Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Master of Science

Program Purpose

Mission Statement

The CMHC program is committed to providing a quality counselor education to students in preparation for a professional counseling practice that serves the mental health needs of an ever-changing multicultural world.

The program is dedicated to establishing a professional formative process in the context of cultural diversity and the challenges of the 21st century.  The formative process highlights the humanistic perspective, utilizing the tenets of mindfulness to cultivate compassion, self-care, resilience, empathy, and awareness of self and others.

Program Vision

  • Establishing the values and curriculum, which are consistent with a counselor identity.
  • Creating an inclusive learning environment that provides for and expects optimal personal growth and professional development.
  • Utilizing the tenets of mindfulness to cultivate introspection, self-reflection, and a willingness to address personal growing edges.
  • Teaching a scholarly based curriculum in current mental health counseling, techniques, theories, clinical skills and research that has a foundation in the humanistic theory and approach to counseling.
  • Subscribing to the highest standards of ethical and social justice practices in a multicultural and pluralistic society.
  • Utilization of innovative technologies that enhance student educational experience and preparation as counselors.

Program Purpose

Wilmington University’s CMHC program seeks to prepare students to be effective counselors in a diverse world and profession. Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals. Consistent with the values of the counseling profession, the CMHC program seeks to infuse multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills throughout the curriculum. The program is structured to ensure that students will develop a professional identity as a mental health counselor and will master the knowledge and counseling skills needed to practice effectively. Students are trained for careers in community mental health and human service agencies, educational institutions, private practices, as well as government, business and industrial settings.

CMHC Program Goals, Objectives and Competencies

The following Program Goals, Objectives, and Competencies demonstrate our mission and vision and are aligned with the American Counseling Association (ACA) and CACREP standards for professional practice (for further details on CACREP standards see Section VI of this handbook.

CMHC Program Objectives for Goal # 1

Students who graduate from the CMHC Program will demonstrate foundational knowledge and skills in Core Counseling Subject Areas:

  • Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice
  • Social and Cultural Diversity
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Career Development
  • Counseling and Helping Relationships
  • Group Counseling and Group Work
  • Assessment and Testing
  • Research and Program Evaluation
  • Professional Practice - Application of professional knowledge and clinical skills through practicum and internship
  • Professional Counselor Conduct and Dispositions

Competencies Expected for these Objectives:

  • Proficient knowledge base in each subject area
  • Proficiency in the application of subject area knowledge
  • Proficiency in oral and written communication related to subject area knowledge

Objectives for Goal #2

  • Demonstrate foundational knowledge regarding the provision of mental health treatment services including treatment models, agency operations, and clinical supervision
  • Develop and demonstrate skills in mental health counseling, prevention and intervention
  • Develop and demonstrate skills in addressing issues of diversity and providing advocacy
  • Develop and demonstrate skills in assessment and clinical evaluation
  • Develop and demonstrate skills in research and evaluation of counseling programs and outcomes
  • Develop and demonstrate skills in clinical diagnosis

Competencies Expected for these Objectives:

  • Proficiency in developing counseling relationships, performing culturally competent counseling interventions, and advocating
  • Proficiency in performing intake interviews, assessing clinical information, and writing professional clinical case notes and reports
  • Proficiency in conceptualizing cases, developing treatment plans, and evaluating treatment outcomes
  • Proficiency in applying evidenced based practices in counseling

Course Requirements

Required Core Course Curriculum (44 credits)

Minimum grade requirement of "B" in all respective courses

MHC 6401 Theories of Counseling

MHC 6402 Human Development

MHC 6501 Tools, Techniques, and Strategies of Counseling I

MHC 6502 Tools, Techniques, and Strategies of Counseling

MHC 6505 Ethics and Practices of Clinical Mental Health Counseling

MHC 6901 Diagnosis and Treatment of Psychopathology

MHC 7202 Group Counseling

MHC 7203 Counseling for Career Development

MHC 7501 Family Counseling

MHC 7605 Counseling Diverse Populations

MHC 7805 Appraisal Techniques

MHC 7806 Methods of Research and Program Evaluation

MHC 8020 Addictions Counseling

MHC 8092 Seminar: Consultation for Counselors

MHC 8093 Seminar: Supervision for Counselors

MHC 8094 Psychopharmacology for Counselors

Required Field Experiences (12 credits)

Minimum grade requirement of "B" in all respective courses

MHC 7905 Practicum

MHC 9001 Internship

MHC 9002 Internship II

MHC 7905, MHC 9001, MHC 9002: Community Site

The practicum and internship field experiences are supervised by experienced professionals at the field sites in conjunction with the CMHC program faculty.

Electives (4 credits based on practicum/internship setting)

Minimum grade requirement of "B" in all respective courses

MHC 8011 Advanced Seminar: Counseling Children & Adolescents

MHC 8012 Advanced Seminar: Evidence Based Family Treatment

MHC 8062 Advanced Seminar: Cognitive-Behavioral Counseling

MHC 8064 Motivational Interviewing

The total number of credits required for the Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is 60 in the required and elective courses identified above.  Upon admission to the program, each student is assigned an academic advisor who guides and assists the student with the varied demands of the program, including curricular decisions.

Qualifications for the Master of Science Degree

To qualify for the Master of Science degree, a student must complete the prescribed 60 credit hours (including practicum and internship) with at least a 3.0 grade point average (GPA)*. The program is designed such that all course work, practicum, and internship can be completed within three years of starting the program, but must be completed within five years. Re-application to the program is required if the program is not completed within a five-year period. Students are expected to demonstrate competencies in the eight core areas required by CACREP and the NBCC. The CMHC program requires completion of a comprehensive examination as part of the graduation requirements. Students are evaluated throughout the program in three major areas:

  1. Academic Performance: Each student is expected to maintain at least a 3.0 GPA.*
  2. Interpersonal Skills: Each student is expected to demonstrate effective interpersonal skills considered requisite to the counseling field, including:

a.  Effectiveness in close interpersonal relationships.

b.  Ability to establish facilitative relationships with many different kinds of people.

c.  Flexibility and openness to feedback and learning.

d.  Amenability to clinical supervision during the Practicum and Internship process;

e.  Self-awareness, openness to self-examination, and commitment to personal growth.

f.  Appropriate attitudes.

3.  Ethical Behavior: Each student is expected to demonstrate awareness of and concern for the ethical standards of mental health and all other disciplines within the counseling field. Ethical   behavior will be monitored and assessed in several venues throughout the student’s academic career, including:

a.  In the classroom, as evidenced by ethical conduct in issues concerning peer relationships and works scholarship; and

b.  In the community, as evidenced by ethical conduct at Practicum and Internship agency placements, including adherence to the employment policies of said agencies.


*University requires a 3.0 GPA for good academic standing in graduate programs and to qualify for Masters degrees.  For the CMHC Program, there is a minimum grade requirement of "B" in all respective courses; therefore, cumulative GPA may exceed the University standard.

This information applies to students who enter this degree program during the 2023-2024 Academic Year. If you entered this degree program before the Fall 2022 semester, please refer to the academic catalog for the year you began your degree program.