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As a clinical mental health counselor, your understanding of the latest theory and best practices can help you encourage young people to grow socially and emotionally. The Capella MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Child and Adolescent Counseling specialization offers tools and knowledge to help you find your own path in this field.
Learn developmentally appropriate interventions related to play therapy, family therapy and treatment and intervention planning for childhood and adolescent disorders. You’ll also learn to work with developmental, multicultural, ethical and legal issues related to diverse child and adolescent populations.
You’ll complete two foundational play therapy courses and choose two additional courses to help you find your own style as you work with child and adolescent populations.
As part of the 90-credit CACREP-accredited* program, this specialization is designed to help prepare students to pursue professional licensure as a licensed professional counselor or mental health counselor.**
*Capella University’s PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision, MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and MS in School Counseling programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) through March 31, 2028.
**This specialization is not designed to prepare students to pursue professional licensure in the education field. Capella University cannot guarantee eligibility for licensure, endorsement, other professional credentials or salary advancement. State licensing regulations and professional standards vary; learners are responsible for understanding and complying with the requirements of the state in which they intend to work. State licensing boards review each applicant’s completed education, exam scores, supervised experience, criminal history and application materials at the time of license application to determine eligibility. For more information, see the professional licensure disclosures for this program on Capella’s website.
Use the code MSFALL to waive the $50 application fee.
Enroll in a qualified program and apply for a $2,500 Capella Progress Reward, a scholarship to help fund your master’s degree. Eligibility rules and exclusions apply. Connect with us for details.
|COUN5002 Lifespan Development for the Counseling Professions||Learners examine theories and principles of lifespan development to include biological, cognitive, social, emotional, and moral frameworks. Learners analyze the diverse contexts that support typical and adaptive development in all stages of life and are exposed to current research and knowledge in the field. Must be taken during the learner's first quarter. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.||4 quarter credits|
|PLAY6203 Play Therapy 1: History and Systems of Play Therapy||Learners examine the historical origins of and rationale for integrating play into the practice of therapy and discuss the core systems of and approaches to play therapy. Learners also review the contributions of play to child development and well-being throughout the lifespan. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.||4 quarter credits|
|PLAY6206* Play Therapy 2: Theories and Skills of Play Therapy||Learners expand on their knowledge of the major theories of play therapy and the skills and interventions that define those theories. Learners assess the major theories and apply these to their work with a diversity of child clients and client scenarios. Learners also develop a personal theoretical orientation and apply this approach to personal practice. Learners assess ethical and legal issues unique to the field specific to providing culturally and socially diverse play therapy services. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.
|4 quarter credits|
|COUN5254 Child and Adolescent Counseling||Learners gain an understanding of major theories and research of adolescent and child development. Learners examine biological and psychosocial development factors and evaluate the influence of family, community, society, and trauma on development.||4 quarter credits|
|COUN5420 Child and Adolescent Psychopathology||Learners examine common characteristics, risk factors, and warning signs of mental health and behavioral disorders affecting children and adolescents. Learners also critically evaluate diagnostic models, methods, and approaches and explore current DSM classifications and diagnostic issues related to children and adolescents. In addition, learners investigate the impact of common medications on learning, behavior, and mood in children and adolescents.||4 quarter credits|
|COUN5271 Marriage and Family Systems||Learners investigate families as systems from theoretical, clinical, and research perspectives. Learners gain an understanding of family development, transitions, assessment, and intervention, including consideration for diversity and sociocultural factors. Learners also apply systems-oriented assessment models and strategies for initial interviews, hypothesis formulation, and designing a strategy for intervention.||4 quarter credits|
*Course has prerequisite(s). See catalog for details.
Designed to help you gain real-world skills to support a diverse range of young people in a counseling role, the Child and Adolescent Counseling specialization in the MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program covers the theory, research and practice of counseling and child development.
On successful completion of this program, you should be able to:
Review the Capella career exploration guide to learn more about this program and career paths to explore.
The total cost of your degree will depend on academic performance, transfer credits, scholarships and other factors. See GuidedPath cost information below.*
A structured learning format with an active peer community and faculty guidance. We’ll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines.
$497 per credit, $175 resource kit fee, 90 total quarter credits, 20 max transfer credits
*This is only an estimate, effective October 9, 2023, and is subject to change. Your price will vary depending on your specialization, transfer credits, and tuition discounts. Books, supplies, and other fees are not included in this estimate. GuidedPath prices show the tuition you would pay if you brought in an average number of transfer credits or the maximum allowed transfer credits. New or recently revised program estimates are based on comparable programs.
Capella is committed to transparency in its tuition and pricing. In addition to tuition, you will be responsible for additional costs, which may include an application fee, travel expenses, and practicum costs. A resource kit fee of $50-$200, charged quarterly or per billing session, covers the cost of required books, software, and other course materials. Click here to review program-specific fee amounts in our University Catalog.
Find out more about financing and payment options to help you complete your program. Federal aid also is available to help manage the costs of higher education. Learn more about financing your education.
Questions about cost?
Contact an enrollment counselor.
88% of MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling alumni agree that their degree positioned them to achieve their professional ambitions.
Alumni Outcomes Survey, 2022–2023
“I am just starting my career as a counselor, but I feel like it is an excellent fit and I know that I am already making a difference for my clients and the company where I work.”
– Chris Allison*, MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate.
*Actual Capella graduate who agreed to appear in promotional materials.
It is important to understand all educational and individual requirements for licensing. Capella University cannot guarantee licensure, certification or endorsement. State regulations vary regarding professional licensure. It is your responsibility to understand and comply with requirements for your state.
Applicants to the MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program must provide the following information for admission:
GRE and GMAT are not required for admission.
International student requirements
If you completed your most recent academic coursework, degree, or credential at an institution outside the United States, regardless of your citizenship or where you currently live, you are considered an international applicant.
In addition to the above admission requirements, you will need to submit these materials:
Learn more about international student admissions.
Our programs are designed to meet the unique needs of a master’s student. We’ve structured the experience in manageable pieces to help you earn your degree with support from faculty, staff and online resources.
Expand your perspective on academic and career topics with articles and resources from Capella University.
Explore paths and programs that leverage your unique interests to help build a better world.
We can help you understand education financing, review your options and explore ways to save on your degree.
Your education can help you reach your professional and personal goals. While Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific career outcome, such as a job title, promotion or salary increase, we encourage you to explore potential jobs and employment settings. Here are some ideas and examples for a graduate with a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Child and Adolescent Counseling.
Job titles to explore
Employment settings to explore
*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.