Professor Alan Eby
Home Academics Schools Department of Psychology Master of Science in Psychology – Mental Health Professions

Master of Science in Psychology – Mental Health Professions

Enter the mental health field

Interested in becoming a Qualified Mental Health Professional (QMHP)? The Master of Science in Psychology—Mental Health Professions (MSPsy) at Bridgewater College allows you to meet the requirements to become a Qualified Mental Health Professional in Virginia.

You can complete the program in less than one year! Graduate with your bachelor’s and master’s degrees, along with an important designation in the mental health field.

What is QMHP?

Qualified Mental Health Professional (QMHP) is a designation that encompasses an array of mental health workers in various specializations. The QMHP designation in Virginia requires college education along with a set number of hours of experience (that vary according to the nature of your education). Learn more about the steps to earn your QMHP designation.

 Aug. 22 
next start date
per credit
*2023-2024 tuition and fees
credit hours
Master of Science in Psychology – Mental Health Professions
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Practical skills for mental health careers

Your course work and field experience are focused on practical and directly relevant skills that are needed in various mental health and human service careers. The program can also be used as a stepping stone for future mental health graduate programs in clinical social work, professional counseling, school psychology or clinical psychology.

You can work towards meeting the standards and expertise in one of the following areas:

  • Qualified Mental Health Professional – Child/Adolescent
  • Qualified Mental Health Professional – Adult
  • Qualified Intellectual Disability Professional
  • Certified Brain Injury Specialist
  • Dementia/Memory Care
  • Probation/Corrections

The MSPsy program classes are conveniently scheduled to give you the time you need to complete your practica and internship hours.

Become a qualified mental health professional using best practices and empirically-validated techniques. Learn and practice skills in formal case management, motivational interviewing and crisis intervention.

Complete the 30 credit-hour MSPsy full time in as little as 35 weeks.

Virtual Graduate Information Sessions

Join us virtually to experience our graduate programs at Bridgewater. Speak directly with program directors and current students to gain an insight of how to advance your education to further your career in the field of mental professions.

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Program Details

  • Meets Virginia requirements to register as a Qualified Mental Health Professional (QMHP)
  • Focus on QMHP specialties such as child/adolescent, adult, etc.
  • Complete your master’s degree and the hours you need for QMHP at the same time
  • Graduate with your bachelor’s and master’s degrees, having met all the requirements for QMHP designation, in 5 years (4 + 1)
  • Accumulate the experience and practical skills for many mental health and human services careers
  • A complete online graduate application.
  • Application fee of $50.
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Submission of official sealed transcript of all undergraduate and graduate course work completed.
  • Completion of undergraduate (Bachelor’s) coursework with a minimum grade of C or better in:
    • Introductory social science (psychology or sociology preferred)
    • Psychopathology -or- Abnormal Psychology
    • Quantitative research methods and/or statistics
    • Physical or natural science with an accompanying lab
    • Ideal candidates will have 18 or more credits in psychology, sociology, social work or health services areas
  • Letters of Recommendation:
    Three letters of recommendation should be submitted with your application. At least one letter should be from an internship supervisor, field experience supervisor or employer. At least one letter should be from an undergraduate professor.
  • Personal statement (details below)

The MSPsy program has rolling admissions, with all applications accepted until May 1.

  • Part 1: Put this graduate program into some personal life history (past) and professional planning (future). What have you done (personally, academically, vocationally, volunteer, etc) to prepare you for this graduate program in Psychology-Mental Health Professions? How do you expect the program to connect to you – and you to the program? Finally, how do you foresee this program helping to advance your personal and career goals into the future?
  • Part 2: Working in the mental health professions requires resilient personal qualities, cognitive appraisal skills, and an encouraging helping approach. What are personal qualities that you understand about yourself that leads to a positive and productive helping approach when working with others? How have you come to this understanding (personally) and how has this been confirmed (from others)?
  • Part 3: To best prepare each student for an immediate position for employment and to maximize opportunities to become certified or designated by an organization – a single specialization is needed to accumulate the minimum 500 hours of internship and practicum in the program. We currently recognize the following areas of specialization:
    • Child/adolescent (mental/emotional/behavioral)
    • Adult (mental/emotional/behavioral)
    • Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities
    • Brain Injury
    • Dementia/Memory Care
    • Corrections/Criminal Justice

Identify which area of specialty you choose. Explain what reasons you have for selecting the specialty area. Finally, discuss the type of work environment that you seek (type of facility, coworker/peer interactions, supervisor relationship, consistency of workday activities, etc.). Please view your application as a persuasive argument about why you will succeed in the program.

View course descriptions

Fall Spring May
Motivational Interviewing (4)
Substance Use & Abuse (3)
Psychiatric Rehabilitation (3)
Forensics, Criminal Justice & Mental Health (2)
Practicum (2) [200 hours]
Case Management (4)
Program Evaluation (3)
Crisis Intervention Strategies (3)
Professional Issues & Ethics (3)
Practicum (2) [200 hours)
Internship (1) [100 hours]

Questions? Contact Us!

Dr. Alan Eby

Dr. Alan Eby

Professor, Psychology
Director, Psychology Program

Tori Hudson Headshot

Victoria Hudson

Assistant Director for Graduate Recruitment