Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Post-Master's Certificate
For further information: CMHCGrad@southernct.edu
January 15 for fall semester; September 1 for spring semester.
Please note, this certificate program is not accredited by CACREP.
Post-Masters Certificate in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
This respecialization certificate prepares students who already have a School Counseling Masters for work as a Counselor and satisfies the degree requirements for licensure as a Professional Counselor from the Connecticut State Department of Public Health. The certificate includes 20 credits of required coursework – 12 credits of course content and 8 credits of fieldwork. Candidates are required to complete a 600-hour supervised internship placement within a clinical mental health counseling setting.
Candidates for this certificate program must hold a Master’s Degree in School Counseling. In addition, candidates must complete prerequisite courses in psychology and have a course related to the treatment of substance abuse. No comprehensive exam or thesis is required.
Please note that completion of a graduate 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.
A criminal record is a required component of Licensure as a Professional Counselor. Additionally, some sites require fingerprinting and a criminal check when working vulnerable populations, such as children or prisoners.
Admissions Criteria for Post-Master’s Certificate in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Candidates for the program are evaluated on the following criteria:
- Applicants should have a strong academic background and/or potential, as evidenced by a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. For applicants with undergraduate GPAs between 2.5 and 3.0, GPA Waivers may be possible under certain circumstances, with program faculty and university approval. For information on how to increase your undergraduate GPA to above a 2.5, you can use a GPA calculator to identify how many courses you would need to improve your GPA.
- Applicants should have a Masters Degree in School Counseling.
- Applicants should have 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 one recommendation must be from an academic reference (e.g., professor).
- Applicants should submit a clear, well-written 500-word essay describing the basis of their interest in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at SCSU.
- Applicants should have some experience, either volunteer or professional, in a helping role, as demonstrated on their resume.
- Applicants should illustrate potential as a counselor, interpersonal skills, and knowledge of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling field within an admissions interview, if invited.
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 be considered for admission to the program in the following spring, all admission materials must be received by September 1.
In order to apply to the program, please follow the steps below:
- 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.
- Send official transcripts from ALL institutions where you have completed coursework to:
Southern Connecticut State University
School of Graduate and Professional Studies
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.
- Upload Personal Essay to the portal to which you logged in to apply. The essay should
address why the applicant wishes to become a Clinical Mental Health Counselor and
attend SCSU's CMHC program.
- Upload a Current Resume or Vita to the portal to which you logged in to apply.
- Have three recommenders upload their recommendation forms and letters directly into the system via a personalized link sent to them when you applied. Please make sure you provided the recommendation form to anyone you list as a recommender, as it is required. At least one recommendation should be from someone who can speak to your academic skills.
Program Sequence - 20 Credits
The Post-Masters Certificate in Clinical Mental Health Counseling consists of courses in advanced counseling, professional and ethical issues, and fieldwork, which are required for Professional Counselor Licensure in the State of Connecticut. The programs in the Post-Masters Certificate in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (20 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.
Masters in School Counseling
CSP 521 - Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders *Open to Non-Matriculated Students - 3 credits
Advanced CMHC Courses
CSP 595 - Orientation and Ethics in Clinical Mental Health Counseling - 3 credits
CSP 571 - Diagnosis of Psychological Disorders - 3 credits
CSP 554 - Treatment of Psychological Disorders - 3 credits
CSP 549 - Crisis Counseling - 3 credits
Internship at a counseling and fieldwork site
CSP 676 - Internship & Seminar in Clinical Mental Health Counseling - 4 credits (2 semesters, for a total of 8 credits)