Counseling (MA) Program Overview

Mental wellness is an integral part of overall human wellness. Professional counseling is wellness-based support for individuals and families who may be experiencing a range of developmental, life, trauma, or other serious mental health concerns. Bluefield University’s Master of Arts in Counseling offers innovative and flexible learning to students who want to pursue a license as a school or clinical mental health counselor.

An Online Counseling Degree

Our master’s program in counseling offers a hybrid schedule, with flexible full-time and part-time options to fit your schedule. Our hybrid approach means you’ll attend synchronous online classes complemented by face-to-face intensive seminars. As professional counselors, our faculty values community, diversity, and inclusiveness and that extends to our approach to online learning. Our cohort models allow students to have the opportunity to engage with one another and our faculty through experiential learning, advocacy projects, and research. Our engaging online classes often consist of guest speakers from across the country that offer diverse points of view in clinical and school settings. Students will participate in a 100-hour practicum with experiences in clinical and school settings. In addition to this, students will complete a 600-hour internship in or near their community providing a capstone experience.

Our 60-credit program adheres to the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) standards and learning outcomes. Our program is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and by the Virginia Department of Education. As a Yellow Ribbon School, military personnel and first responders can take advantage of a special discount.

Are you ready to earn your master’s degree in counseling? We invite you to review the program’s admissions criteria and then complete our online application.

The Academic Catalog is the student guide to all policies and procedures for Bluefield University.

Admission & Graduation RequirementsProgrammatic EffectivenessFacultyFinancial Aid


Tuition: $495 Per Credit Hour
Next Start: August 16, 2023 (Online)
Time to Complete: 2 years*

Time to complete can be reduced with prior learning and transfer credits

Our Mission

Bluefield University is committed to developing highly skilled counselors to excel as community leaders, advocates, and practitioners who foster the well-being of society.

What You Believe Is Important

Becoming a successful counselor is emergent based on the integration of theory, knowledge, skills, professional behavior, and integrity. As a program of quality, we believe in:

  • Creating a strength-based learning community that focuses on individualized development by demonstrating respect and acknowledging student’s inherent worth
  • Building a culture of accountability in which students demonstrate high professional standards for ethical behavior
  • Training culturally responsive counselors to work in diverse settings, with diverse clients, and to advocate for underserved clients
  • Consideration of lived experiences and the impact of crises, disasters, chronic stress, and trauma across the lifespan
  • Cultivating collaboration between students and faculty to be change agents for individuals, families, social and institutional systems, and the counseling profession
  • Promoting academic and clinical excellence by cultivating servant leadership among students in support of Bluefield University’s mission
  • Being good consumers of research, including the use of research to inform counseling practice


Courses &


Master's Degree (MA)
Major Requirements (42 Credits)

  • Orientation to Professional Counseling & Ethics
  • Counseling Theories
  • Counseling Techniques
  • DSM Applications in Counseling
  • Lifespan Development
  • Career Development
  • Group Counseling
  • Counseling Diverse Populations
  • Addictions Counseling
  • Appraisal in Counseling
  • Crisis Counseling
  • Research
  • Systems in Counseling
  • (Choose 1)
    • Expressive Arts in Counseling
    • Integration of Christianity & Counseling
    • Counseling Children & Adolescents
Concentration & Field Experience (18 Credits)

Choose your Concentration (2 Available)

  • Concentration – School Counselor
    • Practicum (100 Hours)
    • School Counseling (3 Credits)
    • School Internship I (300 Hours, Elementary)
    • School Internship II (300 Hours, Secondary)
  • Concentration – Clinical Mental Health Counselor
    • Practicum (100 Hours)
    • Clinical Mental Health (3 Credits)
    • Clinical Mental Health Internship I (300 Hours, 120 Direct)
    • Clinical Mental Health Internship II (300 Hours, 120 Direct)
Total Credits: 60

Student Loans or Planning for the Future?

Take a look at the top 3 salary review sites for each concentration we offer in Counseling:

Mental Health Counselor Salary Analysis Salary Analysis Salary Analysis
School Counselor Salary Analysis Salary Analysis Salary Analysis

Request Information

Visit Our Campus

Apply Today

Do I only apply once?

  • No. Students must apply each academic year for the fall semester and submit the necessary documents.

Do I have to take the classes specified in the Associate's Degree tracks as they are listed on the information sheet?

  • No. Students may take any of the courses that are offered in a given term.

Where do I find the textbook listing, and where do I purchase the books?

  • Log in to myBU, and under the "Student" tab, you will find a list of the textbooks required (if any) for each course. Students are responsible for purchasing their own textbooks.

How long is a semester?

  • Our semesters are divided into two 8-week terms.

Is there an orientation?

  • Yes. Students can attend an orientation session that explains how to access courses, how to register for classes, and answers other questions.

Where can I find a course description?

Does the student need to take the SAT or ACT in order to take Dual Enrollment classes?

  • No. If a student decides to study at BU full time, BU is currently test-optional for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle.

Are the classes live? Do students need to log in and participate at certain times?

  • Classes are offered online, so a student can log-on and study at their convenience and their own pace. Students have assignments due each week; you can complete your assignments at any point in time before the deadline.

Does an Early College student need to come to campus for anything?

  • No. However, we would love to have you visit our campus if you are interested in continuing with traditional on-campus study. Students who complete their associate's degree have the option to walk at our commencement ceremony.

Are Early College students able to receive Financial Aid?

  • No. However, Early College courses are very affordable compared to other options. The cost for an online Dual Enrollment course is $100 per credit hour.

How do transferring credits work?

  • Each College or University completes a transcript review in order to decide which courses transfer. Sticking to general education classes generally makes transferring credits simple. All Early College courses at Bluefield University are general education classes that should transfer to another accredited institution.

Is an Early College student considered, and treated, as a transfer student when they become a full-time college student if they have earned enough credits to be a Junior?

  • No. Since they have not graduated from high school, they are considered a first-time college student regardless of how many credits transfer. However, by transferring credits when they enroll as a full-time student, they will have to take fewer classes to receive their bachelor's degree, which shortens the length of time to earn the degree.

Can I speak to someone if I have more questions?

  • Yes. Please contact the Office of Admissions by email or you can call them at 276.326.4231


Meet our core Counseling faculty

Dr. Challen Mabry

Assistant Professor of Counseling

Dr. Kristen Moran

Associate Professor of Counseling

Brandy Smith

Assistant Professor of Education & Counseling,
Director of the Master of Arts in Counseling Program,
Title IX Confidential Counselor

Our team is here for you! How can we help?

This form requires credentials in order to request information.