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Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MSEd)

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masters in clinical mental health counseling group session

Choose Saint Rose for your Master's Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

If you love helping people with life’s challenges, it could become a promising career. Train to become a capable, compassionate mental-health counselor at The College of Saint Rose, where you can gain the skills and experience to work with individuals and families from all walks of life.

Although this program results in a Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.) in Counseling, it doesn’t limit professionals to working in the field of education (although it’s a popular option). Rather, graduates of the program will be able to work in a wide range of mental health settings, including substance abuse clinics, hospitals, and universities.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for mental health counselors is expected to grow by 23% between 2020 and 2030, which is much faster than the average for all jobs.

The truth is that demand for compassionate, licensed counselors has never been higher. You can be part of the solution, and it’s not even necessary to quit your current job to pursue additional education and advance your future.

CACREP Accredited

CACREP Accreditation

Saint Rose is the only institution in the greater Capital Region offering CACREP-accredited school counseling and mental health counseling programs, which means graduates have met high academic and professional standards and graduate with the knowledge needed for success in the field.

CACREP accreditation makes the process of getting certified in other states smoother, as states value what the accreditation says about the quality of graduates. CACREP accreditation also opens doors for MSED in Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduates, who will now be eligible for employment in the Department of Veterans Affairs and to receive payment as independent providers under TRICARE, a health care program in the United States Department of Defense Military Health System that serves beneficiaries and their dependents.

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), has granted accreditation to the MSED in School Counseling and MSED in Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs at The College of Saint Rose. We sat down with Dr. Claudia Lingertat recently to discuss the process of becoming CACREP accredited and what that accreditation means for Counseling grad students entering the field.

Flexible to Meet Your Schedule

The Saint Rose Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is designed to be convenient for working professionals who want to enroll and excel in either full-time or part-time programs. Some courses are scheduled in the late afternoons and evenings to ensure regular working hours are not disrupted.

Whether you attend full- or part-time, an expert practitioner faculty will guide and instruct you. The faculty will help prepare you to become a licensed professional mental health counselor. Students can also take advantage of comprehensive hands-on fieldwork opportunities, including internships with prestigious organizations and agencies.

Saint Rose also offers a certificate of advanced study (CAS) program for those who have already earned an M.S.Ed. in school counseling or a related field. To earn the certification, students will need to complete 18 credits to be eligible for licensure.

The mission of The College of Saint Rose Counseling program is to prepare students to become culturally competent and engaged professionals who work with diverse populations across multiple settings. Our students gain the knowledge, awareness, and skills needed to establish themselves as ethical and reflective counselors, leaders, and advocates within their fields.

The mission of The College of Saint Rose Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is to prepare students to become culturally competent counselors and engaged advocates that work in a variety of clinical mental health settings and with a diverse range of clients. Our students are prepared to provide client-centered clinical services, including diagnosis, treatment planning, and interventions, focused on the unique needs of individuals, couples, families, and groups across the lifespan.

Framed by an ecological and multicultural perspective, students in our program gain the knowledge, awareness, and skills needed to effectively intervene with a variety of presenting concerns and populations. Our graduates are reflective practitioners committed to social justice and the provision of quality clinical services to all within our communities.

The Counseling program has three overarching objectives for student learning outcomes:

  1. Students will demonstrate the knowledge, skills and ability to practice as an ethical counselor in a multicultural and pluralistic society.
  2. Students will develop knowledge and skills to use data and research to inform and evaluate counseling practice.
  3. Students will demonstrate a professional identity consistent with the principles of social justice/advocacy, wellness/prevention & ethical practice.

The Counseling program uses a multi-tiered assessment process to assess its program objectives (PO), key performance indicators (KPI), and dispositions and professional comportment of students as part of its annual program evaluation.

Program Highlights

Rigorous instruction and hands-on fieldwork, with a personal touch

  • Develop competence through course work in mental health counseling interventions, assessment and appraisal, case management and consultation, family violence, disaster/crisis/trauma-informed counseling, social and cross-cultural counseling methods, and fieldwork in a mental health or community agency setting
  • Graduate Assistantships – Approximately 120 graduate assistantship (GA) positions are sponsored by The College of Saint Rose each academic year. They are meant to provide qualified master’s degree candidates with opportunities to augment their educational experiences.
  • Our comprehensive curriculum melds theory with practice, constantly tying lessons and concepts back to fieldwork, and using cutting-edge tools to inform student learning
  • We hold classes during work-friendly hours in the afternoon and evening, and offer some weekend and online courses for your convenience
  • Our faculty’s excellent relationships with public and private organizations pave the way to fulfilling internships and postgraduation employment.
  • Our programs prepare you for career success, starting with the industry licensure exam.
  • Dedicated staff member to help you find field placements, so you can focus on your coursework

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Demand for substance-abuse, behavioral-disorder, and mental-health counselors is projected to grow 22% (much faster than average) over the years 2018-2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Demand for marriage and family therapists is projected to grow 22% (much faster than average) over the years 2018-2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Saint Rose has many funding options that can make your education affordable:

Certificate of Advanced Study

The certificate program is designed for students who have attained a Master’s Degree in Counseling or a related field with a minimum of 36 credits and the appropriate pre-requisites. Each student will need to complete 18 credits to obtain the required graduate coursework leading to licensure as a mental health counselor in New York State (which requires 60 graduate credit hours in counseling).

Explore Certificate of Advanced Study

Loan Forgiveness

In certain situations, students may qualify to have their loans forgiven, canceled or discharged.

Explore Loan Forgiveness

Our Students

At Saint Rose, I have found promising ways for bringing mental-health treatment to lower-income populations and discovered my own interest in trauma-informed practices. I love that the program allows us to focus our research to foster our professional interests.”
Kiona Walters G’18
M.S.Ed, Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Exceptional Faculty

Our faculty are focused on the development of competent and ethical counseling professionals.

Dr. Lingertat has been with the Counseling program since 2003. As the previous department chair, she led the department through a successful first-time CACREP accreditation self-study process and site visit, resulting in CACREP granting accreditation to the MSED in School Counseling and MSED in Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs at The College of Saint Rose through 2030! Prior to becoming a faculty member at the college, Dr. Lingertat worked extensively in clinical and supervisory capacities in a variety of settings with children, adolescents, and their families. She has worked in inpatient and residential treatment settings, college counseling centers, and both public and private schools for children in grades K-12 as both a counselor and supervisor.

Professionally, Dr. Lingertat has expertise in healing-centered and trauma-informed schools, including a specialty around grief and loss in children and adolescents. Dr. Lingertat consults with schools and businesses on issues related to unconscious bias and education as well as on instructional equity and diversity issues. Dr. Lingertat has served as a Director on the Board at RISSE (Refugee Immigrant Support Services of Emmaus) since 2020 where she also serves as the Chair of the Personnel Committee.


Dr. Thomas Murphy is a licensed mental health counselor in New York, a national-certified counselor, and an approved clinical supervisor. He is certified by EMDRIA as an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) clinician. He has provided clinical and supervisory services and conducted workshops on clinical supervision, telemental health, and supervision ethics. His teaching philosophy focuses on the development of competent, ethically focused counseling clinicians.


A licensed mental-health counselor in New York State, Yvette Kelly has more than a decade of experience working with children, families, and disenfranchised populations. She has worked in a variety of community-based settings, serving in diverse roles including clinician, clinical supervisor, quality-improvement coordinator, and director of children’s mental health. Her expertise is in assisting organizations in enhancing organizational efficiencies to improve clinical performance, supervision strategies, compliance, and access to behavioral health services. She is responsible for coordinating internships for students in Saint Rose’s counseling programs.


Admissions Requirements

  • Completed Saint Rose graduate school application
  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution (minimum of 9 credits of psychology beyond Introduction to Psychology; these classes may be completed after acceptance into the degree program)
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities that have awarded you credit
  • Statement of purpose
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or higher
  • Resume
  • Attendance at an admissions workshop (by invitation only)
  • Application fee


Career Outlook

Employment Opportunities

Our graduates have found full-time employment with:

  • Mental health centers
  • Community health centers
  • Prisons
  • Private practice
  • Hospitals and psychiatric centers

Counseling Program Graduates, 2022-23

  • MSED, Clinical Mental Health Counseling: 17
  • CAS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling: 2
  • Completion rates: 95% of graduates completed their program in 3 years or less; the other 5% percent completed their program in 5 years or less (going part-time).
  • Job Placement Rates: 100% of survey respondents who chose to work in the field are employed. Job seekers reported either obtaining employment while on internship or within 2 months after graduating.
  • Pass rates: We have been unable to obtain information on the NCMHCE from NYSED or NBCC at this time.

This data is based on students indicating to NYSED the program they attended and is only for students that elected to have their results submitted for NYS licensure purposes, so it may not be a complete and fully accurate picture.

Contact Us Today

Of course, if you have any questions, please reach out. We’re here to help.


Dr. Thomas Murphy

Department Co-Chair
Lally 250, School of Education

Dr. Claudia Lingertat

Department Co-Chair
Lally 250, School of Education

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