The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program is a 60-hour residential graduate program designed to meet the standards set forth by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). CACREP, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education (CHEA), has granted accreditation to the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling for an eight-year period through March 31, 2025.
This program is designed to prepare counselors for job opportunities in clinical settings including in-patient, out-patient, church counseling centers, university counseling centers, community mental health agencies, social services organizations and private practice. Students receive education and training to provide mental health services to children, adolescents, and adults individually, as well as couples, families, and groups. Diverse educational perspectives and significant clinical experiences enable our graduates to develop a wide array of clinical skills which can be utilized with diverse client populations.
Students attend classes only on Monday afternoon and evening in their first year. Students have the benefit of dynamic face-to-face interaction of a traditional classroom environment; a setting most conducive to experiential learning of the necessary counseling skills. Students continue to attend classes on Mondays in the second year, but also complete the practicum and internship requirements by seeing clients in the campus clinic and at an off-campus internship site in the community. Most students complete the program in a full-time cohort format in two years, but part-time enrollment is also an option to complete the program in three years.
Our Clinical Mental Health Counseling program meets the standards set forth by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). CACREP is the national accrediting agency for counselors. With this accreditation, you are assured of a quality academic program according to national professional standards. Research shows that CACREP graduates perform better on the National Counselor Examination (NCE), the current exam used for licensure of professional counselors in Texas.
In addition to providing training in classical theories, our faculty have developed and adopted innovative approaches that treat the client as a whole person: biologically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. We know that in times of distress, people struggle with issues of meaning, purpose, and value. We encourage our students to be sensitive to these issues and walk with clients in their struggles. Another important facet of a complete education is a diversity of experience and learning to give back. As a result, we give students many varied opportunities to serve our community and others through service projects and mission trips.
The CMHC program has a very high pass rate on the licensure exam for graduates who have completed exams to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and a National Certified Counselor (NCC). In addition, every graduate of our program has gotten a job as a mental health professional within a few short months of graduation in diverse settings like victim crisis centers, children’s hospitals, school districts, counseling practices, hospice providers, juvenile probation/detention, colleges/universities, and more.
All courses and course descriptions for the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling can be found in the Graduate Catalog.
Applicants for the graduate program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. A committee made up of Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) faculty will make admissions decisions based upon a comprehensive review of applicants. The degree-seeking student will submit an application (including the required fee) electronically.
Students may pursue both Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and the Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) licenses as well as the National Certified Counselor (NCC). The electronic application on the HSU website is sent to the Office of Admission and processed. All required items must be submitted to the Office of Admission, or if applicable, uploaded to the applicant’s account before the completed application will be sent to the CMHC Program for review.
Required Items (Academics)
International students are recommended to have a score of 250 on the computer version of TOEFL, a score of 5 on the TWE, and a score of 50 on the TSE. Official copies from the national testing center must be sent directly to HSU Graduate Studies.
Applicants will apply and send all required items in by the semester deadline for entrance. Faculty will review all required components for each applicant, and those who are to be considered for admissions will be invited to campus for an interview with CMHC Program faculty. A completed application does not guarantee an interview.
Interviews may be in both group and/or individual format. Social interaction skills, questions focused on a) interest and motivation for a career as a licensed therapist; b) related work and life experience; c) awareness of applicant’s own issues related to family and personal growth; d) dealing with others with different beliefs or values; and e) integration of spirituality in counseling may be covered in the interview. Upon completion of the interview, admission decisions will be made based on a comprehensive review of all admissions information. An interview does not guarantee admission into the program.
In the CMHC program at Hardin-Simmons University, you know you will receive top quality education and care. All the faculty in the CMHC program are doctoral level educators who are licensed mental health professionals. Their vast cumulative experiences and resources allow you to gain a diversity of knowledge.
Our graduates work in meaningful and important jobs in public and private organizations including:
The small class sizes allow you to get to know your professors and for them to give you the individual attention you need. And with the continued growth of the mental health field (according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics) your future will look bright when you graduate from the CMHC program.
The mission of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate program is for faculty and students to collaborate in the pursuit of knowledge, clinical skills, and personal growth in an environment enlightened by faith, so that students will be prepared to provide the highest standard of professional counseling services to diverse populations.
HSU’s Department of Psychology and Counseling will cultivate an innovative and collaborative learning environment where students can study the science and practice of psychology and counseling.
The Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) Master’s Program is a 60-hour residential graduate program designed to meet the standards set forth by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). CACREP, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education (CHEA), has granted accreditation to the Clinical Mental Health Counseling (M.A.) degree in the Department of Psychology and Counseling at Hardin-Simmons University for an eight-year period through March 31, 2025.
Each year, a comprehensive report is created based on the following assessment tools used to evaluate the CMHC program: CACREP Course Objectives, Current Student Survey, Alumni Survey, Alumni Employer Survey, and Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam (CPCE) scores for graduating students. The CMHC program has a 100% pass rate on the comprehensive exam for graduation. The program also as a high pass rate for graduates who have completed the licensure exam. All of these measures are used to assess the CMHC program at Hardin-Simmons University and reported annually on the Assessment of Learning Outcomes (ALOC) report below.
One of the joys of teaching at Hardin-Simmons University is that it is truly an education enlightened by faith. Thus, our faculty purposefully weave their Christian faith into the courses that they teach. This intentionality exemplifies our belief that one’s faith cannot be separated from anything that we do in life, including earning a graduate degree.
For our graduate program in CMHC, this integration means continually asking ourselves and our students, “How as Christians do we counsel our clients while also incorporating the very best theories and interventions mental health professions have to offer?” We understand the process of therapy to be one of counseling others in a responsible manner that integrates faith, and that involves the knowledge gained from the field of counseling and psychology. As one might expect, the balancing and blending of these two areas is not achieved without a great deal of questioning and discussion. The answers achieved through this quest for integration are as unique and individualized as our students. The joy comes, then, not in our total agreement but in the rich discussions that arise from our striving to attain such integration.
This faith-based educational experience is embedded into our commitment to helping our students understand their role in eliminating biases, prejudices, and processes of intentional and unintentional oppression and discrimination while upholding high ethical standards for working with populations that are culturally diverse.
The CMHC program is very involved in serving our community and the world.
Each student accumulates 700 hours of clinical experience which includes counseling (individual, couple, family, and group), assessment, consultation, supervision, case review, and other types of internship activities. This clinical work is to be accomplished by providing services to clients at the Psychology and Counseling Center on the HSU campus, and also by engaging in clinical work through an internship at an agency in the community.
HSU Psychology & Counseling Clinic – Students in the program have the opportunity to work with not only HSU students but also individuals, couples, families, children and adolescents in the community. Under the close supervision of program faculty, graduate interns provide affordable counseling in the clinic housed on the HSU campus. (More information located in HSU Psychology and Counseling Center tab below.)
Off Campus Internship Sites
Graduate students are also assigned an off-campus internship site. Students have the opportunity to learn more about our approved sites and request a placement that supports their interests and strengths. Many programs require students to find their own internship site, but our program places students in the local clinics, organizations, and mental health facilities that we believe will provide optimal experiences for professional growth.
The CMHC program meets the educational requirements for licensure in multiple mental health professions in the state of Texas. In the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, you will meet the requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). By taking one additional elective and meeting specific internship conditions, you can choose to meet the requirements to be a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). By completing the CMHC program and passing the National Counselor Exam (NCE) you are eligible to become a National Certified Counselor (NCC). The CMHC program also provides the educational opportunities necessary to become a Registered Play Therapist after you are fully licensed.
As a service to our community and students, Hardin-Simmons University’s CACREP accredited graduate program in clinical counseling maintains a counseling clinic on campus in the historic Cowden-Paxton building. Graduate students who have successfully completed the pre-clinical courses are able to work with clients under the supervision of fully-licensed doctoral level counselors. We provide a full range of services including*:
*Not an exclusive list. The clinic maintains a list of referral resources for issues or needs beyond the scope of our clinic.
Hardin-Simmons University Psychology and Counseling Center
1317 Vogel St.
Fall and Spring Term
The clinic is closed during school holidays and between academic terms.
Psychology and Counseling Center
Abilene, TX 79698-6115
We can't wait to see you at HSU! Click the button below and get started on your application. If you have any questions, you can call Admissions at 877-GO-HSUTX.
The best way to really experience Hardin-Simmons University is through a campus visit. We host a variety of visit opportunities throughout the year. Schedule a visit today to learn more about HSU and the exciting experiences we have for you.
Choosing your college is a huge decision, and we want to help you make the right one. Tell us what you need to know, and we'll answer all your questions.