Master of Arts (M.A.) Counseling—CMHC Degree
Make positive change as a CMHC counselor
Empower others to build—and sustain—happy and healthy lives.
At Valparaiso University, our clinical mental health counseling master’s program equips you with the tools and techniques to promote the well-being of individuals, families, organizations, and communities in diverse settings. Our CACREP-accredited mental health counseling graduate program provides advanced guidance and teaching in the classroom, along with 1,000 hours of supervised clinical training experience in the field—preparing you for licensure in Indiana and in most U.S. states.
You’ll develop a strong professional identity, build knowledge of cultural diversity and spirituality, and advance your competencies to become a licensed clinical mental health counselor.
Become a clinical mental health counselor in just two years
What makes Valpo one of the best master’s in counseling programs? Unlike other M.A. counseling and mental health counseling graduate programs, at Valpo you can complete your coursework in as little as two years, or you can pursue our graduate degree as a part-time student.
You’ll also be able to take the national counseling exam during your final semester at Valpo—instead of waiting until after graduation—which helps you become a licensed clinical mental health counselor more quickly.
M.A. counseling degree
Why study M.A. counseling at Valpo?
At Valpo, our clinical mental health counseling master’s program equips you with the knowledge and skills to make an impact on individuals from diverse populations across their lifespan. You’ll find that what makes our accredited degree one of the best CMHC counselor programs is:
Highly experienced faculty
All our CMHC degree faculty members practice in the field and are actively engaged in research with our graduate students. Our faculty members specialize in areas such as animal behavior, cognitive psychology, forensic and legal psychology, organizational psychology, and much more.
Hands-on practicums and internships
Graduate students complete a practicum and three supervised semesters of internships—totaling 1,000 hours—within Valpo’s mental health counseling graduate program. You’ll have ample opportunities to practice in a variety of settings with diverse populations. Some of our recent graduate students have gained expertise in hospitals, residential programs, and outpatient centers, or in couples therapy, family therapy, and with trauma and domestic violence victims.
Opportunities to connect with classmates
Valpo students participate in professional organizations that help our CMHC degree students connect and network outside the classroom, including Counselors for Social Justice and Chi Sigma lota, the national counseling honor society. Through these groups, our students have worked in the community with Habitat for Humanity, raised money and awareness for mental health efforts, and much more.
Courses you will take in the M.A. counseling program
Valpo’s clinical mental health counseling master’s program provides you with a broad-based learning experience in the basics of counseling theories and practices, as well as social and cultural basis of counseling. You can expect to take core coursework in:
- Community and Mental Health Counseling
- Foundations of Professional and Ethical Issues in Counseling
- Human Development: Biological and Learned Bases of Behavior
Our CMHC degree also allows students to take elective classes in areas such as couples counseling, counseling and addictions, marriage and family counseling, and sibling abuse trauma. As part of your program, you will complete 1,000 hours of supervised training — preparing you for a rewarding career as a CMHC counselor.
What can you do with your clinical mental health counseling master’s program degree?
Valpo’s accredited mental health counseling graduate program, one of the best master’s in clinical mental health counseling programs in Indiana, equips you with the knowledge and know-how to work with a variety of clients within diverse care settings.
Where are M.A. counseling graduates working?
You will find alumni of Valpo’s mental health counseling graduate program working in clinics as directors and supervisors; as family, couples, and child-focused clinicians; in hospitals and residential care treatment facilities, as well as in mental health clinics; working with veterans; and in private practice.
More about our CMHC counselor careers:
- 100% CMHC counselor job placement rate over the past five years
- 97% average pass rate on the National Counseling Exam over the past five years
- CMHC counselor career opportunities are expected to grow 23% through 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Hear from our clinical mental health counseling master’s program students
“I decided to apply after talking to a professional about potential career paths related to psychology, and this seemed like a great opportunity. The process was simple, and faculty were more than happy to help when I had questions. I’m really looking forward to taking the rest of the classes and being exposed to the numerous connections this program in the surrounding area.”
— Alanna Pelz ’23, M.A. CMHC
Get started on your CMHC degree
Take the next step toward becoming a clinical mental health counselor and get in touch! We have the resources to answer all your questions and help you get started. See more about our program successes here.