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Combined B.S./M.S. Degree Program for Community and Trauma Counseling

Combined B.S. in Health Sciences/M.S. in Community and Trauma Counseling Checksheet

Combined B.S. in Psychology/M.S. in Community and Trauma Counseling Checksheet

Professional Counselors practice the prevention and treatment of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders and associated stresses that interfere with mental health and normal growth and development. The Master of Science in Community and Trauma Counseling Program provides graduates with the knowledge and skills for trauma-informed practice as community mental health counselors across a breadth of settings including agency and institutional settings, professional private practice, and other environments influenced by traumatic events and extreme stress.

The Combined B.S. in Health Sciences/M.S. in Community and Trauma Counseling or B.S. in Psychology/M.S. in Community and Trauma Counseling Program are designed for students who know early on that they want to become professional counselors. These programs allow students to seamlessly complete undergraduate and graduate degrees in less time than would be required to complete both of these degrees separately. Students selecting this option can choose between the Health Sciences or Psychology majors as undergraduates. For qualified students, graduate Community and Trauma Counseling coursework begins in the student’s senior year (or equivalent) after all undergraduate Hallmarks and major coursework has been successfully completed.

During the first three years of undergraduate coursework, students complete major requirements for the bachelor degree, including Philadelphia University’s Hallmarks courses and Community and Trauma Counseling (CTC) program prerequisites. Students who meet the graduate CTC Program progression criteria can matriculate into the master’s program by enrolling in first year CTC graduate coursework during their fourth year of undergraduate studies. In December of the fourth year, students are awarded the bachelor degree in either Health Sciences or Psychology, and upon completion of graduate CTC program requirements, the master’s degree in Community and Trauma Counseling.

B.S. in Health Sciences Option
The B.S. in Health Sciences track includes multiple courses designed for students who are interested in becoming a health professional. The curriculum includes courses in the natural sciences combined with human sciences, psychology, and unique practical and clinical experiences. Additionally, each student completes extensive volunteer and shadowing experiences with health practitioners as part of the major’s coursework. All Community and Trauma Counseling Program prerequisites are completed within the undergraduate degree requirements.

The B.S./M.S. Health Sciences and Community and Trauma Counseling combined degree program prepares students for a rich and rewarding clinical counseling career as a trauma professional. Students will be uniquely primed for clinical practice within hospitals and other health care settings, will have increased competencies and knowledge to serve a variety of populations including medically fragile clients and those with comorbid medical needs, and will have the training and skill set to fluidly collaborate with a wide range of health professionals to best serve their clients. Advanced clinical trauma competency, coupled with a profound health science background will power graduates to be versatile and effective clinicians in the global community.

B.S. in Psychology Option
The B.S. in Psychology offers extensive coursework and learning activities that focus on understanding human behavior, central to the success of health professionals. Students are thoroughly immersed into the Psychology discipline as this track includes eight core Psychology courses (including all three of the CTC Program prerequisite course requirements) and eight Psychology electives. During their undergraduate study students participate in an advanced research project in a topic of their choosing. All CTC Program prerequisites are completed within the undergraduate degree requirements.

The B.S./M.S. Psychology and Community and Trauma Counseling combined degree program prepares students for a rich and rewarding clinical counseling career. Philadelphia University’s undergraduate psychology program provides a strong foundation for psychology theory, research and concepts while also developing sound clinical competencies in students. Students in this track will be well prepared for graduate studies in Community and Trauma Counseling. Their graduate coursework and field placements will complement and enhance their undergraduate training. This combined degree will prepare students well for rich and rewarding careers as trauma-informed professional counselors. Advanced clinical trauma competency, coupled with a profound psychology background will power graduates to be versatile and effective clinicians in the global community.

Freshman Admission Option

  • Freshmen applicants who are admitted to the University must demonstrate the following profile for admission into the combined degree programs:
  • Minimum overall high school grade point average (GPA) of 3.0
  • Minimum combined SAT score of 1000 for Critical Reading and Math, or 22 on the ACT
  • Four years of science—strongly encouraged

Transfer Credit for B.S./M.S. in Community and Trauma Counseling Programs
Students can transfer from outside institutions with 30 or fewer credits. At least half of the Community and Trauma Counseling graduate program’s prerequisite courses must be completed at Philadelphia University, including Counseling Psychology. Students may not transfer any of the program’s prerequisite courses with grades lower than “B-.” These courses include Introduction to Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Lifespan Human Development/Developmental Psychology, and Statistics.
Transfer applicants should contact the Office of Admissions to discuss entry requirements.

Internal Transfer Policy
(For undergraduate students interested in transferring into the undergraduate portion of the B.S./M.S. in Community Trauma Counseling program).
Students may be eligible to transfer into the combined programs, dependent on seat availability. Requests must be made to Dale Michaels, Associate Professor, and Undergraduate Psychology and CTC, who will review the request and determine eligibility. The transfer requires students to change their current major to one of the combined B.S./M.S. CTC majors. No internal transfers will be permitted in years where there are 15 or more current undergraduate pre-professional phase CTC students in good academic standing who anticipate moving into the graduate coursework.

Combined B.S./M.S. Program Progression

Pre-Professional Phase (Years 1, 2, and 3)
For progression into the graduate counseling program at the conclusion of the third year of undergraduate studies, students must meet minimum requirements established by the community trauma counseling program Faculty. Students who demonstrate the following profile are guaranteed matriculation into the M.S. in Community and Trauma Counseling Program:

  • Completion of undergraduate major and Hallmark requirements (during the first three years and the following summer of undergraduate study)
  • Overall minimum 3.0 GPA for all college coursework (including transfer courses)
  • Overall minimum 3.0 GPA in Community and Trauma Counseling program prerequisites (minimum grades of “B-” or better in all program prerequisite courses, including Abnormal Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Counseling Psychology, Clinical Psychology, and Statistics)

A formal review of a student’s academic progress will occur at the conclusion of each spring semester of undergraduate coursework to evaluate progress towards transition into the graduate/professional phase. Transferred grades will be included in the review for meeting the above criteria.

Students that are unable to achieve the standards identified above may not matriculate into the graduate coursework, and may continue toward completing their undergraduate coursework in psychology or health sciences, if appropriate and upon advisement. Students may then apply to the graduate counseling program upon completion of the major, though may be advised to repeat specific courses to satisfy the admission requirements of the program.

Professional Phase (Years 4 and 5)
Students must successfully complete ALL Pre-Professional phase courses prior to entrance into the Professional phase of the community trauma counseling program, and have the approval of the Pre-Professional subcommittee of the Admissions Committee to proceed into the Professional phase. This committee will evaluate the student’s academic and professional behavior. Academic Integrity and Student Conduct Policy violations may negatively affect a student’s ability to matriculate into the Professional phase.

Students who do not meet requirements for progression into the Professional phase may be able to remain at the University but must change their majors to reflect either B.S. in Health Sciences or B.S. in Psychology (or other major, as appropriate; refer to the general University academic standards listed in the Student Handbook). These students cannot continue in the B.S./M.S. in Community Trauma Counseling program.

Requirements for progression into the Professional Phase
Academic: Students are evaluated by the cumulative and pre-requisite GPA. Students must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative and 3.0 pre-requisite GPA.
Professional Behavior: Students are required to submit one letter of reference from a Philadelphia University faculty. Professional behavior is evaluated by review of this letter of reference, and discussions with faculty. Additionally, students are expected to follow all policies outlined in the Philadelphia University Student Handbook including those pertaining to academic honesty. Infractions such as forgery, plagiarism, copying tests, and cheating on examinations will not be tolerated. These infractions may lead to dismissal from the community trauma counseling program. Students shall report any illegal or unethical activity to the program and may be referred to the Academic and Professional Standards Review Committee.
Students must be appropriately responsive to lawful requests from their instructors and University officials. Students shall not display disruptive or obstructive behavior at the University or its affiliates. Academic integrity issues will be considered.

Probation and Dismissal

Students in the Community and Trauma Counseling Program must meet ALL criteria to remain in the Program and progress to graduation. Pre-professional CTC students are evaluated at the end of each spring semester. Students who do not meet all requirements, cumulative and pre-requisite GPA standards, will be placed on probation or potentially dismissed from the B.S./M.S. program. Students who are on probation or dismissed from the B.S./M.S. program will be notified at the end of the semester of the appropriate year. Students who withdraw from the University will effectively give up their seats in the community trauma counseling program.

Students who are dismissed during the Professional phase will be held to different criteria depending on whether or not they have completed their bachelor’s degree component. Students dismissed from the B.S./M.S. program after the fall of Year 4 may be able to remain at the university and graduate with a B.S. by changing their major, provided they meet the general university academic standards listed in the Student Handbook. Students in the Professional phase of their education are directed to the academic standards described in the CTC Student Handbook provided to CTC students at Orientation.