Master of Professional Studies in Integrated Behavioral Health

At a Glance

Level | Master's
Credits | 60
Degree Requirements | Core Courses and Electives
Format | Daytime, evening, online

The high prevalence of co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders virtually guarantees that counselors, no matter the treatment setting, will encounter clients struggling with not one but two or more disorders.

The Masters of Professional Studies in Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH) prepares counselors for this clinical reality. The IBH merges mental health and substance abuse education and training into a single, comprehensive and cohesive program. This synthesis represents an important and pioneering shift in the preparation of clinicians.

Earn the Credentials to Treat a Range of Disorders

The IBH is designed to fulfill education and training requirements for two licenses: the Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC).

Graduates of the IBH

  • are eligible to sit for the exam for National Counselor Certification, a national exam required in many states (including Minnesota) for counselor licensure and the ICRC or NAADAC exams, required in Minnesota for the MNLADC;
  • can apply to the Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy (BBHT) to have his or her credentials evaluated to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). LPCs practice professional counseling in Minnesota under an approved clinical supervisor; LPCs with 4000 hours (approximately 2 years) of appropriate supervised experience may apply to the Board to become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC). An LPCC is licensed to engage in the independent practice of professional counseling in Minnesota;
  • can apply to the BBHT for the LADC.

Why Choose the IBH?

  • Exam preparation: Prepares you for two clinical licenses: Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC).
  • Integrated curriculum: Addresses mental health and substance use disorders together rather than in a traditional sequential or parallel training approach, incorporating the most comprehensive information available in the field today.
  • Real-world application: Course content goes beyond the baseline established by the licensing board and reflects state-of-the-art, evidence-based best practices supported by research, federal government recommendations, and applied clinical realities. Features clinical skills courses, a case-study approach to learning, and internship opportunities.
  • Flexible and accessible: No GRE required. Course work is designed to meet the needs of working adults with classes offered in the evening, weekends, and online. Students can attend full- or part-time. Students may be allowed to transfer up to 24 credits of previous graduate-level course work (credits must appear on a graduate transcript) from other institutions, as determined by the IBH Director of Graduate Studies.

Learning Goals

IBH students will be

  • proficient in applying principles of culturally and developmentally relevant, client-centered, evidence-based practice in their clinical service delivery;
  • adept in the written and interpersonal communication skills necessary for providing quality care;
  • self-directed and hold themselves to the highest standard of professional integrity ensuring that they apply knowledge and skills in an ethical and responsible manner with an awareness of the implications of their practice decisions for the client, community, and profession;
  • committed to developing and advancing their professionalism and practice throughout their careers;
  • prepared to serve as mentors and leaders in bridging treatment approaches and fostering collaborative, multidisciplinary care teams to improve clinical outcomes, client well-being, and advancing the counseling profession;
  • supportive of social and relational equity; thoughtful in dialogue regarding the role of oppression in relation to mental well-being; and reflective on the implications of their own emotional, psychological, relational, and cultural patterns, assumptions, and biases as they relate to clinical practice.

Meets Work Force Needs

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have issued a “call to action” and subsequently, a significant effort to improve access to and integration of services for people with co-occurring disorders is underway.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor and Statistics, substance abuse counseling and mental health counseling are two of the fastest growing professions. Both areas are projected to grow much faster than average for all occupations over the next decade. Under managed care systems, insurance companies increasingly are providing for reimbursement of counselors as a less costly alternative to psychiatrists and psychologists.

A growing number of counselors are self-employed and work in group practices or private practice, due in part to laws allowing counselors with the LPCC to be paid for their services by insurance companies.

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Read the New York Times article featuring IBH professor Dr. Mark Willenbring, which also mentions IBH alumna Ian McLoone (pictured on this page).

The Integrated Behavioral Health program has been recognized by the University Professional and Continuing Education Association as the Central Region Excellence Award winner for Innovative Program. Congratulations to all staff, faculty and students who have contributed to this achievement!

Related Links

Minnesota Center for Chemical and Mental Health

Master of Professional Studies in Addictions Counseling


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