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The Clinical Mental Health (CMH) concentration usually requires eight or nine semesters or about three years, including summers, to complete and consists of coursework, supervised field experiences, and counseling internships. This concentration prepares students with the knowledge and skills necessary to serve a broad range of clients in a multicultural society, interact effectively with colleagues and referral resources, and conduct themselves according to accepted professional, ethical, and legal guidelines.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants must have an undergraduate degree in any major from an accredited institution and apply through the UAB Graduate School. Admission candidates must also have a GPA of 2.75 or higher and must submit an official transcript, and a personal statement. International applicants must also submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores to the Graduate School.

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Coursework and Degree Requirements

CMH students take courses in Lifespan Human Development, Theories of Individual Counseling, Social and Cultural Diversity, Assessment and Diagnosis of Mental Disorders, and Foundations of Substance Abuse, among others. They sit for a comprehensive examination after they have completed their core courses and are required to attend eight sessions of personal counseling themselves before beginning their clinical experiences. Not only must students participate in a supervised field experience and internship, but they must also make a presentation at a state or regional conference prior to graduation.

Clinical Experiences

All students pursuing a master's degree and concentrating on clinical mental health must complete three clinical experiences (a total of 9 semester hours) through supervised fieldwork (ECG 695 Practicum II) and counseling internships (ECG 697). Students will upon graduation have the requisite number of hours to qualify for licensure. The Clinical Placement Coordinator works closely with students to identify training opportunities best suited to their interests and career goals. CMH graduate students have interned at sites as varied as the Amelia Center, the Chilton Shelby Mental Health Center, the Hillcrest Behavioral Health Hospital, the UAB Student Health and Wellness Center, the UAB Palliative, and Comfort Care Unit, and the UAB Inpatient Addiction Recovery Program.

Career Opportunities

Graduates who hold a master’s degree with a CMH concentration meet the academic requirement for licensure and are prepared to take the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE). They must pass the NCE exam and submit a completed application to the Alabama Board of Examiners (ABEC) in order to earn the designation of Associate Licensed Counselor (APL). Associate Licensed Counselors must then complete, among other requirements, 3,000 hours of supervised clinical practice in order to qualify for the designation of Licensed Professional Counselor.

Licensed Professional Counselors work in hospitals, inpatient and outpatient substance abuse rehabilitation facilities, mental health facilities, non-profit agencies, residential care facilities, halfway houses, and private and group practices.

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