Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Master of Science

DescriptionDegree OptionsProgram ObjectivesVision/Mission/Process StatementsAdmission InformationTransfer InformationRegistrationTuition and CostsCareer OutlookContact InformationExternal Funding PageProgram WebsiteLearn More
The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is designed to prepare students to function as licensed clinical mental health counselors. It provides the educational requirements outlined by the New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice as requisite to attaining mental health counseling licensures. PSU’s mental health counseling program is nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Students should note that there are significant post-degree requirements to undertake prior to being licensed, listed below in the Licensure Requirements section.

PSU was recently awarded a $1.9 million Federal Behavioral Health and Workforce Education Training program grant – Learn More!

Methods of Instruction

Courses are taught primarily in person, with some hybrid (partially online) and some fully online options offered each semester.

Classes commonly include lecture, small and large group discussions, role-play experiences, group projects, multimedia, guest speakers, and a variety of experiential activities.

Clinical Experiences: Practicum & Internship

Students in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program must successfully complete a 100-hour Practicum and 600-hour Internship in a mental health counseling setting. Students can choose to remain in one setting or split their time between two settings, though most students prefer to stay at the same setting. A mental health provider licensed under the New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice will be designated to provide individual supervision at the internship site on a weekly basis. Students interning out of state need to be supervised by mental health providers licensed in the state in which they are practicing. In addition to their field experience, students are required to attend a weekly University-based internship seminar. Typically, the practicum occurs over one semester, and the internship over two semesters. Students must complete their internship experience within two calendar years.  New Hampshire state licensure law only requires 600 hours of internship, but students may choose to complete a 900 hour internship to meet the requirements of other states (such as Maine).

Licensure Requirements

Licensure as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC) in New Hampshire has three main requirements.  The first is the completion of a 60 credit masters degree in clinical mental health counseling, ideally from a CACREP-accredited program.  The second is the successful completion of the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Exam (NCMHCE), which is taken after degree completion.  The third and final requirement is the completion of 3000 hours of post-masters clinical work in a counseling environment, which must occur over 2-4 years, be supervised by a LCMHCE, and be pre-approved by the NH Board of Mental Health Practice. Additional rules, forms, and details can be found on the NH Board of Mental Health Practice website at the following link:

Each state has its own licensure rules, although most follow this general structure. For more information, please contact the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program coordinator, Dr. Mike Mariska.

Students can complete the 63 credit MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling by itself or add one of the following concentrations:

  • Addictions Treatment
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Eating Disorders
  • Play Therapy
  • Wellness Leadership
Curriculum Requirements

The program objectives for the Counselor Education programs can be viewed by using the link below:

Program Objectives

The Vision, Mission, and Process Statements for the Counselor Education and School Psychology programs can be viewed by using the link below:

Vision, Mission, and Process Statements

Admission Requirements
The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling requires the following materials to be submitted through our online application

  • Recommended 3.0 or better GPA in undergraduate coursework
  • Official transcripts from any/all college level work
  • Three professional recommendations
  • Current Resume
  • Statement of interest
  • Participation in the Group Interview – Register Here
  • NH Residency Verification form (NH residents only)
  • $75 application fee
Admission Deadlines

Students pursuing the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program can apply for admission to any of the upcoming semesters. Here are the deadlines for 2022-23:

  • Fall 2022 – August 1, 2022
  • Spring 2023 – December 1, 2022
  • Summer 2023 – April 15, 2023

*We suggest submitting your documentation at least two weeks prior to the posted date to ensure your application is complete and can be reviewed by the deadline. 

Transferring from another program?

The number of transfer credits that can be accepted may vary, depending on the type of program applicants are transferring from, its CACREP accreditation status, and the alignment of the courses already taken. Grades for transferred courses must be a B or higher.  Generally a total of between 9 and 18 credits may be accepted, though this can be exceeded on a case-by-case basis.  Applicants should be prepared to provide transcripts, syllabi, and other course materials as needed for program faculty to make this determination.

Coming back after completing a degree in School Counseling from PSU?

An applicant who has graduated in good standing from Plymouth State University’s School Counseling program may be eligible to return and complete a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling without having to repeat any core courses already taken.  Students would instead complete 30 additional credits of Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialization courses, including a Practicum and Internship at a clinical site, to finish the full CMHC degree.  Eligibility will be determined on a case-by-case basis, and may be impacted by the length of time since the previous degree was granted.

Please contact the program coordinator Dr. Mike Mariska ( with any questions or to review your eligibility!

Register Now – Spring classes begin Jan 23

Did you know PSU allows you to take up to 12 credits of graduate coursework before applying to most programs? So whether you are admitted to a program or just want to try a class, you can get started today!

Search for classes – the Office of the Registrar handles the course registration process – more information is available by visiting their website where you can check out the current course schedule by clicking on the “Register for Course” option on the left side. Simply select the current term from the drop down menu which will then allow you to search for classes in a variety of ways.

Register Online – Registration can be completed online through the myPlymouth portal if you are a current/active student or have been admitted to a graduate program. Be sure to have your user name, password, and the course number and title handy. At the end of the registration process you will be notified of your billing due date. Specific instructions for completing the online registration can be found on the Registrar’s website under the “How to Register” tab.

New to PSU? If you are taking your first graduate class at PSU and have not been admitted to a graduate program, you will need to complete the paper registration form which can be found under the “Registration Forms” tab. Completed forms should be submitted directly to the Office of the Registrar via email to or faxed to 603-535-2724.

Graduate Tuition Rates – Tuition for graduate coursework is calculated on a per credit rate based on residency status. Click here to see the current tuition costs.

“How much will my graduate program cost?” and “How will I pay for it?” are two of the most common questions asked when considering continuing your education. Here is some basic information about tuition, financial aid, scholarships and Graduate Assistant opportunities. We encourage you to click the links on this page for additional information and resources.

Graduate Tuition and Fees

Tuition for graduate level courses is assessed on a per credit basis, and differs slightly for NH residents and non-residents. Please note, the per credit rate varies depending on the level of the program to which you are admitted.

2022-23 ESTIMATED Rates for New Hampshire Residents

Program Level Tuition Mandatory Fees Per Credit Total
Master’s $560 $42 $602
CAGS $595 $42 $637
EdD $650 $42 $692

2022-23 ESTIMATED Rates for Non-Residents

Program Level Tuition Mandatory Fees Per Credit Total
Master’s $770 $42 $812
CAGS $745 $42 $787
EdD $825 $42 $867

More information is available through the Student Account Services Office.

Financial Aid

Graduate students are eligible for financial aid in the form of student loans only. You will need to complete the FAFSA at least 30 days prior to the start of the semester you wish to begin taking classes. International students are not eligible for federal financial aid – please review our international admission requirements to learn more.

More information can be found on the Financial Aid webpages.

Loan Reimbursement Information

Learn more about opportunities for loan repayment programs here.


Each year, Plymouth State offers a limited number of merit-based scholarships to admitted graduate students. Selection criteria include academic and professional achievements, commitment to graduate study, and achievement or pursuit of personal or professional goals. Visit the PSU Scholarship Opportunities webpage for additional information.

Graduate Assistant positions

Graduate assistants are an important part of Plymouth State’s collaborative learning community. They work alongside faculty, staff, and students to help achieve the University’s goals, while gaining valuable experience as assistants, researchers, and teachers.

At this time, our Graduate Assistant positions are limited and available only for certain graduate programs.  Please contact your program coordinator for more information on available positions and the application process.  

The career outlook for Clinical Mental Health Counseling shows national job growth at 23% with the average salary at $46,560 according to the NH Employment Services office. It also ranks in the Top 10 for Best Social Services jobs in US News and World Report.

Among all PSU program graduates, the three year job placement rate is approximately 100% of those actively seeking positions.

Graduate Admission Team – Whether you are just graduating with your bachelor’s degree or have been out of school for a while, we are here to help guide you through the application process, assist in getting you registered for your first semester of classes, and provide you with “next steps, information, and resources on campus.

Program Coordinator/Advisor – Once you have been admitted into a graduate program, you will be assigned an academic advisor who will be your go-to person for class scheduling, program and/or curriculum questions, and academic guidance.

Office of the Registrar – can assist with course registration, transcript requests and degree conferral information

Student Account Services – please contact them with questions regarding your bill, employer reimbursement, or financial holds on your account.

Financial Aid Office – is here to assist financial aid, student loans, or other financial related questions.

This link will take you to the internal website for Counselor Education students and faculty.  It does require a Plymouth State login, however, so will not be accessible unless you are already a student or faculty in the USNH system.

Counselor Education Sharepoint Site

We would be happy to provide you with more information about our graduate programs – here are a few ways to learn more!

INQUIREComplete a brief inquiry form and we will connect you with the program coordinator and provide you with additional information about the curriculum, admission requirements, faculty information, and more.

VISIT We hold information sessions and campus visits throughout the year, or we can schedule an in-person advising appointment – come check out our beautiful campus in Plymouth, NH

EMAIL Have a quick question about our wide array of graduate programs and certificates? Send us an email at

CHATWe would be happy to chat with you – just submit a question to one of our admissions advisors.

Want an answer right away? Give us a call – the Admissions Office is open Mon-Fri from 8:00am-4:30pm at 603-535-2237 or 800-FOR-GRAD.

CO, MFT, SY Course Offerings  
Please check our course registration page for current offerings or schedule a time to speak with the program coordinator for more information.

Sample course syllabi can be viewed through this link or by clicking on the “Counselor Education Course Syllabi” link at the top left of this page.