Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs prepare graduates to work with clients across a spectrum of mental and emotional disorders, as well as to promote mental health and wellness. Clients may be seen individually, in couples, families, or group settings. Clinical Mental Health Counselors are knowledgeable in the principles and practices of diagnosis, treatment, referral and prevention and often work in interdisciplinary teams with other health professionals (e.g., psychiatrists, social workers, MDs). Employment opportunities may include private practice, community-based mental health centers, hospitals and other treatment centers.

Application Deadline

  • March 1 (Fall session)

Applications for full-time study are accepted continually for Fall session entry.

Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree from a Regionally Accredited American College or University, or an equivalent degree from another country as determined by the Office of Admissions
  • Undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 or better on a four-point scale
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General test – verbal and quantitative
  • English Proficiency Requirements (international applicants)
  • A personal interview (in person or by telephone) with the faculty

Application Procedure

  1. Create an application account to begin the application process.
  2. Submit the online application to the Graduate College and pay the $60 application fee by credit card ($100 for international applicants).
  3. Once you have submitted your application, you will receive email instructions on how to establish your HawkID and password which you will use to access MyUI, our online service center for students and applicants.
  4. You will use your Admissions Profile on MyUI to upload required supplemental materials.

Required Supplemental Materials

  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions
  • Official GRE scores from Educational Testing Service (the University’s institutional code is 6681)
  • Official TOEFL scores may be required for some non-native speakers of English
  • Current Resume
  • A statement of purpose, including a statement of your personal career objectives.
  • Three letters of recommendation*

* You will be asked to give the contact information of your recommenders, including their email, on your Admissions Profile. The recommender will then get an email with instructions on how to upload the recommendation letter and/or form.

Contacts

Application questions can be directed to: Sue Cline in the Office of Student Services   319/335-5260, sue-cline@uiowa.edu.

We look forward to receiving your application!

Our Master's program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) is fully accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Professions (CACREP) and provides an exciting array of community and clinical experiences to prepare clinically skilled, knowledgeable and committed mental health counselors. Master's graduates obtain an excellent education in mental health counseling that will qualify them for national certification through the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). In addition, students specifically prepare for mental health counselor licensure or drug/alcohol counselor certification that are relevant to their future practices.

The CMHC program prepares professional counselors to provide assistance with psychological wellness through flexible, consumer-oriented therapy to individuals experiencing various problems in living, including mental disorders and substance abuse. They combine traditional psychotherapy with a practical, problem-solving approach that creates a dynamic efficient path for change and problem resolution.

Clinical mental health counselors work in a variety of settings, including public government agencies; private practice; community mental health agencies; managed behavioral health care organizations; integrated delivery systems; hospitals, including the Veteran’s Administration; employee assistance programs; and substance abuse treatment centers. They provide interventions designed to help individuals with their immediate needs such as assessment and diagnosis, psychotherapy, treatment planning, brief and solution-focused therapy, alcoholism and substance abuse treatment, psychoeducational and prevention, and crisis management.

Course Delivery and Pedagogy

The M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling requires a minimum of 60 s.h. of graduate credit. Full-time students can complete the program in two academic years (four semesters).

All our classes meet face to face. Technology is used to provide distance supervision in clinical courses depending on the placement of the student. Throughout the program of study, students will participate of lecture and seminar-type classes, group discussions, individual presentations, and will be exposed to the expertise of our community members who serve as guest lecturers. Students are also expected to be engaged as consumers and creators of research and professional service. 

Preparation for Licensure as a Mental Health Counselor

The M.A. program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation on Counseling and Related Professions (CACREP) as a Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program. Master's graduates are eligible for certification by the National Board on Counselor Certification (NBCC) upon completion of an approved internship and satisfactory performance on the certification examination. In addition, this CACREP accredited coursework meets the educational requirements for licensure as a mental health counselor in Iowa. Each state in the United States maintains its own requirements for licensure. Although they are all similar, and the UI Program usually meets these academic requirements, it is recommended that you check the licensure requirements in the state in which you plan to practice.

The American Counseling Association web site provides contact information on state counselor licensure boards. Information about Iowa licensure for mental health counselors is available through the web site for the Iowa Department of Public Health, Iowa Board of Behavioral Sciences. After completing the Master’s program, graduates must typically complete post-graduate supervised practice hours and an examination prior to being licensed.

Courses and Concentration Requirements

The master's degree program provides a systematically planned curriculum that blends academic work with supervised clinical experiences. As a part of the training curricula, students complete course work in the nature of psychiatric disorders, diagnosis, and treatment planning, intervention, and outcome evaluation. Please click on this link to view the recommended classes and sessions in the CMHC M.A. Program of Study. Please use when meeting with your advisor.

Required Courses

Course # Course Name Semester Hours
RCE:5202 Introduction to Group Counseling 3
RCE:5203 Career Development 3
RCE:5221 Theories of Counseling and Human Development Across the Life Span 3
RCE:5241 Introduction to Clinical Mental Health Counseling 3
RCE:5247 Medical and Psychosocial Aspects of Disability Across the Developmental Life Span 6
RCE:5248 Diagnosis and Treatment Planning for Traditional, Vulnerable, and Special Populations in Counseling 3
RCE:5249 Psychopathology, Psychiatric Rehabilitation, and Emerging Approaches in Counseling 3
RCE:5250 Multiculturalism in Helping Professions 3
RCE:5254 Assessment and Appraisal 3
RCE:5270 Issues and Ethics in Counseling 3
RCE:6349 Practicum in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 3
RCE:6352 Internship in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 12
RCE:6353 Applied Pre-Practicum in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 6
RCE:6354 Advanced Practicum in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 3
RCE:6500 Research Methods in Counseling 3
Total Hours 60

Comprehensive Examination

In addition to the three-hour departmental comprehensive examination, another three-hour written examination on the process and practice of rehabilitation and mental health counseling is required. Exams are offered only during fall and spring semesters.

Employment Opportunities

The M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling prepares professional counselors to assist persons with psychiatric disabilities in particular and mental health conditions by coordinating resources and providing services in:

  • Private Practice
  • Community Agencies
  • Managed Behavioral Health Care Organizations
  • Integrated Delivery Systems
  • Hospitals
  • Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Centers
Employment Opportunities

The M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling prepares professional counselors to assist persons with psychiatric disabilities in particular and mental health conditions by coordinating resources and providing services in:

  • Private Practice
  • Community Agencies
  • Managed Behavioral Health Care Organizations
  • Integrated Delivery Systems
  • Hospitals
  • Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Centers
Application Deadlines
  • March 1 (Fall session)

Applications for full-time study are accepted continually for Fall session entry.

 

Application Questions?

Sue Cline
Office of Student Services
319-335-5260
sue-cline@uiowa.edu.

 

APPLY NOW!