About the Counseling Program
The graduate program in Counseling prepares highly qualified mental health clinicians for positions in schools, community mental health centers, hospitals, other health agencies, and business and industry settings. Courses provide the history, theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy, and students are given ample opportunity to integrate coursework with firsthand experience by learning and practicing skills needed to be highly effective, culturally competent and ethical providers of mental healthcare to diverse populations. Graduates use their ever-growing base of knowledge and skills to provide evidence-based therapy to achieve positive clinical outcomes.
Arcadia offers the following seven specializations:
- Applied Behavior Analysis
- Child/Family Therapy
- Community Public Health
- Mental Health Counseling
- School Counseling (PreK-12)
- Trauma: Clinical Bases of Treatment and Recovery
Arcadia’s Mental Health Counseling, Applied Behavior Analysis, Autism, Child/Family Therapy, Community Public Health and Trauma concentrations are designed for students seeking national certification and/or state licensure as master’s-level mental health practitioners. These concentrations are designed to enable a graduate to apply for licensure in Pennsylvania (or other states with equivalent requirements) once that individual has passed the National Counselor’s Exam (NCE) and has accumulated 3,000 hours of supervised work experience. The program is accredited by the Master’s in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC) and offers students the opportunity to take the NCE on campus before graduation.
Arcadia’s School Counseling master’s program is designed for students seeking state certification as school counselors. The program enables a graduate to apply for certification once that individual has passed the required Praxis exam.
All master’s students in all concentrations take common core courses but choose areas in which to specialize. Each concentration is offered as a full specialty master’s program. The Child/Family Therapy, Trauma, and School Counseling concentrations also are offered as free-standing programs for practitioners who already hold a master’s degree in a relevant area. The Child/Family Therapy and Trauma post-master’s programs lead to an Arcadia University Graduate Certificate, while the School Counseling program leads to certification by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Finally, students with a 48-credit (or less if they graduated prior to June 30, 2009) master’s degree in counseling are able to apply for the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Counseling and complete the state requirements for licensure as a licensed professional counselor in Pennsylvania (or other states with equivalent requirements). The Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism concentrations are also offered as graduate certificates by the School of Education. (See separate listings.)
Master’s-level counseling professionals are part of the mental health care field. They are practitioners skilled in the art of behavior assessment and change. These skills are utilized in a variety of professions, including business, education, medicine, mental health, allied human services, and social services. Mental health delivery is a thriving field and offers many opportunities for personal and professional growth in a variety of settings. The demands of today’s society make this field one of continued growth.
Arcadia’s graduates are prepared to meet the current and future needs of the profession. The program is structured to develop professional level competence in the following:
- therapeutic techniques
- use of diagnostic nomenclature
- psychological assessment
- consultation and educational strategies
- knowledge of and adherence to professional ethical standards
- interpersonal and cultural sensitivity
Admission to the Counseling Master’s Program
The following requirements must be met:
A graduate application, including personal statements, to be completed online at www.arcadia.edu/gradapp.
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a recommended GPA of 3.0 or better.
- One official transcript from each college, university or professional school attended. Transfer credits included on a transcript must include grades earned; if not, an official transcript from the original school must be submitted. Transcripts must be sent from the issuing school in a sealed envelope and contain the appropriate signatures and seals to be considered official.
- Completion of at least three Psychology courses, to include Introductory Psychology, with grades of “B” or better in each.
- Three letters of recommendation. The letters must be of a professional not personal nature. If the student has been out of school five years or less, at least one letter must come from a professor.
- Test scores are not required of applicants with an earned master’s degree or who have a GPA greater than a 3.0. Test scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT), taken within the past five years are required for all other applicants
- An in-person interview with administrators and faculty in the program by invitation only.
- International applicants should visit www.arcadia.edu/international for detailed information on admission requirements and application procedures. Official results from the TOEFL or IELTS are required for all students for whom English is a second language except for non-native speakers of English who hold degrees or diplomas from post-secondary institutions in English-speaking countries (e.g. the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand). A course-by-course evaluation of all transcripts by an independent evaluation service based in the United States also is required.
Applicants seeking admission for fall should complete their applications no later than Jan. 15. Applicants seeking admission for spring should complete their applications no later than Sept. 15.
2016-17 Tuition: $720 per credit
- Registration: $40 per semester
- Technology: $50 per semester
- Parking: $40 per semester (Fall and Spring) before 4 p.m. No charge after 4 p.m.
Financial Aid: Graduate students who have been accepted into a degree program and are enrolled for at least 6 credits per semester are eligible to apply for financial aid. Please visit www.arcadia.edu/finaid for information regarding available aid options and visit www.arcadia.edu/gradfinaidapply to complete required forms online.
Graduate Assistantships/Graduate Student Employment may be available to all students registered for at least 9 credits per semester. Students may apply for assistantships/graduate student employment upon acceptance and registration. Questions regarding graduate assistantships should be directed to the Office of Graduate & Undergraduate Studies at 215-572-2925.
Federal Loans: Graduate students are eligible to borrow through the Federal Direct Stafford Loan and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan programs provided they are taking at least 6 credits per semester (in the summer, 6 credits over all summer sessions combined satisfies this requirement). For more information, visit www.arcadia.edu/finaid.
Leave of Absence and Deferred Admission Policy
Students Who Have Been Admitted But Have Not Started: After a student is admitted, he or she is expected to enroll for the semester indicated on the acceptance letter. If he or she does not enroll for classes at the expected time and has not notified the Counseling Program, the Office of Enrollment Management, or the Office of Graduate Studies by the end of the semester indicated in the acceptance letter, the admitted student will be placed automatically on inactive status. To become reactivated and able to take classes, students placed on inactive status must meet with the Director of Counseling. The Director will meet with the Counseling Graduate Program Committee to establish the criteria for the student to return to active status, which could range from no requirements at all to full reapplication, depending on the case.
Students Who Started But Are Not Currently Enrolled: A student must file a Leave of Absence Form anytime he or she takes a break in continuous enrollment (not including summer). A student who does not file a Leave of Absence form or an extension of leave, if needed, will be placed on inactive status. To be reactivated and able to take classes, a student who has been placed on inactive status must meet with the Director of Counseling. The Director will then meet with the Counseling Graduate Program Committee to establish the criteria for the student to return to active status, which could range from no requirements at all to full reapplication, depending on the case.
Academic Policies and Procedures
A grade point average of “B” is required for admission to degree candidacy, internship and for graduation. A grade below “C” may not be applied toward a degree, and only 6 credits of “C” or “C+” will count toward a degree. If a failing grade is received (“C–“or below), the course may be repeated one time only with the adviser’s permission. No more than two core courses may be repeated.
A student may be dismissed for failing grades or if it is determined by the Department that the student’s conduct is unprofessional or is not consistent with the counseling profession’s code of ethics and conduct. See the general section of the catalog for more information concerning dismissal policies.