Residency MS in Counseling

Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Residency requirements

Your master’s program requires the completion of two residencies and the corresponding prerequisite courses. Residency allows you to interact with fellow students and faculty in person, to gather important information to help you through your program, and to learn and practice basic skills in your specialization area.

Taking time from your work and family can be a challenge, but the value you will gain from this experience is immeasurable. In fact, Capella students tell us much of their success is a direct result of the time and effort put into their residency experience.

Residency structure

Each residency is embedded within a six-week online course, including self-paced modules, assignments, and assessments. The course opens approximately three weeks prior to the seven-day in-person residency which includes travel days, and finishes two weeks after the residency. The in-person residency experience provides the opportunity to apply the skills learned during pre-requisite courses.

Your residency experience

For each residency requirement, you will complete online components and attend a 7-day in-person residency experience (which includes your travel days) with your faculty and other students in your program. During your residency you can expect to consult with faculty to receive direction, feedback, and help as well as participate in peer review sessions.

Residency activities include:

  • Presentations
  • Discussions
  • Small and large group exercises
  • Role play and simulation

Special accommodations (e.g., sign language interpreters, mobility assistance, extra time in the courseroom) can be made for students who need additional support.

Residency: Your roadmap to success

Residencies are designed in an optimized, sequential format that allows you to augment your online coursework. The residency experiences give you the time to collaborate and build a strong learning community – a factor that can help strengthen and maintain motivation so that you'll continue moving toward your degree.

When it comes to your residency requirements, timing is key. Your coursework builds the foundation for your residency and your experience at residency will keep you on track in your program. Your residency tracks are scheduled so you can create quality work and complete all tasks for each track before moving on to the next one. On time completion of the residency tracks can significantly decrease your time to graduation and overall cost of your degree.

What you’ll learn—and when

Track 1

Enhance your understanding by practice of fundamental skills in counseling professions.

After completing COUN5830

Track 2

Build upon experiences from Track 1 and introduce opportunities for more advanced practice of clinical skills in the counseling profession.

After completing COUN5832


Residency competencies

As you advance through the residency tracks, you will gain mastery in each of these critical areas:

Scholarly communication

Identify and cultivate academic communication skills in verbal and written interactions.

Interviewing skills

Obtain necessary information while putting the client at ease, showing empathy, paraphrasing thoughts, and focusing on salient information. Summarize deeper meaning, set treatment goals, challenge clients, use immediacy and self-disclosure.

Crisis management

Deal confidently and effectively with crises, including lethality assessment.

Ethics and diversity training

Gain sensitivity to cultural perspectives and understand ethical issues that may arise.

Administration and scoring

Learn how to effectively administer, score, and interpret appropriate psychological testing to gain relevant insight.

Residency costs and financing

Residency is part of the 4-credit course tuition. Included are lab activities as well as continental breakfast, lunch, and snack breaks on each full day of the in-person residency experience. Additional costs include airfare, lodging, evening meals, and miscellaneous personal expenses.

It is possible to finance your residency using Stafford and GradPLUS loan funds. Capella also accepts all major credit cards and checks. Additionally, Capella has partnered with Delta Air Lines to provide special discounts for Capella events.

Residency locations

Residencies are offered throughout the U.S. at alternating locations each year, and are held at hotel conference centers. To reduce travel costs, locations are chosen based the number of Capella students in the area. Past locations have included Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Orlando, and Arlington.

While you are free to travel with friends and family, only students are able to attend sessions and meals. Childcare is not provided.

Ready for the next step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.