2018-2019 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jun 22, 2024  
2018-2019 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MS

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Caroline O’Hara, Ph.D., Coordinator of Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Sims Hall Suite 440 315-443-2266

Core Faculty

Dr. James Bellini, Professor & Department Chairperson
Dr. Melissa Luke, Professor
Dr. Derek Seward, Associate Professor
Dr. Caroline O’Hara, Assistant Professor

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Synthesize historical and contextual dimensions of professional orientation, assessment, research, career, theory, and lifespan development

2. Construct clinical interventions that demonstrate group skills and foster group development

3. Apply ethical, empirically grounded, and culturally relevant strategies and models in counseling practice

4. Practically apply advocacy and leadership principles in the context of professional clinical mental health counseling

5. Apply social and cultural diversity theories, models, and multicultural competencies in counseling practice and research

6. Construct and implement a comprehensive clinical needs assessment that investigates the needs of diverse clients and provides a pathway to develop systemic methods of clinical intervention

7. Demonstrate application of knowledge of biopsychosocial assessment, treatment planning, cultural genogram, and documentation

Program Description

Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling prepares professional counselors to offer a broad range clinical mental health counseling services and interventions focused on wellness and advocacy. These therapeutic services are designed to enhance the growth and development of all clients and can be delivered in a variety of settings such as community agencies, private practice, residential treatment, community hospitals, Veterans Affairs Clinics, and human service organizations.

Students develop skills in clinical mental health counseling, multicultural/social justice counseling, career counseling, substance abuse services and crisis counseling. Students who graduate from this program meet all educational requirements for the New York State license in clinical mental health counseling (LMHC). After completion of the program, students may apply for a limited permit to practice mental health counseling, while accumulating the required post degree hours to sit for the licensure exam. Students also meet the educational requirements for licensure as a mental health counselor in most other states.

The Department of Counseling and Human Services has been a pioneer in training highly skilled practitioners and leaders in a wide range of counseling settings. Our programs are nationally accredited and can lead to national certification or state certification in school counseling or licensure as a clinical mental health counselor.

Programs include extensive fieldwork opportunities in which students gain hands-on experience working with students and clients in a wide range of counseling and educational settings. The faculty is nationally recognized for their leadership in the profession and all classes are taught by skilled experts and experienced clinicians.

The faculty is deeply committed to the growth and development of their students; faculty work closely with both our master’s and doctoral students. Students are trained in the most current practices and research in counseling and provided the opportunity to develop their skills and succeed in their chosen area of specialization. The department’s goal is to prepare national leaders in counseling.  We provide constructivist and experiential learning environments in our classes and are committed to reflexive leadership. We seek to develop a diverse group of professionals who will excel in knowledge, skills, commitment, and service in a wide range of educational and community settings.

S.U. Re-Accredited through 2017:

The Department of Counseling and Human Services is focused on program quality which is exemplified through our commitment to accreditation by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). CACREP accreditation provides recognition of the quality and scope of training as well as assures students that the program is stable and committed to meeting professional benchmarks of quality. Our three master’s programs (Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, and Student Affairs Counseling) and our Counselor Education Ph.D. program are currently accredited by CACREP. We are pursuing re-accreditation, and as is expected of accredited programs, we are currently completing the self-study process in preparation for an accreditation site visit. CACREP accreditation is critical as you compare programs in that counselors must be graduates of a CACREP program as of 2022 to be credentialed as a National Certified Counselor. Accreditation also streamlines licensure and credentialing processes for professional counselors.​


In our admission process, we consider multiple facets of an applicant’s portfolio and background because we believe that successful counselors need to be interpersonally skilled, highly self-aware, professionally mature, academically prepared for graduate work, and committed to the values and philosophies of the counseling profession and the Department of Counseling and Human Services at Syracuse University. Therefore, academic, interpersonal, professional, leadership, and personal components are integrated in our admission decision process.

The Department of Counseling and Human Services faculty seeks to admit individuals who are personally and academically prepared to be successful in completing the master’s degree program in Counseling.  Within these parameters, the faculty is committed to admitting students who represent diverse backgrounds or who have special abilities to serve a diverse population. Admission is highly competitive and conducted three times a year.

Major Requirements

The 60 credit Master of Science degree prepares graduates to successfully pursue licensure in the state of New York and other states and credentialing as a Nationally Certified Counselor. For full-time students, the program is designed to be completed in 2.3 years.

Transfer Credit

The Graduate School at Syracuse University allows students to transfer in up to 30% of the credits required for a master’s degree from other academic institutions. Only courses taken within the last seven years in which grades of “B” or better were earned can be transferred.  Once matriculated, decisions about transfer of specific courses, as well as decisions about whether any course may be used to waive a required course, are made by the student’s advisor in consultation with appropriate faculty. Some courses (for example, Practicum) taken elsewhere may not be used to substitute for the same course at SU.

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