Program Overview

Program Coordinator Melanie Hill, (845) 257-3475,
Program ID 291
Credits 18-24
Program Length Program can be completed in 3 semesters
Modality In-person
Full-time/Part-time Full-time or Part-time
Transfer Credits 6
Capstone Internship

Program Description

The 24-credit advanced certificate in mental health counseling is a bridge program that addresses the needs of two distinct cohorts, both requiring supplemental coursework and training to qualify for licensure as mental health counselors in New York State. Students with 36- or 48-credit degrees in mental health counseling will accrue the additional credits needed to meet the 60-credit education requirement for licensure, while those with 36-60-credit degrees in other areas of counseling (or a closely related helping-professions discipline) will acquire the specialized courses and fieldwork necessary to retrain as mental health counselors. All students complete the 9-credit practicum/internship sequence (COU530 Practicum in Mental Health Counseling, COU771 Internship in Mental Health Counseling 1, COU772 Internship in Mental Health Counseling 2 ), which includes more than 600 hours of supervised mental health counseling experience, plus 15 additional credits based on a review of their prior graduate transcripts and identification of specific courses needed to fulfill licensure requirements. Admission to the program is in the fall (deadline February 1st) and in the spring (October 15th).

Consistent with the mission of the State University of New York at New Paltz, the advanced certificate program provides students with a challenging, student-centered, and personalized learning environment that enables them to gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence to contribute productively to their profession and communities. For those professionals interested in "retooling" within the broad field of counseling, the advanced certificate program facilitates mid-career changes in specialization to meet professional goals and local and regional needs.

Graduates of the SUNY New Paltz M.S. in School Counseling degree require only 18 credits to complete this advanced certificate.

Apply to a SUNY New Paltz graduate programAdmission Requirements

 Please prepare the following items for inclusion in the online application process:

  • Evidence of a Master's degree in counseling or closely related mental health field from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 for all graduate work including a grade of "B" in at least five (5) of the prerequisite courses.
    • Counseling Theories
    • Counseling Skills
    • Career Development, Counseling & Assessment
    • Multicultural Counseling
    • Psychopathology
    • Group Dynamics & Counseling
    • Couple & Family Counseling
    • Assessment
    • Human Growth & Development
  • Submit an Adv Cert MHC Prerequisite Form
  • One official copy of transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work.
  • An admission essay which demonstrates how their academic, professional, and personal experiences make them strong candidates for re-specializing in mental health counseling.
  • Contact information for three individuals who have agreed to provide letters of recommendation.
  • International students must meet these additional requirements for admission:  International Graduate Admissions | SUNY New Paltz
  • Please send OFFICIAL transcripts to:
    Office of Graduate Admission, 100 Hawk Drive, New Paltz, NY 12561



Application Deadline

Application review begins October 15 for Spring admission and February 1 for Fall admission and continues until the class is filled.

Applicants evaluated as having satisfactorily met the above requirements may be asked to interview as part of the admissions process.

Required Courses (9 Credits)
COU530Practicum in Mental Health Counseling3
COU771Internship in Mental Health Counseling 13
COU772Internship in Mental Health Counseling 23
Electives (9-15 Credits)
Select three-five courses from the list below. 19-15
Ethics and Professional Identity in Mental Health Counseling
Professional Roles in Mental Health Counseling
Counseling Theories
Counseling Skills
Career Development, Counseling, and Assessment
Multicultural Counseling
Group Dynamics and Counseling
Couple and Family Counseling
Disaster Counseling and Crisis Intervention
Substance Use and Addictions Counseling
Human Growth and Development
Contemporary Issues in Counseling
Total Credits18-24

SUNY New Paltz MS School Counseling alumni only need to complete three courses (9-credits).

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Possess the knowledge and skills necessary to practice as highly competent counselors. 

  • Demonstrate intellectual curiosity and a commitment to continually expanding their counseling knowledge and proficiency. 

  • Understand and model the professional standards and ethics of their profession. 

  • Attend to their own personal growth, as well as that of their clients, through utilizing supervision, valuing interpersonal feedback, and engaging in ongoing self-evaluation. 

  • Show mastery of the research process and understand its central role in counseling practice and conducting program evaluation. 

  • Are open-minded and respectful of multicultural and intellectual diversity. 

  • Use their counseling knowledge to function as compassionate and caring practitioners, advocates, and leaders within their profession and within the communities they serve.