Develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions you need to become a reflective practitioner in the art and science of counseling. Gain the experiences you need to pursue entry-level licensure or certification as a caring, committed, competent, and culturally aware professional.
Three Degree Paths
Mental Health Counseling
Equip people to navigate relationships, environments, and challenges in their lives and communities as a Licensed Professional Counselor.
Meet the academic, career, and personal/social needs of culturally diverse students in the elementary, middle, and secondary schools as a Certified/Licensed School Counselor.
Geared toward providing rehabilitation and vocational services for clients with disabilities as Certified Rehabilitation Counselors.
Program designed for working professionals
Emphasis on reflective practice
Research-based cohort model
- Fully online courses combined with practical experience in the field
- A research-supported cohort system designed for the working professional
- Experienced professors with a history of strong results on licensing/certification exams
- An emphasis on reflective practice, cultural awareness, and relationship/skill development
- Practical application of wellness, prevention, and intervention principles
- A program at a university rated #1 in Missouri and #7 nationally for job placement by Zippia
The Master of Arts in Counseling at Truman State University follows a cohort model designed to meet the most commonly accepted national standards for counselor preparation: those of the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
For information on State Authorization and licensure requirements in a particular state or territory, see State Authorization.
Your degree will be a mix of core coursework, internships, a practicum, and professional practice.
Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Study the legal and ethical aspects of professional counseling practice in rehabilitation settings.
Examine managed care concepts, medical terminology, resources, and the medical aspects and functional implications for a variety of disabling conditions.
Explore social, psychological, and cultural impacts of disability.
Learn about vocational placement, community partnerships, and the application of case management skills to rehabilitation services.
Meet the Faculty
Dr. Karl Witt, Chair, Counseling Department
A native of rural Texas, Dr. Witt has a Ph.D. in counselor education and also holds an M.S. in counseling from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi and a B.A. in physics with a mathematics minor from Texas A&M University. He is a national board-certified counselor and a dually-licensed counselor and counselor supervisor with current research interests in rural mental health and counselor training.
Dr. Daniel Bates, Assistant Professor of Counseling
Dr. Bates earned his Ph.D. in counselor education from the University of Cincinnati and holds professional licenses in several states. He is also a nationally board-certified counselor. His research, advocacy, and published work explore the intersection between men’s mental health, access to services, and masculine norms.
Dr. Elsa Soto Leggett, Associate Professor of Counseling
Dr. Leggett earned her Ph.D. in counselor education from Texas A&M University Corpus Christi (CACREP Accredited) and has worked in higher education as a counselor educator since 2004. A licensed professional counselor and supervisor in Texas, she also holds certifications as a registered play therapist supervisor and professional school counselor (TX). Her clinical experience, research, and publications focus on children and adolescent counseling, counseling in schools, solution-focused counseling, play therapy, and clinical supervision.
Dr. Cameron Ortega, Assistant Professor of Counseling
Dr. Ortega has a Ph.D. in counselor education from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (CACREP Accredited) and holds an M.S. in rehabilitation counseling and a B.F.A. in fine arts. She is a licensed professional counselor board-approved supervisor and a licensed chemical dependency counselor in Texas. Her current research interest is in addictions, trauma, and the implementation of AI in teaching and counselor education.
Dr. Caitlyn Ybarra, Assistant Professor of Counseling
Dr. Ybarra earned her Ph.D. in counselor education and supervision from Liberty University (CACREP Accredited), an M.A. in community counseling from Norfolk State University, and a B.S. in psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is also a Licensed Professional Counselor in Virginia. She has work experience in various community agency-based settings, including providing in-home services, working in transitional-living facilities, and inpatient treatment facilities; she has also done work through a few non-profit organizations including her own. Her research and advocacy interests focus on racial and gender issues, policy implementation, inclusivity of racial and gender disparities, and the career development of women.
Apply by April 1
Apply by January 1
Admission is made on a rolling basis but is limited to 24 students per cohort (across both Mental Health and School Counseling programs). Apply early for priority consideration.
In addition to the online application ($40 fee), you’ll need to submit the following:
Please send official transcripts from every undergraduate and graduate school attended, even if that content is reflected on another school’s transcript.
The GRE® is also required for applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 3.000. Applicants with an earned master’s degree from a college or university accredited by one of the six regional accrediting bodies recognized by the US Department of Education and reflecting a graduate GPA of 3.000 or above are exempt from the GRE requirement.
Once all materials are submitted, qualified applicants will be invited to participate in a Zoom interview.
per credit hour
total estimated tuition*
Excludes textbooks and HIPPA-compliant Zoom account during internships and practica.
*Total estimated tuition based on 2023-24 academic year. Tuition subject to change.
Degree-seeking students enrolled in at least six credit hours per semester are eligible for federal financial aid programs. For more information, see Financial Aid Resources for Graduate Studies or contact the Financial Aid Office at (660) 785-4130 or email@example.com.
Limited scholarships now available, and we hope to continue introducing institutional scholarships and graduate assistantships.