Mental Health Counseling Program Requirements

It is expected that you will have already completed undergraduate coursework in Abnormal Psychology. It is recommended that you also have completed courses in Theories of Personality, Research and Statistics, Developmental Psychology, and Tests and Measurement.

M.S. in Mental Health Counseling


Please Note: The Graduate Catalog contains the most current Mental Health Counseling program information, including requirements and course descriptions.


Required Courses

  • GMHC 500 - Mental Health Counseling as a Profession (3)
  • GMHC 510 - Counseling Theories and Strategies (3)
  • GMHC 515 - Process of Counseling Clients from Diverse Backgrounds (3)
  • GMHC 520 - Assessment in Counseling (3)
  • GMHC 525 - Psychopathology and Differential Diagnosis (3)
  • GMHC 530 - Treatment Planning and Intervention (3)
  • GMHC 535 - Group Theory and Process (2)
  • GMHC 536 - Group Activity (1)
  • GMHC 550 - Counseling Practicum (3)
  • GMHC 575 - Research and Program Evaluation (3)
  • GMHC 585 - Biological Foundations of Behavior and Psychopharmacological Interventions (3)
  • GMHC 590 - Assessment & Intervention of Childhood & Adolescent Disorders (3)
  • GMHC 600 - Family and Partner Counseling (3)
  • GMHC 603 - Human Development in Counseling (3)
  • GMHC 610 - Adult Lifestyle and Career Counseling (3)
  • GMHC 620 - Crisis and Trauma Counseling (3)
  • GMHC 630 - Substance Abuse Counseling (3)
  • GMHC 650 - Counseling Internship (9)
  • GMHC XXX - Elective (3)

Total: 60  credit hours

Course descriptions can be found in the Graduate Catalog.

Recommended Progression of Required Courses

For a recommended sequence of courses for full- and part-time students, please refer to the Mental Health Counseling Matrix [pdf].

Certificate of Advanced Study

Required Courses

  • GMHC 500 - Mental Health Counseling as a Profession (3)
  • GMHC 525 - Psychopathology and Differential Diagnosis (3)
  • GMHC 530 - Treatment Planning and Intervention (3)
  • GMHC 585 - Biological Foundations of Behavior and Psychopharmacological Interventions (3)
  • GMHC 650 - Counseling Internship (9)

Total: 18 credit hours

Mary McHale Woodruff

Mary McHale Woodruff

After getting my undergraduate degree at Fisher, I knew that the College was small enough to provide me the individualized academic support that I wanted and large enough to be revered in the community as one of the best institutes of higher learning in Rochester.

The support provided by the faculty and staff in the Mental Health Counseling program at Fisher is unlike many other counseling programs. Fieldwork is paramount to becoming an effective mental health counselor and the assistance I received in this process was far greater than other area counseling programs I had heard of in terms of choosing an appropriate site and receiving supervision throughout the experience.

I had never had any experience in the mental health field when I entered the program. I wondered if I would be able to "catch on" as quickly as other students who had worked in the field. Now that I'm approaching the end of the program, I feel as though my courses and fieldwork are more than adequate for laying the foundation for working as a competent and professional mental health counselor.

I have seen the quality of the program increase immensely over the last two years with stable and supportive full-time faculty, experienced adjuncts, and an increasing variety of sites for fieldwork.

The best thing about the Mental Health Counseling at St. John Fisher College is the fieldwork experience. The coursework provided me with a solid knowledge base and the practicum and internships allowed me to practice what I learned. By working in two different settings for my internships, I was able to determine what area within the mental health counseling field that I enjoy the most and that I am best with.

My field placements taught me that my coursework really provided a broad base of knowledge from which I could pull when working as a mental health counseling intern. I also have observed how highly regarded the Fisher mental health counseling students are becoming in the Rochester community.

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