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Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Clinical mental health student working at a table in the library researching.

Make a life-changing difference.

Why Become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)?

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five adults in the United States — and one in six youth — will experience mental illness each year. One in three go without treatment.

Efforts to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health are working, though: more and more people are reaching out for help. Clinical mental health counselors are among the professionals affected individuals and their families can turn to for depression, anxiety, phobias, grief, substance use, relationship difficulties and other conditions.

When you read through a typical mental health counselor job description, you’ll likely see a requirement for an LMHC. This is a designation from the Indiana Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board. To become a mental health counselor (at the LMHC level) you’ll first need to earn a master’s degree from an accredited program.

Take the first step:
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Career Outlook & Success


Hours of clinical experience


Best Social Services Jobs (U.S. News & World Report, 2020)


expected increase in demand for marriage and family therapists through 2029 (BLS, 2019)

Why USF for Mental Health Counseling?

The demand for mental health counselors in a variety of specialization areas is expected to grow faster than the average occupation.

The University of Saint Francis offers future mental health professionals a clear path from undergraduate to Psy.D., all at one school. This brings a breadth of teaching expertise and well-established community connections to all of our psychology and counseling students.

Our master’s of science in clinical mental health counseling offers:

Convenient, Flexible Schedule

Designed for working professionals, you can complete your master’s coursework on campus during the late afternoon and evening hours.

Areas of Specialization

Pursue an area of emphasis that reflects your professional goals and interests:

  • Child, Marriage and Family
  • Substance Use

Education Based on Franciscan Values

Become a mental health counselor in a social justice-oriented program. We empower and encourage our master’s students to be strong advocates for their clients and serve their communities as ethical, principled mental health professionals.

1,000+ Hours of Clinical Experience

As you prepare to become a mental health counselor, you’ll gain real-world experience and make professional connections through a variety of experiential learning opportunities:

100-hour Practicum

Gain clinical experience at an agency, including 40 hours of face-to-face client work, starting in a group therapy environment.

600-hour Internship

Spend a semester or two on site at a mental health agency or facility of your choice; you’ll get at least 240 hours of client contact.

300-hour Advanced Internship

Gain additional experience in your concentration area, including at least 120 hours working with clients.

Facilities and Faculty

Our master’s students will have access to resources and learning spaces in our department and in the Lee and Jim Vann Library:

  • Comfortable interview rooms with audio/video capability
  • modern computer labs equipped to support research and data analysis
  • Industry-standard software, such as SPSS and test-scoring programs
  • plentiful test and assessment manuals and materials available for loan

You will learn and be mentored by research scientists, licensed mental health counselors (LMHC) and practicing psychologists, including:

  • John Brinkman, Ph.D., with clinical expertise in neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology
  • Rolf Daniel, Ed.D., a forensic and clinical psychologist with expertise in addiction and substance abuse
  • Monica Heller, Ph.D, an expert in human growth and development
  • Carl Jylland-Halverson, Psy.D, an expert in trauma-related conditions
  • Mike Martynowicz, Ph.D.,whose work centers around self-regulation, motivation and learning in educational settings

The classes are different from other universities. They really focused on counseling and neurology. I really liked the psychology pharmacology class. Dr. Rolf Daniel’s class was amazing, I loved that class.

Priscilla Baltazard ’19, MS’20

Clinical mental health student talking to another person.

Career Opportunities: Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)

Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC) serve clients of all ages and backgrounds in settings such as:

  • Private practice
  • Business and industry
  • Government
  • Healthcare
  • Residential
  • Community/social service
  • Law enforcement/forensic

Where You Can Find Our Graduates

With support from our career services team, insight from your faculty mentors and connections with our alumni network, you’re always likely to find a mental health counselor job description or opportunity shared on campus.

After earning their master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling, USF students find positions at employers such as:

  • Booth and Company
  • Caring About People, Inc.
  • Ferraro Behavior Services
  • Grace, Love and Connection (private practice)
  • Indiana Center for Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • Lifeline Youth & Family Services
  • Oaktree Guidance and Wellness Center
  • Otis R. Bowen Center for Human Services
  • Parkview Health
  • SAFY of America (Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth)
  • Theracare
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Services
  • Whitington Homes & Services

Ready to start?

Apply Now

Your first step to becoming a USF Cougar is applying for admission. our online application makes the process as convenient as possible.

Apply Now

Vist USF

Whether you know what you want to see, who you want to meet or are just exploring your options, we will personalize your campus visit to fit your needs.

Academic Plan

An academic plan is a general blueprint showing how one might complete the degree, semester by semester. Get an idea on what each semester could look like.