"The thanatology program at Hood allowed me to switch careers and to redirect my time, energy, and self into something that felt meaningful"
- Health Sciences
The CACREP accredited master's degree in counseling, with a clinical mental health counseling specialty, provides a clear path to licensure, required to practice counseling professionally in Maryland (LCPC) and neighboring states. Coursework can be planned to include specialty training in gerontology or thanatology.
The mission of the Master of Science in Counseling program at Hood College is to prepare motivated students for professional careers as counseling practitioners in the specialty areas of clinical mental health counseling and school counseling. We accomplish this by providing rigorous academic coursework and exemplary field training according to the exceptional standards set forth by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP). Our program also provides students with the unique opportunity to cultivate additional expertise in the disciplines of thanatology or gerontology. We especially wish to inspire and prepare our students to use scholarly and research literature to inform their practice of counseling.
The program is intended to prepare individuals to work in community mental health programs, hospitals, substance abuse clinics, at-risk youth programs, social services agencies, private counseling practices and similar settings. Instructional domains include: foundations; counseling, prevention, and intervention; diversity and advocacy; assessment; research and evaluation; diagnosis; collaboration and consultation; and leadership.
The 60-credit program was accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP) in Summer 2019, through 2021.
Faculty members are subject-matter experts whose scholarly and real-world experiences ensure that instruction is grounded in academic knowledge and practical application. Small classes mean close interaction with instructors, rich discussion among students and the kind of meaningful experiences that result from a community-based learning environment.
Late afternoon, evening and weekend classes accommodate working adults. Courses may be taken on a full-time or part-time basis; students are encouraged to consider how they will balance the requirements of coursework and practicum/internship with other commitments.
NOTE: Students should be aware that the clinical, occupational, and emotional demands of practicum and internship can make simultaneous full-time employment challenging. Few sites offer evening and weekend hours, and students are expected to be as flexible as possible. Students receive extensive support from faculty in identifying and securing a site, however placements and specific scheduling needs are not guaranteed. Applicants should speak to faculty for further information.
The Department of Psychology and Counseling offers a five-year, dual-degree (B.A./M.S.) for motivated, academically-talented students. For more information on this dual-degree option, click here.
If you are interested in working with marginalized communities, explore our HRSA Scholarship, which promotes diversity of licensed counselors in under-served regions of the country. This opportunity is generously funded by a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). To learn more, simply select the option that indicates you are interested in applying for the HRSA Scholarship on the online application for admission to our clinical mental health program. Your complete application is not a guarantee of funding.
Matriculation Requirements. The Master of Science degree in Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) specialty, is a 60-credit program. The Program of Study (see M.S. Counseling, CMHC Program of Study below) outlines required coursework. Students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) in order to be in good academic standing and eligible for grade completion. If a student’s GPA falls below 3.0, that student must restore the GPA to a 3.0 within 9.0 credits completed from the term in which the GPA fell below a 3.0. See the Grade Expectations and Appeal Policy section within the student handbook for more information. All coursework and degree requirements must be met within seven (7) years of enrolling in the first course at Hood College. Students may transfer up to nine (9) credits from another institution if approved by the academic adviser and program director. Failure to receive approval for course substitutions prior to enrollment may result in a delay in program completion.
In addition to coursework, students are expected to demonstrate a range of skills in the areas of academic competence, counseling skills, and appropriate interpersonal behavior. These skills must be mastered in order to successfully complete all program requirements. Students who do not meet these expectations will be called upon for remediation and, in cases of gross misconduct, dismissal from the program. Failure to successfully complete a professional development or remediation plan is also means for dismissal. See the Student Retention, Remediation, Appeal, and Dismissal Policies section within the section within the Student Handbook for more information.
Program of Study. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program of Study (also detailed below under M.S. Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program of Study) outlines required coursework for completion of the 60-credit program. Program completion requires students to take 27 credits of core coursework, 12 credits of coursework related to Clinical Mental Health Counseling, 12 credits of electives, and complete a 700/hour practicum and internship.
New Student Orientation. During the first semester of enrollment, all students are required to attend the Hood College Graduate School and Counseling Program New Student Orientation. During this orientation, students will meet core faculty and receive information and policies related to the Counseling Program and curricula, students’ ethical and professional obligations, personal growth expectations as counselors-in-training, and eligibility for licensure/certification.
Faculty Advisement. Students will have an assigned faculty advisor at all times during the program. Students will develop a planned program of study with their faculty advisor during the first semester of enrollment and meet with their advisor at least once (at a minimum) a year to review their progress and development. In addition to enrollment decisions, faculty advisors assist students in identifying opportunities for professional involvement, activities appropriate for students, expectations of students, policies and procedures of both the College and Counseling Program and assist with other relevant questions.
Faculty advisors review and approve all student registration information for each semester. Students are strongly encouraged to work directly with their faculty advisor in regard to course enrollment.
Assessment of Students. Each student’s progress throughout the program is assessed by examining student learning in relation to a combination of knowledge and skills. This assessment process includes an evaluation of student learning in relation to eight core areas of counseling and three core areas related to each student’s specialty area (i.e., CMHC or School Counseling). These areas directly correspond to the Hood College Counseling Program Objectives (see MS Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Objectives below). To measure student development towards these core areas, Key performance indicators (KPIs) are evaluated regularly (typically three times) as students’ advance through the program curricula. KPIs are primarily assessed via Key Assignment Performance Indicators (KAPAs) which are included as course assignments. Students and faculty use this information to help students develop the appropriate knowledge and skills they need to enter the counseling profession. Identified areas of strength and deficiency will be reviewed with students and, as needed, professional development plans assigned. Information from this assessment process is also used, in aggregate form, to identify programmatic trends, systematically assess program objectives, and as part of the program’s annual review.
Professional Dispositions. In addition to core knowledge and skills related to professional counseling, students are also assessed at different points of the program based on professional dispositions they need to enter into the counseling profession. Professional dispositions are assessed by students, faculty, and (as applicable) site supervisors as part of the Comprehensive Evaluation of Student Progress (CES-P). Counseling dispositions and professional behaviors are based on the CACREP Standards for entry-level counseling professionals (CACREP 2016, Section 2.F; Section 5.C; and Section 5.G) and the American Counseling Association (ACA) 2014 Code of Ethics (https://www.counseling.org/resources/aca-code-of-ethics.pdf). Identified areas of strength and deficiency will be reviewed with students and, as needed, professional development plans assigned.
Student Evaluation. Students have regular, systematic opportunities to formally evaluate program faculty and site supervisors. Course evaluations are administered through the Hood College Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (OIRA) at the end of each class. Students enrolled in COUN 596 Practicum, COUN 597 Internship I, and COUN 598 Internship II will complete a site supervisor and faculty supervisor evaluation. This information is used at both the course and programmatic level, along with student assessment data, to help program faculty reflect on aspects of the program that work well and those that need improvement. Completion of all assessment data (course evaluations, site supervisor evaluations, and the CES-P) is integral to informing programmatic and curricular decisions. See Appendix A within the Student Handbook (see Handbooks & Manuals below) for a copy of the CES-P (student version).
Note: Upon graduation from the program, graduates and employers of program graduates will be asked to complete a survey designed to evaluate the program’s overall effectiveness as related to the Hood College Program Outcomes.
November 1 application deadline
Interview day is November 13
March 15 priority* application deadline
Priority interview day TBD
May 15 regular application deadline
Regular interview day TBD
*The strongest applicants will be invited to an interview soon after the priority deadline, while other applicants may be invited to an interview following the regular deadline based on departmental scheduling and the size of each applicant pool.
"The thanatology program at Hood allowed me to switch careers and to redirect my time, energy, and self into something that felt meaningful"
"I am fascinated with anything relating to psychopathy and I would love to one day teach or present on the subject covering the myths, the facts, and how important it is to understand the concept of psychopathy in the counseling field"
"My program faculty helped with both my practicum and internship placement. Hood provides opportunities for us to network by hosting multiple events within the counseling profession."
Admission to the clinical mental health counseling specialty master’s program requires a minimum undergraduate GPA. of 3.0. Undergraduate coursework in psychology is strongly recommended.
Individuals applying to the clinical mental health counseling master’s program are required to submit:
All application materials should be submitted by the Counseling application deadlines.
Applicants will be contacted to schedule an interview, with online or video interviews used for applicants who live more than two hours from campus.
* Please note that a maximum of 9 credits can be transferred into the program.
The curriculum is designed to conform to standards set by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP). and, for students in the School Counseling specialty, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).
Upon completion of the Hood College Master of Science in Counseling program, graduates will be able to:
Upon completion of the Counseling, M.S., Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialty, graduates will be able to*:
* Program Outcomes 9-11 are intentionally omitted, these apply to the School Counseling Specialty Area
Nine core courses (27 credit hours) provide a common body of knowledge for all students in the program. These courses provide a solid foundation for further specialized study in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
COUN 500 Human Development as a Lifelong Process
COUN 501 Professional, Legal, and Ethical Responsibilities
COUN 502 Social and Cultural Foundations of Counseling
COUN 503 Lifestyle and Career Development
COUN 504 Counseling Techniques
COUN 505 Group Dynamics, Processing, and Counseling
COUN 506 Research and Program Evaluation
COUN 511 Theory and Principles of Counseling
COUN 534 Tests and Measurements
Required Specialty Courses
Four courses (12 credits) provide further specialized knowledge, skills and training necessary to address a wide variety of circumstances within the context of Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
COUN 530 Alcohol and Drug Counseling
COUN 531 Diagnosis & Psychopathology
COUN 532 Advanced Counseling Techniques
COUN 533 Marriage & Family Counseling
Practicum and Internship Courses (Required)
These courses provide professional practice opportunities for students to learn to apply theory and develop their counseling skills under supervision.
COUN 596 - Practicum
*Practicum includes 100 hours total (40 hours direct service) at site
COUN 597 - Internship I
COUN 598 Internship II
*Internship I & Internship II includes 600 hours total (240 hours direct service) at site
Students will select elective courses totaling 12 credits that will allow them to also complete one of the 12-credit graduate certificate programs currently offered by the Department of Psychology (in Gerontology or Thanatology). These certificate programs provide students with the opportunity to gain specialized expertise in working with older adults or with those who are terminally ill/bereaved.
COUN 507 Trauma & Crisis Intervention
COUN 520 Introduction to Thanatology
COUN 521 Grief and Loss
COUN 523 Dying & Principles of Care for the Dying
COUN 528 Developmental Perspectives in Thanatology
COUN 543 Counseling Youth
COUN 554 Social Gerontology
COUN 555 Psychological Aspects of Aging
COUN 556 Health and Aging
COUN 575 Independent Study
COUN 590 Teaching Assistantship
COUN 595 Independent Research Project
COUN 599 Special Topics in Counseling
A student who wishes to earn master’s degrees in both and Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling would be required to complete all specialty courses and a 600-hour internship within both the first and second specializations. Additional state requirements for licensure eligibility in the second specialization may apply.
Program Evaluation Outcomes Report – Spring 2018
The Hood College M.S. Counseling Program conducts an annual program review to comprehensively evaluate overall program effectiveness. This review includes a thorough assessment of knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions for both current students as well as recent graduates. Data points include evaluations from site supervisors, alumni employers, and our Program Advisory Board. This evaluation data is used to help program faculty reflect on aspects of the program that work well and those that need improvement. Our results serve to inform programmatic and curricular decisions. The Program Evaluation Outcomes Reports is a condensed report of findings from the Hood College Annual Program Review. Questions regarding the report can be directed to Hood Counseling Program Director, Dr. Andrew Campbell (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In compliance with the Council for the Accreditation for Counseling and related Educational Programs (CACREP) the following vital statistics are being made available for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) and School Counseling programs. These numbers are based on Spring 2018 data and will be updated annually.
Total Enrolled: 71
School Counseling: 26
Clinical Mental Health Counseling: 45
2017-2018 Graduates: 9
Completion Rate: 100%
Licensure/Certification Pass Rate: 100%
Job Placement Rate: 88%
Graduate Enrollment Trends
As part of Hood's Counseling Program Community Engagement Plan, graduate enrollment trends are provided to illustrate an increased focus on student diversity and an intentional commitment to active, intentional efforts to attract, enroll, and retain a diverse group of students.
The information included below is useful to prospective, current, and even graduates in that it provides you with a plethora of information. Please note, however, these handbook/manuals do not contain the complete and exact text of all rules, regulations, policies, and procedures that relate to graduate students at Hood College. The Hood College Catalogue also contains policies, procedures, and information about services for graduate students and should be used in conjunction with this program-specific handbook.
The Hood College Counseling Student Handbook includes a detailed description of program mission and program objectives; faculty information; plan of study for CMHC and School Counseling; matriculation requirements; and program and university policies (including expectations of students and policies related to endorsement, academic appeals, retention, and remediation. The handbook also provides information about licensure and certification; professional counseling organizations; and opportunities for professional involvement. Students will find a long listing of recommended resources for personal counseling at the end of the Student Handbook. We encourage ALL students to go through the handbook multiple times throughout the program, as it provides valuable information at different points in your learning.
Student Handbook (Spring 2019)
Student Handbook (Fall 2018)
Practicum & Internship Training Manual
The purpose of the Practicum & Internship Training Manual is to provide detailed information about the field experience requirements within the Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling M.S. programs at Hood College. Students, field site supervisors, agency representatives, and faculty instructors involved in the practicum and internship process should all familiarize themselves with the content of this manual and bring any questions to the Practicum and Internship Coordinator (PIC). It is the responsibility of each student embarking on practicum and internship to be aware of the requirements, policies, and procedures guiding these experiences, as outlined in this document. Additional questions and clarifications can be addressed with Dr. Megan Shaine, Practicum and Internship Coordinator (email@example.com).
Practicum Internship Manual (Spring 2019)
Practicum & Internship Manual (Fall 2018)
Hood College does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender identity or gender expression, marital status, pregnancy, disability, religion, or age in recruitment, admission and access to, or treatment, or employment in its programs, services, benefits, or activities. The Counseling Program is committed to supporting the social and academic experience of students of color and underrepresented minority students.
Clinical mental health counselors are highly-skilled professionals who provide flexible, consumer-oriented therapy. They combine traditional psychotherapy with a practical, problem-solving approach that creates a dynamic and efficient path for change and problem resolution.All Faculty