MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Mission statement

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program applies psychological and educational concepts and techniques to benefit individuals, families, and communities. This program is geared for academically and personally qualified students who evidence the capability and motivation to succeed in the helping professions. The program is national in scope and students from throughout the USA and Canada, as well as overseas, have been matriculates.

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is designed to provide advanced education and professional training in

  • Human Development
  • Appraisal
  • Biological and Learned Bases of Behavior
  • Research and Program Evaluation
  • Social and Cultural Foundations of Counseling
  • Professional Roles and Ethics
  • Counseling Theory and Practice
  • Mental Health Counseling Foundations
  • Group Processes
  • Contextual Dimensions of Counseling
  • Lifestyle and Career Development
  • Practical/clinical Skills for Counseling

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is particularly appropriate for persons who plan to seek licensure in Indiana (or states with similar statutes) as a clinical mental health counselor. In fact, professional licensure in Indiana and many other states exists only at this 60-credit level.

The joint programs in law and psychology or counseling intend to train individuals working in legal fields with appropriate knowledge and skills related to mental health work. The JD/CMHC program also offers the possibility of seeking licensure as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor.

Program philosophy

Instruction in clinical mental health counseling is founded upon commitment to the belief that individuals are capable, responsible, and valuable and that human service professionals should work to create conditions in which individuals, groups, and organizations value human beings and act accordingly. As reflective decision-makers, human service professionals value human potential and purposefully design policies, processes, and programs that facilitate the realization of that potential.

This commitment is reflected throughout each of the counseling program courses in a variety of ways. For example, the professional-in-training learns that practice is first and foremost a helping relationship that has as its foundation the dignity and respect of the parties involved. Further, diverse professional activities such as counseling assessment, consultation, and advocacy are characterized as problem-solving processes that involve a variety of key decision points. Numerous models are provided for students to consider when determining effective practice. Substantial skills development opportunities are provided to facilitate the transfer of conceptual knowledge to applied situations and settings.

Program objectives

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) Program provides students with training in the prevention, assessment, and treatment of individuals dealing with mental health problems. Individual, group, and family therapy are focused upon in this specialization. The curriculum is based upon the academic requirements for licensure in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in the State of Indiana.

The following broad goals have been established for students:

  • to increase knowledge of counseling theories and techniques;
  • to enhance ability to apply theory and techniques to diverse human problems in varied counseling settings;
  • to encourage acquisition of the knowledge and skills necessary for dealing effectively with gender, social, and cultural issues; and
  • to stimulate commitment to service designed to meet the needs of self, others, and society

In addition to the above broad goals, the clinical mental health program has four further objectives.

  • to provide a broad background in fields specifically connected with clinical mental health counseling;
  • to encourage ethical application of scientific knowledge and an investigative approach to the understanding of psychopathology and the practice of clinical assessment and intervention;
  • to prepare students for clinical practice through extensive course work in counseling theory and process and through intensive involvement in supervised practice; and
  • to develop a professional counseling identity through pursuit of appropriate certification, licensure, organizational affiliation, and ethical conduct

Curriculum Overview

Core Courses
15 credits
COUN 635 Introduction to Psychopathology
3 cr
COUN 640 Advanced Psychopathology
3 cr
COUN 660 Helping Relationships: Counseling Theories
3 cr
COUN 662 Helping Relationships: Counseling Processes
3 cr
COUN 693 Foundations of Professional & Ethical Issues in Counseling
3 cr
COUN 694 Counseling Proseminar (4 semesters)
0 cr
Advanced Courses
21 credits
PSY 602 Research Methods in Psychology
3 cr
COUN 545 Community & Health Counseling
3 cr
COUN 570 Assessment in Counseling Testing & Appraisal
3 cr
COUN 620 Human Development: Biological & Learned Bases of Behavior
3 cr
COUN 625 Social & Cultural Bases of Behavior
3 cr
COUN 664 Career Counseling: Appraisal & Intervention
3 cr
COUN 668 Group Counseling
3 cr
Experiential Training
12 credits
COUN 685 Counseling Practicum
3 cr
COUN 687 Counseling Internship (2 semesters)
6 cr
COUN 688 Advanced Counseling Internship
3 cr
Specialty Electives
12 credits
Twelve credits of specialty electives are required. It is recommended that students choose a minimum of 6 credits of their specialty electives from the list of applied courses. Family Counseling and Dynamics (COUN 665) and Substance Abuse Counseling (COUN 667) are especially recommended for those seeking licensure as a clinical mental health counselor. Students completing either the Business Management or Gerontology certificates should select their remaining 6 credits from the appropriate category below. Students interested in pursuing doctoral work are advised to select some of the research courses listed below.

A master’s thesis or research project is not required for the CMHC degree, but may be elected as part of the program.
Applied Courses (6 credits minimum recommended)
COUN 665 Family Counseling & Dynamics
3 cr
COUN 667 Substance Abuse Counseling
3 cr
COUN 671 Intellectual Assessment
3 cr
COUN 674 Assessment of Social & Emotional Functioning
3 cr
COUN 691 Advanced Topics in Counseling
3 cr
COUN 695 Independent Study
1-3 cr
PSY 565 Psychology & Law
3 cr
PSY 590 Special Topics in Psychology (with departmental approval)
1-3 cr
PSY 690 Special Topics in Psychology (with departmental approval)
3 cr
Business Management Courses
COUN 550 Psychological Foundations of Management
2 cr
COUN 651 Leadership & Team Development
2 cr
COUN 652 Developing People
2 cr
Gerontology Courses
COUN 532 Adulthood & Aging
3 cr
COUN 691 Topics: Psychosocial Interventions for the Aging
3 cr
Research Courses
COUN 692 Research Project
3-6 cr
COUN 698 Masters Research Proposal
3 cr
COUN 699 Masters Research Thesis
3 cr
Supporting Courses
COUN 535 Psychology of Personality
3 cr
PSY 550 Human Cognition
3 cr

More information on the program can be found in the Graduate Catalog and Student Handbook.

Click on the "Prospective Students" link to learn more about applying for a degree program.