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 Arlene Snyder Professional Development Fund 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
Scholarships and Graduate Assistant Positions
The Counseling program now offers several scholarships each year based on applicants' merit and diversity. Students can also apply for paid graduate assistant positions within the Counseling program and in other offices across the university.
Counseling Program Concentrations
These concentrations are designed for students seeking national certification and/or state licensure as master’s-level mental health practitioners. They 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
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.
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.
Meet Our Faculty
Our faculty provide guidance, mentoring, and opportunities to pursue research interests.
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
Honors & Awards
Our students and faculty are award winners, both in the classroom and in the field.
Pennsylvania Counseling Association Outstanding Practitioner Award, 2018
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.
Previous Projects Conducted by Graduate Program in Counseling Students
Counseling Research Courses
Learn more about the guidelines for completing Research, Special Projects and Master's Thesis.
Morrow, M. T., Hubbard, J. A., & Sharp, M. K. (in press). Preadolescents’ daily peer victimization and perceived social competence: Moderating effects of classroom aggression. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.
Shermeyer, L., Morrow, M. T., & Mediate, N. (in press). College students’ daily coping, and adjustment: Benefits of problem-focused engagement. Stress & Health.
Lee, H.-H., & Wentz, B. L. (2019). Evaluation of a pilot school-based group for Mandarin- speaking minors. International Journal for the Advancement of Counseling, 41, 73-85.
Morrow, M. T., Hubbard, J. A., & Sharp, M. K. (2019). Preadolescents’ attributions for negative peer experiences: Links to child and classroom peer victimization and friendship. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 47(3), 393-404.
Morrow, M. T., Hubbard, J. A., & Sharp, M. K. (2018). Preadolescents’ depressive symptoms and attributions for negative peer experiences. Journal of the Pennsylvania Counseling Association, 17, 25-35. Vincent, C. E., & Morrow, M. T. (2018).
Parent discipline and child externalizing behavior in bereaved families: The moderating role of parent grief. Journal of the Pennsylvania Counseling Association, 17, 36-43.
Lee, H.-H. & Johnson, R. W. (2017b). Differentiation of self as predictor of Asian-American immigrants’ perceptions of cultural harmony. Journal of Family Therapy, 39, 151-168.
Lee, H.-H., & Johnson, R. W. (2017a). Assessing the psychometric properties of the Differentiation of Self Inventory-Revised for Asian-American bicultural adults. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 45, 51-65.
Bartoli, E., Mamolou, A., Morrow, M., Brutko, L., Cox, E., Herreid-Halstead, S., & Levy, A. (2017). READY, MindSET, GO! Increasing students’ resilience in counselor education programs. Journal of the Pennsylvania Counseling Association, 16, 2-12.
Morrow, M. T., Hooker, S. D., & Cate, Rebecca Lynne (2015). Consultation in bullying prevention: An elementary-school case study. School Community Journal, 25, 85-112.
Morrow, M. T., Garwood, B. E., Brutko, L. M., Schneider, C. A., & Cuttic, J. A. (2015). The development and evaluation of a mental health training for foster parents. Journal of the Pennsylvania Counseling Association, 14, 28-38.
Morrow, M. T., Cuttic, J., Lineberger, J., & Cretekos, E. (2014). Licensed Professional Counselors and collaborative care. Journal of the Pennsylvania Counseling Association, 13, 13-25.
Bartoli, E. Morrow, M., Gillem, A., Gaskin Dozier, C., & Mamolou, A. (2014). Creating effective counselors: Integrated multicultural and evidence-based curricula in counselor Education programs. Journal of the Pennsylvania Counseling Association, 13, 27-38.
The Graduate Program in Counseling considers the supervised field experiences of Practicum and Internship to be among the most important elements of professional preparation in the student’s program.
These experiences are designed to sequentially integrate knowledge and skills from earlier course work as well as to allow for the development of new skills. In addition, the experiences serve as a vehicle for communication and networking, i.e., serving as one important means of linking the student, the department, and field-based professionals in dialogue, feedback and development of mutual interests.
The importance of the Practicum and Internship cannot be over emphasized. The Practicum will be completed early in the program, to add significance to students’ learning, and the Internship will take place in a student’s final year in the program.
PY587 Counseling Practicum
The Practicum is a non-credit experience designed to provide a beginner counselor with appropriate developmental experiences as they enter the program, before the more advanced experience of Internship. Learn More.
PY 630, 631 Internship in Counseling
The Internship is the capstone experience of the program, which takes place in an agency, school, university counseling center, or another appropriate setting. During Internship, students are expected to assume all the responsibilities of a regular staff member in the setting in which the Internship takes place. Learn More.
The Internship is accompanied by a professional seminar that meets once a week at Arcadia University. The purpose of this seminar is to provide a safe and supportive avenue for students to examine the professional and ethical concomitants of their clinical experiences.
Applying for Admission
To apply for admission, the following requirements must be met:
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.
Accepting applications for Spring 2020 and Fall 2020.
Regular Decision: Applicants seeking regular admission for the fall semester should complete their applications by January 15. Applicants seeking regular admission for the spring semester should complete their applications by November 1. If seats are still available in courses, the Counseling program will accept applications at different points throughout the academic year.
Early Decision: Early decision is designed for applicants who hope to secure a seat in the Counseling program for the fall semester in advance of the regular decision admission process. Applicants seeking early admission for the fall semester should complete applications by November 1.
Early Entry: The Early Entry MA Counseling Program allows students in their junior year of undergraduate studies (across all majors) to apply to take up to three graduate counseling courses during their senior year. Applicants seeking early entry should complete applications during their junior undergraduate year by November 1 or January 15.
Semester Parking fee: $55 per semester (Fall and Spring) before 4 p.m. No charge after 4 p.m.
Scholarships and Graduate Assistant Positions
Scholarships: The Counseling program now offers several scholarships each year based on applicants' merit and diversity.
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.
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.
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 2017-2018:
Number of applicants - 58
Number admitted - 43
Number who accepted/matriculated - 28
Number in program - 78
Number who graduated - 25
Does the program provide you with all the credits you need to obtain certification or licensure?
Licensure or certification in each state often requires a given number of credits as well as coverage of specific content areas. In Pennsylvania, for example, to become a Licensed Professional Counselor one must accrue 60 graduate credits, at least 48 of which must be within a master’s program. If you choose to complete a master’s program of only 48 credits, be sure to have a plan on how to accrue the remaining credits needed for licensure. Some programs use these remaining credits to provide you with specific coursework to develop a specialty area.
Arcadia University’s Counseling program offers both a 48 and a 60 credit option. Most students pursue the 60 credit option, as it not only provides all the content needed for becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor, but also offers the opportunity to complete one or more concentrations/emphases.
Does the program offer a variety of concentrations/emphases?
Even if you think you know the population you might want to work with, during graduate school you will encounter people and topics that will spark your interest. A program that offers a number of concentrations or emphases will offer you the opportunity to explore and potentially obtain further specialization in emerging areas of interest. Find a program that can grow with you!
Arcadia University’s Counseling program offers 6 concentrations and 3 dual degree programs (view details here). Students can complete more than one concentration within their program of study. You can add or change concentrations at any point in the program.
Does the program allow you to complete it both full-time and part-time?
No two students entering graduate school arrive with the same set of life experiences and circumstances. Be sure to look for a program that can take into account whether you are working, have a family to care for, or simply must balance multiple roles in your day to day life. The ability to complete a program full-time or part-time (and to potentially switch after you begin if life throws you a curve ball!) could mean the difference between being able to complete the degree or not.
Arcadia University’s Counseling program offers both full-time and part-time options, which students can change as needed. Students pay by the credit, so length of program does not impact expense.
Does the program expose you to a range of theoretical orientations?
Some counseling programs may offer specialized training within a given theoretical orientation, while others may take a more integrative approach and expose students to a number of theoretical perspectives. While the specialized approach may be appealing, effectively implementing evidence-based practice often calls for a strong foundation in generalist skills. You might consider a program that is evidence-based in its philosophy, but broad in its counseling approach.
Arcadia University’s Counseling program trains students in a number of theoretical orientations. The program’s integrative philosophy is firmly rooted in evidence-based practices. Therefore, the program teaches only those perspectives that are validated by research.
Does the program infuse multicultural and evidence-based practices in its training?
Counselors are asked to be accountable to outside agencies for the treatment plans they employ with clients, as well as to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population. Evidence-based and multicultural practices are some of the most central and cutting edge trends in the counseling field. You may want to look for a program that clearly addresses these two areas not simply in an isolated course, but truly throughout the curriculum. It’s easy to pay lip service to both of these areas. Look for faculty who are actively engaged in these areas (e.g., through research, teaching, involvement in professional organizations) to ensure thorough exposure to each.
Arcadia University’s Counseling program has two pillars: evidence-based practices and multicultural counseling. Both are integrated and infused throughout the curriculum, not simply in specialized courses, but also in skills labs. The training offered in these two areas sets Arcadia’s Counseling program apart from most of its peers.
Does the program provide systematic avenues for advising?
Graduate school, especially in a field like counseling, is a time of great growth, both personally and professionally. Mentoring throughout that process can make a considerable difference in your ability to make the most of your graduate program and opportunities in the fields. Look for a program that offers advising and mentoring that goes beyond simply identifying a class schedule, and caters to your development as a professional both within and outside of the actual program.
Arcadia University’s Counseling students are assigned three mentors: a program advisor, who assists them with class scheduling as well as Practicum/Internship placements; a faculty mentor who supports them academically and professionally for the duration of the program (and beyond!); and a peer mentor, an advanced student who supports students in their first semester of study.
Does the program provide you with an opportunity to interview prior to admission?
Selecting a graduate program is one of the most important career decisions you will make. The opportunity to interview with potential programs can be immensely helpful (and rewarding) for all parties. Faculty and staff can get to know a candidate much better when they are able to meet face to face during the interview process. Students also benefit from “interviewing” a program and its faculty and staff, so that they can experience what it might be like to be in the program. It’s as important for a program to match your professional goals as it is for it to fit your learning style (e.g., small vs. large classes, close mentoring relationship with faculty vs. independent work, discussion-based classes vs. lecture courses).
Admission into Arcadia University’s Counseling program requires an in-person interview, during which prospective students have the opportunity to become familiar with the program; meet faculty, staff, and current students (as well as fellow applicants!); and get a taste of the culture of the program.
What is the faculty/student ratio in the program?
Class size and faculty/student ratios become even more important with a counseling program that requires the careful and deliberate process of teaching counseling skills. You might ask yourself questions such as “Will I have the opportunity to discuss what I am learning and to practice skill development while receiving regular feedback from my professors? Does the program afford me the opportunity to truly know my professors and for them to know me? Will I have regular opportunities to meet with faculty to discuss career options, my personal development while in the program, or to give the program feedback about my experience as a student there? Does the program size still allow me to craft a plan that works for my individual set of circumstances?”
Arcadia University’s Counseling program is small by design and it affords personalized coaching by clinical faculty both inside and outside of the classroom. All students are also matched with a faculty mentor who guides them through their growth in the program as well as their professional development. The formal advising process offers the opportunity to provide the program with feedback as well, which is often incorporated into the structure of the program to enhance all students’ experiences.
Does the faculty in the program have an active practice?
It is essential that counseling skills be taught by faculty who actively practice them. At times, faculty’s attention is solely on administrative or research responsibilities rather than also on clinical work. Applying clinical skills is a nuanced process that must take into consideration the great diversity of clients and settings. Look for a program where faculty bring up to date perspectives to their teaching and are able to show you how to apply techniques in the real world.
Each core faculty member of Arcadia University’s Counseling program maintains a clinical practice. Both full and part-time faculty are active in their specialty fields, both clinically and professionally.
Are classes taught primarily by adjunct or full-time faculty?
Many programs cut costs by having few full-time faculty and many adjunct faculty. The greater the ratio of adjunct to full-time faculty, the more variability there may be in the quality of delivery of the curriculum.
While full-time faculty often have a chance to communicate with each other and coordinate curricula, adjunct faculty may come to campus just to teach their courses and may not be well integrated into the department. You might want to assess whether a program has a stable core of adjunct faculty versus adjunct faculty who might teach only once or twice without much further involvement with the program. You might ask programs what training and opportunities for collaboration they offer their adjunct faculty, and how well integrated into the overall functioning of the department they might be.
Most classes in Arcadia University’s Counseling program are taught by the four core full-time faculty, who also serve as faculty mentors (see above). A small core of long-standing adjunct faculty teaches regularly in the program, sharing their specialties and expertise with students. Both core and adjunct faculty meet together regularly to coordinate the curriculum and share resources. All faculty is deeply committed to training and mentoring the next generation of counselors.
Are there opportunities for professional activities, such as research or attending conferences?
Graduate school is not simply a time to attend courses, but also a time to learn more about the mental health field, discover one’s passion and professional aspirations, develop presentation skills, and potentially acquire the necessary background to apply for further training (e.g., if you are considering doctoral programs). There is no better way to accomplish the above than to attend workshops and conferences, or to become involved in research. Look for a program where faculty are closely connected to, and actively involved in, professional organizations, and (if you are thinking about doctoral programs) frequently conduct research with students. Identifying and attending professional development activities can be intimidating at first; in this context, faculty can provide mentoring and guidance to students just entering the field.
All faculty in the entire Psychology Department (both undergraduate and graduate) have active research agendas and often work with students on various projects. Research is not a requirement of the program, but is an opportunity for further development offered to all students. Interested students can either join a faculty’s research project, or develop their own under the guidance of a faculty. Students often present their work at professional conferences, publish in collaboration with faculty, and otherwise share their work in the community. More information on specific projects completed by students.
What mentoring does the program offer towards securing a job?
Securing a job involves a lot more than completing a program or acquiring hours for licensure. From identifying one’s area of specialty, to crafting an effective resume, to developing strong interviewing skills, to networking in the field, each step is essential in bringing you closer to securing the job you want. Look for a program that provides you with clear steps in acquiring job search skills, not simply in your last semester of the program, but throughout the curriculum. This is especially important as some skills (e.g., interviewing, networking) are developed over time and are most effective when integrated with the knowledge acquired in the core coursework.
Embedded in Arcadia University’s Counseling program is an integrated Career Development Curriculum, which guides students through all the steps required to become marketable, from identifying a specialty, to crafting job application documents (e.g., resume, cover letter), developing interviewing skills, and practicing job searches (through the Practicum and Internship search process). All skills are developed through specific class activities and assignments. The Career Development Curriculum starts the very first semester in the program and continues through graduation.
Will you have the opportunity to develop a sense of community with your fellow graduate students?
Graduate school is the perfect time to begin making lifelong connections that will help sustain you throughout your professional career. It’s important to have shared experiences beyond the classroom that help you get to know other students within your university community. Look for a program that provides opportunities for you to create those important personal and professional connections that will stay with you long after graduation. Ask whether students travel together to conferences or workshops, or if there are scheduled evening/weekend get-togethers or even study groups.
Even though Arcadia University’s Counseling program does not have a cohort model, students have the opportunity to take a number of classes together, while also getting to know students in all concentrations and at various stages in the program. Students also participate in a day-long orientation program, in which they are placed in small learning communities that function as a home-base for the rest of the program. The department also comes together a few times a year for social gatherings. Students who pursue research often work together on research teams and are encouraged to attend and present at conferences. Every student in the program is given a $500 “purse” that can be used towards any professional activities!
Is the program accredited?
Counseling programs may or may not be accredited. While non-accredited programs often still offer valuable training and the opportunity to obtain certification or licensure, accredited programs voluntarily choose to undergo a rigorous review process to maximize the quality of the training they offer. Accrediting bodies (e.g., CACREP, MPCAC) provide standards and consultation that ensure a given level of quality. You might ask programs if they are accredited and why they chose a given accrediting body.
Arcadia University’s Counseling program is accredited by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC), because of MPCAC’s emphasis on science, social justice, as well as outcomes. As indicated in MPCAC’s mission statement, “MPCAC requires programs to provide science-based education and training in the practice of counseling and psychological services…, using both counseling and psychological principles and theories as they apply to specific populations and settings. MPCAC’s…commitment to science-based education is emphasized in the interest of providing services that are culturally responsive and that promote the public good.”
Are you able to access information about the program directly from the staff in charge?
Graduate students usually lead busy and complicated lives. Getting questions answered and finding out key information from the program staff and faculty can be paramount in keeping things moving forward in a timely manner. Be sure you feel that the program and those in charge are accessible to you and your needs.
Arcadia University’s Counseling program’s DirectorandAssociateDirector are always available to answer questions and speak to prospective students. Feel free to e-mail them anytime! Arcadia University’s Counseling program also offers an Open House three times a year, in April, August, and November Contact us for specific dates.