Counselor Education

M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

How to Apply
Curriculum (starting Fall 2018)
Curriculum (before Fall 2018)


The 60-credit Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling serves both students looking to become licensed as mental health counselors and those seeking to eventually proceed into doctoral programs. The curriculum covers mental health counseling practice and research, in addition to necessary coursework in human growth and development, social and cultural foundations, helping relationships, group work, career and lifestyle development, appraisal, research and program development, and professional orientation. Practicum and internship experiences provide unique, varied, and intense hands-on mental health counseling training experiences under supervision of licensed professionals. The degree is registered with the New York State Education Department (NYSED) as meeting the educational requirements for mental health counseling licensure in New York. The M.S. in mental health counseling degree can be completed full time in two years, including summer classes. Students may attend part time, but all degree requirements must be completed within five years after admission to degree candidacy.


The Counseling Graduate Programs’ Admissions Committee reviews applications. Minimum admissions requirements are as follows:

  1. Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.

  2. Minimum grade point average of 3.0 for all undergraduate work with at least a 3.0 average in psychology courses, or strong evidence of recent academic achievement.

  3. Successful completion of undergraduate General Psychology, Statistics, and Research Methods in Psychology.

  4. Completed application for admission to the Master of Science program in Mental Health Counseling.

  5. One official copy of transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work.

  6. Three letters of recommendation.

  7. Additional application information for international students.

How to Apply

Students may apply online or via paper application. 


Notice to Persons Who Have Prior Felony Convictions

State University of New York (SUNY) policy prohibits SUNY New Paltz admission applications from inquiring into an applicant’s prior criminal history.  
Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet the licensure requirements for certain professions, including the program in clinical mental health counseling. 
Individuals with prior criminal histories are advised to seek advice and guidance from the chair of the academic department regarding the impact of a criminal record on meeting the requirements of the major/professional licensure or certification prior to declaring the major.

Curriculum (starting Fall 2018)

Degree Requirement: 60 credits
Counseling Foundations (15 credits)
  • COU510 Counseling Theories
  • COU515 Counseling Skills
  • COU520 Career Development, Counseling, & Assessment
  • COU525 Multicultural Counseling
  • COU575 Human Growth and Development
Practicum & Internship (9 credits)
  • COU530 Practicum in Mental Health Counseling
  • COU771 Internship in Mental Health Counseling 1
  • COU772 Internship in Mental Health Counseling 2
Professional Practice (12 credits)
  • COU545 Group Dynamics & Counseling
  • COU550 Couple & Family Counseling
  • COU565 Disaster Counseling & Crisis Intervention
  • COU570 Substance Use & Addictions Counseling
Measurement & Diagnosis (9 credits)
  • COU610 Research Methods & Program Evaluation
  • COU540 Psychopathology
  • COU555 Assessment
Professional Identity & Training (6 credits)
  • COU501 Ethics & Professional Identity
  • COU505 Professional Roles in Counseling
Specialization (6 credits)
  • COU585 Contemporary Issues/Title:
  • COU585 Contemporary Issues/Title:
Elective (3 credits)
  • COU561 Evidence Based Assessment/Treatment of Traumatic Stress
  • COU562 Assessment & Interventions with Children, Adolescents, and Families
  • COU563 Assisting Veterans & First Responders
  • COU566 Assisting Vulnerable Populations
  • COU567 Grief, Loss, and Bereavement
  • COU585 Contemporary Issues/Title:
Mandatory Training

Curriculum (before Fall 2018)

Degree Requirement: 60 credits
Mental Health Counseling Requirement (36 credits)
  • COU510 Counseling Theories
  • COU515 Counseling Skills
  • COU520 Career Development, Counseling, and Assessment
  • COU525 Multicultural Counseling
  • COU530 Foundations of Mental Health Counseling (4 credits)
  • COU540 Psychopathology
  • COU545 Group Dynamics and Counseling
  • COU550 Couple and Family Counseling
  • COU555 Assessment
  • COU771 Ethics and Professional Orientation: MHC Internship 1 (4 credits)
  • COU772 Ethics and Professional Orientation: MHC Internship 2 (4 credits)
Methodology Requirement (3 credits)
  • PSY501 ANOVA or PSY503 Correlation and Multiple Regression
  • PSY507 Research Methods
Human Growth and Development Requirement (3 credits)
  • PSY527 Human Growth and Development
Human Growth and Development Electives (6 credits)

Choose two:

  • PSY516 Organizational Psychology
  • PSY528 Infancy and Childhood
  • PSY529 Adulthood
  • PSY531 Middle Childhood and Adolescence
  • PSY556 Contemporary Social Psychology
  • PSY560 Cognitive Processes
  • PSY570 Cognitive Neuroscience
Electives (9 credits) 

Three courses to be chosen from the following:

  • ANY other 3-credit courses from the lists above which have NOT been used to fulfill one of the above requirements.
  • ANY other 3-credit Counseling (COU) or Psychology (PSY) graduate courses not listed above.
  • Thesis of 3 or 6 credits
Mandatory Training