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 Counseling1, 2 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.3
  • 368 learners graduated from the Mental Health Counseling program between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013.
  • The current completion rate for learners from the Mental Health Counseling program that enrolled in 2007 and graduated within 24 quarters is 35%.4
  • 17% of Mental Health Counseling graduates surveyed reported job placement within 180 days of graduation.5

1Capella University cannot guarantee licensure, endorsement, certification, authorization, other professional credential or salary advancement. State regulations and professional credential standards vary. It is the learner's responsibility to understand and comply with requirements for their states and professional associations. For more information on licensure, see: http://www.capella.edu/counseling-psychology-degrees/licensure/.

2Graduates of this program are not eligible for licensure in South Carolina. Learners residing in South Carolina should check with the state licensing agency for specific requirements for professional licensure.

3Capella 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.

4 Completion rate is the percentage of those learners from the 2007 cohort (learners who register for a second course in the year specified and complete their degree) who finished their degree within 24 quarters. Out of the 870 learners that registered, 307 graduated within 24 quarters.

5 Capella does not offer job placement. Percentages reported for job placement rates are based on alumni self report of career accomplishments. Sources: Individual alumni reports to faculty. Out of 368 alumni who graduated between 7/1/12 and 6/30/13, 61 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.

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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 (DOE) (under 34 CFR 688.6 ), provide some information about completion, expenses and occupations based on learners who graduated between July 2012 and June 2013. 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 DOE 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»

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Alumni Success Story Quote

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

"I cherish the time I had at Capella. The education far exceeded anything I expected."

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