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Program Preparing
Mental Health Counselors

Well
Prepared.
Making a
Difference.
Are you inspired to positively influence the  well-being of children and adults? Then you should consider becoming a licensed mental health counselor.
As societal pressures increase, and the complexities, stresses, and expectations of everyday life impact success at school, on the job, in relationships with family and friends – and take their toll on our overall well-being – the need for mental health counseling services has increased dramatically. 

These diverse mental health needs require the mental health counselor of the 21st century to be a dynamic professional.  One who has a keen understanding of societal impacts and is well-prepared to design holistic interventions to support those who are struggling, as well as those who are looking to optimize wellness and the relationship between the health of the body and the health of the mind.

Our CACREP-accredited program in mental health counseling will successfully prepare you to become an effective mental health counselor – a counseling professional who can help to greatly improve the quality of life of the clients you serve.
For current students: INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
A CACREP-Accredited Program

Program Quickview

The program described below prepares students as Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC) and has been approved by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

If you are interested in other counseling or human development programs, check our Related Programs.
Information about New York State Licensure for Mental Health Counselors
Licensure as a mental health counselor is required in New York State to provide a range of psychological services in community, health, and social service agencies and in private practice.  Licensure status may allow clients to use health insurance for services offered by the licensed mental health counselor.

Our 60-credit master's program in community mental health counseling is the first step leading to becoming a LMHC. Students who complete the program, which includes rigorous didactic coursework and 600 hours of field-based internship experience, are eligible for a New York State Limited Permit to practice as a mental health counselor in New York State defined settings. They are further required post-degree to complete 3,000 additional hours of supervised practice and pass a state examination to become a New York State LMHC.
Prerequisites:
  • A bachelor’s degree.
  • Interests and dispositions consistent with successful practice providing psychological services in a mental health setting.
Key Program Features:
  • CACREP Accredited: The 60-credit program meets all requirements set by the world-recognized accrediting body for the field of counseling.
  • Cutting-Edge Curriculum: Courses and internships underscore the importance of intervention, wellness, integrated care, advocacy, and diversity in counseling, in order to successfully prepare mental health counselors for practice in the 21st century.
  • Rich Internship Opportunities: The required practicum plus two internships can be pursued across a wide array of settings, including community-based mental health clinics, hospitals, community agencies, drug and alcohol treatment centers, and institutions of higher education, treating diverse client populations including children, adolescents, adults, and seniors.
  • Flexible: Program can be started in any semester and completed in just two-years of full-time study, if starting in fall, or three to four years of part-time study.
  • For School Counselors Only:  We invite you to check out our 24-credit “bridge” program option to give you maximum flexibility for practice contexts.  

Warner Program that Prepares Mental Health Counselors


The following program will prepare individuals as entry-level mental health counselors leading to NYS licensure eligibility in mental health counseling.   

MS in Community Mental Health Counseling (CM1)

Opportunities for Additional Specializations:
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Special Bridge Program for School Counseling
If you have already completed a master’s degree leading to NYS certification as a school counselor, the Warner School of Education and Human Development offers an expedited way for you to meet the coursework and internships required for NYS licensure as a mental health counselor.  This 24-credit Advanced Certificate Bridge from School to Mental Health Counseling (CB2) program requires only six mental health counseling courses and two internships.
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Our Approach

Facilitating Healthy Human Development. Fostering Better Lives.

The Warner School’s mental health counseling program is designed to prepare graduates to work effectively as counselors offering services to people challenged by emotional, behavioral, and relationship issues. Well-grounded in counseling theory, research, and practice, our program prepares qualified, license-eligible mental health counselors for practice in a variety of diverse clinical or community settings.
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Learn More About Warner's Approach to Mental Health Counseling
Our mental health counseling program pursues a vision that emphasizes wellness, prevention, and the relationship between the health of the body and the health of the mind. The program shapes students as mental health counselors who will act as facilitators of healthy human development, practicing holistic approaches that consider the range of social, cultural, familial, and intrapersonal factors that influence mental health.  Counseling students are grounded in knowledge of human development, with particular emphasis and understanding of how environmental and societal factors shape the developmental processes that lead to life-long wellness or distress.

Coursework and clinical training prepare students to provide a range of services—including assessment, treatment planning, psychotherapy, alcoholism and substance abuse intervention, psycho-educational and prevention programs, and crisis management—to families, couples, adolescents, children, and groups. Our unique integrative approach grounds students in the research theory and practice of mental health counseling. Throughout the program, there is a strong emphasis on research aimed at the study of human development, health, and change in real-world contexts.

The Warner Advantage

Preparing Graduates to Innovate, Advocate, and Elevate.

Warner will give you the highest-quality preparation as an effective and cutting-edge mental health counselor.    
  • Be challenged to become an innovator, a thought leader, and an agent of personal change by learning the necessary dispositions and skills to be an effective mental health counselor.
  • Learn to leverage your personal strengths to help create a bright future for your clients.
  • Understand how to serve complex and diverse populations.
  • Leverage the reputation of a leading research university to give your degree even more recognition.
  • Learn from an accessible, supportive faculty of researchers and accomplished practitioners.
  • Experience the rewards and challenges of real-life practice experiences while working in mental health settings with seasoned, gifted professionals.
  • Network with the best and the brightest future mental health counselors.
  • Shorten your path to a doctoral degree by earning transferable credits.
  • Be confident in a nationally-accredited program vetted by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
While rigorous, our mental health counseling program is also flexible and affordable.
  • Benefit from scholarships that can significantly reduce tuition costs.
  • Start the program in any semester.
  • Go at your own pace, by choosing either part-time or full-time options.
  • Are you a University of Rochester employee? Make sure you make full use of your tuition benefits.

Career Opportunities

Advancing Education and Your Career to the Next Level.

The need for mental health counselors is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations nationwide through the year 2022, due in part to the fact that health insurance plans have started providing coverage to mental health counseling services. In the Finger Lakes, that translates to an expected 35-percent increase in job openings between 2010 and 2020, according to the New York State Department of Labor.

Today, the country faces a shortage of mental health professionals while the demand for mental health services has never been higher. In fact, 15 of the nation’s 50 states – including California, Connecticut, Florida, and 12 others – are experiencing a shortage of mental health professionals, as defined by the federal government. This means millions of Americans will continue to struggle with mental health issues as a result of the lack of licensed clinical mental health counselors.

Graduates of the Warner mental health counseling program will have the preparation and credentials needed to succeed in an array of roles and careers in the mental health field. Graduates can pursue practice opportunities across a wide array of settings, including community-based mental health clinics, hospitals, private practice, human services agencies, drug and alcohol treatment centers, and institutions of higher education, treating diverse client populations including children, adolescents, adults, and seniors.

International students have found the Warner's program in community mental health counseling beneficial in helping them introduce mental health counseling to international communities, where mental health services are in a formative stage.
counselor talking with woman in office

Faculty

An Accessible, Supportive Faculty of Researchers and Accomplished Practitioners.

Scholarships

Making it Affordable to Make Warner Possible.

Many of our mental health counseling students benefit from merit-based scholarships that significantly decrease tuition costs.

Contact admissions for more information about merit-based scholarhships.

Are You a UR Employee? Inquire about your tuition benefits. If eligible, up to 95% of your tuition costs can be covered depending on your position. Contact the UR benefits office at benefitoffice@rochester.edu.

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Try Us Out

A Warner Degree Opens Doors. Open Ours to See Why.

Do you want to have a taste of what Warner can offer, before committing to one of our programs?

We invite you to come and observe one of our counseling courses. Or even better, take one of the required counseling courses for a highly discounted price

Contact admissions to arrange for a visit or learn more about opportunities for non-matriculated students.
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Testimonials

Meliora means 'Ever Better.' To our graduates, it means making a world of difference.

  • Shannon Walton, Sports Performance Counselor, Rochester, NY

    “I had a very unique situation. I wasn’t going down the typical path of a Warner student, and the school was just so flexible and supportive.”

    Shannon Walton, Sports Performance Counselor, Rochester, NY

  • Jeremy Friedman, Research Associate, Harlem Children's Zone, New York, NY

    “When it came time to interview for jobs, it was very easy for me to talk about anything in the field, and that set me apart,” he says. “You name it, and I had at least one experience in it—largely due to Warner.”

    Jeremy Friedman, Research Associate, Harlem Children's Zone, New York, NY

  • Jody Goodman, Program Director, UMass Amherst

    “As educators, it’s our job to make sure we’re giving students the knowledge to be successful when they move on in their life….Warner was the best grad school experience I’ve ever had because it prepared me extremely well to jump into my career, and I will forever be grateful for that.”

    Jody Goodman, Program Director, UMass Amherst

  • Dawn Santiago-Marullo, Superintendent, Victor, NY

    "The most important thing I received there was the opportunity to be immersed in the study of education and leadership with very talented people, that think-tank mentality of being surrounded by the best of the best. The intellectual stimulation from both the staff and fellow classmates really did allow me to think about things differently."

    Dawn Santiago-Marullo, Superintendent, Victor, NY

  • Beatriz M. Folch-Torres, MD, Rochester, NY

    “It was more than I expected. Not only what I learned in the program, which I’ve been able to put into practice every day since, but also the connections I was able to make and the relationships I was able to form."

    Beatriz M. Folch-Torres, MD, Rochester, NY

  • Laura Van Laeken, Teacher, Midlakes, NY

    "The growth I’ve realized in myself is something I will be forever grateful for. I’ve learned to question, analyze, think and create in ways I never considered. I’ve changed as an educator and as a person."

    Laura Van Laeken, Teacher, Midlakes, NY

Contact Admissions

The admissions team looks forward to assisting you as you explore graduate education at the Warner School. Please feel free to use the form below to contact us with any questions. You can also email us at admissions@warner.rochester.edu or call (585) 275-3950.


Application Deadlines

January 15
March 15
June 15
October 15


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