2022–2023 Walden University Catalog (March 2022) 
    Feb 05, 2023  
2022–2023 Walden University Catalog (March 2022) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

CACREP logoThe MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program prepares students to identify and address the need for culturally and contextually relevant counseling and social change for individuals, communities, and society.

Learning Outcomes

The following Learning Outcomes are common to all MS in counseling programs. The competent and confident counseling professional will:

  1. Analyze the different roles and settings of a counselor.
  2. Apply sound ethical and legal practices in the work of a counselor. 
  3. Analyze cultural development theories and models. 
  4. Examine empirically based theories of human development.  
  5. Evaluate approaches of career development appropriate to diverse needs and life experiences.
  6. Examine appropriate evidence-based counseling practices for prevention and intervention.
  7. Apply essential counseling skills across multiple settings. 
  8. Select group facilitation strategies that are culturally and ethically relevant. 
  9. Analyze assessment procedures to support planning for appropriate counseling interventions.
  10. Evaluate research methods commonly used in the counseling profession. 

Graduates of the MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program will also be able to:

  1. Evaluate effective treatment strategies for addressing the needs of mental health clients.
  2. Choose appropriate diagnostic intervention processes to meet a broad range of mental health issues.
  3. Assess the impact of biological/neurological mechanisms on mental health.
  4. Develop strategies for interfacing with outside stakeholders (i.e., the legal system and behavioral health professionals).     

Degree Requirements

  • 90 total quarter credits for General Program
  • Foundation course (1 cr.)
  • Core courses (80 cr.)
  • Field experience: (9 cr.: 100-hour practicum; 600-hour internship)
  • Optional specialization courses (10 cr.)
  • Optional State Education Specialization (only for students with specific state requirements)
  • Professional Development Plan, licensure plan
  • 2 Pre-Practicum Labs (6 weeks online with 4 days of face-to-face or virtual synchronous sessions)
  • Group Lab (9 weeks online with 14 hours of live synchronous group)

Core Curriculum (General Program)

The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling consists of core coursework; two 4-day pre-practica, which include a 4-day face-to-face or virtual synchronous experience; a practicum; an internship; and the completion of a capstone. Core courses must be taken in the order presented. Additional courses may be taken at the end of the program of study to provide breadth and depth of learning.

Course Sequence

Students undertake courses in the following sequence.

Quarter Course Credits
1    1 cr.
   5 cr.
2    5 cr.
   5 cr.
  Eligible to take Pre-Practicum 1 -   (must be completed before COUN 6720)  
3    5 cr.
   5 cr.
4    5 cr.
   5 cr.
  Must complete Pre-Practicum 1 before moving forward  
5    5 cr.
   5 cr.
   0 cr.
  Eligible to take Pre-Practicum 2 -   (must be completed before COUN 6730)   
6    5 cr.
   5 cr.
7    5 cr.
   5 cr.
  Must complete Pre-Practicum 2 before moving forward  
8    5 cr.
   5 cr.
9    5 cr.
   3–5 cr.
10    3–5 cr.
11    3–5 cr.
  Optional specialization courses may be taken in Quarters 10 and 11 10 cr.




Walden University’s MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) as a mental health counseling program under the 2016 standards. CACREP is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and a requirement for licensure in many states.

Note on Licensure

The Walden University Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program is designed to prepare graduates to practice as a licensed professional counselor (LPC) or licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) in many states. However, the requirements for licensure as a LPC or LMHC vary greatly from state to state. Each state board that is responsible for regulating the practice of professional or mental health counseling has its own academic requirements and issues its own license to practice as a LPC or LMHC in that state.

Walden CMHC graduates may apply for licensure as a professional counselor, such as the LPC or LMHC, in most states. However, each state issues its own credential for an individual to be permitted to practice as a licensed professional or mental health counselor in that state. While Walden enrollment specialists can provide general information relating to the state-by-state educational requirements for mental health or professional counseling licensure or certification, it remains the student’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all requirements relating to field education experiences, licensing or certification, authorization, or endorsement for the state in which she or he resides. Walden makes no representations or guarantee that completion of its coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain state licensure, certification, authorization, endorsement, or other state credential. Licensure eligibility determinations are ultimately determined by the appropriate state board that issues the credential to practice.

Prospective students enrolling in licensure-leading programs are advised that relocation to another state may impact the student’s ability to complete field experiences and/or to obtain professional licensure, certification, or other credential in another state. Prospective students are advised to carefully review, evaluate, and understand the requirements of the applicable licensure board in the state in which they intend to relocate.