Clinical Mental Health Counseling (M.A.)

About the Mental Health Counseling Program 

Thiel College’s Master of Arts (M.A.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree prepares students to become Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) in the state of Pennsylvania. If you are a compassionate listener with a strong desire to make an impact in the lives of others, then you should consider a career in mental health counseling.

After your Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, you’ll have the choice to work in schools, clinics or as an advocate for the underrepresented and disenfranchised.

Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Pathways

At Thiel College, we offer a traditional Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling as well as an accelerated B.A./M.A. Program. Both programs highlight our commitment to counseling coursework that offers numerous opportunities for peer review and immediate faculty feedback.

Traditional Master’s Program

Graduate students in our Clinical Mental Health Counseling master’s program benefit from the program’s efficient pace, finishing their counseling degree in only 6 semesters. Students are fully prepared to seek counseling licensure in Pennsylvania after they graduate.

Accelerated B.A./M.A. Counseling Program

If you’re eager for your mental health counseling career to begin, then you should consider Thiel’s accelerated B.A./M.A. counseling program. Psychology majors complete three years of undergraduate courses and then seamlessly transition into the Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling which can be completed in 1.5 years. This accelerated process allows you to become an LPC in Pennsylvania faster than at most other schools. Plus, you’ll benefit from Thiel’s commitment to a liberal arts curriculum that develops outstanding creativity, critical thinking skills, and altruistic perspectives.

Mental Health Counseling Careers

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, mental health counseling and related careers are expected to grow 23% from 2020 to 2030, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Federally designated Mental Health Care Professional Shortages Areas in Pennsylvania, including 15+ rural counties and correctional facilities, offer opportunities for graduates with a counseling degree to serve communities in need.

An M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling offers many opportunities for professional growth. Work with teens navigating the path to adulthood, help people undergoing emotional distress or dealing with chronic illness, assist the elderly, even help organizations work more productively or athletes to maximize their performance. Beyond the important work of helping individuals, mental health experts can also help groups of people through research and legislative policy.

Below are just a few options available to you:

  • Elementary and secondary school counselors — Earn an annual mean wage of $78,970* working with children and teens as they navigate their way to adulthood.
  • Individual and family services counselors — Earn an annual mean wage of $85,810* supporting individuals and their families through tough times and ensuring that vulnerable people are safeguarded from harm.
  • Substance abuse counselors — Earn an annual mean wage of $85,870* helping individuals to overcome addiction and helping them find the services and resources they need to succeed.
  • Sports counselors — Earn an average annual wage of $71,645** helping athletes maximize their performance through techniques such as goal setting and imagery exercises, as well helping athletes overcome psychological problems such as anxiety and depression.

Counseling Program Goals

  1. Begin college in an accelerated curriculum that lets you earn a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in as 5 years.
  2. Enter as a graduate student and complete your Master of Arts degree in just six semesters.
  3. Receive live supervision/interactive peer review. Role play various counseling scenarios and get immediate, real-time feedback from faculty and career counselors.
  4. Acquire a solid foundation in the liberal arts that provides a broad perspective and aids in creativity and critical thinking.
  5. Be prepared to seek licensure in Pennsylvania as a Licensed Professional Counselor.

Apply to Thiel’s Counseling Program

If you are interested in applying to Thiel’s M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, request more information, or visit the Apply tab to learn more. 

Ken McCurdy, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, ACS
Ken McCurdy, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, ACS

Professor of Counseling, Program Director, Department Chair


Shannon Deets, Ph.D.
Shannon Deets, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychology


Kristel Gallagher, Ph.D.
Kristel Gallagher, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychology


Natalie Homa, Ph.D.
Natalie Homa, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychology


Admission to the Counseling Graduate Program

The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program officially launches in 2022 offering an accredited graduate counseling degree to students seeking licensure in Pennsylvania. Submit your graduate application to join our first class of Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate students.

Apply today!

Apply Now
Ken McCurdy, PhD, LPC, NCC, ACS

Professor of Counseling, Program Director, Department Chair