Prepare to meet growing demand for licensed counselors and make a difference in your community with a master’s in clinical mental health counseling. Counseling professionals help people cope with personal challenges and lead happier, more resilient lives. As more Americans recognize the benefits of counseling to improve their mental health, strengthen their relationships and remove the barriers to achieving their goals, this field will only continue to flourish.
- What Can You Do with a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling?
- How to Get a Mental Health Counseling Degree Online
- Is a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Worth It?
- Curriculum and Degree Requirements
- Admission Requirements
- CACREP Assessment
With a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling, you can make a positive impact as a counselor in a number of settings, including:
- Private Practice
- Clinical Mental Health Centers
- Community Agencies
- Correctional Facilities
Clinical counseling is a branch of psychology concerned with treating people for mental health as well as emotional and relationship issues. A master’s in clinical mental health counseling program covers the skills needed to assess patients, diagnose mental disorders—like anxiety and depression—and deliver effective treatment. You’ll learn both the theory and practice of working closely with patients in individual, group and family settings. You’ll also explore counseling strategies for diverse populations—from children to the elderly.
Many counseling roles require a master’s degree. This is especially true if you intend to provide certain kinds of services, like one-on-one counseling sessions. In addition, all states require mental health counselors to earn a license. Check with your state to learn more about education requirements for licensure.
An educational background in mental health counseling could also prepare you for a variety of other career paths in the human services field. These may include:
- Health Educator
- Community Health Worker
- Social Administrator
- Rehabilitation Counselor
- Regulatory Affairs Director
- Postsecondary Teacher
Online learning offers a flexible way to pursue your graduate degree in clinical mental health counseling on your own schedule. Here’s how to get started:
- Map your career path. Don’t wait until after graduation to decide you want to become a licensed professional counselor (LPC). The amount and type of education needed for counseling roles varies based on where you plan to work. So, you’ll need to choose a mental health counseling program that fulfills your state’s licensure requirements.
- Choose your program. Not every online mental health counseling program covers the in-person experience you need to gain expertise as a counselor and pursue licensure in your state. Look for a program that includes practicum and internship experiences in your community. In addition, consider choosing a program accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). CACREP accredits programs that meet national standards of quality and relevance to the counseling profession. University of the Cumberlands is one of the only higher education institutions to offer CACREP-accredited programs online.
- Pursue your studies. Students can earn a master’s in clinical mental health counseling in as few as two years of full-time study. If you plan to pursue licensure, don’t forget to factor in time to fulfill a period of post-degree supervised clinical work, a time requirement that varies by state.
For many students, earning a master’s in clinical mental health counseling is an investment in a rewarding career helping others live their best lives. Consider the following reasons to earn your master’s in this growing field:
- High demand. In coming years, jobs should be plentiful for licensed mental health counselors. Projected growth for this career path (together with substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors) should reach 25 percent by 2029—much faster than average for all professions. This is due to an increase in the number of people seeking counseling, including populations like military veterans. In addition, rural and underserved communities are in particular need of mental health counselors.
- A career to build a life around. In 2019, the top 10 percent of mental health counselors earned over $76,080 per year, and the median salary for this role was $46,240. Some counselors may go on to start a private practice, pursue roles in leadership or even teach at the postsecondary level.
- Job satisfaction. Counseling is a chance to guide patients through difficult times, such as grief, mental illness or relationship problems. For the right person, helping patients improve their mental health and happiness is the greatest reward.
The online Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at University of the Cumberlands is designed to prepare students for leadership and service as licensed counselors. As with all of UC’s graduate counseling programs, this program features 48 credit hours of core coursework in counseling, including psychological assessment in clinical practice, human growth and development, and counseling during grief and crisis. Our curriculum includes a 100-hour practicum and two 300-hour counseling internships, so you’ll have the opportunity to apply your skills in a real-world context. The program also requires 12 additional credit hours of specialized courses in clinical mental health counseling:
• Private Practice and Clinical Supervision
• Marriage and Family Counseling
• Child and Adolescent Counseling
• Advanced Counseling Theories and Techniques
As an institution grounded in Christian principles and leadership through service, University of the Cumberlands seeks to foster empathy, personal responsibility and a drive to change the world. After earning your graduate degree in clinical mental health counseling, you will be able to demonstrate sound ethical values and compassion for humanity. And, you’ll be ready to pursue licensure and start making a difference as a counselor-leader.
Costs for programs of study at University of the Cumberlands are competitive and affordable. Click here to view tuition rates and fees.
Click here to view admission requirements, admission cycles, and application deadlines.
The CACREP Council accredits the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, Addiction Counseling program, PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision, and the related Doctorate of Educational Leadership Online (EdD) Program. CACREP is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) that accredits counselor-preparation graduate degree programs. University of the Cumberlands is one of the only higher education institutions to offer CACREP-accredited programs online.
CACREP accreditation ensures that our programs meet national standards of quality and relevance to the profession. Graduates benefit from a CACREP-accredited program because it can provide tremendous benefits for their future.
CACREP Outcomes for the Department of Counseling at University of Cumberlands:
Program Evaluation Outcomes Report: 2015-2018
Click here to view University of the Cumberlands' accreditation information.
Click here to view a list of the clinical mental health faculty.