The Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is an accredited 60-hour program offering advanced preparation for counselors and other helping professionals who work in a variety of human service agencies (including mental health centers, social service agencies, business and industry and others). In addition to the core curriculum, students can select, in cooperation with their departmental advisor, from a variety of elective courses to help meet their individual career objectives.
Graduates are immediately eligible to take the examination of the National Board for Certified Counselors Inc. to become National Certified Counselors.
The program has five concentrations:
- Marriage and Family Counseling – Designed to prepare students with a broader perspective for working with individuals, couples and families than a marriage and family therapy program by itself. Students complete the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program curriculum and choose from a variety of additional courses in marriage and family counseling and therapy.
- Expressive Arts Therapy – This is the practice of using imagery, storytelling, dance, music, drama, poetry, movement, dreamwork and visual arts together – in an integrated way – to foster human growth, development and healing. It is about reclaiming the innate capacity as human beings for creative expression of individual and collective human experience in artistic form.
- Body Centered Therapy – Students with an interest in holistic wellness may find this concentration an important aspect of their professional counselor preparation. People often have a strong disconnect between how they view the mind and the body. Many consider physical ailments separate from their mental health, denying the cyclical connection between the two. It is our belief that the mind, body and spirit are interrelated and systemic.
- Addictions Counseling – This concentration prepares students to work with individuals and families struggling with substance abuse disorders or in recovery.
- General Counseling – This concentration allows students to design, along with their advisor, their own emphasis.
Course titles and information can be found in the Graduate Bulletin at these links:
Required Entrance Exam: GRE (score must be no more than 5 years old)
Required number of references to specify in the online form: 3
Supplemental Information: Resume (Required upload for application submission); HPC Department Questionnaire (upload on the Additional Information page in the online application)
Basic Conditions for Consideration of Admission: Meeting or exceeding the conditions below does NOT guarantee admission. All applications for a given entry term will be weighed based upon the number of seats available and the quality of the complete application packages. With special permission from the Graduate School, a program may admit a limited number of students with exceptional circumstances who do not meet the graduate school minimums.
Graduate School: 3.0 GPA in the last earned degree and official scores from the appropriate admission test(s), OR 2.5 GPA in the last earned degree and official scores at the 25th percentile level from the appropriate admission test(s).
Admission to Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Both qualitative and quantitative aspects of applications are reviewed in comparison to the current applicant pool. A small percentage of applicants will be invited to campus for a required group interview.
- Treatment Centers
- Private Counseling Practices
- Veterans Administration
- Community Mental Health Centers
- Non-Profit Agencies
- Spring: x
- Summer Session 1: x
- Summer Session 2: x
- Fall: 2/1(12/15)
*See full deadline information below under Application Essentials.
- The program supports you as you learn more about who you are and your ability to encourage and support others.
- You will immediately be eligible to take the examination of the National Board for Certified Counselors Inc. to become a National Certified Counselor.
- Students become active in professional organizations such as the American Counseling Association and the North Carolina Counseling Association.
- The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body.
- If enrolled full time, you can complete the program between two and three years. Part-time students are also admitted.
- All graduate programs at Appalachian have small class sizes, providing intimate classroom interaction.
- The School of Graduate Studies offers scholarships, fellowships and assistantships to support eligible, full-time, degree-seeking students.
Method of Delivery
- Licensed Professional Counselor
- Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist
- Nationally Certified Counselor
- Expressive Arts Therapist
Dr. Mark Schwarze