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Graduate Programs Clinical Counseling

Clinical Counseling

MS - Clinical Counseling

Our program prepares you to be a clinical counselor who provides individual and group therapy in a variety of settings including substance abuse, crisis intervention, marriage and family, children and adolescents, veterans and career counseling.

We have a long tradition of leadership and excellence within the counseling profession. We are at the forefront of meeting the future challenges in the mental health counseling profession as well as satisfying the criteria for certification and licensure.

The Emporia State clinical counseling program was the first mental health program in Kansas accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and is currently one of only three CACREP accredited clinical mental health programs in Kansas.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a clinical counselor?

The American Mental Health Counselors Association (2013) describes clinical mental health counselors as "…highly-skilled professionals who provide flexible, consumer-oriented therapy [and] combine traditional psychotherapy with a practical, problem-solving approach that creates a dynamic and efficient path for change and problem resolution."

How stable is a career in mental health counseling?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, 2012-2013) reported that the need for mental health counselors was expected to grow faster than average from 2010 to 2020 at a pace of 36% nationally and 38% in the state of Kansas. Mental health counselors are now licensed by all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. This growth is expected to increase as the profession increases its advocacy efforts to obtain Medicare reimbursement and full access to the Veteran’s Administration training programs and treatment facilities as well as the training of mental health counselors worldwide.

How much money can a professional clinical counselor earn?

Although wage data regarding all mental health counselors is unavailable and varies depending upon area of specialty and work setting, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, 2012-2013) provides general data regarding the annual salary ranges for mental health counselors. In 2012, the median annual salary for mental health counselors in the United States was $40,080 with a range of $25,400 to $66,600. In Kansas, the annual salary of mental health counselors ranged from $26,500 to $53,100 with a median of $36,900. According to a study conducted by Psychotherapy Finances (as cited by the American Mental Health Counselors Association, 2013), the median cost per session for clinical mental health counselors was $63, compared to a median cost of $75 for psychologists, and $60 for clinical social workers and marriage and family therapists.

What will I be able to do?

Although the practice privileges of mental health counselors vary by state to state, nationalized training standards allow mental health counselors to provide a full range of services including: assessment and diagnosis of mental disorders according to the current edition of the DSM and ICD; individual, group, and family counseling and psychotherapy; treatment planning and utilization review; create and facilitate psycho-educational and prevention programs; crisis management; and consultation.

Where can I practice?

Clinical counselors practice in a variety of settings with diverse populations. They can be specialist or generalist practitioners in private practice, community agencies, managed behavioral health care organizations, integrated delivery systems, hospitals, employee assistance programs, and substance abuse treatment centers.

Is this program accredited?

This program is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Program (CACREP) since 1996. For verification of accreditation status, please check the CACREP directory at

How much does it cost to get a master’s degree in clinical counseling from ESU?

The nationally-recognized Teachers College at ESU has reasonable graduate tuition rates. For an overall program cost estimate, please review ESU's Graduate School Tuition and Fees.

Explore our Programs

Clinical Counseling, Clinical Addictions Counseling Concentration

Concentration, Master of Science

The Master of Science in Clinical Counseling with a concentration in Clinical Addictions Counseling is a hybrid graduate degree, allowing students to complete the program with a combination of on campus and online coursework.

Clinical Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling Concentration

Concentration, Master of Science

Our Master of Science in Clinical Counseling with a concentration in Mental Health Counseling is offered in a hybrid format, allowing students to complete coursework through a combination of online and on campus classes.

Clinical Counseling, Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling Concentration

Concentration, Master of Science

Are you interested in embarking upon a career in the federal, public, tribal, or community rehabilitation sectors? Emporia State University's Clinical Counseling with a Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling Concentration offers four options to study: generalist, deaf and hard of hearing persons, autism spectrum disorder, or autism spectrum disorder post-master's certificate.

Art Therapy and Clinical Counseling, Dual Curriculum

Master of Science

The MS in Clinical Counseling prepares students to serve individuals and families experiencing a range of social justice and wellness concerns. This collaborative endeavor between two graduate programs is designed to allow students to achieve two masters degrees within three years of study. Offered on campus.

Mission + Objectives

The mission of the Clinical Counseling program at Emporia State University is to develop competent, compassionate counselors. This program aims to use evidence based practices to prepare lifelong learners who appreciate diverse experiences, practice self-reflection, and promote the wellness of diverse individuals and systems.

The field of counseling offers exciting and rapidly growing career opportunities, with a variety of specialty areas available for professional practice. The Clinical Counseling program at Emporia State University offers flexibility in preparing candidates, with courses online and at the Emporia campus.

The Clinical Counseling program offers a 60 credit hour curriculum, which meets educational standards as set forth by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP). Clinical Counseling graduates are eligible to apply for several national-level certifications and for professional licensing in Kansas. Depending on which concentration graduates have completed, they typically apply to become NAADAC-certified addiction counselors, the NBCC-nationally certified counselors and/or certified mental health counselors, and/or CRCC-certified rehabilitation counselors.

Degree candidates integrate classic and contemporary counseling theories to establish a professional foundation based on their own worldviews, applying theory and techniques tailored specifically to meet each client’s worldviews. Candidates develop general counseling skills such as establishing the counseling relationship; client needs assessment; substance use screening; individual and group therapy, crisis intervention and trauma care; career counseling; and program evaluation. Each candidate selects a counseling concentration to develop competencies for counseling with specific populations such as substance users; veterans; senior citizens, families, adolescents, and children; and persons experiencing intellectual, emotional, sensory, and/or physical disabilities.

Clinical Counseling candidates engage in 700 clock hours of practical experience in one or more counseling settings, including addiction, emergency shelter, residential, public, and private organizations. Candidates are encouraged to obtain practicum and internship sites suited to their chosen counseling concentration and career interests. Throughout these high-impact learning activities, candidates receive clinical supervision from licensed instructors on a weekly basis.

Admission + Graduation Requirements

From being admitted to the program through what is required for you to finish your degree, this is all the information you need.


Learn about our graduates, their board pass rates, and employment/placement information by reading our Clinical Counseling Outcomes.

Field Experience

As an intern, your field experiences are meant to be the culminating experience in your program. Learn more about the Field Experience.