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Counseling: Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Master of Arts

Guide others toward mental and emotional well-being.

Our Master of Arts in Counseling degree is a highly interactive program, designed to help students develop a strong foundational knowledge of best practices and counseling skills. Our graduates go on to treat mental illness, trauma and a variety of emotional disorders at community agencies, nonprofit mental health organizations, child and family counseling centers, substance abuse clinics, employee assistance organizations and in private practice.

Through hands-on experience at our onsite counseling training clinic and community internship sites, you’ll graduate ready to make a positive impact with an emphasis on social justice and advocacy. Counselors-in-training are encouraged to work with specialized populations through additional certificates offered in Counseling Children and Adolescents, Depth Psychotherapy, as well as Field Traumatologist and Trauma Therapy.

The Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) program is a 60-credit-hour degree that meets the academic requirements for Colorado Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) set forth by the Colorado Licensed Professional Counselor Examiners Board.

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Program Snapshot

Program Format
Evening classes are taught at our Thornton campus, with select courses offered in a weekend model

Time Commitment
2.5-3 years

Application Deadlines
See all important dates and deadlines >

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Join Regis Alumni Working As:

Clinical Mental Health Counselor

Provide therapeutic change for those struggling with mental health issues, with effective skills in diagnosis and treatment planning.


Career Counselor

Guide clients through decisions about engagement in life roles across the lifespan, including the ability to thrive and find meaning in a vocation.


Counselor Educator and Supervisor

Pursue a Ph.D. to become a professor, researcher, and clinical supervisor working in higher education and practice settings.


Registered Play Therapist

Reach children and adolescents with mental health, behavior and wellbeing concerns through play therapy.


Youth Counselor

Build developmental assets for youth to thrive, working in such settings as juvenile justice, community mental health and private practice.


Depth Psychotherapist

Guide clients to examine their dreams, personal and cultural images, the natural world and how conscious grieving influences healing and transformation.


By the Numbers

100%
National counseling exam pass rate for Regis students, 2018-2019*
95%
Job placement rate in mental health field within 1 year of graduation*
23%
Projected job growth through 2030**

*Source: Regis University, Graduate Outcomes
**Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/substance-abuse-behavioral-disorder-and-mental-health-counselors.htm

Program Details

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Get all the details on our M.A. Counseling program, including course requirements, application materials and a sample course sequence. Or check out our complete Syllabus Library and Academic Catalog for full details about each course and the Program Student Handbook for program requirements.

Imagine Yourself In . . .

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MCPY 615: Cultural Issues and Social Justice

Immerse yourself in the cultural experiences of our community through service learning.  Explore diverse cultural identities while developing cultural competencies for the counseling profession.

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MCPY 602: Spirituality in Counseling

Learn how spirituality, the religious imagination and a search for meaning are central to enhancing the practice and effectiveness of the counseling encounter.

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MCPY 672: Crisis, Trauma and Loss

Develop the strategies and skills necessary to effectively intervene with crisis, trauma and loss within integrated healthcare systems. Learn the art of wellness and self-care.

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Post-Graduate Certificates

Whether you are a new graduate of a counseling program, still completing your master’s degree in counseling, or an experienced counselor, our 18-credit-hour post-graduate certificates will help you become a more skilled counseling professional.

| Counseling Children and Adolescents
| Depth Psychotherapy
| Marriage and Family Therapy

To apply to the M.A. in Counseling program, you will need:

  • Completed online application
  • Official degree-bearing transcript(s) from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Two admissions essays
  • Two professional and/or academic recommendation forms
  • Current resume including all professional and volunteer experience
  • On-campus interview
    • Beginning Fall 2021, on-campus interviews will resume as a final step of the admission process. Should anything drastically change with the pandemic, virtual interviews may be considered.

Real people. Really invested in you. Contact your admissions counselor today and learn how we help you each step of the way.

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Tuition for the 2022-2023 academic year: $783 per credit hour
For information on program-specific fees visit regis.edu/cost. Tuition and fees are subject to change.

Total program credits: 60

Fees: A non-refundable deposit of $350.00 is required at the time of acceptance to guarantee a position in the program. The deposit will be applied directly to tuition. Additional fees may include a practicum fee, books and materials, among others.

We honor and support diversity in our program and student body! As a Department of Counseling, we encourage prospective students with diverse cultures and lifestyles to apply for admission to our program. Please read our Division's diversity statement to learn more.

Earning your Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Regis sets you apart and expands your professional network — think of it as an investment in your future. Between scholarship opportunities and financial aid packages, advancing your education is within reach. Explore our Investing in Your Future graduate financing guide or sign up for one of our upcoming graduate financial aid information sessions.

Learn More About Financial Aid Options

What's Next?

Learn more about what to expect, from completing the application process to next steps for admitted students.

Frequently Asked Questions

During the half-day admissions interview at Regis’ Northwest Denver or Thornton Campus, prospective students participate in highly interactive group discussions and written reflective assignments designed to further assess each student's readiness for the program. 

No. No exceptions are made to assigned interview dates.

Rarely. In general, all candidates are required to interview in person on campus. The only exception to this rule is if an applicant lives outside of the US and is unable to travel due to visa regulations.

You have six years from the date you sign your degree plan to complete your degree. A 60-credit hour program generally takes students approximately three years to complete.

Course syllabi are available on our Worldclass Syllabi page.

Classes are primarily held on the Thornton Campus.  Some coursework is periodically offered at the Northwest Denver campus or Denver Tech Center Campus based upon student and faculty needs.

Courses are offered in the following formats:

  • Term courses: These are seven weeks long and you come to class once a week from 5:30pm-10:00pm
  • Semester courses: These are 14 weeks long and you come to class once a week from 6:00pm-9:00pm
  • Intensive format: These are four days per month and you come to class Friday and/or Saturday from 9:00am-5:00pm

Practicum consists of two concurrent courses for a total of 6 credits, MCPY 692 combined with MCPY 693. Students are involved in three components of practicum: 

  1. Clinical lab work & group supervision at the Thornton Center for Counseling and Family Therapy.  This class meets 6 hours each week to include both the clinical lab work AND supervision.
  2. Participating in individual, triadic, and group supervision with a MAC Faculty Supervisor.
  3. Facilitating or co-facilitating group(s) counseling at an approved community counseling agency. The group practicum experience also includes attending supervision and training at the off-campus site.

You will be registered for an internship at the request of the Clinical Administrative Coordinator by the Registrar’s office for one class (MCPY 698 A, B, or C) which includes:

  • Approximately 15-20 hours per week at an approved clinical internship site
  • Regis Group Supervision - This class meets for 3 hours every other week during clinic hours with a Regis faculty and 6-10 Regis student interns.

Students must accrue a minimum of 800 clinical hours in order to complete the clinical component of the MAC program. 

Yes, many students do work while taking classes. Outside of the clinical component of the program, courses are taught in the evening or weekend format allowing for flexibility depending on a your lifestyle and commitments.  Once you enter practicum and internships, flexibility in employment is very important as you will likely see clients during the day/working hours.

The State of Colorado Licensure Board for Professional Counselors requires an additional 2,000 hours of experience under the supervision of a board approved supervisor. To become an LPC in Colorado you must also pass the state licensure exam for professional counselors. The licensure board issues a counseling license to applicants upon completion of all requirements.

Regis University does not issue licenses, rather the Regis MAC program meets the academic requirements for licensure. Regis University will issue the student a master’s degree in Counseling with a specialization in Community Counseling upon completion of all degree requirements.

The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) outlines in great detail the requirements for licensure in Colorado. If you are planning to pursue professional licensure or certification in a state other than Colorado, it is strongly recommended that you contact the appropriate licensing entity in that state to seek information and guidance regarding licensure or certification requirements before beginning the academic program. For more information on licensure in Colorado and other states, please review the Licensure Disclosures page which has links to all the various regulatory agencies.

Accreditation, Outcomes and Mission

Regis University is proud of our alumni and what they accomplish after graduation. View the program outcomes for the MA in Counseling degree and the comprehensive annual review report for 2022.

Department of Counseling CMHC Mission Statement

Through the development of the whole person in mind, body, and spirit, students seeking degree programs in the Department of Counseling will gain an understanding of their values and an ethical willingness to effect personal and cultural transformation.

The Department of Counseling provides clinical mental health training and supervision to future Professional Counselors. Learning experiences are informed by Jesuit educational values and traditions. Students engage in personal reflection and critical thinking while developing a discerning mind and heart, dedicated to the service of others in need.

Graduates are prepared to live as reflective, inquisitive, creative, and service-oriented leaders. They are ready to make a positive impact with an emphasis on social justice and advocacy in a changing society.

We honor and support diversity in our program and student body!

As a Department of Counseling, we encourage prospective students with diverse cultures and lifestyles to apply for admission to our program. 

Division of Counseling and Family Therapy Diversity Statement

Because counselors work with clients having diverse lifestyles, beliefs and values, the Division exposes students to a wide range of social, relational and cross-cultural contexts. The Counseling faculty provides open and supportive learning environments where students are invited to engage in personal and reflective processes about their own and others’ experiences, beliefs and values. We seek to train counselors who can approach clients with integrity, respect and sensitivity for differences in beliefs, values and lifestyles.

The American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics (2014) statements regarding diversity include the following:

Section A.4.b.
Counselors are aware of—and avoid imposing—their own values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Counselors respect the diversity of clients, trainees, and research participants and seek training in areas in which they are at risk of imposing their values onto clients, especially when the counselor’s values are inconsistent with the client’s goals

Section C.5
Counselors do not condone or engage in discrimination against prospective or current clients, students, employees, supervisees, or research participants based on age, culture, disability, ethnicity, race, religion/spirituality, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital/ partnership status, language preference, socioeconomic status, immigration status or any basis proscribed by law.

DISABILITY ACCOMMODATIONS POLICY AND PROCEDURES

Regis University, in compliance with federal guidelines, is committed to equal educational opportunity by assuring otherwise qualified students with disabilities equal access to Regis University programs and activities that are provided to students without disabilities. An otherwise qualified person with a disability is a student who meets the academic and technical standards required for admission or participation in Regis University’s educational programs and activities.

Eligibility
To ensure the provision of reasonable and appropriate services at Regis University, students with disabilities must identify themselves in a timely manner to Student Disability Services and University Testing (SDS/UT) in order to be eligible for the requested accommodation(s). Current and comprehensive documentation must be on file with SDS/UT prior to the approval of the accommodation.

MAC CMHC Academic Matriculation Requirements

The following requirements must be satisfactorily completed in order to graduate (Refer also to the current Regis Bulletin (catalog) for year of admittance):

      1. Student orientation attendance and full admission:
        • All accepted degree students must attend Student Orientation prior to participation in MCPY courses.
        • Students admitted as provisional status must fulfill all conditions outlined in the admission letter to obtain eligibility for full admission in the program, and complete each course with a 3.0 GPA to continue in program.
        • Full admission to the degree program must be obtained in order to pursue degree requirements.
      2. Meet credit hour requirements, grade requirements and timeframe:
        • A total of 60 credit hours is required. See the MAC-CMHC Degree Guidelines and Courses, below.
        • All coursework must be completed with a 3.0 GPA or higher, i.e a grade of B- or higher.
        • All coursework must be completed within the six year time frame, or an extension/waiver may be obtained from the Department of Counseling Chair.
      3. Follow course sequence. Register for and successfully complete the Six Core Foundational Courses prior to registration for MCPY 635 Counseling Techniques I. The Core Foundational Courses include:
        • MCPY 602 Spirituality and Counseling
        • MCPY 605 Human Growth and Development
        • MCPY 610 Theories of Counseling
        • MCPY 615 Cultural Issues and Social Justice
        • *MCPY 622 Diagnosis & Treatment Planning in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
        • MCPY 625 Professional Orientation and Ethical Issues
      4. The following Clinical Skills Preparation courses are required following completion of the six Core Foundational Courses listed above.
        • MCPY 635 Techniques I
        • MCPY 636 Techniques II
        • MCPY 630 Groups: Process and Counseling. May be taken after MCPY 635 Counseling Techniques I and concurrent with MCPY 636 Counseling Techniques II.
        • o Counseling Techniques I and II (MCPY 635 and 636), the preparatory courses for fieldwork, may be retaken only one time to achieve a satisfactory rating.
      5. Each of the following six Standard Required Courses may be completed any term prior to program completion however, students are highly encouraged to complete these courses before Practicum and Internship in order to be fully prepared for their clinical field experiences:
        • MCPY 640 Research Methods & Program Evaluation
        • MCPY 645 Clinical Assessment
        • MCPY 650 Career Counseling and Development*
        • MCPY 660 Substance Abuse Counseling*
        • MCPY 672 Crisis, Trauma and Loss*
        • * Indicates courses recommended prior to Internship if working with special populations (see below).
      6. Two Elective Course Requirement: Two elective courses (6 total credits) may be chosen from any of the graduate certificate options, and/or MCPY 685 Qualitative Research. Prerequisites apply to all elective courses taken. With the exception of the Depth Psychotherapy coursework, students must complete MCPY 635 Counseling Techniques 1 prior to enrolling in certificate course electives. Students will be required to choose electives that may be prerequisite for placement in agencies that serve special populations. Please see above, #7 for specific recommendations of electives related to the populations/issues you will work with in practicum/internship. Certificate courses used as electives have the prefix of CFT Counseling Military Families, MFT Marriage and Family Therapy, any MCPY course related to Depth Psychotherapy, or any MCPY course related to the CCA certificate: Counseling Children and Adolescents.
      7. Special Population Training Requirement: In order to work with special populations in practicum or internship, a minimum of one (strongly suggest two) of the following courses or electives must be taken prior to or concurrently with Practicum:

    Children
    MCPY 678 – Introduction to Play Therapy
    (See also Families, below)

    Adolescents
    MCPY 677 - Counseling Adolescents

    Families and/or Couples
    MCPY 668 Play in Family Therapy
    Any Courses from the MFT Certificate,
    Recommended a theories or foundational course + practice.

    Working with the Military
    Any courses from the CMF Certificate

    Standard Required Courses related to populations/issues to take Prior to Practicum/Internship. Although the Standard Required Courses can be taken at any time in the program, it is highly recommended that you select the course that corresponds with the population treatment issues seen at the specific site and complete them prior to practicum and internship. The following courses are highly recommended prior to practicum and internship if working with populations whose needs include significant assessment, career counseling, substance abuse treatment, or crisis/trauma/loss treatment.

    Trauma Related Work
    MCPY 672 Crisis, Trauma, and Loss

    Grief and Loss/Hospice/Elderly
    MCPY 672, Crisis, Trauma, and Loss (minimal)
    MCPY 674 Grief Therapy and Life Transitions (preferred)

    Careers/Vocations/Work Transition/College Counseling/Employee Assistance Programs
    MCPY 650 Career Counseling

    Substance Abuse/Addictions
    MCPY 660 Substance Abuse Counseling

    Focus on Assessment and Diagnosis/Treatment Plans
    MCPY 645 Assessment

    1. Enrollment in and Completion of Practicum:
      • Prior to applying for Practicum – all students must attend a Clinical Orientation and receive a certificate of attendance.
      • The three Clinical Skills Preparation courses MCPY 635, 630, and 636 must be completed prior to enrollment in practicum.
      • Enrollment in MCPY 692/693 Practicum: Clinical Supervision, must be approved through an application submitted to the Clinical Coordinator. (See MA Counseling Practicum & Internship Clinical Manual).
      • Prior to applying for enrollment in Practicum, all students must receive acceptable ratings on the Student Performance Evaluations (SPE) in MCPY 635 Counseling Techniques I, MCPY 636 Counseling Techniques II, MCPY 630 Groups.
      • Students must independently seek, apply for, interview at, and be accepted by an approved practicum group-site and internship site.
      • Students will fulfill counseling duties at the Center for Counseling and Family Therapy on a Regis campus, as well as fulfill a Group Counseling Practicum component at an offsite location. (See MAC Clinical Manual).
    2. Enrollment in and completion of MCPY 698 Internship
      • MCPY 692/693 Practicum is a prerequisite for enrollment MCPY 698A Internship and MCPY 698B Internship are taken in two sequential terms.
      • Internship 698 C may be required or arranged if internship requirements are not met within A and B.
      • All Clinical Practicum and Internships courses must receive a grade of PASS in order for the course to count toward degree requirements. If a student receives a grade of NO PASS/FAIL in a Practicum or Internship course, none of the supervised experience or clinical hours within that term will count toward degree requirements.
      • Satisfactory student evaluations. See III. Student Process in this handbook for further information.
      • Successful completion of fieldwork requirements: Practicum and Internships A & B (800 hours) with a grade of Pass, including Triadic and Group Supervision.
      • See the MAC Clinical Manual for further details.
    3. Completion of the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE). The CPCE is required to be completed at any time during the terms where you are enrolled in MPCY 635 Techniques I and prior to the completion of MCPY 698 Internship A. Failure to complete the CPCE prior to the completion of MCPY 698 Internship A will result in an Incomplete/No Pass grade which will remain until the exam is completed. (See the MACounseling Clinical Manual for further details).
    4. Capstone Project: Satisfactory completion of the requirements for a Capstone Project, a written and oral clinical case study presentation is completed during the final term of Clinical Internship (MCPY 698B or 698C)

Master of Arts in Counseling CMHC Program Objectives and Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will understand the impact of biological and neurological mechanisms on mental health and apply a comprehensive knowledge of individual and family developmental theories relevant to the practice of CMHC (CACREP 2016 Standard 2.F.3.; CMHC 5.C.1.b.d, 5.C.2.g..);
  2. Students will demonstrate knowledge of CMHC professional foundations and apply appropriate ethical and legal foundations of the CMHC profession into their clinical decision-making and to clinical services provided (CACREP 2016 Standard 2.F.1.i; CMHC 5.C.1.a., 5.C.2.a,b,c,i.k,l.m );
  3. Students will demonstrate multiculturally oriented CMCH services while applying the ACA-endorsed Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies across intersectional identities (CACREP 2016 Standard 2.F.1.i; CMHC 5.C.1.a., 5.C.2.a,b,c,i.k,l.m );
  4. Students will understand and apply a working knowledge of the theories and models of career development in CMHC (CACREP Standard 2.F.4.a.; CMHC 5.C.1.b);
  5. Students will demonstrate the clinical ability to use essential interviewing, counseling and case conceptualization skills with a broad range of diverse clients in CMHC practice (CACREP 2016 Standard 2.F.5.g.; CMHC 5.C.1.c.; 5.C.3.a);
  6. Students will understand and apply appropriate knowledge of therapeutic factors in effective CMHC group work (CACREP 2016 Standard 2.F.6.c.; CMHC 5.C.3.b.);
  7. Students will demonstrate the ability to assess, treat, and report trauma, abuse, suicidal and/or homicidal ideation at the individual and systemic level (CACREP 2016 Standards 2.F.7.c.; CMHC 5.C.2.f.; 5.C.3.a,b);
  8. Students will demonstrate skills and practices of CMHC assessment for diagnostic and intervention planning purposes in order to deliver effective services for diverse client populations (CACREP CMHC Standards 5.C.1.e; 5.C.2.d,e.f.g.h,j; 5.C.3.a.b.);
  9. Students will demonstrate effective skills and interventions in the delivery of clinical mental health services for the prevention and treatment of a broad range of mental health issues (CACREP Standards 2.F.5.g, h. i, j, CMHC 5.C.1.c,e; 5.C.3.a,b,c,d,e);
  10. Students will understand and apply a working knowledge of qualitative, quantitative and mixed research methods that inform evidence based CMHC practice and program evaluation (CACREP 2016 Standard 2.F.8.f; );
  11. Students will demonstrate key professional dispositions including: a) an ability to receive and integrate feedback; b) self-awareness of one's own impact on others; c) acceptance of social and cultural diversity; d) professional attitudes and behaviors consistent with the ACA code of ethics; and e) a commitment to lifelong learning (CACREP 2016 Standard 4.G.).

A Culture of Excellence

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The Master of Arts in Counseling is offered by the Division of Counseling and Family Therapy within the Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions.