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Student and professor on Interviewing Day 2019.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.S.

The role of mental health professionals has never been more important. By pursuing your degree and license through McDaniel, you'll be equipped to advance the health of your patients, making a valuable impact on their mood, productivity and overall wellness.

Degree Types
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Program Cost
$609 per credit
Total credits

About the Program

Through a combination of research, theory, and practice, our counseling program encourages graduate students to become reflective practitioners. Our graduates are employed in a variety of settings, including public and private schools, community colleges, hospitals, clinics, private practices, and human service agencies.

Receiving Your License

The Master of Science degree in Counseling (Clinical Mental Health Specialization) ensures eligibility for licensure in both Maryland and Pennsylvania upon successful completion of required courses, to include a practicum (100 hours) and an internship (600 hours).

Students are eligible to sit for their National Counselor Exam administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors upon graduation. They are able to apply for their respective states for licensure.

The Clinical Internship

As an intern, you will complete a 600 clock hour experience at a site or sites that prepare you for work in hospitals, private practice, human services agencies and clinics. You will engage in both individual and group counseling, and a variety of related activities that a regularly employed staff member in the setting would be expected to perform.

These experiences are meant to be the culminating experience in your program of study by allowing you the opportunity to apply, evaluate, and refine clinical skills by bridging the gap between theory and practice.

Throughout your experience, you will also develop the personal qualities, characteristics and behaviors of a professional counselor.

What You Need to Know About the M.S. in Counseling

Admissions Requirements

  • Completed application for graduate study
  • Official transcript verifying completion of an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0
  • Professional Resume
  • Goal Statement Essay
  • Successful completion of an in-person interview with a Counseling advisor

Upon admission, students must also must complete a criminal background disclosure statement and may be required to undergo a criminal background check and finger printing at the student’s expense.  Students should be aware that a criminal background may prohibit practicum and internship placement and therefore may be a barrier to program completion. Students should also be aware that it may also be a barrier to obtaining licensure. All incidents of criminal history must be self-reported to both the program and to the practicum and internship sites prior to enrollment and at any time throughout the program. All students may be subject to criminal background and finger printing by McDaniel College and by the practicum and internship site at any time.

Degree Requirements

  • Successful completion of 60 credits hours outlined in the curriculum
  • Minimum 3.0 G.P.A.
  • Successful completion of practicum and internship experiences.
Grad students sitting in outdoor chairs on campus.

Special Opportunities

Dual Purpose Training

Our training has a dual purpose: to ensure the counselor’s professional growth and skill development, and to increase the counselor’s personal growth and self-awareness.  This latter purpose is emphasized and given serious focus throughout the program. 

Both cognitive and affective learning are considered necessary in counselor preparation, and this belief is reflected throughout the program.  

Grad students in conversation in lobby.

Advancing Your Career Career Paths for M.S. in Counseling

Students who graduate with an M.S. in Counseling have pursued careers as both specialists and generalist practitioners in:

  • Private practice
  • Community agencies
  • Managed behavioral health care organizations
  • Integrated delivery systems
  • Hospitals
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Substance abuse treatment centers
Photo of professor Lyneia Richardson standing outside in a garden.

Lyneia Richardson, Ph.D. Faculty Feature

Lyneia Richardson was inspired to pursue Psychology after meeting educators who were also practicing psychologists. Now a licensed psychologist herself, for 10 years she has provided services in a variety of clinical settings. Her Ph.D. dissertation at Howard University focused on understanding the impact of race and gender on professional Black women and their mental health. She now teaches courses like Family Counseling and Diversity Sensitive Counseling in McDaniel’s Counseling graduate program. “It’s great to have practical experience that I can bring right into class.”

A student in a yellow shirt and jeans holds her hands out to either side while holding two halves of a model brain.

Green Terror Alum Class of 2024: Tyra Pritchett 5-Year Psychology B.A. to Counseling M.S.

After graduating with her bachelor’s in Psychology, Tyra is continuing at McDaniel in the Mental Health Counseling master’s program — a five-year accelerated B.A. to M.S. pathway on the Hill. 

"I’ve had a few research experiences within my classes. I helped Dr. Maggie McDevitt with studying the behaviors of pigeons when motivated by food, and I got to research my favorite topics in classes with Dr. Jack Arnal and Dr. Holly Chalk. My favorite experience was my internship with Kennedy Krieger. I interned with their Child and Family Therapy Clinic for two summers in a row. I got to score measures, watch therapy sessions, and have Q&A sessions with the therapists there. I met so many people and made so many connections."