clinical mental health counselor degree

Mental Health Counseling

Earn Your Clinical Mental Health Counseling Degree at GMercyU

Family crises. Grief and loss. Substance abuse. These and other issues that affect mental health touch every person over the course of a lifetime. If you want to offer skilled support and empowerment to those in need, become a clinical mental health counselor with Gwynedd Mercy University.

The GMercyU Difference - Clinical Mental Health Master’s Program

Consistent with the mission of our Counseling Program, the clinical mental health program offers the theoretical knowledge and practical skills development you need to prepare for entry-level professional practice.

Our scientist-practitioner model offers the rigorous academic, professional, and personal development necessary to prepare you for competence in mental health counseling. In addition, our program empowers you to act as an advocate for social justice and mental wellness for all.

Once you begin the program, we consider you a working professional, and will hold you to the high standards expected of any practitioner—standards we know you can achieve. With personal attention and mentorship from our experienced faculty, you can find your personal counseling identity and prepare for a meaningful career.

Admission Requirements – Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling

We will consider you for admission to our online clinical mental health master’s degree based on your academic ability, expression of interests and goals, life experience, and personal interview.
 
To apply, you must:

  1. Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education;
  2. Demonstrate completion of the following undergraduate prerequisites:
    1. 3 credits in General Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Theory or another foundational course
    2. 3 credits in Research Methods or Statistics;
  3. Submit official transcripts from all academic institutions attended;
  4. Demonstrate achievement of a minimum grade point average (GPA) of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (see below if your GPA was lower than 3.0 and you do not currently hold a graduate degree);
  5. Complete of the Gwynedd Mercy University Graduate Application and pay the application fee;  
  6. Submit of two letters of recommendation from:
    1. An academic who can attest to your academic ability (preferred), and
    2. A professional or supervisor who can attest to your professional qualification, abilities, and temperament for the field.  
  7. Complete a personal statement (3-5 pages maximum) that address the following:
    1. Who you are and your reasons for choosing a career in clinical mental health counseling;
    2. Why you have chosen GMercyU’s online clinical mental health counseling program;
    3. What being a clinical mental health counselor means to you, and personal characteristics that make you uniquely suited for such a career;
    4. Your expectations of learning in an online program and your ability to meet those expectations;
    5. How you plan to complete the field placement demands of the program.
  8. Attend a personal interview with program staff.


NOTE: If your GPA was lower than 3.0, you must provide proof of acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).  We require a combined score of 292 or higher, and you must also complete the analytical writing test.

The GRE requirement is waived for applicants who currently hold a graduate degree or applicants who achieved a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Transfer Credit

You may transfer up to six (6) credits of graduate work completed at an accredited institution for comparable courses into the GMercyU program, provided you earned at least a B in each course. Transfer credit decisions are made on an individual basis.  

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Curriculum

Our master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling consists of 60 credits of course work. The core curriculum makes up 30 of those credits, and the other 30 are within the concentration.

These courses include:
•    CNS 502: Counseling Agencies - 3 credits
•    CNS 503: DSM/Psychopathology - 3 credits
•    CNS 506: Marriage and Family Counseling - 3 credits
•    CNS 536: Group Counseling and Facilitation Skills - 3 credits
•    CNS 600: Internship I (CMH) - 3 credits
•    CNS 601: Internship II (CMH) - 3 credits
•    CNS 602: Internship III (CMH) - 3 credits
•    CNS: Electives - 9 credits

To review course descriptions, please refer to the graduate catalog (PDF).


You will complete a total of 100 hours of practicum experience, plus 600 total hours of supervised internship, divided among three internship sites. This will prepare you for eligibility for License as a Professional Counselor (LPC) in the State of Pennsylvania. Graduates from the program must pass the National Counselor Exam and fulfill the required post-degree supervision requirements to earn the LPC credential in the State of Pennsylvania.

Help Those in Need with a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Our 60-credit degree prepares you to provide compassionate, clinically sound support to individuals and families within the context of coping with short- or long-term mental health problems. You will develop theoretical knowledge of personal development, family dynamics, and psychopathologies, along with practical skills for conducting interventions and guiding individual or group counseling sessions.

Designed for part-time students, this clinical mental health counselor degree combines online courses with two weekend residencies and field experiences. You can complete your degree in as little as three and a half years.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Career Outcomes

Potential job titles related to this degree include:
•    Behavior Analyst
•    Behavior Support Specialist
•    Case Manager
•    Clinician
•    Correctional Counselor
•    Counselor
•    Mental Health Counselor
•    Mental Health Specialist
•    Mental Health Therapist
•    Therapist

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the May 2016 median annual wage for mental health counselors in the top industries that employed them was:

•    Government: $50,840
•    Hospitals; state, local, and private: $46,390
•    Individual and family services: $41,720
•    Outpatient mental health and substance abuse centers: $41,650
•    Nursing and residential care facilities: $36,800

The BLS predicts that new job openings for mental health counselors will grow by 23% over the 2016-2026 period, resulting in up to 36,500 jobs. This is much faster than the 7% job growth rate across all occupations.