Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Explore Counseling in a Hybrid Format

Union Institute & University’s major in Clinical Mental Health Counseling prepares you for certification or licensure as a professional counselor or clinical mental health counselor. It will also equip you for future doctoral studies in counseling and related fields – without sacrificing your job or your income. Our flexible online Master of Arts degree program offers supervised practicum and internship experiences as required by state and national agencies and credentialing bodies.

A unique hybrid learning format

Union’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program features a hybrid instructional format. Our distance education program combines online coursework, face-to-face academic experience, and live/synchronous meetings between students and expert faculty with doctoral degrees and practitioner experience.

Advanced training

and degree

Pursue licensing

and certification

Start a foundation

for your doctoral research


meetings & attention

Union’s face-to-face residency experiences are conducted twice each calendar year at our Cincinnati, Ohio academic center. By attending these annual residencies, you will get a chance to interact with your instructors and colleagues in-person.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Structure & Courses

•  60 credit hour program
•  Full-time & part-time options
• January, May, and August start dates
• Curriculum residencies held each term

Major & Core Courses
Advanced Courses
Graduation Capstone

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the admissions criteria?

Admission is open to applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution or a recognized international institution of higher education. The admission decision is based upon the following: (1) a cumulative GPA of 3.0, (2) official transcripts from all previous institutions, (3) completed online application and personal statement detailing personal and professional goals, (4) resume or curriculum vitae, (5) 3 professional references, including one from a person qualified to evaluate your potential for clinical work, (6) English proficiency (if applicable), and (7) individual interview.

How much will the program cost me? Are there financial aid or scholarship funds available?

For a list of current tuition and fees, click here. There are a number of federal and state student aid programs available to qualified students. A financial aid counselor can assist you with questions related to your specific circumstances. Additionally, click here for information about scholarship opportunities to help you meet tuition costs.

What are my responsibilities as a student when it comes to preparing for licensing/certification?

If you have not done so already, secure a copy of your state’s credentialing requirements and compare it to the coursework and internship guidelines defined in the major in Clinical Mental Health Counseling University Catalog. If your state’s requirements differ from the course sequence checklist outlined in the university catalog, your studies can often be realigned to achieve your desired outcome. All students are required to take the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) in their final term. The exam stimulates student integration of knowledge learned throughout the curriculum and gives comparative feedback on areas of strength and weakness.

When can I start the program and when will I graduate?

Start dates occur each year in January, May, and August. The hybrid delivery model in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program offers students a blended online and residency-based academic experience. Students will attend three, three-day weekend residencies annually, along with full-featured online course delivery. Residencies are held at the Brattleboro, Vermont and Cincinnati, Ohio Academic Centers. Students may complete this 60-credit program in 6 consecutive terms, or 2 years. In the past three years, our program has graduated an average of 14 students each year from around the country.

What kind of job will I qualify for after I graduate with a master’s degree in counseling?

Our program prepares students for state licensure or national certification.  Graduates will qualify for supervised positions providing mental health services to individuals, groups and organizations in a variety of settings while completing the post-graduate clinical hours required for licensure in their state or certification at the national level.

Licensure & certification details

While no program can guarantee licensure or certification to any individual, numerous external regulatory and state credentialing/licensing requirements for professional counselors were used in the design of the M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. These include academic course requirements shared by states and stipulations made by national credentialing bodies for specific types of national certification. Prospective clinical mental health counseling students should review their state’s licensing requirements before matriculating into licensure-bound studies at Union Institute & University.

The M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is preparing its self-study for application for accreditation with the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and is expecting to submit it during the 2015-2016 academic year. The application process may take up to 18 months to complete, and submission of an application does not guarantee accreditation.

Please note: Completion of the M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree does not automatically qualify you for certification or licensure in your state. Consult the appropriate state or national regulatory agency regarding licensure or certification requirements and processes for application. The ultimate responsibility regarding licensure or certification remains with the individual student and not with the institution.

Meet Our Clinical Mental Health Counseling Faculty

Hear what our

students are saying

I had to find a university that understood my priorities and goals, and I have...the university is committed to helping veterans complete their education and career goals through the Veterans in Union program.

Kylie H.Student

I had to work and I had children at home. I couldn’t quit my job and attend a bricks-and-mortar school....I searched for a university that offered flexibility, online classes and face-to-face academic experience....I loved my time at Union. My professors were excellent, both online and in-person. I cherish the time spent with them and my fellow students.

Kerry S.Graduate

Thank you all for the excellent weekend residency. It was a great combination of staff and guest lectures combined with hands-on experience. I found the role-play practice counseling sessions invaluable for getting an idea how conducting sessions in real time might feel.