Counseling student in class

The Master of Science in Counseling (MSC) program at Milligan prepares graduates to demonstrate excellence as servant leaders in the field of professional counseling.

Milligan MSC graduates are in-demand as practitioners and servant-leaders working in a variety of settings, such as private, institutional, community, Christian, military, or nonprofit.

Addictions Counseling

Clinical Mental Health

School Counseling

  • 24 months to complete the program
  • Among lowest tuition in region
  • Three concentrations: Addictions, Clinical Mental Health, School
  • Graduate certificate in Counseling Ministry» available
  • Learn from a Christian perspective
  • Be part of a small class led by caring faculty
  • GRE not required if undergrad GPA is 3.00
  • Assistance finding practicum and internship placement

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program (MSC) at Milligan University is accredited by The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) (1001 North Fairfax St, Suite 510, Alexandria, VA 22314; 703.535.5990).

The School Counseling (MSC) program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) (2010 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202.466.7496).

Counseling Center

The Milligan Counseling Center offers counseling services for the health and well-being of our campus community and provides an internship or practicum experience for Master of Science Counseling students. Learn more or schedule an appointment »


View all details and course requirements for this program in the Milligan University Catalog . The catalog is the official, authoritative source for all academic requirements and policies. Any discrepancies in curricular requirements from other sources will default to the catalog.


Milligan’s Master of Science in Counseling will prepare graduates to demonstrate excellence as servant leaders in the field of professional counseling.

Program Objectives:

  • Students demonstrate excellence in professional counseling knowledge and skills and advance to candidacy. (short-term objective)
  • Students complete the program, begin professional careers, and obtain professional licensure. (mid-term objective)
  • Alumni are successful as evidenced by being LPCs in good standing, becoming site supervisors, and taking on leadership roles in professional and at large communities. (long-term objective)

Most classes are scheduled in late afternoons and evenings, with occasional day and weekend requirements (professional field experiences require day commitments). The program consists of six full semesters, including two summer sessions. You can complete the program in two years or go at your own pace. A new class of students enrolls each fall semester and follows a fall-spring-summer rotation, finishing after the second summer. Courses meet on the main campus of Milligan University in Northeast Tennessee, and some courses are available online.

Student Success

Data for July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021: Milligan’s School Counseling program graduated 2 students for a 50% completion rate.  Of the 3 students who took the Praxis Examination, 100% passed.
The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program graduated 6 students for a 60% completion rate.  Of the five graduates who took the National Counselor Examination (NCE), 100% passed.  The job placement rate for both programs was 100%.  The Addictions Counseling program will see its first graduating cohort August, 2022.

Professional Licensure

Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC)

After completing the Master of Science in Counseling degree and completing a minimum of two years (at least 10 hours per week) of supervised professional experience, graduates are eligible to sit for licensure in Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina and Virginia as a Licensed Professional Counselor.   A determination of eligibility has not been made for other states.  Reciprocity agreements may allow TN licensure to apply in other states.  Students should check specific state requirements before applying to the program.

Additions Counseling

Graduates are prepared to do the post-masters supervised hours to be licensed alcohol and drug additions counselors in the state of Tennessee; eligibility for licensure in other states has not been determined.  Graduates of the program will receive documentation to show completion of the necessary didactic training and educational competencies per the LADAC master-level requirement.

School Counseling The program prepares graduates to pursue licensure as a school counselor in the state of Tennessee.  A determination of eligibility for licensure has not been made in other states.  Students should check specific state requirements before applying to the program.

Program Evaluation and Vital Statistics
Counseling student with professor at research conference

Get ready to change lives


Application Process

In order to be considered for admission for this program, the minimum requirements and steps are as follows:

  1. PREREQUISITES: An undergraduate degree that includes the following prerequisite courses:
    • At least 9 hours of psychology courses, including General Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Research Methods or Statistics
    • Computer Competency (3 hrs) (can be fulfilled through documented computer competency)
    • DISCOUNTED PRE-REQ COURSES: You might be able to take some prerequisite courses at Milligan at a reduced rate. Learn more »
  2. UNDERGRAD DEGREE: Completed baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited college with overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.0.
  3. APPLICATION: Completed application with personal statement.  Apply online!
  4. TRANSCRIPTS: Official transcripts from every college attended whether or not the applicant graduated from that school must be mailed by your college(s) directly to Milligan.
  5. GRE: The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required if an applicant’s overall undergraduate grade point average is 3.00 or higher. Applicants for whom the GRE is required must score at the 50th percentile or higher. Request that your official GRE scores be sent to Milligan’s Office of Graduate & Professional Studies. Milligan University’s GRE code is 1469.
  6. REFERENCES: Two professional or educational recommendations will be requested from within the online application.
  7. INTERVIEW: On-campus interview scheduled for qualified applicants.
  8. INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: This program is approved by SEVIS to accept international applicants. International students must complete the application requirements for this program AND the international application requirements and immigration/visa process outlined here » 

Office of Graduate & Professional Studies
PO Box 22
Milligan, TN 37682

Please feel free to contact the Office of Graduate & Professional Studies to verify the receipt of the above application requirements. If you have any questions, please contact the University at 800.262.8337 or 423.461.8424 or by email.

Early Acceptance Program

The Early Acceptance Program (EAP) provides Milligan undergraduate students with a unique financial and academic opportunity to apply and commit early to the MSC in order to receive lower tuition rates and secure their spot early in the program.


  • Locks in tuition rate
  • Secure your spot in the program
  • Lighten your course load during the MSC program by taking 1-2 MSC courses as an undergraduate
  1. MILLIGAN UNDERGRAD: Be a Milligan undergraduate student (any major eligible; prerequisites are required)
  2. PARTICIPATION FORM: By fall of junior or senior year, complete and submit (to the GPS Office) the Participation form » for the EAP, which requires approval signatures from both your undergraduate advisor and MSC faculty director
  3. APPLY TO MSC: Complete the MSC admission process, be admitted, and pay deposit by following deadline in order to lock-in that year’s tuition rate:
    • JUNIORS – by APRIL 15
    • SENIORS – by NOV 15
  4. COURSEWORK: Complete the MSC graduate coursework for the Accelerated Plan
    • JUNIORS can take two MSC courses their senior year (one course each semester) in addition to their normal undergraduate course load.
    • SENIORS can take one MSC course the spring of their senior year in addition to their normal undergraduate course load.

*Approval to declare the Early Acceptance Program is not a guarantee of your admission to the Milligan MSC program.

Expectations & Responsibilities

All students at Milligan are expected to uphold the expectations and responsibilities for student lifestyles at Milligan University. Milligan University adopts specific rules on the basis of the belief that God’s Word, as the final rule of faith and practice, speaks on many matters pertaining to personal conduct. Therefore, behavior that conflicts with Scripture is unacceptable. Historically, communities also have developed guidelines that help put into practice basic moral and social principles. Such standards serve as a guide toward worthwhile goals relevant to one’s academic, spiritual, social, and physical well-being.

Students should consult the Student Handbook for further guidance regarding acceptable personal lifestyle and conduct while enrolled at Milligan University. A student’s matriculation and enrollment at Milligan University is their pledge to uphold the policies and expectations outlined in the Student Handbook and Catalog.

MSC Faculty

Our caring faculty are dedicated teachers, experienced professionals, and trusted mentors who invest time, energy, and ideas to inspire you and help you reach your highest potential. They are dedicated Christian professionals who go above and beyond to challenge you and stretch your mind. They bring real world experience into the classroom every day because they continue to work in the fields they teach. Small class sizes provide personal interaction, exceptional training, and hands-on lab experience that will prepare you for success as a Licensed Professional Counselor or school counselor. Teaching you is more than a job to our faculty—it’s a mission.

Dr. Aaron Hymes
Assistant Professor of Counseling; Practicum and Internship Experiences Coordinator

John Paul Abner
Professor of Occupational Therapy, Psychology and Counseling; Director of Academic Advising

Professor of Counseling, Director of the Campus Counseling Center

Joy Drinnon
Professor of Psychology; Director of Undergraduate Research

Associate Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Education; Associate Professor of Education

Dr. Lori Mills, professor of psychology at Milligan
Professor of Psychology

Associate Professor of Counseling

Rebecca Sapp
Area Chair of Social Learning; Professor of Counseling; MSC Program Director

Stacy Shankle
Admissions Recruiter for Healthcare Programs

Colleen Weems
Assistant Professor of Education and Counseling

Seeger's Steeple infant of a yellow sunset