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Counselor Education – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Master of Science
Credits: 60 (program code 0720)

Post-Masters Preparation for Licensure Application
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:

Program Objectives

Students who are preparing to work as clinical mental health counselors will demonstrate the professional knowledge, skills and practices necessary to address a wide variety of circumstances within the clinical mental health counseling context.

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

Admissions Criteria

  • Minimum 3.00 GPA in a baccalaureate degree* verified with official transcripts from an accredited institution
  • Three letters of recommendation on professional letterhead  (see CED handbook)
  • One-page resume of work and education
  • A 1,000-word typed psychobiography (see CED handbook)  
  • Graduate School Application plus $25 nonrefundable application fee

 *Applications may be considered with an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.60 and a score of 403+ on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).


Area I: Core Courses Required For Candidacy
Course NameCredits
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
Course NameCredits
CED 705 Developmental Group Counseling3
CED 720 Cross-cultural Counseling3
CED 786 Career Counseling3

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

Area IV: Psychological Foundations
Course NameCredits
CED 717 Diagnosis and Treatment in Mental Health3
CED 755 Counseling Across the Lifespan: Prevention and Treatment in Schools & the Community3
PSY 721 Advanced Tests and Measurements3

Area V: Research
Course NameCredits
CED 785 Research Methods in Counseling3

Area VI: Clinical Core
Course NameCredits
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.

Application Questions

School of Graduate Studies and Research
California University of Pennsylvania
Eberly 202B
250 University Ave.
California, PA 15419

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

Graduate Faculty

For faculty bios, visit:

Department Chair
Jacqueline A. Walsh,
NCC, LPC, Ph.D. (Kent State University), M.S., B.S. (California University of Pennsylvania), Professor
Phone: 724-938-4123

Grafton Eliason, NCC, LPC, Ed.D., B.A. (Duquesne University), M.Ed., B.A. (Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania), M.Div. (Princeton Theological Seminary), Professor
Phone: 724-938-4464

Elizabeth Gruber, NCC, LPC, Ph.D. (Duquesne University), M.A. (Youngstown State University), B.S. (Bowling Green State University), Professor, Field Site Coordinator
Phone: 724-938-1567

John Patrick, D.Ed. (Pennsylvania State University), M.S. (University of Scranton), B.A. (Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania), Professor
Phone:  724-938-4452

Jeff Samide, NCC, LPC, Ed.D., M.Ed. (Indiana University of Pennsylvania), B.A. (Saint Vincent College), Associate Professor
Phone: 724-938-4123