Counseling — Clinical Mental Health Concentration

Program Type
Master’s Program
Master of Science (MS)
Mode of Study
In Person

Cost per credit hour

In-state: $445.
Out-of-state: $1,350. See details and other costs

Credit hours

63 required credit hours. Most courses are equal to 3 credit hours. Browse course list

Financial aid

Over 150 graduate assistantships available with stipend & tuition assistance, plus scholarship & fellowship opportunities. Explore aid


No GRE requirement. Formal interview required. Apply by February 15 for fall term, October 1 for spring term. View application process & deadlines

Program Highlights

  • Earn your degree on your terms: Study full-time and finish in as few as 2 years or study part-time and finish in 4 years.
  • Prepare to sit for the National Counselor Examination (NCE) and to apply to be licensed as a clinical professional counselor (LCPC) in Maine.
  • Learn skills specifically related to treating clients facing acute problems and developmental life issues.
  • Complete an internship under the supervision of a licensed mental health clinician.
  • Pursue an area of expertise in Substance Abuse, if you choose, and qualify to serve as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC)
  • Study with expert faculty who hold doctorates in Counseling and years of practical experience in the field.
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Program requirements

Our program provides you with the counseling skills needed in clinical mental health settings. Study human development and behavior, individual and group counseling dynamics, research methodology, and psychological evaluation. You can also pursue an area of expertise in Substance Abuse or Family Systems.

A Counselor Education faculty member explains program requirements.


Program graduates qualify to become a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in Maine. Those pursuing expertise in Substance Abuse can also qualify to serve as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC).

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Pursue an area of interest

If you choose, you can take specialized electives that will allow you to pursue your interest in the following areas: children, family systems, use of the creative arts, mind-body approaches, spirituality, substance-use, or college mental health.

A counselor has an individual session with a patient.

Career opportunities

In our Clinical Mental Health concentration, students establish their professional identity through the development of facilitative and interpersonal communication skills. More than 98% of program graduates have been successfully employed in the field — or have chosen to pursue further education.

A counselor has an individual session with a patient.

Hands-on learning

During your internship, you’ll meet one-on-one with clients under the supervision of a licensed mental health clinician. The experience encourages personal growth and allows you to develop attitudes, values, and beliefs that facilitate the counseling process.

Graduate students attend their orientation in a lecture hall, with a staff member speaking at a podium.

Graduate student support

Our Office of Graduate Studies connects you with opportunities for professional development, scholarships, and graduate assistantships. They also foster our graduate student community through Peer Mentorship and the Graduate Student Board.

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Expert faculty

Our faculty are deeply committed to student success, often involving students in their research and presentations. Faculty members engage in continous scholarship related to areas such as counselor self care, altruism and moral courage, rehabilitation and aging, suicide awareness, and resiliency.

A person smiles with the CACREP accreditation logo.


Our program is fully accredited through the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP).

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Scholarship opportunities

Scholarships offer financial aid that doesn’t need to be repaid. We encourage students in graduate degree programs to apply for scholarship opportunities.

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Connect with us

Our monthly Graduate Information Sessions are an excellent way to learn more about the benefits of our program, as well as our admissions and financial process.

Register today
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Next steps

Our graduate admissions counselors are here to answer your questions about the admissions process, our academic programs, and student support services.

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Meet us

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Admission information: MS in Counseling — Clinical Mental Health Concentration

Application deadlines & interview timelines

Deadline & timelineFall term startSpring term start
Application deadlineFebruary 15October 1
Interview timelineMarch 15-22November 1-7
Admissions decisions will be sent out approximately three weeks after the interviews. Additional details about interviews are provided below.

Applicant must have a bachelor’s degree, from a regionally accredited college or university, and have earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) in a baccalaureate degree program; Applicants who do not have a 2.5 overall GPA must enclose a letter asking for special consideration, in which they provide evidence of an ability to complete graduate studies successfully. Without such a letter, applicants who fail to meet eligibility requirements may be automatically denied.

Applicants are required to provide the following materials:

General requirements

  • Application: Online application
  • Application fee:
    • In-state, out-of-state, and Canadian applicants: Free to apply
    • International applicants: Submit US $50 fee to apply
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). A transcript is official when sent directly from the institution.
  • Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
  • Students whose first language is not English may be required to take one of the following: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE) or Duolingo. Applicants must submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information regarding test scores and requirements.

Additional requirements

  • Essay: For the essay, candidates are asked to address the following two statements. Your answers for both statements should be limited to about 750 words (approx 2-3 pages) combined. It will be evaluated in terms of clarity of expression, grammatical construction, and other facets of English composition, as well as the quality of responses.
    • 1. In the form of a brief autobiography relate your experience that has led to your interest in the counseling profession.
    • 2. As counseling professionals, we are constantly seeking areas in ourselves that bear examination and change. As future practitioners, you will be witness to a wide variety of client experiences. Please discuss areas in yourself that may challenge your ability to empathically listen to client experiences that are different from your own.
  • Recommendations: Three letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant’s knowledge of current scholarship, capacity to connect theory and practice in posing and solving educational problems, achievement of excellence in educational practice, and demonstrated capability and motivation to engage in advanced graduate study.
  • Interview with faculty. The admissions process requires a formal interview. Applications will be reviewed and qualified applicants will be invited to interview. Interviews can take place in person or via video call, depending on availability. Candidates to be interviewed will be rated on three areas of personal criteria: understanding of and commitment to the counseling field, self-awareness, and thinking skills/decision-making ability.

Transfer Credit

A maximum of six credit hours may be approved as transfer credit, provided these credits were earned no more than three years prior to matriculation and grades of B or better were received. Additional transfer credit may be approved by the program chair in exceptional circumstances, including certificates of graduate study program courses. Students who complete the MHRT-C before admission may request up to the 15 credits taken for transfer upon admission to the Rehabilitation Counseling concentration provided they meet approval criteria.

Graduate students in master’s level counseling programs at other accredited universities may transfer into the program if they take their final 21 hours, including the internship requirement, in USM’s counselor education program.

Professional Licensure and Certification Notice

Students with a criminal record who are pursuing degrees leading to application for professional licensure or certification should contact the appropriate licensure or certification body prior to matriculation to ensure eligibility.

International student instructions

View additional application requirements

English proficiency test scores

View test requirements

Where to send application materials

Get our mailing address and email address