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Dual Degree: M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and M.A. in School Counseling

CCU's dual degree track, which includes a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a Master of Arts in School Counseling, is a cost-effective, time-reducing means to expand career opportunities in the field of mental health and well-being. Offered through CCU's College of Adult and Graduate Studies, the dual degree track prepares you to serve as a counselor in a broad variety of settings, completing two master's degrees simultaneously in a program designed to fit the work-life balance of adult learners.

With the ever-growing demand for both restorative and preventative counselors continuing to soar for all age groups, this 75-credit dual-degree option (versus 60 credits per degree when earned separately) allows you to explore counseling options in both clinical and school settings, with six-credit, 600-hour internships required in both fields. Courses are offered both online and in-seat, with required in-seat residencies, and can be completed in approximately three years.

While the master's degree in School Counseling offers a proactive and preventative model for providing professional counseling services in a school setting, the master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling equips you with the necessary counseling skills required as a culturally sensitive professional mental health counselor. The dual degree track at CCU provides the unique opportunity to integrate Christian faith with sound counseling principles in both areas of influence.

    • All core classes and Clinical Mental Health Counseling classes can be taken either in-seat or online. School Counseling classes can be taken online.
    • In-seat classes are offered at CCU's main campus in Lakewood, Colorado, or satellite campus in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
    • Three required in-person residencies at CCU's Lakewood campus.
    • 75 credit hours (versus 60 credits per degree when earned separately). View the Curriculum tab for details.
    • Courses are taken two at a time and are typically completed in seven-week blocks
    • 100 hours of practicum in either a school or clinical mental health counseling setting
    • 600 internship hours in clinical mental health counseling and 600 internship hours in school counseling
    • Complete in as little as 36 months of consecutive coursework, even with a full-time or part-time job
    • Transfer up to 12 graduate-level credit hours. View the Admission tab for details.
  • Curriculum in the Mental Health and School Counseling Dual Degree Program

    The dual degree with a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a Master of Arts in School Counseling offered through CCU's College of Adult and Graduate Studies will provide you with both a strong clinical counselor and school counselor education background — all within a Christian framework that promotes the study of the whole person, including the spiritual domain. Through the integration of faith, clinical/community-based and school experiences, and current counseling theory into a comprehensive educational experience, you will be equipped to be an effective counselor in a variety of settings.

    Instead of completing the two 60-credit hour master's degrees separately (for a total of 120 credit hours), the dual degree pathway requires the completion of just 75 total credit hours:

    • Counseling Core (30 credits)
    • Practicum/Internships (15 credits)
    • Bible and Theology (4 credits)
    • Residency (4 credits)
    • Clinical Mental Health Counseling-specific courses (9 credits)
    • School Counseling-specific courses (9 credits)
    • Electives (4 credits)

    Dual Degree Course List  

  • Admission Information for the Mental Health and School Counseling Dual Degree Program

    Admission to the dual degree track for a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a Master of Arts in School Counseling at Colorado Christian University is selective. Each applicant is carefully evaluated for his or her potential as a counselor, ability to contribute to the program, and ability to contribute to the counseling profession. The application review process will assess the relevance of career goals, aptitude for graduate-level study, potential success in forming effective counseling relationships, and respect for cultural differences.

    Admission to the dual degree program is not guaranteed. The Admission Committee determines whether an applicant is admitted or declined admission. Applicants will complete all admission requirements before being considered by the Admission Committee.

    After the first semester in the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program, each student is again formally assessed by the School of Counseling faculty and administrative team based on his or her academic work, basic skills, and professional behavior. This evaluation process is performed to fulfill our CACREP and professional gate-keeping responsibilities and to ensure that each student has the skills needed for a professional counseling career.

    Application Deadlines

    In-person cohorts begin in August of each year, while online learning cohorts begin in July of each year. Students who wish to begin classes before their cohort begins may take electives and/or CSL-512 and CSL-515.

    It is recommended that applications are completed at least four weeks prior to the student's anticipated start date. All required admission documents and background check results must be received by CCU before an admission interview is scheduled. Applicants will be extended an interview invitation and are required to respond within three days to schedule the admission interview. A delayed response may result in a delayed start date if the applicant is accepted.

    Application files will be evaluated in the order received. Applicants should complete the admission process as early as possible to allow adequate time to work with an advisor and finalize financial aid.

    Counseling Admission Requirements
    • A completed application for admission.
    • Program-specific essays.
    • Valid state-issued driver's license or state-issued ID card or valid passport.
    • Resume or Curriculum Vitae.
    • An official transcript showing a conferred bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. Applicants with an undergraduate grade point average between 2.0 and 2.49 will be admitted on a conditional admit (CAD) basis for the first semester. CAD students must maintain a 3.0 GPA or better in their first semester.
    • Official transcript(s) of completed graduate-level counseling credits completed through another graduate program.
    • A criminal background check through CastleBranch from every country the student lived in during the past seven years. Applicants should consult with their enrollment counselor before placing their Castlebranch order.
    • A completed Candidacy Writing Sample per essay prompts, Program Handbook Acknowledgement, and Applicant Video Submission.
    • Admission interview(s) and additional documentation and/or requests from the Admissions Committee and/or designated program personnel.
    Counseling Transfer Courses

    In accordance with CCU's Graduate Residency Policy, students transferring from a regionally accredited institution may transfer up to twelve (12) approved semester hours of graduate credit from a regionally accredited master's program toward the Dual Degree: Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Master of Arts in School Counseling. The remaining hours must be completed at CCU.

    The coursework must be comparable to that offered at CCU and fulfill CCU's degree requirements for the dual degree program. Specific courses which will not be accepted for transfer include:

    • CSL 514 Counseling Practicum
    • CSL 581 Counseling Residency I
    • CSL 582 Counseling Residency II
    • CSL 653 Counseling Internship
    • CSL 674 Professional Orientation
    • CSL 680 Integrative Seminar
    • CSL 681 Counseling Residency III
    • CSL 504 Counseling Skills II
    • CSL 654 Counseling Internship II
    • CSL 655 Counseling Internship III
    • LSC 630 School Counseling Internship I
    • LSC 631 School Counseling Internship II
    Licensing

    Admission to a licensure program in the College of Adult and Graduate Studies does not guarantee licensure at the completion of the program. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure they meet all licensure requirements, which often includes a background check.

    The Dual Degree: Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Master of Arts in School Counseling, meets the requirements for graduates to test for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and School Counselor in the state of Colorado. Licensure requirements vary from state to state, and students are responsible for knowing the requirements of the state in which they seek licensure, including Colorado, and reviewing the state requirements above and beyond academic achievement and testing. Some states require specific educational requirements, clinical requirements, accreditation requirements, or exam requirements. See professional licensure disclosures for details.

    International Students

    CCU cannot enroll students with any type of VISA, even a work VISA, into any Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, including the online counseling degree cohort, since it is against the law for international students to attend the required on-site program residencies on a VISA.

    Time Limitation

    All work applied toward the Dual Degree: Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Master of Arts in School Counseling, must be completed within a six-year period from the date of enrollment. After the six-year period, any student who has not completed the requirements to graduate will be required to complete a Petition for Exception to Academic Policy. Continuing study is not guaranteed and must be approved by the Dean of the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences. Students are required to adhere to the most current Academic Catalog, CAGS Student Handbook, Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Handbook/ Manuals, fees, and tuition rates.

    Students who need to step out of the cohort and who have not attended a class for a period of 365 days will need to reapply to the program, have an updated interview, and, if accepted, will then be held to the current catalog standards. Stepping out of the cohort will result in delayed completion of the student's program.


    To submit application-related materials that were not already submitted through the online application, email them to AdmissionsSupport@ccu.edu or mail them to:

    Colorado Christian University
    Attn: Registrar's Office/Transcripts
    8787 W. Alameda Ave.
    Lakewood, CO 80226

Counseling Dual Master's Degree Program Benefits

The dual master's degree track in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling is an excellent option for students interested in a broader range of employment opportunities in the field of counseling.

  • Students are mentored by qualified professors who have work experience in the field, including extensive academic and clinical mental health or school counseling experience.
  • Students are required to complete two distinct internships in both clinical and school counseling with separate supervisor specialists in each setting.
  • Through hands-on field experiences in both degree areas, students are challenged to explore how their theory and faith integrate as professional counselors in a variety of settings.
  • The dual-degree option allows students to earn two related master's degrees for just 15 credits more than pursuing one. Both can be achieved for less time and less cost than pursuing both separately.
  • The dual degrees better prepare students to serve as counselors in many settings, allowing for the possibility of working full-time in one area and part-time in another if desired.
  • Upon completion of the program, students may be fully licensed as an LSC after graduating and completing the PRAXIS exam with no requirement of two years of post-grad supervision prior to licensure, as with CMHC-LPCC to LPC. (School hours can also be counted toward post-graduate experience for CMHC-LPCC to LPC.)

Counseling Dual Degree FAQs

Do you want the flexibility to be a licensed counselor that can practice in both clinical mental health counseling and school counseling? Whether you have questions about financing your master's degree, admission requirements, or what kind of jobs you can get with a counseling dual degree, we're here to help. For additional questions, please contact an enrollment counselor.

What formats are available for this program?

The dual degree program has both online and in-seat formats: All core classes and Clinical Mental Health Counseling classes can be taken either in-seat or online. School Counseling classes can be taken online. All students are required to attend three in-person residencies in Colorado.

How many credit hours is the Dual Degree Program?

The program consists of 75 total credit hours. If taken separately, the two master's degrees would require 120 credit hours.

How long does it take to complete the dual degree option?

The dual degree track can be completed in as little as 36 months of consecutive coursework.

How many hours are required for the practicum and internships?

Students must complete 100 hours of practicum in either a school or clinical mental health counseling setting, along with two distinct internships: 600 hours of internship in clinical mental health counseling and 600 hours of internship in school counseling.

Are both master’s degrees in the dual-track program accredited?

The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is CACREP-accredited, and the Master of Arts in School Counseling has been approved by the Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Department of Higher Education, and accreditation by CACREP is in process. Programs accredited by CACREP are reviewed against professionally approved standards, resulting in a streamlined licensure application process.

Are there any undergraduate prerequisites?

CCU does not require undergraduate prerequisites for the M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and M.A. in School Counseling dual degree.

Will CCU accept transfer credits?

Students may transfer up to 30 graduate-level credits into the program from an accredited college or university. See our admission requirements for additional information about transfer of courses.

How much does the program cost?

View current tuition and fees for the dual degree program.

Is financial aid available?

See our Financial Aid website for detailed information about financial aid and payment options for graduate students. The first step in applying for financial aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You are also encouraged to check with your employer about additional tuition benefits that may be available through your company.

When can I apply for licensure?

Upon program completion, graduates are academically prepared to take the National Counselor Exam and/or begin the process of seeking licensure as a Licensed School Counselor by taking a state-administered licensure exam and the CACREP Degree Equivalency Process

I have been out of school for years and wish to make a mid-life career change. Will I be out of place in this student population?

The dual track program is designed for busy adult learners who can complete the coursework even with a full-time or part-time job.

Is the program on semesters or quarters?

The dual degree program operates on the semester system. The dual track program is offered over 15-week semesters per academic year, divided into two 7-week blocks (A and B), including fall, spring, and summer, and can be completed in eight semesters.

Professional Licensure Disclosure

Colorado Christian University offers several academic programs which lead to professional licensure in the state of Colorado and, in some programs, prepare students for a national exam. All students should be aware that states vary in their educational and professional requirements depending on the profession. Some states require specific educational requirements, clinical requirements, accreditation requirements, or exam requirements. See professional licensure disclosures for details.

State Exclusions for Online Students

Colorado Christian University is required by the U.S. Department of Education to be in compliance with state laws regarding where we can offer distance and/or online education. The College of Adult and Graduate Studies at Colorado Christian University offers courses to online students in all states with some exceptions for specific academic programs.

CCU's School of Counseling

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