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

Michelle Ziegler

Michelle Ziegler

I researched other programs, but I chose St John Fisher College for my M.S. in Mental Health Counseling because I was impressed with the structure and rigor of the program. I felt that the quality and breadth of the courses, as well as the internship opportunities, would prepare me to be the best counselor that I could possibly be. When compared to other master's programs in the area, it seemed to be the most focused on preparing counselors who could work in a variety of mental health settings with a variety of clients. This made me feel secure that once I graduated I would be marketable in this competitive field. I also felt comfortable with the faculty that I met. All in all, it seemed to be a good fit for me.

My experience with the faculty and my fellow students has been amazing. The process of becoming a counselor takes a great deal of introspection and inner strength, and it has been wonderful to feel supported and understood by all of the people involved in this program. I am grateful that time has been spent, throughout our courses, on understanding how this career can affect you personally. In order to be an effective counselor it is crucial that you understand yourself. Fisher definitely makes this a priority, and now I feel more comfortable in my ability to counsel others. The faculty is not solely focused on our academic life; they are invested in our growth as individuals as well as our competence as counselors. My peers are very supportive; we help each other out not only academically, but personally as well. The supportive atmosphere has been helpful in allowing me to grow as a person as well as a counselor.

What I appreciate most about the faculty in the program is that they are willing to share their own personal stories and struggles with the mental health field. Their case examples and descriptions of life out there in the "real world" of counseling have really supplemented the material from our texts. I anticipate that it will also be influential during our fieldwork experience.

I worked for a few years before returning for a master's degree, and I was concerned that I would not fit in with the students who had just graduated from college. When I started the program, I realized that there were students younger than me, but also some older than me too. This variety has enriched my experience because each student shared their own unique perspective, which enhanced the knowledge that we gained from the professors and the texts.

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