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.

Mental Health Counseling Degree Map

Explore the courses you'll need to complete your degree

Outcomes & Careers

  • $50k

    Mental Health Counselor

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a mental health counselor is $49,710.

  • $82k

    School Psychologist

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a clinical, counseling, and school psychologist is $81,500.

  • $60k

    School and Career Counselors

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a school or career counselor is $60,140.

What You'll Study

Degree Map

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.

The preferred application date to submit all application materials is February 1 of the year in which admission is desired. Admission is considered for fall and summer semesters only. In addition to the criteria established for general admission to graduate studies, applicants must have the following: 

  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale 
  • One letter of recommendation submitted directly to the Office of Admissions prior to admission. The letter should be addressed to the Director of Admissions. 
  • Nine total credits in the social sciences, including, psychology, counseling, sociology or appropriately focused university studies courses 

International applicants must also have a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 OR TOEFL score of 95. This requirement is for non-United States citizens who are not native English speakers. Students from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are exempt from English proficiency verification. 

Students will have an interview with member(s) of the counseling faculty prior to admission. Students must complete a personal statement essay describing their decision to pursue counseling as a career prior to the scheduled interview (submit directly to the Department of Psychology and Counseling). Following the interview, faculty will offer provisional admission, probationary admission, or deny admission. 

To become fully admitted, applicants must complete the following: Satisfactorily complete CP610 Counseling Orientation and Ethics during their first semester and submit two additional letters of recommendation directly to their advisor. 

Probationary Admission 

Probationary admission will be considered by the program admissions committee if the applicant has a 2.75 to 2.99 undergraduate GPA or if the applicant has achieved a GPA of 3.25 during the last 60 hours of undergraduate work. Students admitted to the counseling program on probation must attain a 3.5 GPA for the first 9 hours of graduate work. Unless authorized by the advisor, probationary students must include the following courses in the first 9 hours of coursework: CP610 Counseling Orientation and Ethics, CP 612 Counseling Theories, and CP691 Research Methods and Program Evaluation in Counseling. A student earning any grade less than a "B" in any of the first nine hours, but still maintaining a 3.0 GPA, will be allowed to repeat the course one time and must earn a grade of "B" or better. 

Appeals Process 

Applicants who are denied admission can appeal to the Counseling Program Admission Committee. 

Required Courses

  • CP610 Counseling Orientation and Ethics (3)
  • CP611 Developmental Theories (3)
  • CP612 Counseling Theories (3)
  • CP613 Social and 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:

  •  CP652 Introduction to Play Therapy (3) 

  • ED535 The Trauma Informed Professional (3) 

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

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

This 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.

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