At a Glance
- 2-year (full-time) or 3-year (part-time), 90 quarter unit program with minimum of 450 clinical hours
- Single or dual specialization options: Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) and Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) School Counseling Credential
- LPCC meets California BBS regulations for working as a clinician to treat individuals, couples, and families
- One-on-one faculty advisement, mentoring, and support
- Embedded curriculum for practice with active duty military and veterans
- Christian environment emphasizing integrated learning and compassionate whole person care
Interim Program Director: Randall Walker, MS, LMFT
Degree and Specialization Options
The Master of Science in Counseling program is designed to give candidates a solid foundation in behavioral health counseling with options to specialize in one or both of the following career paths: Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) and Credentialed School Counselor (PPS/SC). In addition to course content, each specialization requires extensive, supervised field experience in accordance with licensure and credentialing standards for the State of California. Both specializations meet or exceed national standards.
Licensed Professional Clinical Counseling (LPCC)
Professional Clinical Counseling is one of several behavioral health professions requiring state licensure for employment in mental health settings and independent practice. Across the United States the professional title varies. Irrespective of the specific license name, clinical counselors are prepared to diagnose and treat individuals, couples, families, and groups who need help in working through personal and relational challenges. Loma Linda University’s LPCC program is approved by the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS), the agency responsible for regulating educational programs, post-graduation internships and licensure in the profession. The educational program meets national standards and is portable to other states.
Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Counseling (PPS/SC)
Professional School Counselors are administering programs in schools that are designed with a three-fold purpose: 1) assisting with personal and social development of K-12 students, 2) helping to facilitate academic success, and 3) providing guidance related to career interests. Loma Linda University’s PPS School Counseling program is accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC), the agency responsible for regulating educational programs and post-graduation credentialing.
Supervised Counseling Practice
In addition to courses, MS Counseling candidates are required to complete supervised counseling practice during their master’s degree program. Placements depend upon interests and specialization(s) chosen for the program. Those working toward clinical licensure attend a university-sponsored placement faire in the fall of their first year. After listening to representatives from various agencies describe their programs, candidates apply to places of interest. Options include, but are not limited to, the university’s Behavioral Health Institute (BHI) and Behavioral Medicine Center (BMC), community agencies, Indian reservations, employee and student assistance programs (EAP/SAP), and county behavioral health internships. Candidates working toward the Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Counseling (PPS) will be placed by the university in local K-12 public schools for their field experience.
The majority of candidates enter the MS Counseling program in Fall Quarter and complete at the end of Spring Quarter in their second year. This requires seven consecutive quarters of full time coursework and commitment to field experience during most school vacations with the exception of major holidays.
Careers in Clinical and School Counseling
Professional counselors are master’s level health service providers trained to work with individuals, couples, families, and groups of nonrelated members. Clients include children, adolescents, adults, and seniors. The counseling profession offers a wide variety of career options. Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCCs) are employed in mental health agencies; county behavioral health departments, college and university counseling centers, employee and student assistance programs (EAP/SAP); inpatient and outpatient medical facilities; legal systems for clinical mediation; recovery and substance abuse programs; group homes; managed health care organizations; foster and adoption services; career and rehabilitation centers; church settings; military bases, veterans’ hospitals, and private clinical counseling practice. Credentialed School Counselors (PPS) are employed in K-12 educational institutions which require the PPS Credential for public school positions.
The Western Association for School and Colleges (WASC) accredits the MS Counseling degree program. The Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) program is approved for licensure by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS). The Pupil Personnel Services Program (PPS) in School Counseling is accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).
Why Choose the MS Counseling Program?
- Loma Linda University is a Christian institution dedicated to the values of Compassion, Integrity, Excellence, Freedom, Justice, Purity, and Humility.
- The University is commited to whole person care based upon a multi-systemic perspective that integrates biological, behavioral, affective, cognitive, social, and spiritual wellness.
- Rich academic community with diversity across culture, ethnicity, age, educational background, experiences, beliefs, and practices.
- Faculty-student ratio ideal for collaboration and mentoring.
- Access to high quality field experience placements on and off campus.
- University accreditation by Western Association of Schools and Colleges WASC), California Board of Behavioral Sciences' (BSS) LPCC program approval, and California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) accreditation of Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential in School Counseling.
- Flexible entrance schedules and options for part-time study allow for individualization of programs to meet students' needs.