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Make a Positive Impact With a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Do you want to empower others to overcome difficult emotional challenges? Take the next step with Walden's CACREP-accredited MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program.

As one of the largest programs of its kind in the U.S.,1 our master’s in clinical mental health counseling program is designed to help you become the competent, compassionate counselor you were meant to be. Practice your skills in virtual simulations and hands-on field experiences as you engage with a diverse community of faculty and peers. Graduate from your program feeling confident, inspired, and ready to help your clients lead happier, more productive lives.

An MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program academically prepares students to seek state licensure or certification as a professional mental health counselor.

Get Support at Every Step

From the start of your program, you’ll get personalized guidance and inspiration from faculty who want to see you succeed.

Master Essential Skills

Build your confidence through cutting-edge simulation technologies and other opportunities to practice and refine your skills.

Join a Diverse Community

Engage with faculty and peers and participate in coursework designed to help you work with people from different backgrounds.

Personalize Your Path

Choose our General Program or one of five specializations to tailor your coursework to the career you want.

Program Savings

Receive your tech fee waived for your first term and pay no tuition for 9 credits of Practicum and Internship, if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on August 30, 2021. Contact one of our Enrollment Specialists to learn more.

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General Program and Specializations

Walden’s MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling offers a General Program as well as five optional specializations to help you tailor your education to the clients you will serve.

General Program

Gain the insights, confidence, and practical skills to help clients cope with mental and emotional challenges.

Addiction Counseling

Prepare to address the emotional challenges of individuals and families as they cope with substance abuse issues.

Forensic Counseling

Build your knowledge of mental health law, with a specific focus on juvenile justice and delinquency.

Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling

Learn to empower people to resolve marriage and family conflicts related to divorce, mediation, child-rearing, and other matters.

Military Families and Culture

Help families cope with the complex emotional challenges of military life, such as prolonged deployments and PTSD.

Trauma and Crisis Counseling

Gain the counseling skills and theoretical foundation to help individuals heal from trauma and assist communities in managing crisis.

Admission Requirements

Program Admission Considerations: A bachelor's degree or higher.

General Admission Requirements: Completed online application and transcripts. Please note that the materials you are required to submit may vary depending on the academic program to which you apply. More information for international applicants.

Master Professional Counseling Skills 

Walden’s master’s in clinical mental health counseling program prepares you to make a positive social impact as a competent, confident counseling professional. Explore the latest counseling theories; evidence-based research; and tools for preventing, diagnosing, and treating mental health disorders. You’ll also have ample opportunities to apply new skills and concepts through virtual simulations, role-playing activities, a practicum, and supervised fieldwork.

Engage in Virtual Simulations With Theravue

Walden is one of the few institutions to fully integrate the counseling simulation software Theravue into our master’s program curriculum. This technology empowers you to develop your counseling competencies through intensive practice, opportunities for reflection, exploration of alternatives, and faculty assistance. Master critical skills in an authentic yet safe environment and be ready for real scenarios you’ll face in the field.

MS Dual Degree Program

You have the opportunity to switch to our MS Dual Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling program at any point during your studies. This option can give you greater career flexibility by allowing you to earn two counseling master’s degrees at the same time.

International Counseling Honor Society

Omega Zeta—Walden’s chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, the international counseling honor society—offers many ways to get involved and make your voice heard. This includes participating in Learning Communities—groups of students and faculty who meet biweekly to talk about counseling topics such as play therapy, private practice, and telemental health. Learning Communities are one more way to practice your skills, develop your professional school counselor identity, and forge lasting connections with like-minded peers.

Meet Your Academic Team

  • Tracy Senstock

    Tracy Senstock

    Senior Academic Program Director

    Dr. Senstock has been training counselors and counselor educators since 1988. She has served in program administration since 1990 and has helped achieve CACREP accreditation for many programs. Dr. Senstock is a licensed professional counselor in Colorado and a National Certified Counselor.

  • K. Elizabeth McDonald

    Program Director

    Dr. McDonald has worked in a residential setting for juveniles, a county jail, university counseling and psychological services settings, and community agencies. She is a licensed professional counselor in Minnesota, a National Certified Counselor, and a Board-Certified TeleMental Health Provider.

  • Susan Carmichael


    Dr. Carmichael is a licensed professional counselor in Mississippi. She has devoted more than 15 years to providing clinical services to underserved populations, working with individuals in all stages of development and with a range of clinical presentations.

Learning Outcomes

As a graduate of our master’s in clinical mental health counseling program, you will be prepared to:

  • Analyze the different roles and settings of a counselor.
  • Apply sound ethical and legal practices in the work of a counselor.
  • Analyze cultural development theories and models.
  • Examine empirically based theories of human development.
  • Evaluate approaches of career development appropriate to diverse needs and life experiences.
  • Examine appropriate evidence-based counseling practices for prevention and intervention.
  • Apply essential counseling skills across multiple settings.
  • Select group facilitation strategies that are culturally and ethically relevant.
  • Analyze assessment procedures to support planning for appropriate counseling interventions.
  • Evaluate research methods commonly used in the counseling profession.

Read our MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Outcomes Report and Annual Data Report on the School of Counseling DATA webpage.

Career Outlook

Mental health counselors play a valuable role in helping people cope with life’s challenges—and demand for these professionals is rising. Employment for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counseling professionals is expected to grow by 25% through 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).2

A master’s in clinical mental health counseling academically prepares you to pursue licensure as a counseling professional in your state, which can open the door to opportunities in a variety of environments. From counseling individuals and families in times of crisis to helping people overcome addiction, you’ll be positioned for a meaningful and rewarding future changing lives for the better.

The BLS projects


job growth for mental health counseling professionals through 2029.2

An MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree can prepare you to work in settings such as:

  • Outpatient and inpatient mental health and substance abuse centers
  • Individual and family service organizations (private practice)
  • Public or private hospitals
  • Courts/government agencies

Career positions may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.


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