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Master of Arts in
Counseling Psychology

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Why Earn a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology at Etown SGPS?

Earning a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Counseling Psychology from Elizabethtown College SGPS is an excellent choice for those looking to excel in mental health practice. The program's unique blend of evidence-based practices and multicultural competencies ensures graduates are well-prepared for diverse counseling roles. Specializations in Child & Adolescent Counseling, Substance Use Counseling, or a Generalist track allow for focused expertise, enhancing your professional flexibility and impact. This program also prepares you for the National Counselor Exam and licensure, opening doors to a variety of counseling opportunities.

Additionally, prospective and current Elizabethtown College undergraduate psychology students may be eligible for admission to two pipeline programs. Students in the pipeline programs benefit from early provisional acceptance to the graduate program, a waived graduate program application fee, and a 10% tuition discount on graduate courses.

Program Outcomes:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of individual and group theories and practices of counseling and psychotherapy.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and application of ethical and professional standards.
  • Understand the use of scientific methods to evaluate clinical work, programs, interventions, and the expansion of the counseling knowledge base.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the role of work in people’s lives, the relationship between biological factors and human functioning, and human development across the lifespan.
  • Demonstrate self-awareness and competency in working with individuals, groups, and communities who represent varied cultural backgrounds and characteristics.
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Program Format


credits required

to graduate

Complete the M.A. Program in

2 Years

or Explore Undergraduate

Pipeline Programs

Etown SGPS Ranked


For Best Masters

Degrees in Pennsylvania

by University HQ

Undergraduate Pipeline Programs

  • 3 + 2 B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Counseling Psychology Pipeline Program: This accelerated, combined program allows eligible students to complete their B.A. in 3 years, with provisional acceptance to the 2-year M.A. in Counseling Psychology Program. Students in this program complete undergraduate courses at an accelerated rate and in the summer/winter terms.
  • 4 + 2 B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Counseling Psychology Pipeline Program: This combined program allows eligible students to complete their B.A. in Psychology in 4 years, with provisional acceptance to the 2-year M.A. in Counseling Psychology Program.
Undergraduate Pipeline Program Information 

What Career Opportunities Could I Have With an Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology Degree?

Graduates of the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Elizabethtown College have a wide array of career opportunities in a fast-growing industry. The program opens doors to roles such as Mental Health Counselor, Child and Adolescent Counselor, Substance Use Counselor, and Group Therapist. With the job growth rate in Counseling Psychology projected to be much faster than average, especially in substance abuse and mental health counseling, graduates can expect a robust job market with competitive entry-level wages. Pennsylvania, in particular, holds a high volume of employment opportunities in this field.

Join Us for One of Our Upcoming Information Sessions

June 4 (6PM)


Every faculty member for the MCP program is incredibly understanding of all of the things we juggle as graduate students. They are always encouraging us to take time off when necessary, and to do whatever possible to avoid burnout. It is so nice to know that people who are teaching about mental health practice what they preach!

Understand Tuition Costs and Explore Scholarship Opportunities

The M.A. in Counseling Psychology is priced at $695 per credit. Scholarships and financial aid are available to make your Etown SGPS education even more affordable. Below are just a few of the scholarships and programs available to students:

  • Alumni Scholarship: 15% tuition discount, available to Elizabethtown College alumni.
  • Affinity Partner Scholarship: 15% discount, offered to employees of organizations partnered with Etown SGPS.
  • Jay Fellowship Referral Program: This is a referral program that benefits both current students/alumni and prospective students. When a student or alum refers a new student, both the referrer and the referred student receive a complimentary credit for their program of interest.
  • Graduate Assistant Positions: Elizabethtown College at times has Graduate Assistantship (GA) positions, pending availability of open positions and funding. Students interested in pursuing a GA positions are encouraged to share their interest in doing so during the interview process. GA position decisions are determined based on students’ interests and relevant experience and skills (e.g., prior work and academic experience).

Tuition and fees are reviewed and subject to change annually.

Tuition & Aid 

Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology Requirements

The M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Elizabethtown College requires 60 credit hours of academic work. Students have the opportunity to specialize in Child & Adolescent Counseling, Substance Use Counseling, or a Generalist Concentration.

Course Catalog  Academic Calendar 

As part of the M.A. in Counseling Psychology program, students will complete 100 hours of practicum-level training and 600 hours of internship-level training. Program faculty and staff will support students in finding site placements that fit their professional and training goals. Students in the Department of Psychology at Elizabethtown College have pursued internship experiences at a wide variety of sites, including T.W. Ponessa & Associates Counseling Services (Lancaster, PA), Blue Prints for Addiction Recovery (Mt. Joy, PA), Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute (Harrisburg, PA), WellSpan Philhaven Behavioral Health Services (Lancaster, PA), and many more.

Elizabethtown College’s Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology program is developed in accordance with the educational training requirements for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Pennsylvania. Additional non-educational training requirements, including passing an examination (such as the National Counselor Examination) and additional hours of supervised professional experience after completion of the graduate degree, apply to obtain licensure.

For further information regarding Licensed Professional Counselor requirements in Pennsylvania, please visit the  Pennsylvania State Board of Social Works, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors website . Students who seek similar credentialing in states other than Pennsylvania are advised to contact the credentialing board or agency in those states, as other requirements may exist.

State Professional and Licensed Boards: This list of state regulatory boards is maintained by Elizabethtown College and updated annually. Thus, they may not represent the most current policies for the specified states. Students are ALWAYS advised to check with the specific state to verify the current licensure standards, policies, and requirements of the state.

Students in the program are trained to critically evaluate and apply research to counseling practice. Students are not required to complete their own independent research, but are welcome to do so if desired. For more information about faculty research interests and ongoing research projects, contact  Dr. Dalton .

Meet the Faculty

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Dr. Elizabeth Dalton

Program Director, Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology |

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology | Associate Professor of Psychology

Dr. Elizabeth Dalton is a Pennsylvania licensed clinical psychologist with clinical and research interests in mood disorders, stress, and health behaviors. Dr. Dalton earned her B.A. in Psychology from Amherst College, her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and completed her APA-accredited internship at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Dalton has worked at Elizabethtown College since 2017 and is highly committed to the College’s motto of Educate for Service. Dr. Dalton is passionate about supporting students in the development of their professional interests and identities.

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Jihan Owens-Tyler, M.S., MFT

Lecturer in Counseling Psychology

Master's in Clinical Counseling and Psychology

Jihan is a Lecturer in Counseling Psychology. Jihan holds a master’s degree in Clinical Counseling and Psychology from Chestnut Hill College and is certified in Marriage and Family Therapy. Much of Jihan’s career has been committed to providing treatment and services to underserved populations. Jihan has worked with various populations ranging in age, mental health diagnoses, and levels of care. Jihan’s clinical training has encompassed various therapies, including prolonged exposure and CBT. Jihan has extensive experience working with clients presenting with anxiety, depression, familial issues, trauma, and post-traumatic stress disorder. After working at Rogers Behavioral Hospital, she gained significant expertise in working with clients dealing with OCD and ASD, as well as their families. Jihan is currently enrolled in Drexel University’s Doctorate of Couple and Family Therapy program. When not working, Jihan is spending time with her husband and two children, family and friends or doing Zumba!

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Cori Reed, M.A.

Adjunct in Counseling Psychology |

M.A. in Child & Family Studies

Cori Reed is a licensed professional counselor and a licensed behavior specialist in Pennsylvania. She has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Elizabethtown College, and a Master's degree in Child & Family Studies from Syracuse University. Cori's areas of interest include trauma-informed care, DEIB, the mental health of children, adolescents, and families, as well as the education and empowerment of students and professionals entering the mental health field.

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Mike Shook, M.A.

Lecturer in Counseling Psychology |

M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Mike is a licensed professional counselor in both Pennsylvania and Florida and holds a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Palo Alto University. Additionally, Mike is a National Certified Counselor and Board Certified-TeleMental Health Provider and has advanced training in Feedback Informed Treatment, Narrative Practice, and relational approaches to suicidality. Mike has served as adjunct faculty in Palo Alto University’s Mental Health Counseling program and currently serves on the Lancaster County Suicide Prevention Coalition. He is the creator and founding editor of The Thoughtful Counselor podcast which hosts in depth conversations related to counseling and counselor education. As a practicing counselor, Mike works with youths, adults, couples, and families. He has worked in a variety of settings and with a range of concerns, including struggles with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, suicidality, burnout, cross-cultural stress, relational and marriage issues, and serious mental illness.

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Valerie Minnich, M.S., Ph.D.

Adjunct in Counseling Psychology |

M.S. in Professional Counseling, Ph.D. in Human Cognition and Instruction

Dr. Valerie Minnich is a Pennsylvania licensed professional counselor with an emphasis in marriage and family counseling from Grand Canyon University. She primarily works with teens, adults, and couples. Dr. Minnich earned her B.A. in Psychology from Shippensburg University, where she also studied Elementary Education for 3 years. Her Ph.D. is from Grand Canyon University and her dissertation research is on Millennial Faculty's job satisfaction and self-efficacy beliefs. Dr. Minnich has an unofficial pre-medicine B.S. degree and a year of Naturopathic Medical School completed. She believes in a holistic approach to healing humanity incorporating the mind, body, and spirit into her work. Dr. Minnich supervises interns and individuals seeking clinical licensure in Pennsylvania at a local non-profit as the Training Director and ran a youth mental health education and screening program as a Clinical and Program Director and lead Research Coordinator with the same agency. She works for the National Board of Certified Counselors as a Subject Matter Expert working on the National Counselor Exam and teaches multiple cohorts of master-level counselors in training through practicum to internship II. Dr. Minnich is passionate about growing and supporting students and novice professionals on their journey to becoming licensed clinicians. 

Application Requirements & Process

To enter our Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology program you will need to:

  • Hold a Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale (applicants with a lower GPA will be considered on a case-by-case basis)
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are not required, but may be submitted for consideration. Applicants with a GPA lower than 3.0 are encouraged to submit either the GRE or Miller Analogies Test (MAT).
  • An undergraduate degree in Psychology or a related field is not required, however, preference will be given to applicants who have taken at least three psychology courses and earned a grade of "B" or better in each.

  •  Contact or meet with our admissions staff for guidance and to find out more information.
  •  Complete the graduate application via the online portal which includes the submission of a $50 nonrefundable application fee, waived for Elizabethtown College graduates.
    • You will need to request official transcripts from all undergraduate institutions you have attended and upload your current resume or CV.
    • Additionally, prepare a personal statement addressing your academic and professional goals, and preparation and motivation to attend graduate school.
    • The application process also requires two recommendations. Please include letters from those who can speak to your educational and professional experience. Instructions for these are available in the admissions portal.
  •  After submitting your application, the SGPS Team will review it and select applicants.
  •  Selected applicants will be invited to complete an interview. Final admissions decisions will be determined after the interview. We take a holistic approach to application review and will review all applications received.
  •  If you have any questions or concerns about whether you meet our application requirements please do not hesitate to reach out to either MCP Program Director Elizabeth Dalton or Associate Director of SGPS Admissions Don Sharples.

Elizabethtown College