Dec 18, 2018  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.S.

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Verl Pope, Ed.D., Department Chair

Greg Hatchett, Ph.D., Graduate Program Director


The Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, a CACREP accredited program, prepares students to be eligible for licensure as clinical mental health counselors. Specifically, this program prepares counselors for work in community agencies, hospitals, government agencies, and other mental health settings.

Contact Information

Counseling, Social Work, and Leadership Graduate Office - MEP 295; 859-572-7892

The Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is administered by the Department of Counseling, Social Work and Leadership, located in the Mathematics-Education-Psychology Center (MEP), Suite 203. Dr. Greg Hatchett, Graduate Program Director.

Admission Requirements

Individuals applying must meet all requirements for admission to graduate study at Northern Kentucky University as defined by the Graduate Catalog at the time of application in addition to the following:

To be eligible for admission applicants must have the following qualifications: A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university with an overall minimum 2.75 undergraduate grade point average on a 4.0 scale. Undergraduate coursework must contain 48 semester credits (or equivalent in quarter hours) in the liberal arts. Baccalaureate degree must show completion of a statistics course with a grade of C- or higher.

Application Process

  1. Submit an online application and application fee to the Office of Graduate Education.
  2. Submit official transcripts of undergraduate and any graduate coursework sent directly from all institutions of higher education previously attended.
  3. Submit official scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). This requirement will be waived for those individuals who have already completed a master’s degree.
  4. Submit the supplemental application including a 500-700 word essay demonstrating evidence of one’s potential to work effectively with people, reasons for wanting to become a professional counselor, any relevant work or volunteer experiences, and examples of important events that have influenced one’s career goals. Supplemental application is available on the website.
  5. Three recommendations from people (former instructors, supervisors, colleagues, etc.) who are qualified to evaluate academic and professional potential in the field of counseling. These must be submitted on counseling recommendation form.
  6. Submit a professional resume tailored to educational goals, including educational background, employment history, awards, and accomplishments.
  7. Successful completion of an interview with the counseling program faculty and a positive recommendation from the admissions committee for admission to the program, to ensure the candidate possesses the interpersonal characteristics and personal dispositions to uphold ethical standards of the counseling profession.

A criminal background check (state and federal), although not required for admission to the program, will be required prior to enrollment in the counseling practicum and internship classes.

♦ Indicates prerequisite.

Curriculum Requirements

Completion of the 60-hour master’s program in clinical mental health counseling at NKU corresponds with the academic and experiential standards outlined by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP -, the Kentucky Board of Licensure for Professional Counselors ( and the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage & Family Therapist Board ( The Indiana Professional Licensing Agency ( requires an additional 300-hours of internship, which can be added to the curriculum at NKU. Finally, NKU’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program meets the requirements for many other states though each state has unique application and licensure requirements; please review the counseling licensure requirements for the states in which one might be interested. 

Electives (6 credit hours)

Approved by Advisor

Total Hours: 60

Exit Requirements

  1. Application to graduate submitted by posted deadlines by candidate through the myNKU student portal.
  2. Students will complete all coursework with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  3. Completion of all required courses used for the degree with a C or better.
  4. Signed Counselor Education Handbook Acknowledgment.
  5. Signed Code of Ethics for Counselor Education Programs.
  6. Signed copy of Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling curriculum contract.
  7. Students will complete all coursework following the academic policies of the university. At the conclusion of their plan of study, all students must take a comprehensive exam (usually within their last two semesters of their courses) prescribed by the counseling education program faculty. A passing score on the prescribed exam, in addition to the academic coursework, is required for graduation.

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