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M.A. in 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 2 to 2.5 years through a combination of face-to-face and hybrid/online courses. It is available to both full- and part-time students, allowing students to progress through the program at their own pace.


  • Undergraduate degree and transcripts from an accredited institution.
  • A written statement of purpose indicating personal interests, goals, and expectations from the degree program.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Current resume.
  • Interview.
  • No GRE required.
  • Scholarships are available on a competitive basis.
  • A limited number of graduate assistantships provide a tuition waiver for up to 15 credit hours per year plus a stipend. Students are expected to spend 20 hours per week working for the department.
  • Degree-seeking students are also eligible for federal student loans, non-degree-seeking students can explore private loans.
  • For more information on cost per credit hour or financial aid, contact Student Enrollment and Financial Services at (216) 397-4248.
  • The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate program requires 60 credit hours consisting of a combination of counseling and clinical courses and fieldwork, including practicum and internship in clinical mental health counseling.
  • The program requires three semesters of fieldwork experience.

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

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Experience Opportunities

Fieldwork starts in the first 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.

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Optional Areas of Study

Integrative Behavioral Health (IBH) Specialization

Students interested in gaining employment in medically underserved communities can apply to participate in the IBH Specialization at the same time as they apply for admission to the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. Students will not only receive specialized training in the fields of substance use disorders treatment and integrated behavioral health, but due to a $1.3 million federal grant (through 2021), full-time students can receive a $10,000 stipend during their internship field placement at Moore Counseling and Mediation Services (MCMS). No additional classes are required for participation in the specialization.

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.

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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.

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This Degree requires 60 credit hours. The program comprises Core Courses (27 hours):

  • CG 500 – Orientation to Counseling
  • CG 505 – Human Growth and Development
  • CG 509 – Research Methods for Mental Health Professionals
  • ED 530 – Tests & Measurements
  • CG 531 – Career Development and Vocational Appraisal
  • CG 535 – Group Procedures
  • CG 561 – Counseling Theories
  • CG 562 – Counseling Techniques and Practice
  • CG 563 – Diversity Issues in Counseling

Clinical Courses (15 hours):

  • CG 514 – Addiction Knowledge
  • CG 571 – Clinical Evaluation
  • CG 572 – Clinical Diagnosis
  • CG 573 – Clinical Intervention, Prevention, and Ethics
  • CG 574 – Clinical Treatment Methods

Field Experience (9 hours):

  • CG 592 – Practicum in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • CG 596A – Internship in Clinical Mental Health Counseling I
  • CG 596B – Internship in Clinical Mental Health Counseling II

Electives (9 hours):

Courses are to be selected from among graduate offerings in appropriate departments. Specialty areas are available in chemical dependency and psychoeducational testing, among others.