Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling

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The Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling is a 60-credit degree, which results in graduates' eligibility to apply for a Limited Permit as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and 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:

  1. An online graduate application with the student's written objective for entering the program;
  2. All undergraduate and graduate transcripts;
  3. Contact information for three recommendations (from an employer, a professor, and a character reference); and
  4. A group interview (see below).

After reviewing these data, the Counselor Education faculty discusses all information regarding each applicant. The decision to accept or deny an applicant lies wholly within the jurisdiction of the department.


After reviewing submitted materials, selected applicants are invited to a group interview that involves 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.

Program Requirements

Students must meet the College's standards for graduate study.


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 613 Diagnosis and Treatment Planning in Counseling
  • EDC 614 Contemporary Issues
  • EDC 615 Counseling in Mental Health Settings
  • EDC 617 Leadership and Advocacy
  • EDC 685 Measurement and Evaluation
  • EDC 718 Pre-Practicum 
  • EDC 720 Integration and Application of Basic Concepts
  • EDC 721 Clinical Experience for Integration
  • EDC 724 Implementation I - Mental Health Counselor
  • EDC 730 Implementation II - Mental Health Counselor
  • HCS 509 Introduction to Alcohol and other Drugs

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

Additional Degree Requirements

  • Each course required for the degree for this program must be passed with a grade of 'B' or higher.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to: 

  1. Demonstrate self-care strategies appropriate to the counselor role
  2. Describe the effects of power and privilege for counselors and clients
  3. Describe how systemic and environmental factors affect human development, functioning, and behavior
  4. Identify strategies for advocating for diverse clients’ career and educational development and employment opportunities in a global economy
  5. Effectively use crisis intervention, trauma-informed, and community-based strategies, such as Psychological First Aid
  6. Effectively use ethical and culturally relevant strategies for designing and facilitating groups
  7. Effectively use ethical and culturally relevant strategies for selecting, administering, and interpreting assessment and test results
  8. Describe the importance of research in advancing the counseling profession, and can effectively critique research to inform counseling practice
  9. Demonstrate knowledge of principles, models, and documentation formats of biopsychosocial case conceptualization and treatment planning
  10. Demonstrate knowledge of mental health service delivery modalities within the continuum of care, such as inpatient, outpatient, partial treatment and aftercare, and the mental health counseling services networks
  11. Demonstrate knowledge of diagnostic process, including differential diagnosis and the use of current diagnostic classification systems, including the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD)
  12. Effectively use techniques and interventions for prevention and treatment of a broad range of mental health issues
  13. Demonstrate the following dispositions: self-awareness, integrity, counseling orientation, respect for human dignity and diversity, and professional commitment