Counseling Psychology Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling

The 60-credit Mental Health Counseling Program has been approved by the New York State Office of Professions and can lead to a license in Mental Health Counseling. It includes the “core” offering of the other programs, and allows students to define their clinical interests through selection of clientele and sites for internship. Clinical practice sites include the full range of mental health services and agencies.

The Master of Science program in Mental Health Counseling is designed to prepare counselors to assume the full range of professional responsibilities required to function in a wide array of community human service agencies and organizations, including psychiatric and substance abuse settings. Our training model, which integrates behavioral science theories with practitioner skills, is based on the assumption that the effective counselor has a strong understanding of the theoretical and scientific bases of professional concepts and techniques.

Two other assumptions underlie the program. The first assumption is that counselors are involved in facilitating positive interactions between individuals and their environments. For this reason, counselors work within a variety of client "systems" such as families, peer groups, job settings, educational settings, and any other significant interpersonal or organizational contexts. Contemporary counseling is not solely based on one-to-one counseling relationships but also involves the use of group methods, consulting relationships, community resources, and training. Counselors are prepared to intervene effectively in these contexts using skills and perspectives derived from various theoretical orientations.

The second major assumption is that one of the counselor's primary goals is to facilitate human growth and development. The goal of enhancing development is applicable to all human beings. As such, our training program focuses on the developing skills and knowledge for educational and preventive roles as well as for the more traditional remedial or therapeutic roles. In addition, our program's commitment to human diversity is manifested in coursework as well as fieldwork placements. A dedication to facilitating development in a culturally sensitive fashion underlies our training philosophy.

Given these program goals and assumptions, the curriculum includes both comprehensiveness and depth. To these ends, admission requirements include 15 credit hours of psychology including statistics, abnormal psychology, and personality. The full-time program curriculum includes a research/assessment sequence, an intervention theory/techniques sequence, a fieldwork sequence, and electives.

Program of Study

The program requires a minimum of 60 graduate credits distributed as follows:

  1. Specialized courses in Counseling as follows: (36 credits)
    Cpy 521, 601, 603, 604, 607, 608, 612, 614, 627, 630, and 667 and Psy 524;
  2. Fieldwork in Counseling: (15 credits)
    Cpy 602, 606;
  3. Electives as advised: (9 credits).

**Special requirement - A two-hour training program in mandated child abuse reporting.**

Master's Comprehensive Examination

Students in the Mental Health Counseling program must satisfactorily complete a comprehensive examination. Students typically take the examination in their last fall semester, but must take it within one calendar year of completion of coursework in their program of study. 

Students who fail the comprehensive examination may petition the faculty to re-take the exam. The second examination must be taken within a calendar year of the first attempt to pass the examination. Students must maintain active status in the program until they have successfully passed the comprehensive examination. Petitions to take a third examination will not be considered.  

Please note: This program requires an internship, field experience, study abroad component, or clinical experience requirement. Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet licensure requirements for certain professions. If you have concerns about this matter please contact the Dean’s Office of your intended academic program.

This program is approved for licensure or certification in New York State and the institution has not made a determination regarding the educational requirements for any other state.