Community Mental Health Counseling

Develop the knowledge and skills
to support mental health needs
in your community.

The number of people seeking help with anxiety and depression has skyrocketed over the past several years, while the percentage of uninsured adults with a mental illness increased for the first time in nearly a decade.* That means there is still an unmet need for mental health treatment among youth and adults.

The online Master of Arts in Counseling with an emphasis in Community Mental Health Counseling program from the University of North Dakota is designed for those who seek to focus their counseling career on community mental health or become licensed in mental health counseling at the local level.** In our program, you can learn how to effectively counsel clients from diverse backgrounds across the lifespan, including children, adolescents, adults, seniors, couples and families.

*Mental Health America
**Licensure requirements vary by state, province or territory. Students should confirm requirements prior to enrollment.

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Transfer credits accepted

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Prepare to serve diverse populations

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3 start dates per year: spring, summer or fall

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100% online coursework

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No GMAT/GRE required









Why focus your education
in Community Mental Health?

  • Career prospects: Job growth for mental health, behavioral disorder and substance abuse counselors is expected to increase 25% between 2019 and 2029.*
  • Compensation: The median pay for counselors in these roles is $47,660, with the top 10% earning more than $78,700.*

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Why choose UND for your
online degree?

  • Complete primarily asynchronous coursework 100% online.
  • Gain practical field experience by serving an internship at a facility in your community.
  • Prepare for Counseling Ph.D. or Doctor of Psychology programs.
  • Benefit from a program housed within the College of Education & Human Development.

What can you learn?

In this track, you can gain the knowledge, awareness and skills to address varying mental health concerns — from life-stage transitions to severe mental illness and related conditions that include personality struggles, disorders and addictions.

Through evidence-based theory backed by a strong curricular foundation, our faculty of industry professionals can guide you toward a level of expertise that combines research with proven best practices.

In-person internships also provide real-world experience and field access to client populations that help strengthen classroom learning through practical application.

You also will complete a minimum of 600 internship hours at a facility in or near your community working with the populations you are most interested in serving. The program also includes a minimum of 240 direct client contact hours.

Focus your studies on:

  • Professional practice in counseling, assessment, consultation, teaching or research in an approved community facility.
  • Providing access to quality mental health resources for individuals and families who are marginalized due to race, gender, socioeconomic status, language, location or other identifying factors.
  • The development, improvement and evaluation of counseling relationships and interview skills in counseling practice.
  • The application of an industry-based code of ethics into your professional practice, which can be used for supervision, training and research purposes.
Review Your Courses
University of North Dakota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

What can you do?

Internship hours may focus on a specific subset of the population you would like to gain experience with, such as children, adults, veterans, homeless populations, inpatient clients or the elderly. You also can learn how to address your clients’ concerns in a wide variety of settings, such as individual, couples, family or group counseling.

Students in this track can develop a strong foundation of knowledge, awareness and skills to work with clients who have a range of multicultural identities, to provide care that is purposeful and mindful of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status and more.

Qualify for roles including:

  • Licensed Mental Health Counselor
  • Youth Program Coordinator
  • Social Worker/Case Manager
  • Behavioral Counselor
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Admission Requirements

You’ve decided to earn your Master of Arts in Counseling with an emphasis in Community Mental Health, and you’re just a few steps away from completing the application process. Take some time to review the admission requirements and items needed to submit your application.

Review Requirements