Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

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Change Lives with a Counseling Master’s Degree

Prepare for a career that makes a lasting positive impact on individuals, families and your community with William James College. Our Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program combines rigorous study of evidence-based theory and practice with opportunities for mentorship and personal growth.

In two to three years of study, depending on the program options you choose, you can be ready to help make a difference as a clinical mental health counselor. All applicants may be eligible for a $10,000 scholarship.

Program Features

  • On-campus program includes optional program-specific areas of emphasis in Forensic and Correctional Counseling, Health and Behavioral Medicine, Couples and Family Therapy, and Substance Use and Addictions
  • Online or on-campus study available
  • Curriculum meets requirements for Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) eligibility.
  • Program structure coordinates coursework and experiential learning, so you can put theory into practice right away
  • Coursework integrates professional ethics, cultural sensitivity and social justice principles
  • Receive personalized academic advising, with a low 12:1 ratio of students to advisors

$10,000 Scholarship Opportunity

We are currently offering a $10,000 scholarship opportunity to all applicants to the MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Applicants will automatically be considered for the scholarship.

Program Format

Our MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is available online or on campus. Both programs cover 60 credits of coursework. Field experience includes at least 360 hours of practicum and 600 hours of internship.

On-Campus Program

  • Working students can take some coursework in a hybrid format
  • Multiple emphasis and concentration options
  • Time to completion: two years full-time, three years part-time, two and a half years if pursuing the Couples and Family Therapy emphasis option

Online Program

  • Low-residency program: online with two residencies
  • Time to completion: two years full-time or three years part-time
  • Students can choose to pursue a general-track degree or a college-wide concentration in Military and Veterans Psychology

Licensure Preparation

Both of our MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program formats satisfy academic requirements for licensure as a mental health counselor.

LMFT Option

On-campus students who choose the Couples and Family Therapy emphasis option will meet all the academic and field placement requirements to pursue licensure as a marriage and family therapist (LMFT) in Massachusetts. LMFT students will take an additional three credits of coursework for a total of 63 credits.

Emphasis Areas and Concentrations (On-Campus Students Only)

Shape your professional identity by choosing to pursue an emphasis or concentration option. These programs offer additional knowledge and skills development for a specific branch of counseling practice or for a specific population.

Note that all program emphasis options and most concentrations are for students enrolled in the on-campus MA CMHC program. Online students can pursue a general-track degree or the Military and Veterans Psychology school-wide concentration.

College-Wide Concentrations

College-wide concentrations are available for several William James College programs. Those offered for the MA CMHC include:

  • African and Caribbean Mental Health
  • Asian Mental Health
  • Global Mental Health
  • Latino Mental Health
  • LGBTQIA+ Studies
  • Military and Veterans Psychology

Learn more about each option by visiting the Concentrations page.

Program Emphasis Areas

  • General Track
    • Available to online or on-campus students, this program emphasis allows students to develop a broad base of mental health counseling skills that meet academic standards for licensure preparation.
  • Couples and Family Therapy (MFT)
    • Contribute to healing, increased understanding, and the forging of healthier relationships with our MFT program emphasis. Students who choose this specialty will take additional coursework to meet LMFT requirements.
  • Forensic and Correctional Counseling
    • Gain insight into how counseling and the criminal justice system interact with an emphasis area that equips you to serve in courts, correctional facilities, victims’ rights organizations, community settings, and much more.
  • Health and Behavioral Medicine
    • Become part of the drive for greater integration of behavioral health services within primary care and other medical settings. Build additional knowledge of the biopsychosocial model, stress response, and working within interdisciplinary teams.
  • Substance Use and Addictions
    • Pursue focused study in addictions and substance use to prepare for optional licensure as an alcohol and drug counselor (LADC), or for the national certified alcohol and drug counselor (CADC) designation.

Core Curriculum

Required (Core) Courses

  • COU CN500 – New Student Counseling Program Orientation
  • COU CX510 – Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • COU LS659 – Lifespan Development
  • COU PS635 – Professional Issues and Ethics
  • COU PA535 – Psychological Assessment for Counselors
  • COU CN520 – Psychopathology
  • COU SB515 or COU CN515 – Substance Use and Addiction Evaluation and Treatment
  • COU CC524 – Diversity, Difference and Inclusion
  • COU CN501 – Clinical Skills and Practicum I
  • COU CN502 – Practicum II
  • COU CD501 – Career Counseling
  • COU FX510 – Introduction to Family Therapy
  • COU GR501 – Group Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • COU CO500 – Consultation, Collaboration, and Community Partnerships

You may also take:

  • COU FS651 – Consultation, Collaboration and Testimony OR COU FX680 – Collaborative Consultation with Larger Systems
  • COU RS610 – Research and Program Evaluation
  • COU CN601 – Mental Health Counseling Internship I
  • COU CN602 – Mental Health Counseling Internship II

Elective Courses

If you earn your MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling online with us, or if you elect to pursue a general-track degree, you can choose three courses from the following:

  • COU HU535 – Spiritually-Oriented Psychotherapy
  • COU SB631 – Eating Disorders
  • COU TR602 – Trauma: Theory and Treatment
  • COU PR624 – Capstone Project Seminar

Request More Information

By clicking "Learn More" you agree to the disclosure
Clicking the "Learn More" button constitutes your express written consent to be called and/or texted by William James College at the number(s) you provided, regarding furthering your education. You understand that these calls may be generated using an automated technology.
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