The 10 Best Online Mental Health Certificate Programs for 2021

Online mental health certificate programs provide professionals with extra knowledge about the field. In many cases, these mental health and behavioral health certificate programs are taken in tandem with degree programs. 


Students can choose to enroll to hone their skills for entry-level positions or to fill skills gaps. Additionally, for professionals with experience, these certificate programs can make them more competitive applicants for jobs, open the door to higher-level positions, and positively impact salary potential. 


Let’s take a look at what you can expect from these programs, as well as review the top 20 online mental health programs in 2021. 


mental health professional speaking to patient

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What is an Online Mental Health Certificate Program?


Online mental health certificate programs provide introductory and foundational knowledge for students. They can also offer specialized training and education in the realm of mental health for students who have or are currently in the process of earning their bachelor’s or master’s degree.  


Topics typically covered in these programs include:

  • Counseling
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Social issues
  • Human service
  • Social welfare 


Purpose of Certificate Programs 

Along with filling skills gaps and boosting one’s knowledge, certificate programs help students prepare for state licensure exams to work as mental health professionals. However, it’s important to note that the completion of the program in itself does not bring with it a license. Instead, the coursework is often representative of what will be tested for licensure, so it provides great preparation. 


Top 20 Online Mental Health Certificate Programs in 2021 

Now, let’s get to the most important information — the programs themselves! This is an abbreviated list of some of the best mental health certificate programs online for students and professionals in 2021. 


Arizona State University Online

ASU’s Online Graduate Certificate is in Integrated Behavioral Health – Clinical. For students who want to work as clinicians in behavioral health and integrated primary settings, they’ll be able to boost their knowledge. 


Tuition Cost: $1,142 per credit (15 credits) 

Requirements: A minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA in an applicable master’s degree that’s accredited, official transcripts, an application and fee, CV or resume, proof of English language proficiency, copy of clinical license and licensure form, a letter of recommendation (professional or academic) 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission 


Antioch University New England 

If you’re looking for a Post-Master’s Certificate in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, you can earn it at Antioch University New England. People who hold master’s degrees and have licensure in mind can benefit greatly from this certificate program. 


Tuition Cost: $711 per credit (9-24 credits) 

Requirements: Application plus fee, resume or CV, transcripts, two letters of recommendation, interview 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission 


Eastern Kentucky University

The online Mental Health Certificate program at Eastern Kentucky University is a mixture of practical application and theory so that graduates from the program will be more prepared to work in the field. 


Tuition Cost: $611 per credit (18 credits) 

Requirements: An unweighted high school GPA of 2.5 or higher, test scores (optional just for placement)  

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges


SUNY Buffalo

For graduates who hold a master’s degree in counseling, they can enroll in the State of New York at Buffalo’s online Mental Health Counseling Advanced Certificate. The New York State Education Department (SED) has this program registered. 


Tuition Cost: $550 per credit (15-27 credits) 

Requirements: Application and fee, GRE scores (optional), list of three recommendations, transcripts, proof of a master’s or doctoral degree in a counseling field, statement of intent 

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education


University of North Dakota

The online Behavioral Health Certificate teaches students about cultural, social, biological, and psychological aspects of health behaviors. Students are given one year to finish the program. 



Tuition Cost: $355.85 per credit (9 credits) 

Requirements: Completion of core high school courses

Accreditation: Council on Education for Public Health 


University of South Dakota

The University of South Dakota offers a 100% online Certificate in Mental Health Counseling. Topics include: psychopharmacology, crisis intervention, and clinical supervision. It’s intended for professionals who are working and prepares them for both the state and national licensure exams. 


Tuition Cost: $351.25 per credit (12 credits) 

Requirements: Application and fee, official transcripts, bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0, statement of purpose 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission 


InterCoast Colleges

The Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician Certificate Program offered by InterCoast Colleges provides knowledge for professionals in the field with courses that include: skills development, community integration, intensive case management, and family psycho-education. 


Tuition Cost: $343 per credit (42 units) 

Requirements: Application can be found here with requirements based on program type 

Accreditation: Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training 


Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University’s Mental Health Technician Professional Certificate allows students to learn more about treatments and therapies to help their patients with mental health issues. The course is 615 total hours. 


Tuition Cost: $3,670 course fee 

Requirements: PC with Windows 98 or Windows XP, Adobe Flash Player, and Adobe Acrobat Reader 

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges 


University of Redlands

At the University of Redlands, students can take the online Mental Health and Spirituality Certificate program without any formal admission requirements. At a fixed price, the total program runs 6 courses, so students pay for the courses they complete rather than credits. 


Tuition Cost: $625 per course 

Requirements: Open enrollment 

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges 


University of Maine

The University of Maine has an online Mental Health and Rehabilitation Technician/Community Certificate that prepares students to work in adult community rehabilitation and mental health. Some of the courses include: Crisis and Recovery, Counseling Diverse Populations, Case Management, and Substance Use and Dual Diagnosis Counseling. 


Tuition Cost: $245 per credit hour (in-state) / $490 per credit hour (out-of-state)

Requirements: Online application, GED score or high school transcript, personal essay, SAT or ACT scores, immunization requirements, recommendation letter 

Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education 


healthcare worker with patient

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Online Degree in Health Science 

While the option to earn a certificate while gaining work experience is always available and beneficial, it’s recommended to have at least a bachelor’s degree to work in health-related professions. A degree in Health Science applies science to human and animal health. 


Our degree program at the University of the People is tuition-free and entirely online. It can set you up to work in therapy, diagnosis, information, biotech, or support within the field of healthcare. To be admitted into the bachelor’s program, you must be at least 16 years old, have proof of high school completion, and have English proficiency. The estimated total cost for this degree is $4,740 (in fees). 


The Bottom Line 

While earning a behavioral health certification or attending online mental health certificate programs is an initial upfront investment, it ends up benefiting your career prospects and salary potential in the long-run. 

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