DePaul University College of Education > Academics > Graduate > Master's Programs > Counseling-Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MA/MEd)

Counseling (MA/MEd)

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

In today's challenging and rapidly-changing world, many individuals and families need effective and affordable assistance for those who struggle with everything from adjusting to life's circumstances to serious mental illnesses. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) concentration is a practitioner-oriented program that is designed to prepare graduate students to enter the professional fields of counseling and mental health. Our program integrates counseling knowledge, skills and clinical field experiences based on current research and best practices to help students develop their professional identities as clinical mental health counselors. With a sound foundation in counseling and mental health training, students will be able to work within a variety of clinical settings such as private practice settings, community mental health centers, day treatment and in-patient hospital settings, employee assistance plans, correctional facilities, foster care agencies, group homes, youth mentoring programs, and colleges and universities. Within these settings, our students will be equipped to address and resolve personal, familial and social concerns that interfere with clients' abilities to lead healthy and productive lives.

Unique to the CMHC program at DePaul University is an intensive on-campus practicum in our state-of-the-art training facility (Education and Counseling Center), and a rigorous education in multiculturalism and social justice. The program's focus on training students to become culturally competent practitioners who can serve as advocates and leaders for clients, communities and the profession. Graduates of our program have become counselors and leaders serving culturally and linguistically diverse populations (e.g., clients who are LGBTQ, of varied racial and ethnic backgrounds, and economically disenfranchised).

Graduates of this concentration are also competitive for admission into doctoral programs in counseling psychology, counselor education and other mental health fields as long as they design their coursework and experiences during the program with this focus in mind. Students choosing to further their research knowledge and skills to better prepare for advanced degree programs often complete a master's thesis or complete research with a faculty advisor.

Why Choose DePaul University?

  • Vincentian identity. DePaul University's culture is molded in serving and caring for others with a special focus for helping marginalized members of society. Join a multifaceted academic community where social justice is valued and a key shared experience.
  • On-campus state-of-the-art training facilities. Students will have intensive supervised clinical experience in the Education and Counseling Center, housed in the College of Education.
  • Intense focus on clinical skills. The program provides a rigorous instructive environment to cultivate counseling and relationship building skills under the direction of both faculty and supervisors.
  • Reputation for quality. Students in the program have the unique opportunity to interact and work with DePaul University counseling faculty who are some of the leading experts in the counseling field on the national, state and local levels. In addition, DePaul University is consistently recognized for its outstanding academic environment and as one of the top universities in the country. U.S. News & World Report has ranked DePaul University among the nation's Best National Universities.

Interested in enrolling in this program? Learn more about the application process, and find out how to apply.

Degree Programs

Master of Arts (MA)
Master of Education (MEd)


The Counseling programs Clinical Mental Health Counseling concentration meets the educational requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor as set by the State of Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. The CMHC concentration program of study generally meets the licensure requirements for other states; however, certain states have different requirements. It is the responsibility of the student to check with the state licensure board to verify the necessary requirements and to plan on meeting those requirements. State licensure board contact information can be obtained through the American Counseling Association.

Program Format

To accommodate working professionals, the Counseling program offers courses that meet on weeknights and/or on Saturdays at DePaul's Lincoln Park Campus. Courses are offered face-to-face, online or in a hybrid format. The program's schedule is flexible, allowing students to attend full-time or part-time as their professional and personal schedules allow.

Program Requirements

The Counseling master's degree program in Clinical Mental Health includes 90-quarter hours of coursework that should take approximately three years to complete. Coursework plus an on-site practicum experience generally make up the first two years of the program, followed by a year of specialty coursework and professional practice in the field.

Want to learn more? For detailed information about program requirements, see the official DePaul University Graduate Catalog.