Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MSMHC)

Degree Type
Area of Interest
Health and Human Services
Degree Level
College of Engineering, Letters, and Sciences

The Viterbo University Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree is accredited by The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. The program is designed to meet state requirements for licensure as mental health counselors in the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa. The key content areas include professional identity, social and cultural diversity, human growth and development, helping relationships, career development, group work, assessment, diagnosis, research, program evaluation, and evidence-based counseling, prevention, and intervention skills.





Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 for all MSMHC coursework, with no individual course grade lower than C.


All graduate students are expected to attend all class meetings. If a student is unable to attend a class, the student must contact the instructor and take responsibility to meet the class objectives. This makeup will ordinarily require additional written work. It is the duty of the student to make arrangements for missed work. If more than one class meeting is missed within a course, the student shall contact the instructor and the MSMHC director in advance to discuss whether the student should enroll in the course at another time.

Transfer Credit

Individual consideration will be granted in the awarding of transfer credits in order to ensure the student meets the licensure requirements as a professional counselor. Up to 15 credits may be transferred from another CACREP-accredited program.


All students are required to complete 60 credits and maintain a 3.0 grade point average to be awarded the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree. Those credits include core courses to be completed by all students, as well as electives to fulfill requirements of one of the program’s optional concentrations. The core courses will include practicum experiences and research activities. Initial contact with one’s academic advisor will focus on developing an academic plan.

Research Project Requirements

All students will complete an action research project prior to graduation. This advocacy and research project will be completed in conjunction with their internship experiences. This research project will address an issue, need, or problem relevant to the counseling profession. The student will develop a research proposal, as well as methodology for the identification, collection, and analysis/synthesis of project data. A final research paper will be submitted to the program director, archived in the Viterbo University Todd Wehr Memorial Library, and presented at the annual graduate research symposium, which will be opened to the professional public.


Learning Outcomes
  • Professional Orientation and Ethics: Construct a philosophy of counseling based on the history and future trends of the profession, professional roles and responsibilities, with an emphasis on ethical practice within the framework of American Counseling Association Ethical Guidelines
  • Diversity and Advocacy: Prioritize and respond to all aspects of social and cultural diversity, optimizing human development with clients
  • Human Growth and Development: Compare and contrast theories of human development across the life span and the full continuum of mental health issues to facilitate effective life transitions
  • Career and Life Planning: Utilize theories and skills to facilitate career and life decisions with clients
  • Helping Relationship: Demonstrate the foundational framework for establishing a therapeutic alliance with clients
  • Counseling Continuum: Work effectively in a variety of modalities (individual, group, family) and to use crisis intervention, brief counseling, and long-term mental health approaches with clients
  • Group Work: Articulate group theory and assess their ability to deliver effective group therapy with clients
  • Research and Evaluation: Utilize relevant research strategies within an evidence-based counseling perspective 
  • Assessment: Accurately select assessment instruments for client needs and program evaluations 
  • Diagnosis: Conceptualize and apply relevant diagnostic procedures for clients


The Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is accredited by The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

MSMHC Pathway to Ed.D.

MSMHC students may enroll in a maximum of four doctorate level courses (12 credits) that will meet the requirements of the MS in Mental Health Counseling, which also satisfies coursework requirements for the Educational Doctorate in Counseling Education and Supervision. Students will be approved by the graduate faculty to enroll in doctorate level graduate course(s). The following coursework is available to approved MSMHC graduate students:

Educational Doctorate Courses MSMHC Equivalent Courses
COUN 715 Supervision Foundations  
COUN 750 Brain, Behavior, and Psychopharmacology Sub for COUN 650 Psychopharmacology for Counselors
COUN 720 Clinical Trauma Informed Counseling Sub for COUN 580 Trauma and Crisis
COUN 772 Health Care Promotion, Policy, Ethics Sub for  MSMHC Concentration Area