Pennsylvania Counseling Psychology Graduate Degree & Schools
As a human-centered specialty within the field of psychology, students may find more top options for Counseling Psychology Graduate Degrees on-campus programs on campus than in other formats. Choosing a graduate school for counseling psychology means learning in a real classroom, being able to participate and interact with fellow classmates and professors. Counseling psychologists may diagnose and treat mental disorders; learning disabilities; and behavioral, cognitive and emotional problems in a variety of settings including college and university counseling centers, hospitals, independent practices, healthcare settings and organizational counseling groups. If you are someone who thrives in a social learning atmosphere, looking into best accredited counseling psychology graduate schools is worth considering.
Counseling Psychology Graduate Degrees: Basics
Counseling Psychology Graduate Degrees are offered as graduate certificates, masters and doctorate degrees in both PsyD programs and PhD in Counseling Psychology. Counseling Psychology is considered a specialty field within psychology but there are also other disciplines that relate to it depending on whether you aspire to practice as a licensed psychologist, counselor or therapist. For instance, some of the programs you can select from include:
- Art Therapy
- Career Counseling
- Counseling Therapy
- Marriage and Family Counseling
- Rehabilitation Counseling
- Substance Abuse Counseling
FACT The field of counseling psychology is characterized by long roots in vocational psychology, prevention, primary interventions, advocacy, and an emphasis on individual differences [i].
Why Choose an Accredited Graduate School for Counseling Psychology?
Keep in mind that the American Psychological Association only accredits doctoral programs in clinical, counseling and school psychology; internships, postdoctoral residency programs and combination programs[ii]. Accreditation is important since Psychology is a heavily regulated field; most states require those practicing psychology or using the title ‘psychologist’ to be licensed which means taking the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.[iii] According to the APA, “If you wish to pursue licensure, it is important to know that some states require that students have a degree from an APA-accredited program”[iv]
Potential Perks to Earning Your Counseling Psychology Degree On-Campus:
While it is a personal choice whether to earn your Counseling Psychology Graduate Degree On-campus as opposed to online, there are a few potential benefits to in-person learning. Here are a few points to consider:
Presence: For sure some learning is textbook-oriented but what about the education one receives via demonstration or from the dialogue and participation between students and their professors? This invaluable social component may help, especially in person-centered fields where students are in grad school to fine tune their communication and interpersonal skills as much as study theory. In fact, even online programs are likely to have campus requirements for these reasons.
Convenience: You might actually find that some graduate schools for counseling psychology cater to busy working professionals by offering classes during the evenings or on weekends.
Access: Being on campus you gain access to all the onsite facilities such as libraries, laboratories, student services and whatever cafeteria you might need to get your java as you burn the midnight oil studying hard.
Participation: There may be activities, lectures or faculty related meetings that you can participate in to give you the chance to network.
Which Counseling Psychology Graduate On-Campus Program is Right for you?
While there is some overlap between counseling, therapy and counseling psychology, each of these 3 different paths has different educational requirements. For instance, some of the program listings you might find could include: Psy.D. Marital and Family Therapy, Master of Arts in Counseling: Specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Art Therapy Counseling, or Masters in Counseling Psychology.
You need to ask yourself whether you are looking for a Counseling Psychology Graduate Degree that prepares you to seek entry-level employment upon graduation or whether you aspire to research, teach or ultimately use the title “Counseling Psychologist” on your business card. Ultimately, graduate school is the time to leverage your strengths as well as research a topic that you are passionate about. There 3 main directions you might take for your Counseling Psychology Graduate Degree could be considered as:
Counselor (e.g. Rehabilitation counselor or mental health counselor)
Therapist (e.g. Marriage and Family Therapist)
FACT: Sample titles for counseling psychologists include Applied Behavior Science Specialists (ABSS), Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Psychotherapist.[v]
Essentially, as in the case with Mental Health Counselors, the typical entry level education required is a Master’s Degree and a license to practice. Licensure is going to mean about 2,000 to 4,000 hours of post-degree supervised clinical practice experience, and then to pass a state exam. The master’s degree is typically in psychology, clinical mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, or a related mental health field.[vi]
Therapist roles, such as the Marriage and Family Therapist have the same education requirements as Licensed Counselors. Those who aspire to research or work in higher education would need a doctoral degree, but a masters in Marriage and Family Therapy degree is considered entry-level work credentials (plus licensing etc.). The masters programs are usually 2-years.
The Counseling Psychologist
Counseling psychologists need a doctoral degree – either the PsyD or the PhD. A counseling psychologist generally spends at least four years earning the degree. The PhD is the more traditional degree; it places more emphasis on research and takes a little longer to complete. The PsyD degree is practice-oriented, but includes far more training in assessments than an LMFT program. In terms of academic requirements, they are generally higher for psychology.
Find Your Graduate School for Counseling Psychology
Once you have chosen what you want to study (program, degree level), you can initiate a search on GradSchools.com. Find Psychology schools and campus-based Counseling Psychology Graduate Degrees and Programs by location. Simply use the city, state or country tabs to browse listings and choose one that aligns with your goals. Often there is a live link so you can visit the schools’ websites, and the convenient ‘request info’ tab allows you to get the details that will help you take that next step and pin down the right graduate school for your graduate degree!
[i] apa.org/ed/graduate/specialize/counseling.aspx |[ii] apa.org/search.aspx?query=counseling%20psychology |[iii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm#tab-4 |[iv] apa.org/ed/accreditation/about/program-choice.aspx |[v] onetonline.org/link/summary/19-3031.03 |[vi] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/mental-health-counselors-and-marriage-and-family-therapists.htm
- Edinboro, PAEdinboro, PA
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Four tracks are available: School Counseling; College Counseling; Rehabilitation Counseling; and Community Counseling.
- Hatfield, PAHatfield, PA
Biblical Theological Seminary
Biblical is committed to preparing leaders for life and is known for the ability of its faculty to engage students in the classroom and equip you to e...
- Kutztown, PAKutztown, PA
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
- Kutztown, PA
- Bryn Mawr, PABryn Mawr, PA
Rosemont College takes a holistic approach by emphasizing personal growth and training graduate students to become competent and ethical professionals...
- Bethlehem, PABethlehem, PA
Lehigh University's Counseling Psychology Program seeks to train students as effective scientist-practitioners who demonstrate...
- Philadelphia, PAPhiladelphia, PA
Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University)
The M.S. in Art Therapy Specialization develops knowledgeable and skilled practitioners, researchers and policy makers, who utilize art therapy as a distinct, therapeutic practice when helping individuals cope with trauma.
- Philadelphia, PAPhiladelphia, PA
La Salle University
La Salle's COAMFTE-accredited Marriage and Family degree trains students to evaluate and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral...
- Pittsburgh, PAPittsburgh, PA
The M.S.Ed. Marriage and Family Counseling is comprised of 60 credits and is accredited by the Council for Accreditation for Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Philadelphia, PAPhiladelphia, PA
University of Pennsylvania
This full-time, one-calendar-year master's program prepares graduates to work as mental health counselors, therapists, researche...
- Shippensburg, PAShippensburg, PA
Teaches the skills necessary for the professional practice of counseling and college student personnel work.
- Aston, PAAston, PA
Neumann equips scholars and practitioners for leadership in today's diverse world of mental health challenges.
- Clarion, PAClarion, PA
Clarion University Of Pennsylvania
For students who aspire to leadership positions in various human services organizations.
- Indiana, PAIndiana, PA
Indiana University Of Pennsylvania
Learn new approaches for reaching out to others while working toward state and national licensure in Community Counseling.
- Immaculata, PAImmaculata, PA
The graduate program in Music Therapy guides qualified persons in the research and study of how music can be used in health, education, business, indu...
- Villanova, PAVillanova, PA
Two tracks are offered: Clinical Mental Health or School Counseling.
- Scranton, PAScranton, PA
The University of Scranton
The University of Scranton is an urban Jesuit school located in northeastern Pennsylvania (USA). The institution enrolls about 5,000 students, 750 of...
- Dallas, PADallas, PA
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
The Masters program trains graduate students in the skills required to become an independent practitioner or work as a contributing member of an inter...
- Wayne, PAWayne, PA
The mission of the Counseling Psychology Department at Eastern University is to train a diverse body of students to be competent and ethical practitioners who apply knowledge and skills gained from the thoughtful integration of the Christian faith a...
- Wayne, PA
- Beaver Falls, PABeaver Falls, PA
The M.A. in Counseling program at Geneva College provides academic training to prepare students to become Licensed Professional Counselors.