Center for Psychological Studies

Mental Health Counseling

M.S. in Mental Health Counseling

Practicum and Internship Requirements

Practicum and internship is conceived to be that phase of the Master’s in Mental Health Counseling Program in which a counselor-trainee is able to crystallize his or her educational experiences by translating theoretical constructs into practice.  This type of supervised practice in counseling is generally viewed as an experience that assists the prospective counselor to function effectively in a future employment situation.  It serves as a bridge between the theoretical and the real.  It is the first opportunity for the counselor-trainee to apply what he or she has learned from the more didactic portion of the Mental Health Counseling Program.

  1. Three consecutive semesters of clinical, field experience are required to afford students the opportunity of working with a variety of client populations over time.  Students entering practicum/internship training may find it necessary to make special arrangements with their employer, including taking a leave of absence, to fulfill this requirement.  Students will need to arrange their schedules to complete this degree requirement.
  2. Main Campus Students - The practicum and internship each span a full 15-week semester. During Practicum, the student will spend a minimum of 150 hours (10 hrs/week) with a minimum of 40 hours of direct client contact in a community agency setting and participate in a weekly practicum class which will include meeting with an instructor for group and individual supervision. During  Internship  (which will be completed over two continuous semesters) immediately following practicum, students are required to spend a minimum of 600 hours (16-20 hrs/week) with a minimum of 240 hours of direct client contact in a community agency setting and participate in biweekly practicum seminar class.   If an agency where an individual would like to complete practicum does not appear on the main campus approved list, the Associate Director of Clinical Training must be contacted at least five months 46 prior to any semester, so that the possibility of arranging a new placement can be determined.
  3. Field-based Students - Practicum and internship schedules are a departure from the weekend format.  The practicum and internship each span a full 15- week semester.  During Practicum, the student will spend  a minimum of 150 hours (10 hrs/week) with a minimum of 40 hours of direct client contact in a community agency setting and participate in a weekly practicum class which will include meeting with an instructor for group and individual supervision. During Internship (which will be completed over two continuous semesters) students are required to spend a minimum of 600 hours (16-20 hrs/week) with a minimum of 240 hours of direct client contact in a community agency setting and participate in a bi-weekly practicum seminar class.  The practicum and internship seminars typically will be held on evenings during the week. In the field-based format, practicum/internship is scheduled only once during the curriculum for each cluster, and typically after a minimum of 10 courses have been scheduled.  Currently, Practicum is scheduled to begin in the fall semester, with Internship following in the winter and summer semesters.  Each site has a local practicum coordinator who assists in all arrangements for site placements.  Please be advised that during practicum/internship, students typically are also enrolled in regularly scheduled weekend classes.