Clinical Mental Health Counseling / Master of Arts

CMHC Program Mission

The Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is designed for those seeking to develop or refine job-related counseling skills and knowledge. It is our goal to provide our students with relevant, practical, and applicable learning experiences. Students will develop as counselors, scholars, and ethical professionals throughout their tenure in our program. Our CMHC program provides students with a well-rounded, engaging learning environment in which students receive real-world experiences easily transferable from the classroom to various clinical settings. Courses are taught by instructor-practitioners who use their current clinical experiences to enhance students’ classroom learning and comprehension of the field of clinical mental health counseling. Students are well-grounded in culturally, theoretically, and ethically sensitive practices.

CMHC Program Goals

Upon graduating from the CMHC program, students will have acquired the following:

1. Knowledge of relevant areas in clinical mental health counseling, including personality, life span development, multicultural issues, counseling theories, and evaluation and assessment.

2. Skills in interviewing, assessment, and counseling techniques.

3. Awareness of clients individuality, multicultural sensitivity, and the importance of flexibility in their work with clients.

4. Development of appropriate ethical behavior and clinical mental health counselor professional identity.

Admission Standards

Admission to the graduate program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is based on academic and personal qualifications of the applicant. Students are admitted without regard to race, color, religion, age, gender, irrelevant handicap, national or ethnic origin, or disability.

All students must submit a final transcript documenting evidence of a baccalaureate degree awarded by a regionally-accredited institution of higher education and a completed application which includes a personal statement of professional goals. Because this program is directed toward adults, it is expected that personal maturity and experience are prime indicators of success in the program. Although the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program does not require a criminal background check, applicants should be aware that many internship sites and potential employers will. There are three enrollment categories for students in the program: full, provisional, and at-large.

Full Admission

Students in this category have:

1. Completed at least 15 hours of psychology, including a course in statistics or research methods.

2. Submitted a completed application with an accompanying personal statement which serves as a writing sample, and a non-refundable application fee.

3. Submitted two letters of recommendation from professors, employers or supervisors (at least one letter from an instructor is strongly preferred).

4. Submitted an official transcript of all academic work previously attempted or completed. An applicant’s GPA should equal a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

5. Certified their proficiency in reading and writing English, if the applicant is from a non-English speaking country, by achieving a 550 on the TOEFL written exam; 213 on the computerized exam; 79 on the Internet-based exam or IELTS score of 6.0. ELS level 112 completed. Step Eiken (Japan) Pre-1 is also accepted.

6. Received acceptance by the Graduate Council of the College of Education and Social Sciences.

Provisional Admission

In select cases, a student who does not meet the requirements for full admission may be considered for provisional admission. Provisional admission does not apply in cases where applicants have fewer than 15 hours of psychology undergraduate courses.  In those cases, applicants must complete the 15 hours with a GPA of 3.0 or better and then apply for admission.  Provisional status may change after one year if the student maintains a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all coursework.  Students may be allowed to take up to 9 graduate credit hours as a provisionally admitted student. The student must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 in these courses.


A student-at-large is not a degree candidate. However, should a student decide to apply for full admission status at a later time, but within 5 years of course completion, only 3 courses (9 hours) will be accepted for credit toward the advanced degree. At-large students are allowed to take a maximum of 3 courses with permission from the Graduate Program Director.

Transfer Admission Procedures

Students may apply up to 12 semester hours of graduate-level work from other regionally-accredited institutions to their program of psychology prior to their acceptance into Lewis Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. A transfer student, whether admitted as full or provisional, will follow the admission criteria described above and below. The following conditions apply to the acceptance of transfer credit:

1. Only courses with a grade of B or better will be accepted.

2. Coursework must have been completed at a regionally-accredited graduate school.

3. Appropriateness of coursework will be decided by the Graduate Program Director at the time of the student’s application to the program.

4. Courses from outside the United States will be considered if they are evaluated as graduate level by the Office of Admission or the Commission on Accreditation of the American Council on Education.

5. Credit for prior learning is not awarded for graduate courses.


Transfer of Credit after Matriculation

Students who are already matriculated at Lewis University and wish to transfer in a course must seek written approval from the Graduate Program Director before the course is attempted. Only courses with a grade of B or better will be accepted. Students may transfer in up to 2 courses.

Course of Study Overview

To obtain a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, students must specialize in one of two concentrations. Concentration A, Adult Clinical Mental Health Counseling, offers a traditional clinical mental health curriculum designed to prepare the student to work in a wide variety of mental health settings. Concentration B, Child and Adolescent Clinical Mental Health Counseling, offers a clinical mental health curriculum designed to prepare students to work with children, adolescents, and families in both public and private settings.

Course Formats and Credit

Courses are offered in the evening and online and workshops are offered on weekends each semester. The normal load for a full-time graduate student is 3 courses, or 9 semester hours. For those who are working full-time, the normal semester load is 2 courses, or 6 semester hours.

Good Academic Standing

See Good Academic Standing.


Academic Probation and Dismissal

See Academic Probation and Dismissal.



Time Limitations and Resident Requirement

Students must complete all requirements within 7 years from the time of completion of the first graduate course at Lewis University.  Students remain under the requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of matriculation unless they discontinue attendance for two consecutive years or more, in which case they will follow the catalog in effect upon their return.

Graduation Requirements

Students will be awarded the Master of Arts degree when they have:

1. Completed at least 60 hours of graduate study as stipulated previously.

2. Successfully passed the comprehensive examination. (The comprehensive examination is normally attempted after 48 hours are completed; the comprehensive examination should be attempted in the student’s penultimate semester.)

3. Assembled materials for a portfolio review consisting of, at a minimum, a supervisor’s clinical assessment, the comprehensive examination, and one case study from practicum or internship.

4. A GPA of 3.0 or above.

Child and Adolescent Distinction

The Child and Adolescent distinction is embedded within the Child and Adolescent concentration in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program. Students will complete 18 credit hours of specific coursework on their way to finishing their MA and will receive a department-issued certificate as well as a notation on their transcript upon graduation denoting a concentration in child and adolescent counseling. 



Degree Requirements

Degree Offered: Master of Arts
Total Credit Hours: 60-63
Program: MA-CMHC-3

I. Core Courses (45)

COUN-50500Research in Counseling


COUN-51200Interviewing Skills


COUN-51400Introduction to Clinical Mental Health Counseling


COUN-52000Advanced Developmental Psychology


COUN-52200Career Development Theory


COUN-55200Clinical Psychopharmacology


COUN-55300Crisis Intervention and Treatment of Trauma


COUN-56500Group Dynamics and Counseling


COUN-56700Treatment of Substance Abuse


COUN-57500Family Dynamics and Counseling


COUN-57800Professional and Ethical Issues in Counseling


COUN-57900Multicultural Issues in Counseling


COUN-58000Models and Theories of Clinical Supervision in Mental Health


COUN-58500Practicum in Counseling


COUN-59000Internship in Counseling


II. Concentration (15)

Adult Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Concentration: ADLT
COUN-51100Individual Appraisal




COUN-57300Counseling Theories 1


COUN-57700Counseling Theories 2




Child and Adolescent Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Concentration: CHLD
COUN-51300Individual Appraisal: Child Emphasis


COUN-54300Psychopathology: Child Emphasis


COUN-57400Counseling Theories: Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy


COUN-57300Counseling Theories 1



COUN-57700Counseling Theories 2




Advanced Training Program in Addiction Studies

Concentration: ADDC

In addition to the child/adolescent and adult concentrations, students can also choose to add on the Advanced Training Program in Addiction Studies. Lewis is the first university in Will County to offer an advanced training program in Addiction Studies. By adding these three courses to the CMHC curriculum, students will be prepared to take the examination for Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor or both to help those battling alcohol and substance abuse issues. The required supervision and work experience is embedded in this accredited advanced training program.
COUN-53300Introduction to Addictions


COUN-53400Special Populations in Addictions


COUN-53500Internship in Counseling and Addictions


COUN 53500 replaces COUN 59000 Internship in Counseling