Master of Clinical Mental Health Counseling

LHU’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program will enable you to become license-eligible for the counseling profession in many states throughout the country. The program’s primary goal is to prepare you to function independently and successfully as a clinical mental health counselor in a variety of professional settings.

Kristin Vincenzes 

PROGRAM Director

Kristin A. Vincenzes, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, ACS

117 Akeley Hall, Lock Haven University
(570) 484-2473 








Program Overview

Program Overview

The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) is an online, CACREP accredited 60 credit degree program that is designed to be consistent with the requirements for licensure as a professional counselor in Pennsylvania (049 PA Code § 49.13). The program’s online, year-round (fall, spring, summer) web-based delivery enables working adults the flexibility to progress through the program on a part-time or full-time basis, at a reasonable pace, without interrupting their career.

Upon graduation from the program, you will have completed the educational requirements for licensure and be ready to fulfill the remainder of the Pennsylvania state requirements for licensure as a professional counselor. The program is consistent with other state licensure codes and a non-Pennsylvania student may be license eligible in another state as a counselor.  In addition, upon successful completion of the program and passing the National Counselor Examination, you will be able to submit your final transcript to NBCC and receive your National Certified Counselor (NCC) credential.


  • Help people manage and overcome mental and emotional disorders and problems with their family and other relationships
  • Help clients understand their problems and develop strategies to improve their lives
  • The need for mental health counselors is projected to grow 20 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.  (Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition)


  • Accredited by CACREP
  • The only public university in Pennsylvania to offer an online CMHC program
  • Have the opportunity to be a national certified counselor (NCC) upon successful completion of the program and passing the National Counselor Examination
  • No campus visits or residencies
  • Synchronous technology promotes the best of both worlds (flexibility for working professionals and/or families and real-time interactions and collaboration with faculty and peers)
Core Curriculum

Core Curriculum

The program consists of 60 credits total. 51 of those credits are common core courses related to counseling, assessment, differential diagnosis, and ethics. Topics covered include:

  • Theories and Models of Counseling across the lifespan
  • Research and Program Evaluation
  • Individual, Family, Couples, and Group Counseling
  • Differential Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
  • Addiction Counseling
  • Ethical, Legal and Professional Issues in Counseling

In addition to the common core credits, nine credits are required in one of three specialization areas.

Counseling Military/Veterans and their Families

Counseling Military/Veterans and their Families

Topics covered include:

  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Issues Facing Military Veterans
  • Reintegration and Recovery for Veterans and their Families


Counseling Children and Adolescents

Counseling Children and Adolescents

Topics covered include:

  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Children and Adolescent Counseling
  • Creative Therapies for Children and Adolescents


General Clinical Mental Health Counseling

General Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Topics covered include:

  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • One course from Military/Veteran Specialization
  • One course from Children/Adolescent Specialization


Application Process and Deadlines

Application Process and Deadlines

At this time, all seats within the fall 2018 cohort are filled. Applications are now being accepted for the fall 2019 semester.

We encourage you to submit your materials to be considered for the fall 2019 cohort as soon as possible. If all of your materials are submitted and a spot in the fall 2018 cohort becomes available, you may be provided an opportunity to interview for the fall 2018 cohort.  This is not guaranteed, but we would like you to be prepared should the opportunity arise.

To complete the application process, students must submit:

  • Online application
  • Official college transcripts (3.0 GPA or higher)*
  • Three letters of recommendation that include the following:
    (a) Letters must be professional and diverse (please include letters from individuals who can attest to your professional and educational experience)
    (b) Letters need to be personal to the candidate and our program.
    (c) Letters must discuss the applicant's inter and intra personal skills.
    (d) Letter must discuss the applicant's aptitude for success in an online graduate program.
  • Statement of professional goals
    (a) Describe your preparation for graduate school work (education, work and/or volunteer experience)
    (b) Your professional career goals.
    (c) How this graduate program will help you meet your goals.
  • Successful completion of a faculty interview

    *Applicants with a a 2.75 -2.99 GPA will be considered if their undergraduate degree was earned more than five years prior to application and/or they have relevant professional experience (with outstanding recommendation letters from supervisors/colleagues) in the mental health field.  Anyone with a GPA between 2.75-2.99 must submit an official GRE score to be considered for program admission.  If admitted to the graduate program with an undergraduate GPA score between 2.75 and 2.99, students will enter on probation.  This means they need to achieve a 3.0 GPA or better in their first 9 credit hours to remain in good academic standing and matriculate into the program. 

All application materials must be submitted to:

Lock Haven University- Office of Admissions
Lock Haven, PA  17745

For additional information, please contact Dr. Kristin Vincenzes at

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Program Highlights

  • Mission Statement:  The Master of Science (M.S.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) Program is consistent with the mission and strategic plans of Lock Haven University (LHU) and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). Through the use of synchronous and asynchronous modalities, the CMHC Program follows the ACA Code of Ethics (2014) and promotes students’ educational, professional, and personal development by supporting their overall wellness and encouraging a lifelong journey of professional learning and self-reflection.
  • 100% Online Delivery: LHU’s distance instructional methods are designed to maintain a personal, one-to-one mentoring and supervisory relationship with degree candidates while making it possible to create active and engaged learning communities. No campus visits or on-campus residencies are required. The coursework is completed via a blended format of virtual synchronous technology and asynchronous instruction. 
  • Professional Preparation: The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) is an online, 60 credit degree program designed to be consistent with the requirements for licensure as a professional counselor in Pennsylvania. If you will be seeking licensure outside Pennsylvania, you will want to contact your state licensing board for requirements. Find your state requirements here.
  • Practicum & Internships: As part of this program you will complete nine credits of practicum and internship experience. Practicum will consist of 100 hours onsite and internship will consist of 600 hours onsite.  These requirements will be completed in your local area with face-to-face supervision in a site approved by university faculty. You will be responsible for identifying an approved site but the program does provide an on-going list of approved sites to help you in finding one that will meet your interests as well as the program requirements.  The practicum and internship coordinator, Dr. Weaver, also works with students to identify and solidify an approved site and site supervisor.
  • Transfer Students:  The CMHC program welcomes students interested in transferring to LHU.  Students can transfer up to 12 credits (4 courses) into the program. Transfer courses must have earned a B or higher and be from a CACREP accredited program.  Eligible courses for transfer will be formally reviewed by faculty prior to approval.        
  • Licensure Track:  The CMHC program also welcomes individuals interested in taking additional courses to apply for their state license or for continuing education.  Individuals interested in doing this need to have successfully completed a Masters degree in counseling with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.  
  • Scholarly Activity Mentoring:  Students are offered opportunities to be active in faculty research, presentations, and publications.
  • Careers: As a graduate of LHU’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program you will be equipped to provide therapeutic interventions to a diverse population across the spectrum of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral disorders. You will be able to work in a variety of settings such as:
    • Mental Health Agencies
    • Rehabilitation Centers
    • Prisons
    • Private Practice
    • Veterans Outreach Sites
    • Hospitals

 Contact Us!

Graduate Admissions

401 N. Fairview Street, Lock Haven, PA
(570) 484-2027

Office Hours

8:00am to 4:00pm Monday-Friday

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