MSED Mental Health Counseling

--IMPORTANT! - Beginning Fall(A)-15, ALL new graduate students must adhere to the Graduate Student Handbook Policies upon admission and approval of transfer credits!--

Available fully online!

The USW Mental Health Counseling program provides all of the courses necessary to be licensed in New Mexico and many other states. In New Mexico, when a student graduates from USW with an MS in Mental Health Counseling, the graduate is able to apply for licensure immediately upon receiving the graduate transcript.  The graduate will initially receive a Temporary license as a New Mexico Licensed Mental Health Counselor(LMHC).  Once the National Counselor Examination (NCE) is taken and passed,the graduate will be licensed as a New Mexico LMHC (no longer“temporary”).  When the New Mexico LMHC graduate completes 3000 supervised hours and passes the National Mental Health Counselors Examination (NMHCE), licensure as an Independently Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor (LPCC) is granted.  This means the LPCC can practice counseling as an independently licensed mental health provider in New Mexico and is no longer subject to supervision.

USW has two graduate programs in Mental Health Counseling:  a 48 hour program and a 60 hour program.  Some states require a minimum of 48 hours while others require a minimum of 60 hours for licensure. A graduate student may pick the program consistent with his or her state’s requirements. Before enrolling in the USW Mental Health Counseling program, it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the USW program meets the requirements for his or her individual state and/or any state where you think you might want to practice.  For example, USW’s Mental Health Counseling program meets most of the requirements for the California Board of Behavior Science.  USW is listed on the CA-BBS website as an LPCC-related school program for applicants who began graduate studies on or after August 1, 2012 (

USW’s graduate program in Mental Health Counseling prepares candidates to become counselors as defined by the American Counseling Association’s (ACA, 2014a) definition of professional counseling as “…a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.”  Candidates are prepared (ACA, 2014a) to “facilitate client growth and development in ways that foster the interest and welfare of clients and promote formation of healthy relationships.”  Coursework will include learning and human growth and development, career development/life planning,group work, the helping relationship with children, adults and families, psychoeducational assessment, psychopathology, professional orientation and ethics, theoretical foundations, and research/program evaluation. USW’s program in Mental Health Counseling also offers a variety of elective courses including but not limited to Play Therapy, Program Development and Management, Clinical Supervision, Counseling Traumatized Clients,Addictions Counseling, Human Sexuality, and Psychopharmacology. All programs include practicum and internship requirements wherein students complete hours in professional settings observing and working with licensed therapists and clients.

Mental Health Program Director:


Mental Health Counseling Graduate Handbook
Mental Health Counseling Degree Plan (48 hours)

Mental Health Counseling Degree Plan (60 hours)
Mental Health Counseling Degree Plan (48 hours - prior to Fall 2015)

Mental Health Counseling Degree Plan (60 hours - prior to Fall 2015)

Mental Health Counseling Course Descriptions Beginning Fall 2015

Mental Health Counseling Course Descriptions Prior to Fall 2015

Student Support Provider:

University of the Southwest
6610 Lovington Highway
Hobbs, New Mexico 88240