Master of Art in Counseling


Program Description

Why Study Clinical Mental Health Counseling?

The Master of Art in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program at Aquinas College has been established to meet the increasing demand for mental health professionals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of new jobs for Licensed Professional Counselors is projected to increase by 39% over current numbers by the year 2025.

"It is so incredible to me that I can build a quality counseling foundation but also spend time with individuals who are all seeking a similar yet different set goals. I am delighted to say that these students and professors have become like a little family. And these are two of the many reasons why I love Aquinas."

Sarah Cushion

How We're Different

The CMHC at Aquinas College is a 60-semester hour program designed to prepare students to become highly skilled and highly competent mental health counseling professionals. Graduates will be eligible to become Licensed Professional Counselors in Michigan and other states. Our intimate and selective program admits only high-quality students for our practice-based cohort program.

39% The projected number of new jobs for Licensed Professional Counselors by the year 2025.

Professional Counseling Identity and Advocacy - Students understanding of the history of professional counseling, knowledge of the philosophical foundations of the profession, knowledge of the roles and functions of counselors, professional pride/professional engagement, professional advocacy, and knowledge and understanding of professional ethics.

Ethical Practice – Students commit to and follow professional ethics with the American Counseling Association ethical guidelines. They seek supervision/consultation to resolve ethical dilemmas and take personal responsibility in the event an ethical error is committed. Students also develop a strong awareness of their own values and worldviews, recognize their own competencies and limitations, maintain openness to supervision, and recognize/acknowledge/remediate personal issues that may impact client care.

Multicultural Competence – Students develop awareness of power, privilege, difference and their own cultural attitudes, beliefs, and effects of social location, and learn strategies for working with diverse populations including gender, sexual orientation, ethnic and other non-dominant groups. Students develop an ability to recognize the injustices that affect physical, academic, career, economic, and mental well-being of individuals and learn skill sets to act to alleviate such injustices in their work with clients. Students develop the ability to be empowering agents and advocates in service as change agents on the systemic level to better serve underrepresented, marginalized, and oppressed individuals and groups.

Human Growth and Development – Students learn to interpret and apply core theory and research of the nature and needs of individuals at all developmental levels and in multicultural contexts.

Career Development – Students develop an understanding of how to apply core theory and research of career development, the psychology of work, and related factors. Students recognize the integral role of work in the human experience and wellness. They develop the knowledge and skills necessary to use assessment instruments and techniques that are relevant to career and vocational planning and decision making.

Helping Relationships – Students develop therapeutic communications emphasize the client-counselor relationship, and facilitate and manage the counseling process with individuals and groups. Students develop an understanding of a range of counseling theories consistent with a developmental perspective. Students develop knowledge of treatment planning and interventions consistent with their own theoretical orientation, the ability to critically evaluate the research literature, identify client mental health needs and goals in counseling, diagnosis, and best practices in the profession.

Group Work – Students develop an understanding of the theoretical and experiential foundations of group purpose, development, and dynamics and understand how to apply group counseling methods and skills in group settings.

Assessment, Evaluation, and Diagnosis – Students understand principles of assessment, evaluation, and diagnosis and are competent to apply practice both individual and group methods of assessment and evaluation and individual diagnosis.

Research and Program Evaluation – Students understand methods and roles of research, statistical analysis, needs assessment and program evaluation.

Requirements to Enter CMHC Program

All applicants enter the Program as Conditional Admits. The specific requirements needed for an applicant to take a graduate course are as follows:

  • A completed Graduate Studies Application for Admission.
  • An official report of GRE scores.
  • Preferred Minimum Scores:
    • Verbal Reasoning > 142
    • Quantitative Reasoning > 142
    • Analytical Writing > 3.3

Transcripts will be accepted from institutions accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission or other regional accrediting commissions which have been recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Official (sealed) transcripts must be sent directly from all previously attended colleges or universities.

Applicants must have:

Earned a Bachelor’s degree.

A minimum cumulative GPA of a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

Applicants who either do not meet the undergraduate minimum GPA requirement of 3.0 or the minimum GRE score requirements (Section 2) may be admitted on Probation and considered for full admission. These applicants must earn minimum grades of B in each course taken to qualify for final admission in the CMHC Program.

International applicants must complete the above requirements in addition to the international applicant requirements for students wishing to attend Aquinas College.

Three letters of recommendation to be written on forms supplied by the CMHC program. The letters must be from professional or academic persons knowledgeable of the applicant’s academic and/or professional experiences and dispositions (letters from family or personal friends are not acceptable).

A two to three-page statement of professional goals with biographical information that includes reasons for seeking the CMHC degree and a statement of how this degree will enable the student to reach their goals.

Submission of current Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) and FBI background checks.

In the event that the applicant has been convicted of a felony offense, Aquinas College will require a separate explanation of circumstances. The Program Director reserves the right to make the final decision with regard to acceptance in the Master of Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program and also reserves the right to depart from and/or supplement the admission criteria based upon the best interests of Aquinas College.

The CMHC Program at Aquinas College admits new students in the Fall semester. All students must complete COU 500: Orientation to Grad Studies at Aquinas & the CMHC prior to beginning classes. COU 500 is offered as 1 day, 0 credit hour course, on Saturday before classes begin. Completion of at least the equivalent of nine semester hours in social or behavioral sciences from an accredited institution.

If the applicant is judged to be deficient in the social or behavioral sciences, he/she may be required to complete successfully appropriate undergraduate courses without graduate credit before admission to the program.

The CMHC Program at Aquinas offers full-time and part-time cohort plans beginning in the Fall semester.

Upon receipt/completion of items 1 through 6 above, conditionally admitted students may enroll in their cohort courses while completing the final admission process.

  • Full-time cohorts will take COU 502, COU 503, and COU 504
  • Part-time cohorts will take COU 502 and COU 504

Last updated Jun 2019

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About the School

Aquinas College, an inclusive educational community rooted in the Catholic and Dominican tradition, provides a liberal arts education with a global perspective, emphasizes career preparation focused o ... Read More

Aquinas College, an inclusive educational community rooted in the Catholic and Dominican tradition, provides a liberal arts education with a global perspective, emphasizes career preparation focused on leadership and service to others, and fosters a commitment to lifelong learning dedicated to the pursuit of truth and the common good. Read less