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M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling


This degree includes coursework that satisfies the academic course requirements for a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the State of Texas. Students that have a Teaching Certificate and at least two years of teaching experience are eligible for the option to participate in coursework that will prepare them for the TExES School Counseling Certification Exam.

According to the Education Advisory Board (EAB), Counseling is ranked number 4 (actually in a tie) in the top 12 most meaningful majors. "Graduates who go into these listed fields generally do so out of passion". 

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The Department of Counseling seeks to prepare professional counselors who have:

  • Developed sound counseling skills through hands-on learning
  • Acquired a comprehensive and theoretical knowledge base
  • Developed a strong professional counselor identity

The intent is for graduates to be moral, ethical thinkers, scholars, and leaders who demonstrate civility and integrity, while contributing to the counseling profession.

Designed With You in Mind

Our program faculty members are practicing LPCs, and their goal is to help mold students into best practice counselors, which are in high demand in the counseling field. Not only is it our program faculty members' goal to give students the knowledge and skills they will need for a career in the counseling field; they strive to promote excellence and maintain the high standards set by the university. Classes are offered in the evenings and some weekends to comply with the busy schedules of our students. Please note that summer course schedules may vary.


Related Programs

Not what you were looking for? Tarleton State University offers over 100 different degrees and certifications that may be of interest to you, including:

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Career Opportunities

The 60 hour Clinical Mental Health Counseling program provide both academic and field training for students who wish to work as counselors in a variety of settings such as: 

  • Counseling Centers 
  • Drug and Substance Abuse Centers 
  • Career Counseling Centers
  • Mental Health Programs 
  • Employee Assistance Programs (EPAs)
  • Adult Probation Offices 
  • Mental Health and Mental Retardation (MHMR) Agencies 
  • Corrections Offices 
  • Private Counseling Practices 
Younger students writing on their notebooks.


Students in our program will complete two internships with an agency in their community. Our students have completed internships at organizations such as:

  • MHMR Tarrant County
  • Pecan Valley MHMR
  • Heart of Texas MHMR
  • ISD’s, Starry Counseling
  • The Warm Place
  • Mesa Springs Hospital
  • The Family Place
  • The Art Station Fort Worth
Tarleton Alumni, Darla Doty


Our program alumni include exceptional individuals, such as:

  • Dr. Julie Merriman, LPC-S, Department Head
  • Ms. Caris Thetford, LPC, Substance Abuse & Violence Prevention Program Coordinator
  • Ms. Alana Hefner, Director of Career Services

Most of the school counselors in the Stephenville, Waco, and Fort Worth area are graduates of our program. The list is endless!

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Program Objectives

The CMHC Program is organized around the following set of objectives:

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of functions including history, roles, technological competence, organization, credentials, advocacy processes, and ethical standards in professional counseling.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the cultural context in relationships, issues, and trends in a diverse society as they relate to factors such as age, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, education, socioeconomic status, and more.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of humans at all developmental levels, including theories of development across the life span, learning and personality development, human behavior, ethical/legal considerations, as well as strategies for facilitating human development.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of career development and related life factors including theories and developmental modes, career development program planning, educational and occupation information as well as computer-based career information systems, diversity issues in career development, placement and evaluation including assessment instruments, ethical and legal considerations, and career counseling techniques.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of counseling and consultation processes including basic interviewing and counseling skills as well as knowledge and application of counseling theories. An understanding of family and other systems theories in family assessment and counseling is included. 
  • Students will develop an understanding of group development, dynamics, counseling theories, group counseling methods, and skills related to various other approaches to facilitate human development.
  • Our program will expect students to demonstrate their understanding of both individual and group approaches to psychological assessment and evaluation.

Coursework Highlights

Class Number Class Name
CNSL 5301 Research Methods in Counseling
CNSL 5304 Human Growth and Development in Counseling
CNSL 5311 Cultural, Minority, and Gender Issues for the Counselor
CNSL 5324 Human Sexuality and Sexual Dysfunction
CNSL 5353 Counseling Theories and Applications
CNSL 5359 Evidence Based Counseling
CNSL 5394 Behavioral Addictions and Substance Abuse

For more information on courses, please refer to the university catalog.

Facilities and Features

Female student smiling for the camera.

Chi Sigma Iota

Chi Sigma Iota is an international honor society whose members include both graduate students and counseling professionals. The mission of this honor society is to "promote scholarship, research, professionalism, leadership, advocacy, and excellence in counseling, and to recognize high attainment in the pursuit of academic and clinical excellence in the profession of counseling”.

Faculty in a meeting.

American Counseling Association

The American Counseling Association (ACA) is a national organization that represents professional counselors. An important function of the ACA is to lobby for legislation that benefits the counseling profession and supports the community as a whole. The ACA provide professional development through different avenues such as the ACA Annual Convention and discussion forums related to counseling.

Students walking around campus

Texas Counseling Association

The Texas Counseling Association (TCA) is one of the 56 branches of ACA, and represents counseling professionals in the State of Texas interested in advocacy, lobbying, and the general promotion of the counseling profession. Benefits of joining the TCA include:

  • Professional liability insurance at affordable costs
  • Legal advise on professional and personal matters
  • Access to TCA journals