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MS - Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Those seeking to expand their understanding of clinical counseling theories and practices and also study foundational topics in areas of addiction, human sexuality, and psychotherapy would benefit from Capella University's Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. Find out more here.

Official Program Name:

Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

School Offering Program:

Capella University

Degree Level:


Program Prerequisites:

Before enrolling in this program, students should have an academic background in psychology or counseling and might have some professional experience in clinics or mental health centers. Strong analytical, listening, and communication skills would prove beneficial to these students. Applicants to Capella University should have a high school diploma or equivalent; some programs may have additional requirements.

Program Description:

Counseling assessments, interventions, and approaches are among the main focuses of Capella University's Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. Topics students could expect to explore in this program include counselor roles, crisis intervention strategies, psychotherapy theories, cultural influences on counseling, and the application of mental health counseling theories and practices. Courses also address human sexuality and psychosexual approaches to sexuality issues; adolescent and child development; intervention strategies for families and married couples; and group counseling methods. A practicum and two-part internship total 700 hours in clinical experiences, wherein students develop clinical skills in assessments, interventions, and consultations, and a two-track face-to-face residency focuses on the development of various skills, such as those in crisis intervention, group therapy, and ethical and legal practices. This program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and could help students prepare for state licensure eligibility.

Learning Format:


Program Length:

90 credits.

Financial Aid Available:

Eligible students could be able to receive financial aid in the forms of grants, loans, and scholarships. Contact Capella University's financial aid office for more information.

Tuition, Financial Aid & Start Dates

Since every student is different, there isn't a "one size fits all" for school information. Start dates and tuition often vary between selected programs, and financial aid opportunities are unique to each student's circumstances. Complete the form to the right to get the most up-to-date and accurate information based on your selected program and circumstances.

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Required Courses for a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling:

Students of this program must complete 90 credits to earn this degree; this total includes 22 credits in residencies and internships. Degree program and course requirements are subject to change. Contact Capella University to confirm the most accurate information before enrolling in a program.

Core Courses (90 credits)

  • Survey of Research in Human Development for Professional Counselors
  • Survey of Research Methodology
  • Assessments, Tests, and Measures
  • Principles of Psychopathology and Diagnosis
  • Foundations of Addiction and Addictive Behavior
  • Ethical and Legal Issues in Professional Counseling
  • Introduction to Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Human Sexuality
  • Crisis Assessment and Intervention
  • Theories of Psychotherapy
  • Child and Adolescent Counseling
  • Marriage and Family Systems
  • Life Planning and Career Development
  • Counseling and Advocacy with Diverse Populations
  • Mental Health Counseling Approaches and Interventions
  • Group Counseling and Applications in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Applied Research and Program Evaluation in Mental Health Counseling
  • Advanced Mental Health Counseling Approaches and Interventions: Residency Track 1
  • Advanced Mental Health Counseling Approaches and Interventions: Residency Track 2
  • Mental Health Counseling Clinical Practicum
  • Mental Health Counseling Clinical Internship 1
  • Mental Health Counseling Clinical Internship 2

Post-Graduation Opportunities

Furthering Your Education:

Graduates of the MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program who desire to advance in the fields of counseling or psychotherapy might enroll in a doctoral degree program. A doctorate would typically be needed to work as licensed psychologists, clinical directors, or psychotherapists, and even for some academic positions in colleges or universities.

Doctoral degrees graduates might be prepared to pursue include, but are not limited to:

  • Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
  • Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology
  • Doctor of Psychology in Addiction Psychology

Career Paths:

Once they have completed all of the requirements for the Master of Science - Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, graduates who obtain necessary state licensure as needed could pursue advanced counseling opportunities in psychiatric hospitals, community health centers, mental health clinics, social services agencies, residential treatment centers, or prisons. They might be responsible for assessing clients, designing treatment plans, monitoring client progress, and generating evaluation reports. A career in academics, such as counseling instructor, could also be considered.

Professional opportunities for graduates include:

  • Mental health counselor
  • Counselor/vocational counselor
  • Substance abuse counselor
  • Behavioral health counselor
  • Licensed mental health counselor

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