M.Ed. in Counseling & Personnel Services (Clinical Mental Health Counseling)

Student Handbook [PDF]

The Master of Education (M.Ed) in Counseling and Personnel Services with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is designed for those who wish to engage in the practice of professional counseling in a community-based setting.

The program provides students with the knowledge base and clinical skills to provide mental health services through counseling and consultation in a variety of work settings.

The Clinical Mental Health Program has been accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. CACREP defines quality assurance for counselor preparation programs.

Kary Stivers

I chose the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program because after I graduate I will have the credentials to counsel an array of different populations in a variety of settings. The courses offered for the clinical mental health counseling specialization have, and will continue to prepare me to be a successful counselor in whatever ventures I pursue in the future.

Kary Stivers, Clinical Mental Health Counseling Student

Licensure and Certification

The coursework for the program fulfills the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) educational requirements to sit for the National Counselor Examination (NCE) for National Counselor Certification. The coursework and clinical practice experiences allow graduates to be licensed in most states. A graduate of the program can apply to the Kentucky Board of Licensed Professional Counselors to have his/her credentials evaluated to become a licensed professional counselor associate (LPCA). LPCAs can engage in the practice of professional counseling in Kentucky under an approved clinical supervisor. LPCAs with appropriate supervised experience can apply to the Board to become a licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC). An LPCC can engage in the independent practice of professional counseling in Kentucky. Prospective students are encouraged to become acquainted with the licensure requirements in the state in which they plan to practice.

Sara Pickett

I found the professors in Clinical Mental Health Counseling to be exceptionally knowledgeable and accomplished in their field of study. I felt as if the professors truly cared about the success of everyone in the program and the future clients their students would be serving. I could not have asked for a more caring, personalized experience in graduate school.

Sara Pickett, Clinical Mental Health Counseling Graduate

The Counselor Education Program

Clinical Mental Health Counseling is part of the Counselor Education Program in the Department of Counseling and Human Development.

The mission of the Counselor Education Program is to prepare counselors and counselor educators who contribute to society in a variety of professional roles by: supporting principles of social justice, fairness, and equity in their work; proactively promoting the welfare of those they serve; and engaging in a lifelong process of educational and professional renewal. Consistent with our focus on social justice, the Counselor Education Program is committed to building a culturally-diverse student body and providing a culturally-responsive educational environment for all students.

The coursework combines classroom and practicum and internship experiences to prepare students to work as mental health professionals in the work setting of their choice (school, mental health facility, university).

Accreditation

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

CACREP Vital Statistics Report

For information on program accreditation click here.

The 60 credit hour program prepares students to be licensed in most states as a clinical mental health counselor who provides counseling and psychotherapy services in community-based settings.

For details about program curriculum, visit the Graduate Catalog.

Program of Study in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Core Professional Area (total = 30 credit hours)

ECPY 601 - Introduction to Clinical Mental Health Counseling
ECPY 540 - Evaluation and Measurement
ECPY 605 - Human Development
ECPY 629 - Theories and Techniques of Counseling & Psychotherapy
ECPY 650 - Group Process & Practice
ECPY 663 - Multicultural & Diversity Issues
ECPY 670 - Career Counseling
ECPY 730 - Social, Legal & Ethical Issues
ELFH 600 - Introduction to Research Methods and Statistics
ECPY 672 - Practicum in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Clinical Mental Health Concentration (total = 24 credit hours)

ECPY 619 - Empirical & Theoretical Foundations of Counseling & Psychotherapy
ECPY 621 - Differential Diagnosis & Treatment in Counseling
ECPY 626 - Consultation
ECPY 640 - Assessment Methods for Counselors
ECPY 638 - Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse
ELFH 601 - Applied Statistics
ECPY 682 - Internship in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
ECPY 682 - Internship in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Professional Electives (total = 6 credit hours)

Sequencing of Courses

Courses in the program are sequenced in order to ensure quality of learning. The content of courses that require prerequisites are built on a foundation of knowledge and skills mastered in the prerequisite courses. Following are courses that require prerequisites:

  • ECPY 601 and ECPY 619 are prerequisites for ECPY 629
  • ECPY 601, ECPY 619, ECPY 629, ECPY 730, and ECPY 621 are prerequisites for ECPY 672
  • ECPY 540 is a prerequisite for ECPY 640
  • ECPY 672 is a prerequisite for ECPY 682 (1st) Internship)
  • ECPY 682 (1st Internship) is a prerequisite for ECPY 682 (2nd) Internship

This program was just evaluated! Read the 2013 evaluation [PDF].

Note: Meeting GRE score and GPA minimums do not guarantee a student will be accepted to the program.

Admission Requirements

Prospective students must submit an online application for admission to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies.

  • The minimum requirement for admission is the baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution. Minimum overall GPA of 2.75, or 2.75 on the last 60 undergraduate hours, is required. Applicants are required to submit all official transcripts from all colleges attended as verification of coursework and degree(s).

    Applicants who have attended a college or university outside of the United States are also required to submit an evaluation of their transcript through either WES (World Education Services) or ECE (Educational Credential Evaluators). Please note that transcript evaluations can sometimes take several weeks.

    Please have transcripts sent to:
    School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies
    University of Louisville
    Louisville, KY 40292

    If transcripts are sent electronically,
    please have them sent to the following e-mail: gradadm @ louisville.edu

  • Each applicant is required to submit at least two letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to the applicant's academic and/or professional capabilities and potential. Please download the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies recommendation form [PDF].
  • Submission of GRE scores is required. Preferred scores for the concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling are the 40th percentile on the Verbal section and the 25th percentile on the Quantitative section. Students admitted with GREs lower than these percentiles would be admitted in conditional status.
    Please note: when submitting GRE scores through ETS, have scores sent to the general University of Louisville code, 1838.
  • Need help preparing for the GRE? Sign up for a GRE Information Session.
  • Prospective students must submit a professional goal statement [PDF] appropriate to their stated area of concentration for admission to the degree program. Please submit the cover sheet (see link) along with your goal statement.
  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of all foreign students from countries in which English is not the native language. Students holding a baccalaureate or advanced degree from an accredited institution in the United States are exempt from this requirement.

Faculty may require interviews in addition to written credentials as part of the admission process.

Application Deadlines

Spring Term Admission: October 1

Fall and Summer Term Admission: March 1

If you have questions about applying to the program, please email gradadm@louisville.edu or call Education Advising and Student Services at 502-852-5597.

Contact

Lisa Hooper
Department of Counseling and Human Development
Room 325B
College of Education & Human Development
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292
502-852-5311

Program Faculty

Opportunities for Graduates

Graduates of the program find employment in various human service and counseling agencies including mental health agencies, residential treatment centers, drug/alcohol treatment facilities, family resource and youth service centers, hospitals, employee assistance programs, and career placement centers.

Graduates work with a variety of client populations across all age groups performing a variety of job tasks including individual, group, and family counseling; intake assessments; psychoeducational groups; program development; and consultation.

Financial Aid

In addition to the financial aid opportunities offered by the University, the College of Education & Human Development also has information about financial aid.

Other financial aid opportunities available include graduate assistantships and other employment opportunities.

I have some credit hours from another program/university. Can the credit be transferred?

Once you are admitted to the program, you may request to transfer up to 6 credit hours if your UofL advisor approves the request. Transfer requests are then submitted to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies.

What is the difference between Counseling Psychology and Clinical Mental Health Counseling?

The masters program in Counseling Psychology prepares a student to engage in the practice of psychology at the master's level. Students who complete the masters program in Counseling Psychology can apply to the Kentucky State Board of Psychology for the psychological associate license (Licensed Psychological Associate-LPA), which allows those credentialed as such to practice under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. The masters program in Counseling Psychology includes coursework and a practicum in psychological assessment that is not included in the masters program in Clinical Mental Health.

The masters program in Clinical Mental Health prepares a student to engage in the practice of professional counseling. Professional counselors typically seek membership in the American Counseling Associaton (ACA) and its state affiliates such as the Kentucky Counselors Association (KCA) and the American Mental Health Counseling Association (AMHCA) and its state affiliates such as the Kentucky Mental Health Counselors Association (KMHCA).

What types of jobs can I get with a degree in Counseling and Personnel Services with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling?

Graduates of the program find employment in various human service and counseling agencies including mental health agencies, residential treatment centers, drug/alcohol treatment facilities, family resource and youth service centers, hospitals, employee assistance programs, and career placement centers. Graduates perform a variety of job tasks including individual and group counseling, intake assessments, program development, and consultation. They work with a variety of client populations across all age levels.

What type of credentialing is available to someone with a degree in Counseling and Personnel Services with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health?

The coursework for this program fulfills the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) educational requirements to sit for the exam (National Counselor Exam NCE) for National Counselor Certification, a national exam that is used in many states (including Kentucky) as the exam required for counselor licensure. A graduate of the UofL program can apply to the Kentucky Board of Licensed Professional Counselors to have his/her credentials evaluated to become a licensed professional counselor associate (LPCA). LPCAs can engage in the practice of professional counseling in Kentucky under an approved clinical supervisor. LPCAs with 4000 hours of supervised experience can apply to the Board to become a licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC). An LPCC can engage in the independent practice of professional counseling in Kentucky. To become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in Indiana, an individual must have 1000 hours of supervised clinical experience within the academic program and 3000 hours of post-degree supervised clinical experience. (The coursework requirement for the LMHC is equivalent to the coursework requirement in Kentucky for the LPCC.) An individual who is planning to practice mental health counseling in a state other than Kentucky or Indiana should check with that state about requirements for mental health counseling licensure.

How long does it take to complete the 60-credit hour program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling?

Students enroll in the Clinical Mental Health program both full and part time. Students enrolled full-time (12 credit hours per semester) can complete the program in five semesters. For part-time students, completion of the program depends upon the number of credit hours taken per semester. Because certain courses need to be taken in sequence (culminating in two practicums and an internship), a student should meet with his/her faculty advisor early in the program to plan his/her course of study in order to graduate by a designated semester.

What is the difference between the masters program in Clinical Mental Health and the masters program in Counseling Psychology?

The masters program in Clinical Mental Health prepares a student to engage in the practice of professional counseling. The practice of professional counseling in Kentucky is governed by the Kentucky Board of Licensed Professional Counselors. Professional counseling services are defined by the Board as those "that involve the application of procedures including assessment, evaluation, treatment, planning, amelioration, and remediation of adjustment problems and emotional disorders, to assist individuals or groups to achieve more effective personal, social, education, or career development." Professional counselors typically seek membership in the American Counseling Association (ACA) and its state affiliates (e.g. the Kentucky Counselors Association - KCA) and the American Mental Health Counseling Association (AMHCA) and its state affiliates (e.g. the Kentucky Mental Health Counselors Association - KMHCA).

The masters program in Counseling Psychology prepares a student to engage in the practice of psychology at the master's level. The practice of psychology in Kentucky is governed by the Kentucky State Board of Psychology. Students who complete the masters program in Counseling Psychology can apply to the Kentucky State Board of Psychology for the psychological associate license (Licensed Psychological Associate – LPA), which allows those credentialed as such to practice under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. In addition to those services provided by a licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC), the licensed psychological associate is able to perform psychological assessments under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. The masters program in Counseling Psychology includes coursework and a practicum in psychological assessment that is not included in the masters program in Clinical Mental Health. The Kentucky Board of Psychology restricts the practice of psychological assessment to those who are credentialed to practice psychology and those who are exempt from such by the Board. Psychologists typically seek membership in the American Psychological Association (APA) and its state affiliates (e.g. the Kentucky Psychological Association – KPA). Kentucky is one of few states that license psychologists at the master's level, whereas all states license mental health counselors. Not all states will allow an individual with a master's degree in counseling psychology to be licensed as a mental health counselor. It is important to check licensing laws in the state that you intend to practice.

Can I engage in the practice of professional counseling while I'm a student in the program?

Students are not allowed to practice professional counseling while enrolled in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program unless they are enrolled in a supervised field experience. The law governing the licensure of clinical counselors in Kentucky states, "No person shall engage in the practice of professional counseling or present in a way as to imply or would reasonably be deemed to imply licensure to practice professional counseling unless the person has first been issued a valid license by the board." Students in the Clinical Mental Health program may engage in the practice of professional counseling when "pursuing a program of studies in counseling at an accredited institution of higher education, if these activities are performed under the supervision or direction of an approved supervisor and the activities are a part of the supervised program of study as reflected in an official transcript, and if the person is designated a professional counselor intern or student in training." This does not apply to any person who is licensed, certified, or registered under any other provisions of the Kentucky Revised Statutes or to those who are employed in other forms of counseling as designated by the licensure law (e.g. employment counselors, job placement counselors, vocational rehabilitation counselors). Please see the law governing the licensure of Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC) for more information.