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Masters (MAC) in Counselor Education

Learn from some of the nation's best counseling educators in this fully online program. Our program has been consistently ranked in the country's top 10 rehabilitation counseling programs by U.S. News and World Report. Students can choose from two (2) tracks: Rehabilitation Counseling or Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Both specialty areas in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Rehabilitation Counseling are accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) through October 31, 2030.

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At a Glance

Fall 2025

Application Due Date:
Start Date:

Summer 2025

Application Due Date:
Start Date:

Credits and Tuition Cost (2023-2024)

Credits Required: 60
Cost Per Credit: $737.00


Fully Online

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Masters in Counselor Education overview

Program format
Fully Online
Total credits
Total Credits
Program level
Degree awarded
Degree Awarded

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What You'll Learn


Students are encouraged to review the current year's student handbook to best understand program requirements. 

  1. Foundations of Counseling Theories and Techniques:
    • Develop a comprehensive understanding of various counseling theories, such as cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, psychodynamic, and multicultural approaches.
    • Learn practical techniques for establishing rapport, active listening, empathy, and effective communication with clients.
    • Explore ethical considerations and legal regulations relevant to counseling practice.
  2. Assessment and Diagnosis Skills:
    • Gain proficiency in administering and interpreting psychological assessments and tests to evaluate clients' mental health, personality traits, and emotional well-being.
    • Learn how to use assessment results to formulate accurate diagnoses and treatment plans for clients with diverse backgrounds and needs.
    • Understand the importance of ongoing assessment and its role in tracking client progress and adjusting therapeutic interventions.
  3. Counseling Strategies for Diverse Populations:
    • Acquire culturally sensitive and inclusive counseling techniques to effectively work with clients from various ethnic, racial, religious, gender, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
    • Explore the challenges and unique considerations when providing counseling services to specific populations, such as children, adolescents, couples, families, and individuals with disabilities.
    • Develop strategies for addressing social justice and advocating for marginalized and underserved communities within the counseling context.
  4. Clinical Supervision and Professional Development:
    • Learn the principles of clinical supervision, including how to provide guidance, feedback, and support to supervisees and counseling trainees.
    • Develop skills in case conceptualization, treatment planning, and crisis intervention to prepare for real-world counseling scenarios.
    • Explore strategies for self-care, burnout prevention, and ongoing professional growth as a counselor, including maintaining ethical standards and staying updated on best practices in the field.

Fieldwork Requirements

As part of the M.A.C, you will complete fieldwork experience and a practicum at an approved site in your geographic area. Some students secure 100% online practicums and internships.

  • Practicum (3 credit hours): a supervised practicum experience of 200 hours
  • Internship (9 credit hours): a supervised internship experience of 600 hours

Course Examples

  • CED 516 Medical & Psychosocial Aspects of Disabilities: Psychiatric Disabilities
  • CED 520 Foundations of Professional Counseling
  • CED 525 Human Growth, Disability, & Development Across the Lifespan
  • CED 530 Social & Cultural Foundations of Counseling
  • CED 550 Ethics for the Counseling Profession
  • CED 620 Assessment in Rehabilitation & Mental Health
  • CED 630 Career Development Counseling and Job Placement
  • CED 650 Counseling Theories
  • CED 660 Counseling Techniques
  • CED 670 Group & Family Mental Health Counseling
  • CED 750 Counseling Research and Program Evaluation
  • CED 710 Clinical Practicum in RC & CMHC
  • CED 730 Clinical Internship in RC & CMHC
  • Plus 15 credits in the track you choose
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Connect with a Program Representative

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How to Apply

Application Requirements

Our program requires applications to be submitted by April 1 to start in the summer or fall term. Please contact Dr. Keith B. Wilson ( if you would like to start in the spring term.

Standard graduate application requirements apply.

  • CV/Resume
  • A personal interview with program faculty
  • Three references indicating appropriateness of student for the program (Only an email address is required. Our system will ask them to upload their letter.)
  • A personal statement indicating interest in and goals for the degree program

Admissions Criteria

Program Contact

Keith B Wilson, Ph.D.
Program Chair


Fall 2025

Application Due Date:
Start Date:

Summer 2025

Application Due Date:
Start Date:

Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions and Course Completions

What is the admission criteria for the online Counselor Education master’s degree program?

Admission requirements include (1) an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75, or a graduate GPA of at least 3.00, (2) a personal interview with one or two program faculty, (3) letters of reference indicating the appropriateness of the student for the program, and (4) a personal statement. Following the application deadline, the department will reach out to schedule the final interview portion to conclude the application process.

Courses and Completion

How long does it take to complete the program?

It depends on how many courses students take each semester. Each specialty requires 60 credits and 200 hours of practicum hours. Clinical mental health counseling and rehabilitation counseling are the two specialties offered by the counselor education program. The length of time it takes students to accomplish their degree program will depend on their enrollment status and the availability of the courses.  In the accelerated program, students take 12 to 16 credit hours a semester (including the summer) to complete the program in 4 to 5 semesters..

Can I pursue the online program part-time while working?

Yes, the program offers 8 weeks of intensive courses for Spring and Fall classes that are designed with working professionals in mind. Courses are offered in a mix of asynchronous and synchronous formats that can vary based on the course. Practicum and internships are offered over 12 weeks in the Summer.  

Does the program help students secure fieldwork (i.e., practicum and internship)?

The responsibility to secure fieldwork is primarily the student's responsibility. However, it is possible that talking to faculty may facilitate this process.

Are there any on-campus requirements?

No, there is no on-campus requirement.

Counseling Career Outlook

What are the career prospects for professional counselors?

The demand for professional counselors is expected to grow as more people seek mental health services and counseling. Opportunities exist in settings such as private practice, schools, universities, community agencies, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers.

What resources are available at the University of Kentucky for counselor education professionals?

The University of Kentucky offers a counselor education program that provides quality education and training for aspiring professional counselors. They have experienced faculty, modern facilities, and partnerships with local counseling agencies for practical experiences.

What are the licensure requirements for professional counselors?

Licensure requirements for professional counselors vary by state. Typically, it includes completing a master's degree in counseling, accumulating supervised clinical hours, and passing a licensing exam. It's essential to check your state's specific requirements for becoming a licensed professional counselor.

Tuition and Funding

How much does the online program cost?

Students enrolled in the online Counselor Education program part-time are assessed a per-credit-hour tuition rate for 23-24 (9 credit hours or less). 

Is there a tuition cap?

Yes! As an incentive to be enrolled full-time (more than 9 credit hours) exclusively in a distance education program, students receive a capped tuition rate.  To see the current term’s capped tuition rate, please visit and look for “Graduate Students Enrolled Exclusively in Distance Education Courses -- full-time.” This is the per semester rate you will pay when enrolled for more than 9 credit hours.

Are scholarships or financial aid options available for online students?

There are occasional opportunities for doctoral students to receive funding as Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants, or via Scholarship funding. These announcements will be posted to the Student Advising Center on Canvas regularly. Students who are interested in more information about Financial Aid should contact the University of Kentucky’s Financial Aid Office at (859) 562-CATS (2287) or 128 Funkhouser Building, Lexington KY 40506.


CACREP accreditation logo

Counselor Education Program Accreditation

The Counselor Education program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation and Counseling and Related Educational Programs and approved by the Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education. Our most recent annual accreditation report can be found on the Public Performance Information page.

Distance Learning

Licensure & Authorization

Where you live matters when completing distance education activities. If you will live outside of Kentucky while completing your program, please check the Distance Learning Authorization & Licensure page to confirm that the program can be offered in your state or country, and if relevant, that it meets professional licensure requirements in your state. Please note: Admission and enrollment in a fully-online program can NOT lead to the issuance of a J-1 or F-1 student visa. 

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University of Kentucky has been approved to participate in State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

Student Support

Once you become a student, you will have access to a wide variety of academic support services to maximize your success. These services are available completely online to meet the needs of our online students.

Why UK Online


No test scores required.

UK degree

Degrees are conferred by the University of Kentucky, an accredited university.

Flexible schedule

Fit learning into your busy schedule with no prescribed class times.

Tuition Assistance

Explore the many options available to help fund your education.
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