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Department of Counseling

Mental Health Counseling, M.S.

MC’s Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling prepares students to become licensed counselors in Mississippi.

Pursue Mental Health Counseling in the Clinical Setting

The counseling profession is estimated to grow by 28 percent in the next 10 years as more people seek treatment for mental and behavioral healthcare and addictions. 

Develop The Skills to Guide Patients Through Mental Health Treatment

Mississippi College’s Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling offers students the theoretical frameworks and clinical skills needed to plan and implement treatments for individuals living with mental health symptoms. Accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), this mental health counseling degree prepares students to apply for licensure and become a counselor in the state of Mississippi.

Professor James Strickland interacting with a child during a counseling session

Through 60 semester hours of classroom and clinical work, this Master’s in Mental Health Counseling helps students acquire the core competencies, specialized knowledge and skills necessary to become effective mental health professionals. Compared to other behavioral health approaches, mental health counselors utilize the biopsychosocial model and focus on guiding patients through the treatment process for improved mental health.

With their mental health counseling degree, graduates are well-prepared to obtain National Counseling Certification and/or take the National Counselor Examination (NCE). To become a counselor in Mississippi, they must have a master’s degree in counseling, have finished their supervised hours and passed the NCE and the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE).

Whatever path to professional certification that they pursue, our counseling students are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to practice in a variety of behavioral healthcare settings, including private practice, hospitals and agencies, and even pursue a doctoral degree later in their career.

In addition to our M.S. in Mental Health Counseling, Mississippi College also offers a M.S. in Marriage and Family Counseling and an M.Ed. in School Counseling.

Clinical Training

Our CACREP-accredited degree in mental health counseling incorporates training in the theories, models and techniques of professional mental health treatment and management. Our master’s program prioritizes specialized preparation to work with adults and children, address the concerns of their families and collaborate with other members of the behavioral healthcare team. Specifically, the coursework of the M.S. in Mental Health Counseling addresses individual and group counseling theories and skills, lifestyle and crisis counseling, assessment and treatment planning, in addition to psychopathology and case conceptualization. All training is provided within an ethical and multicultural framework.

At Mississippi College, all of our counseling programs emphasize the importance of experiential training through the incorporation of simulations and role play into the coursework. In addition, students complete two clinical internships to build a solid foundation in behavioral health treatment as well as pass the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam. Students are expected to complete supervised clinical training in approved sites.

Course Requirements

A minimum of 60 semester hours must be completed by taking the following courses:

Tier I – Pre-practicum (courses must be taken prior to Practicum)
Tier II – Pre-Internship I (courses must be taken prior to Internship I)
Tier III – Pre-Internship II (courses must be taken prior to Internship II)
Tier IV – Pre-graduation (courses must be taken prior to graduation)
CC - Core Courses: (courses must be taken prior CPCE)

Tier

CC

 

TITLE

HOURS

Tier I

CC

COU 6501

Legal, Ethical and Professional Issues in Counseling

       3

Tier I

CC

COU 6502

Theories of Personality and Counseling (cross-listed with PSY 6502)

       3

Tier I

CC

COU 6506

Multicultural Counseling (cross-listed with PSY 6506)

       3

Tier I

 

COU 6669

Foundations, Contextual Dimensions, and Knowledge and Skills of Mental Health Counseling

       3

Tier I

CC

COU 6515 

Lifespan Development (cross-listed with PSY 6515)

3

Prerequisites for COU 6503: COU 6501, 6502, 6506, 6669, 6515

Tier I

CC

COU 6661

Use and Interpretation of Tests (cross-listed with PSY 6661)

3

Tier I

CC

COU 6503

Helping Relationships (Methods and Techniques in Counseling)

3

Tier II

CC

COU 6662

Techniques of Group Counseling

3

Tier II

 

COU 6663

Practicum in Counseling and Therapy (requires completion of 18 hours in practicum prerequisites including COU 6503 Helping Relationships)

CR/NC

Tier II

CC

COU 6504

Research-Methods and Procedures (cross-listed with PSY 6504)

3

Tier II/III

 

 COU 6536

 Psychopathology III – Assessment & Treatment

3

Tier III

CC

COU 6665

Lifestyle and Career Counseling

3

Tier III

 

COU 6817

Crisis Counseling (cross-listed as PSY 6817)

3

Tier III

 

COU 6701

Internship in Counseling I

CR/NC

Tier IV

 

COU 6702

Internship in Counseling II

CR/NC

Tier IV

 

COU 6999***

Comprehensive Exam

CR/NC

Can be taken during any semester prior to graduation

   

COU 6666

Introduction to Marriage and Family Counseling

3

   

COU 6667

Addictions Counseling

3

 

 

SPECIALIZED COURSEWORK:  9 SEMESTER HRS

TITLE

HOURS

 

 

Elective

In consultation with advisor (electives may vary each semester)

3

 

 

Elective

In consultation with advisor (electives may vary each semester)

3

 

 

Elective

In consultation with advisor (electives may vary each semester)

3

***COU 6999 is the exit exam course. This is not a physical or on-line class; however, you must enroll in COU 6999 and successfully complete this comprehensive exam (Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam; CPCE) 1-2 semesters prior to your expected graduation semester.

For the most up-to-date list of courses and requirements, please consult Mississippi College’s course catalog.

Mental Health Counseling, M.S. Admissions

Our master’s program in Mental Health Counseling wishes to recruit students from diverse backgrounds who demonstrate character, maturity, scholarship, leadership, church/community involvement and interest in the counseling profession. Applicants must have a GPA above 3.0 in their prior undergraduate work from an accredited college or university and meet the general admissions requirements for becoming a Mississippi College graduate student. 

While prospective students may apply year-round, application deadlines for the upcoming semesters are:

  • June 1 for Fall Semester
  • October 1 for Spring Semester
  • February 1 for Summer Session

Consult the detailed admissions requirements for further information on applying to our M.S. in Mental Health Counseling. 

Take the next step

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Mississippi College graduate. Visit campus, request info, or apply today.