Program overview

Rider’s clinical mental health counseling program provides the foundational knowledge and training for aspiring counselors to obtain licensure and enter rewarding careers within the clinical mental health field. Learn from our faculty experts who possess diverse experience and gain practical experience at qualified field placement sites.

Learn more about the Dance/Movement Therapy concentration.

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Change lives for the better

The program prepares students for the eight-core content areas of the National Counselor Exam (NCE), required by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) in order to become a National Certified Counselor. Students completing this program will also have met the educational requirements for Board Certified Coach (BCC) and for the LPC in NJ, PA and many other states. Students may gear their elective choices so they also complete academic requirements for the Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADC) and the Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS). With some additional coursework, CMHC students may also complete educational requirements for the Student Assistance Coordinator (SAC) certificate.

*Students in the MA CMHC program (with a Dance/Movement Therapy concentration) do not have electives and would need additional coursework for these certifications

Common careers

Graduates of Rider’s clinical mental health counseling program exit well trained for doctoral programs or counseling positions in community agencies, mental health agencies, hospitals, government facilities, institutions of higher education, industry and private practice. Students will meet the educational requirements for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in New Jersey and many other states.

Common careers include:

  • Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) in community agencies, hospitals and private practice
  • Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselors (LCADC) in addiction treatment centers
  • Counselors and other professionals in colleges and universities
  • Faculty in colleges and universities

Facts and figures

Data represents the 2020-21 Counseling Services program. Rider student performance on the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) has consistently been above the national average.


National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) pass rate


Employment rate within six months of graduation


Program completion rate


Number of Students Graduated


Rider’s clinical mental health program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Program (CACREP), the premier national accrediting body that ensures excellence in counselor preparation and training. 

The MA Counseling and MA CMHC programs are on an 8-year accreditation cycle and are CACREP-accredited until October 31, 2022. CACREP accreditation is sought for our programs on an ongoing basis.

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Program requirements

Our 60-credit program blends traditional classroom learning alongside student participation in at least 700 hours of counseling fieldwork in a clinical mental health setting. Courses emphasize active learning, case examples and personal exploration to build self-awareness. Fieldwork supervision is intensive, with individualized student/supervisor meetings with at least two professionals: the supervisor on-site and the faculty supervisor at Rider.

Students in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program all take the same 36-credits of core courses and 9 credits of fieldwork. Students not enrolled in the DMT concentration take 15-credits of coursework in: addictions, advanced psychopathology, and two electives from the program’s diverse range of electives (play therapy, disordered eating, trauma, creativity). Students enrolled in the DMT concentration do not have electives and take 15-credits of coursework in DMT.

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Sravya Gummaluri Headshot
During my time in the counseling program, I was introduced to some of the most caring and compassionate professors...I was able to recognize my potential and how much I was capable of as a leader, counselor, student and human being.
Sravya Gummaluri ’20
Clinical Mental Health Counseling (M.A.)
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Accelerated option

Highly qualified undergraduate psychology majors are eligible to apply in their junior year for the accelerated BA-MA program in either School Counseling or Clinical Mental Health Counseling. This program enables students to take graduate courses during their senior year that count toward both the bachelor's and master's degrees.

Applicants for this accelerated program must have a GPA of at least 3.0 and must meet the same admission requirements as all other applicants.