Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.S.

Counseling and School Psychology |View/Print PDF

For further information: CMHCGrad@southernct.edu

Application Deadlines

Clinical Mental Health Counseling: January 15 for fall semester.

Counseling Program

The Clinical Mental Health and the School Counseling master 's program is accredited by the Council on the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), which is the premier independent accrediting body in counselor education. Students who complete the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling are prepared to take the National Counselor Examination. This examination is required by the National Board for Counselor Certification (NBCC). It is also required by the State of Connecticut for Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC).

Master Of Science Degree In Counseling - Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs prepare graduates to work with clients across a spectrum of mental and emotional disorders, as well as to promote mental health and wellness. Clients may be seen individually, in couples, families or group settings. Clinical Mental Health Counselors are knowledgeable  in the principles and practices of diagnosis, treatment, referral and prevention and often work in interdisciplinary teams with other health professionals (e.g., psychiatrists, social workers, MDs). Employment opportunities may include private practice, community-based mental health centers, hospitals and other treatment centers.

This program is accredited by the Council on the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), as well as the International Registry of Counselor Education (IRCEP).

The licensure track program is designed to meet the curricular requirements for Connecticut State Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). The program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (60 credit hours) prepares graduate students to work in a variety of community counseling agencies, college counseling centers, hospitals, and other counseling settings including private practice. Students develop skills and theoretical knowledge in practicing individual, group and career counseling with diverse populations in either public or private agencies. All Clinical Mental Health Counseling students complete practicum (100 hours) and internship (600 hours) experiences. Students find practicum and internship placements in a variety of settings, including community counseling centers, child guidance centers, crisis stabilization programs, rape crisis and domestic violence programs, substance abuse programs, college counseling centers, youth services programs and inpatient and residential treatment programs. All practicum and internship experiences must be completed under the supervision of a Licensed Professional Counselor with at least two years of experience in the counseling field. A comprehensive examination and a portfolio submission are required for Masters of Science Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. 

Please note that completion of a Masters program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is only one of the requirements for obtaining Licensure as a Professional Counselor. Each student is responsible for understanding the Connecticut State Department of Public Health licensure requirements, as listed on their website. Application for licensure cannot occur until after post-graduate supervision hours are earned and all other requirements have been met

Effective Janurary 2016, coursework taken by students not matriculated in the CMHC Masters or Counseling Sixth Year Certificate program will not be endorsed by the CMHC Faculty  as fulfilling  Department of Public Health or other state licensing body curricular requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or its equivalent.

Admissions Criteria

Candidates for the program are evaluated on the following criteria:

  1. Applicants should have a strong academic background and/or potential, as evidenced by a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or potential illustrated in other evaluation areas. GPA waivers are possible under certain circumstances.
  2. Applicants should have a Bachelors degree and foundational knowledge related to psychology, as represented by having at least 3 required prerequisites: Introduction to Psychology, Statistics, or Research Methods, and Abnormal Psychology/Psychopathology. It is possible for students to complete prerequisites after acceptance.
  3. Applicants should be strongly recommended by 3 individuals who have known them in a professional and/or academic setting and can speak to their potential as a graduate student and clinical mental health counselor, including an assessment of their interpersonal skills and commitment to diversity. At least 1 recommendation must be from an academic reference (e.g., professor)
  4. Applicants should submit a clear, well-written 500-word essay describing the basis of their interest in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling profession, as well as why they wish to enter the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at SCSU.
  5. Applicants should have some experience, either volunteer or professional, in a helping role, as demonstrated on their resume.
  6. If invited to an interview, applicants should illustrate potential as a counselor, ethical and interpersonal skills and knowledge of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling field.

Application Process

In order to be considered for admission to the program the following fall, all admissions materials must be received by January 15. In order to apply to the program, please follow the steps below:

  1. Complete the application to Southern Connecticut State University's Graduate school. The application can be found and completed online. A non-refundable fee of $50 must be paid at time of submission with a credit card.
  2. Send official transcripts from ALL institutions where you have completed coursework to:

Southern Connecticut State University
Office of Graduate Admissions
Application Processing Center
PO Box 8057
Portsmouth, NH 03802

**If you have attended SCSU, you only need to indicate this on your application; you do not need to send your official transcript. 

3. Upload Personal Essay to https://www42.student-1.com/studentappstatusSCSU/ or send an email to GradDocs@southernct.edu or hard copy via US mail to the address above. The essay should address why the applicant wishes to become a Clinical Mental Health Counselor and attend SCSU's CMHC program.
4. Upload a Current Resume of Vita to https://www42.student-1.com/studentappstatusSCSU/ or send an email to GradDocs@southernct.edu or hard copy via US mail to the address above.
5. Send three completed Recommendation Forms via email to GradDocs@southernct.edu or a hard copy via US mail to the address above. Written letters are welcome to accompany the recommendation form, but note that the recommendation form is required. At least one recommendation should be from someone who can speak to your academic skills.

Program Sequence - 60 Credits

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program consists of courses in counseling and psychological foundations, professional and ethical issues, advanced group counseling skills, empirically based techniques, and practicum and internship fieldwork. Students may select from a part-time or full-time sequence of study. The programs in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (60 credits) will be planned according to the following general outline:

As sequencing changes, it is highly recommended that students meet with their program advisor to finalize a list of requirements for graduation.  

Pre-requisite Requirements

PSY 100/102 - Introduction to Psychology - 3 credits
PSY 259/530 - Statistics or Research Methods - 3 credits
PSY 321/528 - Abnormal Psychology or Psychopathology - 3 credits

Required Core Courses

CSP 521 - Counseling and Substance Abuser and Other Addicted Populations - 3 credits
CSP 540 - Intro to Assessment in Counseling & School Psychology - 3 credits
CSP 549 - Issues in Crisis Intervention (Theory and Method) - 3 credits
CSP 550 - Counseling Skills and Techniques - 4 credits
CSP 552 - Counseling Practicum - 3 credits
CSP 553 - Counseling and Practicum Seminar - 3 credits
CSP 554 - Treatment of Mental and Emotional Disorders - 3 credits
CSP 568 - Counseling and Lifespan Development - 3 credits
CSP 569 - Theories of Counseling - 3 credits
CSP 571 - Diagnosis of Mental and Emotional Disorders - 3 credits
CSP 572 - Psychology of Career Development - 3 credits
CSP 578 - Counseling and Assessment of Culturally Diverse Populations- 3 credits
CSP 595 - Professional Orientation and Ethical Issues in C.C. - 3 credits
CSP 601 - Advanced Counseling Skills and Techniques - 1 credit
CSP 605 - Introduction to Family Counseling - 3 credits
CSP 656 - Group Counseling (Lecture and Lab) - 3 credits
CSP 676 - Counseling and Internship Seminar - 1-12 credit minimum
CSP 691 - Research and Evaluations in Schools and Community Agencies - 3 credits

One three credit elective in any subject. Course must be between 502-672 levels

Comprehensive Examination

Students are required to pass the comprehensive examination. Examinations are scheduled fall and spring semesters.