A one-year program of classroom learning and practical experience to prepare you for careers or further studies in the field of mental health.  

The Counseling and Mental Health Services master's program opens the door to professional training in psychology, mental health counseling, school counseling, and/or research in these areas. The degree prepares students either to enter the Professional Counseling program at Penn GSE or to continue in a doctoral program at another university.

What Sets Us Apart

3Our program emphasizes three primary themes: social justice, diversity in its many forms, and a person-centered counseling orientation
1 Earn a master's degree in one year after taking 10 courses
 We prepare students for admission to Ph.D., Psy.D., or Ed.D. programs

About the Program

In introducing students to counseling and mental health services, this program's coursework and training emphasize three primary themes: social justice, diversity in its many forms, and a person- or student-centered counseling orientation.

Application Deadline
Final Deadline: February 26, 2021
Entry term(s)
Course requirements
10 course units
Typical course load

Fall: 4 courses; Spring: 4 courses; Summer: 2 courses

Certificate/Licensure OfferedNot until completion of Professional Counseling Program (M.Phil.Ed.) in the second year

Culminating experienceComprehensive exam

Practical Experience ComponentPracticum (8–10 hours per week)

  • Full-Time
  • Part-time (Penn employees only)

The program’s innovative format combines coursework with practical field experience to prepare students for future roles as mental health professionals who provide counseling services for children, adolescents, college students, families, and adults. Students take core courses in counseling and human development in preparation for professional training in mental health counseling and related fields.

After successfully completing this one-year program, many students move into the M. Phil.Ed. in Professional Counseling (Year 2) to qualify for licensure and school certification. Please visit the Professional Counseling page for information on licensure and certification.

We welcome international students into our program, though we cannot guarantee that our degree requirements will match the professional requirements in other countries. International students who wish to pursue certification/licensure options in their home countries after the completion of the degree should research what those requirements are prior to entering the program. Our degree programs are designed to meet U.S. certification/licensure requirements. Also, students seeking to stay in the U.S. after graduating in order to complete post-graduate requirements for professional licensure are subject to all U.S. regulations regarding foreign nationals seeking employment in the U.S.


Students in the Counseling and Mental Health Services M.S.Ed. program take ten required courses to provide a foundation in mental health counseling. For more information on courses and requirements, visit the Counseling and Mental Health Services M.S.Ed. program in the University Catalog.

Our Faculty

Penn GSE Faculty Michael J. Nakkula
Professor of Practice
Ed.D., Harvard Graduate School of Education
Penn GSE Faculty Caroline L. Watts
Senior Lecturer
Ed.D., Harvard University
Penn GSE Faculty Howard C. Stevenson
Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education
Ph.D., Fuller Graduate School of Psychology
Penn GSE Faculty Kyle Schultz
Lecturer in Educational Practice
Psy.D., Widener University
Penn GSE Faculty Jeanne L. Stanley
Adjunct Professor, Penn GSE
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Penn GSE Faculty Ariane Thomas
Lecturer in Educational Practice
Psy.D., Widener University
Penn GSE Faculty Marsha Richardson
Senior Lecturer
Psy.D., Widener University

"Ultimately, the one-year program gave me the foundation to be a successful Ph.D. student, and one day, develop interventions that I hope will change lives."

Bhanu Priya Moturu

Counseling and Mental Health Services M.S.Ed., 2017

Our Graduates

The M.S.Ed. in Counseling and Mental Health Services is a gateway to professional training in psychology, mental health counseling, school counseling, and research. Our alumni work as counselors in a variety of school and community settings. Many go on to pursue doctoral study. 

Alumni Careers

  • Doctoral student, Clinical Psychology, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Doctoral student, Clinical Psychology, Rutgers University
  • Doctoral student, Social-Organizational Psychology, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Doctoral student, Clinical Psychology, Suffolk University
  • Doctoral student, Counseling Psychology, University of Maryland

Admissions & Financial Aid

Please visit our Admissions and Financial Aid pages for specific information on the application requirements, as well as information on tuition, fees, financial aid, scholarships, and fellowships.

Contact Information

Contact us if you have any questions about the program.

Office of Admissions and
Financial Aid

Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania
3700 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-6415

Program Contact

Elizabeth Mackenzie
Adjunct Associate Professor, Program Manager
(215) 898-4176

Maryetta Rowan
Program Assistant
(215) 573-6851

Please view information from our Admissions and Financial Aid Office for specific information on the cost of this program.

Penn GSE is committed to making your graduate education affordable, and we offer generous scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships.