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    Harding University
  Jul 03, 2022
2019-2020 Academic Catalog 
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2019-2020 Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Professional School Counseling (MS-SCOU)

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Master of Science Degrees

Admission Requirements for the Master of Science Degree Programs

Admission to Harding University is determined on an individual basis with the following criteria considered: (1) academic preparation, (2) character, (3) educational interests and (4) academic potential. Effort is made to admit all students who qualify and who can benefit from the unique educational program and opportunities available at Harding irrespective of their religious faith, national origin, sex, race or color. When applying, students should be aware of the distinct purpose of Harding University and be willing to commit themselves to upholding institutional values.

Applicants for the Master of Science degree programs must:

  1. Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a cumulative grade point average of 2.50 or more, or 2.75 on the last 60 hours, attested by official transcript(s); OR an earned master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, attested by an official transcript.
  2. Earn the required score on one of the following entrance exams or hold a current teaching license:
    • PRAXIS II Examinations, earning at least the Arkansas cut-off score for licensure (Principles of Learning and Teaching and Specialty area)
    • Miller Analogies Test, minimum target score of 380
    • GRE general exam, minimum score of 900 (Quantitative and Verbal combined).  

Application Procedure

  1. An application form for admission may be obtained online at or by contacting the program coordinator, Box 12254, Searcy, AR 72149; or e-mail
  2. Applications must be accompanied by a $40 application fee which is not refundable and will not apply against the general registration fee if the applicant enrolls.
  3. Applications must provide satisfactory references from three individuals attesting to the applicant’s professional or academic performance, including one related to professional ability in the degree area to which the student is applying.
  4. Professional Counseling applicants must complete a personal interview with the professional counseling faculty. The interview will include a writing prompt and assessment of the candidate’s professional objectives, professional commitment, level of self-awareness, and compatibility with the counseling program.

Provisional Admission

A student who does not fully meet the requirements listed above may receive provisional admission, with the approval of counseling faculty, if he or she:

  1. Holds a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a cumulative grade point average below 2.50 but not less than 2.35, attested by official transcript(s). Provisional status is removed when the student completes 12 graduate level hours with at least a 3.0 grade point average, six of which must be in the academic area of concentration.

Other Program Requirements

Upon acceptance into the program, students must consult with director of their program or assigned advisor concerning the required course of study, register for classes online through Campus Pipeline each semester, and complete financial registration with the Business Office online.

Leveling courses, if required, will not be included within the semester hour requirements for the Master of Science degree programs.

All requirements of the program must be completed within eight years from the time of acceptance into the program. Course work taken more than eight years before graduation will not be acceptable.

Admission to the Professional Counseling Program does not guarantee retention.

At least one semester before the initial practicum semester in the Professional Counseling Program, request for admission to field placement must be made by filing the required application forms with the director of field experiences in Professional Counseling. Applications must be submitted by week 9 of the semester preceding field placement.

Transfer and International Students

Students may transfer semester hours from other accredited graduate schools, subject to the approval of the chair of Mental Health and Wellness. Counseling students may transfer a maximum of 9 semester hours in which they have a grade of “B” or higher. All coursework to be transferred must be completed before a student’s last semester.

Students who (1) speak English as a second language, and have (2) not previously completed an undergraduate degree from an accredited American college or university must meet a minimum score on a nationally recognized test of English language proficiency such as the TOEFL or IELTS. However, in lieu of these exam, professional programs in the health sciences may assess such students with an interview and/or a writing exam.

Minimum TOEFL scores acceptable for admission to the university are 550 (paper-based test), 213 (computer-based test), or 79 (Internet-based test). The minimum IELTS score is 6.0. Scores must not be older than two years prior to the date of application to the university. Please note that individual programs may have more stringent minimum requirements.

Academic Standing Requirements

These requirements are common to all programs in education and are listed in the Cannon-Clary College of Education   section. Professional Counseling students should refer to their student handbook for program requirements.

Degree Requirements and Curriculum

Requests for degree may be submitted prior to a student’s final semester but must be submitted no later than the first week of the final semester. The graduation fee must be paid to the Business Office the last semester before graduation.

Degree Requirements and Curriculum (48 Hours)

To earn the Professional School Counseling degree, a student must successfully complete the following: (1) core coursework, and (2) the Principles of Learning & Teaching - PLT assessment (required for initial school licensure students only). Core coursework required specifically for the degree must be taken within eight years of graduation.

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