Master of Arts in Counseling

with Clinical Mental Health Counseling or Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling Program Options


AVAILABLE: Mixed Mode
REQUIRED CREDITS: 90-98
LOCATIONS and START DATES: Bellevue, WA: Fall | Seattle, WA: Fall


Program Details

City University of Seattle's Master of Arts in Counseling program prepares students to work as counselors in the community mental health field. You may choose between two program emphases including Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) and Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling (MCFC).

Both emphases include core knowledge courses such as research, theory, human development and ethics. Then the majority of coursework focuses on hands-on, clinical mental health skills so you can start seeing clients and making a difference. Courses cover a broad range of issues to prepare you for real client work:

  • counseling techniques and assessments
  • trauma and violence, grief and loss, and addiction counseling
  • psychopathology and psychopharmacology
  • brief therapy, group counseling, family therapy and couples therapy
  • practicum and internships with direct supervised client work

Effective In-Class and Online Learning

At CityU of Seattle, you'll complete your Master of Arts in Counseling in a cohort, or start-to-finish learning group. Most learning takes place during face-to-face, in-class sessions. Online learning is used to facilitate in-class sessions. You can opt for a two-year intensive, full-time program or a three-year program that caters more to working professionals. Don't hesitate to reach out to a CityU advisor to learn more.

Where CityU Can Take You

When you complete the master's in mental health counseling program or the master's in marriage, couple and family counseling program, you will be qualified to apply for a Washington state associate license and work toward your Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) or Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) Certification.

You'll be qualified and trained to work in a variety of mental health settings including nonprofit counseling agencies, private counseling practices, managed care organizations, correctional institutions, residential care facilities and hospitals.

Mission Statement

Using a practitioner-scholar model, the MAC program trains well-rounded mental health counselors and marriage, couple, and family counselors for the realities of day to day practice. The MAC program emphasizes: practical application of theory and the development of case conceptualization skills; ethical awareness; appreciation of diversity; and self-awareness. Students are introduced to a broad range of clinical issues through a breadth of course work, delivered by practitioner faculty. Supported clinical experiences focus on the delivery of clinical services, and assist students to develop a coherent theoretical and ethical framework for practice.

Program Learning Outcomes

By the conclusion of their training program, students will:
  1. Apply sound essential counseling skills derived from a credible knowledge base that encompasses diverse theoretical perspectives.
  2. Recognize and apply professional ethical standards including clear and appropriate relationships with clients, colleagues, and the community.
  3. Articulate and apply a range of coherent theoretical approaches that are relevant to clients concerns and aspirations.
  4. Recognize and positively influence intrapersonal and interpersonal dynamics in counseling with individuals, groups, couples, and families.
  5. Collaborate with people of diverse ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, religious beliefs and socioeconomic status.
  6. Establish a commitment to professional development through continuing education, clinical supervision, self-reflection, and consultation with peers.
  7. Produce written communication that meets professional standards.
  8. Locate and critically evaluate research related to core areas of counseling practice.
  9. Demonstrate an understanding of the role of counselors in promoting social justice and the well-being of the greater community.

Accreditation

City University of Seattle is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The institution is preparing to submit the Master of Arts in Counseling program in September 2014 for specialized program accreditation by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Once the institution applies to CACREP for this specialized accreditation of the Master of Counseling program, a site visit will be held. CityU anticipates that it will receive notification of CACREP's accreditation decision within 12 to 18 months of initial submission. As soon as a decision is received, a notice will be posted.

History

The CityU counseling program has been training future clinicians since 1994. Initially, the degree program offering was a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology. A Canadian program (Master of Counselling) was initiated soon afterwards. Elizabeth Fountain, PhD, LMHC was the Dean of the Program at that time, and also taught in the program. She had significant influence in laying the groundwork for the program. One of the first program graduates, Renee Balodis-Cox, MA, LMHC, still teaches in the counseling program. Michael Theisen, MA, LMHC, joined the faculty in 2003, eventually becoming the Program Director. For the next decade, Michael worked collaboratively with associate practitioner faculty to infuse relevant training into the curriculum. Ellen Carruth, PhD, LMHC joined the faculty in 2010, and the program began to transition towards a CACREP-model of training to continue providing relevant preparation for students entering the mental health field. In 2013, the program was renamed the Master of Arts in Counseling, with specialization tracks in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling. Thom Field, PhD, NCC, LMHC and Joyce Mphande-Finn, EdD, NCC, LCPC came aboard in 2014, and the program submitted its CACREP application in the fall of 2014.

Financial Aid

To learn more about scholarships, work study, or financial aid regarding the MAC program, visit our financial aid webpage or talk with one of our advisors today!

Get Started Today!

If you have a bachelor's degree from an accredited university, you can apply for the Master of Arts in Counseling program at CityU. If you want to take your interpersonal skills to the next level and make counseling a career, speak with one of our knowledgeable advisors to learn more about the program today.

A sample syllabus is provided for each MAC course. These examples may be helpful for prospective students to examine the kind of curricula that is explored in the MAC program. Please note, these syllabi are samples only; actual course syllabi may change.

Core CACREP Areas (50)
COUN 501
COUN 502
COUN 503
COUN 510
COUN 512
COUN 514
COUN 518
COUN 525
COUN 526
COUN 527
Clinical Mental Health Counseling Emphasis (40)
Required Courses (19)
COUN 515
COUN 517
COUN 522
COUN 529
COUN 550
COUN 690
Electives (8)
Choose four courses from below.
COUN 511
COUN 513
COUN 600
COUN 604
COUN 606
Internships/Practica (13)
COUN 630
COUN 631
COUN 651
COUN 652
COUN 653
Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling Emphasis (48)
Required Courses (29)
COUN 511
COUN 515
COUN 517
COUN 522
COUN 529
COUN 550
COUN 600
COUN 604
COUN 606
COUN 609
COUN 690
Internships/Practica (19)
COUN 630
COUN 631
COUN 651
COUN 652
COUN 653
COUN 654
COUN 655
Note: Internship (COUN 651, 652, 653) is a supervised counseling experience totaling 600-hours across three quarters in a clinical setting.

Sample Syllabi

City University of Seattle faculty are highly regarded practitioners who bring real-life experience to the learning environment. They consider students to be collaborative partners in the creation of learning opportunities. To support practitioner faculty in their teaching roles, the institution provides orientation, training, mentoring, and coaching, all designed to foster a respectful and empowering learning environment. Faculty are rewarded for quality teaching and encouraged to continue their development as facilitators of learning.
Full-Time Faculty
Michael Theisen
Michael Theisen, MA, LMHC
Email | Phone: 206.239.4762

Michael is an Associate Professor and Program Director of the MAC program at CityU. Michael has more than 30 years of counseling, administration, and supervision experience in community mental health agencies, correctional facilities, and in private practice.
Read More


Ellen Carruth
Ellen Carruth, PhD, NCC, LMHC
Email | Phone: 206.239.4761

Ellen is an Associate Professor and core faculty member in the MAC program at CityU. As the Practicum and Internship Coordinator, Ellen draws from her counseling experiences in Seattle-area community mental health agencies.
Read More


Thom Field
Thom Field, PhD, NCC, LMHC
Email | Phone: 206.239.4767

Thom is an Associate Professor and core faculty member in the MAC program at CityU. As the designated CACREP Liaison for the program, Thom coordinates program self-studies in addition to teaching and supervising students.
Read More

Joyce Mphande-Finn
Joyce Mphande-Finn, EdD, NCC, LCPC
Email | Phone: 206.239.4778

Joyce is an Associate Professor and core faculty member in the MAC program at CityU. Joyce has more than 15 years of counseling and supervision experience in community mental health agencies, college counseling centers, and private practice settings.
Read More


Adjunct Faculty
Amanda Bailey
Amanda Bailey, MA, LMHC
is a Principal Faculty member in the MAC program at CityU, where she has been teaching for 10 years. She is also a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in private practice, where she specializes in life transitions for adults and couples.
Read More

Renee Balodis-Cox
Renee Balodis-Cox, MA, MS, LMHC
is a Principal Faculty member in the MAC program at CityU, where she has been teaching for 10 years. She is also a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in private practice, where she provides services to insured and employee-assistance program clients.
Read More

Amy Cummings-Garcia
Amy Cummings-Garcia, PhD
is an Associate Faculty member in the MAC and Undergraduate DAS programs, specializing in the area of severe psychopathology.
Read More

Shobhna Hendry
Shobhna Hendry, MS, LMHC
is an Associate Faculty member in the MAC program at City University. She is also a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in private practice, where she specializesin Mindfulness techniques.
Read More

Mary Kannegaard
Mary Kannegaard, MS, LMHC
is an Associate Faculty member in the MAC program at CityU. She is also a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and supervisor in a local community mental health agency, Sound Mental Health.
Read More

The following PDF documents are available for download:

Information About Program Graduates

Because the first cohorts of the MAC program have not yet graduated, no current information is available at this time. Information will be updated once the MAC program graduates its first class.

Program Entry Requirements

Students must have and/or complete the following entrance requirements to join the MAC program:
  1. Hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited or otherwise recognized institution, with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 in undergraduate degree program. Students may be conditionally admitted to the program with a GPA of less than 2.75, whereby the student must maintain a GPA of 3.0 in their first two quarters in the program or else be dropped from the program.
  2. Provide three references with name, title, email, and phone contact information for professional, academic, or other associates who can attest to the student's ability to be successful in a master's-level counseling program.
  3. A writing sample defining professional goals and addressing past and current experience relevant to becoming a counselor. Guidelines for writing the sample paper will be sent from the academic advising office. The writing sample and interview will be used to determine whether minimum qualifications have been met for admission to the program.
  4. Resume/C.V.
  5. Completed, signed background information form, with a history free of convictions for criminal misdemeanors and felonies. Applicants who have such a history may be denied a professional credential at the state level (see RCW 18.130 for Washington state). The background information form must be submitted prior to the interview process.
  6. Interview with the program director, coordinator, or designee. The writing sample and interview will be used to determine whether minimum qualifications have been met for admission to the program.

Admission Procedures

The application for admission can be completed online and the applicant will then need to obtain official transcripts from previous institutions which should be sent directly to the admissions office at City University of Seattle. Each applicant will then need to submit their references, writing sample, resume/CV, and completed and signed background information form. Only when all of these items have been received will the interview with the program faculty be scheduled. Once the materials have been reviewed and the interview has been conducted, the program faculty will make a decision regarding program admission and notify the prospective student.

Application Deadline

Applications are accepted throughout the year, and fully qualified applicants are admitted year-round on a first-come, first-served basis. Students admitted to the program will begin their students during the fall quarter, in a cohort model. All applications for fall quarter start must be received by September 1 of each year. Candidates will be interviewed and admissions decisions will be made as applications are received. All admissions decisions will be completed by September 30. Late applications are taken into consideration on a space-available basis.