M.A. in Mental Health Counseling

The Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling provides graduates with the rigorous coursework and clinical experience required to become licensed mental health counselors in the State of Indiana.* This program prepares individuals to provide evaluations, referrals, and short-term counseling services to help people prevent or remediate personal problems, conflicts, and emotional crises. It includes instruction in human development, psychopathology, individual and group counseling, personality theory, career assessment, patient screening and referral, observation and testing techniques, interviewing skills, professional standards and ethics, and applicable laws and regulations.

*Indiana University East cannot guarantee licensure and students are responsible for monitoring licensing requirements.

General Requirements

This 60-hour, hybrid, cohort program represents a two-year commitment each candidate is making to her or his education and cohort colleagues. Once admitted to the clinical cohort, all candidates are expected to meet all program requirements including but not limited to:

  • Class attendance, participation, and timeliness
  • Homework, in-class work, and group projects
  • Practicum and internship demands
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B) with no more than two grades of C throughout their coursework

Additionally, candidates are expected to meet professional dispositions, which include but are not limited to:

  • Putting forth time and effort into this program
  • Being punctual and dependable
  • Willingness to accept feedback and differing opinions
  • Personal and professional reflection
  • Sensitivity to and acceptance of diversity
  • Professional attire and communication with professors, peers, and other school professionals
  • Other professional behaviors and attitude

Students must also demonstrate professional and ethical behavior consistent with the counseling profession when in practicum and internship. Any student who fails to maintain the appropriate level of professionalism can be immediately dismissed from the program, even if in good academic standing.

License Eligibility

Licensure is important for professional practice as a mental health professional and the Mental Health Counseling Program is designed to prepare graduates to meet the educational requirements for licensure as a Mental Health Counselor in Indiana and most other states. For students who are interested in applying for licensure in other states, the faculty will provide assistance in locating and understanding the licensing regulations for those states. The faculty also will provide assistance in developing an educational plan of study that will allow students to compile a portfolio that can be submitted to the licensing board in other states.


The State of Indiana Licensing Board has set guidelines for coursework to be completed by graduates of master’s programs in counseling-related fields. This program consists of 60 credit hours of courses (49 hours of didactic, and 11 hours of clinical courses). The 11 hours of clinical courses will include both 100 supervised hours of clinical practicum and 900 supervised hours of internship, as dictated by the State of Indiana for licensure. The program involves both classroom instruction and experiential learning consistent with CACREP educational guidelines for accredited counseling programs. All coursework is required of all students, as the program is designed to match licensure guidelines.

Hybrid Program Design: This program has been designed as a multi-campus, collaborative hybrid degree program. This means approximately half of the degree credits will be offered in an online format, and half will be offered in face-to-face (F2F) courses.

Year One

Fall 12 credit hours

EDUC-G 563 Foundations of Mental Health Counseling (3 cr)

This course explores the foundations and contextual dimensions of mental health counseling. Course material will include theoretical underpinnings of mental health counseling, the counselor’s role in diagnosis and intervention selection, and the contemporary trends in mental health counseling.

PSY-P 540 Principles of Psychological Assessment and Prediction (3 cr)

Concepts of validity and reliability. Diagnostic devices viewed as bases for decisions. Classification. Comparison of methods of making predictions about individuals.

PSY-P 511 Seminar in Professional Skills, Legal Issues, and Ethics - online (3 cr)

This course provides a critical analysis of professional issues and the ethical and legal standards in the practice of psychology. Traditional and emerging practice areas will be discussed. Topics such as professional code of ethics, legal restrictions, licensure, prescription drug privileges, managed care, and treatment efficacy research will be explored. Ethical standards and decision-making will be studied in the context of professional practice.

EDUC-G 504 Counseling Theory and Techniques II (3 cr)

Analysis of major behavioral and family counseling theories emphasizing didactic and experimental activities designed to model application of process, procedures, and techniques of behavior and family approaches to professional practice.

Spring 11 credit hours

PSY-P 624 Principles of Psychopathology (3 cr)

Prerequisite: graduate standing and consent of instructor.
Description of the phenomena of psychopathology and the principles associated with their classification.

PSY-I 501 Multicultural Counseling (3 cr)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing.
This course explores the role of increasing diversity in the U.S. population and how it will affect the delivery of mental health services. The focus of the course is on different ethnic and minority groups, their customs and values, and the impact that these cultural factors have on the utilization of psychological services.

PSY-P 632 Introduction to Clinical Interventions (3 cr)

Systematic integration of theory, research, technique, and evaluation. Based on the available research literature, time-limited and structured interventions for specific clinical problems are designed, administered, and evaluated.

PSY-P 690 Practicum in Clinical Psychology (2 cr)

Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

Summer 9 credit hours

PSY-P 502 Developmental Psychology (3 cr)

An advanced introduction to the theory and experimental analysis of ontogenetic processes. Special emphasis on human development.

EDUC-G 550 Internship in Counseling (3 cr)

This course expands the experiential training students received in practicum. The course provides a continuing opportunity to apply theory to practice in mental health counseling under direct clinical supervision. Students will engage in a variety of professional activities performed by regularly employed counseling professionals in the setting.
Note: Lab fees apply.

PSY-P 535 Introduction to Addictions Counseling (3 cr)

Treatments for drug and alcohol addiction, assessment of drug and alcohol conditions and related disorders, and tracking patients to monitor treatment effectiveness.

Year Two

Fall 11 credit hours

PSY-P 736 Child Psychopathology (3 cr)

Seminar on serious behavior disturbances of children. Comparisons with development of normal child interacting with family.

PSY-P 657 Topical Seminar: Abuse (2 cr)

This seminar will focus on child abuse and maltreatment, and individual, family, and community approaches to child abuse.

EDUC-G 532 Introduction to Group Counseling (3 cr)

This course introduces students to group counseling. Students will be exposed to a combination of didactic information about groups along with clinical training/skills building that will prepare future group leaders.

EDUC-G 550 Internship in Counseling (3 cr)

This course expands the experiential training students received in practicum. The course provides a continuing opportunity to apply theory to practice in mental health counseling under direct clinical supervision. Students will engage in a variety of professional activities performed by regularly employed counseling professionals in the setting.
Note: Lab fees apply.

Spring 12 credit hours

PSY-P 537 Program Evaluation (3 cr)

To provide an overview of data-based strategies for assessment, planning, implementation will be presented along with illustrative case examples: needs assessment, process evaluation, systems analysis, experimental-outcome evaluation, adversarial evaluation.

EDUC-G 507 Lifestyle and Career Development (3 cr)

Lifestyle and career development includes such areas as vocational choice theory, relationship between career choice and lifestyle, sources of occupational and educational information, approaches to career decision-making processes, and career development exploration techniques.

PSY-I 669 Psychological Assessment in Rehabilitation II (3 cr)

Presentation of psychometric foundations and the basic prediction model in personality/interest assessment. Coverage of the history of personality, assessment, personality development, and supervised clinical practice in personality/interest assessment in rehabilitation. Emphasis on prediction of everyday functioning.

EDUC-G 550 Internship in Counseling (3 cr)

This course expands the experiential training students received in practicum. The course provides a continuing opportunity to apply theory to practice in mental health counseling under direct clinical supervision. Students will engage in a variety of professional activities performed by regularly employed counseling professionals in the setting.
Note: Lab fees apply.

Summer 5 credit hours

EDUC-G 647 Advanced Internship (3 cr)

This course expands the training students received in internship (PSY-G 550) by providing students with supervised training that focuses and develops competencies in various areas of mental health counseling. This course satisfies the state licensure requirement for an advanced internship for Licensed Mental Health Counselors.
Note: Lab fees apply.

PSY-P 657 Topical Seminar (2 cr)

Topics of current interest, with intensive critical examination of appropriate literature. Different staff member in charge each semester.

How to Apply

Applicants are evaluated on their own academic merits and ability to complete our programs successfully. Once all the necessary documentation is received, your application materials are reviewed and a decision is made. You will be notified of the decision in writing.

To be admitted to the program, the following are required:

  • Completed Application Dated & Signed.
  • $40 Application Fee
  • Three (3) Recommendations: It is recommended that at least two of the letters be from professors who have a good knowledge of the candidate’s academic performance and potential. Please note that the application form provides you space to list those who will be writing letters of recommendation; a form will automatically be sent to those individuals.
  • Official Transcript(s): A bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited college or university, with a suggested minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in the student’s undergraduate major, is expected. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 may still be considered if other admission criteria warrant their consideration. Applicants should have a degree in Psychology or a related field such as Education, Communication, or Humanities. Admission also is considered for those who otherwise demonstrate the competency necessary to succeed in graduate work in Mental Health Counseling. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended are required. Please have the transcripts sent to Dr. Beth Trammell, Ph.D., HSPP, 2325 Chester Blvd, Tom Raper Hall 246, Richmond, IN 47374.
  • Personal Statement: The personal statement should clearly explain the candidate’s relevant educational background and the reasons the candidate wishes to pursue the degree.
  • The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required for admission to the program. Candidates may submit recent (that is, no more than 3 years old) results of the GRE’s general exam and/or subject exam. Acceptance will not be based entirely on the score.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the application deadlines?

This is a two-year program. Applications to the program are accepted every other year beginning spring, 2018. We use a rolling admission process. We begin reviewing applications on March 15th, 2018 and continue until the cohort is filled.

What information does the Admissions Committee consider when evaluating applications?

We are seeking candidates who possess strong interpersonal skills and strong academic credentials. The Admissions Committee will consider several factors when evaluating your application. Grade point average (GPA), strength of psychology preparation, letters of recommendation, and your personal statement are important.

What is the minimum GPA I need to have for admission?

Although no minimum GPA has been set for admission to this program, your GPA is one important consideration as it provides information about your past success in completing college courses. Ideally, a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher, both overall and in psychology courses, would be recommended for admission to the program. However, the Admissions Committee may recommend admission if your GPA is below 3.0, especially if your GPA for the last two years is at least 3.0 and your performance in psychology courses at least 3.25. If you believe you have evidence of extenuating circumstances that explains a weak overall GPA, you should contact the Program Director regarding your application.

When do I learn if I am admitted to the program?

Acceptance letters will be sent beginning in April of each year that admissions are accepted.

How many students will be admitted to the program?

A 15-20 students will be admitted to the program every other year. We only admit students who begin in the fall semester.

Do I have to be a psychology major to be admitted into the Mental Health Counseling program?

No. Admission to the program does not require having completed your undergraduate degree as a Psychology major. However, completion of basic psychology courses at the undergraduate level will be considered by the Admissions Committee. See the list of courses below that provide a strong foundation for the Mental Health Counseling Program.

Which psychology classes do I need to have taken?

Along with your GPA, the Admissions Committee will review the undergraduate psychology courses in your program of study. You must complete basic undergraduate courses in Psychology. Preference will be given to applicants who have taken the following undergraduate courses:

  • General (or Introductory) Psychology
  • Psychology of Personality
  • Abnormal Psychology

In addition to these courses, preference will be given to applicants who have completed at least two courses that emphasize the research foundations of psychology. Examples of these courses are:

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Psychology of Learning
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensation and Perception
  • Physiological Psychology
  • Research Methods in Psychology
  • Statistics

Because the program requires students to have a broad knowledge of psychology when they enter the program, we can teach our foundation-level courses at an advanced level. That allows our faculty to bring students to a sophisticated level of understanding of how these concepts are implemented in counseling activities or settings.

Which documents do I need to provide for my application package?

Your application file will consist of the graduate application, application fee, all official college transcripts, three letters of recommendation, personal statement, and GRE score.

What score is needed on the GRE?

No minimum score on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required for admission but submission of the score is required for admission to the program.

Candidates may submit recent (that is, no more than five years old) results of the GRE’s general exam and/or subject exam; submission of scores from the subject exam is optional. Acceptance will not be based entirely on the score.

What advice do you have for what I write in my personal statement?

The Admissions Committee will consider the match between your professional interests and our program offerings. We recommend that you give considerable thought to the content of your essay as it is an important part of the evaluation process. Success in the counseling program and in the field requires high levels of responsibility, integrity, and interpersonal skill, as well as mastery of theory and research methodology. We are seeking candidates who have thought deeply about their place within the field of counseling. We encourage you to reflect this thought and to describe your preparation thoroughly in the essay you submit. Your personal statement should be approximately 600 words that answer each of the following questions:

  1. Describe the academic preparation and skills that you have that you believe qualify you for the rigorous training involved in our master's program in Mental Health Counseling. Discuss experiential and field-based experiences that you believe prepare you for our counseling program.
  2. Describe what you hope to accomplish academically during your graduate program and the career goals you have for yourself. Focusing on the actual job you would like to have five years after completing your graduate study will bring specificity to your essay.
  3. Describe the qualities that you see as essential for an effective counselor and then assess yourself in terms of these characteristics.

Who should provide my Letters of Recommendation?

The Admissions Committee requires that you submit three strong positive recommendations from your professors or other professionals for whom you have worked. Only letters that are academic or professional in nature will be considered. At least one recommendation must be from a professor you had for at least one course. We recommend, though, that two of your letters be from professors. The Admissions Committee considers recommendations from Psychology professors to be especially important in evaluating your application.

If you have been out of school for several years and are unable to obtain an academic reference, you must contact the Program Director for guidance in identifying individuals who can provide suitable recommendations. It is important to choose individuals who know your academic ability, research skills, or clinical work well.

Where do I send my application materials?

To begin the application process, complete the online application. Please note that the online application requires that you upload several items, including:

  • GRE scores
  • Three names of those you wish to write letters of recommendation: Once you submit the names, an electronic request will be sent.
  • Personal statement
  • Official transcripts

Official transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended are required. Please have the transcripts sent to:

Dr. Beth Trammell, Ph.D., HSPP
2325 Chester Blvd
Tom Raper Hall 246
Richmond, IN 47374

A $40 graduate application fee is assessed when applying to the program. Your application is considered complete once all materials have been received and the application fee is paid.

The Masters in Mental Health Counseling is a cohort program. As such, students are only admitted into a cohort in the fall semester, every other year. Complete applications received by March 15th will be given top priority. Applications received after March 15th will be considered on a rolling basis, given available space.

If you have any questions about your application or the admissions process, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Beth Trammell at batramme@iue.edu.

Are classes offered on weekends or online?

Classes are not offered on weekends. Approximately half of the courses in the program will be offered online.

Do I need to take summer classes?

Yes. This program is designed to include summer sessions.

Can I take courses as a non-degree student?

No. Due to class size limits, the program does not allow students to enroll as a non-degree or non-matriculated student.

How large are class sizes?

Face-to-face classes will be limited to 20 students. Online classes may include as many as 30 students. Practicum and Internship Seminar classes have 5 – 10 students.

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