Counseling Psychology Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study

The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Counseling Psychology is designed for mental health counseling, clinical or school counselors who have completed a master’s degree and want to pursue further systematic study in counseling to qualify to sit for the National Counselor’s Examination (NCE) and/or licensure in Pennsylvania (or other states with equivalent requirements). The NCE requires 48 semester hours of graduate credit with a course in each of nine specified areas.

The act that provides licensure of professional counselors in Pennsylvania requires completion of a “planned program” of 60 graduate semester credits in counseling from an accredited educational institution. The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Counseling Psychology allows the post-master’s student to meet these requirements.

Additional Admission Requirements

In addition to the general admission procedures, a student also must hold a master’s degree in a field closely related to the practice of professional counseling from an accredited college or university. Test scores are not required.

Program Requirements

The number of credits required will be determined after a transcript analysis has been completed. Courses will be selected with an adviser.

A minimum of 12 additional credits are required for individuals with a 48-credit master’s degree in counseling.

Approved electives include the following:

  • ED 580 Introduction to Inclusive Education (if general Mental Health Counseling or Child/Family Therapy concentrations)
  • ED 585 Positive Behavioral Approaches (if Child/Family Therapy concentration)
  • PY 430 Seminar in Theories of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • PY 574 Clinical Psycho-pharmacology
  • PY 589 Independent Research
  • PY 601 Community Perspectives on Sexual Assault Counseling
  • PY 605 Addictive Behaviors: Substance Abuse and Eating Disorders Counseling
  • PY 611 Couples and Family Therapy
  • PY 615 Child and Adolescent Counseling: Clinical and School Applications
  • PY 620 Advanced Counseling Techniques
  • PY 618 Evidence-Based Treatments of Trauma
  • PY 621 Advanced Child and Adolescent Counseling
  • PY 622 Trauma, Advocacy and Social Justice
  • PY 623 Strategies for Treating Grief and Bereavement
  • PY 697 Master’s Thesis in Psychology (one semester, 3 credits)
  • PY 698 Master’s Thesis in Psychology (one semester, 3 credits)
  • OR PY 699 Master’s Thesis in Psychology (6 credits)

Other master’s-level courses offered by other Arcadia University graduate programs may be taken as electives with the approval of the Director of Counseling Psychology. The petition process should include a statement on course relevance to the student’s academic program and career goals.


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