Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling

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Lance Newman, Interim Dean
Scott Gust, Associate Dean
Ashley Seitz Kramer, Assistant Dean

Faculty: Ellen Behrens, Colleen Sandor, Janine Wanlass

Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling Courses

Admission to Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling

Program Mission

The Masters in Mental Health Counseling program at Westminster College educates students in the fundamentals of counseling theory and practice in an experiential and interpersonal learning environment that facilitates personal and professional growth. Our aim is to train professional counselors with a sound basis in ethical behavior, psychological theories, and professional counseling skills, creating a knowledge base and capacity for thinking that can be translated into effective counseling practice with individuals, families, and groups from diverse backgrounds. We strive to guide our students to become more self-aware and self-reflective as they hone their intellectual and emotional skills. We encourage critical thinking, emphasize professional honesty and integrity, and foster a commitment to providing services to local communities.

Program Goals

The program of study is designed to develop a student’s ability to:

  • Practice in the field of mental health with a comprehensive understanding of ethical and professional behavior.
  • Establish a professional identity in a career as a mental health counselor within a local community.
  • Articulate a fundamental knowledge of research, theory, and practice in the field of counseling from a broad range of clinical perspectives.
  • Engage in critical thinking skills and develop a heightened self-awareness.
  • Appreciate and practice counseling skills with an acute sensitivity to issues of diversity.
  • Seek professional consultation with colleagues and supervisors, facilitating engagement in a life long learning process.
  • Assess individuals, families, and groups using appropriate theory and skills and derive appropriate intervention strategies to help these clients resolve their problems of living.

Retention in the Program

The student must:

  • Maintain a grade point average of 3.0. If the student receives a grade of C+ or lower in any course, the credit hours for this course do not count toward graduation requirements and must be repeated.
  • Pass comprehensive exam (70%) and write an acceptable case conceptualization of a client in the third year of study.
  • Complete the program within 5 years.
  • Comply with ethical standards for counselors (ACA, ACMHCA codes) and all policies for practicum students, interns, or employees at community clinical placements. Failure to do so may result in suspension or dismissal from the program.

Program Probation and Dismissal Policy

A student may receive a practicum/internship/classroom warning of program probationary status at any time during a field or classroom experience if the instructor determines that the student’s performance is unsatisfactory. The written warning will outline what the student must do to meet the course or program requirements. Program probation will be removed if the student is able to satisfy the conditions listed in the written warning; however, any program probationary status will be documented in the student’s record.

A student can be dismissed from the Masters in Professional Counseling program for any of the following reasons:

  • Violation of the academic honesty policy.
  • Violation of the ethical code for counselors.
  • Failure to maintain a GPA appropriate for the program.
  • A documented pattern of unprofessional behavior in the classroom or clinical setting.
  • A documented violation of agency policy or procedures in a clinical placement.

Graduation Requirements

To be eligible for a master’s degree or graduate certificate, students must satisfy the following conditions:

  • Meet all credit hour and other course requirements.
  • Maintain an overall grade point average of 3.0 or above.
  • Be enrolled at Westminster College during the semester in which they wish to graduate.
  • Maintain good academic standing.
  • Earn a grade of B- or higher in all graduate courses.

Note: Only graduate-level coursework may be applied toward degree or certificate requirements.
The final responsibility for being informed about, and adhering to, graduation requirements rests with the individual.

Program Requirements

Students must complete at least 60 hours of graduate course work drawn from the following:

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Required Courses 54
MSMHC 605 Seminar in Professional Counseling Roles (1)
MSMHC 610 Counseling Ethics (3)
MSMHC 612 Statistics and Research Methods (3)
MSMHC 614 Psychopathology and the DSM (3)
MSMHC 617 Individual Counseling I (3)
MSMHC 619 Individual Counseling II (3)
MSMHC 621 Human Growth and Development (3)
MSMHC 625 Tests and Measurements (2)
MSMHC 628 Group Counseling (3)
MSMHC 631 Applications of Cognitive Behavioral Theory (3)
MSMHC 633 Child and Family Counseling (3)
MSMHC 636 Clinical Assessment (3)
MSMHC 639 Multicultural Counseling (3)
MSMHC 640 Counseling Practicum (3)
MSMHC 642 Substance Abuse Counseling (3)
MSMHC 644 Applications of Psychodynamic Theory (3)
MSMHC 645 Career Counseling and Development (3)
MSMHC 660 Internship I (1–3)
MSMHC 661 Internship II (1–3)
II. Elective Courses 6
MSMHC 650*   Special Topics Seminars (3)
TOTAL HOURS FOR THE MSMHC DEGREE 60

*All numbered courses are required; however, students may select from two special topics courses in the spring semesters of their second and third years. Students are required to take and pass comprehensive exams prior to April 1st of their third year. (Students should be aware that completion of this program is partial preparation for licensure as a CMHC, since additional clinical practice hours are needed to meet the licensure requirements. Utah requires 4,000 supervised clinical hours prior to licensure.)

Recommended Plan of Study

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Year 1 605 Professional Roles
610 Ethics
612 Stats & Research Methods
617 Individual Counseling I
621 Human Growth & Dev
619 Individual Counseling II
628 Group Counseling
631 CBT
633 Child and Family Counseling
Year 2

614 Psychopathology and DSM
625 Tests & Measurements
642 Substance Abuse Counseling
644 Psychodynamic


639 Multicultural
636 Clinical Assessment
640 Praticum
650 Special Topics I

Year 3

645 Career Counseling
660 Internship I


650 Special Topics II
661 Internship II

Some students enter the MSMHC program only to learn that while they love the study of counseling, they no longer desire to practice.  For those students who seek an education in the applications of psychology but who choose not to seek licensure, the Master of Applied Psychology is a degree option.   At the end of the first and second years of academic study in the graduate program, students and faculty determine if a student will graduate from the MAP program or the MSMHC program.

Master of Science in Applied Psychology

Faculty: Ellen Behrens, Colleen Sandor, Janine Wanlass

Students may wish to pursue the Master of Science in Applied Psychology if they have an interest in understanding human behavior and how change occurs within a treatment context but do not have a wish to practice as a licensed therapist.  For example, a student may wish to work in an administrative capacity in a human or social service agency or non-profit.  Perhaps one aspires to head an HR/EAP program or run a for-profit residential treatment center, and while the student does not wish to provide direct services to clients, the student wants a deep understanding of best practices within the fields of psychology and counseling.

Program Goals

  • Demonstrate knowledge of how psychological and counseling theories are applied in human and social services
  • Prepare students for administrative or staff positions within social services agencies
  • Understand how theories of human development, psychology, and counseling are used to promote health and change in individuals and groups

Program Requirements

Students must complete at least 45-48 hours of graduate course work drawn from the following:

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Required Courses 42
MSMHC 605 Seminar in Professional Roles I (1)
MSMHC 610 Counseling Ethics (3)
MSMHC 612 Statistics and Research Methods (3)
MSMHC 614 Psychopathology and the DSM (3)
MSMHC 617 Individual Counseling I (3)
MSMHC 619 Individual Counseling II (3)
MSMHC 621 Human Growth and Development (3)
MSMHC 625 Tests and Measurements (2)
MSMHC 628 Group Counseling (3)
MSMHC 631 Applications of Cognitive Behavioral Theory (3)
MSMHC 633 Child and Family Counseling (3)
MSMHC 636 Clinical Assessment (3)
MSMHC 639 Multicultural Counseling (3)
MSMHC 642 Substance Abuse Counseling (3)
MSMHC 644 Applications of Psychodynamic Theory (3)
II. Elective Courses 3-6
MSMHC 650 Special Topics (3 or 6)
TOTAL HOURS FOR THE MS in Applied Psychology 45-48  

Recommended Plan of Study for MS in Applied Psychology

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Year 1 605 Professional Roles
610 Ethics
612 Stats & Research Method
617 Individual Counseling I
621 Human Growth & Dev
619 Individual Counseling II
628 Group Counseling
631 Applications of CBT
633 Child and Family Counseling
Year 2

614 Psychopathology & DSM
625 Tests and Measurements
642 Substance Abuse Counseling
644 Applications of PDT


639 Multicultural
636 Clinical Assessment
650 Special Topics I
650 Special Topics II