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Clinical Mental Health Counseling

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program, a 60 hour program, is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), and meets educational requirements for licensure as a professional counselor in Tennessee and many other states. Our program is offered in a face-to-face format in Knoxville, TN. Most students enroll on a full-time basis; part-time options are available by advisement. Most courses are offered during the day, Monday-Thursday.

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The program prepares professionals to use strong professional identity and relationship skills across diverse counseling settings including community agencies, nonprofits, and private practice. Our program includes a special focus on work with at-risk children and youth. Throughout our program, we work to embrace our core values–Commitment, Humility, Openness, Respect, Integrity, and Self-Awareness–and to attend to culturally sensitive, developmentally appropriate, and ethical relationships.

About Clinical Mental Health Counseling


We aim to make the world a better place for persons in need through educating excellent counselor-scholars. Our graduates excel in providing healing therapeutic relationships, optimally efficient and effective counseling services, and leading our field to better help persons in need through their work in clinical mental health counseling settings and beyond.


  • Graduates will have foundation knowledge necessary for success as professional counselors
  • Graduates will be able to develop therapeutic relationships that are deeply healing, culturally sensitive, developmentally appropriate, and ethical.
  • Graduates will demonstrate professional dispositions including Commitment, Openness, Respect, Integrity, and Self-Awareness.
  • Graduates will be culturally sensitive and ethical advocates for self, clients, and profession through counseling interventions, programming, and professional and community engagement.
  • Graduates will be well-skilled in the full range of tasks needed for clinical mental health counseling including interventions for prevention and treatment of a broad range of mental health issues; roles of mental health counselors; and settings and service delivery models.


Core CACREP-Accredited Program Faculty

Profile Photo of Dr. Barrio Minton, Professor and Department Head

Casey A. Barrio Minton*

Sharon Bruner

Sharon L. Bruner*
Assistant Professor

Jeff Cochran

Jeff L. Cochran*

Joel Diambra

Joel F. Diambra*
Associate Professor

Melinda Gibbons

Melinda M. Gibbons*

Profile photo of Hyunhee Kim, PhD, newest faculty member of the Department of Educational Psychology & Counseling

Hyunhee Kim, PhD*
Assistant Professor

Headshot Dr. Chris LaFever

Christopher LaFever, PhD*
Assistant Professor of Practice

Laura Wheat

Laura S. Wheat*
Assistant Professor

*Designated as core faculty members for this program.

Information for Potential Applicants

Application Requirements

Beginning in 2023, all Master’s students will begin study during the Summer (June) semester only. The application deadline of December 1, 2022, has passed and applications for Summer 2023 are closed. The next round of applications will be due December 1, 2023, to begin in Summer 2024.

We have linked FAQs about the program and application process on the next page. You can also use the link on the next page to reserve a space in a program information session.

Please direct admission or application inquiries to

CMHC students complete a one semester, 100-hour practicum in a clinical mental health counseling setting. During practicum, students focus on developing counseling relationships. This work is closely supervised on site and on campus.

After practicum, CMHC students complete a 900-hour internship over one calendar year. During internship, students focus on developing counseling relationships and assuming responsibilities of entry-level professional counselors. As with practicum, this work is closely supervised both on campus and on site.

Practicum and internship sites are carefully selected in collaboration with the program faculty. Additional details regarding field experiences are located in the MS in Counseling Handbook.


All 50 states require a license to practice as a professional counselor. These licensure requirements tend to feature the three Es: education, examination, and experience (2000-4000 supervised hours post-graduation). You can learn more on the American Counseling Association’s licensure requirements page.

Our CMHC program is designed to exceed the educational requirements for licensure as a professional counselor with mental health service provider designation (LPC-MHSP) in the state of Tennessee. In addition, accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) helps ensure a smooth path to licensure in many other states. If you plan to practice in a state other than Tennessee, a faculty advisor can help you customize electives to meet educational requirements.

National Certification

As a CACREP accredited program, our program is able to offer a fast-track to the National Certified Counselor Credential offered by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC).

Students admitted to the Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling programs have the opportunity to complete dual-track licensure preparation requirements. The completed coursework will provide the student with a structured method for meeting the academic requirements for licensure as a Professional Counselor (LPC) and as a Professional School Counselor in the state of Tennessee. The dual licensure preparation requires a total of 63 hours. Faculty permission and an application are required, and students must declare their intentions during the first semester in their program. Faculty will make a determination of all submitted applications and inform students before the Fall semester ends. Selected students remain in the program for which they were admitted (i.e., school or clinical mental health) but agree to and are expected to complete the dual licensure preparation requirements.

Financial Aid Information

Includes EPC GA Application form, departmental fellowships/scholarships, and links to other funding sources around UT Knoxville.

The Counselor Training Clinic provides students with access to free individual and group counseling and is focused on helping students to achieve a greater sense of wellness. Students collaborate with counselors to create and achieve personal goals to increase their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

CACREP Accreditation Information

In accordance with CACREP (2016) Standards, syllabi for our courses are available for prospective and admitted students to review.  If you would like to preview syllabi for any of our courses, please contact and indicate which syllabi you would like to receive.