Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Master of Arts
If you want to make a difference in your community and your neighbors’ lives, you will find an outlet for your passion here. Through classroom instruction, fieldwork experiences, and internships, you’ll be ready to take on a position in clinical mental health settings as a Licensed Associate Counselor, and eventually as a Licensed Professional Counselor (independent practice).
This program prepares you, through highly experiential classroom instruction in evidence-based counsling approaches, fieldwork experience, and internships, to become an applied counseling/psychotherapy practitioner to serve with clients of all ages in behavioral health agencies, clinics, hospitals and eventually private practices. We offer this program at Northern Arizona University-Flagstaff as well as NAU -Phoenix and NAU-Tucson.
This plan meets the coursework requirements for the Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) of the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners and for the national counselor certification of the National Board for Certified Counselors. Becoming an LAC and Nationally Certified Counselor are requirements toward the License as a Professional Counselor (LPC), which allows for independent practice. Graduates are often successful in pursuing counseling licensure in any of the other 49 states (each state has its own licensure laws. See this recent list.
This program has been CACREP-Accredited for 20 consecutive years. The GRE is not required or applicants with a 3.0 GPA.
GRE Statement, effective August 2017: If you have a cumulative GPA of 3.0* or higher, you are NOT required to submit official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores for the MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling or the MEd Counseling-School Counseling programs. If you have a cumulative GPA of less than 3.0, you are required to submit official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores on the aptitude portion (verbal and quantitative) of the GRE taken within the past six years. Scores, if applicable, must be received by application deadline for admission consideration.
This program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
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Career Accordion Open
Career opportunities that might be pursued:
With further education, one of these paths is possible:
- Community counselor providing individual, group, couple and family counseling to children, adolescents, adults and the elderly in a wide-variety of clinical mental health settings.
- Private practice as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
- Mental health consultant
- Specialty possibilities are unlimited but often involve; anxiety/depression, addiction, eating disorders, counseling couples/families, helping clients boost their self-care and wellness strategies, trauma therapy, stress reduction via mindfulness and much more.
University Requirements Accordion Closed
To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)
You must additionally complete:
- All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
- All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
- All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
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In addition to University Requirements:
- Complete individual plan requirements.
|Minimum Units for Completion||60|
|Progression Plan Link||View Program of Study|
This program may lead to licensure.
As a student in the MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, you’ll take courses, do fieldwork, and participate in practica and internships that will prepare you to be an applied counseling/psychotherapy practitioner in behavioral health agencies, clinics, hospitals and eventually private practices.
This program meets the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) coursework requirements of Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners and for national counselor certification of the National Board for Certified Counselors.
Student Learning Outcomes
Outcomes align with Standards from the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
- Professional orientation and ethical practice - studies that provide an understanding of all of the following aspects of professional functioning.
- Social and cultural diversity - studies that provide an understanding of the cultural context of relationships, issues, and trends in a multicultural society.
- Human growth and development - studies that provide an understanding of the nature and needs of persons at all developmental levels and in multicultural contexts.
- Career development - studies that provide an understanding of career development and related life factors.
- Helping relationships - studies that provide an understanding of the counseling process in a multicultural society.
- Group work - studies that provide both theoretical and experiential understandings of group purpose, development, dynamics, theories, methods, skills, and other group approaches in a multicultural society.
- Assessment - studies that provide an understanding of individual and group approaches to assessment and evaluation in a multicultural society.
- Research and program evaluation - studies that provide an understanding of research methods, statistical analysis, needs assessment, and program evaluation.
- Foundations, contextual dimensions and practice in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
See the full list of Student Learning Outcomes
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Additional Admission Requirements
- Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
- NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
- Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
- Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent.
- Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
- For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
- International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy
Individual program admission requirements include:
- GRE® revised General Test for applicants with a GPA lower than 3.0.
- 3 letters of recommendation
- Responses to specific essay questions
- IVP Fingerprint clearance card
- Candidate interview
- Prerequisite course:
- EPS 525 or upper-divison undergraduate Statistics course complete within the past three years.
- Prerequisite course:
Take the following 60 units:
- EPS 590, EPS 592, EPS 601, EPS 615, EPS 620, EPS 621, EPS 625, EPS 617, EPS 660, EPS 661, EPS 670, EPS 680, EPS 681, EPS 688,EPS 690, EPS 692 (48 units)
- EPS 669 - Clinical-Based Crisis (3 units)
- EPS 694 for the post-practicum internship (6 units)
- EPS 622, EPS 640 or another course with your advisor's consent (3 units)
This plan meets the coursework requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) of the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners and for the national counselor certification of the National Board for Certified Counselors.
Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.
- PROGRAM FEE INFORMATION
- Program fees for Fall 2020 will be updated in Summer 2020. Please check back to confirm program fees.
Program fees are established by the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR). A program fee of $1000 per year ($500 per semester) has been approved for this program.
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Our Mission and Program Objectives Accordion Closed
- Become familiar with the requirements for being a professional counselor, including the relevant research and literature pertinent to the discipline.
- Become familiar with and knowledgeable about the nature and needs of individuals at all developmental levels.
- Develop a thorough understanding of knowledge and competencies related to issues and trends in a multicultural and pluralistic society, and to effectively demonstrate multicultural counseling competencies.
- Demonstrate effective counseling skills.
- Become familiar with studies in group dynamics and to demonstrate effective group counseling skills.
- Understand major theories of career development and related life factors, and to demonstrate effective career counseling skills.
- Develop an understanding of assessment processes, and to demonstrate skills in individual and group approaches to assessment and evaluation.
- Become familiar with research, statistics, and program evaluation as they apply to the practice of counseling.
- Develop a clear sense of professional identity in counseling, which includes professional ethics, legal responsibilities, professional preparation standards, participating in professional organizations, and obtaining necessary credentials.
- Acquire knowledge about counseling supervision, and to experience peer, site supervisor and faculty supervision that allow students to integrate and apply the knowledge and skills that they have acquired to practice.
- Experience continuous course-related and overall program-related feedback to enhance their professional development as they become professional counselors.
- Acquire knowledge and skills related to the ways that counselors use a variety of technologies designed to assist students, clients, and the systems they work within.
- Acquire knowledge related to the professional identity, roles, and functions of professional counselors.
- Practice ongoing assessment of one's own skills, strengths, weaknesses, professional and personal development as related to counseling professional identity, counseling ethics, and the principles of ethics of client autonomy, non-maleficence, beneficence, justice, and fidelity.
NAU's CMHC program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation in Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) Accordion Closed
How will this degree prepare students for the real world? What about licensure? Accordion Closed
What is the benefit of a face-to-face Counseling program over an online program? Accordion Closed
GRE Information Accordion Closed
Testimonials, Internship Partners, FAQ and Graduates' Employment Rates Accordion Closed
- 2015-2017 Survey data: Site Supervisors, Employers and Recent Graduates
- Where are our students getting their internships?
- FAQ 2018-19
Application and Due Dates Accordion Closed
How do I apply, and when is the application due?The entire application process is a one-stop process. Once you click on APPLY NOW, in above right margin, all elements of the application are handled within that link!
The primary application items we will evaluate include:
- The graduate school application
- Three-part personal statement
- Three professional/academic recommendation letters
- GRE General Test (ONLY if your undergraduate GPA was less than 3.0)
|MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling (Flagstaff only)||February 1|
|MEd Counseling - School Counseling (Flagstaff only)||February 15|
|Program||Site||Application deadlines||Semester next cohort begins|
|PsyD Clinical Psychology||North Valley (Phoenix)||April 1, 2020 (initial deadline for priority) |
May 15, 2020 (final deadline)
|MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling||North Valley (Phoenix)||February 15, 2021||Fall 2021|
|MEd Counseling - School Counseling||North Valley (Phoenix)||March 1, 2021||Fall 2021|
|MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling||Tucson||April 1, 2021||Fall 2021|
|MEd Counseling - School Counseling||Tucson||November 1, 2020||Spring 2021|
|EdS School Psychology||North Valley (Phoenix)||March 31, 2021||Fall 2021|
|M.Ed. Human Relations||Statewide Campuses||Rolling Admission|
- Completed application files are reviewed and admission decisions are made once each year.
- Applications will be reviewed and admission notifications are sent to students within approximately 30 days of the deadline.
- It is your responsibility to ensure that your application file is complete. Incomplete files will not be reviewed.
- In Flagstaff, many students apply for graduate assistantships (GA roles). If a student secures a GA role during grad school, they typically earn a full-tuition waiver in exchange for working 20 hours per week. For additional information, please visit the Graduate College webpage.
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Programs of Study & Course Sequences Accordion Closed
What classes do I need to take - and in what order?
- The MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a 60-credit hour program that most students pursue on a full-time basis. The vast majority of students who complete the program do so in about 2 years, although the program can take a bit longer for those who take fewer than 15 credits per term.
- Some of your courses may have prerequisites you must meet before enrolling. Find more information in the academic catalog.
Professional Code of Ethics and Licensure Guidelines Accordion Closed
Counseling Program Faculty
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Katherine Feather, Assistant Clinical Professor and SC Program Coordinator
Y. Evie Garcia, Associate Professor
Shane Haberstroh, Associate Professor
Kim Kalas, Ed.D., Assistant Clinical Professor
Timothy Thomason, Professor
Kat Pastor, Affiliate Faculty in School Counseling Program
Phoenix (North Valley) Accordion Closed
Tucson Accordion Closed
Dr. Saumya Arora, Assistant Clinical Professor
Meet the Counseling Program faculty at the Information Open House Click for Dates and Details
Interview Days-CMHC Flagstaff, Phoenix, & TucsonClick for Dates and Details
NAU CACREP Annual Reports
Join our graduate program
Practicum and Internship Manuals and Forms for Masters CandidatesPracticum and Internship Manuals and Forms for Masters Candidates
Future studentsVisit the College of Education's future students page to get helpful links for both undergraduate and graduate students.
Want to see how the program helped students find success in their goals and aspirations? Here's a small taste!