Counselor Education – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Clinical Mental Health Counseling


The Master of Science and Educational Specialist degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling prepares graduates for employment in a variety of settings such as community mental health agencies, public and non-profit human service facilities, inpatient psychiatric clinics, drug and alcohol centers, child and family service agencies, business and industry, and private practice. Courses in this program are designed to accommodate the schedule of the working individual, offering flexibility of hybrid course delivery (i.e., face-to-face, live online, and/or asynchronous online). 

Through rigorous coursework and clinical experiences, graduates are trained to provide culturally competent counseling services to individuals, couples, families, and groups. In addition to the common core and clinical experiences, coursework also emphasizes an orientation to mental health agencies, assessment and diagnosis, treatment planning & application of theory, substance abuse, crisis management, ethics, multicultural competencies, and advocacy and social justice activities. Students are expected to do the following: (a) demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the foundations, professional issues, professional literature, research, and clinical skills needed for competent clinical mental health practice; (b) provide quality counseling services to a variety of clientele; (c)understand the organizational structure and components of a comprehensive clinical mental health agency and issues impacting clinical mental health settings, services, and systems; and (d) engage in professional development, advocacy, and social justice activities.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Core and Specialty Area Objectives

1. Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the multiple professional roles and responsibilities of counselors and the ethical standards that apply to those roles and responsibilities.

2. Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of diversity though the application of multicultural, advocacy, and social justice practices and skills across client populations, settings, and concerns.

3. Student will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of factors that affect human development and abilities across the lifespan.

4. Students will demonstrate knowledge, skills, and strategies for assessing abilities, interests, values, personality and other factors that influence career development across the lifespan.

5. Students will demonstrate knowledge and skills to include the application of theoretical frameworks and ethically and culturally relevant strategies for establishing and maintaining in-person and technology-assisted relationships.

6. Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of types of groups related to client’s goals and other considerations that affect group work across varied counseling settings.

7. Students will demonstrate knowledge of statistical concepts and psychometric properties necessary to understand and utilize assessment information for diagnosis and treatment planning.

8. Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of evidence-based counseling practices used to inform counseling outcomes.

9. Students will engage in multicultural, advocacy, and social justice practices in counseling. 

Specialty Area Objective

10. Students will demonstrate skills in the application of theories and models of clinical mental health counseling, the diagnostic process, clinical interviewing, biopsychosocial and mental health history, and psychological assessment for treatment planning and caseload management.

Accreditation Information

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Mississippi State University is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The accreditation runs through 2030. 


This program is designed to fulfill the academic requirements for licensure as a Professional Counselor in the state of Mississippi. Upon graduation from this program, individuals are eligible to apply for the Mississippi PLPC licensure which makes one eligible to pursue the 3,000 hours of supervised clinical mental health counseling experience, take the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination or the National Counselor Exam as the final step in becoming a Mississippi Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

Mississippi State Board of Examiners for Licensed Professional Counselors


Program Requirements

The program requires completion of sixty (60) graduate hours of academic course work to include counseling core courses, specialty courses, electives, clinical experiences, and successfully passing the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE). 700 hours of clinical experience done in a clinical mental health counseling setting is required. These field experience hours will be accomplished across 3 semesters (summer, fall, and spring) under a licensed professional.

Students are required to maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA in coursework and have good computer word processing and writing skills. No graded work below a C is acceptable towards the requirements for the degree.

Counseling Core Coursework 24 Hours
COE 6903: Developmental Counseling and Mental Health
COE 8023: Counseling Theory
COE 8013: Counseling Skills
COE 8043: Group Techniques and Procedures
COE 8063: Research Techniques for Counselors
COE 8083 Assessment Techniques in Counseling
COE 8203: Career Development and Placement
COE 8073: Cultural Foundations in Counseling
EPY 8263: Psychological Testing in Educational and Related Settings
Specialized Courses Coursework 15 hours
COE 8703: Principles of Clinical Mental Health Counseling
COE 8633: Psychosocial Rehabilitation
COE 8303: Family Counseling Theory
COE 8803: Crisis Response in Counseling
COE 8773: Counseling the Chemically Dependent Client
COE 8783: Counseling the Chemically Dependent Family
Clinical Coursework 9 Hours
COE 8053: Clinical Mental Health Counseling Practicum (100 hours)
COE 8730: Clinical Mental Health Counseling Internship I (300 hours)
COE 8750: Clinical Mental Health Counseling Internship II (300 hours)
Elective Coursework 12 hours
with 9 having the COE prefix
Elective coursework includes but is not limited to the following counseling courses: Counseling Sexually Abused Clients, Utilizing Art and Art Therapy in Counseling, Spirituality in Counseling, Grief Counseling, Gender Issues, Issues in Aging, Counseling Elderly Clients, Advanced Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling, Counseling Children, and Counseling Gifted Students.

Course Sequencing and Student Progress

Each student enrolled in the program is assigned a faculty advisor who assists the student with course selection and navigating through the program. Each student is strongly encouraged to communicate frequently with his/her advisor. Coursework provides a balance between theory, practice, and experiential learning. The course sequence varies depending on the students' enrollment status (full or part-time), the student’s semester admitted, and enrollment in summer classes. The program can be pursued on a full-time or part-time basis. Academic and professional development evaluations are made of all graduate students each semester to ensure ongoing professional growth and completion of coursework in a timely manner. There are other important requirements for the graduate degrees in clinical mental health counseling at Mississippi State University. It is the student's responsibility to know them and to make sure his/her program of study conforms appropriately to these requirements. When in doubt, the student should consult with his/her faculty advisor.

Professional Development

Many opportunities are available for professional development while completing the master’s and specialist’s degrees in clinical mental health program. Students are expected to seek membership in professional organizations such as Mississippi Counseling Association (MCA), American Counseling Association (ACA), and American Mental Health Counseling Association. Clinical mental health counseling students attend and deliver presentations at the Mississippi Counseling Association annual conference, and several have attended and presented at ACA. Students are expected to become involved in advocacy and social justice projects on behalf of their clients as well as the profession. Current students, based on their GPA, may be invited to become a member of the Counseling Honors Society, Chi Sigma Iota.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Master of Science and/or Educational Specialist in Clinical Mental Health counseling program is for Spring semester only, with December 1 as the application deadline.

Admission Requirements Include

  • A completed graduate application.
  • Graduate counseling programs at MSU Meridian are digitally delivered programs that utilize digital learning activities. This includes varied formats:  asynchronous learning, synchronous learning, hybrid learning, and some in person learning. As a result, candidates are admitted, they need to have reliable access to Wi-Fi internet, audio and video capability, and have a secure location to access these to complete all course requirements. This includes demonstration of proficiency with accessing, utilizing, and completing work in varied online platforms with availability to upload documents, complete work online, reach deadlines, and have substantial interaction and engagement in these courses.
  • Being a digitally delivered program, please include the following in your statement of purpose detailing the following:
    • Explore how you intend to be successful in our digitally delivered program. Please address your exposure to digital learning, your use of varied formats, and ways you will ensure proficiency.
    •  Explore your professional goals in the specified specialization (e.g., school, clinical mental health, substance abuse, rehabilitation) and how those goals fit the program to which you are applying.
    • Explore how you intend to maintain a professional, personal, academic, and holistic wellness balance while in the program.
  • Names and email addresses for three references including two professional contacts and one instructor/professor who can speak to your academic ability. The admissions office will send them a link to an online reference form. Do not list family members and please inform your references so they can expect to be contacted by the admissions office.
  • A minimum 2.75 GPA (bachelor’s degree) for admission to M.S. programs and a recommended minimum of 3.3 GPA (master’s degree) for admission to Ed.S programs.
  • Individuals applying to the Ed.S. degree must hold a M.S. degree in counseling or a related field (as determined by program concentration).
  • Current medical immunization record.

All documentation and official transcripts, must be submitted to the graduate school for both the M.S. and Ed.S degree programs.

Applicants are encouraged to check with the program for additional requirements.  An application committee will review materials for admission.  Further information may be obtained from the Graduate School Bulletin, and the graduate application may be obtained online at

· Spring Application Deadline – December 1

· Summer Application Deadline – May 15

· Fall Application Deadline – August 1

Financial Aid

A variety of financial aid is available to eligible students. Information about student financial aid may be obtained via the Mississippi State University website at

Program Planning Guide

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Planning Guide (60 hours)

See Counseling Graduate Student Handbook for program planning guide.

Counseling Core Curriculum (24 hours)
Course Title Semester Hours Grade Transfer
COE 6903 Developmental Counseling and Mental Health   3    
COE 8013 Counseling Skills (Prerequisite: COE - 8023)   3    
COE 8023 Counseling Theory   3    
COE 8043 Group Techniques and Procedures
(Prerequisite: COE 8023, 8013)
COE 8063 Research Techniques for Counselors   3    
COE 8073 Cultural Foundations in Counseling   3    
COE 8083 Assessment Techniques in Counseling   3    
COE 8203 Placement and Career Development   3    
EPY 8263 Psychological Testing in Educational and Related Settings   3    
Mental Health Counseling Curriculum (15 hours)
Course Title Semester Hours Grade Transfer
COE 8303 Family Counseling (Prerequisite: COE 8023)   3    
COE 8633 Psychosocial Rehabilitation   3    
COE 8703 Principles of Clinical Mental Health Counseling   3    
COE 8803 Crisis Response in Counseling
(Prerequisite: COE 8013, 8023)
COE 8773 Counseling the Chemically Dependent Client OR   3    
COE 8783 Counseling the Chemically Dependent Family   3    
Field Experience (9 hours)
Course Title Semester Hours Grade Transfer  
COE 8053 Practicum [100 hours] (Prerequisite: COE 8023,
8013, 8043, 8633, 8703, EPY 8263*)
COE 8730
COE 8750
Internship I [300 hours] (Prereq: COE 8053)
Internship II (300 hours)
Approved Electives (12 hours total; 9 must be COE)
Course Title Semester Hours Grade Transfer
COE     3    
COE     3    
COE     3    

Transfer: A maximum of 12 semester hours may be transferred from another accredited institution with advisor's approval.

*Can be taken with Practicum.

Contact Information

For further information about Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate degree programs, contact the program coordinator:

Name: Dr. Rosanne Nunnery, Ph.D., LPC-S, NCC, BC-TMH, C-DBT, CGP
Phone: (601)484-0493


Rosanne Nunnery, Ph.D., LPC-S, NCC, BC-TMH portrait

Rosanne Nunnery, Ph.D., LPC-S, NCC, BC-TMH
Associate Clinical Professor of Counselor Education

Phone: 601-484-0493
Fax: 601-484-0280