Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) Concentration FAQs
- I have applied to the College of Graduate Studies and was notified that I have been
accepted as a graduate student. Does this mean that I have been accepted into the
Professional Counseling Program?
No. Admission to the program is a two-step process. First, you apply to the College
of Graduate Studies by completing an application and having transcripts sent to that
college. The second step is to apply for admission to the Professional Counseling
Program, which involves completing a supplemental application, having GRE scores sent, submitting a vita, and having three individuals who are familiar with you (preferably at least two
of whom know your academic skills) complete our recommendation form. All of this information is sent to the College of Graduate Studies. If you are then
invited to our group interview in October or March, you must attend and receive a
positive recommendation from the faculty for admission into our program. For additional
information, please refer to our Handbook.
- I noticed that October 1 and March 1 are the deadlines to submit my application materials
for review by the Professional Counseling faculty to be considered for admission into
the counseling program. What if I can't meet that deadline for some reason? May I
still take classes?
Yes, you may. We do not necessarily recommend this (particularly if you have not yet
taken and obtained the required GRE scores for admission), but students have the right
to take up to 6 hours of coursework during any one semester prior to admission into
the program. If you are not admitted during the semester when you are taking those
3 or 6 hours, you may not register for any additional coursework until you have been
admitted. Because admission is not guaranteed, you may want to select your classes
carefully. (Hint: To reduce your risk, review the curriculum of a counseling program
at another university in the event you decide to apply there also, and select classes
that could easily be transferred. Courses such as Theories and Techniques of Counseling,
Multicultural Counseling. Lifespan Development, and Introduction to Professional Counseling
may be wise selections.)
- What are the pre-requisites for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program, and
must I complete these before being accepted into the program?
The pre-requisites are a basic statistics class (e.g., PSY 3020, Basic Statistics
for Behavioral Science) and an abnormal psychology course (e.g., PSY 3230, Abnormal
Psychology). These courses should be taken prior to applying to the CMHC program.
- I am concerned about the GRE. What if I don't obtain the required minimum score? Will
I still be eligible to be admitted into the CMHC program?
A combined Verbal + Quantitative GRE score of 900 (with no less than a 400 on either
the verbal or quantitative portions) on the old (i.e., pre-2012) GRE test OR a combined Verbal + Quantitative score of 291 (with no less than a 146 on the Verbal
section or 140 on the Quantitative section) on the updated GRE test is required for
unconditional admission into the program.
If you took the GRE and obtained a score below 860 on the old test or 288 on the new
test, then it is recommended that you retake the GRE. There are GRE preparation guides
and programs that can be purchased at bookstores or online.
- Can I take all of the classes on-line?
No. While a few of the classes are on-line and some are partially on-line (web-assisted),
most classes are face-to-face.
- When are the classes offered?
Prior to practicum and internship, the most frequent class meeting time is 4:30-7:30
PM one day per week (or not quite that often if the class is web-assisted.) A class
may be scheduled to meet from 6:00-9:00 PM one day per week. One or two web-assisted
classes meet one Saturday per month. A few are on-line. Some sections of classes also
meet in the summer to give students another option as to when to schedule the classes.
During the practicum, which is usually during the student's third or fourth semester,
you must be available to work in a mental health-related setting for 100 hours during
the semester, which is the equivalent of one full day per week. In addition to this,
you must come to campus by 4:30 two days per week to see one or more clients in the
MTSU Center for Counseling and Psychological Services, and for individual and group
There is an academic-year-long internship at the end of the program. You must be available
to work in a mental health-related setting for 600 hours over the course of two consecutive
semesters (or approximately 3 days per week). While in internship, you also must come
to campus approximately one evening per week for group supervision.
- Can I work and take classes?
Most of our students work at least part-time until they begin practicum and/or internships,
as they are able to arrange their work hours so that they do not conflict with class
times or with the academic demands of graduate work. While most students do not to
work while taking their internships, this is not always possible. Some manage to maintain
part-time employment during internship. How well this works is dependent upon numerous
factors such as the demands of the job and the individual's ability to cope with stressful
- How long will it take me to complete the program?
Students go through the program at different rates depending upon their individual
circumstances. Students who are able to go "full-time"; and take summer classes complete
the program in three years. Some students choose to take fewer classes each semester
because of other obligations or personal preference, so take longer to graduate. See
the program Handbook for a sample schedule.
- Is your program accredited?
Yes. Both the Clinical Mental Health Counseling and the School Counseling Programs
are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational
Programs or "CACREP"; ( http://www.cacrep.org). The School Counseling Program is also accredited by the National Council for Accreditation
of Teacher Education or "NCATE"; ( http://ncate.org).
- Do you train students to work with children and adults?
Yes. Students have the opportunity to take courses that are specific to counseling
children and adults.
- Are there scholarships or assistantships available to help pay for my education?
Graduate assistantships (GAs) are limited and competitive. They are available for
10 or 20 hours per week although the 10-hour assistantship (which includes a small
monthly stipend and the 50% tuition discount) is the norm. Graduate assistants assist
faculty members with both teaching and research and perform a wide variety of other
duties depending on the faculty needs and the assistant's skills and background. Information
about student assistantships and a link to the application can be found on the College
of Graduate Studies website.
In addition to applying for an assistantship with our program, students may want to
apply for a GA position in non-academic offices across the university. A list of these
departments that do not have students of their own from which to select GAs can be
Please see the program Handbook for scholarship information.
- What are the job prospects for clinical mental health counselors/licensed professional
According to the federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, “employment of mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists is projected to grow 29 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for
all occupations. Growth is expected in both occupations as more people have mental
health counseling services covered by their insurance policies”.
- I already have a master's degree and just need to complete a few courses to become
eligible for licensure as a professional counselor. Can I take courses at MTSU for
Possibly, but only if you are a graduate of the MTSU School Counseling program or
have graduated from a CACREP-approved program. Students who are currently enrolled
in the School Counseling program may petition to take courses for this purpose. Permission
to take courses is made on a case-by-case basis.