Master of Science: Clinical Mental Health Counseling

The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) is an online, CACREP accredited 60 credit degree program that is designed to be consistent with the requirements for licensure as a professional counselor in Pennsylvania (049 PA Code § 49.13). 

Upon graduation from the program, you will have completed the educational requirements for licensure and be ready to fulfill the remainder of the Pennsylvania state requirements for licensure as a professional counselor. The program is consistent with other state licensure codes and a non-Pennsylvania student may be license eligible in another state as a counselor.  In addition, upon successful completion of the program and passing the National Counselor Examination, you will be able to submit your final transcript to NBCC and receive your National Certified Counselor (NCC) credential.     


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  • Help people manage and overcome mental and emotional disorders and problems with their family and other relationships

  • Help clients understand their problems and develop strategies to improve their lives

  • The need for mental health counselors is projected to grow 20 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.  (Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition)


  • Accredited by CACREP

  • One of only 11 universities in the country to offer an online program in CMHC and the only public university to offer an online Master of Science degree

  • The only public university in Pennsylvania to offer an online CMHC program

  • Become a nationally certified counselor (NCC) upon completion of the program


To complete the application process, students must submit:

  • Official college transcript(s)

  • Three letters of recommendation. 
    At least one letter will discuss the candidate's ability to succeed academically.  All letters must be specific to the program at LHU.
  • Statement of professional goals - One page in length
    Professional goal statement must include a thorough discussion on the applicant's career goals.  Furthermore, the statement needs to describe the purpose of attaining a degree in CMHS at Lock Haven University.  Specifically, how this degree will help the applicant attain his/her professional goals.

All application materials must be submitted to:
Lock Haven University- Office of Admissions
Lock Haven, PA  17745


Priority application deadline: May 1.  Pending space available, completed applications will be accepted until July 15.

After applicants have submitted all application materials, if deemed qualified, they will be scheduled for a 30 minute phone interview with the faculty. 

Successful applicants for regular matriculated status will have:

    • An undergraduate degree in psychology (or a related discipline such as education, criminal justice, sociology, etc.) from an accredited institution.

    • A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.  Completed coursework in research/statistics and abnormal psychology (these courses are preferred, but not required) at the undergraduate level with a minimum grade of B in each course prior to matriculation into the program.

    • Work and/or life experience relevant to the study of clinical mental health counseling.

    • Strong letters of reference from individuals knowledgeable about the applicant’s academic preparation and/or relevant experience.

    • A strong personal interview with a CMHC faculty.


Applicants with a 2.85 - 2.99 undergraduate GPA with relevant life experience may be considered for an interview.  If admitted to the graduate program, they would be required to achieve a 3.0 GPA or better in their first 9 credit hours to remain in good academic standing.  Granting an interview with a candidate who has an undergraduate GPA below 2.5 will be at the discretion of the Admissions Committee.


For additional information, please contact Dr. Kristin Vincenzes at


* If you are not a resident of Pennsylvania, please check the list of most recent states approved for online classes and internships by clicking here  to see if LHU is authorized to offer distance education and/or field experiences in your state of residency.