Professional Mental Health Counseling Masters Degrees

Master of Arts in Professional Mental Health Counseling

Program Details

Credits: 60 semster hours
Program Length: 7 semesters, minimum (part-time and full-time study available)
Program Start: Fall only
View program of study in current course catalog
View admissions requirements and deadlines
Program Directors:  Amy Rees, PhD, Stella Kerl-McClain, PhD



Our 60-credit Master of Arts degree program allows students to emphasize working with either children/adolescents or adults and to choose from a rich array of electives to begin gaining expertise in areas of special interest. A majority of states now require a 60-credit degree for licensing and this degree program makes this prospect readily available to our students.

Programs in Professional Mental Health Counseling prepare students to become mental health counselors who work in a variety of settings such as community mental health clinics, schools, hospitals, the corrections system, community colleges, colleges and universities,  residential treatment centers, and private practice.  

Courses emphasize grounding in human development, multiple theoretical perspectives, and empirically-informed practices. Classes offer opportunities to apply knowledge to realistic client problems and counseling situations. Classroom interaction with peers and faculty contributes to developing professional skills, the ability to accept feedback, learn from supervision, and  develop an expanding network of peers. The variety of personal, cultural and educational backgrounds and views of our students enhance classroom discussions and enrich your educational experience. Faculty members use diverse instructional approaches and are committed to continuing reflective practice to increase our effectiveness in preparing professional counselors.  

In addition to all required courses, students complete at least two semester hours of elective credit in one of these focus areas:

  • Counseling LGBTQ clients 
  • Feminist therapies 
  • Mind/body/spirit/creativity 
  • Community and professional advocacy 
  • Eating disorders
  • Ecotherapies

Electives meeting each focus requirement are determined on a yearly basis; a list is available from the program director(s). Elective courses include, for example, Expressive Arts Therapy, Somatic Psychology, The Human-Animal Bond, Advocacy and Activism, Environmental Identity and Ecological Self, Critical Theory and Liberation Psychology, and Feminist Therapies. Students work with their advisors to select the most appropriate array of electives.

Strong partnerships with approximately 100 community organizations extend our learning environment beyond the campus (into the many settings in which counselors and client meet, work, and live). Through internship work in these settings, students learn by applying their knowledge and skills under supportive supervision and feedback. In these experiences, students expand their knowledge, gaining valuable early experience and develop confidence in becoming a professional counselor.

Our programs are designed to meet the requirements of the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists. The program is accredited by the Council for Counseling and Counseling Related Educational Programs (CACREP), which is the leading national accreditation body for master’s-level professional counselors.  

Students have the option of pursuing part- or full-time study. Classes are scheduled mostly in the evenings and afternoons to serve those who work while obtaining a degree. By attending Lewis & Clark you will join a supportive community of colleagues who often continue their relationships in their professional lives beyond graduate school.

Psychology Background Requirement

The Professional Mental Health Counseling and Professional Mental Health Counseling—Specialization in Addictions programs expect applicants to be familiar with the field of psychology as well as basic concepts about society and culture.

This requirement is usually met in one of three ways: 

1. An undergraduate major in psychology, plus a course in sociology, cultural anthropology, women’s studies, or ethnic studies.

2. An undergraduate major in sociology, anthropology, women’s or gender studies, or other interdisciplinary social science, plus an introductory psychology course.

3.  Complete the following MOOC course and present the midterm and final exams to a faculty advisor after admission into the program:

Open Yale Introduction to Psychology Course

Master of Science Option

Program Details

Credits: Minimum of 62 semester hours
No direct admission is available for this program (see below)
Thesis project required
View program of study in current course catalog

There is also a Master of Science option in Professional Mental Health Counseling. The MS curriculum is for students who have interest and potential in psychological research. Students must first be accepted into the MA concentration. Admission to the MS concentration requires that the student be active, successfully complete CPSY 530 Research Methods and Statistics I with a grade of B or better, be enrolled in CPSY 531 Research Methods and Statistics II, present a preliminary research proposal, secure the commitment of a faculty adviser to chair a thesis committee, have a defined timeline for completion of the project, and have formally applied to the MS program. Full admission is granted when the faculty approves a proposal that meets these criteria.

Advising and Contact Information

Students take courses from both full-time faculty and also from adjunct faculty. Most of our adjunct faculty are practitioners who teach particular courses based on their specialized experience and their commitment to teaching the next generation of professional mental health providers. To schedule appointments with advisors or coordinators call 503-768-6060. General inquiries for the program co-directors can be sent to

Faculty Advisors and Clinical Coordinators

Program Co-Directors and Clinical Coordinators:
Stella Kerl-McClain, PhD,, 503-768-6077
Amy Rees, PhD,, 503-768-6074

Program Faculty:
Jeffrey Christensen, PhD,, 503-768-6071
Carol Doyle, PhD,, 503-768-6067
Cort Dorn-Medeiros, PhD,, 503-768-6147
Alexia DeLeon, PhD,, 503-768-6066
Rafe McCullough, PhD,, 503-768-6144

Adjunct Faculty

Natasha Archer, PsyD; Dalia Baadarani, PhD; Charles Dickerman, MA, LMFT, CADC I; Mark Douglass, MA, LPC, CADC I; Margaret Eichler, PhD; Meg Jeske, MA, LPC; Gregory Kaplan, PhD; Kate Madden, MA; Antonia Mueller, MS, LPC; Gianna Russo-Mitma, MS, LMFT; Julianna Vermeys, MA

Note: Additional adjunct faculty teach courses in other programs. Many of those courses can be taken for elective credit by Professional Mental Health Counseling students.

Forms and Documents

Forms for current students