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If you’re passionate about helping people navigate life’s challenges, the MS in clinical mental health counseling specialization from Capella University can help you develop clinical expertise to become a practicing counseling professional. This CACREP-accredited program covers the theories and practical skills you need to assess and diagnose mental health disorders, provide evidence-based interventions, and empower people to live happier and healthier lives. You’ll emerge with the training and confidence to pursue state licensure and positively impact the mental, behavioral, and emotional health of your clients.
Use the code SPRING to waive the $50 application fee.
Enroll in a qualified program and apply for a $5,000 Capella Progress Reward, a scholarship to help fund your master’s degree.
Applicants to the MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program must provide the following information for admission:
GRE and GMAT are not required for admission.
International student requirements
If you completed your most recent academic coursework, degree, or credential at an institution outside the United States, regardless of your citizenship or where you currently live, you are considered an international applicant.
In addition to the above admission requirements, you will need to submit these materials:
Learn more about international student admissions.
A structured learning format with an active peer community and faculty guidance. We’ll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines.
$487 per credit, 90 total quarter credits, 20 max transfer credits
*This is only an estimate, using general program pricing, and it does not include fees (including application and resource kit fees). Your price may be higher or lower depending on your specialization, transfer credits, and tuition discounts. If transfer credits are allowed in this offering, the prices above show what you would pay if you brought in the average number of transfer credits and the price if you brought in the maximum allowed transfer credits.
Questions about cost?
Contact an enrollment counselor.
“I love learning online because of the flexibility it affords me. I’ve taken conference calls on the porch at my cabin and at the hospital while my grandchild was born. When you want something badly enough, you just always find a way to make it work.”
Dr. Regina Marsters* – MS Clinical Mental Health Counseling, PhD in Psychology
*Actual Capella student who agreed to appear in Capella promotional materials.
Introduction to Clinical Mental Health Counseling
This course is an introduction to current practices and trends in the clinical mental health counseling profession. Learners analyze the effects of current issues and public policy on the practice of clinical mental health counseling. Learners examine professional counselors’ roles in a variety of health service delivery modalities within the continuum of care. In addition, learners review models and strategies of professional consultation and supervision.
|4 quarter credits|
Theories of Psychotherapy
This course presents various theories of psychotherapy and their respective philosophical principles and assumptions. Learners evaluate the theoretical concepts and evidence-based practices of psychotherapy and examine appropriate application of theories and interventions to a diverse client population. For MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MS in Marriage and Family Therapy, MS in School Counseling degree program and Contemporary Theory in Addictive Behavior, Contemporary Theory in Mental Health Services, Contemporary Theory in School-Based Services, and Systemic Couple and Family Therapy graduate certificate learners only.
|4 quarter credits|
Principles of Psychopathology and Diagnosis
Learners in this course examine psychopathology principles, professional literature, and current issues associated with assessing mental disorders. Learners critically evaluate diagnostic models, methods, and approaches used in diagnosing and treating individuals, couples, and families. Learners also explore the current DSM classifications and diagnostic issues associated with multicultural populations. For MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MS in Marriage and Family Therapy, MS in School Counseling degree program and Contemporary Theory in Addictive Behavior, Contemporary Theory in Mental Health Services, Contemporary Theory in School-Based Services, and Systemic Couple and Family Therapy graduate certificate learners only. Prerequisite(s): MS Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy learners must have completed COUN5220, COUN5270, COUN5820, COUN-R5821. MS Clinical Mental Health Counseling learners must have completed COUN-R5831. MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners must have completed SWK5013.
|4 quarter credits|
Mental Health Counseling Approaches and Interventions
This course cultivates foundational concepts and relationship-building skills, while integrating introductory application of assessment, therapeutic interventions, and ethical and legal standards. Learners apply theories, methods, and practices of clinical mental health counseling. For MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MS in Marriage and Family Therapy, MS in School Counseling degree program and Contemporary Theory in Addictive Behavior, Contemporary Theory in Mental Health Services, Contemporary Theory in School-Based Services, and Systemic Couple and Family Therapy graduate certificate learners only. COUN-R5831 must be taken the quarter immediately following COUN5830. Prerequisite(s): COUN5004, COUN5217, COUN5223, COUN5239, COUN5336.
|4 quarter credits|
Group Counseling and Applications in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
This course presents group theoretical models and developing interventions. Topics include types of groups, developmental aspects of group counseling, group dynamics and processes, group leadership and membership roles, and ethical awareness in relation to groups. Learners continue to integrate mental health counseling theories and methods within clinical practice. For MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MS in Marriage and Family Therapy, MS in School Counseling degree program and Contemporary Theory in Addictive Behavior, Contemporary Theory in Mental Health Services, Contemporary Theory in School-Based Services, and Systemic Couple and Family Therapy graduate certificate learners only. COUN-R5833 must be taken the quarter immediately following COUN5832. Prerequisite(s): COUN-R5831, COUN5106, COUN5107, COUN5108, COUN5238. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.
|4 quarter credits|
*Course has prerequisite(s). See catalog for details.
This program will help prepare candidates to assess the information needs for effective strategy and innovation and identify, access, and collaborate on the appropriate sources for that information. On successful completion of this degree and specialization, you will be able to:
The CACREP-accredited MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling can prepare you for clinical mental health counseling roles in public organizations, institutional settings, or private practice. A combination of academic study and clinical training helps you establish professional standards and ethics of the mental health counseling profession, including: assessment, diagnosis, treatment, intervention, and sensitivity to the complex mental health needs of a multicultural society. This specialization requires coursework and clinical experience.
On successful completion of this program, you should be able to:
Review the Capella career exploration guide to learn more about this program and career paths to explore.
Your education can help you reach your professional and personal goals. While Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific career outcome, such as a job title, promotion, or salary increase, we encourage you to explore potential jobs and employment settings. Here are some ideas and examples for a graduate with an MS in clinical mental health counseling specialization.
Job titles to explore
Employment settings to explore
*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.
It is important to understand all educational and individual requirements for licensing. Capella University cannot guarantee licensure, certification, or endorsement. State regulations vary regarding professional licensure. It is your responsibility to understand and comply with requirements for your state. Here are some resources to help you start your research:
Our distinguished faculty members hold top credentials in their fields. They’re here to teach you critical knowledge and skills and to help enrich your education and career by bringing real-world relevance to the courseroom.
As president of the American Counseling Association, Simone Lambert, PhD, hopes to advocate for the profession.
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