Mental Health Counseling Program

The Counselor Education program grants a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC). The 60-hour-program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

The CMHC program prepares students as knowledgeable, ethical and culturally sensitive counselors through a course of study that includes classroom, online, and field-site training. The program includes a two-semester internship. Interns deliver counseling services, under supervision, in the community.

The CHMC degree is designed to prepare students with professional competencies required for the professional counseling field. Our graduates provide counseling services in various settings such as public and private counseling agencies, government service agencies, family court systems, college development centers, substance abuse centers, and private practice.

Students in the program take the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam offered by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). They are also eligible to become members of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and/or the American Mental Health Counselors Association.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Emphasis Area Goals

The USA Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program prepares students to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the foundations of clinical mental health counseling to include history, current trends/issues, roles, functions, professional identity, leadership/advocacy strategies, and laws/legislation effecting the counseling profession.

  2. Facilitate clients’ growth and development over the lifespan within a strengths-based and wellness framework.

  3. Utilize technology as applied to clinical mental health counseling.

  4. Demonstrate cultural sensitivity, competency, and responsiveness with all individuals, couples, and families.

  5. Demonstrate the ability to develop, implement, and evaluate comprehensive needs assessments.

  6. Demonstrate effective and meaningful individual counseling, couples and family counseling, and group work with diverse clients with diverse needs.

  7. Serve as culturally responsive and empowerment-based advocates with individuals, families, and communities to promote optimal growth and wellness to meet the needs of diverse clientele.

  8. Demonstrate skills related to clinical assessment and interpretation of assessment results to clients.

  9. Demonstrate appropriate use of multi-axial diagnosis in a manner that promotes the optimal well-being of clients.


Program Admission Process 

The Counselor Education Program admits students into a new cohort  at the beginning of the summer semester in each of the two graduate programs, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and Professional School Counseling. The program prefers applications for summer admission, but will consider all others. Students admitted in fall or spring semesters are somewhat restricted in their selection of courses until a new cohort is admitted for summer matriculation and a new sequence of courses begins. The admissions deadlines are as follows: 

  • Summer semester cohort deadline - March 1st

Applicants must submit the following materials to the graduate school admissions office:

  1. A completed application for admission to the Graduate School.
  2. One official copy of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts.
  3. Three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant’s academic and/or professional abilities.
  4. A typed double-spaced statement of 2-4 pages in length regarding the applicant’s career goal(s) and purpose(s) for pursuing a graduate degree in Counselor Education.
  5. Recent (within 5 years) results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).
  6. A Professional Vita.
  7. An applicant whose application portfolio is deemed to be acceptable will be invited to participate in a required personal interview with the counseling program faculty.

Applications, transcripts, letters of recommendation and all supporting materials should be submitted to the USA Office of Admissions, 2500 Meisler Hall, 390 Alumni Circle, Mobile, Alabama 36688-0002 by the deadlines noted above.

To apply please follow the procedures and application deadlines outlined on the Graduate Admissions web page:

Faculty Advisor:

Brandon Browning, Ph.D.

Ph: (251) 380-2870