LICENSURE and CREDENTIALING
The master’s program is designed to meet the academic requirements for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in Pennsylvania and other states. Licensure as a psychologist requires a doctoral degree.
Licensure as a Professional Counselor or Marriage and Family Therapist in the State of Pennsylvania requires a graduate degree (minimum of 48 credits) in a field closely related to the practice of professional counseling. A total of 60 graduate credits is required for licensure. Students at Chestnut Hill College have the option of earning 60 credits before graduation or earning the 48-credit master’s degree followed by a 12-credit Post-Master’s Certificate in Professional Counseling for Licensure Preparation. Students may also take additional credits as part of the degree, followed by additional courses on a non-matriculating, professional development basis. Licensure also requires 3,000 hours of supervised experience earned after the completion of the 48-credit degree. After earning the academic credentials and completing the supervised clinical experience, applicants must pass a licensure exam. Students are encouraged to become familiar with the licensure regulations in Pennsylvania, or any other state where they are considering obtaining licensure.
Course Requirements for LPC Licensure
Students seeking licensure as a professional counselor may choose the generalist curriculum or a concentration area. Students wishing to focus on a particular population are encouraged to choose a concentration. The Post-master’s Certificate in Professional Counseling for Licensure Preparation cannot have an area of concentration. Two other categories of Post-master’s certificates, clinical and academic, are available in the areas of concentration, but they require additional academic courses and may require two terms of internship. (See below for details on the Post-master’s certificates.)
Some courses offered as electives at Chestnut Hill College are required for licensure. These courses may be taken as part of the student’s degree, or as part or all of the additional 12 credits which may be earned after the awarding of the master’s degree. The courses that are electives in this program and will be required for licensure are: PSYG 530, Group Therapy; PSYG 532, The Role of Culture and Gender in Counseling and Psychotherapy; PSYG 536, Psychological Assessment; and PSYG 542, Career Development and Counseling.
Course Requirements for MFT Licensure
Students seeking to become Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists should plan to take all seven (7) classes available under the Marriage and Family Therapy concentration and The Role of Culture and Gender in Counseling PSYG 532. It is recommended that six (6) classes be taken prior to graduation, and that the remaining class be taken as part of the 12-credit Post-Master’s Certificate in Professional Counseling for Licensure Preparation. Chestnut Hill College students may also opt to take all seven (7) courses before graduation.
Field Experience Requirements for Licensure
Students seeking to become Licensed Professional Counselors must complete a practicum of at least 100 hours and an internship of at least 600 hours for 700 total hours. Of these, 240 hours must be direct-contact hours with clients. The practicum is completed in one semester and the internship may be completed over two or three terms. Students seeking to become Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists will need an internship which lasts one full calendar year (3 terms) and includes at least 300 direct-contact hours and 700 total hours at a site.
Licensure in Other States
The Master of Science (M.S.) degree meets licensure requirements in most other states. Please contact your state licensing board for academic and clinical requirements. Students seeking licensure in New Jersey should be aware that, effective October 2012, applicants for licensure may be required to be graduates of CACREP-accredited programs. The master’s program in Clinical and Counseling Psychology at Chestnut Hill College is not currently accredited by CACREP (an independent credentialing board). Please check on the status of this requirement with their Licensure Board if you are planning on being licensed in New Jersey.
Additional Professional Credentials
The master’s program in Clinical and Counseling Psychology also prepares students to apply for independent credentials in the field, including: National Certified Counselor (NCC), offered by the National Board for Certified Counselors; Certified Addictions Counselor (CAC), offered by the Pennsylvania Certification Board; and clinical membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).