2022–2023 Walden University Catalog (September 2022) 
    Feb 06, 2023  
2022–2023 Walden University Catalog (September 2022)

MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

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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. Synthesize counseling knowledge into evidence-based treatment plans for promoting wellness. (Knowledge)
  2. Construct therapeutic relationships with diverse populations to promote social change. (Skills)
  3. Develop professional counselor behaviors in clinical settings to foster growth and wellness. (Dispositions)
  4. Develop a professional counselor identity relevant to clinical mental health counseling. (Knowledge)
  5. Evaluate unique client needs within clinical mental health settings. (Skills)
  6. Evaluate community needs in relation to clinical mental health settings and populations. (Skills)

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. 

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