Master's (M.Ed.) Mental Health Counseling

Master's of Education (M.Ed.) Degree Mental Health Counseling
Master's of Education (M.Ed.) Degree Mental Health Counseling

Quick Facts

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Meet our faculty!

  • Application requirements: Two letters of recommendation (at least one recommendation must come from a faculty member at an accredited academic institution), transcripts, minimum GPA of 3.0 (undergraduate), proof of English language proficiency, and essay. 
  • International Students: Please visit this page for information regarding transcript evaluation requirements.
  • Deadline(s): January 15 for fall semester start. The application and all supporting materials are due by the listed deadline.
  • Course Requirements: 20 courses (60 credits)
  • Typical Course Load: Fall (4 courses), Spring (4 courses), Summer (4 courses) which allows candidates to complete the program in two years (two falls, two springs and one summer). 
  • Time to Completion: 2 years
  • Practical Experience Component: Minimum of 100 hours of field work required and an internship of 15-20 hours a week for two semesters (usually in second year)
  • Alumni Current Positions: Graduates work as counselors in community organizations and governmental agencies, as well as at hospitals. Some graduates have gone on to pursue doctoral studies.


Lehigh’s Mental Health Counseling program is accredited by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC). Those who complete it can apply to be a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Pennsylvania. 

The M.Ed. is designed to provide students with an overarching understanding of the role of professional counselors as well as specific skills and interventions they need to work successfully with diverse groups of people in community, work and family settings. 

A low student-to-faculty ratio allows master’s candidates to learn from and be mentored by innovative professors who bring to the classroom a wide variety of experiences in addition to the latest research and advanced techniques in the field. Opportunities to conduct research are available and can be especially valuable for those who plan to pursue a doctorate, as nearly a quarter of the master’s candidates do. 

For the master’s degree, students take courses in areas such as assessments in counseling, therapeutic approaches, human development across the lifespan, research, group counseling, career counseling and multicultural perspectives. Lehigh embraces diversity, and the program emphasizes social justice throughout the curriculum.  

A clinical coordinator assists students in setting up field work and internships, including at the Community Voices Clinic, a local public school-based center, where they can practice counseling skills under the supervision of a Lehigh faculty member and doctoral-level graduate assistants. Students also have opportunities to do practices at mental health centers and college counseling centers.  

Those wishing to apply must complete an online application and provide undergraduate and (if applicable) graduate transcripts. Applicants must have achieved at least a 3.0 grade point average as an undergraduate. They should submit an essay and an acknowledgement they understand the College of Education policy on clearances. Candidates should also provide two letters of recommendation with at least one from a faculty member of an accredited academic institution.    

The deadline to apply is January 15 for a Fall start. 

The degree requires the completion of 20 courses (60 credits).  A typical course load of four courses in the fall, four in the spring, and four in the summer allows candidates to complete the program in two years (two falls, two springs and one summer). 

Practical experience is an important part of the program with a minimum of 100 hours of field work required as well as an internship of 15-20 hours a week for two semesters. Most students do the internship in their second year of courses. 

Classes are held in the afternoons and evenings to make the program more convenient for students who are working professionals. The master’s in Mental Health Counseling has a high completion rate, opening up a wide variety of employment opportunities. 


Graduates work as counselors in community organizations and governmental agencies, as well as at hospitals. Some graduates have gone on to pursue doctoral studies.

The demand for counselors in social services and community organizations is rising. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the field will grow by 14 percent by 2026. 

Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council

Our program is accredited by the Master's in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC) for the period of August, 2014 through August, 2024.

The faculty seeks to produce counselors who can conceptualize and intervene in competent preventative, developmental, and therapeutic ways to assist a broad cultural cross-section of individuals to improve their understanding, adjustment, and daily functioning across the life span. Students are sought who will both appreciate and embrace the scientific and empirical underpinnings of the counseling field and work to apply them in culturally appropriate ways. The following competency areas adapted from the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC; 2011) are the guiding policy for our CHS training program and serve as the basis for evaluation of student professional progress and readiness for practicum, internship, and professional practice:

  1. Professional counselor identity, ethical behavior, and social justice practices;
  2. Human development and wellness across the lifespan;
  3. Neuroscientific, physical, and biological foundations of human development and wellness;
  4. Ecological, contextual, multicultural, social justice foundations of human development;
  5. Counseling, consultation, and social justice advocacy theories and skills;
  6. Group theory, practice and social justice advocacy,
  7. Career and life development,
  8. Assessment of human behavior and organizational/community/institutional systems,
  9. Tests and measurements.
  10. Traditional and social justice-oriented research and evaluations,
  11. Practicum/internship experiences.  

Special notification

School counselors do not require CACREP accreditation to practice in schools in the United States. CACREP accreditation is not required for a license as a professional counselor in many jurisdictions within the U.S. 


This professional preparation program reflects the increasing level of skills and competencies required for certification as a counselor in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as well as new regulations governing Professional Counselor Licensure in Pennsylvania. The M.Ed. program is designed to provide the basic coursework as well as the specialized counseling "common core" coursework, and practical experience and professional concentration for certification as a school counselor in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; as preparation for further graduate study (i.e., doctoral study [see Ph.D. program manual]). 

Total Credits for Proposed Program are 60, consistent with MPCAC Accreditation recommendations and PA Licensure Standard.

Shared Core Courses
CPSY 427 Assessment and Appraisal in Counseling 3
CPSY 436 Culture-Centered Career Intervention 3
CPSY 442 Counseling and Therapeutic Approaches 3
EDUC 471 Diversity and Multicultural Perspectives 3
CPSY 451 Helping Skills 3
CPSY 472 Human Development Across the Lifespan 3
EDUC 403 Research 3
Mental Health Counseling Track
CPSY 430 Professional Seminar 3
CPSY 439 Theory and Practice of Group Counseling 3
CPSY 440 Introduction to Family Counseling 3
CPSY 455 Counseling Issues and Skills: Advanced Techniques in Counseling 3
EDUC 408 Introduction to Statistics 3
Clinical Training
CPSY 479 Master's Counseling Practicum 3
CPSY 480 Master's Internship I 3
CPSY 483 Master's Internship II 3
Specialty (15 credits)
At least one advisor approved 3 credit elective from each of three areas (9)  

Biological and Neuropsychological bases of behavior


Social Justice, Diversity, Trauma and Loss


Abnormal Behavior and Psychopathology


Six additional credits of advisor approved electives

Total Credits 60

Click here to view the course catalog which provides descriptions of the courses.

Information for International Students

Optional Practical Training (OPT) lets eligible F-1 students work in their field of study in the United States for 12 to 36 months after completing their program. Most students studying on F-1 visas become eligible for 12 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) off-campus work authorization. F-1 students with a degree in a STEM field—science, technology, engineering or math—may be eligible for a 24-month extension of their 12 months of OPT. Thus, students with an F-1 visa in our program may be eligible for the STEM OPT extension, which allows for up to a total of 36 months of Optional Practical Training off-campus work authorization. For more information on who is eligible to apply for this extension visit Lehigh’s Office of International Students and Scholars: STEM OPT Extension (