The Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling is a 60-credit degree which results in graduates' eligibility to take the New York State exam for licensure as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.
This CACREP-accredited program is offered by the Department of Counselor Education.
Admission to the Program
The application process is managed by the Center for Graduate Studies.
There is no single factor or test score to determine student admission to the Master of Science in Education. However, a bachelor's degree is required, with an expected minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Data used to reach an admissions decision include:
- an online graduate application with the student's written objective for entering the program;
- all undergraduate and graduate transcripts;
- three letters of recommendation (from an employer, a professor, and a character reference);
- responses to an online audio client simulation exercise; and
- a group interview (see below).
- spontaneous writing sample completed during the interview.
After reviewing these data, the Counselor Education faculty discusses all information regarding each applicant. The decision to accept or reject an applicant lies wholly within the jurisdiction of the department.
After reviewing submitted materials, selected applicants are invited to a group interview that involves all Counselor Education faculty and approximately eight to 12 applicants. This interview assesses sensitivity, oral/verbal ability, communication skills (including feedback), self-awareness and interpersonal skills.
Students must meet the College's standards for graduate study.
- Students are expected to have completed an undergraduate statistics course with a grade of "C" or better. If a student has not taken an undergraduate statistics course, the student must meet with his or her advisor to discuss this. The student must take and pass, with a "C" or better, an undergraduate statistics course approved by his or her advisor before taking EDC 606 or 685. This undergraduate credit will not be counted in the credits required for the MS degree.
- Students are encouraged to consult course descriptions for prerequisites.
- EDC 503: Self in Society - Mental Health Counselor
- EDC 602: Counseling Concepts
- EDC 603: Group Counseling Concepts
- EDC 604: Career Development Concepts
- EDC 606: Research and Program Evaluation
- EDC 612: The Human Experience
- EDC 614: Contemporary Issues
- EDC 685: Measurement and Evaluation
- EDC 720: Integration and Application of Basic Concepts
- EDC 721: Clinical Experience for Integration
- Workshop: Child Abuse Reporting
- EDC 613: Diagnosis and Treatment Planning in Counseling
- EDC 615: Counseling in Mental Health Settings
- EDC 617: Leadership and Advocacy
- HCS 509 Introduction to Alcohol and other Drugs
- EDC 724: Implementation I - Mental Health Counselor
- EDC 735: Clinical Experience for Implementation I
- EDC 730: Implementation II - Mental Health Counselor
- TWO graduate elective courses by advisement
Licensure & Certification
Graduates from the CACREP-approved Clinical Mental Health Counseling program earn a Master’s of Science and are eligible to pursue New York State licensure as a Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). Upon graduation, students apply for a limited permit, which is the initial phase of counselor licensure. Upon acquiring 3,000 hours of post-master’s supervised work experience in an approved mental health setting and passing the Clinical Mental Health Exam, the counselor then applies to have the limited permit converted to a license to practice mental health counseling. The license allows employment in New York State certified Office of Mental Health (NYSOMH) clinics, PROS (Personal Recovery Oriented Services), inpatient, and other programs. It also creates access to most managed care provider panels and authorization to conduct one’s own private counseling practice. The limited permit authorizes all of these activities except a private counseling practice.
Students have the option to pursue a CASAC-T (New York State Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor-Trainee) certification. Upon earning the CASAC-T, completing the required chemical dependency work experience hours, and passing the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC) examination for Alcohol and Drug Counselors, the individual becomes a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC).
MS students complete all of the CASAC-T required training hours with the exception of one course, which can be taken as an elective:
- HCS 545 Psychopharmacology of Drugs and Alcohol