Masters (MA) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MA degree)

Accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and approved by the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists


The MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is designed for men and women who desire graduate study and preparation for the counseling profession. We recognize the clinical training and expertise required for working with individuals, groups, and the broader community. It is therefore intended that the program leading to the MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree will assist students in the process of developing such expertise for effective counseling practice.

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates will:

  • Demonstrate and articulate an understanding of professional identity as a clinical mental health counselor
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the primary domains of clinical mental health counseling (i.e., foundations; counseling prevention and intervention, diversity and advocacy; assessment; research and evaluation; diagnosis.)
  • Demonstrate clinical competence as a counseling intern, including the skills and practices of assessment, diagnosis, treatment, termination, documentation and ethical practice
  • Demonstrate the personal awareness, theoretical knowledge and clinical skills needed to engage in multi-culturally sensitive individual and group counseling and advocacy
  • Apply relevant research and evaluation methods in the practice of clinical mental health counseling
  • Demonstrate reflective and ethical decision making grounded in the knowledge of relevant legal and ethical codes as well as examination of personal values
  • Demonstrate the College of Education Conceptual Framework to Think Critically, Transform Practice, and Promote Justice  
  • Articulate how personal faith informs one's identity and practice as a clinical mental health counselor

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. A cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or above is required. The undergraduate degree does not have to be in the field of psychology.
  • Completed Application Form at
  • $40 non-refundable application fee
  • Résumé of work and/or volunteer experience
  • Written admission statement addressing the question provided in the Application Form
  • One academic reference form and one professional reference form
  • An official transcript from each college or university attended
  • Group interview with the Admissions Committee. An invitation will be extended to those meeting initial program criteria.
The Admissions Committee will consider each application item and the Group Interview as part of the admissions decision.

Additional requirements for international students are online here.

Transfer Credit

Up to 18 credit hours from another CACREP Accredited program can be transferred. Credits from Non-CACREP Accredited programs will only be considered as electives.  Program directors will determine the number of transferable credits upon admission into the program. Students must have earned a grade of B or better for a course to be considered for transfer. In addition, only courses taken elsewhere within 10 years of the date of matriculation to the MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program will be considered for transfer. Transferability of credits earned at this institution and transferred to another is at the discretion of the receiving institution. 

Residence Requirements

Of the 60 hours required for the MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, a minimum of 42 hours must be taken in resident study at George Fox University. All work leading to the MA must be completed within seven years from the time of matriculation. Extension of this limit requires approval of the Graduate Department of Counseling (GDC) Faculty. However, only one such extension may be considered due to special circumstances, such as ill health. Reinstatement to the program after withdrawal requires Admissions Committee action and may subject the student to additional requirements for the degree. A leave of absence is valid for up to one year after which the student must re-apply to the program.

Course Requirements

The MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is generally 2-4 years in length with 60 semester hours of course work required as a minimum for graduation. Of those hours, 6 are in prescribed spiritual integration courses, 48 in prescribed counseling courses, and 6 in clinical internship credits.

Other Degree Requirements

Each student must complete a minimum of 20 clock hours of personal counseling/therapy as part of the MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. Additionally, an ongoing review process serves as a way to assess the student's fit for the program; fit for the profession; emotional, psychological, and intellectual ability; as well as maturity level for functioning safely as a mental health professional. Graduate School of Counseling faculty will review students each fall and spring semester. For more specific information, please refer to the student handbook.

Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate with the MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree students must:

  • Satisfactorily complete a minimum of 60 semester hours with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Achieve no grade lower than a B in all courses. If a grade of a B- or lower is received in a required course, that course must be retaken (for more specific information, please refer to the student handbook).
  • Complete 20 clock hours of personal counseling/therapy
  • Complete a 600-hour supervised clinical internship in counseling that meets the currently articulated criteria for such training, with at least 240 hours of direct client contact 
  • Successfully complete the Clinical Portfolio (reading fees are assessed during the final semester of clinical internship), in which the student articulates his/her current understanding of counseling and applies the same through an analysis of his/her counseling practice, an evaluation of his/her strengths, and a three-year professional development plan

Curriculum Plan

Spiritual Integration (6 hours)
GCEP 561 Spirituality and Clinical Praxis 3
GCEP 577 Images of God 1
GCEP 578 Shame and Grace 1
GCEP 579 Spiritual Identity 1
Counseling Core (48 hours)
GCEP 500 Introduction to Couple and Family Therapy
GCEP 501 Principles and Techniques of Counseling 3
GCEP 502 Clinical Practicum 3
GCEP 510 Human Growth and Development 3
GCEP 520 Personality and Counseling Theory 3
GCEP 522 Advanced Clinical Skills 2
GCEP 530 Psychopathology and Appraisal 3
GCEP 534 Human Sexuality 2
GCEP 540 Professional Orientation 3
GCEP 550 Group Theory and Therapy 3
GCEP 554 Addictions 2
GCEP 566 Research Methods and Statistics 2
GCEP 567 Cultural Foundations and Social Justice 3
GCEP 570 Lifestyle and Career Development 2
GCEP 571 Tests and Assessments 2
GCEP 587 Interpersonal Neurobiology and Pharmacology 1
GCEP 588 Clinical Portfolio 1
GCEP 597 Treatment Planning I 1
GCEP 598 Treatment Planning II 1
Students must select 5 credits of electives from any additional GCEP or TRMA coursework 5
Clinical Internship (6 hours)
GCEP 592 Clinical Internship 3
GCEP 593 Clinical Internship 3


  • Students are expected to follow the sequence GCEP 592, GCEP 593 beginning with the fall semester of the final year. Students who begin internship in the summer will register for GCEP 591 for 1 additional hour and GCEP 599 Treatment Planning for 1 additional hour, but will still need to register for and attend fall and spring internship. Students who continue internship into the following summer will register for GCEP 594 for an additional 2 hours.
Counseling Course Descriptions

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