Master of Arts in Professional Mental Health Counseling

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. 

Program Details

Credits: 60 semester hours
Program Length: 7 semesters, minimum (part-time and full-time study available)
Program Start: Fall only
Program Directors:  Jeffrey Christensen, PhD, Stella Kerl-McClain, PhD

Next Steps

Program Overview

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. 

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.

Courses and Requirements

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.

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. Faculty assessment of an individual’s counseling foundations based on coursework and experience.


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.  

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