MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling


The 60-credit master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MA-CMHC) at Hawaii Pacific University prepares students to work as mental health counselors within a variety of community, medical, educational, and private practice settings. Through rigorous academic coursework and clinical internship training, students learn to competently apply empirically-supported methods of practice, assessment, and treatment. Courses are scheduled on evenings, weekends and/or online to accommodate working students.

What is Clinical Mental Health Counseling?

Mental health counselors (MHCs):

  • work with individuals, families, and groups
  • diagnose, assess and treat behavioral and emotional disorders and promote mental health
  • work in community agencies, hospitals, schools, judicial systems, private practice, and more
  • may be licensed in all 50 states

Are there jobs in Clinical Mental Health Counseling?

Employment prospects for mental health counselors are good in Hawai’i and in many other areas of the United States. The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that a shortage of qualified counselors exists nationally, and expects the employment of mental health counselors to grow much faster than the average of all occupations between 2012 and 2022 (BLS, 2014).

Why earn a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at HPU?

HPU’s MA-CMHC program serves both students looking to become licensed as professional clinical mental health counselors and those seeking to eventually proceed into doctoral programs.

The program is accredited by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC) for the period of September, 2015 through September, 2025. MPCAC emphasizes a scientist-practitioner model of training in psychology.  Accredited programs must demonstrate a commitment to evidence-based practice and ethical and cultural competence.

Hawaii Pacific University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Our program fulfills educational requirements for state licensure in Hawaii and in most other states.  If you want to practice as a LMHC in another state, you should research licensure requirements in the specific states you are interested in. Other states may refer to what are called LMHCs in Hawaii with different terminology, e.g., as Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs)

  • logo