Counseling & Development

Awareness of mental health issues is increasing, and with that comes a growing need for services. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects careers in mental health counseling to grow 19 percent through 2024, much faster than average.

Our program offers professional training and development leading to a master’s degree (M.S.) in counseling and development. Graduates of the counseling and development program are eligible to become certified school counselors in the public school system for grades K-12 and licensed professional counselors in the state of Texas. With this credential, many graduates serve as mental health or career counselors in agencies, private practice, colleges or universities or government settings.

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Why choose our program?

  • CACREP (Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs) accreditation for both concentrations (community counseling and school counseling)
  • Opportunities to collaborate with students, including many nontraditional/returning students
  • Smaller class sizes, with more individualized attention and focus by faculty members
  • Online and evening classes offered to better accommodate schedules of working students
  • Faculty mentoring and advising
  • Innovative and creative counseling strategies, including play therapy
  • The opportunity to participate in the department’s  providing counseling services to the Denton area

Degree plans and certification

Our degree programs in community counseling and school counseling are accredited by CACREP, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.

M.S. in Counseling & Development Degree Plan


  • Emphasis in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Emphasis in Professional School Counseling*

* School counseling applicants must have completed two years of teaching in a public or Texas Education Agency (TEA)-accredited private school.

Admission requirements

Admission to the Counseling and Development Graduate Programs

Department Admission Contact:

Anna Stokes, M.S.

Application Deadlines*

Fall – February 15
Spring – September 15

*All transcripts must be received prior to the application deadline.

Admission Requirements

  • Hold an earned bachelor’s degree.
  • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA for the last 60 semester credit hours of undergraduate study and a minimum of 3.0 GPA for all prior graduate work.
  • If applying for Spring 2024 submit the following documents to (Applications for Fall of 2024 will submit documents through the application process.)
    • Letter of recommendation from an academic or professional reference who can speak to your academic abilities and potential (the recommender should send the letter directly to HDFSC) 
    • Letter of Intent/Essay with the following content and format:
      1. Reason for pursuing the degree
      2. Experiences/relevant achievements that relate to educational and/or professional goals
      3. Why you would be a good fit for the program
      4. Use professional, formal language, and tone
      5. Use correct grammar, spelling, and syntax
  • Applicants moved forward to the interview round will be invited to participate in an interview day with program faculty.

How to Apply

Begin by finding your program in TWU's Program, Majors & Degrees listings to see if your program has additional admission requirements and application deadlines prior to applying.  (This information is for all programs. The application deadline for your specific program will be listed in the Program Requirements.  Use that deadline as it applies below.  (Example: if a program only admits once a year and has a Fall deadline for 2023 of March 1, you would need to be looking to apply to the next deadline for Fall 2024.)

  1. Apply online.
    Apply to Graduate Programs according to the start semester and application portals below:
    • Spring 2024 - All programs apply via ApplyTexas EXCEPT applicants to the College of Business, Child Life, or Child Development master's programs or the Child Development and Early Education PhD program who should apply via the TWU Online Graduate Application Portal.
      • Note: When applying through ApplyTexas, you will need to submit any required Documents directly to the program website.
    • Summer & Fall 2024 - All graduate programs apply via the TWU Online Graduate Application Portal. Required documents will be asked for and uploaded into the application.

  2. Pay the application fee.
    The $50 fee, ($75 fee for International applicants), which applies to all new and returning applicants can be paid by:
    • Credit card - Online through the portal you applied on (either ApplyTexas or TWU's Online Graduate Application).
    • Certified check or money order by mail or electronically - payable to TWU, sent by mail to:
      TWU Admissions Processing, 301 Research Circle, Room 220; Denton, Texas 76204
      (include your full name and ID number).
    • Cash (no personal checks) - Pay at the Bursar's Office. After paying, bring the receipt to Admissions Processing (2nd floor of GRB).
    • Fee Waivers - Graduate applicants who are certified McNair Scholars are eligible for a McNair Scholar application Fee waiver. Submit the request using the Application Fee Waiver Submission Form.

  3. Submit transcripts to TWU.
    • Domestic Applicants must submit official transcripts for each college or university attended, both undergraduate and graduate. See the Information on Transcripts website for more details.
    • International Applicants are now required to provide an evaluation prepared by a NACES or AICE member evaluation service. International transcripts should not be sent directly to TWU.  See the International Admission website for more details.

For more information on graduate admissions or to contact an admissions official, visit the Graduate Admissions website.

Students who wish to apply for a Graduate Assistantship must meet the General Criteria for Appointment of Graduate Assistants.

Current student information

Information and Resources for Current Students

See our mission statement and program goals

Outcome data

Annual Outcome Data Report [PDF]

Vital Statistics Report [PDF]

The MS in Counseling and Development with an emphasis in Professional School Counseling prepares educator candidates for the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) exam (State Board for Educator Certification through the Texas Education Agency). If you are a resident of another state, contact the Office of Educator Preparation Services to determine whether our program fulfills requirements to take the certification exam in your home state.

The MS in Counseling and Development with an emphasis in Clinical Mental Health Counseling prepares graduates to take the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) exam (Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors). If you are a resident of another state, contact our department to determine whether our program fulfills requirements to take the licensure exam in your home state.


Jordyn Randall
Graduate Advisor
WH 115  

Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Joel Muro, Ph.D., LPC-S, RPT, NCC
Program Coordinator
WH 104-E

Page last updated 4:12 PM, September 12, 2023