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  •  Fully online coursework without campus visits
  •  Time-saving placement support services
  •  Flexible pathway to a meaningful career
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New England Commission on Higher Education

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Top National College
by U.S. News & World Report

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A+ in Diversity from Niche

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Get more information to make the decision that's right for you. Learn more about:

  • Admission Requirements
  • Enrollment Support
  • Degree Support
  • Program Features
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About the Online Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program

Support human well-being and integrity as a skilled mental health counselor

The online Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) at American International College (AIC) is your optimal pathway to a new and meaningful career as a mental health counselor. AIC has a long-standing history of making education more accessible for people of all backgrounds, with a legacy centered around diversity, access, and inclusion. With this degree, you can become a part of this legacy by providing access to mental health care for people in need in your community. 

The program is based on an integrated curriculum that trains you as a capable counselor who is well-versed in theory, research, and clinical skills. It offers flexible enrollment options and no campus travel, making it an ideal choice for working professionals.

  • 100% online coursework: Study at your own pace
  • No campus residencies: Stay close to home
  • Field practicum hours near you: Put classroom theory into real-world practice
  • Field placement services: Save time with help finding internships and practicum sites
  • Enroll full-time or part-time: Schedule your education around your life
  • CACREP-aligned curriculum: Get prepared for licensure in most states


Online MA Counseling Curriculum

This course examines the major theories, principles, and techniques of mental health counseling and the application of such theories to counseling settings. This includes the examination of the influence of psychoanalytic, interpersonal/social, cognitive, and behavioristic theories on present therapeutic techniques. A number of treatment modalities and styles of counseling are evaluated, and the relationship between the nature of the current DSM diagnoses and the effectiveness of each approach is discussed. Coursework, classroom discussion, and role play are used to translate theoretical understanding into effective counseling behavior for a clear understanding of applying theoretical perspectives to work with clients and for consultation with individuals and families. (3 credits)

This course includes studies of the theories and principles of crisis intervention as applied to therapeutic strategies for treatment. Students will also examine and discuss trauma-informed care practices for an understanding of the pervasive nature of trauma to promote healing and avoid re-traumatization in the counseling relationship. The course provides a scientific base of various approaches to trauma-informed care and crisis intervention, including short-term and long-term counseling methods, community and societal crises, interventions with diverse clinical populations, professional skills for intervening, prevention techniques, and evaluation of services and the roles and responsibilities of others participating in crisis intervention. (3 credits)

This course traces the history of the major theoretical positions in psychology (structuralism, functionalism, behaviorism, gestalt, and psychoanalysis) from their epistemological, both rationalistic and empirical and philosophical roots, dating from ancient Greece to the present time. Coverage will include discussions of the scientific method and the philosophy of science. Finally, contemporary positions, especially those involved in the cognitive revolution, will be covered from both psychological and physiological points of view. Throughout these latter discussions, emphasis will be placed on the developmental aspects of human growth. (3 credits)

This course examines the theories of multicultural counseling, issues, and trends of a multicultural and diverse society. It includes the foundational knowledge and skills needed to provide mental health counseling services to diverse populations in a culturally competent manner. This course covers a number of advanced topics in the general area of social and interpersonal psychology, including cultural, ethnic, and group processes, familial patterns, sexual orientation, gender roles, disability status, religious beliefs, age, organizational behavior, group dynamics, status and role, attribution theory, and leadership. Special emphasis will also be placed on cultural diversity, including those issues related to cultural, racial, and ethnic bases of behavior. (3 credits)


We’re here and ready to help you with enrollment and answer your questions about the program, including tuition, admission requirements, curriculum details, and more.

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Sally Van Wright
EdD ’19

"I want to learn more, I want to study more, but I don’t want to stop doing what I’m doing to help people."

icon of a talk bubble representing a testimonial for the online programs at American International College

Eugene Isaak
EdD ’19

"I really like the atmosphere here, and I really like the people. They’re really engaged here; they really care. I discovered that AIC is a big part of this community. I was amazed at the interconnection — not just the people, but the programs and outreach."


 3 intakes per year

 Full-time or part-time

 100% online coursework

CMHC Program Outcomes

The Online Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is designed to meet the educational requirements for a licensed mental health counselor in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and similar professional designations in other states. You will gain experience addressing mental health issues, human dynamics, and social justice for various individual or group cases, institutions, or workplaces. The program includes coursework in research, assessment, counseling, psychopathology, human development, and ethics. A pre-internship clinical practicum of 100 hours is required, followed by a 600-hour clinical internship in a practicum site near you.

Field Placement Services


How does the field placement process work?

Experiential learning in your community is one of the most exciting and rewarding aspects of earning your degree. Practicum hours are guided and directed by AIC faculty in collaboration with your on-site field supervisor at the agency where you are assigned. Support to find field placement sites that align with your career goals is integrated into the program cost.


How do field placement services help me?

Concurrent coursework and field experiences connect theory with practice. Field placement provides 700 hours of real-world, hands-on mental health counseling experience. Your Field Placement Coordinator helps identify quality placement sites within your local community so you can focus on your coursework and build your skills.


How should I prepare for my field placement?

Your Field Placement Coordinator and faculty guide you through the entire process. They give you a realistic idea of the field experience to ensure you are ready to work in a supervised, fast-paced environment.


Can I arrange my own field experiences?

Students are strongly encouraged to list agency referrals on the field intake form for the Field Placement Coordinator to arrange. The College is required to review and approve the agency and site before the start of any fieldwork.

Numbers Tell the Story of Mental Health in America

0 %
of adults experience mental illness. 55% do not receive treatment. (The State of Mental Health in America, 2021)
0 %
of adults have experienced a substance abuse disorder. 94% do not receive treatment. (The State of Mental Health in America, 2021)
0 %
of children/teens experience depression that affects their lives. 60% do not receive treatment. (The State of Mental Health in America, 2021)

Frequently Asked Questions

American International College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). The CMHC program’s curriculum is aligned with the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Program (CACREP) to prepare you for licensure in most states. (Students are responsible for ensuring they meet all state licensing requirements.)

It depends on your schedule, and the choice is yours. You can complete this program on a full-time basis and earn your degree in two years (six trimesters). Or, you can enroll in the program part-time and earn your degree in three years and three months (ten trimesters).

The online CMHC program costs $830 + fees* per credit hour for a total investment of $49,800. Financial aid may be available to our online students.

*Please speak with your enrollment advisor about additional program fees. 

Yes. Our faculty members are experienced practitioners who are experts in their field and dedicated to your success in diverse counseling settings.


Employment Outcome

161,588 Median Total Annual Wages*

Job postings in 2021 (up 28% since 2018)

The most common industries employing mental health counselors, by the number of employees, are as follows:


Projected 10-year Growth

161,588 Median Total Annual Wages*

Job postings in 2021 (up 28% since 2018)

The most common industries employing mental health counselors, by the number of employees, are as follows:


Outpatient care centers (41%)


Individual and family services (16%)


Elementary and secondary schools (10.5%)


Colleges, universities, junior universities, and professional schools (6.35%)

  • General medical and surgical hospitals and specialty hospitals (6.08%)
  • Residential care facilities (3.13%)
  • Administration of human resource programs (2.64%)
  • Psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals (2.47%)
  • Justice, public order, and safety activities (1.68%)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Lightcast,

Dedicated Student Support

An AIC Enrollment Advisor can answer your questions and guide you through the application process. Click the button below to fill out a form and start the conversation.

Your advisor can help with:

  •   Admission Requirements
  •   Curriculum details
  •   Field placement
  •   Enrollment support
  •   Tuition costs
  •   Financial aid
Elizabeth Comino, Enrollment Advisor at American International College
Elizabeth Comino
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