Department Profile

University of Missouri-Columbia

The University of Missouri-Columbia (MU) was founded in 1839 as the first land grant state university west of the Mississippi River. One of four campuses of the University of Missouri system, MU is a member of the American Association of Universities and is classified as a Research One institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Students at MU have the use of Ellis Library and its nine branches, which make up the largest research library in the state. Taken together, they give access to 2.6 million bound volumes, 4.9 million microform titles, and over 17,000 current periodicals.

The Educational and Counseling Psychology Department, which is housed in the University’s College of Education, offers graduate degree programs in the applied behavioral sciences. The department currently has 24 full-time tenure track faculty members, 13 non tenure track faculty, and 21 full time staff on grants. Faculty are actively involved in professional associations, are on editorial boards, and have achieved recognition for their research, scholarly writings, and advancement of psychology. The department is very active in seeking external grant support, and averages 7 million dollars annually. The department has 215 graduate students (124 are in a PhD program) and houses three graduate programs. Graduates of these programs find employment in colleges and universities, public schools, community human services agencies, clinics, hospitals, business and industry, and in rehabilitation and government services. The department received the 2000 American Psychological Association of Graduate Students Award as “APAGS Department of the Year” for its outstanding education of graduate students in psychology.


Counseling Psychology

The APA-accredited counseling psychology program is a recognized national leader in the training of counseling psychologists. Over the past 25 years, MU’s counseling program has been the #1 institutional contributor to the 2 leading empirical journals in counseling psychology (Journal of Counseling Psychology and Journal of Counseling and Development). In addition, faculty members have been officers in many national and state professional organizations. The faculty models excellent educational practices, as well as works very closely mentoring their graduate students. Students in the program present over 30 papers at national conventions every year. Students have a variety of practice experiences to choose from while in the counseling psychology program; most take practicum at the University Counseling Center and/or the University Cancer Center. In addition, students can take practica at local community mental health agencies, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, outpatient day treatment programs, and prisons, to name just a few. The program recently received the 2000 Suinn Minority Achievement Award for outstanding recruitment and retention of racial and ethnic minority graduate students. Approximately 40 percent of the doctoral students are racial/ethnic minorities or international students. Graduates of MU’s counseling psychology program are leaders in the field and hold important academic positions in counseling psychology programs nationally and internationally. The students in the Master’s program select one of the following subspecialty tracks within the counseling psychology program: Community/Agency Counseling, Sport and Exercise Psychology, Career Counseling and Development, Student Affairs, Rehabilitation Counseling, and School Counseling.

Educational Psychology

The educational psychology program incorporates the disciplines of test and measurement (with emphasis on psychometrics) cognitive science, human development, learning and instruction, assessment of mental abilities (including tests and measurement), and program evaluation. An integral part the program’s academic work is research design and statistical methodology. The program offers students the opportunity to gain academic knowledge and practical experience in the broadest possible range of inquiry within the field, building to the doctoral degree. Students select one of two emphasis areas: learning and cognition, or measurement and statistics. Working from within one’s emphasis area, a student receives training in the relevant content areas, with special direction toward conducting psychological research in a K-12 school setting as well as in post-secondary institutions.

School Psychology

The school psychology program is an APA-accredited professional psychology-training program following the public scientist-practitioner model. The primary purpose of the school psychology program is to promote the integration and application of principles of psychology, health, and education in relation to the characteristics and problems of children, youth, and their families. The program emphasizes mastery of theory and research in human development, learning, personality, cognition, and behavior, as well as in the social, family, and organizational contexts within which they occur. The program also stresses professional competencies in the following areas: consultation, assessment and diagnosis, intervention procedures (including counseling and behavior therapy), and research/evaluation. Faculty in this program have interests in Curriculum Based Assessment, Multidimensional Scaling Applications, Measurement of Thinking Skills, Psychoeducational Assessment, Intervention Strategies, Child and Adolescent Development and Psychopathology, Aggression and Conduct Disorders, Public Health and Prevention, School Health, and Performance Assessment.


The department has access to a wide variety of facilities. It interacts with a nationally recognized Counseling Center that provides space and equipment for supervised training in individual and group counseling and psychological assessment. In addition, several of our faculty have joint appointments in the nationally recognized Career Center, which is an innovative, national model of diverse career planning programs and services. The Career Center provides numerous training and research opportunities for students and faculty in the department. The department houses the Center for Multicultural Research, Training, and Consultation, which serves as a focal point in the department as well as the College of Education for scholarly work and training on multicultural issues. The department developed and administers the Assessment and Consultation Clinic that serves a wide-variety of children and adults. In addition, the department also runs the Center for Learning, Evaluation, and Assessment Research (CLEAR), which works closely with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to enhance educational assessment across the state of Missouri. The department houses the Polmantier Library, which has a very large collection of psychological literature. Additionally, the department has an expansive test library, which allows students to access various educational and psychological tests. Recently, the department developed the Center for the Advancement of Mental Health Practices in Schools, with the goals of promoting the development of best practices in mental health promotion, prevention, early identification, and intervention in the school environment. The Center strives to ground teachers and school administrators in effective approaches to mental health promotion, as well as prepare school-based mental health practitioners to offer mental health services to families, children, and youth.

Core Faculty
P. Paul Heppner, Department Chair
Niles Beck
Kathleen Boggs
Allison Bryant
Deborah Carr
Richard Cox
Craig Frisby
Glenn E. Good
Norman C. Gysbers
Mary J. Heppner
Joseph A. Johnston
James R. Koller
Richard T. Lapan
Richard T. McGuire, Jr.
Brent Mallinckrodt
Laurie Mintz
Michael Mobley
Karen D. Multon
Steven J. Osterlind
C. David Roberts
Roberta Scholes
Rick J. Short
Alex Waigandt
Roger Worthington
Related Faculty
Summer Allen
Arden Boyer-Stevens
Roxann Durham
Karen Ellersieck
Maria Guiterrez
Gregory Holliday
Brick Johnstone
Kari Harris
Wiley Miller
Roberta Mullen
Shelly Osana
Deanna Pledge
Richard Presberry
Karen Poulin


Educational and Counseling Psychology Department
University of Missouri-Columbia
Columbia, MO 65211
Fax: 573-884-5989

APS regularly opens certain online articles for discussion on our website. Effective February 2021, you must be a logged-in APS member to post comments. By posting a comment, you agree to our Community Guidelines and the display of your profile information, including your name and affiliation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations present in article comments are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of APS or the article’s author. For more information, please see our Community Guidelines.

Please login with your APS account to comment.