Certificate in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Cost, Finance & Success Information

Gainful Employment Disclosure

Photo of a student demonstrating a counseling exercise for childrenThe certificate in clinical mental health counseling prepares you for work in a broad range of positions calling for counseling expertise in private and public agencies. It is a bridge program that lets students who already hold master’s degrees in related counseling areas (e.g. school counseling, student affairs counseling, substance abuse counseling) become eligible for licensure as clinical mental health counselors in the State of New York.

You Will Learn To:

  • Provide mental health treatments for individuals, groups, partners, and families.
  • Use community mental health system-based data to design, develop, and manage community mental health agencies.
  • Become a leader in mental health and addictions services, and advocate for equitable and culturally competent counseling for all clients.
  • Develop and maintain a clinical private practice in mental health counseling.

This program is not open to holders of the master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling.

Certificate of Advanced Study (C.A.S.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (24 credits)

The certificate program requires a minimum of 24 credit hours of graduate-level course work and internship. Upon acceptance into the C.A.S. program, a course of study will be determined by counselor education faculty, based on your transcripts. In some cases, based on your transcript, you may need to complete additional coursework in order to qualify to become eligible for licensure. This approach allows the certificate program to be flexible in meeting your needs while at the same time assuring both the student and the Office of the Professions that you have met all licensure requirements.

Required Competencies

The State of New York Office of the Professions identifies the following competencies as necessary for mental health licensure:

  1. human growth and development;
  2. social and cultural foundations of counseling;
  3. counseling theory and practice;
  4. group dynamics;
  5. lifestyle and career development;
  6. professional orientation and ethics;
  7. clinical instruction;
  8. assessment and appraisal of individuals, couples, families and groups;
  9. psychopathology;
  10. research and program evaluation;
  11. foundations of mental health counseling and consultation;
  12. a clinical mental health internship of a minimum 600 hours.

Program Requirements

Typically, graduates of 48-60 credit hour counseling programs have fulfilled requirements 1-8 in their initial master’s degree work. For our C.A.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at SUNY Plattsburgh, a review of each applicant’s master’s degree transcripts (including course syllabi and course descriptions if necessary) will be conducted by department faculty and will establish if each specific competency/requirement has been met. If a curriculum criterion has not been met, it can be remediated by completion of one of SUNY Plattsburgh’s core courses in addition to the certificate course requirements.

Our Advanced Certificate in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a minimum of a 24 credit hour program with the following curriculum:

  • CLG 519—Substance Abuse Counseling (3 credits).
  • CLG 523—Introduction to Family Therapy (3 credits).
  • CLG 539—Mental Health Counseling and Consultation (3 credits).
  • CLG 547—Psychopathology and Mental Health Counseling (3 credits).
  • CLG 548—Psychopharmacology in Mental Health Counseling (3 credits).
  • CLG 541—Internship in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (900 clock hours, 9 credit hours).

View counselor education course descriptions.

Admissions Requirements

Applications for spring matriculation are due by October 15th of each year. Applications for fall matriculation are due by February 15th.
Admission requirements include:

  • Completed Application for Certificate Programs, including the 3-page application, a resumé, and a 2-4 page personal statement.
  • Copies of all licenses and certificates related to counseling, if applicable.
  • A master’s degree from an accredited higher education institution, as evidenced by an official transcript in a sealed envelope. The master’s must be in a counseling related field, but cannot be in mental health counseling. Your master’s degree should have been completed within the past 10 years. Contact Dr. Burnell if you have questions.
  • A minimum graduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale.
  • Three letters of reference, indicating the candidate’s ability and suitability to pursue graduate studies in counseling. The letters should be from former faculty, supervisors, and employers from positions related to your counseling experience.
  • An interview may be requested.
  • You may be required to complete more than 24 credit hours, based on a review of your transcripts by the departmental faculty.

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

If you would like more information about the certificate in clinical mental health counseling, please contact:

Dr. David Stone, Coordinator
Office: Ward Hall 104A
Phone: (518) 564-4178
Email: stoneda@plattsburgh.edu