Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Students entering the University of San Diego and/or declaring a major during 2017-2018, should follow information contained in the printed course catalog (also known as the "catalog of record") published on August 10, 2017. Access the catalog of record at

The MA Degree requires successful completion of the following:

  1. A course of study based on a core counseling curriculum and specialization courses. (Further information is provided under the Program Specializations sections below.) The Counseling Core is designed to meet the program requirements recommended by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). Specialization courses (described in sections below) meet the program requirements specified by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) for the Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling program areas.
  2. Successful completion of the Clinical Instruction Benchmark Assessment (CIBA). A Clinical Instruction Benchmark Assessment (CIBA) is utilized to assess readiness for practicum training and to provide candidates with personal and professional development feedback.
  3. Completion of the Internationalization Requirement. All students in the Counseling Program are required to participate in a program-approved internationalization experience outside of the United States. Examples of approved experiences would include study-abroad course or program participation, cross-cultural collaboration on professional or scholarly projects, participation in bi-national or multi-national collaborative research projects, joint student-faculty research abroad and international internships. With few exceptions, the experience must take place during the student’s program of study at USD and all international activities should take place prior to the last semester of enrollment in the Counseling Program. This requirement is designed to enhance the student’s international and global perspective, particularly as it relates to professional counseling. The experience will increase student’s knowledge and skills for working with international students, employees and clients and preparing clients for educational and professional experiences in a global environment.

Program Specializations and Requirements

Students in all counseling program areas complete courses designed to meet program requirements recommended by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). All students complete core and specialization courses specific to their areas of professional practice. The program requires the student to complete three terms of practicum or fieldwork in an approved setting related to the student’s career goal. 

COUN 502Professional Orientation, Law and Ethics in Counseling3
COUN 505Human Development3
COUN 508Research Methods in Counseling3
COUN 510Career Development Across the Lifespan3
COUN 515Multicultural Counseling3
COUN 520Counseling Theories and Practice3
COUN 526Group Counseling3
COUN 530Assessment Techniques in Counseling3
COUN 540Clinical Interviewing3
COUN 541Advanced Counseling: Diagnosis And Treatment Planning3
COUN 542Addictions Counseling3
COUN 544Intro Family Counseling3
COUN 547Risk Assessment and Trauma Intervention in Clinical Mental Health Counseling3
COUN 549Psychopharmacology3
COUN 550Advanced Human Sexuality3
COUN 555Evidence Based Counseling Theory and Techniques3
COUN 562Positive Psychology: Theory and Applications3
COUN 587PClinical Mental Health Counseling Practicum I3
COUN 597PClinical Mental Health Counseling Practicum II3
COUN 598PClinical Mental Health Counseling Practicum III3
Total Hours60