MS in Counseling Psychology

The Counseling Psychology program at Holy Family University prepares students to become professional counselors with expertise in community, school, family and marital, higher education, and pastoral settings. The program takes approximately three to four years to complete studying on a part-time basis. Classes meet at our convenient Newtown location in the evening and on Saturdays.

Program Outcomes
The graduate of the Graduate Program in Professional Counseling recognizes that counseling is more than a profession. It is in this program’s view that counseling is a way of living where one is committed to social justice, empathy and life-long learning. This involves connection with all of humanity while maintaining individuality. The Program Outcomes reflect this belief and expectation. Upon completion of the program students will confidently be able to:
1. Articulate a professional counseling identity,
2. Demonstrate flexibility, adaptability, independence, humility, and the courage to be vulnerable,
3. Demonstrate a multicultural perspective and competence in working with clients,
4. Apply professional counseling skills and knowledge to client needs (based on the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs competencies),
5. Practice professional counseling in a manner consistent with the ethical guidelines of the American Counseling Association and its divisions,
6. Embrace the philosophy of a “life-long learner” by being able to critically evaluate and integrate new knowledge into existing knowledge sets,
7. Implement advocacy skills and interventions with regard to social justice issues,
8. Understand and contribute to the scholarship in the field of professional counseling,
9. Recognize the self as a developing imperfect person with consideration to counseling, personal growth and development, one’s sense of spirituality, and self care and wellness strategies especially as these impact on the self and client.

Academic Programs
In addition to a 25-credit core curriculum, you will complete between 26 to 35 additional credits in electives and concentration requirements. The program’s available concentrations are:

Art Therapy
Prepares master-level counselors in the clinical use of art in therapy. Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of settings as both a licensed professional counselor and registered art therapist. Art therapists are knowledgeable about human development, psychological theories, clinical practice, spiritual, multicultural and artistic traditions, and the healing potential of art in working with a variety of clients in hospitals, treatment programs, schools and private practice.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Prepares master-level counselors to work with adolescents and adults in a community setting. This concentration is designed for students wishing to develop expertise in counseling adolescents and adults. Students also will gain the credentials to assume a supervisory position in community agency settings.

Correctional Counseling
Prepares master-level counselors to work in a wide array of settings including, but not limited to federal and state prisons, court clinics, forensic psychiatric units, child advocacy centers, reintegration programs and other institutional and community-based correctional programs. This concentration provides a basic foundation in counseling theory and skills with additional coursework in criminological theory, victimology, and correctional counseling practice. It also offers an opportunity for criminal justice students to expand their passion to include rehabilitation services for offenders and their families.

Marriage and Family Therapy
Prepares master-level counselors to work with families, couples, and children. This concentration is designed for students interested in gaining expertise in counseling and working with families Graduates of this concentration will be prepared to work in the human service profession either publicly or privately.

Pastoral Counseling
Prepares master-level counselors to work in a variety of pastoral settings including but not limited to churches, synagogues, hospitals, jails, schools, and community settings. The program provides a holistic approach that integrates counseling practice and theory with Judeo-Christian theology and philosophy to assist individuals and families in academic, clinical, faith and spiritual based counseling settings.

Student Affairs in Higher Education
Prepares master-level counselors to work with students in a variety of higher education settings. This concentration trains students to attend to the intellectual, social, emotional, and developmental needs of college and university students. Graduates of this program will be prepared to work in such areas as counseling centers, career centers, residence life, student activities, academic advising, and special needs programs.

School Counseling
Prepares master-level counselors to work as a school counselor in Pre K-12 settings. The Pennsylvania Department of Education-approved school counseling certification program allows students to pursue only certification or both certification and licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor.

Postgraduate Programs
Holy Family also offers two postgraduate programs: a licensure program for practicing master-level counselors and a school counseling certification program for those with a master’s degree wishing to become certified as an elementary or secondary school guidance counselor. These postgraduate programs each call for their own admission requirements. Ask your admissions counselor for details.

Eligibility for Licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
Several concentrations in the graduate counseling psychology program fulfill the educational requirements for licensure in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. Holy Family University Counseling Psychology students have an 86% first time pass rate on the licensure exam (NCE) and a 98% first time pass rate on the school counselor exam (Praxis). Licensure eligible programs are:

  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Correctional Counseling
  • Counseling in Student Affairs in Higher Education
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Pastoral Counseling
  • School Counseling