Skip to Main Content

Columbus State University

Master of Science
Clinical Mental Health Counseling

College of Education and Health Professions

Department of Counseling, Foundations, and Leadership

Program Description

The M.S. program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is pursuing national accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The 60 semester hour degree program is designed around the eight areas of (1) Human Growth and Development, (2) Social and Cultural Foundations, (3) The Helping Relationship, (4) Group Dynamics and Processes, (5) Lifestyle/Career Development, (6) Appraisal of Individual, (7) Research and Evaluation, and (8) Professional Orientation. Curricular experiences include clinical supervision of a 100 hour practicum and two 300 hour internships in a field of setting.

The M.S. program is designed to prepare persons to function as counselors in a variety of community settings including, but not limited to, mental health centers, community agencies, hospitals, residential treatment centers, corrections or other helping or human service oriented programs.  

A number of counseling courses are moving to an online format. Most courses, however, require an in-class experience.

Career Opportunities

Employment Opportunities for all counselors are expected to grow faster than average until 2010. The need for employment/vocational counselors will continue to grow as the welfare program continues to require beneficiaries to find jobs. There will be a strong demand for counselors in the following specialty areas: substance abuse, behavioral, mental health, marriage and family, and rehabilitation counselors. Employers seem to be providing more EAP (Employee Assistance Programs) programs to employees and their families. The overall growth rates for counselors, social and religious workers is expected to be 18.8% change from 2000-2010. The highest growth rates are expected to be in residential care (70%), health and allied services (58%), and job training and related services (35.4%).

Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the following requirements:
  • An earned undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university
  • A 2.75 cumulative undergraduate GPA (2.5 provisional)
  • A minimum score of 800 on the GRE with a minimum score of 3.5 on the writing assessment (700 provisional)
  • CSU and departmental applications

Candidates for the program must complete departmental screening that includes an interview process. Departmental screening will be conducted after potential candidates have applied for admission to Columbus State University. Contact the Department of Counseling, Foundations, and Leadership for additional information.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will:
  • Knowledge of the role and functions of the professional counselor.
  • Knowledge of counseling theories and change strategies.
  • Skills in the competency areas of planning and evaluation, individual counseling, small group facilitation, appraisal, consultation, and referral.
  • Knowledge in the areas of social foundations, cultural issues, life span issues, and variables in the individual context which affect the counseling process.
  • Competency in interpersonal relationships, communication and problem solving.
  • Expertise in working individually with clients on educational, vocational, social, emotional, or personal problems.
  • The ability to consult with other professionals and administrators concerning the client's developmental needs.
  • Skills in administering psychological assessment programs, including the interpretation of test results.
  • The ability to conduct research.

Additional Program Requirements

Evaluation of a student's performance is continuous and involves consideration of the student's academic performance in all course work and clinically related experiences. A required student portfolio is one means of achieving this continuous evaluation of students. An exit examination is also required.

Students should meet with their advisors to determine the most appropriate sequence of courses in their program of study. The culminating 700-hour clinical experience is considered the most important aspect of this program. The application process for practicum and internship includes prerequisite course work and pre-registration. Due to the intensity of the internship experience, six (6) credit hours is considered a full-time load when students are enrolled in internship. Students wishing to exceed this limit must first obtain permission from the department.