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Counseling Psychology - Master's

Availability: Hattiesburg Options

Considering the Counseling Psychology MS program?

Counseling psychology has historically maintained a focus on psychological health and adaptive development including vocational issues, prevention and diversity.  Our strengths include:

  • High quality clinical training in evidence-based interventions supervised by faculty in our in-house training clinic and community training sites.
  • Active research teams providing unique opportunities for the development of strong scientific skills investigating topics with real-world application. Publication and presentation opportunities available.
  • Coursework delivered by experts allowing for interdisciplinary training opportunities with other psychology specialties. MS coursework largely overlaps with the Counseling Psychology doctoral program, offering excellent preparation for additional doctoral level training. 
  • Competitive opportunities for Graduate Assistantships throughout campus offices which support full-time students through a monthly stipend and tuition waiver.

We have both a Counseling Psychology Masters and a Counseling Psychology Doctoral program.

Meet the Counseling Psychology Faculty

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60hour program
8students admitted annually
2routes: licensure & doctoral programs

Why Counseling Psychology MS Degree at Southern Miss?

The mission of the Counseling Psychology master’s program at the University of Southern Mississippi is to provide the knowledge, dispositions, and skills necessary for students to become competent professional counselors and/or seek further graduate study by providing training in the foundations required of proficient consumers of psychological science. As such, we train students to utilize the science of psychology to inform sound diagnostic and evidence-based interventions consistent with the philosophical underpinnings of Counseling Psychology in serving their clients, community, and the profession.

Research engagement and supervised clinical experience are part of every student’s program experience, creating the foundation for a true scientist-practitioner training model. CPY MS and PhD coursework highly overlap, allowing for an integration of training across these two programs. Class sizes are small to allow for more individualized training opportunities. Classes are taught by experts in each discipline and core courses are taken with other graduate students in the School, including those in Clinical Psychology, School Psychology, and the Brain and Behavior program. Counseling Psychology faculty provide integrated, discipline-specific training in counseling interventions, ethics, multicultural issues, diagnosis and assessment.

For more information about our program, please review our Program Handbook

Cohort sizes are small to allow for high quality mentorship. Faculty members invest significant time to ensure graduates meet their career goals as practicing counselors or for continued doctoral study. Counseling Psychology faculty provide regular research mentorship aligned with faculty research programs and students’ career goals as well as clinical supervision in the in-house training clinic.

All students join research teams led by a Counseling Psychology (CPY) faculty member. Teams meet regularly and focus on both individual research and collaborative projects. CPY MS students spend two years on a research team meeting individual research goals or research team supportive tasks. Type and level of research expectations are negotiated between the faculty mentor and student with attention given to student career goals, faculty research program, and mentorship resources. Applied research opportunities are available which demonstrate the benefits of the scientist-practitioner model.

The CPY MS program provides students with access to clinical training and CPY-faculty supervision from the first semester through the final semester’s internship experience. The pre-practicum experiences take place during first year courses that involve application of micro-skills, theory, assessment, and career counseling. The formal practicum sequence begins in students’ second year in our in-house clinic which serves college students and community adult clients. The 600-hour, final internship experience takes place in a community setting typically within Hattiesburg’s behavioral health service providers. New sites are regularly developed to meet students’ geographic preferences and career goals.

The CPY MS program Training Director provides resources and guidance for CPY MS students who seek Graduate Assistantships (GA). Graduate Assistantships support students by providing both a full tuition scholarship and a 9-12 month stipend. Competitive GA opportunities exist within the college and around campus. CPY MS students tend to be sought after for GA positions given the high quality of our students. While positions cannot be guaranteed, nearly all students seeking GA positions obtain one. Information on available positions and the application process are provided to all admitted students.

The Counseling Psychology Student Government (CPSG) serves as the graduate student group for both the Master's and Doctoral programs in Counseling Psychology. CPSG serves to create a supportive environment for graduate students in the Counseling Psychology graduate programs, and facilitate professional development outside of required coursework and experiences. CPSG engages in several activities each year such as fundraising, hosting social activities, inviting speakers to campus, serving as a liaison between students and faculty, and providing peer mentors for newly admitted students.

Applications are due March 1. Application deadlines here differ from those posted by the Graduate School. Late applications are not accepted.

The School of Psychology requires GRE scores for all graduate applications. 

In addition to the standard graduate application, please submit the following:

  • GRE scores
  • Transcripts
  • 3 letters of recommendation: We prefer letters from faculty members familiar with your academic performance
  • CV
  • Personal Statement: Your personal statement should focus on these 2 topics (1 page limit each):

1: Describe your professional goals and how this program will help you accomplish these. As our program has a dual mission of training students for eventual practice as a counselor or continued doctoral study, be sure your answer addresses your intention for this degree. If you intend to pursue further doctoral study, please include your research interests and how this program (and particular faculty members) will allow you to pursue research in this area.

2: Describe your professional strengths and areas for growth.

Students will be paired with a faculty mentor after admission to program. Applicants will rank order their preference as part of the application process.

Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information about our program and how to apply.

Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information about our program and how to apply. 

The Counseling Psychology graduate programs value diversity and have a strong commitment to promoting the growth for our students in an atmosphere emphasizing the significance of diversity.

Our Diversity Dialogs promote a greater understanding about the impact of diversity on the profession of psychology. We work to enhance the diversity among our students, faculty, and staff. We infuse conversations about diversity into all aspects of training including research, coursework, practica, and professional development.

We also offer the Go Gold Diversity Fellowship which is awarded annually to 2 diverse graduate students following a competitive application process. Applications are invited from any newly admitted, diverse School of Psychology graduate student with an interest in applying their training to affecting the lives of diverse populations through research and/or practice. 

Student Admissions, Outcomes and Other Data

As an MPCAC accredited program the CPY MS program maintains four main goals including, 

  1. Graduates of our program will demonstrate competency in evidence-based treatment and assessment approaches.
  2. Graduates of our program will demonstrate an appreciation for the impact of diversity on the science and practice of the counseling profession.
  3. Graduates of our program will demonstrate competency as consumers of psychological science.
  4. Graduates of our program will demonstrate professionalism through identification with the field of counseling psychology and demonstration of competency with professional skills necessary for success as a practitioner or doctoral student.

Counseling Psychology MS Program Outcome Data

The M.S. in Counseling Psychology is accredited by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC) for the period of April, 2018 through April, 2028.

Professional Licensure Disclosure

Our program is modeled after the licensure requirements in the State of Mississippi. We cannot determine if our program meets the licensure requirements in other states. We recommend that students verify their program of study meets the desired state’s licensure requirements. For more information on licensure in other states, please visit or contact Dr.%20Emily%20Yowell, Director of Training, with questions.



Degree Plan Availability
Counseling Psychology MSHattiesburg
  • Community Mental Health Counselor
  • Licensed Professional Counselor, Private Practice
  • Counseling Psychology Doctoral Student
  • Greg Watson, 2007,
    Licensed Professional Counselor, private practice
  • MaryAnne Messer, 2015
    Doctoral Student, Auburn University
  • Christine Boehmer, 2015,
    Licensed Professional Counselor, Pine Belt Mental Healthcare Resources