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Master of Counselling (MC)

Submitted by clmacgil on Wed, 08/25/2010 - 3:36pm

The Master of Counselling program (MC) is a course-based degree intended to prepare individuals for professional practice in a wide range of specialized roles within the field of counselling. This is a 45-credit (15 half-course) program designed to be completed in three years.

Our program provides you an opportunity to engage in your studies while continuing to work and to live in your home community by offering web-based courses. This means that instruction occurs mainly through online (distance) activities. Courses in fall and winter are offered online. However, some core competencies are best acquired and refined within a face-to-face environment. Therefore, several of the counselling courses are offered partially on-campus as summer residencies and other workshop-style courses (more information about these requirements is available within the tabs below). The minimum computer hardware and software requirements are outlined on the Online Delivery page.

The MC program is currently considered a terminal Master's program. Within our Faculty, the MSc-PhD route is considered the research stream, with the MSc degree required for admissions into the PhD program. As the MC program does not have a thesis requirement, you may find that you have limited, if any, options to pursue further PhD studies with this degree. However, you will need to look up specific PhD admission requirements for other Universities to determine if this is the case.

Upon completion of this degree, graduates may be eligible for certification as a Professional Counsellor under the requirements of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA).

For those graduates who wish to become registered in their province as a psychologist, the regulatory body might have requirements that are beyond this program.  More information about registration/licensure is in our FAQ section.

For more information about counsellors and what they do, the following links might be useful:

For more information about our program, including admission and program requirements, please click on the grey tabs below.

Academic Program Coordinator
Program start date:
Fall (September)

Application period:
September 1 - December 1

Please contact Candace Ford-Taperek, the Graduate Program Administrator (GPA) for this program, or 403/210-9634.
Dr. Erica Makarenko
Instructor, Counselling Psychology

For information regarding on-campus accommodation for Summer 2017 please click here.

Admission Requirements

Applicants need the following to meet minimum requirements:

1.  A University of Calgary four-year baccalaureate degree or an equivalent degree from a recognized institution. Degrees and grades from foreign institutions are evaluated for their equivalency to those of the University of Calgary.

2.  A minimum GPA of 3.00 (on the University of Calgary four-point system). This is based on the last two years of the undergraduate degree consisting of a minimum of ten full-course equivalents.

3.  Three prerequisite courses in learning theory, development, and communication (basic counselling) skills preferably at the third or fourth year level. Preference will be given to applicants who have completed all prerequisites. Applicants will be asked to list the courses they have taken that are equivalents to the prerequisites, along with course outlines. Transcripts are assessed at the time of application, therefore applicants may apply to the program with prerequisite courses in progress, or may be asked to complete prerequisite courses prior to starting the program. Should admission be offered, it would be conditional on the prerequisites being complete prior to the start of the program (August 31). 

    • Applicants must have completed a course from three areas. A brief description of coursework that has been accepted in the past is listed below.  Please note that this is not a complete list of accepted coursework.  Also, course content can vary from year to year so courses accepted in previous years might not be accepted upon more recent review.

a) Learning Theory. Examples of previously accepted courses include but are not restricted to:

    • University of Calgary: PSYC 375 Brain and Behaviour
    • Athabasca University:  PSYC 387
    • Mount Royal University: PSYC 3301 Learning and Behaviour
    • York University: PSYC 2210 Learning
    • University of Lethbridge: PSYC 2330 Learning and Cognition
    • University of Alberta: PSYCO 282 Behaviour Modification

b) Developmental Psychology (i.e., development across the life-span).  Examples of previously accepted courses include but are no restricted to:

    • University of Calgary: PSYC 351 Developmental Psychology
    • Athabasca University: PSYC 323 Developmental Psychology
    • York University: PSYC 2110 Developmental Psychology
    • University of Lethbridge: PSYC 2110 Introduction to Child Development
    • University of Alberta: PSYCHO 223 Lifespan Developmental Psychology
    • Mount Royal University: PSYC 22325 Life Span Development

c) Communication Skills (i.e., skills for active listening, empathic understanding, communication of empathy, working alliance, group facilitation, collaboration). Examples of previously accepted courses include but are not restricted to:

NOTE: The Psychology department at the University of Calgary does not currently offer an undergraduate course in this area. Interested applicants can enroll in our MEd Interdisciplinary certificate, Foundations in School & Counselling Psychology, which includes courses on communication skills and development.

    • Athabasca University: PSYC 405 Creating a Working Alliance (this course is offered via distance delivery)
    • University of Alberta: EDPY 442 Introduction to Counselling
    • Brandon University: Psych 82:375: Counselling Psychology II
    • University of Calgary: SOWK 303 Interviewing in Context; CORE 321: Communication Skills in Applications
    • MacEwan University: PSYC 438: Psychological Interviewing and Professional Skills
    • University of Guelph: FRHD 3400: Communication and Counselling Skills
    • University of Lethbridge: HLSC 1020 Introduction to the Counselling Interview
    • University of Manitoba: SWRK 2080 Interpersonal Communication Skills
    • Mount Royal University : CYCC 1110 Fundamental Skills in Interviewing
    • University of Saskatchewan: NURS 321.3 & 328.3 (need both)
    • Simon Fraser University: EDUC 423 helping relationships
    • Trinity Western University: PSYC 340: interpersonal and helping skills
    • University of British Columbia: CNPS 362
    • University of Victoria: CYC 152 Introduction to Helping Skills in Child and Youth Care Practice (formerly CYC 252); ED-D 417: Skills for Effective Interpersonal Communication
    • Vancouver Community College: CNSK 1401 Basic Counselling Skills plus either 1405 or 1406

4.  Supporting documents - these must be uploaded to the Student Centre through myUofC after the online application has been submitted.  Applicants will receive a confirmation email with instructions and information regarding this process upon completion and submission of the online application.

    • Statement of intent indicating the applicant's reasons for pursuing a graduate degree in the MC program; their educational goals; their personal and professional aspirations; and future career goals (approximately 500 words).
    • A CV/personal resume documenting: professional experience; relevant work activities; presentations/publications; and relevant professional development/training. 

5. Two references. Applicants should have a reference from one individual with whom he or she has studied at the university level and one from an individual with whom he or she has worked professionally.  References are submitted through the online application system.

6. Proficiency in the English language is essential for the pursuit and successful completion of graduate programs at the University of Calgary. Prior to admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, an applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirements as outlined at the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar.

    • In Graduate Programs in Education, an official TOEFL score of at least 98 (Internet-based test), or a MELAB score of 82, or an IELTS score of 7.0 or higher is required. The test must have been taken within the last two years. Proficiency may also be met by successful completion of Level III of the International Foundations Program.

Application Deadline: December 1 (see the 'How to Apply' tab below)

Admission to all graduate programs is highly competitive due to limited enrollment capacities. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. For instance, the acceptance rate for the MC program was 18% in 2013 and 20.5% in 2014. Most successful applicants have one to two years of accumulated counselling-related experience.

All graduate programs are governed by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. In the case of any conflict, regulations of the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar take precedence over material on this website. Please consult the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar for University of Calgary graduate admission requirements.

At time the of acceptance, students must complete an Acknowledgement of Acceptance of Workers Compensation or NO Workers Compensation form, dependent upon their Province, Territory or Country of Residence and where they will be undertaking their practica.  More information about this policy can be found at:

Students will complete an online orientation prior to the courses starting in September.  Details for the Orientation are provided with offers of admission. 

Successful applicants will need to produce the results of a Criminal Record Check before they will be permitted to participate in practicum or internship experiences associated with the program.

Offers of admission are valid only for the term to which applications are made. Graduate Programs in Education will not grant deferrals of admission. Students unable to take up an offer will be required to submit a new application.

How to Apply

Application opens:  September 1
Application deadline: December 1

Step 1: Applicants must use the online application found at the the Faculty of Graduate Studies Apply Now page.  In the application system, please choose:

Program:  Educational Psychology - Master of Counselling

Step 2: Supporting documents (Written Statement & CV) must be uploaded to the Student Centre through myUofC after the online application has been submitted.  Applicants will receive a confirmation email with instructions and information regarding this process upon completion and submission of the online application.

Step 3: Referees will be contacted with instructions on how to complete their references online.

Step 4: Official transcripts must be submitted to the following address:

Graduate Programs in Education
Education Tower 114
2500 University Dr NW
Calgary, AB
T2N 1N4
ATTN: Candace Ford-Taperek

If additional documentation is required, the Graduate Program Administrator will contact the applicant.

Step 5:  Applications might be selected by an admission interview.  These interviews can be conducted by teleconference or videoconference. 

For more information please contact:

Graduate Program Administrator:  Candace Ford-Taperek at or 403.210.9634

Program Delivery

The Master of Counselling program is primarily web-based with some blended courses which include a combination of online and face-to-face components. Blended courses take place in the Summer terms as as in the final year, where students take two practicum courses during the fall and winter semester. Students are required to be on campus for two weekends per practicum course (twice in the fall and twice in the winter).

The remaining courses in the program are completed fully online.  Please refer to the Program Schedule and Course Descriptions section for more detailed information.

The minimum computer hardware and software requirements are outlined on the Online Delivery page.

Program Requirements

As of September 2014, the MC program will change to a 15 half-course program.  Students take a variety of coursework related to counselling including:

  1. Theory based courses: counselling theories, ethics, research methodology, cultural and social justice issues, career counselling, processes of learning, human development, and psychological approaches to health.
  2. Skills-based courses: creating a working alliance, group processes, assessment, and intervention. 
  3. Two practicum courses.
  4. A Final Project portfolio intended to document competencies obtained in this program.

Detailed course descriptions are provided in the tabs below. Please note: the coursework on assessment and intervention is related to counselling and will not provide enough training for individuals to practice as a school psychologist.

Skills-based courses

Offered in a blended format, the skills-based courses are offered during the summer term with some work completed via distance followed by an on-campus component (The Summer Residency).  The aim of the Residency is to provide students with face-to-face training in applied professional practice areas. This is a great opportunity to meet your instructors and fellow students and to spend some focused time developing the skills required to be an effective counsellor. Applicants can expect to spend approximately one to two weeks on campus.

  1. EDPS 622 Developing & Sustaining a Working Alliance
  2. EDPS 626 Group Interventions & Processes
  3. EDPS 616 Assessment Theory & Practices
  4. EDPS 638 Counselling Interventions for Client Change

Practicum Requirements & Police Information Check

Please see Practicum Information section below

The Final Project Porfolio (EDPS 670)

The Final Project Portfolio course is an online course (13 weeks) that will be offered annually in the Winter semester for students who have completed all the course requirements or for students who are completing EDPS 644 (the final practicum) concurrently. In this course, students will participate in a reflective process to demonstrate their evolving career development throughout their program as well as plans for future professional development. This process will involve reviewing their previous course work by accessing archived courses, including course assignments and evaluations. By conducting this review, students will provide examples of their: competencies at the beginning of the program, professional achievements while in the program, and plans for future professional development beyond the program. The Final Project is not a thesis and does not involve research.

Practicum Information

Practicum Requirements

Students in the Master of Counselling program are required to complete two practica during the fall and winter terms of their final year (EDPS 642 & 644). The aim of the practica is to provide you hands-on counselling experience under supervision. Students use the same setting for both practica. Students are required to arrange their own placements. All placements must be approved by the program.

Preparation for the practicum should begin at least eight months prior to the course start date.  There are a number of deadlines leading up to the start of practicum including approval for supervisor and site, as well as of learning plans.

Police Information Check

All applicants to the Werklund School of Education, Counselling Psychology and School and Applied Child Psychology programs are required to provide a current Police Information Check which includes a Criminal Record Check and a Vulnerable Sector Search. Students who are not residents of Calgary must arrange for a Police Information Check through their nearest police service or RCMP detachment in the area where they reside. In order to be considered "current", the Police Information Check must be completed no earlier than June 30th and students will be required to request a new Police Information Check every 12 months. The original Police Information Check must be presented in person to the administration in the Graduate Program Office in the Werklund School of Education before the start of classes (September 1) and to the organization hosting the student on or before the first day of the practicum course (EDPS 642 & 644).

Students who are concerned about the presence of a criminal record should contact the police department to discuss the process for eliminating or erasing such a record.

Practicum is required for all 3rd party and University of Calgary practicum placements.  Failure to present a clear Police Information Check may result in the student being unable to complete their Practicum. Successful completion of Field Experience Practicum is required for graduation.

Students are obligated to inform the Faculty immediately of any change in status of their criminal record.

Intervention Record Check

The Werklund School of Education (WSE) strongly recommends that all students get an Intervention Record Check (IRC) each year that they have a practicum. Even if your site does not specifically require this check, it is to your advantage to have an IRC done so as to prevent a potential issue should there be a last minute change in your placement site.

NOTE: IRCs are not required by the WSE, and should not be submitted to WSE. Results should be kept in your personal records, and shown to your practicum site should they request to view them.

Prior to the start of practicum, students should review the Practicum Handbook and the information listed on the Program’s Home D2L site.

Weekend seminars: In each practicum course, students are required to attend two mandatory, on-campus weekend seminars at the University of Calgary (twice in fall and twice in winter), where an opportunity will be provided for direct faculty and peer supervision. The weekend seminars have been found to be an invaluable part of student learning in the practicum courses.

Agencies that are appropriate as a practicum setting include:

  • educational settings (secondary and post-secondary),
  • community counselling agencies,
  • government departments providing counselling services, and
  • private practice settings (where the student is not currently in private practice and is not in a business partnership with the proposed supervisor).

The organization or agency should meet the following criteria:

  • Provide counselling services to individuals and couples, families or groups. The provision of individual counselling is a primary service, however, services such as assessment, family and couples' counselling, and group counselling are also appropriate.
  • Have professional, supervisory staff with a Masters' level of qualification in a counselling related area.
  • Practicum placements at student's current place of employment:  Students may complete a practicum at their current place of employment, provided that suitable arrangements for supervision can be made and appropriate counselling opportunities exist. The following conditions apply when a student chooses a practicum at their current place of employment:
  • The practicum supervisor cannot be the student's direct employment supervisor.
  • Practicum activities primarily consist of counselling functions.
  • Students do not engage in counselling clients with whom they work in other workplace roles. An example of dual roles that can be unethical is when a student is the counsellor for a client that the student currently teaches or coaches at school.
  • Students cannot have a placement in a workplace where their main role is as a counsellor, unless it is with a different focus than what is their normal work.
  • Changing practicum settings during the term is not recommended, so students are encouraged to anticipate and prevent any potential problems that may arise while doing the practicum in their work settings.
  • Videotaping of counselling is feasible at the practicum setting.
  • Only one of the practicum placements (EDPS 642 and EDPS 644) can take place at the student's place of employment. If the student is employed by an organization such as a school district or health region then one placement can be done at the student’s workplace (provided it meets the above requirements) and the other can be done at another site within the larger organization, provided that the student’s employment supervisor is not a supervisor at the second site.

Program Schedule & Course Descriptions

For course outlines by term, please refer to the Course Schedules tab, and choose Master of Counselling from the left navigation or appropriate term.

As of September 2014, the MC program will change to a 15 half-course program. 

Students are responsible for making sure that their course work complies with the normal program plans. Students in this program have priority registration in MC courses and are encouraged to register in their courses at least one month before courses begin. After this date, some courses are open for registration for non-program students and we cannot guarantee registration in the courses.

Following is a suggested three year program plan applicable for students starting in Fall 2014:

Year Fall Winter Spring/Summer Residency
1 EDPS 602 Counselling Theories and Professional Practice 
EDPS 646 Processes of Learning
(both online) 
EDPS 604 Professional Ethics in Applied Psychology 
EDPS 624 Cultural & Social Justice Issues in Professional Practice
(both online) 
EDPS 622 A&B Developing and Sustaining a Working Alliance with Clients
EDPS 626 A&B Group Interventions and Processes
(both blended)
2 EDPS 610 Research Methodology in Counselling
EDPS 630 Foundations of Career Counselling
(both online) 

EDPS 648 Lifespan Human Development
EDPS 664 Psychological Approaches to Heatlh
(both online) 

EDPS 616 A&B Assessment Theories and Practices
EDPS 638 A&B Counselling Interventions for Client Change
(both blended) 
3 EDPS 642 Counselling Practicum I
(Blended - 2 weekend seminars) 
EDPS 644 Counselling Practicum II (blended - 2 weekend seminars)
EDPS 670 Final Project Exit Portfolio (online)

For information regarding on-campus accommodation for Summer 2017 please click here.

CORE Course descriptions

EDPS 602 Counselling Theories and Professional Practice
This theories course is intended to engage students in a critical evaluation of a range of contemporary counselling theories, and to help them begin to develop a description of their own emerging theory.

EDPS 604 Professional Ethics in Applied Psychology
This course addresses personal and professional ethical issues in counselling. The perspectives of different professional disciplines will be used to highlight commonalities and differences. Students will reflect critically on both personal and collective world-views and values as well as explore the impact of those perspectives on counselling processes and contexts

EDPS 622 Developing and Sustaining a Working Alliance with Clients
The working alliance course focuses on the understanding and acquisition of skills for use in interpersonal and counselling contexts. Emphasis will be placed on the identification and development of specific skills that are essential for the development of working alliances. The course will introduce a theoretical framework for the application of counselling skills in addition to providing the opportunity for skill practice.

EDPS 610 Research Methodology in Counselling
This course focuses on the application of research in applied psychology. Students explore the methods and processes for designing and conducting research in their practice settings. Students will investigate values that motivate different research questions and identify the appropriate methods to facilitate inquiry in their particular fields of practice.

EDPS 616 Assessment Theory and Practice
This course combines a theoretical and practical focus to develop a framework from which to approach the assessment of client change in a variety of contexts. Through theoretical analysis and applied skill development in online and/or workshop settings, students will be expected to develop proficiency in the administration of assessment procedures and in the interpretation of assessment results.

EDPS 624 Cultural and Social Justice Issues in Professional Practice
This course will focus on increasing personal awareness, identification of conceptual frameworks, and development of in-depth knowledge of equity and diversity issues in counselling. Students will be expected to examine their own attitudes, behaviours, perceptions, and biases.

EDPS 626 Group Interventions & Processes
This course is designed to help students understand five key areas of group work: planning, dynamics and process, strategies and techniques, member needs and roles, and leadership. Participants will examine the characteristics of the initial, transition, working, and ending stages of groups, and will integrate appropriate leadership styles and interventions for each stage. After students have explored the five areas of group work and understand the major characteristics of group stages, they will practice leadership styles and skills in face-to-face, role play and actual group situations, with a focus on working with diverse populations.

EDPS 630 Foundations of Career Counselling
In this course students will explore fundamental principles that guide contemporary practices in career development. The course focuses on major theories and models of career choice and development and related research. Emphasis will be placed on the integration of theory with career counselling practice. Selected course readings and assignments will allow students to develop a broad understanding of the roles of career counsellors and of the major concepts and principles that guide effective career interventions.

EDPS 638 Counselling Interventions for Client Change
This course combines a theoretical and practical focus to develop a framework from which to approach the planning and implementation of client change interventions in a variety of contexts. It assumes that students have already attained mastery of a repertoire of basic skills for establishing a working alliance. The course teaches students to use those skills in the design and implementation of intervention strategies that help promote change that is consistent with client goals.

EDPS 646 Processes of Learning
The field of learning is dynamic and ever-changing. This course will identify and discuss the essential features of the major theories of learning and present the most current research in each area of learning. Students will discover how the principles of learning relate to their own learning and behaviour, and how the principles can be used to understand the behaviour of others. In addition, there will be opportunities to apply the learning principles in case study situations and explore the practical implications of learning theory in educational and therapeutic settings. Students will explore the relationships that exist between theories of learning and counselling practice.

EDPS 648 Lifespan Human Development
This course introduces a comprehensive view of human development across the lifespan, drawing on the major theoretical positions - both historical and current. It provides a basis for study in more specialized areas of human development. Developmental themes are discussed in terms of their application to typical and atypical human development in children, adolescents, and adults. Concepts related to the significant role that transitions play in development throughout the lifespan will be integrated throughout the course.

EDPS 664 Psychological Approaches to Health
This course is designed as a broad introduction to the study of how human psychology and human health intersect. It will provide students with the skills necessary to critically evaluate theories, findings, and methods relevant to the field of health psychology and to enhance the practical skills of counsellors in general practice. The course is intended to support the acquisition of knowledge about the application of health psychology by students who either choose it as an elective, are pursuing a specialization in health psychology, or who may be interested in learning intervention strategies in order to prepare for a professional counselling role in general practice. This course is also an opportunity for non-psychologist professionals to become more knowledgeable about the application of health psychology to their professional interests.

EDPS 642 Counselling Practicum I
The first practicum provides an opportunity for professional development and supervised practice in a general counselling context. Students will be involved in direct client work under the supervision of a qualified professional and will engage in one-on-one and group supervision processes. The practicum allows students to actively explore issues encountered in working with diverse client populations.

EDPS 644 Counselling Practicum II
The second practicum provides an opportunity for professional development and supervised practice in a specialized counselling context. Students will be involved in direct client work under the supervision of a qualified professional and will engage in one-on-one and group supervision processes. The practicum allows students to actively explore issues encountered in working with a specialized client population or area of practice.

EDPS 670 Final Project Portfolio
Students complete a culminating independent project in their area of specialization to satisfy the degree requirements.

Registration and Fees

Annual Registration: At the start of the graduate program and annually on the anniversary of the start date, each graduate student must register using the Student Centre which is accessible through myUofC.  Students in course-based graduate programs may choose full-time or part-time status upon entry into the program and on an annual basis on the anniversary of entrance into the program. Annual General fees are assessed based on full-time or part-time status.

Students in this program are strongly encouraged to choose and maintain full-time status in order to complete all course work in a timely manner. A description of current general fees is as follows:

General Fees Part-time Full-time
Graduate Students' Association $135.00 $163.05
Graduate Bursary Donation* $10.00* $10.00*
TOTAL General fees/year $145.00 $173.05 CDN

Students must maintain continuous registration and pay the appropriate fees until all degree requirements have been completed.

The following fee payment schedule applies to students in the Master of Counselling online program.

Course tuition is paid as students register in each course.

Students pay a program fee for three terms - Fall, Winter and Spring for as long as they remain in the program.  The annual program fee for 2016 is $1,578.00.

To calculate your fees in a given semester, multiply the course tuition by the number of courses you plan to take and add the program fee, as noted in the table below:

September 1st 2014 to August 31 2015 Program Fee Per Course Fee Due Date
Installment 1* $526.00 $1,212.00 September
Installment 2 $526.00 $1,212.00 January
Installment 3 $526.00 $1,212.00 May

Fees are subject to change without notice.

The University of Calgary Office of the Provost announced a tuition freeze for the 2016/17 academic year.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.  What is the application deadline? Can I still apply to the Master of Counselling program if I have missed the deadline?

The application deadline is December 1st for programs beginning the following September. Our online application program does not allow individuals to apply after the deadline.

2.  I am not sure if courses I have taken in the past will meet the prerequisites for admission. Will you take a look at my transcripts before I apply?

Due to time and administrative constraints, we do not review prerequisites prior to the application deadline. Please take the time to look at previously accepted courses to determine if the courses you have taken are similar in content. 

3.  Can I apply to the program while I am currently enrolled in courses that are needed to meet the program prerequisites?

Yes. Students who are currently enrolled in courses required for admission may apply to the program. Any acceptance offered to such students will be contingent upon successful completion of the required courses. Courses must be completed prior to start of program (August 31st).

4.  Can I take courses in your program if I’m not a registered student?

Only registered students can take courses in the program. However, students who are enrolled in Open Studies are generally permitted to take some courses through our program at the discretion of the Program Coordinator. For more information about the open-studies process, please see the information provided by the Werklund School of Education or contact Lisa Llewellyn (

5.  If I enroll in the three year program, is it possible to maintain part-time/full-time work while still being able to meet the demands of my courses?

Most students enrolled in the three year program continue to work part-time and some even full time. Expect to spend ten to fifteen hours per week on each course. Students can take up to six years to complete the program by taking fewer courses each year. Students can add more courses to their load if the schedule permits it. They are responsible for determining their own program plan.

6.  What does a typical program plan look like?

Please see the "Program Schedule & Course Descriptions" section above for a sample standard program plan.

7.  Is it possible to complete this program in less than three years?

It is not possible to complete this program in less time given the course requirements in combination with the practicum and final project timelines. Three years is the minimum amount of time needed to complete the program.

8.  Where can I get more information on the program, application procedure, competitive admission criteria, and fees?

We have information on our website about aspects of our program. For fee information please click on the “Registration and Fees” section above.

9.  I am having trouble understanding the fee guideline. Approximately what is the total cost of the program?

Currently, the cost of one course is $1,212.00 plus program fees due three times a year (September, January, and May) are $531.98. The cost of the program depends on how long you take to complete your coursework. Additional University fees also apply.  Information regarding General fees can be found here.

10.  Is it necessary to have a B.A. / BSc. In Psychology to enter into your program?

Although it is not necessary to hold an undergraduate degree in psychology in order to obtain admission into our program, most successful applicants have a strong psychology background.

11.  What are the minimum requirements for admission? If I don’t meet the minimum GPA requirements will I still be considered for the program?

Although the minimum GPA required for admission to the Master of Counselling program is 3.0, admission to all graduate programs is highly competitive due to limited enrollment capacities. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission and the majority of students who do not meet the minimum requirements are unsuccessful.

12. I am not sure if my GPA is equivalent or above a 3.0 because my university used a different grade system.

The OLSAS grade conversion table is a useful resource for converting your GPA to a 3.0 system.

 13. Is prior volunteer experience a requirement of admissions?

Volunteer experience is not a requirement, but it does make for a stronger application. Successful applicants have the equivalent of one to two years full-time experience in counselling-related activities either through employment or volunteering.

14.  Is this program completely online or is there travel involved?

Our fall and winter courses are offered online.  We have some courses offered in summer that are partially on-campus

In their final year, students take two practicum courses during the fall and winter semester. Students are required to be on campus for two weekends per practicum course (twice in the fall and twice in the winter).

On-campus attendance is mandatory.

15.  I live outside of Calgary. Will I be able to take this program and stay in my home community?

Our Professional Programs offer you an opportunity to engage in your studies while continuing to work and to live in your home community. This program is delivered through a distributed format. This means that the various learning activities throughout your program will involve a combination of online and on-campus components.

Although the majority of learning in the MC program is completed off-campus, there are courses in the program with face-to-face requirements. These include: Summer Residency and practicum courses. See on-campus requirements described in the above Q & A.

16.  How does the practicum placement work?

Students in the Master of Counselling program are required to complete two practicum courses. Students will complete their practica as the last two courses in their programs and they will ideally use the same setting for both practicums. Students are responsible for finding their own placement. There are policies regarding practicum sites. Additional information is found under the tab “Program Requirements.”

17.  Can I arrange to complete my practicum at my place of work?

Due to ethical standards and the potential for dual relationships (between clients and students and students and supervisors), students in the Master of Counselling will normally complete their practicum placements at a site different from their place of work. Practicum proposals associated with settings and supervisors in large organizations will be considered provided the student and proposed supervisor can demonstrate that the proposed supervisor: (a) meets our supervisor requirements, (b) is not involved in any aspects related to the reporting and evaluation structure that is part of the student’s normal work activities, (c) the clients seen in the proposed practicum agreement are different from the people the student works with in their regular employment, and (d) the learning plan and practicum agreement associated with the proposed practicum is approved by the Master of Counselling Program Coordinator and Practicum Coordinator. Students should check with the Practicum Coordinator before making any arrangements for their placement to ensure that it meets the requirements of the program. All practicum placements must be approved by the program.

18.  Is this program accredited?

Our program is not currently an accredited program.  However, the University of Calgary is an accredited university and this program is approved by the Alberta Ministry of Learning. Graduating from a non-credited program will not affect individuals’ ability to apply for registration with the College of Alberta Psychologists or to apply for Certification with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapists Association

Master’s level psychology programs are not accredited by Canadian Psychological Association (CPA).  Our PhD program is accredited by CPA but graduates from the MC program are not eligible to apply to our PhD program. Additional information about accredited programs can be found through the Canadian Psychological Association website.

19.  What do counsellors do?

The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association has a useful description of the counselling profession:

20. What can I do with a Master of Counselling degree?

Counsellors work in a wide range of areas including: mental health, employment and career development, social work, education, business, industry, mental health, public service agencies, government, and private practice.  What individuals do with their degree depends largely on their interests and prior experience (e.g., teachers who want to move into counselling roles within their school division).

Individuals considering the field of counselling should keep in mind that a master’s degree is only the first step to obtaining the credentials necessary for professional practice. In each province, the profession of psychology is regulated. The requirements for licensure vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In some jurisdictions, the doctorate degree is required for registration and in others it is the master’s degree.

The types of employment opportunities available for students graduating from the MC program differ depending on a) the province in which they reside, b) the level of education required for registration, and c) the regulatory board with which the individual registers.

Students are encouraged to check out the local registration criteria to ensure that their coursework conforms to those requirements. Regulatory boards include:
Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association
College of Alberta Psychologists
College of Psychologists of BC
BC Association of Clinical Counsellors
Additional regulatory boards are listed on the Canadian Psychologist Association website:

21.  If I live in Alberta what are my options for registration? What if I live outside of Alberta?

Registration is a process that is completely separate from the MC program. Some Alberta MC graduates who have a strong psychology background may want to register as a Counselling Psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists (CAP). The Master of Counselling program is designed to provide students with the graduate academic background required to begin the licensing process through CAP. However, CAP has additional requirements beyond what is provided within the MC program at the University of Calgary, including undergraduate psychology courses, supervised clinical hours, and oral and written examinations. It is not the responsibility of the MC program to ensure that students meet the requirements for registering.

Individuals who live outside of Alberta should check with the corresponding body in the province/state in which they wish to achieve a professional designation. Regulatory boards are listed on the Canadian Psychologist Association website.

MC graduates have not met requirements for registration with regulatory bodies of Manitoba and Ontario.

A second option for graduates within, and outside of, Alberta is certification as a Professional Counsellor under the guidelines of theCanadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA). CCPA certification attests to the level of professional counselling competence and is considered the minimum professional standard in Canada. The MC program has been designed to allow students to meet the certification criteria of the CCPA. With the completion of the appropriate course, students are responsible for ensuring they meet requirements for certification.

22.  I want to work as a counsellor in schools. Will I be able to conduct assessments after I graduate?

Students in the MC program get a course in assessment but the training it provides will not be enough for you to complete psycho-educational assessments. If you are interested in psycho-educational testing, see our webpage on school psychology.

23.  How does the program differ from the Masters of Science (M.Sc.) in Counselling degree?

We distinguish between our professional programs (Master of Education or Master of Counselling) and our research programs (Master of Science). Within the school of Education, it is the case that the MSc-PhD route is considered the research stream, with the MSc degree required for admissions into the PhD program. In contrast, the MEd/MC programs are currently considered terminal Master’s programs. As the MEd/MC programs do not have a thesis requirement, you may find that you have limited, if any, options to pursue further PhD studies with these degrees. However, you will need to look up specific PhD admission requirements for other Universities to determine if this is the case.

24.   I have a question that is not answered by the Q&A webpage. Can I talk to an advisor?

Please contact the Graduate Program Administrator, Candace Ford-Taperek at with any additional questions that are not addressed on our website.

Students in profile....

Chris Sciberras says reputation coupled with ease of program delivery will help him advance his career

“Choosing Werklund has been a great decision for me, as the courses and professors have helped me accelerate my professional development in such a small amount of time. The program has provided me with the tools and resources to move closer to my personal and professional goals.”

Katrina Rozga, world traveller, finds flexibility key in Master of Counselling program

“I love that I can do the program while in Hong Kong and can also do my practicum here where I live and work," she says. "While it's very time consuming to do a master's program while working full time, I do appreciate not having to quit my job, and I love that as long as I commit myself and my time I can do this and maintain my life here."