Counseling (MA) Program Overview

Compassionate mental health service providers are more crucial than ever before. If you want a counseling program committed to developing well-trained mental health practitioners with the heart of a servant leader, this program is for you. Our Master of Arts in Counseling degree offers the option to focus on clinical mental health or school counseling on the Bluefield campus or through our partner located in Martinsville. No matter which location and specialty you choose, all students learn to respond to the needs of individuals and groups, advocate for social justice, and transform the lives of others.

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 on either the Bluefield campus or New College Institute in Martinsville, VA. As mental health professionals, our faculty values community, and that extends to our approach to online learning. We follow the cohort model, so students have the opportunity to engage with one another and our faculty through experiential learning, advocacy projects, and research. Guest speakers from across the country offer diverse points of view in our engaging online sessions. In addition to coursework, students complete 100 hours of practicum, with experiences in clinical and school settings. A 600-hour internship in or near their community provides 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 and by the Virginia Department of Education. The program also prepares you for state licensure exams for counselor certification. 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.

Online: January 12, 2022

Online Per Credit: $480




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 in Education
  • 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 Internship I (300 Hours, Elementary)
    • School Internship II (300 Hours, Secondary)


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

Career opportunities available to graduates of this program include:

School Counselor
Academic Counselor
Marriage & Family Counselor
Mental Health Counselor
Substance Abuse Counselor

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