FDU CMHC Program Mission and Diversity Statement

The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, a CACREP ((Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs) accredited program prepares its graduates for the professional practice of counseling in a variety of work settings such as universities, community agencies, clinics, hospitals, drug abuse centers, child protective services, private practice, business, and industry. The program also prepares highly competent counseling professionals — including entry-and advanced-level counselors, counseling researchers and counseling administrators-to have a significant impact on the mental  health field as counselors, program directors, researchers, grant writers and policy makers on the local, state and national levels. With those goals in mind, the students are trained in a broad spectrum of issues including: assessment, diagnosis, individual, group, and family counseling, consulting, and advocacy skills. In addition, students acquire an understanding of crisis intervention strategies, psychopharmacology, the mental health delivery system, the effective use of data in helping clients make informed choices, and the influence of gender differences, social problems, age, and cultural diversity on the emergence of various problems and symptoms.

Central to the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is respect for diversity and for values different from one’s own world view. The valuing of diversity is also consistent with the profession of counseling as mandated by the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics. There had been an increasing need for counselor to actively work and advocate for social justice and prevent oppression in our society. Thus, our Admissions 0bjective is to recruit and to admit students to our academic training program who represent multicultural communities that contain people of diverse racial, ethnic, and class backgrounds; national origins; religious, spiritual, and political beliefs; physical abilities; ages; genders; gender identities, sexual orientations; and physical appearance. Counselors believe training experiences are enhanced by member’s openness to learning about others who are different from them as well as acceptance of others.

In order to apply what they have learned in the classroom students will, in consultation with, and the approval of the Coordinator of Practicum/Internship, procure a Practicum and Internship site, and complete 100 hours of Practicum and 600 hours of internship at a mental health counseling site. Experiences will be arranged with the Coordinator of Practicum/Internship and the student will be supervised both ‘on-site’ and on campus by licensed personnel.

The program is a 60-credit degree program. The program is based on the Practitioner Researcher model and meets current educational requirements for the Marriage and Family Therapy Examiners Board for Licensure as a licensed associate counselor (LAC) and licensed professional counselor (LPC) in the State of New Jersey and reflects curriculum requirements of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The program prepares students for, but does not  guarantee licensure as a professional counselor in NJ since the program faculty and FM have no authority over the licensure process.

FDU CMHC Program Objectives

  • Students demonstrate theoretical knowledge of the professional literature that forms the scholarly and practical foundation of counseling and development.
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of and assume roles and functions consistent with the professional identity of counselors.
  • Students will apply and demonstrate appropriate counseling and crisis intervention skills with individuals, families, and groups.
  • Students mill exhibit knowledge of group development, dynamics, leadership styles, and counseling methods and skills.
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of and the ability to form effective helping relationships with diverse individuals, families, and groups.
  • Students demonstrate the ability to conduct intake interviews with mental status assessment and to utilize the DSM-V to provide an accurate diagnosis of presenting mental health issues.
  • Students will demonstrate competence in applying theories and models in the conceptualization of client difficulties and the development of treatment plans.
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of and maintain the ethical standards of ACA and the legal standards of the profession.
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of basic classifications, indications, and contra indications of psychopharmacological medications.
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge about research design and implementation and use counseling research and evaluation results to guide counseling practice.
  • Students will apply knowledge of research and assessment techniques in their counseling work and in the assessment of programmatic outcomes and effectiveness.
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of the pragmatic concerns (e.g., managed care and budget constraints) facing the mental health field today.
  • Students will exhibit personal and professional behaviors, skills, and attitudes conductive to effective counseling and professional development.
  • Students will demonstrate competence in effectively gathering, analyzing, interpreting and presenting case materials about their clients in written and oral presentation forms.

Counseling Program/Student Outcomes 2018-2019

  • number of graduates in the past year: 23
  • completion rate: 100%
  • licensure exam pass rate: 100%
  • job placement rate of graduates within 180 days of graduation: 89%

Professional Licensure and Certification

Professional licensure and certification requirements may vary state to state, and are subject to change. In addition, separate from educational requirements, state licensure boards may require applicants to complete other requirements. Students should contact the appropriate licensing agency in each home state to obtain the most up-to-date information.

FDU’s Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program meets or exceeds academic requirements for the LAC, LPC, and equivalent licenses in all but 3 states in the US. These 3 states are: California (requires a list of nine courses in addition to those required by CACREP), Florida (requires additional courses on the state’s laws and rule regarding counseling and a 2-hour course on preventing medical errors), and New York (requires a course on identifying and reporting child abuse.) The program prepares students to complete the National Counselor Examination (NCE) or the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examinations (NCMHCE). Please refer to the appropriate state for your work to determine if you should complete the NCE or the NCMHCE for licensure.

Admission requirements

  • Graduation from an accredited college or university.
  • If an applicant’s undergraduate degree was NOT in psychology, he/she must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in their major. If the applicant does not have an undergraduate psychology major they must have had 12 credits in psychology including the following (with a grade of B or better):
    • general psychology
    • developmental psychology
    • abnormal psychology
    • three additional credits
  • No GRE scores required.
  • Submission of official undergraduate and graduate transcript(s).
  • Submission of three letters of recommendation.
  • Completion of a Fairleigh Dickinson Graduate School Application form.
  • A written personal statement of professional goals.
  • A personal interview which will be scheduled after submission of application. At this time, a short writing sample will be completed by the applicant.

Degree Plan

The MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a 60-credit degree. The counseling program is based on the practitioner/researcher model valued in the mental health professions. It meets the educational requirements of the Professional Counselors Examiners Committee for licensure as a licensed associate counselor (LAC) and licensed professional counselor (LPC) in the State of New Jersey and also meets the educational requirements of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

The CMHC MA offers the option of two additional specializations. Both the school counselor and addiction specializations are 63-credit degrees. To be clear these are SPECIALIZATIONS, not separate certifications.

Clinical Course Sequence

Comprehensive Exam

NOTE: Course Syllabi Available Upon Request, please email j_wilson@fdu.edu



Clinical Assistant Professor
Email: elliotte_harrington77@fdu.edu
Phone: 973-443-8553


Assistant Professor
Email: alwin_wagener22@fdu.edu
Phone: 973-443-8549


Email: madonna_nunez@fdu.edu
Phone: 973-443-8550


Assistant Professor
Email: thomas_conklin@fdu.edu
Phone: 973-443-8730

Course Descriptions