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The 60-credit Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling serves both students looking to become licensed as mental health counselors and those seeking to eventually proceed into doctoral programs. The curriculum covers mental health counseling practice and research, in addition to necessary coursework in human growth and development, social and cultural foundations, helping relationships, group work, career and lifestyle development, appraisal, research and program development, and professional orientation. Practicum and internship experiences provide unique, varied, and intense hands-on mental health counseling training experiences under supervision of licensed professionals.

The degree is registered with the New York State Education Department (NYSED) as meeting the educational requirements for mental health counseling licensure in New York. The M.S. in mental health counseling degree can be completed full time in two years, including summer classes. Students may attend part time, but all degree requirements must be completed within five years after admission to degree candidacy.

Admission Requirements                                                                                                                         Apply to a SUNY New Paltz graduate program

The Counseling Graduate Programs’ Admissions Committee reviews applications. Please prepare the following items for inclusion in the online application process:

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  • Minimum grade point average of 3.0 for all undergraduate work or strong evidence of recent academic achievement.
  • Successful completion of 9 undergraduate credits in the social sciences, including courses in inferential statistics and research methods.
  • Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination (General test), preferably a combined verbal and quantitative score of 300.
  • One official copy of transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work.
  • Contact information for three individuals who have agreed to provide letters of recommendation.
  • International students must meet these additional requirements for admission:  http://www.newpaltz.edu/graduate/students/international/ 
  • Please send OFFICIAL transcripts and GRE score reports to:

    The Office of Graduate & Extended Learning, OM 127
    SUNY New Paltz
    800 Hawk Drive
    New Paltz, New York 12561-2442 

Application Deadline

The M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree only admits students for the fall semester. Application review begins February 1 and continues until the class is filled.

The 60-credit Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling serves both students looking to become licensed as mental health counselors and those seeking to eventually proceed into doctoral programs. This program leads to NYS licensure as a mental health counselor and can be completed full-time in two years, including summer classes.

Counseling Foundations (15 Credits)
COU510Counseling Theories3
COU515Counseling Skills3
COU520Career Development, Counseling, and Assessment3
COU525Multicultural Counseling3
COU575Human Growth and Development3
Professional Identity and Training (6 Credits)
COU501Ethics and Professional Identity in Counseling3
COU505Professional Roles in Counseling3
Professional Practice (12 Credits)
COU545Group Dynamics and Counseling3
COU550Couple and Family Counseling3
COU565Disaster Counseling and Crisis Intervention3
COU570Substance Use and Addictions Counseling3
Measurement and Diagnosis (9 Credits)
COU610Research Methods and Program Evaluation3
Specialization (6 Credits)
COU585Contemporary Issues in Counseling 13
COU585Contemporary Issues in Counseling 13
Elective (3 Credits)
Choose one course from the following:3
Evidence-Based Assessment & Treatment of Traumatic Stress
Assessment and Interventions with Children, Adolescents, and Families
Assisting Veterans and First Responders
Assisting Vulnerable Populations
Grief, Loss and Bereavement
Contemporary Issues in Counseling 1
Practicum and Internship (9 Credits)
COU530Practicum in Mental Health Counseling3
COU771Internship in Mental Health Counseling 13
COU772Internship in Mental Health Counseling 23
Mandated Training (0 Credits)
Child Abuse ID/Reporting
Total Credits60

Academic Good Standing, Transfer Credits, and Degree Deadline

  • Students must maintain an average grade of B in graduate-level courses.
  • The Counselor Education Graduate Program may accept up to nine credits of graduate work taken elsewhere in which a grade of B or better was earned.
  • All degree requirements must be completed within five years after admission to degree candidacy.


Teaching assistantships are available to selected students each year. Current stipends are $5,000 per year plus a six-credit tuition scholarship per semester. Assistantship duties involve assisting in faculty teaching. Inquiries should be addressed to the Director of the Counselor Education Graduate Program. Other financial support is available to selected students each year in positions such as:

  • Assistant in the Office of Psychology and Counseling Graduate Programs,
  • Academic Advisor to undergraduate psychology students,
  • Graduate Intern at the Career Advising and Development Center, and
  • Technical Assistant at the Disability Resource Center.

For further information, contact the Office for Psychology and Counselor Education Graduate Programs.