Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology
Graduate Program Coordinator:
Dr. Cubie Bragg
Bowie State University offers a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology. Students may enroll in the program from the Eclectic theoretical approach to counseling or elect a specialized approach emphasizing the Adlerian or Individual Psychology school of thought originated and developed by Alfred Adler and his followers.
The Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology degree program provides professional preparation for persons wishing to become counselors in noneducational institutions, such as community mental health facilities. Concentrations in pastoral counseling and health counseling are offered for persons wishing to qualify in these specialties. Specializations are offered in addiction counseling, career counseling, family counseling, health counseling, human services, pastoral counseling and psychotherapy. Advanced certificates are available in family counseling and psychotherapy. Concentrations and certificate programs are available with either an Adlerian or Eclectic focus.
The Master of Arts in the Counseling Psychology degree program places great emphasis on interpersonal and helping relationships, which require considerable commitment on the part of the student. The student must complete a 48 semester hour program, a practicum placement and pass a Comprehensive Examination before enrolling in PSYC 858, Internship in Counseling Psychology, and a seminar paper. Students must plan their programs in consultation with an assigned advisor from the counseling faculty.
The Eclectic option is designed to allow the counseling student to develop expertise in the diverse array of counseling theories available today. Students develop an in-depth understanding of the origins, development, and latest research on the major psychodynamic, existential, humanistic, behavioral, and cognitive behavioral theories. Through the Eclectic option, students develop competence in counseling strategies that enable them to choose the best approach to counseling clients. Students develop advanced skills in identifying and modifying cognitive, behavioral, and emotional problems. Through the Eclectic program, students are encouraged to develop their own philosophy of counseling to meet the challenge of counseling diverse clients in the modern world.
The Adlerian or individual psychology option is designed to allow the counselor to develop an extensive expertise in Adlerian techniques and philosophy while developing a repertoire of methods and strategies from other appropriate eclectic theoretical orientations. Through the Adlerian option, counselors learn a wide variety of counseling strategies and psychological approaches to human behavior in general and Adlerian Counseling in particular. The student studies means of identifying mistaken convictions and notions about life, means for acquiring responsible behavior patterns, classroom discipline and management strategies, life style assessment techniques, family constellations, early recollection interpretations, and proven principles of parenting. The Adlerian philosophy also provides for corrective measures to acting-out behaviors of young children (both in the home and in school settings), violence and conflict mediation, insight into and understanding of personality or life style formation, and thematic interpretation of goals and purposes of one’s behavior for counseling methodology.
Admission to the Program
Individuals interested in pursuing the graduate program in counseling psychology must qualify for admission to the Graduate School. The following material must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions:
- Completion of a B.A. or B.S. degree with a minimum grade point average of 2.75 and at least 12 credits in counseling, psychology or a related area.
- Completed Graduate Application Form with the non-refundable application fee.
- Submission of three letters of recommendation. Two letters must be from an academic instructor and one letter from an employer/supervisor. Recommendation forms may be obtained from the Office of Graduate Admissions.
- Submission of a personal statement. The personal statement must be a typewritten statement not to exceed three single spaced pages in which the following points are addressed:
- Background information: Family, education and work.
- Goals: What do you expect to be doing in five (5) years? In ten (10) years?
- Strengths: What strengths do you have that would contribute to your being a good counselor?
- Change: What do you believe to be the facets of your personality, behavior, and/or outlook that, if modified or changed, would make you a better person/counselor? What plans, if any, do you have for making any such change(s)?
- Why Bowie State University? Why did you decide to apply to the counseling program at B.S.U.?
- Your comments: What additional information, thoughts, feelings, concerns and/or questions do you have?
Common Courses for Both Options
- Seminar paper to be written in Seminar in Counseling Psychology: PSYC 861. Candidates MUST have passed the Comprehensive Examination to be able to enroll in this course. They must have passed the Comprehensive Examination before they can take either practicum or internship also.
- Written Comprehensive Examination. Prerequisite – completion of or enrollment in EDUC 706: Introduction to Research, and 30 semester hours in program. The Qualifying Examination must be passed prior to enrollment in the Internship [600 hours] and Seminar.
- Prospective Practicum [100 hours] students are required to attend an orientation session one semester prior to enrollment in the practicum course in order to make arrangements for a practicum placement, and a passing grade on the Comprehensive Examination.
- The Internship [600 hours] cannot be taken prior to the completion of 30 semester hours in the program. Prerequisites: PSYC 502, PSYC 730 or 734, COUN 731, COUN 608, COUN 633, COUN 610, PSYC 780, PSYC 744 OR PSYC 714, PSYC 836, EDUC 706, passing grade on the Comprehensive Examination and completion of the Practicum experience.
Sequencing (48-Hour Degree Program)
Upon admission to the graduate program, each student is assigned an advisor to review the program options and to develop a plan of study. The majority of students in the Masters of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology program are part-time students who follow the sequence of courses listed below; however, minor variations in sequencing of courses are made to accommodate full-time students enrolled in the degree program. The program requires prerequisites for more advanced courses. To guide students in the sequencing of courses, four levels of course sequencing have been identified. Students must obtain the approval of advisor before enrolling in any courses.
*All counseling programs, Adlerian and Eclectic, use a common principles course; Adlerian concepts, philosophy, and theory will be covered in all principles classes.
[**The Practicum (100 hrs) and Internship (600 hrs) require an orientation the semester prior to enrolling in the class]
- The initial course taken by all students is PSYC 502: Principles and Philosophy of Counseling. There are two other courses that students may choose to take concurrently with this introductory course. They are COUN 633: Multicultural Counseling and EDUC 507: Human Growth and Development.
- At Level II, students may enroll in COUN 608: Career Counseling; PSYC 730: Adlerian Theory and Practice and Other Theories; PSYC 737: Life Style Assessment (PSYC 730 required first); and PSYC 780: Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling and Therapy.
At the completion of twelve (12) hours in the program, students are required to make application for Advancement to Candidacy. The Counseling Faculty at this point reviews each application. If students have a 3.25 grade point average and are recommended by at least two members of the full-time faculty, they are advanced to candidacy in the degree program.
- At Level III, students may enroll in one or more of the following courses: EDUC 706: Introduction to Research, COUN 731: Group Counseling, and COUN 732: Family Counseling.
After completing Levels I, II and III in the program, students are eligible to take the Comprehensive Examination. The Examination is designed to assess students’ mastery of the program objectives.
- At Level IV, students may enroll in one or more of the following courses: PSYC 744: Psychodynamics of Psychopathology [DSMIV] or PSYC 714: Clinical Assessment in Counseling and Psychotherapy [DSMIV]; PSYC 710: Psychometric Testing I; PSYC 711: Psychometric Testing II. COUN 762: Drug and Alcohol Counseling may be taken in lieu of PSYC 711.
After completing thirty (30) credit hours in the program, each student is eligible to take the written Comprehensive Examination. The Comprehensive Examination is designed to assess students’ mastery of the program objectives. The Comprehensive Examination may be taken prior to or during enrollment in Level IV courses. However, the Comprehensive Examination must be passed prior to enrollment in Level V courses (PSYC 836: Practicum in Counseling Psychology; PSYC 861: Seminar in Counseling Psychology; PSYC 858: Internship in Counseling Psychology).
- At Level V, students may enroll in PSYC 836: Practicum in Counseling Psychology (100 hrs) and PSYC 861: Seminar in Counseling Psychology concurrently. However, students must complete the 100 hour Practicum in Counseling Psychology before enrolling in PSYC 858: Internship in Counseling Psychology (600 hrs)
Students may not enroll in these Level V courses until they have completed Level III courses, passed the Comprehensive Examination and completed Level IV courses.
If a student has not completed the internship experience by the end of the semester, he/she must enroll in a one (1) credit hour independent study course (PSYC 801).