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Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Address mental health and relationship problems with clients from the perspective of mental illness to work in a variety of mental health facilities.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling – Master of Science (M.S.) 

In the Clinical Mental Health Counseling option at Montana State, students gain the skills to address a variety of mental health issues through the lens of human development, counseling theory, learning theory, group dynamics and the etiology of mental illness and dysfunctional behavior. Mental Health Counseling students engage in projects that enhance their personal and professional development as counselors and develop their knowledge and skills on how to identify and care for various client populations and their concerns. Each student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program undergoes 700 hours of supervised experience in appraisal, individual, group counseling, and consultation in clinic and community agencies prior to graduation.

In addition to Clinical Mental Health Counseling, the Counseling program at Montana State also offers a M.S. in Marriage, Couples & Family Counseling and an M.Ed. in School Counseling.




Mental Health Counseling graduate students have a variety of internship opportunities available, such as graduate student Holly Prisco, who provided counseling services to inmates at the Gallatin County Detention Center as an intern with Building Good Neighbors.




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Carnegie Classified
The prestigious Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education® ranks Montana State University among the Top 5 public, 4-year universities for Very High Research Activity with a STEM-dominant research doctoral program.


WICHE Partnered Program
This graduate program honors the WICHE partnership for students from 15 western states. If you’re a resident of a WICHE state, you qualify for tuition significantly less than standard non-resident tuition. Learn more.


CACREP Certified
All three of Montana State’s Counseling programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), which is required in at least 23 states for the educational requirements for licensure. 




Fund Your Education

The Graduate School at Montana State is dedicated to helping students secure funding to support their time at MSU. Some resources the Department of Health & Human Development and the Graduate School offer includes:

Additionally, teaching assistantships may be available within the Department of Health & Human Development. Counseling assistantships can include a summer appointment in addition to the academic year appointment. Research assistantships may be available with individual faculty members who have funded grants or contracts. Stipends vary depending on the type of appointment, the requirements of the job, the experience of the applicant and available funding.

Human Development Clinic

Candidates in the Counseling program have the opportunity to work at the Human Development Clinic, which is staffed by faculty and graduate students alike. The purpose of the clinic is twofold:

  • to provide low-cost mental health services to the adults and children of the Gallatin Valley and beyond
  • to serve as a training facility for graduate students in marriage and family counseling and mental health counseling. All graduate student counselors are supervised by university faculty who are licensed mental health professionals

All requests for services remain confidential, and those services include individual counseling; couple, child and family counseling; career counseling; Parenting Through Divorce workshops; consultations and referrals; and opportunities for continuing professional development and education.



Careers after Graduation

Counseling alumni embark on a wide range of careers within 10-years of their graduation.

Nearly 72% are working in for-profit and about 16% for private practices. Top industry employers include AllCounseling.com and Bozeman Therapy and Counseling.

Across all career paths the estimated salary of alumni within 10 years of graduation ranges from $30,000 to $150,000 with an average of $60,000 (source of data Academic Analytics).


Admissions Requirements

Note: no GRE Required.

Each program within the Graduate School at Montana State has its own particular requirements for admission, and the Counseling program is not different. To ensure that you start your application on the right foot, please review the admissions requirements for the Counselingprogram. This includes any additional deadlines that the Department of Health and Human Development may have aside from the Graduate School, which does practice rolling admissions.