Be prepared for a career as a licensed professional counselor, where you are able to empower individuals, families, and groups to accomplish their mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.

You’ll engage in classroom learning rich in practical and theoretical knowledge, and clinical training. Plus, you have the opportunity to apply clinical skills in practice under close supervision by licensed faculty supervisors.

Several factors set this 60-credit hour counseling program apart from other clinical training programs. The program meets the educational requirements for licensure as a professional counselor and prepares you for a career as a Licensed Professional Counselor. As a graduate student, you have the opportunity to:

  • Develop knowledge, skills, and awareness for a future career as a clinical mental health counselor. 
  • Receive clinical supervision, mentorship, and advising from licensed faculty and supervisors.
  • Collaborate with faculty in determining practicum and internship placements that meet your clinical training needs and match your career interests.
  • Enter the program through a cohort model of admission. This offers students an opportunity to develop collaborative relationships and community with peers and faculty members.
  • Collaborate with faculty members conducting research.

Students are admitted to the program each fall semester. Applications for Fall 2020 admission are being accepted. Please email Jeanne Suda, at suda@uwp.eduwith questions regarding ongoing rolling acceptance for Fall 2020. We also encourage you to attend one of our Information Sessions listed in the Find Out More section.

The early admission date is November 1, 2019 for admission to the Fall 2020 semester. Complete applications will be reviewed and admission decisions will be made in late November. (When November 1 falls on a weekend, then the next business day will serve as the early admission date.)

The priority application date is February 15, 2020 for admission to the Fall 2020 semester. Complete applications will be reviewed and admission decisions will be made in early March. (When February 15 falls on a weekend, then the next business day will serve as the priority application date.)

The Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a graduate degree program designed for students who already have a bachelor’s degree (or will have one by the start of the program). The application requirements are as follows:

Submit letters of recommendation, essay, and resume here

Applicants who do not meet or who are uncertain if they meet these requirements should see the Frequently Asked Questions link below.

If an applicant wants to request a modification to application materials they should e-mail Dr. Aaron Carlstrom, Coordinator of the CMHC Program ( For example, applicants who have been out of school for several years which prevents them from obtaining an academic letter of recommendation.

Applicants are required to have a minimum of 18 credits of undergraduate course work in the social sciences, and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Applicants who do not meet or who are uncertain if they meet these requirements should click here for details about opportunities for admission to the CMHC program.

No graduate exam scores (for example the GRE or MAT) are required.

Students admitted to the program are required to attend a mandatory new student orientation approximately one-week prior to the start of the Fall semester.

NOTE:  Transcripts may not be sent through this portal, they must be sent directly from the institution.



Join us for a one hour information session to meet with a faculty member and find out more about application requirements, program schedule, licensure, and accreditation. All sessions are held in the Poplar Room in the Student Center. 


  • Wednesday, September 18 |  5 pm
  • Wednesday, October 23 |  5 pm
  • Wednesday, November 13 |  5 pm
  • Wednesday, January 22 |  5 pm
  • Wednesday, February 5 |  5 pm
  • Monday, March 16 |  5 pm
  • Monday, April 13 | 6 pm
  • Monday, May 11 |  6 pm



The CMHC program is accredited through the University by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and meets requirements for licensure in the profession.

The CMHC program consists of coursework that aligns with the standards of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics, and licensure requirements for the state of Wisconsin. The program plans to seek CACREP accreditation when eligible for consideration.

The need for clinical mental health counselors continues to increase in the region and state. With the development of mental health parity laws, more people are accessing health insurance and mental health services. The demand for highly trained counselors, offering evidence-based interventions in mental health treatment settings, exists in clinics, agencies, integrative care settings, and private practice. Students will develop skills critical to effective clinical mental health counseling such as: assessment, diagnosis, intervention, advocacy, and program evaluation.


A CMHC MS degree can lead to work as a professional counselor working with a range of populations (children and families, adults, couples, and groups) in a variety of settings including

•    Mental Health outpatient care
•    Hospitals
•    Clinics
•    Agencies
•    Integrative Care Settings
•    Private Practice



Aaron Carlstrom  | 262-595-2316  |

Faculty Highlights

  • Ann Friesema, psychology professor

    Dr. Ann Friesema, PHD, LCPC, ACS
    Assistant Professor 
    Practicum & Internship Coordinator

    Dr. Friesema is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Illinois and earned a doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision from Northern Illinois University. She has worked in outpatient, inpatient, agency, and private practice settings, using a relational approach in working with adults managing anxiety and depression. Her research interests include qualitative work addressing trauma-informed care, trauma-specific treatment, and supervision of trauma counselors. As a faculty member, Dr. Friesema teaches core courses as well as crisis and trauma counseling classes.

  • Dr. Aaron Carlstrom with a black background

    Dr. Aaron Carlstrom, PHD, LP
    Associate Professor and Psychology Department Chair

    Dr. Carlstrom is a Licensed Psychologist, and earned a doctorate in Urban Education-Counseling Psychology from UW-Milwaukee. He spent 10-years at Kansas State University where he provided mental health counseling, and was a faculty member in the graduate programs in counseling. His research interests include the effects of career counseling interventions on career development and mental health. He is the recipient of the 2016 Advising Excellence Award at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Dr. Carlstrom teaches courses in counseling theory, assessment and career counseling.

  • Dr. McGinley image

    Dr. Meredith McGinley
    Assistant of Psychology

    Dr. Meredith McGinley joined the UW-Parkside community in Fall 2017 as an assistant professor in the psychology department. In her faculty role Dr. McGinley teaches undergraduate courses in Introduction to Psychological Science, Introduction to Human Development, Infant Development, and Adolescent Development. She will be teaching Lifespan Development in Counseling in the new Masters (MS) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program. Dr. McGinley has been collaborating with students on quantitative research projects focusing on the social, emotional, and moral development of adolescents and emerging adults.


University of Wisconsin System Member
The Higher Learning Commission
Carnegie Foundation, Elective Community Engagement Classification
UW Vets - Veterans Education & Transition to Success
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