Practicum and Internship

Learn more about the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Practicum and Internship requirements and experience.

All students enrolled in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at Seattle University are required to complete practicum and internship.


Practicum is 100 hours of which 40 are direct client contact. Students can anticipate being on site a minimum of 10-15 hours a week. Students may need to complete a fingerprinting or background check through their agency or site prior to beginning practicum.


Internship is 600 hours of which 240 are direct client contact. Approved field sites may require students to complete more hours than the minimum. The state in which a student seeks licensure may also require a student to complete more than the minimum hours to be eligible for counselor licensure. Students can anticipate being on site a minimum of 20-25 hours a week.

A weekly group supervision and individual on-site supervision are required as part of the practical counseling experience.

Practicum and Internship FAQ

Here are some commonly asked questions about the practicum/internship experience.

Practical counseling experience occurs in your third year of study. Practicum occurs in the fall quarter of third year, and internship occurs in the subsequent winter, spring and summer quarters.

Practicum quarter requires a minimum of 100 clock hours, 40 of which are “direct hours” and 60 are “indirect hours”.  CACREP defines “direct” and “indirect” but generally speaking, a direct hour is time spent providing counseling; where an indirect hour is spent doing tasks that support counseling such as recordkeeping, attending supervision meetings, researching intervention strategies, etc.

The counseling programs have a dedicated Internship Coordinator who supports you as soon as you enter the program with discerning the right internship experience, including monthly workshops on how to research sites, prepare a counseling resume, prepare for interviews or initiate opportunities with new internship sites. The program has a robust system of resources and supports for the internship search process.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling students have found internships in a wide variety of organizations and environments. Most commonly students pursue site experience in community mental health agencies, inpatient treatment facilities, clinical counseling in school-based settings, private group practices and hospitals.

Most of our students end up pursuing internships in sites where students have worked before. However, we support the coordination of unique internship opportunities. Student internships are governed by regulations set forth by CACREP, Washington state administrative codes and program advisory councils.  In these cases, we will work in collaboration with students to explore how the unique internships can meet practical counseling experience requirements.

Yes, there are opportunities for paid internships. Though they are not the norm, paid internships are on the rise in an effort to establish equity in access to counseling education for all clinical counseling students.

Get In Touch

If you have any questions about the program or application, we’re here to help!

Diana Calderon

Admissions Counselor

Diana Calderon smiling for headshot