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DSNA Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of degree is granted with the completion of the program?
The program leads to a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

When does the program begin?
Students are admitted three times per year:  Winter, Summer, and Fall semesters.

How is admission to the program determined?
Admission is based on a review of all application materials by the program faculty. Strong applicants show evidence of previous academic achievement and potential for success in graduate school, the potential to developing interpersonal relationships in the counseling context, and an openness to personal and professional development.

Do applicants need a bachelor’s degree in Psychology to be admitted?
No, applicants from all backgrounds are welcome to apply. However, applicants are encouraged to demonstrate knowledge of mental health issues and aptitude to work in the counseling field through coursework, research experience, and/or volunteer or professional work experiences.

Does the program require any standardized tests for admission?
Yes. Applicants should submit scores for the General Record Examination (GRE) as part of their application. Scores must be from tests administered within five years of the application. Keiser University’s GRE Institutional Code is: 0284 (the departmental code is not necessary).

Requirement for GRE scores may be waived for applicants with an overall undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher, or completion of a previous graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Does the program require letters of recommendation?
Yes. Applicants are required to submit three recommendation letters as part of their application. Letters should be from individuals who can address the applicant’s academic and professional potential.

What should be included in the personal statement?
As part of the application, applicants should submit a 2- to 3-page Personal Goals Statement indicating their reasons for undertaking graduate study in mental health counseling, personal attributes that may lead to being a successful counselor, and future goals.

Is an interview required for admission?
Yes, the interview is a required part of the admissions process. Top applicants are invited to interview with the department faculty. Invitation to interview does not guarantee admission.

Is a background check required for admission?
Yes. A successful background check is required as part of the application. Applicants will complete this process with the assistance of their admissions counselor.

Applicants should be aware that many agencies and credentialing bodies require a criminal background check as a prerequisite for practicum or internship placement. Having been convicted a felony, and some misdemeanors, may prevent the student from being licensed or from working or completing a practicum or internship in a school or agency.

When are courses offered?
All courses are web-based and accessible 24-hours per day. Some courses may require students to participate in activities at set times.

Are there any residency requirements?
There are three weekend-long, on-campus residencies required as part of the program. These are held at the Fort Lauderdale, Florida campus. Residencies are taken with specific courses and therefore are offered at specific times during the program. When following a typical student program plan, students will complete one residency per semester during the first year of the program and a final residency while completing the practicum experience.

Can a student choose a part-time or full-time attendance option?
Because of the intensive nature of the program, students are recommended to take two or three courses per term. Students wishing to take more or less courses can discuss options with their academic advisor. Note that each term is 16-weeks in length.

How long does it take to complete the program?
Depending on the student’s schedule, the program can typically be completed in three to four years.

Will graduates be eligible for licensure?
The program is developed to be in line with national standards to prepare students for licensure. However, because the specific rules and regulations for licensure vary by state, the program may not meet the specific licensure requirements in all states and therefore does not guarantee licensure as a professional counselor.

Students are strongly encouraged to contact their state licensing board to determine the requirements needed in the state in which they are seeking licensure prior to beginning any counseling program.

Is Financial Aid available?
Yes. Financial aid is available to those who qualify. Many of our students may use some form of financial aid from public and/or private sources. Students should contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information (

What is Keiser University’s accreditation status?
Keiser University is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges (COC) of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to award certificates and degrees at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctoral levels.

What is SACS?
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. It serves as the common denominator of shared values and practices among the diverse institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Latin America and other international sites approved by the Commission on Colleges that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degrees. The Commission also accepts applications from other international institutions of higher education,

What is the Clinical Mental Health Counseling programmatic accreditation status?
The M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is not accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). However, the program was developed to be in line with these national standards. Since the program is new, the university is not yet able to apply for CACREP accreditation. We are pursuing accreditation and students will be notified at such time if the program becomes accredited in the future.