Degree Requirements for MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Coursework Credit Hours: 51 Credits
Practicum & Internship Credit Hours: 9 Credits
TOTAL:  60 Credits

Comprehensive Exams: Required two-part exam
(two day on-campus written exam)


Length of Program:

This program consists of two years full time coursework/practica which includes a one year 600 hour internship.  Students must follow the sequence laid out by the program in order to complete the program within this timeframe.  The Graduate Psychology & Counseling Department requires students to complete all degree requirements within seven years of acceptance into the program.
Additional important information about being a master’s student in the School of Education can be found in the SED Master’s Handbook.  Students are strongly encouraged to read this handbook carefully along with the University’s Academic Bulletin.  Degree requirements can also be found by viewing the program in the Academic Bulletin

Recommended Course Sequence

In order for students to complete their program within two years, a recommended sequence of coursework is provided.  This sequence is subject to change as deemed necessary by the program faculty.  Syllabi for these courses are available upon request.  Please email for more information.  

First Year

Fall Semester (12 Credits)

  • GDPC645  Professional Ethics for Counselors & Psychologists 
  • GDPC635 Theories and Techniques of Counseling  
  • GDPC638 Group Process      
  • GDPC629 Psychopathology: Classification and Treatment         

Spring Semester (12 Credits)

  • GDPC614 Human Development    
  • GDPC640 Multicultural Issues for Counselors & Psychologists 
  • GDPC610 Marital Counseling (alt springs)    
  • GDPC650 Practicum in Counseling    

Summer Semester (6 Credits)

  • GDPC644 Psych Testing     
  • GDPC676 Theories of Personality (alt summers)  

Second Year
Fall Semester (12 Credits)

  • GDPC643 Career Development   
  • GDPC619 Professional Issues for CMHC   
  • GDPC604 Human Sexual Experience   
  •           or             
  • GDPC686  Intervention & Diagnosis with Children &Adolescents
  • GDPC655 Internship in Counseling (First Semester)           

Spring Semester (12 Credits)

  • GDPC624 Addictions and Addictive Behaviors   
  • GDPC600 Family Counseling (alt springs)    
  • GDPC655 Internship in Counseling (Second Semester) 
  • GDPC687 Counseling and Therapeutic Interventions for Adults     

Summer Semester (6 Credits)

  • EDRM506  Research and Evaluation for Counselors (alt summers)   
  • GDPC695 Professional Portfolio     
  • EDFN500   Philosophical Foundations for Professionals       

Comprehensive Exams

In addition to required coursework, practicum, and internship, all students must pass a two-day comprehensive exam.  The exams are held three times each year in March, June, and October.  Specific dates can be obtained from the Graduate Services Coordinator, or the department’s Administrative Assistant

Program Objectives: Core and Program Specific

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling and the School Counseling programs are designed to meet the criteria established by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).  Both programs require instruction in nine common-core areas as well as clinical instruction according to the 2016 CACREP Standards.  The CACREP Core Program Objectives for the both counseling programs are met in often multiple courses throughout the program.  These Core Program Objectives include the following: 

  1. Professional Counseling Identity.  Our graduates will develop understanding of the history of professional counseling, knowledge of the philosophical foundations of the profession, knowledge of the roles and functions of counselors, professional pride/professional engagement and knowledge and understanding of professional ethics.
  2. Ethical Practice.  Our graduates will commit to and follow professional ethics consistent with the American Counseling Association ethical guidelines.  They seek supervision/consultation to resolve ethical dilemmas and take personal responsibility in the event an ethical error is committed.  Students also develop a strong awareness of their own values and worldviews, recognize their own competencies and limitations, maintain openness to supervision and recognize/acknowledge/remediate personal issues that may impact client care.  They express a clear understanding of personal needs, values, strengths, weaknesses, feelings and motivations that may impinge upon effectiveness as a counselor.  They understand the need for themselves to maintain good mental and physical health.
  3. Social and Cultural Diversity.  Our graduates will develop awareness of power, privilege and difference and their own cultural attitudes, beliefs and effects of social location and learn strategies for working with diverse populations, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic and other non-dominant groups.  Students develop an ability to recognize the injustices that affect physical, academic, career, economic and mental wellbeing of individuals and learn skill sets to act to alleviate such injustices in the society.  Students develop the ability to be empowering agents and advocates in service as change agents on the systemic level to better serve under-represented, marginalized and oppressed individuals and groups.  Our students will also model the desire to give back to one’s community, church or society either by advocating for an identified issue of social justice or by engaging in service to their church and/or community.
  4. Human Growth and Development.  Our graduates will learn to interpret and apply core theory and research of the nature and needs of individuals at all developmental levels and in multicultural contexts.
  5. Career Development.  Our graduates will develop understanding on how to apply core theory and research of career development, the psychology of work and related factors.  Students learn which assessment instruments and techniques are relevant to career planning and decision making.
  6. Helping Relationships.  Our graduates will develop therapeutic communications skills, emphasize the client-counselor relationship and facilitate and manage the counseling process with individuals and groups.  Students develop an understanding of a range of counseling theories consistent with their own theoretical orientation, a critical evaluation of the literature, client mental health needs and goals in counseling, diagnosis and best practices in the profession.
  7. Group Work.  Our graduates will develop an understanding of the theoretical and experiential foundations of group purpose, development and dynamics and understand how to apply group counseling methods and skills in group settings.
  8. Assessment.  Our graduates will understand principles of testing and measurement and learn how to apply both individual and group methods of assessment and evaluation.
  9. Research and Program Evaluation.  Our graduates will understand methods and roles of research, statistical analysis, needs assessment and program evaluation.

Each of the counseling education programs also have their own set of objectives.  Upon completion of the master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) students will be able to:

  1. Understand, respond to and advocate for the needs of diverse client populations in a multicultural and pluralistic society, including issues regarding race, culture, religion, spirituality, sexual orientation, age, ability, gender, socioeconomic status, educational levels and multi-racial identities.  
  2. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the major theories of counseling and develop a personal theory of counseling.  
  3. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the major theories of career development and how to provide career/lifestyle counseling to clients.  
  4. Demonstrate understanding and knowledge of human development across the life span and how this relates to counseling interventions and assessment of clients.  
  5. Selects appropriate comprehensive assessment interventions to assist in diagnosis and treatment planning, with an awareness of cultural bias in the implementation and interpretation of assessment protocols.  
  6. Demonstrate the ability to use current technology for presentations, supervision, assessment, and professional record keeping.  
  7. Develops measurable outcomes for clinical mental health counseling programs, interventions and treatments, and then analyzes and uses data to increase the effectiveness of clinical mental health counseling interventions and programs. 
  8. Model legal and ethical standards of clinical mental health counseling in accordance with state and federal law and the standards of the American Counseling Association. 
  9. Apply basic counseling and facilitative communication skills in individual and small group settings. 
  10. Demonstrate a commitment to professional development by joining and becoming active members in the American Counseling Association (ACA) or the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA). 
  11. Model the desire to give back to one’s community, church or society either by advocating for an identified issue of social justice or by engaging in service to their church and/or community.