Skip to content

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

A CACREP-Accredited Online Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program That Prepares You for Licensure

  • Earn your degree in as few as 2 years
  • Complete your master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling online through flexible course scheduling
  • High job growth — the mental health counseling field’s expected to grow 22% and create more than 77,500 new positions by 20311
  • Accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Licensure preparation — you can confidently sit for licensure exams post-graduation

Application Deadlines:

Summer 2024: 5/17/2024

Fall 2024: 7/26/2024

The online master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is committed to excellence and prepares you to become a leader that can make a difference in the global community. You’ll focus on prevention, resilience, and well-being, equipping you with the skills to recognize the dignity and worth of every human.

Virtual Events:

Join us July 9 at 7:00 PM ET for a virtual open house to learn more. To view a recording of a previous Virtual Open House, please click here.

Admissions Estimator

Learn More Today

Complete the form to learn more about this program.

  • Duration 24-48 months
  • Cost per Credit $800
  • Credit Hours 60

Program Benefits

  • Online coursework completed where it’s convenient
  • Two valuable residencies in Connecticut
  • Supervised practice hours through advanced internships
  • CACREP-accredited coursework

Promote Well-Being as a Licensed Counselor

Your desire to help people and improve their mental and emotional state drives you. Aligned with SHU’s mission to prepare students for lives of professional success and personal and spiritual growth, the master’s in clinical mental health counseling prepares you for licensure.

Sacred Heart University’s clinical mental health counseling degree is led by expert educators who bring a wealth of diverse experiences to the online classroom. You’ll focus on prevention, resilience, and well-being, equipping you with the skills to recognize the dignity and worth of every human. As you garner their insights and master theories, techniques, research and diagnostic assessments, you’ll graduate prepared to provide sound treatment for growing mental health issues like suicide, anxiety and depression.

C A C R E P Accredited

A CACREP-Accredited Degree Designed for Licensure

Developed with CACREP standards as a foundation, the online master’s in clinical mental health counseling features a nationwide curriculum designed to prepare students to meet the educational requirements for licensure in many states. Each course is guided by an expert educator who brings years of diverse counseling experience to the online classroom.

Admissions Estimator

Course Spotlight:

COU 540 Social & Cultural Foundations

This course is designed to promote development of a theoretical and practical framework, in clinical mental health counseling students, for effective delivery of clinical mental health services within the context of diversity and multiculturalism.

Preview Courses

Career Outlook: Improve the Lives of Others

Research conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the field of mental health counseling to grow 18% and create more than 42,000 new positions by 2032.1 With the online master’s in clinical mental health counseling from Sacred Heart, you’ll build an CACREP-accredited academic foundation as you gain advanced industry expertise and prepare for diverse roles in clinical counseling.

Upon completion of Sacred Heart University’s master’s of Clinical Mental Health Counseling, you’ll be prepared to assist individuals who are experiencing significant life stress and presenting problems such as low self-esteem, job loss, depression, substance abuse, grief, anxiety, family violence, relationship issues, eating disorders, and other mental health related challenges.

With an online Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree, you can pursue your passion of helping others and make a positive impact in the global community. Designed for your professional achievement, Sacred Heart University’s online Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree delivers the expertise you need to succeed as a leader in your chosen career.

Careers and Salaries

Program Outcomes

Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice: Counselors-in-training will develop as ethical and competent clinicians with a strong counselor identity in accordance with American Counseling Association ethical standards, to prepare for careers as counseling professionals who advocate on behalf of the profession and promotes client equity and access.

Social and Cultural Diversity: Counselors-in-training will demonstrate knowledge and self-awareness of socially, culturally, and spiritually appropriate skills and practices in professional counseling that promote social justice, advocacy efforts, and minimize barriers between counselors and clients.

Human Growth and Development: Counselors-in-training will apply theories, etiology of human growth and development, relevant environmental factors, and ethical strategies to promote optimum wellness for diverse clients across the lifespan.

Career Development: Counselors-in-training will apply career development theories, decision-making models, vocational, and occupational information and to develop strategies for supporting and advocating for clients in relation to their unique career development, industry information, and identified opportunities within a global economy.

Counseling and Helping Relationships: Counselors-in-training will demonstrate essential and applicable counseling techniques and culturally relevant strategies as well as theories, models, and skills for client consultation, treatment, intervention, and prevention.

Group Counseling and Group Work: Counselors-in-training will apply knowledge of therapeutically appropriate strategies for effectively forming and facilitating group counseling and group work in a variety of settings with a diverse range of clients.

Assessment and Testing: Counselors-in-training will demonstrate ethical and appropriate intake, assessment, case conceptualization, diagnosis, treatment planning, documentation, and clinical treatment to properly serve clients across multicultural perspectives.

Research and Program Evaluation: Counselors-in-training will evaluate and incorporate ethically and culturally relevant evidence-based research findings when selecting strategies for prevention, intervention, treatment, and program evaluation.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Counselors-in-training will utilize community resources, referral sources, and case management services in accordance with their role as clinical mental health counselors, including situations involving trauma, crisis, or risk to client wellbeing. To prepare future CMHC to provide wellness and holistic based services to clients who seek help with everyday life concerns as well as those who struggle with significant emotional, cognitive, developmental, and behavioral challenges.

Professional Practice: Counselors-in-training will develop culturally relevant clinical skills and strategies for best practice through supervised practicum and internship experiences and an integration of the knowledge and skills needed to be successful as practicing counselors and client advocates.

State Specific Educational Requirements: Counselors-in-training will attain specific and added educational requirements, necessary for licensure, that may be outlined by their intended state of licensure.

Admission Requirements

To apply for the online master’s in clinical mental health counseling from Sacred Heart University, you’ll need the following in addition to your online application:

  • Non-refundable application fee
  • No standardized testing is required (GRE or MAT)
  • Successful completion of a baccalaureate degree
    • Full Admission: Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or better
    • Provisional Admission: May be considered for cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.25-2.74
  • Official transcripts demonstrating successful completion of the bachelor’s degree
  • Two (2) professional letters of recommendation
  • Completion of a state-specific acknowledgement form. This must be completed with a counseling program faculty member present. Note: This serves as a time for applicants to ask program-specific questions that can only be answered by the counselor education program faculty.
  • Response to Personal Statement form questions
  • Complete an assessment related to readiness for online education
  • Complete a video conference interview in which the applicant successfully demonstrates potential for success in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program
  • Be available for two, 1 week, in-person residencies at SHU

Special notes about admission:

Currently, we do not accept applicants from the following states: Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin. Applicants may not live in or be seeking licensure in any of these states.

Apply Now

Tuition Details

This 60 credit hour program costs $800 per credit hour, for an estimated tuition of $48,000. Affordability and transparency are priorities at SHU. We want you to have everything you need in order to make a decision about investing in a high-quality education.

Tuition and Fees


The online master’s in clinical mental health counseling program offers a selection of courses, each guided by a faculty of expert educators. Faculty members share diverse backgrounds in professional counseling and build classes on real-world experience to provide relevant and challenging lessons to students.

Why Learn Online?

Accommodate your busy schedule and learn when and where it’s convenient for you. As an online student, you’ll work with the same accomplished faculty, receive one-on-one support and benefit from the same opportunities as our on-campus students.


Financial Aid

At Sacred Heart University, we strive to keep our programs affordable and encourage you to explore all of your financial aid options, including federal aid, military benefits and available scholarships.


Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question we don’t cover here, request more information or call 877-791-7181.

The master’s in CMHC has two, one-week residencies. You can learn more about these components on our courses page.

Yes, developed with CACREP standards as a foundation, the online master’s in clinical mental health counseling offers a curriculum that meets licensure requirements in all states.

The online Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program can be completed in two years.

You may take up to six years to complete the program.

  • 100 practicum hours over one academic term
  • 600 to 1000 hours of internship hours over two or three academic terms, depending on the requirements of the state where you intend to seek licensure.

Learn more about clinical hours on our courses page.

Visit our FAQ page


  1. Substance Abuse, Behavior Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved July 23, 2021, from