The graduate program in Counseling prepares highly qualified mental health clinicians for positions in 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.
Variety of concentrations available with flexibility in coursework offered
Small classes that allow for skill-based instruction
Opportunity to adapt the pace of the program to your life circumstances
Close relationships with faculty members and numerous opportunities to obtain guidance
Mentoring program with one faculty member who can help structure your graduate experience
Peer mentoring program that connects incoming students with more advanced students
Supportive community atmosphere that facilitates growth and learning
Unique Professional Opportunities
Education about how to market yourself and develop a strong professional identity
Opportunities to work on research projects with faculty members and/or complete a master’s thesis
Students receive a $500 professional development purse to attend conferences and workshops in order to network with other professionals and expand your knowledge base.
Resources such as professional development opportunities, job listings, community events, and up-to-date information concerning key aspects of the counseling field available via counseling program website
Opportunity to take a free preparatory workshop for the National Counselor Exam (NCE) on campus
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:
use of diagnostic nomenclature
consultation and educational strategies
knowledge of and adherence to professional ethical standards
interpersonal and cultural sensitivity
Designed for Students Seeking Certification/Licensure
These 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 Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council and offers students the opportunity to take a free preparatory workshop for the NCE on campus.
Choose an Area to Specialize
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 and Trauma concentrations also are offered as free-standing programs for practitioners who already hold a master’s degree in a relevant area leading to an Arcadia University Graduate Certificate.
The Child/Family Therapy and Trauma post-master’s programs lead to an Arcadia University Graduate Certificate.
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.
Counseling Dual Degree Programs
Arcadia offers three Counseling dual degree programs. You are able to earn a Master of Arts in Counseling and a Master's degree in complimentary discipline.
Counseling and International Peace and Conflict Resolution
The combination of two master’s programs at Arcadia—Counseling with the Trauma Concentration and International Peace and Conflict Resolution—gives students a unique multidisciplinary program not found elsewhere. Students with training in both trauma-specific counseling and international peace and conflict resolution will be well-positioned to plan and implement programs that facilitate psychological recovery from violence and natural disasters, both domestically and abroad.
Public Health and Counseling
This dual degree in Public Health and Counseling enables practitioners to implement both individual and systemic change in the mental health and public health fields, by integrating the tools of the counseling psychologist with the tools of public health. The Master of Arts in Counseling allows students to become licensed as professional counselors. The Master of Public Health Degree educates community public health professionals to promote the health of individuals, families, communities, and the environment.
Arcadia offers three certificates for practicing counselors looking for further education opportunities.
Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Counseling
Child/Family Therapy and Trauma Graduate Certificates
These certificate programs are designed to meet the continuing education needs of licensed professional counselors, individuals with a master’s degree in a clinical field (such as counseling, social work, etc.) as well as doctoral-level clinical psychologists or counselors.
Counseling Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study
The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Counseling 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.
Applying for Admission
To apply for admission, a graduate application, including personal statements, must be completed online at www.arcadia.edu/gradapp.
Semester Parking fee: $55 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.
Enrolled Student Profile
For students enrolled in 2016-2017:
Number of applicants: 65
Number of students admitted: 45
Number of students admitted who accepted and matriculated into program: 28
Total number of students enrolled in the program: 78
Number of students who graduated from the program: 18
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.
Students often collaborate with faculty to further their clinical interests and training. Even though not a requirement of the program, this is an opportunity for students to complete a project of their own choosing or to assist a faculty member with their research. The department faculty have a variety of specializations. Students are welcomed to work with both undergraduate and graduate faculty in the Department of Psychology.
In the past, under the supervision of a psychology department faculty member, students have turned their passions into independent projects in research, program development, community service, and social advocacy. Students have also presented their work at professional conferences, both regionally and nationally, and published alongside faculty.
“I feel personally connected to the faculty. The program supports and encourages personal interaction with the faculty and staff giving the students the ability to interact with and develop meaningful professional and personal relationships. It truly cultivates a positive learning environment where you are not just a number, you're a person that is valued and known.” —Roxane Henning