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Master Degree Programs in Mental Health Counseling

Individuals interested in providing professional counseling services may enroll in a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling program. Programs will provide instruction in areas such as human development and counseling techniques.

Essential Information

Mental health counseling master's programs cover theories and techniques as they relate to the field and equip students to seek professional licensure in mental health counseling. A master's degree program generally consists of 48-60 semester hours of graduate study. Clinical experience is required for this master's degree program. In addition to a bachelor's degree and minimum GPA, schools may look for applicants with prior experience in the human services field.


Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling

Participants will learn about the field of mental health counseling through lecture-based courses and clinical experiences. Students take courses addressing counseling techniques and personality theories. Additional topics may include:

  • Developmental Issues
  • Multicultural Issues
  • Psychopathology

Popular Career Options

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics defines mental health counselors as practitioners who assist people with personal, family, educational, mental health and career problems. Those who pursue and complete the Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling program often become self-employed in independent service positions. Job titles may include:

  • Independent counselor
  • Psychiatric therapist
  • Adult psychotherapist
  • Child and adolescent psychotherapist
  • Group therapist

Continuing Education

To many, the Master of Mental Health Counseling degree plan is simply a stepping-stone toward becoming a doctor. Two major types of degrees to pursue after completion of a master's degree are the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychotherapy and the Medical Doctor (M.D.). At least one of these degrees is required to become a psychiatrist and gain the legal ability to prescribe medication to patients.

Students who aspire to be mental health counselors must go to graduate school to earn a mental health counseling master's degree. Through didactic and clinical training sessions, students are prepared for professional licensure. Graduates may pursue careers as professional counselors or therapists, or they can pursue doctoral degrees.


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