M.S.Clinical Mental Health Counseling

counseling

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling prepares you to work in diverse settings such as mental health facilities, substance abuse centers, community and four-year college counseling centers, non-profit organizations, domestic violence shelters, and more as well as private practice under supervision, moving toward state licensure. Western Carolina University’s Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is intentionally designed to give you the skills you need to pursue the employment you are passionate about. This program is nationally CACREP-accredited.

Applications to the School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialties may be submitted at any time during the year. Admission decisions, however, are made one time per year. The application deadline is February 1 annually.

The majority of counseling classes during the academic year are taught in three-hour blocks in the evening from 5:00 to 7:50 p.m. at the Western Carolina University Biltmore Park Instructional Site. The WCU Biltmore Park Instructional Site is located at 28 Schenck Parkway in Biltmore Park Town Square, Asheville. Day classes are available as space allows. 

What You'll Learn

The M.S. in Mental Health Counseling is a 60-semester hour program that utilizes the traditional classroom setting along with practical experience. Some of the issues covered in the classroom include: human growth and development; social and cultural foundations of counseling; and professional counselor orientation. Students will also explore issues related to mental health counseling such as ethics and legal issues. Outside of the classroom students will engage in at least 600 hours of hands-on learning during a full-time internship. Graduates are prepared to pursue the post-Master's Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential.

Where You'll Go

There are a number of organizations in need of qualified mental health counselors. Some destinations for employment are domestic violence shelters, mental health facilities, college campuses and substance abuse centers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states the average salary for mental health counselors is $43,990 and is predicting the job field to increase 29% by 2022.

Next Steps

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