The fundamental mission of the Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialty is to educate and train counselors who will promote the optimal functioning of individuals, families, groups, and communities. Built upon a foundation of knowledge, skills, and dispositions within a multicultural and social justice framework, program graduates will be able to translate research-validated practices into effective strategies for individuals, groups, and families from diverse backgrounds. The course of study will support the acquisition of competency-based knowledge while fostering professional and personal growth through self-reflection and constructive feedback.
About the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master's Program
Clinical mental health counselors facilitate the growth and development of individuals, families, and groups through the helping relationship. They practice in a range of settings, including outpatient, inpatient, and community mental health agencies, individual and group private practice settings, and other contexts where counseling and mental health services are provided. CMHC is a distinct licensure specialty from other helping professions such as psychology, social work, psychiatry, and psychiatric nursing. Like other mental health professions, a variety of issues may be addressed through professional counseling, and the University of Utah CMHC program emphasizes the use of culturally-relevant, empirically supported, and strength-based approaches in addressing these issues.
The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialty is designed to prepare students for entry level counseling positions in community mental health and human service agencies. This specialty is currently designed to meet the educational requirements for licensure as a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC) in the state of Utah, and is congruent with national standards for master's level licensure in most other jurisdictions across the country. Accordingly, the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialty requires a minimum of 60 credit hours, typically over three years, with the final year culminating in a 1000-hour field-based internship.
The faculty is committed to offering a manageable program of study, with course offerings that accommodate those balancing work and family. Consequently, most required courses meet once per week in the early evening. Moreover, we are dedicated to providing close, individualized attention to our students, selecting only 8-12 students per year. Because we limit our numbers, students regularly provide feedback that they are well-known among the faculty, receive close supervision, and appreciate the small class sizes. Students also comment on both the non-competitive, collegial atmosphere among their class peers and the close connections they are able to develop because of the smaller cohort size.
Students admitted to the Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialty have completed at least a bachelor's degree and have relevant experience and/or education in psychology. Please consult Information for Applicants for specific details on requirements for applying to the program. Please also consult the Program Handbook, which is revised annually for our incoming students, providing details regarding the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program's objectives, curriculum, and internship requirements.
Second Year Cohort