Master of Science, Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Graduate 

School of Education & Behavioral Studies

You look around and you see a world in chaos at both a global and local level. You may not be able to create world peace or solve global hunger, but you are sure that you have the gift of compassion and can help make this a better world one person at a time.

Palm Beach Atlantic University's Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling prepares you to serve the world at a higher level by pursuing state licensure to counsel clients in a professional setting.

At PBA, we offer guidance that focuses on biblical, historical, theoretical and practical studies. Combined with our thriving community connections, we help you develop skills in the field of counseling to reach your potential.

State Licensure

Licensure and certification varies from state to state, and graduates should be prepared to abide by additional requirements when seeking licensure or certification in a state other than Florida.

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“The graduate program was personal, intimate, and real. The professors gave top notch advice and created a fun learning environment.” Jonathan Rios '13

Program Details

Distinctively PBA

The School of Education & Behavioral Studies is well-known throughout Florida and as such, has established solid partnerships with school districts and other organizations for meaningful hands-on student teaching and clinical opportunities. Our Christ-centered approach to teaching and learning will deepen your outlook on your chosen profession and the impact you can have on others. And our innovative range of programs, from education to athletic training, results in a dynamic range of students learning together and collaborating daily.

Features of our distinguished education and behavioral studies programs:

  • Experience an education grounded in the liberal arts with a Christian perspective.
  • Engage in hands-on learning through off-campus internships in various health and education-related fields.
  • Discover undergraduate research opportunities with HHP faculty
  • Develop the skills and knowledge you need to work in the exercise science field.

Program Learning Outcomes:

  • Exhibit proficiency in counseling skills unique to forming and utilizing professional relationships in school and community settings.
  • Perform competently in the foundational knowledge base, outlined by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Program (CACREP), as well as the specific subject matter (2016 CACREP Standards 5.C) required for delivery of ethical, professional care in a counseling specialization. The knowledge base required by CACREP include the following core area:
  1. professional counseling orientation and ethical practice,
  2. social and cultural diversity,
  3. human growth and development,
  4. career development,
  5. counseling and helping relationships,
  6. group counseling and group work,
  7. assessment and testing, and
  8. research and program evaluation (2016 CACREP Standards 2.F.1-8).
  • Demonstrate ability to integrate theologically informed and spiritually sensitive interventions in counseling practice when appropriate and desired by clients.
  • Effectively apply counseling knowledge, skills and dispositions in professional practice.

Our program delivers specific benefits including:

  • Quality instruction that prepares you for Florida licensure
  • Extensive internship, job listing and networking opportunities
  • Two unique areas of specialization, including Addictions Counseling (WPB only) or Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling (Note: Non-specialized General Counseling Studies concentration available for students not seeking licensure).
  • Preparation for study at the doctoral level.
  • Courses are offered weeknight evenings at PBA’s Orlando and West Palm Beach campuses
  • Two entry points per year: fall (August) and spring (January) with application deadlines August 1 and December 1

When you finish at PBA you will have:

  • The 60 graduate credits -- including field experience -- in order to apply for licensure in Addictions/Counseling (offered in West Palm Beach only);
  • Or the 60 graduate credits in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling and Mental Health Counseling;
  • Or the 36 credits required for General Counseling, non-licensure. 

Admission Requirements

  1. Earn a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution or a baccalaureate degree in another major with successful completion of 15 prerequisite credits in psychology or related disciplines. International students should inquire about additional admission requirements.
  2. Achieve cumulative undergraduate minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  3. Submit:
    • A completed online application and $45 nonrefundable fee
    • Official transcript from college/university where bachelor’s degree was conferred and from college/university where prerequisite courses were taken
    • Three confidential counseling recommendations. Recommendations for transfer students must include a current adviser/faculty member.
    • Acceptable score on the GRE or MAT (Millers Analogy Test)
  4. Essay
  5. Faculty interview – Once candidates submit all required documents, the complete application is reviewed by the Graduate Admissions Committee to determine invitations for an interview. Skype/phone interviews are available for out-of-state applicants.

International students should inquire about additional Master's in Mental Health Counseling admission requirements.

GRE/MAT is not required for students with a 3.0 cumulative grade point average from a regionally accredited college or university. The requirement is waived for applicants with a previously earned master’s degree or those who have completed 15 or more graduate credits with transferable grades from a regionally accredited institution.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling major: Successful completion of the prescribed curriculum of 60 credit hours with a 3.0 cumulative GPA and a grade of "B" or higher in COU 5133 - Counseling Skills and Characteristics, COU 5123 - Legal, Ethical, and Professional Standards, and COU 5XX3 – Diagnosis and Treatment in Counseling, as well as practicum and internship courses; 1,000 hours of supervised practicum and internship under a supervisor approved by the program faculty; and an exit exam.

Note: In addition to the graduation requirements specific to each major, student performance is assessed throughout the program in key performance indicators, overall progress, and professional dispositions, as outlined in the Counselor Education Handbook.

Admissions Decision and Notification

Applicants will be notified in writing of the Graduate Admissions Committee’s decision within two weeks after completing the interview. To secure a spot in the program, accepted students must, no later than 30 days before classes begin, submit:

  • A non-refundable $100 deposit, which is applied to tuition upon enrollment

Licensure and Certification

The PBA Clinical Mental Health Counseling program curriculum and policies are reflective of state licensure and certification requirements.  These laws and regulations are subject to change and students should consult the state website on all rules and procedures pertaining to licensure and certifications for the State of Florida.  Students should periodically review the state website for any changes  at http://floridasmentalhealthprofessions.gov and http://www.fldoe.org to stay up-to-date on regulation changes.

Post-Graduation steps to pursue licensure:

  1. Register with the licensing board as a Registered Mental Health Counseling Intern BEFORE you have graduated. Your approval by the Board will be made contingent on the completion of your degree.
  2. Receive your Letter of Eligibility from the Board.
  3. Complete a minimum of two years and maximum of five years of supervised clinical experience under a qualified supervisor approved by the Board.     
  4. Periodically check the Board website from time to time to make yourself aware of any changes that would affect your application because licensure rules change regularly.

Courses 

Learn more about your classes and requirements in the course catalog

Tuition

The estimated tuition for the entire Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling program is $35,070. This includes tuition for 60 credit hours ($560/credit) and the Resource Fee ($220/semester). For specifics about the Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling program, please review the degree section in the student catalog.

*Cost based on 2017-2018 fee schedule and is subject to change. Additional fees may apply.