Counseling: Clinical Mental Health Program


Prerequisite Coursework

Qualified applications must be a graduate of an accredited college or university (BA, BS or BSW degree).

Prerequisite courses include:

  • One upper division undergraduate or graduate level psychopathology course, such as COUN 430/530: Introduction to Psychiatric Diagnoses, or PSY 434: Introduction to Psychopathology
  • One upper-division or graduate-level introduction to counseling course, such as COUN 441/541: Introduction to Counseling

We recommend that students complete the prerequisite courses prior to the program starting in fall term. The courses do not need to be completed to submit an application but many applicants find that these courses are helpful to understanding the field of professional counseling.

Admitted students who have not completed the prerequisites prior to admission notification will be required to complete both prerequisites at the graduate (500) level. COUN 541: Introduction to Counseling must be completed by the end of fall quarter of their first year. COUN 530: Introduction to Psychiatric Diagnoses must be completed by the end of winter quarter of their first year.

COUN 541 is offered fall, winter, spring, and summer terms, COUN 530 is offered winter and summer terms, and PSY 434 is offered at the discretion of the Psychology Department but typically offered every term. If you have taken a similar course at another university, we will review it to determine if it can be substituted after you are offered admission to the program. For questions, please contact Erica Soule at

Additionally, all students will be required to undergo a criminal background check prior to beginning the program. More detailed information will be furnished after admission.

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Yearly admissions timeline

  1. Mid-September: Application opens
  2. January 1st: Application due
  3. January 1st - Mid February: Application review by the department
  4. Mid-February: Interview request notifications sent to qualified applicants
  5. Early March: In-person interviews
  6. April: Admissions offer notifications sent to admitted applicants

Get started: Application materials and process

  1. Choose a program: Applicants are required to choose a specialty area in order to begin the application.
    • Counselor Education: Clinical Mental Health, Master’s
    • Counselor Education: Clinical Rehabilitation, Master’s
    • Counselor Education: Marriage, Couple, and Family, Master’s
    • Counselor Education: School, Master’s
    • School Counseling, Licensure post-master’s program
  2. Applicants must upload to the online application:
    • Statement of purpose—directions can be found within the online application on the ‘Program materials’ tab
    • Unofficial transcripts—applicants must include unofficial transcripts from all institutions previously attended
      • Acceptable unofficial transcripts are:
        • Web-based transcripts downloaded from an institution: institution and student name must be visible on transcripts
        • Photocopies of official transcripts: these must include the front and back of all pages, including transcript key
      • Previous applicants: If you’ve previously submitted official transcripts to PSU, you are still required to upload unofficial transcripts to complete your application.
      • International applicants: Please review the requirements listed on the Graduate School's website.
      • After you are admitted, you must submit official transcripts to:
        Graduate Admissions
        Portland State University
        PO Box 751 (Graduate School)
        Portland, OR 97207-0751
        Electronic official transcripts should be sent to
  3. Resume—applicants are asked to upload a resume on the ‘Employment’ tab that demonstrates their prior work and volunteer experience, as related to the field of counseling.
  4. Two letters of recommendation—applicants will enter contact information for two references on the ‘Letters of Recommendation’ tab. We will send those references a request to complete a form on the applicant’s behalf.
  5. English Language Proficiency—applicants who are non-native English speakers and who do not hold a degree from the U.S., Australia, English-speaking Canada, Great Britain, Ireland or New Zealand must submit valid proof of proficiency. Please visit the Graduate School to learn more about your options for proving proficiency.

Our master’s degrees begin in the fall of each year. The school counseling licensure-only program may begin in either summer or fall.