Frequently Asked Questions

What makes EMU Master of Arts in Counseling different?

Our program strives to meet the highest standards of the profession, integrating cutting edge clinical practice and research. We emphasize the formation of the counselor, balancing coursework and skill development with personal growth experiences and strong encouragement that our students attend to their own inner work.

What is the difference between a Master’s of Social Work and Master of Arts in Counseling?

An MA in Counseling is a Master of Arts degree focused on counseling which is usually applied to the professional licensure process. An MSW is a Masters degree in Social Work which is the requirement to becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. The two professions are distinct in their approach to training and clinical work. Counseling training programs focus more on the micro aspects of human relationships and wellness, while social work training programs focus on the macro aspects of human relationships and wellness.

Can I begin the program in the spring semester?

Because of the sequential nature of the courses, our program is designed to begin in the fall only.

Am I too old?

Our students vary in age from recent college graduates to retirees who are pursuing a second career!

Can I commute?

Some students travel from their homes in neighboring cities, counties, even West Virginia. Some students who live 2+ hours away from campus choose to find local lodging for one or two nights/week.

Is housing available? 

EMU owns several rental apartment complexes that are available to students on a first-come, first-served basis. Rental rates are competitively priced, if not lower than most, and include some utilities (at least water, sewer and trash). A few units have been set aside for Graduate students. If you wish to be sure to get into one of these units, please submit the request form by April 1.

Several apartments are also available in the neighborhoods surrounding campus as stand-alone apartments or in homes. Refer to EMU e-classifieds for up-to-date listings.

Are there on-line (distance learning) courses?

At this time there are no on line courses.

Do I have to be a Mennonite (Christian)?

No — our students and faculty represent a variety of faith backgrounds and experiences. We consider the awareness of and exploration of personal spirituality, faith, values and religious tradition and commitments to be crucial in counselor formation. We encourage and support students in exploring their own spirituality both intra-personally in their own practices, as well as inter-personally in their family and community systems. We ask our counselors in training to be attentive to, respectful of, and unafraid to meet clients wherever they are with respect to these dimensions of their lives. We recognize both that religious communities and families are often the most significant positive resource in a client’s life and also that religious communities and families may be part of the presenting problem.

We strive to make our classes and our community safe for the exploration of spiritual and religious experience, both individually and in our conversations together. We welcome and value those who may as a matter of course ground themselves in Biblical texts, and we welcome and value those who do not identify as “religious” – wanting for both, and for all, the openness to explore the otherness both in others and in themselves. We want to be an open, encouraging, and safe community for this exploration, modeling how we hope we all can be in our professional practice and in our daily lives.

Can I still keep my job?

Many people continue to work while in graduate school. The default 3-year curriculum track is recommended, especially if you decide to keep a full-time job. Students who choose the intensive 2-year curriculum track often only have time for part-time work.

When should I apply… what are the requirements?

Applications are accepted at any time during the year until spring semester at which time the admissions committee conducts interviews and makes admissions decisions. For application information see our admissions page. The deadline for each school year is March 1.

What is the job market like?

We have a 100% rate of hire for our graduates who pursue counseling positions.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, faster than average employment growth is projected for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors during 2021-2031.

Where can I work after I graduate?

Our CACREP-accredited program meets the educatinoal requirements for licensure in Virginia, and our degrees are easily transferrable to most other states as well. To find out about a specific state's licensure requirements, visit our Licensure by State page, the ACA state-by-state report, or the state's official Board of Counseling.

How much does this program cost?

Please refer to the following link. Tuition and fees for graduate programs

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