Online MHC Plan of Study

The online MS in Mental Health Counseling program is designed to occur in parallel to the on campus degree program. Full-time students pursue the same courses as on-campus students and complete the degree mostly within the same two year, six-semester time frame, although courses may be offered on different semesters. The online students have an extra semester -- the first summer of the program requires online students to attend a two-week intensive program of clinical courses in person at the University of Massachusetts’ Dartmouth campus. Accommodations are available at UMass Dartmouth at a low cost for students who require them. The online MS program gives our in-person students the opportunity to take some courses also. 

The course requirements for the online program are identical to those of the on-campus program. Congruent with the on-campus program, students are required to participate in fieldwork as part of the program, with 100 hours during the course of the practicum and 600 total hours of field experience over the course of two semesters during the internship. The accompanying courses are listed above. As with the on campus program, students must pass the Post Practicum Assessment before approved for Internship and  complete a capstone before approved for graduation.     

When calculating your costs for the new curriculum, please understand that a 60 credit curriculum does not fit neatly into 2 semesters of 4 courses each semester, particularly when in the second year students are in their internships. That is why 2-3 courses are taken in the summer.  If a student is paying by the course this does not affect the overall cost. If a student is paying per semester, this will mean that the student should be prepared to pay for the 2-3 additional courses in the summer in between the two years and figure this into the overall cost.                                       

Plan of Study for Students Attending the Online Program: ONLINE STUDENTS MATRICULATING BEFORE SUMMER 2017

First Year

Summer Term Credits

  1. COU 614 Counseling Theory and Practice I   (only taught in person)
  2. COU 616 Group Counseling (only taught in person)
  3. COU 606 Ethical Standards and Professional Issues in Counseling (online)

Fall Term Credits 

  1. COU 601 Research and Evaluation in Psychology
  2. COU 605 Vocational, Educational & Psych. Assessment   
  3. COU 608 Abnormal Psychology   
  4. Can take COU 617 as a 4th course or COU 622 as an elective

Spring Term Credits

  1. COU 615 Counseling Theory and Practice II  OR COU 617 Child & Adolescent Counseling
  2. COU 620 Clinical Application of Human Development
  3. COU 653 Diversity in Counseling 

Can take COU 622 (elective)

Summer Term

  1. COU 688 Practicum
  2. Elective or required course like COU 613 or COU 620
  3. There may be an option for a second “in person” week to take COU 617 in Vermont.

Second Year

Fall Term Credits

  1. COU 672 Substance Abuse and the Family or COU 670 Substance Abuse and Modern Society 
  2. COU 674 Psychopharmacology     
  3. COU 698 Internship       

Spring Term Credits 

  1. COU 613 Vocational Development & Career Information     
  2. Elective such as COU 617 Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy if not taken Year 1, COU 622 Theories of Family Therapy, COU 624 Sexual Intimacy, and COU 627 Couples Therapy, 
  3. COU 698 Internship      

Summer Credits

Any remaining courses like a remaining elective; students who have a course or two to take in the summer are still permitted to walk in June at graduation. 

Required field experience : COUNSL 688 (100 hrs.) and two semester of COUNSL 698 (300 hrs per semester, 6 credits per semester, 600 hours and 12 credits total).

Required capstone : The capstone for Mental Health Counseling is a clinical case analysis that includes a taped and transcripted counseling session and a detailed analysis of the contextual, developmental, ethical, psychosocial, treatment, and counter-transference issues as they apply to the case.

Plan of Study for students who matriculated on or after summer of 2017

This is the new curriculum which has 18 required courses (see below). There are no electives. In the new curriculum, there is no summer Practicum experience. Both Practicum and Internship hours are rolled into the two semester course called Advanced Practice. Also, some courses now have new names. Each course will only be offered once a year. The summer courses are for both Online and State students and all three will occur online starting 2018

Download the course sequence here (the Mental Health Counseling handbook will always have the most up-to-date course sequence)

The department's minimum grade requirement is B-. If a student receives a lower grade in a course, he or she will need to take that course again.