Mental Health Counseling

The Department of Counseling, School and Educational Psychology (CSEP) offers a master of science degree in mental health counseling accredited by the State of New York. The full-time on-campus program provides both didactic and experiential coursework over two or two and one-half years leading to the M.S. degree. The degree meets the requirements for graduates to be license-eligible as a mental health counselor in NY State. (More information on law and licensure requirements)


The hallmark of professional degree programs at research universities is that they teach not only the “how to do it”, but the “why it’s done that way”—in other words students become grounded in evidence-supported practice. The program is based on a philosophy that emphasizes personal and professional growth, respect for human diversity, multicultural competence, social justice, client strengths, and ethical responsibility. Our purpose is to develop reflective mental health counseling practitioners who will help diverse clients in a compassionate and effective manner within a variety of mental health service settings.


The 60-61 credit hours of coursework and internship are designed to cover the 11 required content areas in preparation for NY State licensure. These core content areas include human growth and development, social and cultural foundations of mental health counseling, counseling theory and practice, psychopathology, group dynamics, lifestyle and career development, assessment, research, ethics, clinical instruction, and consultation. Students complete a portfolio, documenting their learning experiences in the core content areas. Students must also pass a comprehensive exam taken during their final semester in the program.

Applied experience and supervised practice are crucial elements of the program. During the second year of the program, students participate in a 12–credit–hour clinical internship with both on-site supervision and university-based classes. The internship provides an opportunity for students to perform–under supervision–a variety of counseling activities consistent with professional practice as a mental health counselor.


Students will:

  • Become knowledgeable of the history, systems, theory and ethics of mental health counseling practice
  • Understand the nature, development, and treatment of various forms of mental health related problems, distinguishing typical developmental issues from psychopathology, and promoting strengths
  • Develop the counseling, assessment, and consultation skills necessary for professional practice as entry-level mental health counselors
  • Demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed to utilize and evaluate evidence-supported practices
  • Demonstrate multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills, and principles of social justice practice
  • Engage in reflective practices with respect to personal and professional growth and professional and ethical conduct.


Dr. Wendy Guyker
Clinical Assistant Professor

Dr. Timothy P. Janikowski
Associate Professor

Dr. Scott Meier

Dr. Amy Reynolds
Associate Professor

Dr. Sandro M. Sodano
Associate Professor, Program Director, Mental Health Counseling

Dr. Hanna Suh
Assistant Professor

Mental Health Counseling at a glance:
Application deadline for Fall Admission: February 15
Degree granted: MS
Minimum Number of Semester Credits: 60
Internship Site Contact Hours: 600
Typical Time to Completion: 4–5 full-time semesters
Potential Employers Post-Graduation: Mental health centers, substance abuse treatment facilities, hospitals, and government agencies.

Learn more

Application Requirements
MHC Program FAQs
Program Requirements