Graduate School : Downstate
Certificate of Advanced Study in Mental Health Counseling

The Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) in Mental Health Counseling is designed to be a "bridge program" for individuals who have already earned a master's degree in counseling, but do not meet the required coursework and experience for mental health counseling licensure. This includes master's degrees in school counseling, community-agency counseling, and college counseling/college student development, or older general counseling degrees. It does not include master's degrees in psychology, school psychology, social work or human development.

Individuals who successfully complete this State Education Department approved program will meet the requirements for eligibility for the Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) credential in New York State.

Alfred University downstate graduate programs are designed for non-traditional students who are employed in full-time positions. To accommodate normal work schedules, classes meet for one full day session on either Saturdays or Sundays, with each course consisting of five full day class sessions. Students enter with a cohort that moves through the program together on the same schedule.

Classes are held in downtown Brooklyn and Oceanside on Long Island. Both locations are very accessible and convenient. Our Brooklyn location is adjacent to the primary train and bus transportation hub in that borough. The Oceanside location is near the main Long Island automobile routes and has ample parking for students.

Each applicant to the program must have a supervisor or another professional familiar with the applicant's work as a counselor complete the Certificate of Advanced Study in Mental Health Counseling Applicant Evaluation Form.

The programs offered downstate follow the exact same curricula as those on Alfred University's main campus. Instructors include regular Alfred University faculty and experienced adjunct faculty. View the sequence of courses.

The internship must consist of 600 clock hours of experience across 2 semesters, 240 of which must involve direct counseling activities with clients. Therefore, the breakdown by semester is 300 clock hours and 120 hours of direct client contact.

The supervisor must be a licensed mental health professional. This includes licensed mental health counselors (LMHC), licensed psychologists, licensed clinical social workers (LCSW), and licensed psychiatrists. It does not include school psychologists, school social workers, or LMSW's, all of whom are not appropriately licensed under the State Education Department supervision regulations.

The internship site must be an agency or other setting licensed by the appropriate state regulating entity (OMH, OASAS, etc) or a professional practice that is a PC, LLC, or LLPC.

Students are responsible for identifying potential internship sites. Sites must sign an internship agreement with Alfred University before a student is allowed to begin the internship.

Post-degree requirements
Individuals seeking to obtain the LMHC are required to complete the following post-training requirements, whether they graduate from a certificate or a master's program:

  • 3,000 additional hours of supervised mental health counseling experience. This equates to approximately 2 years of full-time experience.
  • Pass the Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC) examination administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).

Alfred alumni application
Graduates of Alfred University's downstate M.S.Ed in Counseling program should apply using a special form designed for them. All other applicants must use the online graduate application form.

Financial aid
Financial aid is available through the Alfred University Office of Student Financial Aid. Students who follow the standard sequence meet the minimum 6 credits/semester requirement for financial aid. Aid is primarily in the form of subsidized loans. Learn more about financial aid for graduate students.

More Information

Apply for Graduate Admission
Special Application for Alfred University M.S.Ed in Counseling graduates
CAS in Mental Health Counseling Course Sequence
Financial Aid for Graduate Students
Requirements for Off-Campus Programs


Jay Cerio, Dean
External Programs
1 Saxon Drive
Alfred, NY 14802
Ph: 607.871.2757