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Prospective Students

Prospective Students for more information about the program should navigate to the program page. Here you will find program goals, the degree program outline, course outline, and course rotation. Under the Degree completion plan you will find foundation, intermediate, and advanced core courses including information for your practicum and internship.

Comprehensive examination (CPCE) 

Exam Prerequisites

All students enrolled in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program must pass the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination to graduate. The CPCE is a summative evaluation, which serves as a standardized counseling exam for assessing students’ knowledge of the eight core curriculum areas of counselor preparation approved by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The CPCE is currently the most used exit exam by numerous CACREP accredited programs in the nation. We have adopted this exam as our comprehensive exam to help us not only to assess students learning in the core curriculum areas of counselor training but, more importantly, to help us assess the program’ curriculum strengths and to seek opportunities for improvement.

The CPCE exam is an extensively researched test, developed and distributed by the Research and Assessment Corporation for Counseling and the Center of Credentialing and Education (CCE). Both agencies are affiliates of the National Board for Certified Counselor (NBCC)--the primary credentialing body for counselors. 

A passing score of one standard deviation from the national mean score for exit exam is required, recalculated every exam cycle. Thus, the passing score on the CPCE is calculated by subtracting one standard deviation from the national average for exit exams.

Exams Fee- Fees
The exam is a computer-based and it is administered on campus every semester. The fee for the exam is $75 per student, payable by money order or certified check.

Number of Permitted Attempts

Students have three attempts to pass the exam, after which they would be given one attempt to pass a written comprehensive exam designed by the program’s faculty. Should a student fail the written examination, he or she will be dismissed from the program.

Exam Format
The CPCE is a knowledge-based exam that consists of approximately 160 items with 20 items per CACREP area. Test takers will have four (4) hours to complete the test. The exam covers the following CACREP’s eight core curriculum areas of counselor preparation:

Professional Counseling Orientation &
Ethical Practice
COUN 5304—Professional Orientations in Counseling
COUN 5330—Professional Issues and Ethics for Practice
Human Growth and Development COUN 5312—Lifespan Development
Social and Cultural Foundations COUN 5327—Sociocultural Issues in Counseling
Counseling and Helping Relationships COUN 5301—Theories of Counseling
COUN 5335—Techniques in Counseling
Research & Program Evaluation COUN 5321—Research and Program Evaluation
Career Development COUN 6305—Career Counseling Across Lifespan
Group Work COUN 5305—Group Counseling
Assessment and Testing COUN 5309—Assessment for Counselors
COUN 5316—Psychopathology and Diagnosis
COUN 6326—Addiction in Counseling


Preparation Resources

Preparation Resources
Whereas CCE has no recommended study guide for the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam (CPCE), there is a list of textbook resources frequently used in CACREP-accredited counselor preparation programs. A list of resources can be found at CPCE Textbook Guide. Additional resources can be found online at CPCE@ETBU/Lib/resource.

Exams Dates and Deadlines
The exam is offered three times in each academic year, one in each semester. The table below outlines the dates. It is very important students pay close attention to these dates. The actual exam data may vary but the testing window will not vary. That date for the exam will depend on the Exam Proctor. It is the students’ responsibility to inform the program director and the Exam Proctor by the application due date their intention to take the exam.

CPCE Testing and Application Dates
Semester Taking Date Application Open Application Due Testing Window CPCE Score Due
Spring Nov 10 - Dec 10 Dec 10 Feb 17-Mar 02 Mar 02
Summer Mar 10 – Apr 10 Apr 10 July15- July 30 July 30
Fall Jun 10 – Jul 10 Jul 10 Aug 1-Sept 15 Sept 15


The Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) is an exit exam that is designed to help test takers synthesize their learning about counseling and to ensure that test takers have a thorough understanding of professional attitudes, skills, and knowledge related to the eight (8) common–core areas defined by CACREP’S Standards for Preparation.

Registration Procedures

The University must approve you to take the CPCE. Please contact your school’s CPCE program coordinator to receive details about testing. For more information about the program that you will see as a student, take a look at the MACMHC Handbook on the Current Students page.

Download the Registration Info for students testing via CBT.pdf and follow the directions to register for the exam. 

Registration Steps
1. Register with the Program Director and or Exam Proctor at the Academic Affairs Office before the Registration Deadline.
  a. Complete the CPCE waiver
2. Register with the Center for Credentialing & Education (CCE). Complete your registration 25 business days before the test day to allow ample for processing time.
  a. Once you complete the registration, you will receive an “Authorization to Test” email from Pearson within seven business days. The email will contain your candidate ID number (*in case you do not find this email in your inbox after the seven days, check your spam and junk folders).
  b. **IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE AN EMAIL FROM PEARSON VUE, please contact CCE at cpce@cce‐ Include your name and the date you completed your registration in your email.
3. AFTER you receive the “Authorization to Test” email from Pearson VUE, create an account.
  a. DO NOT TRY CREATING YOUR ACCOUNT without your Pearson VUE Candidate ID number. Wait until you have Pearson VUE candidate ID Number before you create your account.

Students usually have access to their raw score immediately or approximately 1-hour after the exam is completed. However, the actual passing score for the exam cycle is sent to you via their Tigermail account five weeks after the exams. The reason for the long wait is that there are five versions of the exams, and each version has a different mean score and standard deviation used in determining the passing score. Moreover, it takes the Center for Credentialing & Education (CCE), the administrating board of the CPCE, about five weeks to release the national results, which include the mean score, the standard deviation, and the version administered during the exam cycle. Within two business days after receiving the CCE’s report, the Program Director will notify students of the passing score. Alternatively, based previous reports the following are the versions and their passing scores. These passing scores calculated based on the exit exam information are one standard deviation below the national mean score.

Passing Score
 The passing score for the CPCE changes with every version of the exam.

  •  The passing score for version 100115 is 70 or higher
  •  The passing score for version 100116 is 69 or higher
  •  The passing score for version 100215 is 70 or higher.
  •  The passing score for version 100618 is 73 or higher
  •  The passing score for version 100819 is 67 or higher

Note: Because neither the Exam Coordinator nor the Program Director usually know the version administered during each exam cycle, it will be prudent on the part of students to aim at getting 75 out of the 136 questions correct.

Admission and Tuition

Specific to the MACMHC Progam

Admissions Requirements and Policies

The Clinical Mental Health program is a 60-credit hour curriculum, designed to rigorously prepare competent counselors. Admission into the program involves completing an application, attending interview and completing a background check. Applicants must hold a 2.75 GPA during the last 60 hours of their undergraduate studies to be eligible for full admission into the program. Applicants without adequate background for counseling will be required to take Abnormal Psychology and General Psychology or complete up to 15 additional hours of preparatory courses in counseling related to undergraduate courses as a condition for admission.

Application Checklist and Procedures

  •  Submit Official Transcript

Applicants must submit an official transcript indicating successful completion of a baccalaureate degree, or individual courses, from an accredited institution. An “official” transcript is one that is received directly from the educational institutions that the applicant attended, or is sent to us (by any party) in the original, sealed, university envelope. Official transcripts should be sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Former ETBU students must personally request transcripts from the University Registrar.

  • Submit two letters of recommendation from individuals with whom the applicant has professional affiliation, such as faculty members or supervisor.
  • Submit an essay detailing your professional experiences and goals relevant to counseling, as well as your understanding of the importance of multiculturalism in counseling.
  • Complete a background check after the interview
  • Participate in an interview with the program’s faculty. Applicants will be scheduled for an interview only after all documents have been submitted and received by the Office of Graduate Admission.

Admission Decisions
Admission decisions are not made until all documentation have been received and evaluated by the faculty. The office of Graduate Admissions and the CMHC faculty reserve the right to use professional judgment when conducting admission reviews and may request additional documentation to evaluate a candidate’s record. In addition, if certain documentation does not meet admission standards, the CMHC faculty reserves the right to use professional judgment with regard to admissions offers.

Concurrent Enrollment
ETBU students who have completed 90 hours towards graduation, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher, and have satisfied their specific program prerequisites, may enroll in up to nine graduate hours. Students may not register for more than six graduate hours per semester and may not enroll in more than a total of 16 credit hours for any semester in which a graduate course is taken.

Transfer of Credits
Evaluation and awarding of transfer credit for graduate course work will be based on official transcripts from prior institutions after students have made application for admission to the University. The University accepts academic work from institutions listed in the Higher Education Directory. Admitted students may request acceptance of transfer hours provided:

1. The student has achieved full University and program admission.
2. The hours are graduate hours in the desired graduate major or related discipline as determined by the Program Director or Dean and deemed equivalent to courses in the selected graduate program.
3. Grades earned are at least “B” or higher.
4. The student provides the Program Director complete information about the course including goals, requirements, and assessments.
Students may be granted up to a maximum of twelve (12) hours of equivalent transfer work. No graduate student may transfer more than three hours to ETBU post-matriculation. No graduate student may receive transfer credit for hours that have previously been applied to an awarded degree.

Usually, admission decisions are made within 48 hours following the receipt of all of the student’s documentation, including background check. Office of Graduate Admissions sends letter of admission by mail to applicants.

For more information about the program that you will see as a student, take a look at the MACMHC Handbook on the Current Students page.

Transfer of Credit and Time Limits

Transferring Course works
If you have any questions regarding transferring courses from another institution, you may consult with the Student Development Specialist. Transfer credits are also subject to approval by the academic advisor and the Office of Graduate Studies. Students may transfer up to 6 credit hours of coursework. If you are transferring course work from another institution in the University of Texas system, you may transfer up to 50% of your completed courses.

Time Limit for Degree
All requirement for the CMHC degree must be completed within a five-year period. Students will be required to reapply into the program if they are unable to meet all degree requirements of the program within the five-year period. Students reapplying after the five-year period will be able to transfer only courses in which they scored a “B” or better.

Program Orientation
All Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program students are required to attend orientation. The Graduate School schedules this orientation. New students should plan to attend the program orientation meeting held prior to their first semester of study. During orientation, Counseling Program Directors host introductory sessions that provide an overview of the counseling program. In addition to providing counseling program specific information, the orientation provides students with an introduction to general campus services relevant to all graduate students as well as training on how to use online course software and library resources. If a new student is unable to attend orientation, alternative arrangements should be made with the student’s advisor. An additional, supplemental program orientation is also conducted during COUN 5304 Professional Orientation in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Contact Information for Graduate Admissions