Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master of Science (M.S.)

About Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Inspire positive change with a master's degree in clinical mental health counseling.

Combine academic preparation with personal growth to help transform individuals and social systems. California University of Pennsylvania's graduate program in clinical mental health counseling fulfills all requirements for you to become a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) and provides all courses needed to pursue a career as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Pennsylvania and other states.

Complete your master's degree in two years of full-time study, regardless of your undergraduate major. Or enroll part time to better accommodate your lifestyle and career.

We offer a top-quality education that's flexible and affordable.

  • Complete 750 hours of practicum and clinical fieldwork.
  • Take advantage of flexible start dates and evening classes.
  • Streamline your degree with credits and waivers for education majors/teachers.
  • Benefit from the low costs and graduate assistantships of one of the most affordable counseling master's degree in Pennsylvania.

HRSA Grant

Cal U’s graduate Counselor Education and Social Work Programs are the recipients of a $1.9 million Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) program grant. The purpose of this program is to prepare Cal U students work in rural and medically underserved communities with a focus on mental and behavioral health. Our mission is to collaboratively educate, train, and provide services that will benefit the health and health equity of the underserved and vulnerable people in our community by producing quality behavioral health professionals for the region’s workforce.  This program allows students to apply for an opportunity to receive a $10,000 stipend, while completing their required practicum or field experience. 

Students accepted into the graduate Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, or Social Work programs are eligible to apply for the grant before completing their programs practicum or field experience.

If you have questions regarding the HRSA BHWET program, contact HRSA Program Coordinator Molly Jenkins at


Dedicated Professors: Our 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio means you'll get plenty of personalized attention in courses. Our dedicated faculty are Licensed Professional Counselors, have years of experience in the field, and are committed to giving you the best preparation for your career.

Top Accreditation: Accreditation provides recognition. Cal U's master's program in clinical mental health counseling is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

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Best named Cal U Best in State Online College in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.
Cal U's master's degree in clinical mental health counseling is ranked second in Pennsylvania for best value by  
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Degree Benefits

Courses and fieldwork provide an understanding of human development and how social systems impact personal development.

  • Become knowledgeable in clinical mental health diagnosis, treatment, referral and prevention.
  • Develop a high level of self-awareness.
  • Acquire the traits and skills needed for ethical practice within a diverse society.
  • Learn all aspects of a clinical mental health counselor's job through fieldwork and an on-site internship.
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Graduate Outcomes

Embark on a rewarding career in mental health counseling agencies, including private practice, mental health centers, addiction treatment facilities, hospitals, correctional facilities and other treatment centers. Or pursue university doctoral programs in clinical mental health counseling or counselor education and supervision. Alumni employers include:

  • Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, UPMC.
  • Gateway Rehabilitation Center.
  • Chestnut Ridge Counseling Services.
  • Fayette County Mental Health Program.
  • SPHS Behavioral Health.
Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master's Degree
Student walk through campus in the spring.

Career at a Glance

Cal U grads go far. Meet class of '06 graduate Demond Bledsoe, Ph.D., LPC, NCC. After obtaining a master's degree in counseling from Cal U, Demond earned a doctorate degree in counselor education and supervision. He is a program director at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and teaches at Cal U.

Student in counselors lab

On-campus Counseling Lab

Confidence comes with experience. Cal U's state-of-the-art lab facilities enable video recording and viewing of practice counseling sessions and presentations.

Clock tower on Cal U's campus.

International Honor Society

Many Cal U clinical mental health counseling students are inducted into Chi Sigma Iota, the international honor society of professional counselors. Cal U's chapter, Beta Gamma Delta, enables students, alumni and faculty to benefit from professional development, networking and community engagement initiatives.


Clinical Mental Health Counseling - Master's Degree Courses

Studying the specialized areas of Mental Health Counseling



Course Credits
Area I: Core Courses Required for Candidacy
CED 702  Counseling Theory 3
CED 710  Counseling Skills and Techniques 3
CED 724  Experiential Group Process  3
CED 789  Introduction to Clinical Mental Health Counseling  3
Area II: Advanced Counseling Core
CED 705  Developmental Group Counseling 3
CED 720  Cross-cultural Counseling 3
CED 786  Career Counseling 3
Area III: Psychological Foundations
CED 717  Diagnosis and Treatment in Mental Health 3
CED 722  Assessment and Procedures for Counselors 3
CED 755  Counseling Across the Life Span: Prevention and Treatment in Schools and the Community 3
CED 785  Research Methods in Counseling 3
Area IV: Clinical Core
CED 708  Substance Abuse and Addiction 3
CED 735  Introduction to Family Therapy 3
CED 791  Crisis Counseling and Disaster Preparedness 3
Electives* (2) 6
Area V: Field Education Core
CED 711  Clinical Field Experience (Practicum) 3
CED 712  Clinical Field Experience
CED 787  Ethics, Integration, Collaboration and Consultation 3
Total 60

* Electives can be chosen from an CED course or certification in conjunction with your adviser. 


Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements (Regular)  

  • Master's and Certification 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 recommendations from professors or employers.
  • Master's and Certification Only:  One-page resume of work and education
  • Master's and Certification Only:  A 1,000 word psychobiography typed (see CED Handbook)
  • International Graduate Applicants

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 two semesters to satisfy these requirements:
    • Master's and Certification 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
    • MAT with a 395 or higher or GRE with a 290 or higher
    • Official transcripts
    • Interview

How to Apply:

*Early Admit:  Feb 15 (for Summer or Fall starts), Sept 15 (for Spring starts)

*Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until classes are full

  • Submit the non-refundable $35 Application Fee
  • Mail official transcripts 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)

For additional information:
Phone: 724-938-4187

Out of State Students:
All students who will be seeking certification outside of Pennsylvania are responsible for securing and following the certification requirements in the state in which they intend to apply for certification.

Clinical Mental Health - Licensure Certification and Certificates

Master's Degrees

School Counseling Pre K-12 Master of Education Degree
A master of education degree fulfilling LPC requirements for students who want to work as counselors assisting Pre K-12 students in their academic, personal and career development


Counselor Education Post Master's Licensure Certification 

A post-master's program for students who need to obtain additional credits to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Pennsylvania and other states.



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Clinical Mental Health Counseling Faculty

Dr. Grafton Eliason

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Dr. Elizabeth Gruber
Professor, Department Chairperson

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Robert Mehalik
Assistant Professor

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Dr. Jeff L. Samide

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Dr. Jacqueline Walsh

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