Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling

Advance your knowledge in a field that can bring immense personal satisfaction as well as excellent career opportunities.

This CACREP-accredited program is designed to prepare you for positions as a mental health counselor in institutional, community, and private practice settings. You'll receive academic preparation and clinical training intended to instill high standards for professional practice. Develop the ability to apply varied approaches, wellness theory, and research to mental health assessment and treatment.

Outcome goals and graduates’ proficiency levels

These results show recent Capella graduates' proficiency levels in the expected learning outcomes for this program. Faculty make this assessment in the capstone course—the final course in which Capella students demonstrate what they’ve learned.

2012-2013 Demonstration of Program Outcomes MS in Mental Health Counseling

  • Non-Performance
  • Basic
  • Proficient
  • Distinguished

  • 0%
  • 20%
  • 40%
  • 60%
  • 80%
  • 100%

Apply mental health counseling theories and research to contemporary clinical practice.
Deliver culturally and ethnicity sensitive counseling and therapy services to clients in practical settings.
Think and write critically in the mental health counseling discipline or professional practice.
Apply the American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics to professional behavior and practice.
Communicate professionally and empathically with others in all professional interactions.
Apply theories, practices, and professional standards to the mental health counseling discipline.


Outcome Demonstrations
Source: Aggregated outcome assessment results from Q32012 – Q22013 capstone courses



Master of Science (MS) in Mental Health Counseling specialization

  • General Mental Health Counseling

Quality and Professional Relevance

  • Capella University' s Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, and Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy programs are accredited by the American Counseling Association's Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) from July 18, 2009 through March 31, 2020. The 2013 Counseling Education Unit Annual Report is available.
  • Capella is the leader in online counseling education and offers a broad portfolio of counseling-related specializations.
  • All members of Capella's counseling faculty hold doctoral degrees from accredited institutions.
  • Graduates across all masters' counselor education specializations have a 79% pass rate on the National Counseling Exam.1
  • Of the Mental Health Counseling graduates surveyed who reported taking a national or state licensure exam, 86% reported passing the exam.2
  • 383 learners graduated from the Mental Health Counseling program between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014.
  • The current completion rate for learners from the Mental Health Counseling program that enrolled in 2008 and 2009, and graduated within 24 quarters, is 34%.3
  • Of those that reported actively seeking employment, 83% of Mental Health Counseling graduates surveyed reported job placement within 180 days of graduation.4
  • 1Capella is notified of exam scores by the exam proctor only if the exam takers identify Capella as a recipient of their scores. 80 out of 101 Capella learners and alumni took and passed the April 2013 NCE exam.

    2Data for exam pass rates were gathered via an alumni survey distributed to alumni that graduated from Capella's CACREP-accredited programs between 1/1/13 and 12/31/13. Out of 104 Mental Health Counseling graduates responding to the Alumni Survey, 73 reported taking a national or state licensure exam, with 63 reporting passing the exam.

    3Completion rate is the percentage of those learners from the 2008 and 2009 cohorts (learners who register for a second course in the uear specified and complete their degree) — who finished their degree within 24 quarters. Within this group, out of 1678 Mental Health Counseling learners, 567 graduated within 24 quarters.

    4Capella does not offer job placement. Data for job placement were gathered via an alumni survey distributed to alumni that graduated from Capella's CACREP-accredited programs between 1/1/13 and 12/31/13. 75 Mental Health Counseling respondents to the Alumni Survey reported actively seeking employment. Of those seeking employment 62 reported being employed within 180 days of graduation.

School of Social and Behavioral Sciences Master's Degree Graduates

Data from graduates across all Social and Behavioral Sciences masters programs have been combined for these Career Outcomes results.

Capella's Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences master's graduates report satisfaction with responsibilities and career growth potential. About 40% of graduates are employed in government/public sector or mental health industries. An additional third are employed in higher education, healthcare, non-profit, or social/community service settings.

Satisfaction with Capella Social & Behavorial Sciences Master's Graduates

Percentage of respondents who answered "satisfied" or "very satisfied"
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q2 2012 – Q1 2013.

Approximately half the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences master's graduates report advancing in their careers or receiving salary increases. They also say assumed a leadership role or changed careers.

Improvement in Skills & Abilities Social & Behavorial Sciences Master's Graduates

Percentage of respondents who indicated they had accomplished each item
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q2 2012 – Q1 2013.

School of Social and Behavioral Sciences Master's Degree Graduates

Data from graduates across all Social and Behavioral Sciences masters programs have been combined for these Student Experience results.

Most graduates of the School of Social & Behavioral Sciences master's degree programs report that earning a master's degree has helped them meet program and career goals. They are likely to recommend Capella to friends and family.

Satisfaction with Capella Social & Behavorial Sciences Master's Graduates

Percentage of respondents who answered affirmatively
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q2 2012 – Q1 2013.

School of Social & Behavioral Sciences master's degree graduates say that they gained valuable skills and abilities which are applicable in a range of professional settings.

Improvement in Skills & Abilities Social & Behavorial Sciences Master's Graduates

Percentage of respondents who rated themselves as "proficient" or "distinguished" on ability to demonstrate the skill or ability on the job.
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q2 2012 – Q1 2013.

Expense, completion, & career information (Gainful Employment)

Capella believes in being clear about the real cost, time, and value of a Capella degree The Gainful Employment disclosures, required by the US Department of Education (ED) (under 34 CFR 688.6 ), provide some information about completion, expenses and occupations based on learners who graduated between July 2013 and June 2014. Most of our students are part-time so they might not take a full course load or attend all 4 quarters each year. We took that into account in calculating these data. For example, we define program length for certificates and master's and doctoral degrees as the number of calendar quarters it takes a typical student to complete a program. The ED has defined time to complete for a Bachelor's degree as 4 years. Program cost is based on the specific pricing structure for each program which is either a cost per credit or a cost per active quarter.

Other related information may be found on the Learning Outcomes, Career Outcomes, and Student Experience tabs on this page.

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Learn more about these values and how they are calculated»

See Gainful Employment data for this program's specializations

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Alumni Success Story Quote

Photo of Miriam Napolitano-Magaw, MS Miriam Napolitano-Magaw, MS

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