Personalized attention. Professional growth. Community impact.

Help fill the growing need for exceptional future mental health counselors by earning your clinical mental health counseling degree. Gain the skills to assess, diagnose, and provide therapeutic interventions for individuals and groups experiencing mental health or emotional difficulties. 

Learn about the foundational aspects of professional counseling, including ethical principles, multicultural competence, and professional standards. Study human development to acquire competency in the analysis of clients, including diagnosis, case conceptualization, and developmental considerations across the lifespan.

Beginning in fall 2024, each course will be held one morning per week, always ending before noon. Courses are primarily face-to-face on campus (one to two courses in the core curriculum plus summer electives will be online or hybrid). This will allow students to focus on their preparation as mental health counselors and balance needs outside of academia.

APPLICATION DEADLINES

Spring Semester: December 1
Summer Semester: April 1
Fall Semester: July 1

Dedicated Faculty

You’ll learn from doctoral-level faculty who are practicing professionals. Their knowledge in a range of specialty areas of study and professional networks leverages extensive field placements where you can meet both program and state criteria for practicum and internships.

Your Career

Graduates who become licensed mental health counselors work in a wide range of mental health service organizations, such as group practices and community counseling centers in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota, as well as in private practice after full licensure.

State Licensure

Our program curriculum meets the licensure requirements for Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota, making obtaining a license in these states easy. If you desire to work in additional states, the program director meets with you individually to ensure licensure eligibility in those locations.

Addiction Track

Add an addictions track to your degree by completing just 3 additional courses required to become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (without adding any time to your overall Counseling degree completion length).

Quick Highlights

  • On-campus morning classes
  • 60 credits, three-year completion
  • Fall, spring, and summer semester start
  • Expand your credentials with an addictions counseling certification with no additional time
  • Meets curriculum licensure requirements for Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota for greater opportunities

Admission Criteria & Eligibility

A holistic admission decision will be based on multiple factors, including your motivation for pursuing this degree, work history, volunteer activities, and other involvement.

  • A minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 (or 2.9 in the last 60 credits)
  • Completion of at least 9 credits in the behavioral sciences

Application Checklist

Requirements, Outcomes & Schedule

This program aligns with CACREP curriculum standards. View the Loras College CMHC Annual Report.

Book a Chat

Schedule a personalized visit or a video chat to learn more about the curriculum, internships, outcomes, enrollment process, etc.

Get in Touch

Megan Henderson 

Graduate Admission

Learn More

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Financial Aid

Advanced degrees are worth the investment. We have options to help you make your educational goal a reality, and financial aid helps open doors for your future.

Tuition & Fees

Understand the costs before applying. Review tuition, fees, and living expenses to create a realistic budget. Financial planning is key for advanced degree success.

Straight Talk from a Duhawk

Loras provided me the small campus experience I was seeking. I was able to form strong social connections, work closely with my instructors, and find employment during and after graduation.

— Brooke Martin, MA, LMHC, DBTC

Frequently Asked Questions

How and when do I receive my license?

Upon completion of our 60-credit master’s degree program—including passing the NCMHCE licensure exam (which students typically take immediately following graduation) and applying to the state for licensure, you will have a tLMHC credential, which you will have for two years while completing 3,000 hours of experience. This is done at a place of employment. After those two years, you would be able to practice independently with an LMHC license.

Does this program require an undergraduate degree in psychology? What are preferred undergraduate majors for admission into the program?

This program does not require an undergraduate degree in psychology. Having either a psychology, education, social work, or equivalent degree is acceptable. Applicants must have completed at least 9 credits of coursework in the behavioral sciences.

How long will it take to receive a decision regarding my application? How will I be notified?

Immediately following receipt of all application materials, your file will be reviewed by the program director to determine whether to move forward with an interview.  You will then be contacted with information about your next steps. After completion of your interview (or after review of your file), you will be notified of an admission decision via email within one week.

Will I be able to work in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, or Minnesota after completion of this program?

The curriculum in this program meets requirements for each of these states for licensure.

What is the format of the classes?

Effective fall 2024, each course will be held just one morning per week, always ending prior to noon, on the beautiful Loras campus (one to two courses in the core curriculum plus summer electives will be online or hybrid). This will allow students the time to both focus on their preparation as mental health counselors and balance needs outside of academia. Practica and internships are primarily field experiences with regular meetings on campus.

Is there a preferred entry point into the program?

White a fall start is preferred, students may choose between spring, summer, or fall terms.

Does the program accept transfer credits?

Students can transfer a maximum of 12 graduate credits into the program from a previous institution. The courses must be comparable in course description and learning outcomes to coursework offered at Loras and approved by the program director.

How long does it take to complete the program?

Most students complete the program within three years by taking three courses per semester and summer electives.

What is the time commitment outside of class?

As a general rule, students will spend four to six hours per week outside of classroom instruction on class-related work for each class.

Will there be an orientation prior to the first class?

Yes, students are required to attend the Graduate Student Orientation prior to beginning coursework so they can become familiar with the faculty, campus services, and their peers.

What is the Clinical Mental Health Counseling PRACTICUM experience like?

The practicum experience is one-hundred hours, occurring during the summer term and allows the student to observe therapists in action as the students become ready to move towards independent practice.

Students will meet with the practicum and internship coordinator to discuss their career goals and which placement locations might best fit their interests. Students will then interview at appropriate sites to help determine their placement.

When entering the practicum and internship experiences, students will need to be prepared to be at their site during the day, with most sites operating only Monday through Friday. While some students continue employment, all will lessen their work hours to at least part-time to allow time to complete these experiences.

Students should be aware that their current employment will not count towards either of these experiences, as they need to be completing activities that mental health counselors complete at their employment. Practicum and Internship experiences in mental health counseling are not paid opportunities.

What is the Clinical Mental Health Counseling INTERNSHIP experience like?

Practicum and internship experiences occur in the last three semesters of the student’s program. Internship occurs during the fall and spring semesters as students move to work with clients individually, with 300 hours of experience during each semester.

Students should plan to be at their site approximately eighteen hours per week with two hours in group supervision class each week. Students will meet with the practicum and internship coordinator to discuss their career goals and which placement locations might best fit their interests.

Students will then interview at appropriate sites to help determine their placement. When entering the practicum and internship experiences, students will need to be prepared to be at their site during the day, with most sites operating only Monday through Friday. While some students continue employment, all will lessen their work hours to at least part-time to allow time to complete these experiences.

Students should be aware that their current employment will not count towards either of these experiences, as they need to be completing activities that mental health counselors complete at their employment.  Practicum and Internship experiences in mental health counseling are not paid opportunities.

Graduate Programs FAQ

What if I’m still finishing up my bachelor’s degree?

Applicants who are undergraduate students in the process of completing a bachelor’s degree may be awarded a provisional acceptance to Loras’ graduate programs based on receipt of your in-progress, unofficial transcript and all other application materials.

Full acceptance is contingent upon receipt of the final, official transcript(s) and the conferred undergraduate degree.

If a program has a minimum GPA requirement, you must meet the minimum GPA at the time the undergraduate degree is conferred for full acceptance.

Is there on-campus housing for graduate students?

Loras-owned housing is available for graduate and postbaccalaureate students in Smyth Hall. Smyth is an alternative residence hall located in the center of campus. Smyth is comprised of single and triple rooms, and is also home to the religious studies and theology faculty. Amenities include:

  • Free laundry facilities (washers and dryers)
  • Free wifi
  • Kitchen (stocked with pots, pans, baking sheets, etc.) on B level

Room Information

  • Rooms contain a bed/dresser/desk unit, desk chair, and wastebasket
  • Beds are XL Twin sized, so students are encouraged to bring extra-long sheets
  • Students may bring a mini-fridge under five cubic feet
  • Heat is included, but A/C is not, so students are welcome to bring their own window air conditioning unit (must be 5000 BTU or less) or else a portable A/C unit.
  • Basic cable is not provided, but students are welcome to bring a streaming device of their choice to use in Smyth.

View current housing costs.

Can I take some courses as a non-degree student?

Individuals who would like to take some graduate courses for professional development, continuing education credits, or just personal enrichment may take up to 9 graduate credits as a non-degree “Special” student.

Special Student Application

Special students may not enroll in practicum, clinical, or internship courses without approval from the program director.

In order to enroll in the course(s):

  1. Complete the free Loras College Special Course Application. Select “Graduate Course” as the Course Registration Type. You will need to upload copies of your unofficial transcript(s) from each college/university attended before submitting the application.
  2. The transcripts will be evaluated by the Program Director to ensure that any necessary pre-requisite course requirements have been met.
  3. After review of the transcript(s), the Registrar’s Office will be in touch with information about your next steps.
    • Please note that enrolled degree-seeking students have registration preference if a course is full.
    • After the completion of 9 non-degree credits, a student must then apply for formal admission into the graduate program in order to move forward and take additional courses.
    • Graduate courses completed by a Special student with a grade of B or better may be applied to a future graduate degree at Loras College with the approval of both the program director and the academic dean.
    • Financial aid is not available to non-degree Special students.
    • Students interested in any of Loras’ Professional Development programs should refer to the individual program webpage for application and enrollment instructions.

Is there an option for conditional admission?

A program director may require specific conditions be completed to meet the program requirements prior to full admission into a graduate program.

You may be awarded a conditional admission if the program director recommends the you complete additional undergraduate coursework to achieve a minimum GPA requirement of the program.

If you have not met all program requirements at the time of application, a student may be awarded a conditional admission per the discretion of the program director. Refer to the individual program policies and program directors for specific conditional admission policies.

What is a maximum course load per semester?

You are considered a full-time graduate student when enrolled in 6 credits per term. Please note,  you only need to take at least 3 credits per term to be eligible for federal financial aid.

May I play a sport while in graduate school?

Graduate students must be enrolled in a degree-seeking master’s program to be eligible to participate in NCAA athletics at Loras.

Student athletes enrolled in one of our degree-seeking master’s programs need to have full-time status (taking at least 6 credits per term) during the semester(s) you’re practicing or competing in the sport. You also need to be making satisfactory progress towards your degree.

If you wants to participate in athletics while being enrolled less than full-time, you will need to work with your coaches to determine if you are eligible for a waiver.

Please note that while 6 credits per term is considered full-time for graduate students at Loras, you only need to take at least 3 credits per term in order to be eligible for federal financial aid.


Meet Your Professors

Lindsey Bartgis  PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Professor Laura Boddicker

Laura Boddicker  PhD, tLMHC, CRC

Assistant Professor of Counseling

Kristin Lauritsen

Kirstin Lauritsen  PhD, LP

Assistant Professor of Psychology
Practicum and Internship Coordinator

Tracy Lipinski, Associate Professor of Counseling

Tracy Lipinski  EdDc, LSC

Assistant Professor of Counseling

Steffanie Schilder  PhD, LP, LMHC, LPC

Associate Professor of Counseling
Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Director