Application and Admission
What are the academic requirements for admission into the Master of Arts in School Counseling Program?
- A minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 (or 2.9 in the last 60 credits)
- Completion of at least 12 credits in the behavioral sciences
How do I apply for admission?
Please see the Admission Criteria & Application Checklist section of this webpage.
What are the application deadlines?
Fall enrollment – all materials due by July 1
Spring enrollment – all materials due by December 1
Applications submitted after these deadlines will be considered on an individual basis.
What if I’m still finishing up my bachelor’s degree?
Applicants who are undergraduate students in the process of completing a bachelor’s degree may be awarded a provisional acceptance to Loras’s graduate program based on receipt of their in-progress, unofficial transcript and all other application materials; with full acceptance contingent upon receipt of the final, official transcript(s) and the conferred undergraduate degree. If a program has a minimum GPA requirement, the student must meet the minimum GPA at the time the undergraduate degree is conferred for full acceptance.
Does the Master of Arts in School Counseling program require an undergraduate degree in Education? What are preferred undergraduate majors for admission into the program?
The Master of Arts in School Counseling program does not require an undergraduate degree in Education, nor is any specific undergraduate degree identified. However, having an undergraduate degree in either education or psychology can be helpful in understanding the foundation knowledge for the degree.
How long will it take to receive a decision regarding my application?
Immediately following receipt of all application materials, your file will be reviewed by the program director to determine whether to move forward with an interview. You will then be contacted with information about your next steps. After completion of your interview (or after review of your file), you will be notified of an admission decision via email within one week.
How will I be notified of the admission decision?
You will be contacted by email once a decision has been made.
Can I take some courses as a non-degree student?
Individuals who would like to take some graduate courses for professional development, continuing education credits, or just personal enrichment may take up to 9 graduate credits as a non-degree (“Special”) student. Special students may not enroll in practicum, clinical, or internship courses without approval from the program director.
In order to enroll in the course(s):
- Complete the free Loras College Special Course Application. Select “Graduate Course” as the Course Registration Type. You will need to upload copies of your unofficial transcript(s) from each college/university attended before submitting the application.
- The transcripts will be evaluated by the Program Director to ensure that any necessary pre-requisite course requirements have been met.
- After review of the transcript(s), the Registrar’s Office will be in touch with information about your next steps.
- Please note that enrolled degree-seeking students have registration preference if a course is full.
- After the completion of 9 non-degree credits, a student must then apply for formal admission into the graduate program in order to move forward and take additional courses.
- Graduate courses completed by a “Special” student with a grade of B or better may be applied to a future graduate degree at Loras College with the approval of both the Program Director and the Academic Dean.
- Financial aid is not available to non-degree “Special” students.
- Students interested in any of Loras’ Professional and Continuing Education programs should refer to the individual program webpage for application and enrollment instructions.
How can I receive more information about the Master of Arts in School Counseling program?
For more information about the application and admission process, please contact Megan Henderson: Director of Admission for Graduate and Professional Education Programs, at email@example.com or 563.588.7140. For more information about the School Counseling curriculum, please contact Dr. Kim Tuescher: Program Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curriculum and Class Format
How many credits are required for the Master of Arts in School Counseling degree?
39 credits are needed to meet the course requirements for the Master of Arts in School Counseling.
What is the format of the Master of Arts in School Counseling classes?
The format of the classes is primarily face-to-face course instruction, but some core classes are offered in an online format. Practica and internships are primarily field experiences with regular meetings on campus.
Is there a preferred entry point into the Master of Arts in School Counseling program?
There is no preferred entry point into the School Counseling program, but entering in the Fall semester seems most feasible with regard to course offerings.
Does the Master of Arts in School Counseling program accept transfer credits?
Students can transfer a maximum of 9 graduate credits from a previous institution. The courses must be similar in content to coursework offered at Loras and approved by the Program Director.
How long does it take to complete the program?
Our Master of Arts in School Counseling program offers working professionals a cohort model of study. Most students complete the program within 2 years (or 4 semesters). Please note: students have up to 7 years to complete the program.
What is the maximum course load per semester?
Typically 9, however students are allowed to take up to 12 depending on their program plan of study that they set up with their advisor.
What is the time commitment outside of class?
Time commitments vary depending on the course and individual’s specific skill set. As a general rule, students will spend 4 – 6 hours per week outside of classroom instruction on class-related work for each class.
Where are classes held?
Classes are held on the beautiful Loras College campus in Wahlert Education Building and Hennessy Hall, depending on the course rotation and schedule.
When do classes meet?
Each face-to-face class meets one evening per week, typically from 4:00 – 6:30 pm. Please see the Course Listings/Schedule section of the Registrar’s Office webpage for specific course dates and times.
What is the school counseling Practicum experience like?
School Counselor candidates typically complete their practicum experiences during the semester before their final semester in the program (after the completion of all core coursework and before the Internship).
The purpose of the Practicum is to become familiar with the School Counselor role prior to the internship experiences. In this 3-credit course experience, 100 hours of observation experiences (with 40 of these identified as Direct Service), are required.
Students will work with the Practicum Coordinator to sign up for dates to observe at several school sites during the semester. The Practicum Coordinator is the direct liaison between students and practicing School Counselors for these experiences.
What is the school counseling Internship experience like?
School Counselor candidates typically complete their two internship experiences concurrently during their final semester in the program (after the completion of all core coursework), although students do have the option to spread out their internship hours over the course of two semesters if desired.
The internships are 6 credits for each endorsement (K-8 and 5-12) for a total of 12 credits, totaling 600 supervised internship hours.
A semester prior to internship, students list their preferred site placements on the Internship Application, and placement is made by the Clinical Placement Coordinator for each endorsement level. Students are not responsible for securing placements, nor are they allowed.
Since the internship experience occurs at schools during typical school hours, students who wish to continue to work outside of the program may work other hours (evenings or weekends) or spread out their internship hours over the course of two semesters.
Internships are unpaid experiences, and no current or past related work experience may count toward the required 600 hours.
Will there be an orientation prior to the first class?
Yes, students are required to attend the Graduate Student Orientation prior to beginning coursework so they can become familiar with the faculty, campus services, and their peers.
Does the program offer online courses?
Currently, 2 – 3 of the core courses are offered online.
Is Loras College accredited?
Yes, Loras College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Our program is also designed to fulfill the course requirements for the Iowa Board of Examiners Endorsement for Professional School Counselors.
If I’m interested in playing a sport at Loras while in graduate school, how many credits do I have to take?
Graduate students must be enrolled in a degree-seeking master’s program to be eligible to participate in NCAA athletics at Loras.
Student-athletes enrolled in one of our degree-seeking master’s programs need to have full-time status (taking at least 6 credits per term) during the semester(s) they’re practicing or competing in the sport. Students also need to be making satisfactory progress towards their degree (as determined by Loras). If a student wants to participate in athletics while being enrolled less than full-time, they will need to work with their coaches to determine if they are eligible for a waiver.
Please note that while 6 credits per term are considered full-time for graduate students at Loras, students only need to take at least 3 credits per term in order to be eligible for federal financial aid.
What are the current tuition rates for the Master of Arts in School Counseling?
Visit the Graduate section of our Tuition & Fees page for detailed cost information.
Is financial aid available?
Degree-seeking graduate students (enrolled in a master’s program) are eligible to receive $20,500 in Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan funds for each academic year. Students may choose to accept all or just part of the $20,500 amount. To obtain a loan, students must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) each year at: https://studentaid.gov/ and take at least 3 credits per term. Loras’ school code is 001873.
The loan will disburse directly to Loras to cover the cost of the term(s). For financial aid purposes, the Loras academic year runs from summer-spring (ie: summer 2023 through spring 2024). Please be sure to complete the correct FAFSA for the term(s) you wish to receive loans. For example, students beginning a graduate program in summer 2023 would complete the 2023-2024 FAFSA. In addition, students beginning a graduate program in the summer term must also complete a short supplemental Summer Financial Aid Application, which is typically emailed to students in April.
Loras College does not offer institutional scholarships or federal grants for graduate and professional education students at this time.
Information about private loans can be found at: https://choice.fastproducts.org/FastChoice/home/187300/1
Students who have outstanding loans from their undergraduate education may be able to defer payment on those loans while enrolled in a degree-seeking master’s program. Deferment options are generally available to students who are enrolled at least half-time in a graduate program (3 credits or more per semester). If deferment is a requirement for you to be able to afford to enroll in a graduate program, we advise you to connect with our Financial Planning Office or your loan service providers to make sure you know exactly how deferment applies to your previous loans.