Clinical Mental Health Counseling

applyThis program will prepare you to use a combination of mental health and human development principles, methods, and techniques to help people achieve mental, emotional, social, and career development and adjustment. You will be able to work in a variety of settings, such as private, institutional, community, Christian, military, or nonprofit, providing counseling to individuals, couples, families, groups, and organizations.

Emotional and Mental Health

Counselors help people cope with emotional and mental problems stemming from marital and family issues, antisocial behavior, occupational stress, interpersonal relations, and bereavement. Professional counselors help clients identify goals and potential solutions to problems, improve communication and coping skills, strengthen self-esteem, and promote behavior change and optimal mental health. Those students who desire to treat all mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders may add a Mental Health Service Provider designation by completing 3,000 hours of post-master's supervised experience.

Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC)

After completing the Master of Science in Counseling degree and completing a minimum of two years (at least 10 hours a week) of supervised professional experience, graduates are eligible to sit for licensure in Tennessee as a Licensed Professional Counselor. Reciprocity agreements may allow TN licensure to apply in other states. Students should check other state requirements before applying to the program.

In-Demand Profession

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of mental health counselors is expected to grow by 24% between 2008 and 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. Medial annual wages of mental health counselors in May 2008 were $37,000. Industries employing the largest numbers of mental health counselors include local government, other health practitioners, outpatient care centers, individual and family services, and residential mental health and substance abuse facilities.


The program is a two-year, 60 credit hour curriculum that prepares graduates to pursue licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). The curriculum consists of 42 credit hours of required coursework in human behavior and development, evidence-based practice, effective counseling strategies, ethical practice, and other core knowledge areas; 9 credit hours of clinical experience (practicum and internships); and 9 elective hours from selected topics such as crisis intervention, substance abuse counseling, child and adolescent counseling, child sexual abuse, end of life issues, and physiological psychology and pscyhopharmacology. Because Milligan is a Christian college, part of the required coursework includes an ongoing discussion and examination of the theoretical and practical aspects of the integration of faith and learning. Read more.