Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Improve Your Community With A Master’s In Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Reach People on a Personal Level with Your Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

As a mental health counselor, you will excel at reaching people on a very personal level to assist them in understanding themselves so that they may experience a greater sense of self and realize how their past life experiences affect them today.

Hodges University’s Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a pathway that will enable you to work in clinical practice, as a substance abuse counselor, or a life coach. Our program may be taken entirely online, on-campus, or in our blended format. Our Clinical Mental Health degree program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and will prepare you for your licensing board exam in the field of mental health counseling.

Our clinical mental health program will allow you to build your professional identity with a strong awareness of professional ethics, and a masters-degree-level knowledge base and skill set enabling you to work with individuals, families, groups, and the community at large.

Get Started in the Clinical Mental Health Degree Program

The first step is always the hardest and we can help you get started in this highly rewarding field of study! To qualify for our graduate program, you will need a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited university that meets our educational requirements. Ideally, prospective students will have already obtained their bachelor’s degree in Applied Psychology or similar field. However, many bachelor degree programs will transfer to our mental health counseling program.

Is A Career in Mental Health Counseling for You?

Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to achieve mental health, wellness, education, and career goals through individualized treatment plans. A counselor often works in education, private practice, or mental health centers.

Do You Have the Characteristics of a Mental Health Counselor?

Many mental health counselors share universal personality traits that help them provide outstanding mental health services to their patients. Some of those characteristics include:

  • Enjoying variety and a challenging work environment.
  • Desiring to improve the community and its members.
  • Gaining satisfaction in life from helping others.
  • Striving for a career in which they will help make a positive difference in people’s lives.
  • Enjoying the challenge of sorting out, understanding, and addressing complex situations.


If you see these characteristics in yourself, a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling may be the degree to help you succeed in your career.


Career Outlook for a Clinical Mental Health Counselor

One of the fastest growing fields today is that of mental health counselors. Employment in the counseling profession is projected to grow 20 percent from 2016 to 2026. The Mental Health Counselor job classification is also considered to be a “Bright Future” by O*Net, giving you the opportunity to choose the path you’d like your career to take.

Professionals may decide to work with specific populations, such as young children, teens, or adults. Additionally, governmental, educational, nonprofit, and private sector industries will be looking to hire professional counselors. You get to design the career you want when you choose the mental health field.


If you are local to Southwest Florida and are considering colleges to compete in the job market with a clinical mental health counseling degree, you’ll need to train in the knowledge and skill set of working with diverse client, family, and community populations in the areas of inpatient, residential, intensive outpatient, and outpatient treatment for both mental health and substance issues separately or concurrently.

Future trends may include more practice in medical settings, increased use of online counseling, and the use of evidence-based treatment for certain populations and conditions. While a student may eventually specialize his or her focus, a comprehensive understanding of individual, group, and family counseling, as well as prevention and community work, is crucial in the education process.

Hodges prepares you to take on all of these challenges through our educational program as well as our internship program.

It Pays to Earn Your Master’s In Clinical Mental Health Counseling

With your master’s degree from Hodges U, you will obtain the education that you need to become a licensed mental health professional. Licensed practitioners earn more than their counterparts without master’s degrees.

The average median income for a mental health counselor:

  • Substance Abuse Counselor: $43,300
  • Counselors: $43,000
  • Social Workers: $43,000

(All wage information gathered from BLS)

You also may find employment in career counseling and life coaching arenas, among other opportunities. Many of our graduates have moved on to practice at public agencies, local sites for larger nonprofit agencies, public and private hospital facilities, smaller nonprofit agencies, and private organization and practice settings.

Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) Code: 51.1508

Accreditation and Licensure

Licensure in Florida

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is designed so that graduates are eligible candidates for licensing as Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC) in the state of Florida after graduation. Graduates must first register with the state as a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern, and complete these requirements before obtaining full licensure as a LMHC. Florida’s regulations can be accessed online at:

The graduate, in order to obtain his/her license, must have two years of full-time work experience under supervision of a Qualified Supervisor for Registered Mental Health Counselor Interns in Florida. If a Qualified Supervisor is not available at the agency that the student is hired at post-master’s, then the student will have to hire and pay a Qualified Supervisor for MHC Interns as a consultant.  More information on this process, as well as all other licensing requirements, can be found at:

In Florida, the student must also pass the NCMHCE exam administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors. The student will become familiar with the exam process while in the CMHC program. Most states now require the NCMHCE exam for state licensure, although some states may require the National Counselor Exam (NCE) for licensure. Check the licensure information in your state for exam requirement information. More information about the NCMHCE can be found at:

Licensure in Other States

For students who reside in states other than Florida, please consult that particular state’s licensing board to review their regulations. Contact information for each state’s licensing board is provided on the American Counseling Association’s (ACA)’s website at:

Most states have a similar provisional licensing period that lasts 2 years post-master’s degree before you can be fully licensed as a counselor in that state. As we are a CACREP-accredited program, the master’s degree coursework in this program is designed to align with the educational requirements of most states’ licensing boards. No graduate program, however, can guarantee licensure after graduation. If you reside outside of Florida or may move after graduation, review your state’s licensing requirements and contact the state licensing board if you have questions about the coursework standards for your state.

What Will I Learn?

The Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program of study consists of three parts, all designed to assist the student to be able to apply for Florida State Licensing as a Mental Health Counselor.

  • The State Licensing Content Component provides the essential coursework necessary for a master’s degree prepared therapist.
  • The Internship Component allows the student to experience the profession in a community setting with supervision.
  • The Elective Component allows the student to select additional courses that will provide further specialization and the continued building of a professional identity.

These three components prepare the student to apply as a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern with the State of Florida upon graduation. Students will also complete a professional portfolio as a requirement to graduate.

Students are expected to take nine credits per semester and can achieve a degree in seven semesters. The program is open for admission in the fall semester of each year. There are three 16 week semesters per year.

View the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Program Curriculum Guide and Optimum Sequence of Course Work

Find more detailed information in the University Catalog

CACREP Accreditation

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

Graduates Prepared for Licensing in Florida

Graduates of Hodges University Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program are eligible for candidacy for licensing as Mental Health Counselors in the State of Florida.

CACREP Accredited - Hodges Clinical Mental Health

Why Hodges University?

You will do well at Hodges if you have the personality and skills of a “helper”. These skills are professionally developed through our emphasis on role play, practical learning, and personal growth. If you have the prerequisite skills and heart, our program will provide additional education, practicum, and internship experience to hone and advance your skills.

Hodges University offers individual attention as well as recognition of the working adult student and all that comes with the added responsibilities of undertaking your master’s degree. We offer flexibility and will work with you to help you reach your goals. You become our priority, and we not only say this, but we also practice it.

Let's Do This! Create A Rewarding Future. Choose Hodges U

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