Master of Arts in Counseling

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Department of School, Family and Mental Health Professions

Academic Banner Clinical Mental Health Counseling


Program Overview

Clinical mental health counseling (CMHC) students complete a broad based and comprehensive clinical training specialization that prepares them to pursue licensure with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences as Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCCs).

Licensed professional clinical counselors practice independently in a variety of settings such as hospitals, community mental health agencies, and colleges and universities, treating clients who struggle with everything from adjusting to life to serious mental illnesses. The CMHC specialization uses an evidence based clinical practice approach with an emphasis on addressing the mental health needs of underserved and culturally diverse populations in San Diego County.

Each student engages in further study of specific clinical issues and populations through practica, research and professional development, and completes a minimum of 725 hours of supervised clinical experience during his or her graduate program.

What can I do with this degree?

This program prepares students to become professional counselors. Professional counselors prevent, diagnose, and treat mental, emotional or behavioral disorders and provide services when clients experience life stresses that interfere with mental health. Professional counselors serve at all levels of schools and universities, in hospitals, mental health agencies, rehabilitation facilities, business and industry, correctional institutions, religious organizations, community centers and private practice. This program prepares students for licensure with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences as Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCCs).

Who should apply?

Our students plan to pursue careers as professional counselors and most plan to seek licensure as LPCCs. Students have experience in a variety of backgrounds such as education, psychology, business, nursing, social work, the military, and pastoral and religious settings. Some plan to pursue doctoral work in the field. Many have some professional work experience and almost all have some experience related to the field of counseling, either paid or unpaid. For more information on our students, visit Student Outcomes.