The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program (CMHC) is a 60-credit hour program that meets the educational requirements for licensure in the state of Florida as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). This program is practitioner-oriented in the sense that students are required to complete 1,000 hours of field-based experience before graduation. The counseling curriculum offers a unique blend of courses to provide the skills and knowledge necessary for becoming a competent counseling professional. Solid academic performance and experiential mastery are required.
The program prepares clinical mental health counselors to fulfill the following roles:
UNF undergraduates in Psychology, Sociology, and Public Health may be eligible to apply through the Express Application process. The Express Application waives the GRE, application fee, and one letter of recommendation. Questions should be directed to the graduate Program Director (email@example.com). Express Applications will need to include:
Although many factors can affect the admission timeline, the UNF CMHC admissions process typically follows the below timeline. We offer Fall Semester admission only.
Early September: Applications Begin for Following Year
Early March: UNF Graduate School Refers Completed Applications to UNF CMHC Program
Mid March: UNF CMHC Program Reviews All Applications
Late March/Early April: Invitations for Interviews are Sent to Selected Applicants
Mid/Late April: Program Interviews (full-day interview)
Late April/Early May: Admission Decisions Made and Communicated
New Student Orientation
Fall Semester Begins
Application Deadline March 1
Students have 4 options on how they would like to complete their 9 credits of elective coursework:
*Even though each individual thesis course could be taken for 6 credits, the total credit hours for both courses cannot exceed 9 credits.
In coordination with the student's advisor, the Program Director can approve a student to take graduate-level courses outside of the CMHC program. Any such approval is on a case-by-case basis and should clearly support the student's counseling training.
Clinical Case Exam
*Practicum and Internship require approximately 20 hours per week to be completed at a community partner site in addition to class once a week
**Students have the option of enrolling in one of the CMHC program electives, an independent study, thesis-related courses, or other graduate level courses congruent with the counseling profession and as approved by the Program Director
Lena Salpietro, PhD, LPC (OH), NCC joined the UNF faculty in 2020 as an
Assistant Professor in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program. She
earned her Ph.D. in Counselor Education from the University of Toledo in
Toledo, Ohio. Dr. Salpietro earned her M.A. in Clinical Mental Health
Counseling from the University of Toledo and BA in Psychology from Ohio
University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Ohio, is completing the
licensure process in Florida, and is a National Certified Counselor. Her
clinical experiences include community mental health agencies, college
counseling centers, and private practices. Dr. Salpietro has extensive
experience working with survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and
stalking as well as expertise in treating adolescents, college-aged adults, and
adults living with depression, anxiety, grief, trauma, low self-esteem, and
life changes. She is passionate about working with individuals who identify as
LGBTGEQIAP+, multicultural populations, individuals of varying ability and
disability statuses, and individuals who live with chronic illness/pain. Dr.
Salpietro’s research interests include best practices in/standardization of
gatekeeping and remediation in Counselor Education and LGBTGEQIAP+ health,
wellness, and counseling experiences. She has presented locally, regionally,
and nationally and is published journals such as the Journal of Counseling
and Development and Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling. Dr.
Salpietro has been awarded several grants to fund her research from the
Association for Counselor Education (ACES) and the North Central Association
for Counselor Education (NCACES).
*This number represents all NCMHCE test-takers from UNF, not just those graduating from the CMHC program, so it may include test-takers from other program unaffiliated with the CMHC program
**Some of our graduates seek further education (e.g., doctoral degrees) rather than seeking mental health counseling positions
It depends. In general, yes, the GRE is required. We do not have a specific minimum score, but generally consider a combined 300+ score to be competitive. There are two exceptions to the GRE requirements:
Yes. We allow non-degree-seeking students to take courses in our program if those courses are for licensure in Florida. The guidelines for such are:
Yes. We allow non-degree-seeking students (including university employees) to take our courses provided we have the space, as our accrediting body (
) sets limits on the allowable student:faculty ratio.
who are not mental health clinicians
are not permitted to enroll in our clinical courses (e.g., MHS6941 Clinical Counseling Skills; MHS6205 Clinical Assessment & Diagnosis).
Enrollment as a non-degree-seeking student occurs via to the following steps: