CACREP Accredited Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program

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Our Purpose Is Helping You Fulfill Yours

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) has accredited the MA programs in School and Clinical Mental Health Counseling. In January 2017, after being reviewed on all 241 2009 Standards, CACREP accredited the School and Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs for eight years through March 31, 2025. As Dr. Carol Bobby, President and CEO of CACREP observed, “Programs receiving accreditation for an eight-year period deserve to be commended for the work completed throughout the accreditation process. This is indeed a worthy achievement.”

CACREP accredited the Fairfield counseling programs in 1986, the first programs in Connecticut to receive this accreditation.

Fairfield University’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree offers counseling courses under the guidance of faculty members who are nationally recognized in the field. The program fulfills the 60 credit requirements for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Connecticut. The program develops knowledge and skills in nine areas:

  • Human growth and development
  • The helping relationship
  • Lifestyle and career development
  • Research and evaluation
  • Social and cultural foundations
  • Group counseling
  • Individual appraisal
  • Professional orientation
  • Clinical skills

Students are provided with an excellent educational foundation that leads to licensure and work in counseling settings including mental health agencies, college counseling centers, hospitals and private practice.

Application deadlines for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling programs are October 1st and January 15th.

Professional Preparation

In addition to preparing our graduates for certification and licensure, our programs provide opportunities that can serve to further our students' professional development or increase their readiness for post-masters studies. Many of these opportunities occur in the Counselor Education Lab and Training Center, a state-of-the-art campus facility, is home to our 3-tier practicum supervision model; a model often seen only in doctoral training programs. In addition to the standard coursework, our students have many opportunities to gain additional preparation in supervision, research, substance abuse counseling, and spirituality in counseling.

As students increase and refine their clinical skills they are encouraged to: participate as coaches in several core courses; participate as process observers for the group, career, and theories courses; and engage in research, writing, and professional presentations with faculty. Combined wtih ongoing supervision, these various opportunities solidify a set of teaching, research, and supervision skills, that when added to the high level of clinical training, create a bridge for entry into the professional field or post-masters studies.

Counselor Education Lab and Training Center

The Counselor Education Lab and Training Center is housed in Dolan West on the Fairfield University Campus. This state-of-the-art facility was created with the purpose of training our Counselor Education students.

Our training facility includes an office for the clinical coordinator, two seminar classrooms, an observation room with a two-way mirror, and six rooms equipped with iPad technology allowing faculty to observe and monitor students practicing counseling skills and interventions.

Faculty Highlights

Our faculty in the Counselor Education Department is second to none, receiving some of the highest accolades in the profession.

Counselor Education Faculty:

  • have authored books and numerous published scholarly journal articles covering topics including clinical supervision, spirituality, school counseling advocacy, and multiculturalism. 
  • have served as presidents of the Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling and the North Atlantic Region Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, and the Connecticut Association of Counselor Education and Supervision, vice president of the Connecticut School Counseling Association.
  • currently involved in research integrating mindfulness into counseling curriculum, campus climate regarding Mental Health Initiatives, sexual assault on campus, School Counseling Students' Social Advocacy, and Sexual Abuse among Girls and Women in Jamaica.

Student Highlights

We are extremely proud of our student body in the Counselor Education Department. They are dedicated and consistently achieve at the very highest levels.

Counselor Education candidates:

  • have authored articles published in peer-reviewed counseling journals.
  • regularly present at state and local conferences.
  • consistently score well above the national average on the National Counselor Examination.
  • participate in numerous outreach projects, collecting food, coats, and money for victims of disasters and individuals in need.

Counselor Education Department Fairfield University Program Outcomes Report (PDF) for the Academic Year 2018-19

Other Resources

Message From the Director

16694_gr_gseap_prog_grad-prog_mental-health_tracey-roberts_200x250_10312019.jpgWelcome to the Counselor Education program!

The Counselor Education programs in School and Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Fairfield University align with the humanistic narrative; a narrative that recognizes the major role that the counselor-client relationship plays in promoting therapeutic change. As such, the program faculty emphasize interpersonal learning as a core competency, along with academic and clinical skill competencies.

The Counselor Education faculty are dedicated to preparing our graduates for certification and licensure and our programs provide opportunities that serve to further our students' professional development or increase their readiness for post-master’s studies. Our commitment to our three-tier practicum supervision model; a model often seen only in doctoral training programs, is evidence of our focus on training professional school and clinical mental health counselors. In addition to the standard coursework, our students have many opportunities to gain additional preparation in supervision, research, group work, substance abuse counseling, and spirituality in counseling.

We welcome you to explore and experience our program offerings!

Tracey Robert, PhD
Program Director and Professor of Counselor Education

Mission Statement

The Counselor Education Department faculty members acknowledge our obligation as gatekeepers to students who will pursue professional preparation as clinical mental health counselors or school counselors and to the larger public to be served by our graduates. In our role as gatekeepers, we value the need to create a climate of professional care and consistency from a compassionate, supportive view.

As a program within a Jesuit community, we maintain a primary focus on issues of social justice and the use of Ignatian pedagogy in our pursuit of academic, as well as clinical, excellence. We subscribe to a belief in the inherent worth and dignity of each person; to the need to develop throughout the lifespan a greater sense of self-realization; to a commitment to serving a diverse society; to a commitment of service to others both for the prevention and remediation of life’s problems; and to the pursuit of the highest standards of excellence in the counseling profession.

Fairfield University is located in Fairfield County, Connecticut, a county comprised of diverse communities that span urban, suburban, and rural constituencies, and include neighborhoods of tremendous affluence as well as intense poverty. Our student population consists primarily of individuals residing in the local suburban communities that our diverse location includes. We are committed to training our students to meet the needs of these diverse communities by including experiences throughout their training that provide exposure to a variety of settings.  Within these experiences we provide students with support and opportunities for challenges that encourage them to become reflective and critical practitioners as they work with individuals in the pursuit of increased self-awareness and well-being.

Information Session

Come meet our deans and faculty to learn more about our graduate programs.

Course Offerings

View course catalog

Clinical Mental Health Counseling (minimum of 60 credits)

Social and Cultural Foundations (3 credits)

  • CN 433 Multicultural Issues in Counseling

Human Development (6 credits)

  • CN 447 Lifespan Human Development
  • PY 437 Psychopathology and Classification II

Professional Orientation (3 credits)

  • CN 468 Professional Issues in Counseling

Helping Relationship (6 credits)

  • CN 500 Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • CN 553 Counseling Relationships and Skills

Group Work (3 credits)

  • CN 455 Group Work: Theory and Practice

Lifestyle and Career Development (3 credits)

  • CN 457 Career Development: Theories and Practice

Appraisal (3 credits)

  • CN 467 Assessment in Counseling

Research and Evaluation (3 credits)

  • CN 566 Research Methodology

Clinical Instruction (9 credits) *

  • CN 558 Counseling Practicum (3 credits)
  • CN 590C Internship: Clinical Mental Health Counseling (6 credits)

Specialized Curriculum (18 credits)

  • CN 432 Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Management, Delivery, and Evaluation
  • CN 465 Introduction to Substance Abuse and Addictions
  • CN 515 Trauma and Crisis Intervention
  • CN 585 Introduction to Clinical Supervision
  • FT 550 Introduction to Marriage and Family Therapy

Select 2 elective courses in consultation with advisor (6 credits)

CN 99-01 Comprehensive Exam in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, which may be taken during the last semester of study or one semester prior.

*Grades of B or better are required in all clinical coursework.




Clinical Mental Health Counseling Sixth Year Certificate of Advanced Study

The clinical mental health counseling sixth year certificate program requires a minimum of 30 post-master's graduate-level credit hours, including clinical courses, and completion of requirements as outlined on a individual plan of study.

Core Faculty


Admission Requirements

Applicants to the Counselor Education progam must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university (or the international equivalent) and give promise of meeting the standards set by the School.


Formal Admission Process

Students seeking admission must submit:

  • A completed online application
  • A Non-refundable $60 application fee paid by credit card.
  • A Professional Resume. Applicants are required to submit a current resume that includes employment and education history (submit online).
  • A Personal Statement. Students should describe why they want to undertake graduate studies in Counselor Education  (submit online).
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended demonstrating a cumulative GPA of at least 2.67 (or receive a GPA waiver from the department, available on a case by case basis). You must hold a bachelor's degree with an approved subject major or interdisciplinary major. (All foreign transcripts must be evaluated by an approved evaluating service.
  • Two Recommendation Forms and Letters, one of which must be, preferably, from a current employer or supervisor. The Recommendations are completed online. At the time of application you will need to provide your two Recommender's names and e-mail addresses.
  • Participation in an Admission Interview.


Students from Non-English Speaking Countries

Students from non-English speaking countries are required to submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score report. A TOEFL composite score of 550 for the paper test, 213 for the computer-based, or 84 on the Internet-based test (iBT) with a minimum score of 21 in reading and 23 in writing is strongly recommended for admission. Fairfield's ETS code is 3390.


All application materials for formal admission should be sent to:

Office of Graduate and Continuing Studies Admission
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824-5195
Phone: (203) 254-4184
Fax: (203) 254-4073


How to Apply

Financial Aid

To be considered for financial aid, Fairfield University requires students to complete a FAFSA form. For further information, visit the Office of Financial Aid.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is CACREP, and why is it important to attend a university that is CACREP accredited?

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Accreditation from CACREP is voluntary. Those institutions who wish to receive this accreditation are required to meet a rigorous set of program and faculty standards.

For the incoming student, a CACREP accredited program is beneficial for a few reasons:

  • An assurance that the educational activities of an accredited institution or program have been found to be satisfactory and therefore meet the needs of students
  • Assistance in the transfer of credits between institutions or in the admission of students to advanced degrees, through the general acceptance of credits among accredited institutions when the performance of the student has been satisfactory and the credits to be transferred are appropriate to the receiving institution
  • A prerequisite in many cases for entering a profession


When are applications due?


What are the prerequisites for entering the program?

Applicants for the Master of Arts degree must hold an earned Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. A minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.67 is strongly recommended. Applicants for the Sixth Year Certificate of Advanced Study must hold an earned Master's degree from an accredited college or university, completed with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00.


Can I take classes before I am accepted into the program?

Yes, you are able to take up to six (6) credits in the School Counseling program and up to nine (9) credits in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program as a non-matriculated student before being accepted into the program.


How long will it take to complete the program?

At a minimum, it takes 2 years. On average, it takes our students approximately 2.5 to 3 years to complete the program.


What types of classes will I be taking?

Classes will cover various topics including counseling theories, fundamental counseling skills, group counseling, multicultural issues, research, assessment, ethical and legal codes, and career counseling.


Will an advisor help me with a plan of study?

Yes. Once you are accepted into the program, you will receive a letter notifying you of your advisor's name. You will then be asked to contact your advisor to set up a meeting to discuss and design your plan of study.


Will I have the opportunity to take elective classes outside of my required classes?

Elective classes are offered in the program; however, depending on your plan of study, you may or may not have an opportunity to take them.


Will elective classes I take to earn a Master's degree count toward a Sixth Year Certificate of Advanced Study?



Are classes offered on the weekends or at night?

Classes are offered with the graduate student's schedule in mind. We offer weekday classes at night from 4:55-6:55 p.m. and from 7:15-9:15 p.m., as well as weekend classes.


How do I find a practicum and internship site?

The program's Clinical Coordinator will assist you in finding a practicum and internship site.

To begin the practicum process, you must first turn in a completed, signed, Application for Practicum to the Clinical Coordinator by the date indicated on the Departmental Calendar. Then, you and the Clinical Coordinator will arrange to meet to discuss your career objectives and the availability of practica sites within your area of interest. Once the availability of a practicum site is confirmed, you will be asked to contact the site to arrange an interview.

For internships, some students will stay at their practicum sites. In other cases, students will have identified sites through contacts that they have made during practicum experiences. Others will require assistance from the Clinical Coordinator in finding and securing an internship site. In all of these cases it is the student's responsibility to take the appropriate steps to secure a site within a timely manner, which will require meeting with or contacting the Clinical Coordinator to ascertain that a particular course of action or setting is appropriate.


Can I take practicum or internship during the summer?

Practicum cannot be taken over the summer. Clinical Mental Health Counseling students have the opportunity to take one semester of internship during the summer. School Counseling students do not.


Are internships one semester or a full year?

Internships are a two-semester (10-month), full-time commitment for those school counseling students who do not hold a Connecticut Teaching Certificate but wish to be certified as school counselors. For all others, the internship will consist of a 600-hour experience that can be completed in either one or two semesters.



Is licensure required to work at a clinical mental health agency?

You do not need to be licensed to work at a clinical mental health agency. You only need to be license-eligible, which you will be after completing the program.


What is the process for securing licensure as a counselor?

Counselors in the state of Connecticut are licensed through the Department of Public Health. Please visit the Department of Public Health for a list of requirements.


Is financial aid available?

Yes, financial aid is available. Visit the Financial Aid website for further details.


I still have questions. Where can I get further information?

Please come to one of our Graduate Information Sessions. Visit the Graduate Admission website for the schedule.


Contact Us

For more information about Fairfield University's graduate programs, please contact:

Office of Graduate Admission
Fairfield University
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824

Call (203) 254-4184 or email

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