Clinical Mental Health Counseling students in the audience during a presentation at UT Tyler's Public Health Week

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling


Help Restore Wholeness

Are you moved by compassion to help those who are struggling? Get equipped with the knowledge and practical skills you need to guide others through the process of healing, growth and change.

The University of Texas at Tyler’s CACREP-accredited Master of Arts in clinical mental health counseling is student-centered and experience-oriented. You will graduate with all coursework and clinical hours needed to apply for licensure and begin your career as a Licensed Professional Counselor, serving those in need in East Texas and beyond. You’ll also graduate with confidence, knowing you have the tools and real-world framework required to make a difference in the lives of others.

Why Earn a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at UT Tyler?

We all go through times of struggle. You may have experienced this firsthand in your own life and have seen those you care about go through a difficult, uncertain period. Highlighting the way forward, trained counselors offer hope and practical coping strategies to those who are hurting or who simply need a listening ear as they navigate a major life decision. Entering the counseling profession allows you to guide others during these challenging times and provide them with the tools and mindset to flourish.

UT Tyler’s MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program trains you to fulfill this role:

  • Experiential learning: Starting from your first day in class, you’ll learn to put your knowledge into practice. You’ll complete 100 hours of hands-on training in clinical skills and 600 supervised hours working with real clients in various community settings.
  • Ready for licensure: When you graduate, you will have satisfied the requirements to begin the LPC licensure process in Texas, as well as in many other states.
  • Preparation to serve a variety of populations: Understand how to work effectively and sensitively with a range of populations. From your fellow students to the clients you serve in our community, you’ll be exposed to a wide variety of experiences and perspectives.
  • Outstanding faculty: Guiding and mentoring you during the program, our faculty are practicing counselors, skilled teachers, active scholars, innovative researchers and engaged members of the local community. Get detailed insight into the counseling profession, from supporting clients to current issues, while receiving guidance regarding licensure and entering the field.
  • CACREP accredited: UT Tyler’s master’s in clinical mental health counseling is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP). CACREP accreditation reflects the program’s rigorous structure in preparation for licensure, emphasis on personal and professional development and coursework integrating mental health, research, service and advocacy with the goal of serving a broad range of populations.
  • Affordable: Our competitive tuition and opportunities for financial support mean that preparing for your future and serving others doesn’t have to saddle you with a burden of debt.

What You’ll Learn

The MA in clinical mental health counseling is a 60-credit-hour degree program that meets CACREP accreditation requirements to prepare you to become a licensed professional counselor.

The program has three basic parts. First, you’ll gain a broad base of knowledge through core courses covering the theories and processes of counseling and the dynamics of helping clients who may be recovering from addiction or in the midst of a career change.

The next series of courses introduces you to the practical skills you’ll use to assist and guide future patients. This coursework is followed by 600 hours of client work in community settings, where you’ll be supervised by professional counselors.

During your training, you will:

  • Develop your identity as a professional counselor and learn how to offer care in an ethical manner.
  • Build the skills and the ability to apply them to treat clients with mental health issues in a variety of clinical mental health settings.
  • Learn how to use assessment tools and techniques to diagnose mental and emotional disorders.
  • Grow in your ability to work effectively and sensitively with clients across racial, ethnic, gender and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Gain the hands-on experience that will give you confidence as you begin your professional career.

See Full Requirements for the MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

What Can You Do With a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling?

The MA in clinical mental health counseling is designed for those who seek to become licensed professional counselors and supplies you with the knowledge, competencies and experiences needed to pursue this path.

Once licensed, think about where you’ll make an impact. You might meet with clients individually or in groups in a private practice, a public clinic or a school. You can also specialize in the population you serve. You might, for example, focus on helping those struggling with addiction. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors are expected to grow by 22% during the present decade.

Or, maybe your passion is strengthening relationships within the family. Marriage and family therapists are also in demand.

Invest in the lives of young people by serving as a school counselor, or use your expertise to improve employee relations and retention within the human resources department of a major corporation.

Whatever your path forward, UT Tyler will get you ready for the journey.

How to Apply

The Master’s in clinical mental health counseling is open to students with a bachelor’s degree in any field from an accredited institution. Admission is based on a holistic review of multiple criteria, including (but not limited to) evaluations of your academic potential, a written statement of purpose and your grade point average (GPA).

Your application requires the following:

  • Complete the online application.
  • Department Information Sheet. For this item, your statement of purpose and to request letters of recommendation, use our departmental online application system.
  • A statement of purpose describing your career goals and how the program at UT Tyler will help you achieve them.
  • Three letters of recommendation, at least one of which comes from a faculty member who can speak of a candidate’s academic potential.
  • A background check. There is a $45 fee. Use package code UM12bg.
  • Official transcripts from institutions of higher education you have attended, submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
  • Applicants with an undergraduate degree from a non-U.S. institution must submit the results of an English proficiency examination:
    • The minimum TOEFL or IELTS scores are 560 on the paper and pencil test, 220 on the computer-based test or 87 on the internet-based test (TOEFL/IBT) or an overall band score of 7.0 (IELTS), with 6.5 or greater in each subsection. TOEFL and IELTS test scores are valid for only two years.

Review Detailed Application Requirements

See General Graduate School Admissions Requirements

Total Program Tuition Cost: Estimated tuition for full-time, in-state, on-campus enrollment is $26,250. Tuition varies by delivery method and hours taken per semester. Calculate your estimated tuition with the tuition calculator.

March 15

Application deadline for students wishing to begin the program in the following fall.

October 1

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) opens for the upcoming academic year.

October 15

Deadline for students seeking admission for the following spring.


The College of Biology, Education, and Psychology
I basically looked at every single counseling program in the state. I saw that UT Tyler had a good counseling program that was nationally accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. At UT Tyler, I am taught by full professors with years of field experience. I enjoy hearing their stories that are true to life, as they actually happened, as opposed to just learning from a textbook.

Juan Olivera

MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, 2019, National Board for Certified Counselors Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counselors recipient and vice president of UT Tyler’s Psi Chi student psychology club

Next Steps

Your future starts here. Get equipped to make an impact at UT Tyler.