Image of students in a mental health counseling class at Hodges University.
Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Program Delivery: On Campus and Online
This degree program may be completed on campus or online.

Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) Code: 51.1508O*NET OnlineBureau of Labor Statistics


All core and elective classes for the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling are available in an entirely online format and in a blended, on-campus format. Earn your degree with the method most convenient for you, on campus or online.

Graduates of the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program will be prepared for professional counseling positions in the mental health and substance abuse fields. The program is specifically designed for graduates of the program to be eligible for candidacy for licensing as a Mental Health Counselor in the State of Florida.

Students in the program will begin to develop their professional identity with a strong awareness of professional ethics, and a master’s-degree-level knowledge base and skill set in order to work with individuals, families, groups and the community at large. Find out how a degree in clinical mental health counseling can make a powerful impact within the community.

The Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Hodges University is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

Review the results of the Master in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program focus group study of children's mental health services in Lee and Collier Counties.

For more information, view this video on our YouTube channel, or contact Dr. Ali Wolf, CMHC Online Coordinator, at or Dr. Amber Pope, CMHC Program Chair, at

Is a Career in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Right for Me?

What is professional counseling?

Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education and career goals.*

A counseling career offers choices. Professionals may decide to work with specific populations, such as young children, teens or adults. Other counselors may choose to work in certain settings, such as education, private practice or mental health centers.

Do the Following Statements Apply to You?

  • I enjoy variety and a challenging work environment.
  • I have a desire to improve the community and its members.
  • I gain satisfaction in my life from helping others.
  • I want a career in which I will help make a positive difference in people's lives.
  • I enjoy sorting out, understanding and addressing complex challenges.
  • My career goals include professional licensure and a career in counseling.

If so, a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling may be the degree to help you succeed in your career.


What is the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Career Outlook?

Employment of mental health counselors is projected to grow 20 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. 


What Can I Do with This Degree?

Students wishing to compete in the Southwest Florida job market with a clinical mental health counseling degree need to prepare a knowledge and skill set for work with diverse client, family and community populations in the areas of inpatient, residential, intensive outpatient and outpatient treatment for both mental health and substance issues separately or concurrently. A student also may find employment in career counseling and life coaching arenas, among other opportunities.

A student in this area may practice at public agencies, local sites for larger nonprofit agencies, public and private hospital facilities, smaller nonprofit agencies, and private organization and practice settings.

Future trends may include more practice in medical settings, increased use of online counseling, and the use of evidence-based treatment for certain populations and conditions. While a student may eventually specialize his or her focus, a comprehensive understanding of individual, group and family counseling, as well as prevention and community work is crucial in the education process.

Licensure in Florida

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is designed so that graduates are eligible candidates for licensing as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the state of Florida after graduation. Graduates must first register with the state as a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern, and complete these requirements before obtaining full licensure as a LMHC. Florida’s regulations can be accessed online at:

The graduate, in order to obtain his/her license, must have two years of full-time work experience under supervision of a Qualified Supervisor for Registered Mental Health Counselor Interns in Florida. If a Qualified Supervisor is not available at the agency that the student is hired at post-master’s, then the student will have to hire and pay a Qualified Supervisor for MHC Interns as a consultant.  More information on this process, as well as all other licensing requirements, can be found at:

In Florida, the student must also pass the NCMHCE exam administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors. The student will become familiar with the exam process while in the CMHC program. Most states now require the NCMHCE exam for state licensure, although some states may require the National Counselor Exam (NCE) for licensure. Check the licensure information in your state for exam requirement information. More information about the NCMHCE can be found at:

Licensure in Other States

For students who reside in states other than Florida, please consult that particular state’s licensing board to review their regulations. Contact information for each state’s licensing board is provided on the American Counseling Association’s (ACA)’s website at: Most states have a similar provisional licensing period that lasts 2 years post-master's degree before you can be fully licensed as a counselor in that state. As we are a CACREP-accredited program, the master’s degree coursework in this program is designed to align with the educational requirements of most states’ licensing boards. No graduate program, however, can guarantee licensure after graduation. If you reside outside of Florida or may move after graduation, review your state’s licensing requirements and contact the state licensing board if you have questions about the coursework standards for your state. 

What Will I Learn?

The Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program of study consists of three parts, all designed to assist the student to be able to apply for Florida State Licensing as a Mental Health Counselor.

  • The State Licensing Content Component provides the essential coursework necessary for a master’s degree prepared therapist.
  • The Internship Component allows the student to experience the profession in a community setting with supervision.
  • The Elective Component allows the student to select additional courses that will allow further specialization and the continued building of a professional identity.

These three components prepare the student to apply as a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern with the State of Florida upon graduation. Students will also complete a professional portfolio as a requirement to graduate.

Students attending part-time, six credit hours or two courses per term, will complete the program in 10 terms or just over three years. Courses are taken year-round (winter, summer, and fall semesters) and completed in 15-week terms.

View the  Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Program Curriculum Guide and Optimum Sequence of Course Work

Find more detailed information in the University Catalog

How is Hodges University’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Different?


Our Program is Accredited

The Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Hodges University is accredited by the  Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

Graduates Prepared for Licensing in Florida

Graduates of Hodges University Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program are eligible for candidacy for licensing as a Mental Health Counselor in the State of Florida.

Our Program

Our population of students excels in the qualities of having the personality and skills of a "helper". They come from many different countries and backgrounds with varied education preparation and experiences. The personality and skills of a "helper" are further and professionally developed through our emphasis on role play, practical learning and personal growth. Our students have the prerequisite skills and heart but benefit from the added education, practicum and internship experience to hone and advance their skills.

Our program also offers much more individual attention and recognition of the working adult with all the issues that come with these added responsibilities. We offer flexibility and will work with students to facilitate their reaching their goals. The student becomes our priority, and we not only say this, we practice it.

Our Faculty

Clinical mental health counseling faculty are highly experienced and qualified in the field. This real-world, applied knowledge is an invaluable resource for students studying to begin or advance their careers. Our faculty members recognize students as individuals and provide personal attention.

Our Principles

To achieve its mission, the Hodges University Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program supports the following principles:

  • To develop students’ counseling skills through cognitive, affective and psycho-motor practice informed by professional feedback.
  • To develop students’ practice identity through exposure to current theory and best practices, and by adopting the theories and practices for which they have an affinity.
  • To integrate students’ lifelong learning approach with their knowledge base through review of the latest writing and research.
  • To support students’ continued affective learning by continual personal growth and psycho-motor learning by continual practice and professional feedback.

More Information

For more information about our program or Hodges policies and procedures, review our  CMHC Annual ReportStudent Handbook and our Graduate Bulletin.

Get Started Today and Apply Now!

Complete an Application

Need More Information?
You may also contact us to speak to an admissions coordinator who will guide you through the application and admissions process. To speak to an admissions coordinator call us at 1-800-466-8017 (Naples) or 1-800-466-0019 (Fort Myers), use our contact form, email or schedule a one-on-one visit to tour one of our campuses.

Your admissions coordinator will:

  • Help you complete the application in its entirety.
  • Help you obtain necessary transcripts.
  • Schedule your admissions test (if necessary).
  • Coordinate the financial aid process with a financial aid professional.
  • Refer you to your academic advisor for class scheduling.
  • Give you information regarding your orientation.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Hodges family!

Your Faculty Members

Ali Wolf
Assistant Professor
Amber L. Pope
Program Chair, Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Laura Streyffeler
Adjunct Faculty
Thomas Hofmann
Professor, Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Interim Chair, Applied Psychology

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