Skip to Main Content

Early Access for the Counseling Program

With the approval of the Division Chair of Education and Counseling, along with the approval of the Department Chair of Counseling, students maintaining an undergraduate cumulative and major GPA of 3.0 may take up to nine semester hours at the graduate level during their senior year.

These hours will count towards the MA Counseling degree but not toward the bachelor’s degree. Students in the early access program must maintain a 3.0 or higher in all Counseling (IPC) courses. A student must be enrolled in at least 12 semester hours of undergraduate classes each semester that he or she is taking IPC credits under this option.

Application for Early Access


  1. Is there an overload fee?  As long as you do not exceed a combined enrollment of more than 18 hours in the semester there is not an overload fee. If you receive approval and enroll in more than 18 hours you will be charged the standard overload fee as stated in the fees section of this catalog.
  2. How does this affect financial aid?  It will not affect your financial aid – you are required to be enrolled in a minimum of 12 undergraduate hours.
  3. What forms and signatures do you need?  You will need to complete an application to the Early Access to the MA Counseling Program. This form can be obtained from the School of Education or online as listed above. You will need to submit this form to Dr. Ken Kubicek in the Department of Counseling. Your academic records will be reviewed by the Department Chair of Counseling, and if you meet the requirements, your paperwork will be sent to the Belleville Provost of Academic Affairs for approval. You will be notified of your status and your Counseling advisor’s name via email after the process has been completed. You will then need to meet with your advisor to complete an enrollment form and create a plan for completion of the MA Counseling after your undergraduate degree has been conferred.
  4. Why would I want to do this?  If you enter the Lindenwood MA Counseling program after graduation, both the total cost of the program and the time to complete the degree will be reduced, especially if you take MA Counseling courses in the summer term.
  5. What is the maximum number of courses I can take prior to receiving my bachelor degree?  Students are permitted to enroll in no more than six (6) credit hours of IPC course work per semester and to complete no more than nine (9) credit hours graduate work prior to receiving a bachelor’s degree.
  6. Who can apply to the early access program?  Any Lindenwood student in an eligible bachelor’s degree program who has completed a minimum of eighty-four (84) undergraduate hours with a minimum cumulative and major GPA of 3.00 is eligible to apply.
  7. What bachelor’s degrees work for this program?  Students who intend to focus on graduate studies in Counseling with a professional counseling track may complete a bachelor’s degree in any area.  Students who intend to focus on graduate studies in Counseling with a school counseling track who do not complete a bachelor’s associated with teacher certification will need to complete 9.0 credit hours of Education coursework in order to be eligible for the MA in Counseling degree, and for Illinois certification in School Counseling.  This is an Illinois State requirement. 
  8. How much does this cost?  Six (6) hours per semester and no more than a total of nine (9) credit hours total will be included in your undergraduate full time tuition. Book expenses and lab fees for any IPC courses will be at your expense.
  9. Is there a minimum GPA to remain in the program?  Yes. You must maintain a minimum undergraduate cumulative and in major GPA of 3.00 and a minimum cumulative graduate GPA of 3.00.
  10. Am I automatically accepted to the Graduate School once I have completed my undergraduate program? No. This allows you the opportunity to enroll in the Early Access MA Counseling Program. You will need to complete the process of applying to the Lindenwood Graduate Program.  Link to Graduate Admissions 
  11. Which IPC courses can I take for the MA in Counseling Early Access? You may only enroll in IPC 51000 Foundations of School Counseling or IPC 51100 Foundations of Professional Counseling, IPC 51200 Ethics & Professional Issues in Counseling, and IPC 52100 Human Growth & Development.
  12. How much longer will it take me to finish my MA in Counseling after my undergraduate degree is conferred? This depends on the number of hours you take each semester. When you are admitted into the graduate program for Division of Education and Counseling, you will create a customized plan for completion with an advisor.

List of Eligible Undergraduate Degrees:

In general, completed bachelor’s degrees are acceptable regardless of the area of emphasis. For students who have not completed a bachelor’s degree associated with teaching, and who are intending to complete graduate studies in Counseling with a school counseling track, it may be necessary to complete 9.0 credit hours of EDC coursework in addition to the 48 credit hours of core and elective coursework.

Lindenwood University
2600 West Main Street
Belleville, IL 62226