Jun 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Counseling, Certificate of Advanced Study

The post-master’s Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) in Counseling is designed to offer a broad range of professional development opportunities for practicing counselors. The overall goal of the certificate program is to enhance and enrich the counselor’s educational foundation and to give focus to advanced knowledge and skills that will shape future professional practice. Many applicants utilize the CAS to augment their existing degree in counseling to fulfill the requirements for state certification in rehabilitation or school counseling, as well as for state licensure in mental health counseling or as a substance abuse counselor.

Program Requirements

The CAS includes 30 credit hours of graduate coursework, 18 of which must have a counseling focus. If not already documented through an applicant’s master’s degree, three (3) of these credits must reflect an introduction to the counseling profession (HCE 500 - Orientation to the Counseling Profession ; HCE 510 - Introduction to Rehabilitation Counseling and Services ; or HCE 640 - Professional Issues in Mental Health Counseling ). Students will work cooperatively with faculty to design a certificate program that is substantive, developmental, and focused on career goals. Matriculation into this certificate program qualifies students for financial aid.

Focus Area (30 credits)

The CAS in Counselor Education is self-designed, allowing students to develop a professionally relevant focus area of their own with the assistance of a faculty advisor. It is important that students consider a cohesive focus when designing their program of study. At least 15 credits must be taken within the Counselor Education program.

Counseling courses may be chosen from the full menu of options offered through the USM Counselor Education Program. For course information and descriptions please see the Course Listing connected with the program. Some courses may be grouped together for students to pursue specific interests. (Please know that courses or specialty areas may change with changes in program faculty.) Example interest areas might include:


At the completion of the required 30 credit hours, students will develop a professional portfolio describing progress toward professional goals while in the CAS program. Portfolio requirements are to be scheduled at the end of each student’s program. These presentations typically take place during the last semester of internship. For those CAS students who are not enrolled in an internship class, the portfolio presentation will be scheduled with the aid of the faculty advisor.

Transfer Course Policy

Students may not transfer courses that were part of a master’s degree of fewer than sixty credits toward the CAS. Up to six post-master’s graduate credits may be accepted by the CAS admissions committee, provided these credits were earned no more than three years prior to matriculation in the CAS and were completed with a grade of B or better.

Students may be able to apply up to twelve credits that were part of a master’s degree that required sixty or more credits toward the CAS. These courses must be directly related to the student’s proposed CAS program of study, provided these credits are approved by the counselor education program faculty and were completed with a grade of B or better.