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Mental Health Counseling Minority Fellowship Program (MFP)



Application Deadline: Oct 21, 2023


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)


Offers fellowship programs to help master's and doctoral counseling students develop cultural competency skills and awareness in order to better meet the counseling needs of minority populations. Encourages diversity in the counseling profession by providing financial support, professional guidance, and training to students. Aims to reduce health disparities for members of underserved or minority communities, which includes but is not limited to ethnic, racial, cultural, religious, gender, sexual orientation, child/adolescent, geriatric, inner city, rural, or veteran/military family groups. Fellowships are administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) through a Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The NBCC Mental Health Counseling MFP offers 2 opportunities, the MFP Master's and the MFP Doctoral, for counseling students focused on minority mental health and substance use issues.

Program requirements for both fellowships include applicants committing to:

  • Teaching, administering, research, and/or providing direct mental health services to minority populations private, nonprofit, or public sectors within 1 year of graduation and to providing such services for the duration of 2 years post-graduation
  • Attending the NBCC Foundation's Bridging the Gap Symposium to open the fellowship year the week of March 13-17, 2023, and to close the fellowship year at the 2025 Symposium
  • Attending 1 other training events during the fellowship year

MFP – Master's fellowship applicants must also commit to:

  • Becoming board certified by applying for the National Certified Counselor (NCC) certification prior to graduation and to completing the application process
  • Securing an internship that includes experience with 1 or more minority populations

Amount of Funding


  • $10,000 per year for the master's fellowship
  • $20,000 per year for the doctoral fellowship

Project period: 1 year
Estimated number of awards:

  • 30 master's fellowship awards
  • 20 doctoral fellowship awards

Who Can Apply

All applicants for the master's and doctoral programs must:

  • Be U.S. citizens or have permanent resident status
  • Not receive any other federal funds, excluding federal student loans or work-study programs
  • Be currently taking courses and may not have a pending status, deferred status, or other future start date for coursework
  • Expect to graduate by May 31, 2027 or within 3 years of the date of fellowship funding, and cannot have an anticipated program completion date before December 31, 2024
  • Demonstrate knowledge of and experience with one or more of the following:
    • Underserved minority communities
    • Child, adolescent, and geriatric groups
    • Minority communities in inner cities and rural areas
    • Minority persons, including LGBTQ+
    • Veterans or individuals from military families

Applicants for the MFP Mental Health Counselors Master's Fellowship must:

  • Not already possess a master's degree in a behavioral health field
  • Have completed one semester in an accredited master's-level counseling program
  • Be enrolled and be in good standing in an accredited master's-level counseling program

Applicants for the MFP Mental Health Counselors Doctoral Fellowship must:

  • Not already possess a doctoral degree in a behavioral health field
  • Be board certified by holding the National Certified Counselor (NCC) credential. If the applicant is not currently board certified, they must document all of the following:
    1. A full state license as a professional counselor
    2. A passing score on the National Counselor Examination (NCE) or the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE)
    3. A commitment to apply for the NCC credential and to complete the application within the shortest possible time after notification of the MFP award
  • Have completed one semester in an accredited doctoral-level counseling program
  • Be enrolled and be in good standing in an accredited doctoral-level counseling program

Eligibility is not limited to individuals from minority populations. However, priority is given to African American, Alaska Native, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander applicants.

Geographic Coverage


What This Program Funds

Financial Aid for Healthcare Workforce

Application Process

Applications for both the master's and doctoral fellowships must be submitted through the NBCC-MFP online application system.

Application instructions, requirements, and other information about the application process for the Master's and Doctoral MFP fellowships can be found on the program website.


For program questions:

Topics This Program Addresses

Healthcare Workforce • Mental Health