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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. 

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, Openness, Respect, Integrity, and Self-Awareness–and to attend to culturally sensitive, developmentally appropriate, and ethical relationships. Our program is completely face-to-face; most students enroll on full-time basis, and part-time options are available by advisement.

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

Casey Barrio-Minton

Casey A. Barrio Minton*

Pamelia Brott

Pamelia E. Brott*
Associate Professor

Jeff Cochran

Jeff Cochran*

Joel Diambra

Joel F. Diambra*
Associate Professor

Melinda Gibbons

Melinda Gibbons*

Bob Kronick

Robert Kronick
Professor Emeritus

Shawn Spurgeon

Shawn Spurgeon*
Associate Professor

Laura Wheat

Laura S. Wheat*
Assistant Professor

*Designated as core faculty members for this program.

Information for Potential Applicants

Application Requirements

Applications are due each year on February 1 for fall or summer admissions.

**CMHC FAQS – Covid-19 Update for 2021 Admission Cycle

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.

CACREP Accreditation Information


Updated 08/18/2020

Educational Psychology & Counseling Department
College of Education, Health & Human Sciences

535 Bailey Education Complex
1122 Volunteer Boulevard
Knoxville, TN 37996-3452
Phone: 865-974-8145 Fax: 865-974-0135