Master's In Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Master's In 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. PennWest California'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 Program Student Opportunities

PennWest California graduate students can apply to receive a $10,000 stipend in support of their clinical field experience in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Counselor Education, and Social Work. The application process is competitive. Click here to learn more.


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.

Grounded in counseling: Coursework for the graduate-level program Mental Health Counseling is provided by PennWest California’s counselor education program and is aligned with CACREP standards. This is your assurance that this graduate program meets the highest academic standards.

Learn more about applying

Best named PennWest California Best in State Online College in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.
PennWest California's master's degree in clinical mental health counseling is ranked second in Pennsylvania for best value by  
icon undergrad for degree

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.
icon undergrad for degree

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.

Curriculum and Admission Reuirements

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 any CED course or certification in conjunction with your adviser. 



Admission Requirements

Regular Admission Requirements

  • Regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher (Students with a GPA below 3.0 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Official transcripts from a regionally accredited institution
  • Two professional recommendations from professors or employers
  • One-page resume of work and education
  • A 1,000 word psychobiography typed (see CED Handbook)
  • Interview may be requested

Conditional Admission Requirements

  • Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements:
    • Regionally accredited Bachelor’s degree with a GPA of a 3.0 
    • Regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a GPA under 3.0 will be reviewed for a decision once a GRE (290 or higher), OR MAT score (395 or higher) is received

Provisional Admission:
Applicants who have provided unofficial documentation of test scores, prerequisite courses, transcripts or lack of letter(s) of recommendation may be admitted provisionally.

This policy also applies to undergraduate students who apply for graduate admission pending bachelor degree completion. Upon receipt of all official documents, a student will be changed from Provisional Admission to either Regular Admission or Conditional Admission. Provisional Admission students may take classes for one term but will not be eligible for Federal Financial Aid.

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
PennWest California
Box 91
250 University Ave. 
California, PA 15419

For additional information:
Email: GradAdmissions@pennwest.eduPhone: 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.

Student walk through campus in the spring.

Career at a Glance

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

Master's In Clinical Mental Health Counseling

On-campus Counseling Lab

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

Clock tower on PennWest California's campus.

International Honor Society

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


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.