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Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Master of Science: Clinical Mental Health Counseling – Credits: 60 (program code 0720)
Post-Masters Licensure - Credits: Variable (program code: 0701)

Program Description

The Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling prepares students to work as professional counselors in a variety of behavioral health and social service settings. Courses offered by the department have been approved by both the National Board for Certified Counselors and the Pennsylvania Department of Education for certification and continuing education credits (Act 48).

The program fulfills the degree requirements necessary to become a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), as well as being able to take the National Counselor Examination (NCE). Students completing the 60-credit master's degree program will meet the educational requirements required to become Licensed Professional Counselors in Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania Licensure Act 136 of 1998). Students will need two or more additional years of supervised work experience after graduation to complete the requirements for LPC.

Prospective students are advised to read the Counselor Education Student Handbook, which describes the philosophy, admissions and departmental procedures in detail. The handbook may be downloaded from the counselor education web page:

Delivery Mode

Traditional (on-ground, face-to-face delivery with some online/distance elements)


Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)

This program fulfills the master's degree requirements for:

  • National Certified Counselor (NCC)
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Pennsylvania

Admission Criteria

Admission Requirements (Regular)

  • Master’s Only: Bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 2.90 or higher (Students with a GPA below 2.90 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Post-Master’s Only: Master’s degree with a GPA of 3.00 or higher (Students with a GPA below 3.00 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Official transcripts from an accredited institution (for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees)
  • Two professional letters of recommendation on letterhead with all contact information and credentials
  • One-page resume of work and education
  • A 1,000 word psychobiography typed (see CED Handbook)
  • For International Applicants: TOEFL score of 213 on computer-based exam, 550 on paper-based exam or 80 on Internet-based exam. An official copy of an IELTS with a minimum score of 6.0 may be substituted for the TOEFL score.

Conditional Admission Requirements

Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements. Those admitted conditionally based on missing document/s have up to a maximum of one term to satisfy these requirements:

  • Master’s Only: Bachelor’s degree with a GPA under 2.90 will be reviewed for a decision
  • Post-Master’s Only: Master’s degree with a GPA under 3.00 will be reviewed for a decision
  • Miller Analogies Test with a 395 or higher
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Interview
Out of State Students

Students who will be seeking certification outside of Pennsylvania should consult the State Authorization web page for the most up-to-date information regarding out-of-state certification information.


Area I: Core Courses Required For Candidacy
CED 702 Counseling Theory3
CED 710 Counseling Skills and Techniques3
CED 724 Experiential Group Process3
CED 789 Introduction to Clinical Mental Health Counseling3

Area II: Advanced Counseling Core
CED 705 Developmental Group Counseling3
CED 720 Cross-cultural Counseling3
CED 786 Career Counseling3

Area III: Field Education
CED 711 Practicum in Counselor Education3
CED 712 Clinical Field Experience in Counselor Education6
CED 787 Integration, Collaboration and Consultation3

Area IV: Psychological Foundations
CED 717 Diagnosis and Treatment in Mental Health3
CED 722 Assessment Procedures for Couselors
CED 755 Counseling Across the Lifespan: Prevention and Treatment in Schools & the Community

Area V: Research
CED 785 Research Methods in Counseling3

Area VI: Clinical Core
CED 708 Substance Abuse and Addiction3
CED 735 Introduction to Family Therapy3
CED 791 Crisis Counseling and Disaster Preparedness3

Practicum/clinical field experience: Practicum and clinical field experience are taken near the end of the student's program. Practicum requires a minimum of 150 hours on-site. The student will be supervised by a professional in his/her area of interest. The clinical field experience requires a minimum of 600 hours under the supervision of a professional in the student's area of interest. This will be arranged in consultation with the field site coordinator.

Post-Master's Preparation for Licensure Application

After completion of a master's in counseling or a related field, students are often required to complete additional credits in order to obtain their LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) licensure. The counselor education post-master's program is a non-degree program designed to provide the opportunity for students to complete courses after their master's degree to total 60 credits, as required to become an LPC in Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania Licensure Act 136 of 1998). Two or more additional years of supervised work experience after graduation is also required to complete the LPC.

The department will evaluate your transcripts and advise which courses are required. Students should contact their licensure board to verify their eligibility and requirements for licensure.

Admission requirements are the same as above for entrance into the master's degree program.


Students in the clinical mental health program receive academic and professional advisement from the program coordinator and program faculty. Each student is assigned to an academic adviser from the time he/she is accepted into the program of study. Advisers work with students to discuss, monitor and provide advisement as it relates to their program of study.

How to Apply

  • Complete the Graduate School Application online
  • Submit the non-refundable $25 Application Fee
  • Mail official transcript to:
    • School of Graduate Studies and Research
      California University of Pennsylvania
      Box 91, 250 University Ave.
      California, PA 15419
  • Submit unofficial transcripts and other documents by mail (using the address above, email (, or fax (724-938-5712)

Application Questions

Phone: 724-938-4187

For Additional Information

Phone: 724-938-4187

Program Coordinator

Taunya Tinsley, NCC, LPC, Ph.D (Duquesne University), M.A. (University of Iowa), B.A. (Augsburg College), Associate Professor
Web Page:
Phone: 724-938-5698

Program Faculty

Grafton Eliason, NCC, LPC, Ed.D., B.A. (Duquesne University), M.Ed., B.A. (Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania), M.Div. (Princeton Theological Seminary), Professor

Elizabeth Gruber,
NCC, LPC, Ph.D. (Duquesne University), M.A. (Youngstown State University), B.S. (Bowling Green State University), Professor, Field Site Coordinator

John Patrick
, D.Ed. (Pennsylvania State University), M.S. (University of Scranton), B.A. (Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania), Professor

Jeff Samide
, NCC, LPC, Ed.D., M.Ed. (Indiana University of Pennsylvania), B.A. (Saint Vincent College), Associate Professor

Jacqueline A. Walsh
, NCC, LPC, Ph.D. (Kent State University), M.S., B.S. (California University of Pennsylvania), Professor