Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Who is the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program for?

The Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program at University of Western States (UWS) is designed for students who want to diagnose and treat those with mental health disorders as licensed counselors. As careers progress, students can become clinical supervisors and mental and behavioral health program administrators.

What does the program cover?

The comprehensive, systems-based approach to the curriculum covers eight core content areas and special courses in trauma, addiction, couples and families, and psychopharmacology. Students will cover professional counseling orientation and ethical practice; social and cultural diversity; human growth and development; career development; counseling and helping relationships; group counseling and group work; assessment and testing; and research and program evaluation.

How is the degree completed?

Comprised of 90 quarter credits, this degree is completed 100% online with face-to-face internship requirements within students’ communities. Five terms of clinical field placement (one term of practicum and four of internship) allow students real-life application of their skills with live clients. Faculty assist students in finding these field placements, contract with local supervisors and include university-based supervision. Strong student engagement makes the program feel like a cohort model, but students can request flexibility in their program plan to accommodate work and life responsibilities. Students can complete the master’s as a stand-alone program (90 credits) or as a component of the EdD in sport and performance psychology with clinical mental health counseling specialization (148 credits). Application requirements differ.


This program prepares students to sit for the National Counselor Exam (NCE) or the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Exam (NCHMCE). Passing the NCE/NCHMCE exams are required for licensure in one’s state. It is the responsibility of the individual student to understand and comply with all state licensure requirements. As state licensing boards do not review programmatic content prior to application for licensure, UWS makes no representations or guarantee that completion of UWS coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain state licensure. Learn more about licensure by state on our professional licensure disclosure page.

Standardized Patient Program

A feature of this program is the standardized patient component, which provides unique and personalized learning for clinical mental health counseling students. Faculty design specific case studies, which create opportunities for students to apply their knowledge in simulated “real-world” scenarios with specially-trained actors. Students also have the opportunity to design their own case studies to demonstrate conceptualization skills and process understanding.

Watch the video segment to see Dr. Michelle Rose, CMHC director, working with an actor from the standardized patient program.

Faculty and Staff

Meet the esteemed clinical mental health counseling faculty and staff.

Specialize with a Doctoral Degree

University of Western States offers a doctor of education (EdD) in sport and performance psychology, with a focus on clinical mental health counseling. This program is an ideal option for candidates who may be interested in earning their clinical mental health counseling master’s and an EdD in sport and performance psychology in one streamlined program. The EdD degree integrates clinical counseling with sport and performance courses and prepares students for careers as sport and performance consultants, clinical counselors, educators, athletic directors and sport program administrators. The degree is also helpful if you are currently working in the field of sport and performance and would like to advance or specialize in your work by obtaining a clinical license or CMPC® (clinical mental performance consultant) certification.

UWS also offers a sport and performance psychology consulting (SPPC) concentration within the EdD-SPP, CMHC specialization. The SPPC concentration curriculum has been designed specifically to allow students to complete mentorship hours in partial fulfillment of the requirements to obtain certification as a Certified Mental Performance Consultant® (CMPC) through the Association of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP). 

Learn more about these these doctoral degree options.

Is counseling your calling?

Watch this video with Dr. Michelle Rose (formerly Cox), CMHC director, to find out how the CMHC program can help you reach your goals.