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Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) exposes students to in-depth training—featuring three semesters of fieldwork experience—and evidence-based teaching to prepare students for today’s mental health challenges and to become leaders in the field.

The graduate program meets the current academic requirements of the State of Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board for the licenses of Professional Counselor (PC) and Professional Clinical Counselor (PCC). The degree also meets the academic requirements for the National Counselor Certification (NCC) of the National Board for Certified Counselors.

Students have the option to focus their studies on Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH) or Substance Use Disorders (SUD) Counseling. SUD Counseling students are eligible for Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counseling (LICDC), without requiring a state exam.

The 60-credit-hour program can be completed in as little as two years through a combination of face-to-face,
hybrid, and online courses. Early in the program, classes are primarily on campus, enabling students to build
community and work closely with faculty. Later in the program, as students dedicate themselves to significant
work at their internship sites, some classes are held online to ease scheduling and balancing personal
commitments. Our diverse student community is composed of both full- and part-time students, allowing you
to progress through the program at your own pace. Students interested in a fully online program may enroll in
John Carroll’s Online Clinical Mental Health Counseling program.

  • Successful completion of an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution.
  • This program has no set submission deadline. Applications are considered on a rolling basis upon completion. Admission decisions will be made based on space in the program.
  • No GRE Required
  • Free Application
  • Official Transcript(s)
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Interview
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  • Photograph
  • No GRE Required

Upon completion of this CACREP-accredited master’s program, you’ll have completed the academic
requirements for an initial license as a Licensed Professional Counselor or Mental Health Counselor. Typically
after a period of supervised work post-graduation, you’ll be independently licensed and able to diagnose and
treat mental and emotional disorders without supervision. Depending on the state where you will practice as
a counselor, there may be additional post-graduation requirements you need to fulfill. John Carroll staff are
available to support students from enrollment to graduation to licensure.

The Department of Counseling offer's a post-master's option to allow individuals to seek their clinical mental health counseling license. Individuals who are eligible for this licensure-seeking program must already hold a degree in counseling (e.g., school counseling). The number of credits required to complete this post-master's option varies depending on the courses completed by an applicant in their previous graduate program.

To find more information about this, please review our JCU Graduate Bulletin page for this program here. Any questions about this program can be directed to the Department of Counseling or the JCU Graduate School.

Prepare for a Career in Clinical Mental Health Counseling


Core sequence (30 credit hours)

CG 5500 - Orientation to Counseling (3)
CG 5505 - Human Growth and Development (3)
CG 5509 - Research Methods for Mental Health Professionals (3)
CG 5514 - Addiction Knowledge (3)
CG 5530 - Tests and Measurements (3)
CG 5531 - Career Development and Vocational Appraisal (3)
CG 5535 - Group Procedures (3)
CG 5561 - Counseling Theories (3)
CG 5562 - Counseling Techniques and Practice (3)
CG 5563 - Diversity Issues in Counseling (3)

Clinical sequence (12 credit hours)

CG 5571 - Clinical Evaluation (3)
CG 5572 - Clinical Diagnosis and Psychopathology (3)
CG 5573 - Clinical Intervention, Prevention, and Ethics (3)
CG 5574 - Clinical Treatment Methods (3)

Field experience sequence (9 credit hours)

CG 5592 - Clinical Mental Health Counseling Practicum (3)
CG 5596 - Clinical Mental Health Counseling Internship (6)

Electives (9 credit hours)

Possible electives include:

CG 5554 - Counseling Children and Adolescents (3)
CG 5557 - Trauma Informed Counseling (3)
CG 5558 - Expressive Arts in Counseling (3)
CG 5559 - LGBTQIA+ Issues in Counseling (3)
CG 5581 - Special Topics: Grief Counseling

Substance Use Disorder Concentration Electives (9 credit hours)

CG 5515 - Treatment Knowledge (3)
CG 5516 - Service Coordination and Documentation (3)
CG 5556 - Family and Relationship Dynamics in Counseling (3)

Applied Behavior Analysis Concentration Electives (9 credit hours)
PS 5112 - Concepts and Principles in Behavior Analysis
PS 5121 - ABA 1: Analysis and Assessment
PS 5411 - ABA 2: Behavior Change Procedures and Intervention

View the Academic Planning Guide HERE. Once you have your email address you can access the guide in more detail to make an academic plan with your advisor. Do Not request edit access.

Substance Use Disorders (SUD) Concentration

Substance Use Disorders (SUD) Concentration

Students within the CMHC program can complete the SUD concentration via three electives. Once complete, graduates are eligible for a second license—Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counseling (LICDC)—which is highly desired by employers. JCU is the only program in the state of Ohio that has worked with the state licensing board in designing the curriculum so that students can skip the exam for the LICDC license.

Career Outlook

JCU graduate students begin working as counselors immediately upon graduation and it’s typical to be hired by their internship sites prior to graduation. In fact, in 2018-2019, 97% of graduates were employed as counselors within six months of graduation.

Given the rise of the U.S. Opioid Epidemic, Substance Use Disorders Counseling (SUDC) is a growing field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 19% growth in employment for Ohio substance use and behavioral disorder counselors from 2014-2024. This makes the LCDC and LICDC credentials highly valued by employers.

Finally, PCCs will have the ability to maintain a private practice or supervise other counselors.

Experience Opportunities

Fieldwork starts as early as the 3rd semester with a unique practicum lab at Moore Counseling and Mediation Services (MCMS), one of the preeminent behavioral health treatment centers in northeast Ohio. At MCMS, students will gain experience in the following areas:

  • Group Counseling
  • Individual Counseling
  • Assessments/Screenings
  • Dual Diagnosing Services (Mental Health and AOD)
  • Clinic/Medical Care
  • Medicated Assisted Treatment
  • Women-Specific Care (Women’s Center)
  • Men-Specific Care (HEAT Program)
  • Employee Assistant Programming
  • Case Management Services
  • Specialized Dockets/Court-Ordered Clients (Vets, Human Trafficking, Mental Health, Drug Court)
  • Educational Services (Domestic Violence, Parenting, Anger Management)

Plus, John Carroll’s reputation and established connections with more than 80 top employers within the community means students will be connected to coveted internships and jobs.