MEd in Professional Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling Concentration

The MEd in professional counseling, clinical mental health concentration is a 60 credit masters program leading to eligibility as a Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC), the first step towards obtaining the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential in the state of New Jersey. (NOTE: A passing score on the National Certification Exam is required in order to apply for the LAC and/or LPC.) The program consists of a common core of 42 credits, 12 credits specific to mental health counseling, plus six credits of electives.

Currently, in order to be an approved counselor for TRICARE (the military medical system) you must be a fully licensed counselor (LPC) who has graduated from a CACREP accredited Masters program and who has qualified to be a CCMHC. Effective January 1, 2022 a Masters degree from a CACREP accredited Masters program will be required in order to obtain any certification issued by the National Board of Certified Counselors. These certifications include National Certified Counselor (NCC), Certified Clinical Mental Heath Counselor (CCMHC), Master Addictions Counseling (MAC), and National Certified School Counselor (NCSC).

View Required Courses and Course Descriptions in the University Course Catalog
Click here: Professional Counseling: Clinical Mental Health Concentration, MED 

Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and official transcripts from all institutions of higher learning attended.
  • Cumulative grade point average of no less than 2.75 on 4.00 scale or a master’s degree from an approved college/university.
  • Essay
  • Two professional letters of reference.
  • Interview with counseling faculty and writing sample.

Application Deadline

August 1st: Fall semester
December 1st: Spring semester
*Applications received after the deadline will be reviewed on a space availability basis

*International students are advised to apply by:
April 1st: Fall (September intake)
November 1st: Spring (January intake)


Professor Michelle Hinkle
Program Director, Department of Special Education, Professional Counseling, and Disability Studies

Additional Information

In order to graduate from the program students must successfully complete a student portfolio as well as passing the comprehensive exam. In addition, mental health students wishing to apply for the Licensed Associate Counseling (LAC), the first step to the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential, must pass the National Certification Exam (NCE) (the licensing exam in the state of New Jersey). Since the Professional Counseling program is a CACREP accredited program, students may take the NCE at William Paterson University during their internship semester. The exam is typically given in April. After successfully completing 60 credits, the student portfolio, the comprehensive exam, and the NCE, students are eligible to apply for the LAC.

*Please be advised that admissions requirements, curriculum, and course schedules are subject to modification.

There are approximately 102 matriculated students in the Professional Counseling Program (2022-2023). Of those students, approximately 57% identify as female, 12% identify as male, 1% prefer to not disclose that information, and 30% have not responded. The racial make-up of students is approximately 48% White, 12% Black/African American, 4% Hispanic, 2% Asian, 1% American Indian or Alaska Native, 1% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, 1% Multi-Racial, 1% Middle Eastern, and 30% unidentified. Approximately 49% of students reported non-Hispanic origin, while 21% reported Hispanic, Latino, Spanish origin, and 30% did not respond. Approximately 66% of students reported not having a documented disability, 4% reported a documented disability, and 30% did not respond. One percent of students reported veteran status, while 69% reported not being a veteran, and 30% did not respond. No students reported active duty, though 30% did not respond. Two percent (2%) of students are international and 30% did not respond to this status.

Overall, approximately 98% of matriculated students graduate from the program in the expected time frame, three years for full time students and four years for part time students. We have an approximate program completion rate of 98% along with a job placement rate of 95% for our students/graduates. In 2023 there were 9 graduates from the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Concentration and 11 graduates from the School Counseling Concentration. Out of the 20 graduates, 13 students completed the National Counselor Exam (NCE), resulting in a program pass rate of 77%, with Clinical Mental Health Counseling Concentration students achieving an 89% pass rate.