Abnormal Behavior

CF 508 Marriage and Family Counseling

CF 509 Integration of Psychology and Christianity

CF 510 Human Sexuality: A Christian View

CF 511 Addictive Disorders

CF 503 Counseling Issues and Strategies (Christian Counseling Workshop)

CF 530 Counseling Pre-Practicum (100 hours)

Select two from the following:

CF 512 Counseling Adults from Dysfunctional and Abusive Families

CF 513 Trauma, Loss, and Grief

CF 514 Child and Adolescent Counseling



Total of 6 hours for PYF 8600 and PYF 8610

Expressive Arts Therapy

This area of study offers an opportunity for students to develop and integrate clinical skills with therapeutic art.  Expressive arts can be utilized with a variety of populations and within a wide range of settings.  Expressive arts therapy approaches include art therapy, music therapy, dance therapy, phototherapy, poetry/writing, as well as other expressive arts mediums.

Prerequisites for entry into the program:

Application and interview with portfolio approval

12 semester credit hours of studio arts courses

18 semester credit hours in degree program

Required Core Courses:


Required Concentration Courses:

PYC 8132 Expressive Arts Therapy

PYC 8172 Applications and Integration of Expressive Arts

PYC 8312 Principles, Techniques, and Practice in Expressive Arts Therapy

PYC 8342 Clinical Issues in Expressive Arts

PYC 8552 Advanced Special Topics in Counseling or approved elective


Marriage and Family Therapy

This area of study is designed to meet the educational requirements for certification through the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT) and licensure in Arizona as a Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT).


Required Concentration Courses:











Treatment of Trauma Abuse and Deprivation

This concentration allows students to develop understanding and clinical skills for working with individuals, families, and groups who are recent victims or adult survivors of violence, abuse, emergency and disaster, loss, and/or neglect and deprivation.


Required Concentration Courses:









According to the US Census Bureau (2007), the population of people 65 and older is projected to increase by 200 percent by the year 2025.  As the segment of the population of older adults continues to grow, the demand for competent mental health professionals to provide treatment interventions to this population will also grow.  A concentration in gerocounseling allows students to graduate with a competency and increased marketability for employment.


Required Concentration Courses:






The counseling programs share the MAC Blackboard shell. Students are encouraged to regularly check the MAC Blackboard for announcements, PGS schedules, program information, etc. Blackboard is accessible from the main Ottawa website ( under the hyperlink “Student” which is located in the top right hand corner. Use the following information to sign on:

Students should not change the password nor enter personal data as this is a public domain.

Students who enter the program without background preparation in statistics will be required to complete a non-credit, one-day graduate statistics workshop within their first 6 semester credit hours in the program. However, this workshop is recommended for all professional counseling students.

The Counselor Preparation Comprehensive examination (CPCE) is a standardized, national assessment that is offered three times each calendar year. The multiple choice format assesses core competency areas: human growth and development, social and cultural foundations, helping professions, group work, career and lifestyle development, appraisal, research and program evaluation, and professional orientation and ethics. For further information on this assessment, see

This comprehensive examination may be taken at any time after completing all core/foundation courses (and may be repeated, if necessary).

Professional growth seminars (PGS) are required, non-semester credit seminars on current topics in the practice of counseling designed to supplement the formal graduate program through ongoing professional development. The number of seminars required varies by counseling program:

A schedule of upcoming seminars is available on the MA in PC Blackboard. Reservations may be made by downloading the PGS order form from blackboard, completing the form, and either mailing or faxing the form to the designated address/fax. Students are responsible for submitting copies of the certificates to the Office of Graduate Studies. PGS hours are reviewed and sent to the Office of the Registrar for transcript posting. Students are encouraged to keep copies of all materials which are submitted for later re-verification.

One half of all PGS, regardless of counseling program, must be from Ottawa University sponsored PGS. Non-OU workshops PGS should be endorsed by approved professional organizations. Final approval of non-OU PGS is at the discretion of the Director.

Ottawa University Website Link