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Provide Military and Veterans Mental Health Services to Those in Need

The U.S. military population includes 1.35 million active-duty military personnel, more than 455,000 reservists, more than 355,000 National Guard members, 23.4 million veterans1 and 6 million family members.2 Of the 2.8 million individuals deployed to serve the U.S. in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001, it is estimated that up to 20 percent experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and up to 15 percent experience depression. In addition, 44 percent have difficulty adjusting to civilian life and nearly half experience strains in family life.3

A clear and urgent need exists to provide high-quality mental health services for veterans and military personnel. The Military and Veterans Counseling specialization within the Clinical Mental Health Counseling concentration responds to this need by training culturally responsive counselors who are prepared to address the unique behavioral health needs of active-duty military personnel, veterans and military-connected families.

Pursuing this specialization does not limit future clinicians from working with other populations. Through military-focused elective courses and a military-focused internship, students will strengthen their ability to effectively engage with a group that continues to grow, while still earning their degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

This specialization is designed for active members of the military, veterans, as well as civilians with or without a connection to service. Students gain foundational knowledge about all branches of the military and specific mental health needs within this population. In addition to the core clinical mental health counseling skills, students will be introduced to topics including the assessment and treatment of trauma-related disorders, how to counsel military couples and families, and military-to-veteran transition.

Students can complete the M.Ed. in Counseling with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health and a specialization in Military and Veterans Counseling in as few as three years (60 credit hours), including a one-semester practicum (100 clock hours)* and a two-semester internship (600 clock hours). The practicum and internship experiences allow students to apply their knowledge and skills in actual counseling practice with military and veteran clients under the supervision of licensed field supervisors and program faculty.

*In addition to the hours conducted in the field site placement, students will have additional synchronous supervision and course requirements.

View the Curriculum



The Military and Veterans Counseling specialization is offered within our Online Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Counseling with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, which is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

As such, it provides students with all the basic classroom and clinical instruction that Virginia and most states require for licensure as a professional counselor. That said, we encourage students to review any additional requirements for their intended field or state.

View Licensure Information

Earn Your Master's From a "Public Ivy"

William & Mary has been delivering a world-class education for more than three centuries. Our name is synonymous not only with excellence, as evidenced by our consistently high rankings by U.S. News & World Report,4 but also with diversity, one of the core values of both the university as a whole and the School of Education. To our online counseling programs, we welcome those from all backgrounds, including those with or without military experience.

Engage With Faculty Who Truly Care

In an online counseling program, communication and guidance are key. Our award-winning faculty members are your committed allies, mentors and teachers as you embark on the path toward becoming a professional counselor. Take advantage of their expertise in areas such as military challenges, marriage and family counseling, critical race theory in counselor education, spirituality and meditation, violence prevention and intervention, and legal issues in counseling.

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  1. Retrieved on May 26, 2020, from Defense Manpower Data Center. (2017). Statistics and Reports.
  2. Retrieved on May 26, 2020, from U.S. Department of Defense. (2017). 2017 Demographics: Profile of the Military Community.
  3. Retrieved on April 25, 2019, from
  4. Retrieved on April 25, 2019, from