January 2024 University Catalog with April Addendum

MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, General Clinical Mental Health Counseling

School of Social and Behavioral Sciences

The General Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialization is designed for graduate program counseling learners who want to take advantage of maximum flexibility in choosing their additive course content. Learners can select any four courses within the MS Counseling programs, including PLAY-prefixed courses, to create their General Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialization within the MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program.


Personal Suitability and Fitness for the Profession

Capella embraces the principles and guidelines set forth by the American Counseling Association (ACA) related to professional counseling programs in that the faculty, training staff, supervisors, and administrators within the Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program have a professional, ethical, and potentially legal obligation to ensure, insofar as possible, that all learners have the competence to manage professional relationships in an effective and appropriate manner and that they possess the emotional maturity, interpersonal stability, and intellectual judgment required to work with vulnerable populations. Personal suitability and fitness for the profession includes but is not limited to demonstration of sufficient interpersonal and professional competence; self-awareness, self-reflection, and self-evaluation; openness to processes of supervision; and resolution of issues or problems that interfere with professional development or functioning in a satisfactory manner. Throughout the graduate training of each learner, faculty and staff are responsible for educating and assessing learners with regard to their personal suitability and fitness for the profession.

Residency Requirement(s)

Two four-and-a-half-day residencies. See university policy 3.04.05 Attendance at Residencies, the Residencies page on Campus, and the Residency section, below, for more information. Also see each graduate school’s residency courses.

Practicum/Internship Requirement(s)

Minimum of 100 practicum hours and 600 internship hours. See the Practicum/Internship Experience section, below, for more information.

Additional Program Requirements

Core courses

COUN5002Lifespan Development for the Counseling Professions


COUN5007Research Methods for the Counseling Professions


COUN5106Assessment, Tests, and Measures


COUN5107Principles of Psychopathology and Diagnosis


COUN5108Foundations of Addiction and Addictive Behavior


COUN5217Ethical and Legal Issues in Professional Counseling


COUN5223Introduction to Clinical Mental Health Counseling


COUN5225Sexuality and Gender in Counseling


COUN5238Crisis Assessment and Intervention


COUN5239Theories of the Counseling Profession


COUN5241Group Counseling and Psychotherapy


COUN5279Life Planning and Career Development


COUN5336Counseling and Advocacy with Diverse Populations


All academic courses listed below include specific residency or clinical experiences.

Learners must complete prerequisites and residency and clinical experience requirements to be eligible to complete each course in the sequence.

COUN-R5861The Counseling Relationship: Concepts and Skills


COUN-R5863The Advanced Counseling Relationship: Concepts, Skills, and Approaches


COUN6302Mental Health Counseling Clinical Practicum


COUN6321Mental Health Counseling Clinical Internship 1


COUN6322Mental Health Counseling Clinical Internship 2


Four Elective Courses

At least 16 quarter credits
Choose any graduate counseling (COUN, PLAY) course(s).


At least 90 quarter credits

One or more courses in this program may require a prerequisite(s). Refer to the course descriptions for details.

Learners who do not complete all program requirements within quarter credit/program point minimums will be required to accrue such additional quarter credits/program points as are associated with any additional or repeat coursework necessary for successful completion of program requirements.

Capella University cannot guarantee eligibility for licensure, endorsement, other professional credential, or salary advancement. State licensing regulations and professional standards vary; learners are responsible for understanding and complying with the requirements of the state in which they intend to work. State licensing boards review each applicant's completed education, exam scores, supervised experience, criminal history, and application materials at the time of license application to determine eligibility. For more information, see the professional licensure disclosures for this program on Capella’s website.


The residency requirement for the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program is satisfied by the completion of two online courses, each consisting of a four-and-a-half-day residency (COUN-R5861 and COUN-R5863).

Learners must have completed the residency requirement prior to starting their practicum (COUN6302). Each residency experience for the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program requires learners to receive a minimum of 40 total hours of training and practice in the areas of counseling theory and intervention, assessment, multicultural issues, legal and ethical issues, group counseling, and advanced counseling/therapy. Through the counseling residencies, learners gain a stronger sense of academic community by networking and discussing concepts and issues in the field of professional counseling. This experience provides a learning environment that fosters the application of critical thinking and integrated knowledge to professional issues.

Practicum/Internship Experience

Learners enrolled in the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program complete supervised onsite counseling experiences as a requirement of their program. The practicum and internship experiences consist of the following online courses and supervised site-based learning:

The practicum (COUN6302) is an online course that requires completion of 100 hours of supervised counseling experience performed at an approved site. Learners apply the skills developed throughout the course of their program while working in a school, clinic, agency, or other setting that provides counseling services.

The internships (COUN6321 and COUN6322) are two online courses that require 600 total hours of experience completed under supervision at an approved site. Learners may register for a third or fourth internship course (COUN6333 and COUN6334) should they need additional time or need to meet additional requirements for state licensure. The internships include a more intensive experience at the approved site where learners continue to demonstrate the counseling competencies and proficiencies required in their program.

Learners should consult the Counselor Education MS Clinical Mental Health Counseling Learner Handbook for a full description of the site-based learning experience and all practicum and internship requirements.