Change futures with an online master’s in clinical mental health counseling from Marquette

Discover your purpose and the tools to make a difference in lives and communities

Our online Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is built on a tradition of excellence and commitment to working in diverse settings. In the Marquette mental health counseling program, you will gain the insights and experience to pursue a thoughtful and fulfilling career as a clinical mental health counselor—with the flexibility and convenience of an online program.

Whether you choose to specialize in child and adolescent counseling or pursue our general track, you will be focusing on growth and development, improving the quality of lives, identifying the strengths and tools your clients need to succeed, and the issues and mental health concerns that hold them back.

Program details

  • Complete in as few as 3 years
  • 60 credits
  • 18 required courses
  • 2 elective courses

  • Three opportunities to start per year
  • Pursue general track or the child and adolescent counseling specialization
  • CACREP accredited

An online mental health counseling degree creates diverse opportunities for a meaningful career.

Clinical mental health counselors work in various settings, including community health centers, hospitals, outpatient and residential mental health centers, prisons and private practice. The scope of their work is broad and depends in part on the specific work setting. Areas of practice might include behavioral or substance abuse interventions, and supporting clients with parenting, interpersonal, coping and collaborative skills.

Specific licensing requirements vary from state to state, but mental health counselors typically require a degree in higher education, including a master's degree. Some states require counselors to earn their master’s degree from a CACREP accredited program such as Marquette’s. Counselors also are required to complete an internship to sit for licensing exams.2

Man and woman hugging in group counseling session

Alan Burkard, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology
The CMHC program is grounded in the Jesuit tradition of intellectual inquiry and service to others, dedicated to fostering personal and professional excellence for our students
Alan Burkard, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

Choose counseling for a richly rewarding career helping people.

Mental health care in the United States is in dire condition– but you can help by becoming a mental health counselor. A 2022 report by the American Psychological Association found that 60% of psychologists had no availability for new patients and nearly 40% were maintaining waitlists, with some lists extending up to 49 people long. While the increased adoption of telehealth services are helping to improve Americans’ access to mental health services, counselors are needed across community settings to guide clients through managing substance abuse, behavioral disorder and other mental health counseling needs.3

The field of behavioral health can be rewarding both figuratively and literally. Mental health counselors can earn an average of $83,833 annually.4 Plus, counseling is a promising and fast-growing field, growing at 22%, a rate much-faster-than-average for all industries. That means you can expect a large volume of mental health professional job openings for the next ten years at least.2

If you like to interact with and help people, and you’re driven more by helping your fellow human beings than by just earning a paycheck, the Marquette online Master’s in Clinical Mental Health counseling can help you create a richly rewarding career in the setting of your choice.

Take your next career step

Specialize in child and adolescent counseling

Dive deep into the unique counseling techniques for working with children by pursuing our specialization option. In the same 60 credits required of the general track, you will prepare in class and on site in your practicum and internship courses for a career helping young people face life’s challenges.

Why Choose Marquette for your online master’s in counseling?

Like you, Marquette University is purpose-driven and focused on creating empowerment through knowledge. Our transformative programs for mental health counseling are grounded in the Jesuit tradition of intellectual inquiry and service and are dedicated to fostering personal and professional excellence for our students.

At Marquette, we are committed to promoting social justice. This university-wide promise stresses the importance of diversity and multicultural influences in our programs and in the research, teaching and practice of counseling for mental health professionals.

Marquette’s online master’s in mental health counseling curriculum combines academic rigor with the flexibility of an online program. After earning your degree, you will be poised to lead a limitless life, with your professional and personal success based on helping others. You will also be prepared to meet the educational requirements for mental health counseling licensure as a licensed professional counselor in Wisconsin and many other states.

Read more

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Dr. Krystyne Mendoza
As professors in this program, we are counselors. Thus, we are considerate, understanding, and wholeheartedly supportive of students and do all that we can to support their growth and learning. Becoming a counselor is a professional journey, but it is also a personal journey, and we understand that as we also went through it in our training.
Dr. Krystyne Mendoza | Clinical Assistant Professor, Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

We’re here for you, wherever you are.

When you enroll as a student in our clinical mental health counseling master’s degree program, you will be assigned a dedicated Student Success Coordinator. This committed partner will work with you throughout the mental health counseling program and can help you understand and meet important deadlines, resolve any technical challenges that arise, strategize your course selections and more.

Courses for the online master’s in counseling are organized in an intuitive digital learning management system, D2L, designed to foster collaboration and allow more open communication between your peers and instructors. You can use D2L to complete course work, track your grades, view lectures, participate in discussions and submit assignments.

By choosing an online format to earn your master’s in clinical mental health counseling, you will have the flexibility to take classes from wherever you are. Our online program provides the same rigorous course work as our on-campus clinical mental health counseling program.

We’re dedicated to your success.

Earning your master’s degree is vital to being eligible for licensure and becoming an effective counselor. Marquette’s master’s in clinical mental health counseling graduates consistently achieve high pass rates on their licensing examinations. Based on data from the 2023 cohort of 47 on-campus students (with the same curriculum and requirements as the online program), Marquette University students had an 83% pass rate on the national counseling exam compared to 81% of counseling students nationally. Additionally, 100% of Marquette’s counseling students, who were actively seeking employment and responded to an alumni survey, obtained positions within 90 days of receiving their degrees.

Be The Difference with help from an exceptional institution.

Attend one of the country’s top universities for quality and value1 without leaving home. Get an education that prepares you for a fulfilling mental health counseling career and a purposeful life.


Best Value Schools1


Top 100 National Universities1

What you will learn in Marquette’s CACREP accredited online mental health counseling program:

  • Understand the foundations of behavior through biological, psychological, social and cultural lenses and evidence-based approaches to individuals and groups
  • Gain a grounding in the professional, ethical and legal standards of the profession
  • Serve as an advocate for the mental healthcare of underserved individuals and communities
  • Build critical practices, such as self-awareness and reflection, into your role as a counselor
  • Understand clinical mental health counseling prevention and treatment for individuals as well as groups

View Curriculum


Complete your online master’s in counseling in as little as three years.

Marquette’s online mental health counseling program is granted on successful completion of 60 credit hours of classes. State licensing requirements often require practicum and internship experiences, and those are built into our program. The three-year degree timeline includes practicum and internship experiences taken in the latter part of the program.

Practicum and internship opportunities provide students with hands-on experience in assessment, diagnosis, intervention, prevention and consultation. Marquette mental health counseling program faculty and staff are committed to helping you find internship and practicum opportunities that suit your career interests, in the Milwaukee area or wherever you’re located.

Most course work for the master’s in counseling can be completed on your schedule, although some courses have synchronous components. Synchronous sessions provide important opportunities for students and instructors to discuss and develop impactful counseling skills, including live response and interactive role-play.

Our faculty are experts in human development, multiculturalism, addictions, family, group and trauma counseling. They bring expertise and knowledge gained from providing support in diverse environments to their instruction.

Admissions deadlines
Priority application deadline
July 15
Fall 2024 term
Application deadline
August 12
Fall 2024 term
Next start
August 26
Fall 2024 term
Questions? Let’s connect.