Master of Arts in Counseling

Build Your Identity Through Real-World Practice

College of Education

Location: Lincoln

Degree Type: Graduate

The Master of Arts in Counseling program is designed to develop highly competent mental health counselors who are skilled in the delivery of direct service, knowledgeable about current empirical and theoretical developments, and capable of critically evaluating clinical research. The program follows a competency-based, practitioner model and is designed for adult learners who are seeking state licensure in mental health counseling. The practitioner model places primary emphasis on the preparation of students for productive careers as professionals in clinical counseling settings. Coursework and supervised practical experiences provide the opportunity to learn and develop skills in the assessment of problem behavior and in interventions with children, adults, couples, families and groups. Incorporated into this approach is exposure to ethical, professional, and inter-professional issues. Faculty in the Master of Arts in Counseling program are practicing professionals in the field of mental health counseling. This expertise provides a rich, hands-on environment for learning and developing skills with the faculty as facilitators and coaches. Teaching and learning are shared experiences between instructors and students.

MAC Mission Statement

The Master of Arts in Counseling program is committed to preparing students to be highly competent mental health counselors with the knowledge, skills, and competencies requisite for the effective and ethical practice of counseling. The course work and clinical experiences are designed to promote cultural awareness and the development of a professional identity as a mental health counselor.  

MAC Program Outcomes

  1. MAC graduates will have the knowledge and technical skills to serve a wide variety of populations and mental health issues, in both individual and group formats as professional counselors.
  2. MAC graduates will adhere to the ACA Code of Ethics and be culturally-aware advocates for all clients and the counseling profession.
  3. MAC graduates will have developed a professional identity as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor.
  4. MAC graduates will demonstrate personal and professional dispositions such as cultural awareness, openness, self-awareness, and tolerance of ambiguity.  
  5. MAC graduates will be able to critically evaluate research related to the field of counseling and use data to inform clinical decisions, as well as program evaluation within counseling settings


Doane’s Master of Arts in Counseling program is accredited through the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a nationally recognized accrediting body for clinical mental health counseling education. The accreditation is backdated to Jan. 14, 2020 and grandfathers in all graduates of the program starting from that date.

Program Specialty Area

The Doane MAC program is designed to train students in the specialty area of Clinical Mental Health Counseling. It is expected that students will also learn competencies in this specialty area. It is anticipated that the student will develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes appropriate for counseling practice. 

Methods of Instruction

The Doane MAC program offers classes designed to fit students needs. Courses are typically offered in 9-week terms to provide flexibility and to help make an already full schedule more manageable and attainable. On campus evening courses meet once per week for each course.

As educational requirements vary by state, students interested in these programs should consult the General Licensure and Certification Disclosure page prior to enrollment. Please be aware that states often have state-specific additional licensure and/ or certification requirements. Students considering relocating should contact their program representative in order to determine if the program meets the new state requirements.

Program Information

Career Paths

Mental Health Counselors
2018 Median Pay: $47,790 per year
Job Outlook: 23% from 2016-2026
Mental Health Counselors work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. They help individuals deal with issues associated with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem and aging.

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors
2018 Median Pay: $47,790 per year
Job Outlook: 15% from 2016-2026
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors, counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, drug or other problems, such as gambling or eating disorders. They may counsel individuals, families, or groups and/or engage in prevention programs.

Source: O*NetOnline


View detailed course information

Program Design

A total of 60 credit hours is required to complete the Master of Arts in Counseling program.*


The required core courses are:

COU 595 - Foundations of Transformational Learning Theory*

COU 601 - Counseling Skills and Techniques (3)

COU 602 - Theories of Counseling (3)

COU 610 - Psychopathology (3)

COU 612 - Clinical Assessment (3)

COU 618 - Mental Health Ethics, Law and Professional Practice (3)

COU 620 - The Role of the Professional Mental Health Counselor in the Community (3)

COU 630 - Multicultural Counseling (3)

COU 632 - Assessment, Case Planning and Management of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Clients (3)

COU 634 - Group Counseling (3)

COU 635 - Human Development Across the Lifespan (3)

COU 653 - Marriage and Family Counseling (3)

COU 658 - Medical and Psychosocial Aspects of Alcohol/Drug Use, Abuse, and Addiction (3)

COU 662 - Career Counseling (3)

COU 675 - Research in Counseling (3)


Practicum & Internship Courses

COU 621 - Counseling Practicum I (0 or 3)

COU 622 - Counseling Practicum II (0 or 3)

COU 691 - Internship (1-6)


Professional Identity Development Seminars (Continuous Enrollment Required)

COU 627 - Professional Identity Development I (0-1)

COU 628 - Professional Identity Development II (0-1)

COU 629 - Professional Identity Development III (0-1)



*Doane credits completed at the 500 level may not be used to fulfill degree requirements.



Practica are supervised opportunities for students to gain experience as counselors-in-training in a variety of settings with clients who exhibit a spectrum of psychopathological appraisal and treatment problems. Doane counseling students vary widely in their previous clinical experience, as well as in their professional interests and career objectives. Recognizing these differences, the program seeks to develop a practicum experience for each student that not only complements the student's previous experience, but also addresses particular clinical strengths and weaknesses.



The program requires that all students complete six credits of an internship consisting of 800 clock hours following successful completion of their practicum training and attainment of Level 3. Students must complete 320 hours of direct-contact service with clients during their internship and must have one hour per week of supervision throughout their internship by an on-site supervisor. In addition, each student must meet in a small internship group with a faculty member for 1 1/2 hours per week. A formal evaluation is made of the student's performance by the faculty member facilitating the supervisory group in consultation with the on-site supervisor. Grades are assigned on a pass/fail basis.


Progress Toward the Degree

Performance as a professional counselor includes more than simply learning clinical skills. The counseling profession requires sound judgment, good interpersonal skills, and emotional well-being.



Courtney East, PhD, NCC

Assistant Professor /Mac Program Director

Master of Counseling


Jean Kilnoski, M.Ed., MA, LMHP

Assistant Professor of Practice/Clinical Placement Director

Master of Counseling


Arden Szepe, PhD, NCC

Assistant Professor & CACREP Liason

Master of Counseling


Andrea McGrath, PhD, LIMHP, LPC

Assistant Professor

Special Programs

Doane University has an opportunity for a limited number of students to receive free tuition and fees to complete the course work for the Provisional Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor certification (PLADC). The funding is offered through the US Department of Health and Human Services, and on behalf of the UNMB through the Behavioural Workforce Education and Training Program (BHWET) to Doane University and includes a $750 stipend to purchase a laptop or pay for textbooks. The goal of BHWET's student-training program is to increase the number of behavioral health professionals in Nebraska, especially in rural and underserved areas. There is a great need for addiction counselors in Nebraska, so career growth is strong.

This opportunity is available to bachelor’s level students and non-degree seeking students. Students apply for funding through BHECN. Undergraduate students complete 8 courses and 300 hours of clinical experience in order to apply for the PLADC. Graduate students in the Master of Arts in Counseling program are eligible to receive for funding for three graduate-level courses that meet the PLADC requirements.

For information on the P-LADC and potential funding to earn the provisional licensure, access this link to the BHECN.

For admittance to the P-LADC with access to grant money, complete the UNMC application here.

A new degree program, Substance Use Counseling, includes all of the course work for the PLADC. Students who are interested in learning more about the Substance Use Counseling degree, or funding the opportunity through BHECN should contact their advisor to discuss the best course of action.

Kristi Pawlowski

Master of Arts in Counseling, class of 2016
Doane met me at my level. There were classes that were challenging. I have distinct bodies of learning I draw from.
Kristi Pawlowski

The Doane Difference

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Build Your Personal Identity

Every student that goes through our program will build a core counseling foundation through personal identity, personal intelligence, self-discovery, and introspection. At Doane, we believe that understanding how to help people starts with understanding yourself.

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Build Your Professional Identity

Each student is different. Whatever the area of focus, Doane helps you build an identity around your interests. At Doane, we help future counselors build a professional identity.

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Learn By Doing

Not everything can be learned in a classroom. Often a hands-on approach to learning provides a deeper understanding of the material - an understanding that’s tied to real experience. At Doane, you learn how to succeed in helping others by actually helping others.

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