Master of Arts (M.A.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling


Program Details

Why Earn Your Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Xavier?

Embark on a journey to becoming a skilled, competent counselor with Xavier University’s Master of Arts (M.A.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program. Offering immersive classroom and real-world learning experiences, it features flexible scheduling options so you can earn your degree without sacrificing your career.

With a rigorous curriculum based on the Jesuit tradition, our master’s in mental health counseling emphasizes essential theoretical and practical knowledge, instilling a deep commitment to supporting individuals’ mental health and well-being.

Build Essential Skills Through Hands-on Experience

The most impactful learning experiences happen beyond the classroom. To expand your practical competencies, our clinical mental health counseling program provides hands-on experience in individual and group counseling, supervised diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders, and face-to-face sessions with PCC-licensed supervisors.

During the program, you complete 600 hours of supervised clinical counseling through four semester hours of internship activities, which helps you meet the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board requirements.

Obtain Required Professional Licensure

We created the M.A. in Clinical Mental Health program to meet educational requirements for licensure as a professional clinical counselor in Ohio, Kentucky or Indiana, empowering you to graduate career-ready and start providing essential mental health services.

Additionally, you can also apply for licensure as a Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor upon completing this master’s program and meeting additional criteria set by the Ohio Credentialing Board. With this certification and licensure, you can play an instrumental role in treating individuals with substance use disorders.


Whatever your educational background, Xavier encourages you to apply to our mental health counseling graduate program.

You can begin the program in the summer, fall or spring term, depending on your schedule. Application deadlines for the master’s in clinical mental health counseling program are as follows:

  • Spring Semester: October 1
  • Summer Semester: February 1
  • Fall Semester: February 1

After each of these deadlines, our dedicated faculty reviews the application pool and invites selected candidates to an on-campus interview to continue the application process.


To apply for official acceptance into the mental health counseling program, submit the following application materials online to the Office of Graduate Admission:
  • Completed online application (choose Counseling, then Clinical Mental Health).
  • One official transcript of all undergraduate and graduate work from accredited colleges or universities.
  • A résumé.
  • A 500-word minimum statement explaining your purpose for graduate study.
  • Two letters of reference from individuals commenting on your academic/professional potential.
  • (Optional) Official test scores from the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). If you previously took the GRE and want your scores sent to Xavier, please contact GRE at 1-888-GRE-SCORE.
  • You should have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above. Taking the MAT or GRE may increase your chances of admittance if you do not have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above. The following scores are recommended for each test: MAT: Score of 390 or above; GRE: Score of 4.0 or above on the analytical section of the test.


Housed within the Xavier Department of Counseling, our master’s in clinical mental health counseling program seeks to prepare you to serve as a professional, multiculturally competent clinical counselor in diverse practice environments.

In our graduate program, you delve into a comprehensive curriculum that blends theory with practical application and spurs new skill acquisition and expertise. From foundational courses exploring human development and counseling techniques to specialized seminars on cross-cultural counseling, treating addiction and more, each component of our curriculum deepens your understanding of human behavior and how to offer effective mental health support.

Through immersive practicum experiences and supervised internships, you step into real-world scenarios and refine your skills under the guidance of seasoned professionals. As you observe their wealth of knowledge and work one-on-one with clients, you learn the ins and outs of serving in diverse counseling facilities, fostering strong working relationships, and building confidence in your competencies and expertise.

Group I (16 credits)

  • COUN 501 Lifespan Development
  • COUN 533 Counseling Theories and Techniques
  • COUN 536 Group Process
  • COUN 579 Psychological and Achievement Testing
  • COUN 630 Intro to Mental Health Counseling
  • COUN 636 Career Counseling

Group II (11 credits)

  • COUN 509 Counseling Research Methods
  • COUN 631 Counseling Issues and Ethics
  • COUN 638 Cross-Cultural Counseling
  • COUN 640 Family Relations
  • COUN 669 Pre-Practicum/Counseling Lab

Group III (14 credits)

  • COUN 642 Consultation and Supervision
  • COUN 765 Crisis Counseling
  • COUN 767 Treating Addictive Disorders
  • COUN 773 Counseling Practicum
  • 3 Elective Hours

Group IV (19 credits)

  • COUN 671 Counseling Internship
  • COUN 760 Personality and Abnormal Behavior
  • COUN 762 Clinical and Personality Assessment
  • COUN 763 Diagnosis of Psychopathology
  • COUN 764 Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • COUN 766 Intervention Skills for the Severely Mentally Disabled

Sample Courses

  • COUN 501: Lifespan Development - Lifespan Development involves the study of the nature and needs of individuals at all developmental levels. Through this course, you learn about the many issues humans face throughout their development and the application of psychological principles in counseling.
  • COUN 631: Counseling Issues and Ethics - Designed to address the complexities of the counseling profession, this course outlines the ethical decision-making process. Additionally, you learn the ethical and legal responsibilities of the counselor.
  • COUN 760: Personality and Abnormal Behavior - In this specialized course, you study the dynamics of the disturbed personality, along with symptoms, causes and treatment of psychoneuroses, psychoses and abnormal personalities. The class emphasizes psychopathological conditions related to children, adolescents, young and middle-life adults, and older people.
  • COUN 773: Counseling Practicum - This practicum experience involves completing recorded interviews with bona fide clients and producing appropriate client reports and student self-evaluation forms. You must complete 40 hours of counseling sessions with approximately four clients, eight hours of which must be recorded for supervisor review. Additionally, you learn how to facilitate group counseling experiences.

Tuition and Fees

Xavier University strives to make graduate education accessible and affordable to all students. We offer a range of financial aid offerings to help students mitigate the expenses of earning their master’s degree and get them one step closer to achieving their goals.

If you have questions along the way, we encourage you to reach out to our dedicated financial aid staff, who are eager to support students through financing their education.

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Exterior of Cincinnati Children's Hospital, a place where clinical counseling students can gain field experience

Xavier’s M.A. in Mental Health Counseling degree program is fully accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) through March 31, 2031. We proudly hold this accreditation as a marker of our commitment to providing the highest quality instruction and our emphasis on service-learning, social justice, theory, and evidence-based practice in coursework and practical experience.


Exceed Ethical and Professional Standards

Student earning their masters in clinical counseling learning in a classroom

Founded in the Jesuit learning tradition, Xavier's clinical counseling program trains you to provide holistic, individualized care and focuses on ethical and professional standards within clinical counseling. By prioritizing excellence, you graduate with a top-tier work ethic and a strong sense of integrity, positioning you to excel in the workforce.

Flexible Scheduling

Students in the clinical counseling program walking on campus

Built to meet the needs of working students, our clinical counseling program offers classes in the late afternoon, evenings and weekends to accommodate many schedules and remove any barriers to achieving academic success.

Career Outlook for Mental Health Counselors

With increasing social awareness of mental health issues and a growing acceptance of seeking professional help, the demand for counselors continues to grow.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects careers in mental health services to increase by 18% through 2032, nearly six times the national average for all occupations. This means approximately 42,000 roles for counselors and other mental health experts will open annually. With opportunities for specialization in areas such as substance abuse, trauma, and marriage and family therapy, the counseling profession offers well-trained individuals various avenues into the mental health field.

Additionally, mental health counselors earn a median annual wage of $49,710; however, their earning potential can extend to $82,710 based on their facility, state of employment and experience level.

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at Xavier University

In the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Xavier University, you acquire in-depth knowledge and practical skills through our integrative curriculum, hands-on practicums and internships. At the end of the program, you graduate with the required experience and competencies to obtain licensure and begin serving as a trustworthy and ethical counselor in your community. Imagine new, rewarding career possibilities by pursuing your master’s in mental health counseling at Xavier. Students will identify with the counseling profession in general and actively participate in appropriate professional groups and professional development activities associated with the field, understand and demonstrate ethical behaviors in all domains with their counseling activities and so much more.

Xavier University's College of Professional Sciences prepares undergraduate and graduate students intellectually, morally and spiritually for careers and professions of service. CPS challenges students to strive for academic excellence and life-long learning through promoting collaboration and community partnerships, and incorporating research, scholarship and innovation.

Xavier University is a private university located in Cincinnati, Ohio, providing a liberal arts education in the Jesuit Catholic tradition. Founded in 1831, the University is the sixth-oldest Catholic university in the nation. It has been ranked among the top 10 master's-level universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report for the past two decades. The Princeton Review names it one of the "Best 385 Colleges in America."