Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

School Counseling

The master’s in School Counseling, a 60-credit hour program, is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

The program prepares students to become a professional school counselor within preK-12 schools in Tennessee and most states. Our students learn about their role as a leader within a data-driven comprehensive, developmental school counselor program as supported by the the TN Model for School Counseling and the ASCA National Model®. All counseling core courses are face-to-face with a highly qualified faculty member. Most students enroll on full-time basis, and part-time options are available by advisement. The 60 credit master’s degree can be completed in two full years, including two summers, when enrolled on a full-time basis.

About School Counseling

The mission of the University of Tennessee Master of Science (MS) School Counseling program is to equip graduate students with the competencies to excel as preK-12 professional school counselors. The faculty in this flagship, land-grant institution expects our graduates to serve as leaders in the profession through advocacy, collaboration, and systematic change while attending to an ever-changing, diverse educational community. Due to the rigorous standards and expectations established by the faculty, school counselor trainees successfully complete the Praxis exam and meet credentialing standards for most states.

Goals for the MS program in School Counseling are based on Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP), American School Counselor Association Standards (ASCA), and the Tennessee Tennessee Comprehensive School Counseling Model and Standards. Specific goals are to prepare students in:

  • Professional Identity
  • Knowledge, Skills, and Practice in the Foundations of School Counseling
  • School Counselor Specific Domains
  • Clinical Instruction
  1. Graduates will have foundation knowledge necessary for success as professional counselors.
  2. Graduates will be able to develop therapeutic relationships that are deeply healing, culturally sensitive, developmentally appropriate, and ethical.
  3. Graduates will demonstrate professional dispositions including Commitment, Openness, Respect, Integrity, and Self-Awareness (CORIS).
  4. Graduates will be culturally sensitive and ethical advocates for self, clients, and profession through counseling interventions, programming, and professional and community engagement.
  5. Graduates will be well-skilled in the full range of tasks needed to coordinate a comprehensive, developmental school counseling program that addresses the academic, career, and social-emotional development of preK-12 students.

Core CACREP-Accredited Program Faculty

Casey Barrio-Minton

Casey A. Barrio Minton*

Sharon Bruner

Sharon L. Bruner*
Assistant Professor

Jeff Cochran

Jeff L. Cochran*

Joel Diambra

Joel F. Diambra*
Associate Professor

Melinda Gibbons

Melinda M. Gibbons*

Shawn Spurgeon

Shawn Spurgeon*
Associate Professor

Laura Wheat

Laura S. Wheat*
Assistant Professor

*Designated as core faculty members for this program.

Information for Potential Applicants

Application Requirements

Students may begin the program in summer or fall semester only.  Applications are due each year on February 1.

We have linked FAQs about the program and application process on the next page. You can also use the link on the next page to reserve a space in a program information session.

The CACREP accredited master’s program in school counseling will fulfill the licensure requirements for preK-12 school counseling in Tennessee and in most states of the United States. The program requires 60 credit hours, including practicum and internship, and results in a Master of Science degree in counseling.

Licensure by the Tennessee State Department of Education or by other states is granted only after the student makes a formal request to the licensure office in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences Student Services, 332 Claxton Addition. The student should complete the licensure verification form available from this office. In addition, applicants for licensure in Tennessee must also pass the School Guidance and Counseling specialty of the National Teachers Examination (Praxis Series). Applicants for certification/licensure in other states should check with the Department of Education in that state because many states require teaching certification/licensure experience and/or other requirements prior to certification as a school counselor.

Students admitted to the Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling programs have the opportunity to complete dual-track licensure preparation requirements. The completed coursework will provide the student with a structured method for meeting the academic requirements for licensure as a Professional Counselor (LPC) and as a Professional School Counselor in the state of Tennessee. The dual licensure preparation requires a total of 63 hours. Faculty permission and an application are required, and students must declare their intentions during the first semester in their program. Faculty will make a determination of all submitted applications and inform students before the Fall semester ends. Selected students remain in the program for which they were admitted (i.e., school or clinical mental health) but agree to and are expected to complete the dual licensure preparation requirements.

Financial Aid Information

Includes EPC GA Application form, departmental fellowships/scholarships, and links to other funding sources around UT Knoxville.

CACREP Accreditation Information

In accordance with CACREP (2016) Standards, syllabi for our courses are available for prospective and admitted students to review.  If you would like to preview syllabi for any of our courses, please contact and indicate which syllabi you would like to receive.

Counseling Facebook page logo

Like us on Facebook!


Updated 07/27/21