Public Health / Counseling

About the Dual Degree in Public Health (M.P.H.) and Counseling (M.A.C.)

This dual degree will enable practitioners to implement both individual and systemic change in the mental health and public health fields, by integrating the tools of the counselor with the tools of public health.

The Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) educates and socializes students to become practitioners skilled in the art of behavior assessment and change. This is accomplished through a program that integrates theory and practice (both within and outside of the classroom) from the beginning of the program. The MAC allows students to become licensed as professional counselors in Pennsylvania. The Master of Public Health (MPH) educates community health professionals to promote the health of individuals, families, communities, and the environment. This is accomplished through a program that integrates education, research, and practice in a global environment.

Dual degree candidates must be accepted to each of the programs in order to enroll in the dual degree (only one application will be required).

With dual degrees, students gain knowledge in two fields as they prepare for their professional careers. Students explore the relationship between mental health conditions on an individual level, on the one hand, population health and the health of communities on the other. Students are challenged to participate in meaningful internships, develop critical analyses, propose effective solutions, and contribute substantively to the current dynamics linking individual health with the health of communities. There are multiple opportunities for students to work in situations that will allow them to combine their Counseling clinical training with their Public Health community-based internship requirement. Students earn 78 credits in this program.

While the MAC prepares students to identify lifestyle factors that may lead to increased risk for serious mental health problems, the focus of the training is on the individual, rather than on a population, and on remediation, rather than prevention. In contrast, the MPH explores the frequency, distribution, and social determinants of public health-related issues within human populations with a focus on prevention. This dual degree enables practitioners to implement both individual and systemic change in the mental health and public health fields by integrating the tools of counseling with the tools of public health.

The MPH program is accredited by the Council for Education in Public Health (CEPH). The Counseling program is accredited by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC).