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Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Prepare for a Career Helping People in Need

Are you passionate about building a career out of helping others? Our Clinical Mental Health Counseling master’s program can equip you with the advanced training and knowledge required to assess and treat patients in need, helping them to resolve and overcome the complex issues they face.


Learn How to Assess and Treat Patients

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is designed to is designed to prepare students to fulfill the academic requirements for licensure as clinical counselors in most states* and serve as an effective, compassionate mental health counselor.

Our faculty members** are dedicated to maintaining high teaching standards, developing your intellectual curiosity and critical thinking, and engaging in service to the University, community, and profession. Throughout the program, they’ll provide one-on-one support and mentorship and enrich discussions with examples from their own experiences.

Earning your master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling can help you to:

  • Synthesize and apply the major theories of counseling from historical and contemporary perspectives.
  • Recognize normal and abnormal mechanisms of change across an individual’s lifespan.
  • Identify, assess, diagnose, and treat mental disorders in the context of accepted diagnostic nomenclature.
  • Understand the contributions of quantitative and qualitative research and synergy among the field’s theoretical, clinical, and scientific components.
  • Acknowledge the multidimensional nature of cultural influence and how your personal view impacts your world view as a counselor and educator.
  • Communicate effectively with clients, treatment teams, and public entities.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of pertinent ethical and legal principles as well as current or emerging issues in the field.

Gain Valuable Counseling Knowledge & Experience

Our master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs can help you to build a comprehensive understanding of the field and develop the analysis and communication skills crucial to helping patients as a mental health counselor.

Classes feature thoughtful and engaging explorations of topics that include:

  • Counseling theory and techniques
  • Lifespan development
  • Professional orientation and ethics
  • Multicultural foundations
  • Diagnostics of psychopathology and treatment
  • Group dynamics
  • Research and statistical evaluation
  • Lifestyle and career development
  • Diagnosis and treatment of addictive disorders
  • Couples, marital, and family dynamics
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Clinical mental health appraisal and treatment
  • Counseling administration, advocacy, and policy
Through practicum and internship experiences, you’ll also have the chance to practice counseling in your community under the guidance of onsite qualified supervisors.

How to Become a Mental Health Counselor: Education Requirements & Licensing

All U.S. states require mental health counselor licensure. Licensing exam requirements vary by state but typically include a master's in mental health counseling or related area, along with a specified amount of supervised clinical work.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Admissions

Our master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling admissions criteria include:

  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • A grade point average of at least 2.7 (on an Admissions scale of 4.0) for the last 60 semester hours/90 quarter hours of coursework (including relevant graduate work), or, a bachelor’s degree with an overall CGPA of 2.7, or, an earned graduate degree from an accredited institution with a CGPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • A minimum score on a South University preapproved English language proficiency test is required for all applicants whose “first” language is not English as specified in the English Language Proficiency Policy.
  • Interview with the Clinical Mental Health Counseling department chair/program director or designated faculty member.
  • Approval of the campus program admissions committee.
  • Completion of an application for admission.
  • Submission of a personal/professional statement addressing the applicant’s interest in counseling, professional goals, along with a self-appraisal of academic and professional qualifications.
  • Submission (within 10 weeks of class start dates) of official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions attended.
  • Current résumé (or career summary).
  • Background Check
Classes in our Clinical Mental Health Counseling master’s programs generally meet on weekends or weeknights. Scholarships and financial aid are available to those who qualify. For answers to questions about financial aid or admissions, call 1.800.688.0932 or complete a request information form today.

What Can You Do with a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling?

Graduates of our master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs may go on to achieve initial eligibility criteria for become licensed in their state and pursue becoming a National Certified Counselor by the National Board for Certified Counselors.

Licensed graduates may serve as a mental health counselor in outpatient substance abuse centers, residential treatment facilities, community or state mental health agencies, schools, or other setting. You may provide counseling on a range of issues that include emotional and behavioral disorders as well as work and relationship problems. For a professional with a master’s in clinical mental health counseling, salary can vary based on factors like experience level, employment type or organization, and geographic region.

Request information to learn more about our program outcomes and how to prepare for a career as a mental health counselor.

*South University does not guarantee third-party certification/licensure. Outside agencies control the requirements for taking and passing certification/licensing exams and are subject to change without notice to South University.

**Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

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