Do more than listen. Champion others’ accomplishments.

The mental health counseling program trains potential counselors for a variety of mental health settings. There, you’ll see lives transformed, goals achieved, affect the lives of others. It’s a rewarding career with a variety of pathways from schools to clinical to grief to substance abuse.

What You’ll Do

The program focuses on building a strong foundation of knowledge through counseling core courses. Students are eligible for both counselor licensure and national certification upon completion. You’ll be prepared by:

  • Working closely with faculty mentors who provide strength-based and constructive feedback.
  • Participating in practicum and internship experiences to gain hands-on, real-world knowledge.
  • Presenting with faculty at state and national professional conferences.

What Can You Do with a Mental Health Counseling Master's Degree?

The Mental Health Counseling Program is designed to train potential counselors for a variety of mental health settings.

Internship, Employment, and Graduate Program Opportunities of Recent Graduates

  • Graduates of our program have internship opportunities and become employed at agencies
    within our local region.
  • Graduates are leaders and clinical coordinators in our local agencies and within the university’s Counseling and Disability Services.
  • Graduates are eligible for counselor licensure.
  • Graduates are eligible for national certification.
  • Graduates have elected to further their education through attaining a Ph. D. in Counselor Education and Supervision.

Outcomes & Careers

  • 95%

    Successful Outcomes Rate

    Students graduating with degrees from the Department of Psychology and Counseling report being employed or furthering their education six months after graduation.

  • $44k

    Mental Health Counselor

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a mental health counselor is $44,170.

  • $89k

    School Psychologist

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a clinical, counseling, and school psychologist is $89,290.

  • $58k

    School and Career Counselors

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a school or career counselor is $58,120.

Mental Health Counseling Degree Map

Explore the courses you'll need to complete your degree

What You'll Study

With a master’s degree in mental health counseling, you’ll be trained to be multi-culturally competent, practice ethically, and advocate for your clients and the profession. The program is designed to accommodate the schedules of busy professionals.

  1. Undergraduate GPA of 3.0* on a 4.0 scale
  2. Three (3) letters of recommendation (one is required to begin the process, an additional two are required before full admission to the program can be completed.)
  3. Have an undergraduate preparation of 9 total credits in the social sciences, including, psychology, counseling, sociology or appropriately focused university studies courses.

The candidate must satisfactorily complete CP 610 Counseling Orientation and Ethics. Students must complete a personal statement essay as well. Students will have an interview with member(s) of the counseling faculty. Following the interview, faculty will offer provisional admission, probationary admission, or deny admission. 

*With the approval of the admissions committee, students that have an undergraduate GPA of 2.75-2.99 or have achieved a GPA of 3.25 during the last 60 hours of undergraduate work may be admitted on a probationary basis. Students who hold a master’s degree with a 3.5 GPA will have satisfied the admissions GPA requirement. Students admitted on probation must attain a 3.5 GPA for the first 9 hours of graduate work.

  • CP610 Counseling Orientation and Ethics (3)
  • CP611 Developmental Theories (3)
  • CP612 Counseling Theories (3)
  • CP613 Social & Cultural Aspects of Counseling (3)
  • CP614 Counseling Skills (3)
  • CP615 Career Development (3)
  • CP616 Group Counseling (3)
  • CP617 Assessment in Counseling (3)
  • CP631 Crisis Intervention and Consultation (3)
  • CP640 Foundations of Mental Health Counseling (3)
  • CP641 Mental Health Systems and Prevention (3)
  • CP643 Psychodiagnostics and Treatment (3)
  • CP645 Marriage and Family Counseling (3)
  • CP661 Addictions Counseling (3)
  • CP680 Counseling Practicum (3)
  • CP686 Internship – Mental Health (3)
  • CP687 Internship -- Mental Health (3)
  • CP688 Advanced Internship -- Mental Health (3)
  • CP691 Research Methods and Program Evaluation in Counseling (3)
  • GR698 Master’s Final Comprehensive Exam (0)
  • Electives (3)

Suggested Electives:

  • CP664 Religion/Spirituality (3)
  • CP652 Intro to Plan Therapy (3)

Prerequisites: 9 credit hours in the social sciences, including psychology, counseling, sociology or appropriately focused general education courses.

First Year 

Fall Semester (9 Hours) 

  • CP 610-Counseling Orientation and Ethics
  • CP 612-Counseling Theories
  • CP 640-Foundations of Mental Health Counseling

Spring Semester (9 Hours) 

  • CP 614-Counseling Skills
  • GR 691-Methods of Research
  • CP 641-Mental Health Systems and Prevention

Summer Semester (9 Hours) 

  • CP 616-Group Counseling
  • CP 613-Social and Cultural Aspects of Counseling
  • CP 643-Psychodiagnostics and Treatment

Second Year 

Fall Semester (12 Hours) 

  • CP 680-Counseling Practicum
  • CP 615-Career Development
  • CP 661-Addictions Counseling
  • Elective Course

Spring Semester (12 Hours) 

  • CP 686-Internship: Mental Health
  • CP 687-Internship: Mental Health
  • CP 645-Marriage and Family Counseling
  • CP 631-Crisis Intervention and Consultation

Summer Semester (6 Hours) 

  • CP 688-Advanced Internship: Mental Health
  • CP 617-Assessment in Counseling


Graduate Assistantships

The graduate assistantship (GA) is designed to provide support during full-time graduate study. It’s an opportunity for the graduate students to serve in a professional role while establishing a professional relationship with faculty and administrators. In addition to a per-year stipend, GAs gain valuable experience. There are two kinds of assistantships: teaching and administrative.

College of Education, Health and Human Studies

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is housed within the College of Education, Health and Human Studies. The college boasts programs that train students in mind, body, and soul. So, whether you want to teach, to care, to support, or to fix, we have a program to get you there.

Become a Redhawk.

Do more than dream about the future. Take the first steps to make it all happen.

Getting the Job

Your education is just one piece to launching an extraordinary career. Once you’ve mastered the material, you still have to find the job you want, make the right connections, sell your knowledge and experience—and if all this is giving you anxiety, don’t panic. SEMO’s Career Services office is here to help you with the next step. They’ll provide the expertise and support you need, so you’re landing your dream job in no time.

Graduate Coordinators

Graduate coordinators serve as the contact for graduate programs. The coordinators are most often faculty within the college that houses the program, helping you to get questions answered and first-hand knowledge of the degree requirements and placement opportunities.

Department of Psychology and Counseling Accreditations and Verifications

  • CACREP (Counseling and Related Educational Programs)
  • Association for Behavior Analysis International
Office Location
Scully 404
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 5700
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701