MA in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness, On-Campus Program

MA in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness

Become a Licensed Mental Health Professional 

Acquire the knowledge and clinical training to become a licensed counselor, working in mental health centers, addiction treatment centers, community agencies, or in private psychotherapy practice. You will gain valuable clinical experience through internship placements, preparing for a range of careers that improve people's lives.

This program is registered by New York State as a licensure qualifying program in mental health counseling. A dual-degree option with a post-master's advanced certificate in LGBT Health, Education, and Social Services is also available.

This is the on-campus degree option. You can also earn this degree online.  

Mission Statement

The Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness program is committed to generating, advancing, and disseminating knowledge related to all aspects of research and practice in counseling. The principles informing our work include understanding people across the lifespan in cultural contexts, promotion of equity and social justice in our work, and helping all people craft lives of wellness, health, and meaning.

The MA in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness is accredited by the Master's in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC) for the period of January 2015 through January 2025. Learn more about MPCAC and Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness.

What you'll learn

Our faculty members are leaders in the field. You will work closely with them to learn how to:

  • Form helping counseling relationships and demonstrate a commitment to the growth and development of your clients
  • Apply counseling skills such as assessment, case conceptualization, practice, and advocacy
  • Assess clients within various socio-historical contexts with attention to issues of power and privilege – including gender, race and ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, and ability/disability

See the curriculum and degree requirements for this master's program. 

How you'll learn

A Broad-Based Education
This MA program combines core courses and content electives with counseling labs and internships. You’ll study counseling foundations, theory and process, ethical issues, group dynamics, cross-cultural counseling, abnormal psychology, and human growth and development, then apply your knowledge within your internship placement. Elective courses focus on applied content areas such as bereavement counseling; career counseling; marriage and family counseling; and addiction counseling; as well as on special populations such as counseling LGBT people, women, people with disabilities, and individuals with addiction disorders.

Counseling Lab
As part of your graduate study, you’ll complete a one semester counseling lab in Individual Counseling Practice to develop your counseling skills as well as sharpen your self-awareness and insight. Centered around establishing the basic counseling microskills, the lab is part of our training model to develop expertise in communication in the counseling process.

All students in the Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness program are required to complete 100 hours of practicum experience in an approved mental health setting over a 12-week period during the summer preceding their second year. A minimum of 40 hours must be in direct contact with clients. Students will also participate in weekly supervision meetings with a licensed mental health counselor. Students must have a field site prior to starting the course.

Hands-On Clinical Experience
You will complete a 100-hour practicum over 6 weeks during the summer preceding your second year followed by a two semester, 600-hour internship at an approved mental health setting, where you’ll develop, refine and practice your clinical skills under the supervision of an licensed mental health professional, and apply theory to practice. This is a requirement for state licensure. Learn more about internships.

Prepare for a career as a mental health counselor, working in
  • Community mental health programs
  • College counseling centers
  • Trauma-focused programs
  • HIV and AIDS outreach programs
  • Substance abuse treatment centers
  • Private psychotherapy practice

Find out more about what you can do with this degree

Program policies