What is mental health?

Mental health is an overarching field that involves the care and treatment of emotional, psychological, and cognitive disorders.

What should I look for in an online mental health school?

The best online mental health schools should possess either regional or national accreditation from an accrediting body that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

In addition, you can often recognize top online mental health schools based on:

  • The school's name and status
  • The school's history
  • Teacher credentials
  • Alumni network
In choosing the best online mental health school for you, you should consider the following factors:
  • Admission requirements
  • Residency requirements
  • Class and teaching style
  • Testing methods used
  • Course content and presentation
  • Program length
  • Class size
  • Student-teacher interaction
  • Technology use
  • Tuition and financial aid
  • Transferability of credits
  • Availability of a dedicated administration team and resources

What levels of online mental health programs are available?

The following levels of mental health degree online programs are available:

  • Online Mental Health Certificate Programs
  • Online Associates in Mental Health
  • Online Bachelor in Mental Health
  • Online Masters in Mental Health
  • Online PhD in Mental Health

How long does it take to get an online mental health degree?

The amount of time it takes a student to earn an accredited online mental health degree depends on the level of mental health degree being pursued and the pace of the student.

Typically, the breakdown is as follows:

  • Online Mental Health Certification Programs - 6 months to 1 year
  • Online Mental Health Associates Degree - 2 years
  • Online Mental Health Bachelor Degree - 4 years
  • Online Mental Health Masters - 2 years
  • Online Mental Health PhD - 2 to 5 years

What are some examples of online mental health courses?

Popular mental health online schools offer foundational courses in basic psychology, human behavior, biology, and general education studies like college writing and communications. The best online mental health degree programs offer typical courses such as:

  • Human Development
    This core course discusses the natural stages of human development from birth through childhood, adolescence and adulthood, highlighting the cognitive and emotional skills healthy people acquire at each stage.
  • Theories of Counseling
    Within the clinical mental health field, noted psychologists and social workers have developed effective therapeutic methodologies including psychotherapy, solution-focused brief therapy, person-centered therapy, and others that are the topics of this class.
  • Psychopathology
    One of several courses that look at the dysfunctions of the human psyche and how to recognize, assess, and diagnose clinical mental health disorders for treatment.
  • Treatment Planning
    Any area of public mental health deals with clinicians and clients creating a cooperative, tangible plan of treatment to improve the social, emotional, and psychological function of the client in their environment.
  • Research Methods
    Online Mental Health school students will learn how to understand and design a reliable social science research project to collect data that will help mental health professionals address client issues based on empirical evidence.

What areas of mental health specialization are available?

Top online mental health schools offer specializations for students to focus studies on:

  • Addictions
  • Substance Abuse Treatment
  • Clinical Counseling
  • Marriage, Couples, and Family Therapy
  • Counseling Psychology
  • Play Therapy
  • Trauma and Crisis Counseling

What can I do with a mental health degree?

Graduates of top online mental health degree programs are prepared to serve at various levels of administration and clinical care at public and private clinics or mental health centers. Mental health professional jobs include a variety of choices such as:

  • Addictions or Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Marriage and Family Therapist
  • Child Psychologist
  • School Counselor
  • Career Counselor
  • Youth Program Director
  • Private Clinical Counselor
  • Community Mental Health Caseworker
  • Hospital Mental Health Specialist
  • Social Worker

What is a mental health professional?

A mental health professional specializes in assessing and treating the psychological, emotional, or cognitive dysfunctions of clients in outpatient counseling clinics or in-patient programs. Mental health professionals may work with community centers, hospitals, private counseling centers, businesses, or schools to care for the overall mental well being of people.

What does a mental health professional do?

When a mental health professional first meets with a client, he or she performs a psychosocial assessment interview, designed to find out a client's health and mental health history, present conditions, and life stressors to help diagnose the main problems for the client and gather clues to their origin. After the initial assessment, mental health professionals design a clinical treatment plan with the client that includes therapy, medication, exercise, and other strategies to combat the client's issues. Mental health professionals either directly continue to work with clients in weekly individual or group session meetings on the goals of the treatment plan or oversee the treatment plans of several clients working with other counselors.

How much does a mental health professional earn?

Mental health professionals as counselors, psychologists, or supervisors earn between $38,740 and $65,360 per year on average. Job growth is expected to at a higher-than-average rate of 18% to 24% until 2018, as more people are willing to seek help for mental health concerns and managed care insurance helps cover the costs of mental health counseling.

How do I become a mental health professional?

Students interested in how to become a mental health professional should first assess their ability to help people in crisis and then choose either an administrative or clinical counseling mental health degree at one of the accredited mental health online schools. After completing at least a bachelor's degree online in mental health, entry-level positions will be available. Most mental health professionals advance their career by completing master's or doctoral degrees. Most states have licensing requirements that require exams, applications, and proof of degree completion before certifying the mental health professional to practice in clinical treatment settings.

Mental Health Schools (Campus)

SchoolCertificateAssociatesBachelorsMastersPhD
University of Phoenix-Online Campus
3157 E. Elwood Street
Phoenix, AZ, 85034
http://www.uopxonline.com
X
Miami Dade College
300 NE 2nd Ave.
Miami, FL, 33132
http://www.mdc.edu/main/
X
Houston Community College
3100 Main Street
Houston, TX, 77266
http://www.hccs.edu
X X
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
100 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN, 55455
http://www1.umn.edu/twincities/index.php
X
University of Florida
355 Tigert Hall
Gainesville, FL, 32611
http://www.ufl.edu/
X X X
Northern Virginia Community College
4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd
Annandale, VA, 22003
http://www.nvcc.edu
X X
Lone Star College System
5000 Research Forest Drive
The Woodlands, TX, 77381
http://www.lonestar.edu
X X
Tarrant County College District
1500 Houston St
Fort Worth, TX, 76102
http://www.tccd.edu
X X
Walden University
155 Fifth Ave S Suite 100
Minneapolis, MN, 55401
http://www.waldenu.edu
X
Capella University
225 South 6th Street 9th Floor
Minneapolis, MN, 55402
http://www.capella.edu
X
Wayne State University
656 West Kirby Street
Detroit, MI, 48202
http://www.wayne.edu
X
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus
2624 Clifton Avenue
Cincinnati, OH, 45221
http://www.uc.edu
X
Tidewater Community College
121 College Place
Norfolk, VA, 23510
http://www.tcc.edu
X X
Mt San Antonio College
1100 N Grand Ave
Walnut, CA, 91789
http://www.mtsac.edu
X X
Cuyahoga Community College District
700 Carnegie Ave
Cleveland, OH, 44115
http://www.tri-c.edu
X
St Petersburg College
14025 58th Street North
Clearwater, FL, 33760
http://www.spcollege.edu
X
University at Buffalo
3435 Main Street
Buffalo, NY, 14214
http://www.buffalo.edu
X
Florida State College at Jacksonville
501 W State St
Jacksonville, FL, 32202
http://www.fscj.edu
X
Columbus State Community College
550 E Spring St
Columbus, OH, 43215
http://www.cscc.edu
X X
El Paso Community College
919 Hunter Drive
El Paso, TX, 79915
http://www.epcc.edu
X
Palm Beach State College
4200 Congress Ave
Lake Worth, FL, 33461
http://www.palmbeachstate.edu/
X
San Jacinto Community College
8060 Spencer Hwy
Pasadena, TX, 77501
http://www.sjcd.edu
X
Hillsborough Community College
39 Columbia Drive
Tampa, FL, 33606
http://www.hccfl.edu
X
Montgomery College
40 W. Gude Drive Suite 220
Rockville, MD, 20850
http://cms.montgomerycollege.edu
X
Santa Rosa Junior College
1501 Mendocino Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA, 95401
http://www.santarosa.edu
X
Western Michigan University
1903 West Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI, 49008
http://www.wmich.edu
X
San Antonio College
1300 San Pedro Ave
San Antonio, TX, 78212
http://www.alamo.edu/sac/sacmain/sac.htm
X
Old Dominion University
5115 Hampton Blvd
Norfolk, VA, 23529
http://www.odu.edu
X
The Community College of Baltimore County
7201 Rossville Blvd.
Baltimore, MD, 21237
http://www.ccbcmd.edu
X X
University of Toledo
2801 W Bancroft
Toledo, OH, 43606
http://www.utoledo.edu/
X X X X X
Wayne County Community College District
801 W Fort St
Detroit, MI, 48226
http://www.wcccd.edu
X X
Johns Hopkins University
3400 N Charles St Mason Hall
Baltimore, MD, 21218
http://www.jhu.edu
X X X
San Joaquin Delta College
5151 Pacific Ave
Stockton, CA, 95207
http://www.deltacollege.edu
X
Milwaukee Area Technical College
700 W State St
Milwaukee, WI, 53233
http://matc.edu
X
Glendale Community College
6000 W Olive Ave
Glendale, AZ, 85302
http://www.gc.maricopa.edu
X X
Ivy Tech Community College-Central Indiana
50 W. Fall Creek Parkway N. Drive
Indianapolis, IN, 46208
http://www.ivytech.edu/indianapolis/
X
Central Piedmont Community College
1201 Elizabeth Avenue
Charlotte, NC, 28204
http://www.cpcc.edu
X X
CUNY Kingsborough Community College
2001 Oriental Blvd
New York, NY, 11235
http://www.kbcc.cuny.edu
X
Moraine Valley Community College
9000 W. College Parkway
Palos Hills, IL, 60465
http://www.morainevalley.edu
X
Community College of Rhode Island
400 East Ave
Warwick, RI, 2886
http://www.ccri.edu
X
Wright State University-Main Campus
3640 Colonel Glenn Highway
Dayton, OH, 45435
http://www.wright.edu
X
Daytona State College
1200 W. International Speedway Blvd.
Daytona Beach, FL, 32114
http://www.DaytonaState.edu
X
University of Alaska Anchorage
3211 Providence Drive
Anchorage, AK, 99508
http://www.uaa.alaska.edu
X X
Touro College
27-33 W 23rd St
New York, NY, 10010
http://www.touro.edu
X
Indian River State College
3209 Virginia Ave
Fort Pierce, FL, 34981
http://www.irsc.edu
X
CUNY Brooklyn College
2900 Bedford Ave
New York, NY, 11210
http://www.brooklyn.cuny.edu
X X
CUNY LaGuardia Community College
31-10 Thomson Ave
New York, NY, 11101
http://www.lagcc.cuny.edu
X
Anne Arundel Community College
101 College Pky
Arnold, MD, 21012
http://www.aacc.edu
X X
CUNY City College
160 Convent Ave
New York, NY, 10031
http://www.ccny.cuny.edu
X
University of Miami
University of Miami
Coral Gables, FL, 33124
http://www.miami.edu/
X
Cypress College
9200 Valley View
Cypress, CA, 90630
http://www.cypresscollege.edu
X X
Northern Kentucky University
Nunn Drive
Highland Heights, KY, 41099
http://www.nku.edu
X X
CUNY John Jay College Criminal Justice
899 Tenth Ave
New York, NY, 10019
http://www.jjay.cuny.edu
X
San Bernardino Valley College
701 South Mount Vernon Avenue
San Bernardino, CA, 92410
http://www.valleycollege.edu
X X
University of Massachusetts-Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd
Boston, MA, 2125
http://www.umb.edu
X
Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne
2101 E Coliseum Blvd
Fort Wayne, IN, 46805
http://www.ipfw.edu
X
Pikes Peak Community College
5675 S Academy Blvd
Colorado Springs, CO, 80906
http://www.ppcc.edu
X X
Idaho State University
921 S 7th Ave
Pocatello, ID, 83209
http://www.isu.edu
X X
Guilford Technical Community College
601 High Point Rd
Jamestown, NC, 27282
http://www.gtcc.edu/
X X
South University-Savannah
709 Mall Blvd
Savannah, GA, 31406
http://www.southuniversity.edu
X
Illinois Central College
One College Drive
East Peoria, IL, 61635
http://www.icc.edu
X X
Truckee Meadows Community College
7000 Dandini Blvd
Reno, NV, 89512
http://www.tmcc.edu
X
City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright College
4300 N Narragansett
Chicago, IL, 60634
http://wright.ccc.edu/
X
J Sargeant Reynolds Community College
1651 E Parham Road
Richmond, VA, 23228
http://www.reynolds.edu
X X
Pace University-New York
1 Pace Plaza
New York, NY, 10038
http://www.pace.edu
X
Del Mar College
101 Baldwin Blvd.
Corpus Christi, TX, 78404
http://www.delmar.edu
X
Hofstra University
100 Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY, 11549
http://www.hofstra.edu
X
Cuesta College
Highway 1
San Luis Obispo, CA, 93403
http://WWW.CUESTA.EDU
X X
Long Island University-C W Post Campus
720 Northern Blvd
Brookville, NY, 11548
http://www.liu.edu
X
Chandler
2626 E Pecos Rd
Chandler, AZ, 85225
http://www.cgc.maricopa.edu
X
Mission College
3000 Mission College Blvd
Santa Clara, CA, 95054
http://www.missioncollege.org/
X X
Community College of Denver
1111 W. Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO, 80204
http://www.ccd.edu
X X
Southern Methodist University
6425 Boaz St
Dallas, TX, 75275
http://www.smu.edu
X
Bridgewater State College
131 Summer Street
Bridgewater, MA, 2325
http://www.bridgew.edu
X X
Thomas Nelson Community College
99 Thomas Nelson Drive
Hampton, VA, 23666
http://www.tncc.edu
X
Montgomery County Community College-Central Campus
340 Dekalb Pike
Blue Bell, PA, 19422
http://www.mc3.edu
X X
Ivy Tech Community College-Northeast
3800 N Anthony Blvd
Fort Wayne, IN, 46805
http://www.ivytech.edu/fortwayne/
X
Pasco-Hernando Community College
10230 Ridge Road
New Port Richey, FL, 34654
http://www.phcc.edu
X X
South Plains College
1401 S. College Ave
Levelland, TX, 79336
http://www3.southplainscollege.edu/
X
John Tyler Community College
13101 Jefferson Davis Hwy
Chester, VA, 23831
http://www.jtcc.edu
X X
Edmonds Community College
20000 68th Ave W
Lynnwood, WA, 98036
http://www.edcc.edu
X X
Seton Hall University
400 S Orange Ave
South Orange, NJ, 7079
http://www.shu.edu
X
Spokane Falls Community College
3410 W Fort Geo Wright Dr
Spokane, WA, 99224
http://www.spokanefalls.edu
X
Middlesex Community College
Springs Rd
Bedford, MA, 1730
http://www.middlesex.mass.edu
X X
Rhode Island College
600 Mount Pleasant Ave
Providence, RI, 2908
http://www.ric.edu
X
Suffolk University
8 Ashburton Pl Beacon Hill
Boston, MA, 2108
http://www.suffolk.edu
X X
University of Alaska Fairbanks
215 Signers' Hall
Fairbanks, AK, 99775
http://www.uaf.edu
X
McLennan Community College
1400 College Dr
Waco, TX, 76708
http://www.mclennan.edu
X X
California University of Pennsylvania
250 University Ave
California, PA, 15419
http://www.calu.edu
X
Virginia Western Community College
3093 Colonial Ave
Roanoke, VA, 24015
http://www.virginiawestern.edu
X X
Mt Hood Community College
26000 SE Stark St
Gresham, OR, 97030
http://www.mhcc.edu
X X
College of Southern Maryland
8730 Mitchell Rd
La Plata, MD, 20646
http://www.csmd.edu/
X X
Howard Community College
10901 Little Patuxent Pkwy
Columbia, MD, 21044
http://www.howardcc.edu
X
Yuba College
2088 N Beale Rd
Marysville, CA, 95901
http://www.yccd.edu
X X
SUNY College at Brockport
350 New Campus Dr
Brockport, NY, 14420
http://www.brockport.edu
X
Gateway Technical College
3520 30th Ave
Kenosha, WI, 53144
http://www.gtc.edu
X
Long Island University-Brooklyn Campus
University Plaza
New York, NY, 11201
http://www.liu.edu
X
Central Florida Community College
3001 SW College Rd
Ocala, FL, 34474
http://www.GoCFCC.com
X
Green River Community College
12401 SE 320th St
Auburn, WA, 98092
http://www.greenriver.edu/
X
Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom
9401 Farwest Dr SW
Lakewood, WA, 98498
http://www.pierce.ctc.edu/
X X

Schools by State

Best Cities for Mental Health Schools