Master of Arts in Counseling, Clinical Mental Health

School of Education & Human Development


Degree: MA

Classroom Type: On campus

Prepares those interested in providing mental health counseling to a wide range of diverse clients in settings such as mental health centers, private practices, substance abuse centers, hospitals, correctional facilities, and hospice services.

Application​ deadlines

Fall: January 15
Spring: September 15

Program Details

Interest Categories: Education & Counseling Social & Behavioral Sciences

Campus: CU Denver

Accreditation: CACREP

What you'll learn

The need for more professionals who are prepared and licensed to provide mental health counseling is growing to a critical level in Colorado and beyond. Are you interested in providing mental health counseling to a wide range of diverse clients to create a positive change in your community? CU Denver’s MA in Counseling with a concentration in clinical mental health prepares you to serve clients with a range of backgrounds in settings such as mental health centers, private practices, substance abuse centers, hospitals, correctional facilities and hospice services. In our CACREP accredited preparation program, which includes a practicum in our campus based student-counseling clinic, you will learn to take a systemic approach to working with clients. Our students learn how to promote mental health through clinical work and through their advocacy as a Licensed Professional Counselor.

Launch your counseling career with real-world experience unmatched by any other mental health graduate program in Colorado. Our students obtain supervised counseling experience in our Student and Community Counseling Center with live supervision and ongoing feedback from licensed clinicians. Our graduates are recognized for being strongly prepared and committed to providing culturally informed, equity focused services.

This CACREP-accredited master's concentration prepares students to:

  • Practice clinical mental health in a variety of settings with culturally diverse clients
  • Apply culturally responsive and systemic frameworks with the clients they serve
  • Become eligible to become a Licensed Professional Counselor
  • Understand state licensure acts, regulations and processes.

Choose CU Denver's School of Education & Human Development

You can trust CU Denver to provide an education that will prepare you for excellence in your career as a counselor. The university and school are recognized for preparing leaders of distinction who value educational excellence and social justice. Additionally, CU Denver’s School of Education and Human Development is counted among U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools,” making us one of the top schools in the country.

Honors program

Chi Sigma Iota chapter Beta Alpha Omega is the counseling academic professional honor society. To qualify, you must have completed two semesters or nine credit hours with a 3.5 GPA. The purpose of this group is to promote scholarship, leadership, professionalism and excellence in counseling in the field of mental health. The group provides a forum for students in the CU Denver Counseling program to network, share common concerns and recognize outstanding academic performance. We encourage you to get involved! Become a member by going to and clicking on membership.


Most of the courses for this 63-credit program take place Monday - Thursday in three hour blocks beginning at either 3:30 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. However, core and prerequisite classes are offered starting at 3:30 p.m. on a consistent basis. Some classes meet on weekends (Friday evening or Saturday during the day) or in a hybrid format. Very few classes will be available fully online.

To complete this program, you'll take the required courses, practicum and internships. You will also take a comprehensive exam or write a thesis. In addition, you'll have the option of taking the National Counselor Exam for Licensed Professional Counselors.

Some may ask why the University of Colorado Denver counseling program degree requires 63 credit hours. Our goal is to help you meet all CACREP standard requirements to make it easy to get licensed as an LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) in Colorado. CACREP (counseling programs' national accrediting body) has moved to a requirement of 60 credit hours. We provide a rigorous program, which will position you for success and help you meet all the requirements for licensure, now and in the future. Qualitatively, our students are recognized as being a step above the rest, and we plan to keep it that way.

Course syllabi are available for review by prospective students on request. Email with the course number and prefix.

License Portability

Diversity Statement

We encourage applications from persons from a variety of sociopolitical contexts, such as racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, veterans, sexual and gender minorities, and individuals from a variety of religious and spiritual backgrounds. The couple/family 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/therapists who can approach clients with integrity, respect and sensitivity for differences in beliefs, values, and lifestyles.


Sample Courses

  • COUN 5280 - Addictions Counseling 3 credits
  • COUN 5820 - Strategies of Agency Counseling 3 credits
  • COUN 6250 - Mental Health Diagnosis 3 credits
  • COUN 7100 - Advanced Theories and Techniques in Psychotherapy 3 credits
Course Catalog

Recommended Completion Time:3 to 4 years

Required Credits for Completion:63

Admission Requirements

Due to the competitive nature of this program, faculty are only able to review complete applications; this includes letters of recommendation, transcripts and all other required elements of the application. In order to secure your application as “complete” in sufficient time for faculty review and consideration we highly recommend submitting your application at least one to two months prior to the deadline to ensure we have ample time to work with you on your application should items be missing. To avoid your application remaining incomplete at the time of the posted deadline please be sure to complete the steps below as early as possible.

Application Dates

Fall Semester
Open: November 1
Deadline: January 15

Spring Semester
Open: July 1
Deadline: September 15

Application Requirements

  • 3 recommendation letters
  • Official Transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Resume/CV
  • Written Statement
  • $50.00 application fee

Admissions Interview: Upon successful completion and review of your file, selected applicants are invited to attend a REQUIRED half-day group interview on the Denver campus. The interview for the Spring 2025 application cycle is scheduled for Friday, November 1, 2024. Participation in the interview is mandatory and you will not be accepted into the program without attending. We do not conduct alternate or individual interviews for admission to our program. Applicants are responsible for their own travel arrangements. Final selection of the applicants will be based on their performance in the interview.

  • International Applicants only: Proof of English Language Proficiency (International applicants should review the following information regarding English language proficiency)

For more information, email or call 303.315.6300.

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