FAQs | MS in Mental Health Counseling Program | PCOM
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Frequently Asked Questions 
MS in Mental Health Counseling

For additional information, review the School of Professional and Applied Psychology FAQs, or visit the Admissions FAQ section.

Our Mental Health Counseling program stands out both locally and nationally in that we are one of a few MS Counseling programs embedded in a medical school. This connection is evident through our Interprofessional Education (IPE) experiences. You will engage in three IPE experiences during your first year and at least six IPE experiences during your second year with us. First year IPE experiences involve having DO students attend skills courses alongside you, debriefing relevant movies, and shadowing in the OMM lab. Second year IPE experiences involve you engaging in a three hour encounter in which you work collaboratively with a PsyD, PA and DO student.

We also have the opportunity for you to engage in a Standardized Patient (SP) experience.

Mentorship is also something the faculty do above and beyond just advising you. We also assign you a student mentor who is a second year student who meets with you to help you navigate our program.

Usually two years if attending full time, three years if attending part time.

Most students are on campus two nights a week; with classes starting at either 4 p.m. or 5:15 p.m. There are also times in which students take a hybrid for online course.

Here are a few comments from our students:

  • “The program provides a safe environment for students to speak up and be heard, as we trust and respect our professors and know they have a mutual respect for us.”
  • “Faculty accessibility; enthusiastic faculty; classes that foster community and provide safe learning spaces.”
  • “The workload coordination between courses. I also appreciate how assignments are meant to stimulate different type of learners.”
  • “I really appreciate how understanding and caring all faculty and professors of this program are. Coming into the program, I was confused why self care was so emphasized. After going through this semester, I fully understand and appreciate how this also helped me learn more about myself.”
  • “I appreciated the support and mentoring shown by my professors.”
  • “My practicum experience made me marketable to reputable and clinically relevant mental health agencies.”
  • “My training at PCOM (specifically through STEPPS, the Standardized Training and Evaluation of Psychologists and Psychotherapists program) helped me to achieve my dream job in the field of child trauma years earlier than I ever thought possible.”

Any student who wants to be independently licensed in the state of Pennsylvania must complete a 60 credit-hour MS degree, pass a licensure examination and complete at least 3,000 hours of supervised work experience (i.e., a paid position). Pennsylvania also offers a provisional license aimed at expanding opportunities for new counseling graduates. Licensure requirements often differ by state. For more information on licensure requirements for professional counseling in all 50 states, visit the American Counseling Association website.

Neither MAT nor GRE scores are required for admission.

What Our Students Say

“With a healthcare system that is evolving more towards integrated care and interprofessional collaboration, the fact that PCOM is housed in a collaborative space is huge from my perspective. I definitely don't think I would have been as prepared for doctoral studies and for clinical practice, if I had gone somewhere else.”

Nic Schmoyer, PhD (MS '21, current faculty)

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Nic Schmoyer, PhD (MS '21, current faculty) portrait