The Morgridge College of Education's MA in counseling psychology is an ideal degree for anyone who wants to learn to assist children and/or families dealing with change or trauma, aid individuals struggling with addictions or work as a researcher or leader to affect change at a societal level. In addition to developing the technical skills associated with counseling, you'll have the chance to deepen your understanding of the functioning of relationships and how factors like race, class and gender affect the counseling process. 

Rigorous coursework is complemented by the opportunity to put your new skills into practice by working directly with patients through our onsite clinic or a variety of community partnerships. The MA program offers two areas of focus: research and clinical mental health counseling. Each of these areas offers basic counseling courses to help you develop your individual, group, and career counseling skills. 

Clinical Mental Health Concentration

Our Clinical Mental Health Counseling concentration is a 90-quarter credit program. Upon completion, you will be prepared to apply for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor in Colorado. If you want to pursue licensure in a state other than Colorado, contact the state’s Board of Education to determine whether the program meets licensure requirements.

Students in the Clinical Mental Health Concentration have the chance to pick one of five specializations. You can apply 15 elective credits (of your 90 total credits) to one of five specialty areas. Each specialization is designed to enhance the curricula of the Master’s degree which focuses on psychopathology, ethics, human development, multicultural approaches to counseling theories and much more.

The clinical mental health counseling track offers five additional specialty areas:

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    Addictions Counseling

    There is a rapidly increasing demand for counselors with graduate-level addiction counseling training in treatment settings across Colorado and the nation. Approved by the Office of Behavioral Health in the State of Colorado, this specialization meets all coursework requirements for Certified Addictions Counselor II.

    Elective coursework, practicum, and internship experiences will help you develop the knowledge, skills and awareness to work with individuals who are struggling with addictions. Pursue a career helping those suffering from addiction, as well as their families and friends.

    Contact Dr. Mike Faragher, Director of Addictions Counseling Specialization, for more information.

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    Adolescent Counseling

    Gain the skills needed to work effectively with adolescents in a variety of treatment settings, like schools and residential and outpatient facilities. You will focus on the family, school and community systems that influence adolescents’ socio-emotional and cognitive development during this pivotal life stage.

    We work with key community partners who also specialize in adolescent treatment and training of professional counselors. Through specific coursework, as well as practicum and internship placements, you will get the knowledge needed to stand out.

    Contact Dr. Maria Riva, Director of Adolescent Counseling Specialization, for more information.

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    Couple & Family Counseling

    Get in-depth training in systems theory, couple therapy, family therapy and systemic interventions. You will also focus on working with diverse couples and families through culturally-infused curriculum. Many professional counselors work with couples and families, so this specialized training can give you a unique advantage.

    This specialization is different from a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT). Graduation with a Couple and Family Counseling specialization will not qualify you for a license as an LMFT.

    Contact Dr. Jesse Owen, Director of Couple and Family Counseling Specialization, for more information.

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    Diversity & Social Justice Counseling

    Develop a culturally aware approach to your work as a professional counselor. Starting with our foundational course in multicultural counseling, you will dive deep into the socio-political systems of oppression, equity, discrimination and privilege.

    This specialization will also help you develop cultural awareness and cultural humility. It provides a framework to understand your own, as well as your clients’, cultural beliefs, values and worldviews. With this understanding, you will learn how best to work with clients’ cultural heritage in session

    Contact Dr. Ruth Chao, Director of Diversity & Counseling Specialization, for more information.

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    Blended Option

    If one specialization doesn’t appeal to you, cater to your interests and take courses across specializations. You will gain a broad and general competency in professional counseling.

Research Concentration

Prepare for a research-based career in counseling, or start preparing for future doctoral work. This concentration requires 72-quarter credit hours. You will take advanced courses in research design and statistics. You will also complete a supervised practicum and internship as well as a thesis. You will not be eligible for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor.


We are accredited by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC) for our Clinical Mental Health Concentration in the M.A. program. Additionally, the Clinical Mental Health Concentration is recognized as fulfilling program requirements for licensure in Colorado. The University of Denver has not yet determined whether the program meets licensure requirements in a state other than Colorado or in any U.S. protectorates. Students seeking licensure in a state other than Colorado should contact the state’s Board of Education to determine whether the program meets licensure requirements.