Develop skills to help people: Master’s in mental health counseling

The CACREP-accredited master’s in mental health counseling program will train you to work with children, adults and families in diverse settings such as schools, hospitals, correctional facilities and mental health agencies. You will tailor your degree by choosing a clinical concentration such as child and adolescent, trauma-informed or forensic counseling.

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African man counselor therapist coach psychologist speak at group counseling therapy session concept encourage support patients in addiction talk share problem sit in circle in rehab, close up view
Credits required:

60 credits

Cost per credit:


Time to degree:

As few as 30 months


On campus, some online

Mental health counseling degree curriculum 

The child and adolescent concentration for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree includes three courses that address specific interventions, assessment and play therapy. If you choose to concentrate on those who have suffered chronic and/or acute trauma in their lives, you’ll receive training in crisis management, trauma assessment and interventions. You can choose the forensic concentration if you want to work in legal or correctional settings, studying the interaction of mental health with the justice system, the roles of practitioners in the legal system and the unique concerns of this population. 

Quick facts

  • Choose your own counseling concentration
  • Meet educational requirements for Pennsylvania licensure in professional counseling
  • Complete a graduate assistantship if desired
Mental health clinic students sit in a circle with their hands on their laps while one man gestures.
African man counselor therapist coach psychologist speak at group counseling therapy session concept encourage support patients in addiction talk share problem sit in circle in rehab, close up view

Alternate degree completion option


Fast track your way into this master’s program by taking graduate courses as a Carlow undergraduate student. Course credits count toward both degrees. Apply for the accelerated option after your sophomore year.

Career opportunities for mental health counseling degree

You can work in schools, hospitals, correctional facilities, community mental health agencies and private practice. Employment of mental health and substance abuse counselors is projected to grow 25% from 2019 to 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

▸ View the Professional Licensure Disclosure for this program.


The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), has granted accreditation to the following programs in the Department of Psychology, Counseling and Criminology at Carlow University: Addictions Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling through 2029.

The Masters of Professional Counseling (MPC) Program emphasizes high standards of professional competence. The MPC Program is committed to its stated mission through ongoing accreditations by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The Counseling Program also emphasizes ethical practice and keeps current with state and national standards for certification and licensure for practice in clinical practice environments. The MPC Program engages in ongoing program development and refinement based on accrediting bodies’ and licensure boards’ developments and recommendations, as well as sensitivity to licensure requirements, and legal and ethical issues. 

Additional program information:

Admission requirements and application process

The graduate program admissions process happens on a rolling basis. You can apply for free online, and must submit the following materials:

  • Official transcripts from all degree-granting institutions you have attended
  • Personal essay that describes your academic objectives
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation (one from academic source & one from employer/volunteer supervisor) that address your leadership potential and ability to succeed in graduate-level work


Start terms:

Fall, Spring & Summer

An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher is preferred; however, provisional admission is also possible if you do not meet all of the admission criteria but exhibit a strong possibility of academic success.

Once your application is received, the program director will schedule an interview with you.

Cornelius Holmes testimonial
Olivia Miller, ’21, biology major and runner on the track & field/cross country team.

Committed to diversity and inclusion

Neal Holmes ’18 said his time at Carlow was a great academic experience that transformed his work and how he sees the world as a human being. “I felt welcomed by the staff and students, and I could feel that there was a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion work in the graduate counseling program. I appreciate the university’s commitment to social justice which is so parallel to my work in the counseling field today.”

Professional Counseling faculty

Contact Admissions

If you are interested in this graduate program, our Admissions team is available to help you with the next steps, including scheduling an on-campus visit or attending an upcoming event.

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