Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.A.

Dr. Sherry Rosenblad, Program Director

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 individuals (children, adolescents, and adults), couples, and families. Diverse educational perspectives, distinctive pedagogy, and significant clinical experiences enable our graduates to develop a wide array of clinical skills which can be utilized with diverse client populations in a variety of settings. Since the ability to assess, monitor and modify one’s strengths and weaknesses is a valued component to becoming a competent and effective counselor, our program includes various classroom opportunities that encourage our graduate students to enhance their self-awareness and growth. The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education (CHEA), has granted accreditation to the Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree in the Department of Psychology and Counseling at Hardin-Simmons University.

COUN Mission Statement

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.


  • Prepare students in understanding diverse views and cultures and promote ethical counseling with clients in a variety of work settings.
  • Provide students with knowledge and skills in counseling theory, developmental issues, assessment, empirically-based research (including interventions), helping relationships and basic skills, and a holistic model in providing mental health services for individuals, couples, families, and groups.
  • Promote and model a strong sense of professional identity, ethical clinical practice, and lifelong learning.
  • Model and encourage integration of self, theory, and practice.

COUN Overarching Program Objectives

  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of theoretical foundations of counseling, systematically articulating one’s own professional counseling philosophy and theory, and integrate this into practice.
  • Students will articulate how personal faith informs individual professional identity and practice as a therapist.
  • Students will demonstrate ethical decision-making grounded in awareness of personal values, ethical standards of practice, and Texas legal statutes.

Multiple Mental Health Credentials

Course work and clinical experience requirements are designed to allow the student to pursue the following mental health credentials: Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in Texas, and National Certified Counselor (NCC). The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program also prepares students who desire to pursue a doctoral degree in the future.

Admission Criteria

Applicants for the graduate program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (COUN) must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. A committee made up of Clinical Mental Health Counseling (COUN) 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 the LPC and the LMFT as well as the 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 Counseling Program for review.

Required Items (Academics)

  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended; official transcripts must be sent directly from the applicant’s college/university to the Office of Admission. The following are minimal recommendations to be considered for admissions to the COUN Program:
    • A grade point average of 3.0 overall (undergraduate) or a 3.2 for the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework.
    • Twelve undergraduate hours in psychology or a related field are required perquisites. All undergraduate prerequisites and/or transfer work (graduate) must be approved by the Counseling Program Director and the dean of the school or college that houses the academic program. Some leveling courses may be required.
  • GRE test. The GRE requirement may be waived for students with strong performance in their undergraduate program. The following are minimal recommendations to be considered for admissions to the Counseling Program:         


  • A Verbal Reasoning score of 152
  • A Quantitative Reasoning score of 149
  • An Analytical Writing score of 3.9
  • Three letters of recommendation from references that can validate your potential for graduate study in counseling, as well as your appropriateness for the counseling profession. Two references are required from former professors; students applying from HSU are required to provide letters from professors who are outside of the Counseling Program and Psychology and Counseling Dept. The third reference should be from a professional other than a family member.
  • A writing sample will be required either before an interview or at the time of the interview (if applicant is invited for interview).
  • Release for conducting a criminal background check. Some practicum/internship sites require a background check before placement and state licensure boards require background checks to determine eligibility for licensure. For applicants who have a criminal history, an evaluation letter must be obtained from the Professional Licensing and Certification Unit ( Results of this criminal history evaluation will not necessarily impact the admission decision but may affect practicum/internship site placement.
  • 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 Office of Admission.

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 Counseling 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; dealing with others with different beliefs or values; and d) 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.

Deadlines and Decisions

  • All applicants who submit the required application documents by the initial deadline, March 1 for fall admission or October 1 for spring admission, will be given priority. After these dates, applications will be considered until available openings in the Counseling Program are filled.
  • Applicants will be notified of admission decisions within a month or less following the interview.

The HSU application must be completed online. Letters of recommendation and the writing sample may be uploaded to the application or sent to:

       Office of Admission

       Hardin-Simmons University

       Box 16050

       Abilene, TX 79698

Transfer Work

Applicants interested in transferring previous graduate work for HSU credit must submit the following for evaluation by Counseling Program faculty:

  • Graduate transcripts
  • Syllabi from courses

Only courses which are substantially equivalent to those in the Counseling Program and meet CACREP objectives will be considered. A maximum of twelve semester hours may be transferred from an uncompleted degree to meet HSU degree requirements. A maximum of six semester hours may be transferred from a degree previously completed.

Early Admission Option

This option is available to students attending HSU or other institutions with which the HSU Clinical Mental Health Counseling master’s program has developed a cooperative agreement for early admissions. Qualified applicants may apply to the Counseling program during their third year of undergraduate course work. All admissions components described above must be submitted. If the applicant is accepted in the Counseling Program, the student may then take up to six (6) hours of approved graduate level counseling and psychology courses during their senior year and apply them toward the MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.


By action of the Graduate Council and graduate faculty, all students must have a minimum of 50% of their curriculum in 6000 level courses.

Graduation Requirements

Graduation from the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program involves successful completion of the following requirements: curriculum, clinical experience, a successful advancement to candidacy, satisfactory performance on the Counseling Performance Evaluation, and then passing the comprehensive examination.


Complete the following:

CMHC 5310/PSYC 4321Individual Counseling Theories


CMHC 5315Assessment and Testing


CMHC 6302Professional Orientation and Ethics


CMHC 6304Basic Skills & Techniques in Counseling


CMHC 6305Advanced Research Methods


CMHC 6306Clinical Supervision: Practicum


CMHC 6338Theories of Marriage, Family and Couples


CMHC 6339Developmental Issues in Counseling Indiv


CMHC 6340Advanced Psychopathology I


CMHC 6341Advanced Psychopathology II


CMHC 6345Advanced Group Therapy


CMHC 6350Adv. Ethical/Legal Issues in Counseling


CMHC 6354Child & Adolescent Counseling


CMHC 6356Cultural and Community Counseling


CMHC 6358Career Counseling


CMHC 6360Addictions


CMHC 6362Community Counseling


CMHC 6370Internship


CCMF 6370: students will take twice

Electives: Students must take at least one of the following electives:

CMHC 5357Recreational Therapy


CMHC 6170Play Therapy Using Sandtray


CMHC 6351Premarital & Marital Therapy


CMHC 6353Adv Human Sexuality: Disorders & Treatment


CMHC 6363Advanced Play Therapy


CMHC 6351: must take this as an elective for LMFT license
CMHC 6353: must take this as an additional elective for LMFT license

Total Credit Hours: 60