M.S. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Mental health counselors are in high demand and job openings are projected to grow at almost three times the rate of other occupations. If you are interested in becoming a licensed clinical mental health counselor, this program is your pathway to licensure. RIC's M.S. in clinical mental health is fully accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), which means our courses meet the rigorous training standards set by the counseling profession. We also stand apart in offering extensive practicum and field-related experiences highly valued by employers.
Upon successful completion of this program, you will be prepared for licensure in Rhode Island as a mental health counselor. Our graduates work in a wide variety of clinical settings, including community mental health centers, adoption agencies, family service agencies, alternative education programs, psychiatric hospitals, children and adolescent residential programs and other related agencies.
To be considered for admission, provide the following by February 1:
- A completed application form accompanied by a $50 nonrefundable application fee.
- Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate records.
Note: A minimum cumulative GPA of B (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) in undergraduate course work, and a minimum GPA of 3.25 in previous graduate work is recommended. Applicants with undergraduate GPAs less than 3.00 will be considered upon submission of other evidence of academic potential.
- A writing sample responding to a prompt
Note: the prompt is located in the FSEHD application
- A résumé or curriculum vitae.
- A professional goals essay.
- Three letters of recommendation accompanied by candidate rating forms
- Performance-based evaluation.
Note: Standardized test scores are NOT required.
The deadline to submit a complete application packet is February 1. Materials must be postmarked by Feb. 1 to be reviewed. If materials are late, your application packet may be considered in the next cycle (the following year).
Application Deadline: February 1
Interview Offers: mid-February
Interviews: mid-February to mid-March
Notification of Acceptance Decision: March/April
Admission Offers: Summer Semester
After Feb. 1, application materials are reviewed and select applicants are invited for individual and group interviews (scheduled mid-February to mid-March). Applicants receive official notification of their acceptance from the Rhode Island College Graduate School in April.
Once accepted into the program, students complete a plan of study with a faculty advisor and are matriculated into the program.
Federal Financial Aid
Contact the Office of Financial Aid
Please review our Frequently Asked Questions about the RIC MS Clinical Mental Health Counseling application requirements. For questions about applying, please contact the program director, Monica Darcy at firstname.lastname@example.org For questions related to submitting your online application materials, please contact Rosina Misuraca at 401-456-8896 or email@example.com.
Course Information and Field Experiences
RIC's Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is a 60-credit Master’s degree to prepare mental health counselors to work in a variety of counseling and social service settings. The program is designed with a full-time study course load for three years. After completing their academic requirements in this CACREP nationally accredited program, students proceed with post-Master's supervised clinical practice in order to be licensed as mental health counselors. The requirements for the three-year plan of study are shown below. Students can work with faculty advisors to complete the program in more than 3 years. The program cannot be completed in less than 3 years.
Note: Most courses are scheduled once per week in the evenings (4-6:50 p.m. or 7-9:50 p.m.) during the Fall and Spring Semesters. Summer Sessions I and II courses are scheduled twice per week (3-6:35 p.m. or 7-10:35 p.m.)
Methods of Instruction
Courses in the counseling program incorporate various methods of instruction. Practice based courses (practica and internship) incorporate role play, case presentations, group supervision, presentation and review of taped sessions, individual supervision, peer supervision, and in-class demonstration and learning while didactic courses include lecture presentations, review of assigned readings, review of videos/podcasts, and practice with methods and concepts.
Three-Year Program with Summer start
First Year: Foundations Courses and Introductory Practica
- CEP 509: Professional Orientation and Ethical Practice
- CEP 531: Human Development Across Cultures
- CEP 532:Theories & Methods Of Counseling
- CEP 536: Biological Perspectives In Mental Health
- CEP 538: Practicum I: Introduction to Counseling Skills
- CEP 543: Clinical Assessment and Case Problems
- CEP 612: Cross-Cultural Counseling
- CEP 539: Practicum II: Clinical Interviewing & Treatment Planning
Second Year: Counseling Skills and Advanced Practica
- CEP 535: Vocational Counseling And Placement
- CEP 534: Quantitative Measurement and Test Interpretation
- CEP 537: Introduction to Group Counseling
- CEP 683: Practicum III: Advanced Counseling Skills
- CEP 544: Family Counseling Theory and Practice - OR - CEP 553: Counseling Children & Adolescents
- CEP 554: Research Methods In Applied Settings
- CEP 684: Practicum IV: Advanced Clinical Interventions & Outcome Evaluation
Third Year: Advanced Counseling Skills and Internship
- CEP 656: Crisis Assessment & Intervention - OR- ELECTIVE
- CEP 648 Assessment & Treatment of Co-Occurring Disorders
- CEP 610: Advanced Clinical Internship in Counseling I
- Complete Comprehensive Assessment or in spring
- ELECTIVE – OR- CEP 656 Crisis Assessment & Intervention
- CEP 611: Advanced Clinical Internship In Counseling II
- Complete Comprehensive Assessment or in fall
Mission, Objectives, Outcomes, and Initiatives
Mission: The graduate counseling programs provide the academic requirements that prepare students to become licensed mental health counselors. Through a rigorous curriculum and supervised clinical practice, students learn to provide assessment, therapy, consultation, and prevention-oriented services to meet the diverse needs of individuals, families and groups in a variety of mental health and community settings. The faculty represent diverse training backgrounds, clinical experiences, theoretical orientations, and research interests. They are strongly committed to practice-based learning and teaching evidence-based and culturally responsive practices. Faculty value inclusive excellence and strive to foster a community of belonging for all students. Graduates are reflective practitioners who integrate theory, current research, ethical decision-making, and social justice principles to cultivate wellness. (Updated October 2019).
Program Objective A: Professional Readiness - To equip students in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program with the knowledge and skills to become ethical and effective counselors in a complex society with diverse populations.
Key Performance Indicators (KPI): outline the expected knowledge and skills that students are expected to acquire in our program. Each KPI includes Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) with student performance assessed with multiple measures at multiple points in the program.
- Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice
- Social and Cultural Diversity
- Human Growth and Development
- Career Development
- Helping Relationships
- Group Counseling
- Assessment, Diagnosis, and Case Formulation
- Research and Program Evaluation
- Practice of Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Program Objective B: Learning Environment - To provide an active and inclusive learning environment where students engage in activities, learning, and development of knowledge, skills, and dispositions of a Clinical Mental Health Counselor.
Program Objective C: Professional Dispositions – To prepare students with the professional dispositions of a) ethical attitudes and behavior; b) multicultural competencies, c) personal and professional growth, d) healthy interpersonal relationships, and collaboration, and e) openness to feedback, and f) self-care.
Program Objective D: Student population - To recruit, support, and retain counseling students from diverse backgrounds.
Program Objective E: Current Professional Needs: To provide counseling training that is grounded in the latest knowledge in the field and is responsive to current and changing needs of the communities we serve, including attending to the intersecting identities of our clients/students within a multicultural and social justice framework.
Systematic Program Evaluation:
Frequently Asked Questions
Our program highlights a three-year program of study with four sequenced supervised practicum courses and a year-long internship placement. Students are immersed in practice-based learning throughout the program.
- For Prospective Students: There is a lot to consider when you apply to graduate school. See more on admission requirements, and pointers for completing the application
- For Applicants: Once you have submitted your application, the program admissions committee will review all completed applications. See more details on what to expect
- For Admitted Students: Once you have been recommended for admission to the program, you will be assigned a faculty advisor, attend orientation, and develop your plan of study
Field, Practicum, and Internship Experiences
Students, faculty, and supervisors will use InPlace for placements, agreement forms, documenting hours, site visits, and evaluation for the following courses: Practicum II (CEP 539), Practicum IV (CEP 684), and Internship I & II (CEP 610/611). See Practicum and Internship Handbook and Student Guide Book for detailed information for all field experiences
Before the Semester
- Complete registration form in InPlace for (CEP 539, CEP 684, CEP 610)
- Obtain liability insurance
- Enroll in courses
Early in the Semester
- Sign Practicum Agreement (CEP 539 Practicum II and CEP 684 Practicum IV)
- Sign Internship Agreement (CEP 610 Internship I and CEP 611 Internship 11)
- Complete Student Acknowledge of Risk Form
- Generate initials goals
During the Semester
- Maintain a log of clinical activities: (CEP 684, CEP 610, CEP 611) Document hours at least every two weeks
- Maintain an individual supervision Log: (CEP 610, CEP 611): Document supervision hours with overview each month
At the End of the Semester
- Generate final goals
- Complete site evaluation
Keep Current - Handbooks, Program News, Accomplishments
AdCare Rhode Island Names Allen McLeod, LMHC, Director of Clinical Services: McLeod, who is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Licensed Chemical Dependence Professional, earned his BA in Psychology, Master’s in Counseling, and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Mental Health Counseling from Rhode Island College