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Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialization

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling coursework will prepare you to seek licensure as a licensed Mental Health Counselor in Iowa. It will give you the expertise needed to work in a variety of settings, including agencies, group practices, substance abuse treatment centers, hospitals, residential treatment centers, and employee assistance programs. The 60-credit hour program can be completed in as little as two and a half years.

This program is accreditated by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).  

Accreditation symbol for CACREP.  Updated by CACREP 5.2016 MSR

Mission and Objectives

The Mission of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialization

The mission of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialization is to provide for the education and training of counseling professionals who will work to alleviate distress and dysfunction and improve the lives of individuals in the community. To this end we will offer degree programs, provide university and community services, and conduct research on issues related to mental health. Faculty, students, staff, and community partners will work collaboratively to design and provide a broad and practical training program. Graduates of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialization will possess a broad knowledge base and skills set in clinical mental health counseling, will be prepared to become accomplished professionals in the field, and will have met all of the competencies set forth by Drake University, CACREP, and the Behavioral Sciences Board of the Iowa Department of Public Health. 

The Objectives of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialization

  1. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialization shall prepare students to enter the profession as clinical mental health counseling professionals as defined by accrediting bodies and professional associations.  
  2. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialization shall actively involve individuals from the community as guest lecturers, instructors, and through service at established practice sites. These shall include individuals with mental health concerns, individuals from diverse backgrounds, as well as individuals working in a wide range of mental health counseling settings.  
  3. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialization shall periodically conduct follow-up with graduates and area needs assessments. It will incorporate those results into its curriculum planning to ensure it meets the needs of clients and employers.
  4. Counseling Program faculty will work with Mental Health Counseling agencies through in-service training, consulting, and research.

Apply Now

  • Applications for this program are accepted for fall and spring start terms, with the following deadlines. All materials must be postmarked by the identified dates: 
    • Spring start-term: September 1
    • Fall start-term: February 15
  • Upon the receipt of transcripts, an advisor will complete a transcript evaluation in order to determine any credit or course substitutions/transfers. 
  • In order to begin the application process, please click the “Apply Now” link above. This link will provide you application requirements. Questions regarding the application process can be forwarded to the Coordinator of Graduate Admission at or 515-271-2552.

Counseling Admission Requirements

This program has indicated specific essay requirements. This essay replaces the general admission essay required for other programs.

The paper should be a 5-page, double spaced statement of interest in the counseling profession.  It should include the following information:

  • Educational and professional background
  • Career aspirations with a counseling degree
  • Experience working with people who are different from you
  • Personal characteristics that will allow you to be a successful graduate student


To receive more information about the program, contact

Program Contact

Dr. Wade Leuwerke
Associate Professor

Learn more

Click here for a list of mental health counseling classes. For more information on licensure as a Mental Health Counselor, visit the State of Iowa website