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Mental Health Counseling Overview

Mental health counselors are a vital resource for individuals and families, and help communities thrive. 

This program qualifies graduates to sit for the New York state professional licensing exam, and to seek initial employment towards meeting the 3,000-hour supervised experience required for licensure.

Your practicum and internship experiences will allow you to focus on specific types of counseling. 

Career Opportunities

Mental health counselors work in settings including:

  • Family services 
  • Outpatient centers
  • Hospitals
  • Government
  • Private practice
  • Substance Disorders Programs
  • Community Agencies
Substance abuse counseling.

22% Growth

Career Outcomes
Job growth is more than four times faster than the national average for all professions.

$51K  Salary

The average pay for educational, guidance, school and vocational counsellors in NY is $51,000 

No GRE Required

Enroll full or part-time

Program Outcomes

By the end of this program, students should be able to: 

  • Identify and apply the American Mental Health Counseling Association standards to qualify to take the licensing examination in Mental Health Counseling required by New York State

  • Demonstrate mastery of the eight CACREP Core Counseling Competencies: Human Growth and Development, Social and Cultural Foundations, Theories of Counseling, Groups, Lifestyle and Career Development, Appraisal, Research and Program Evaluation, and Professional Orientation and Ethics

  • Identify and treat symptoms presented by clients

  • Define, explain, and apply counseling methods for the assessment, diagnosis & treatment of mental disorders

  • Apply current knowledge and research from social and behavioral sciences, including the use of technology, to the practice of counseling

  • Identify and explain the impact of cultural diversity on counseling techniques and make appropriate applications

Outside The Classroom

Two required internships allow graduates to hone their specialties. We have strong relationships with clinics across New York City and Westchester, ensuring that when students graduate they are prepared with experience and professional contacts.

Salutatorian-Gina Walpole.

Degree Requirements

  • Successful completion of 60 graduate credits for Mental Health Counseling
  • A 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Successful completion of a written comprehensive examination

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between matriculation to the Mental Health Counseling program and probationary admission?

Admission to the graduate program requires: (1) two professional letters of recommendation, (2) a two to three page essay stating the applicant's reason(s) for pursuing a degree in counseling, (3) a resume, (4) completion of a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an approved institution, (5) an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above (on a 4.0 scale), including grades of B or better in one three-credit mathematics or statistics course. If you do not meet all these requirements you may be admitted on a provisional basis until you have fulfilled the prerequisites or (in the case of GPA), demonstrated your ability to do adequate graduate-level work. You must complete the prerequisites within the first two semesters (or nine credits) of study. Master's Degree in Counseling or a Master's Degree in Mental Health Counseling.

Are certification and licensure the same?

Certification and licensure are not the same. Certification is done by specific certifying bodies, such as the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). Licensure is established by individual states.

How long does the Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling usually take?

Generally, three to four years, with a maximum of five years allowed for degree completion (exclusive of time spent in the armed forces).

What will this degree prepare me to do?

Fulfill partial requirements for licensure as a Mental Health Counselor. The 60-credit course of studies prepares you for licensure in counseling at public and private agencies or in private practice. The Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling is a licensure-qualifying 60-credit program. Graduates are eligible to seek initial employment towards meeting the 3,000-hour externship required for licensure as a mental health counselor in New York State.

Program Details & Curriculum


The 60-credit Master of Science Degree Program in Mental Health Counseling is organized as follows:

Level I: 18 Credits
Basic Foundational Knowledge, Theories and Skills

Level II: 21 Credits
Intermediate Pre-Internship Prep., Social Basis of Behavior and Assessment

Level III: 21 Credits
Advanced Specialty Concentration and Internship

Total: 60 Credits