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Master’s in Mental Health Counseling
Our Mental Health Counseling Master’s Program has recently been accredited by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC). We are the first program in the country to receive this accreditation.
The Division of Counseling Psychology at the University at Albany offers a master’s program in mental health counseling. In addition, there is a combined Bachelor’s/Master’s program in mental health counseling for University at Albany undergraduates who are psychology majors. Our focus on providing excellent supervision, multiculturalism, and the monitoring of in-session behaviors to enhance professional development sets us apart from many other programs. In addition, we secure practicum and internship placement sites for all of our students in only high quality agencies with licensed supervision.
Mental Health Counseling Program
The 60-credit Mental Health Counseling Program has been approved by the New York State Office of Professions and can lead to a license in Mental health Counseling. It includes a core curriculum that fulfills all requirements toward becoming a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. In addition to the comprehensive academic curriculum, the program allows students to develop their clinical skills working with a wide variety of clientele. The program admits 25-30 students each year. Clinical practice sites include the full range of mental health services and agencies.
The program runs full-time for 18 months typically beginning in late May or early June of the first year to December of the second year. The Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling requires 60 credits.
Students may transfer in up to 49% of the program credits. Transfer of credits is individually determined upon admission. Transfer credits are only given for courses that can be documented as substantially equivalent to a University at Albany program course.
All students complete a pre-practicum, a practicum, and an internship. The pre-practicum is taken in the first fall semester, practicum is taken in the spring (210 hours in a community agency or school), and internship is 600 hours over the second summer and second fall in a community agency. A placement coordinator provides placements for all students in order to complete all fieldwork requirements. The students in our program are not responsible for securing their own placements. Practicum and internship are supervised on site as well as by University at Albany faculty supervisors.
All matriculated MNH-MS students who are registered at least half-time are eligible for financial aid. Some students may be able to obtain work study or assistantship positions, but these are limited. Opportunities are announced to students as they become available during the regular academic year.
Combined BA/MS Program in Mental Health Counseling
University at Albany students admitted to the combined BA/MS program in mental health counseling are allowed to take a maximum of 12 graduate credits before completing their undergraduate degree. These credits are applied to both the undergraduate and graduate programs. (Undergraduate credits may not be used to fulfill the psychology elective requirements, however.) Upon graduation with the Bachelor’s degree, students begin full-time graduate work in the MS program. Typically, students obtain the Bachelor’s degree in May, begin the graduate program in June, and complete the Master’s program in December of the following year.
Admission to Doctoral Study
While there is some overlapping coursework, the Department’s MS program is separate from the Ph.D. program in Counseling Psychology. Some master’s graduates have successfully applied and been admitted to the Department’s Ph.D. program, but there is no direct link. Students from the M.S. program have done quite well in obtaining admission to accredited doctoral programs in Counseling Psychology at University at Albany or elsewhere.