FAQs | Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA

Chatham University

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Chatham University Master of Science in Counseling Psychology

+ What are the benefits of the MSCP degree at Chatham University?

License-Eligible: Earning the MSCP degree from Chatham University provides you with the educational requirements to be license-eligible as a LPC in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and 46 other states.

Therefore, upon earning the MSCP degree and acquiring the requirements to obtain a LPC, you will be able to operate as an autonomous counselor, supervise trainees, operate a private practice, and collect third-party reimbursements from insurance companies.

A Strong Career Path: Graduates of our MSCP program have an excellent track record of gaining employment in the mental health and counseling fields such as operating a private practice, drug and alcohol counseling, clinical research, and child and family counseling. Graduates work in outpatient and inpatient clinics, hospital settings, non-profit organizations, K-12 schools, universities and colleges, and career development centers.

Plugged into our Network: The MSCP program maintains a collaborative relationship with literally hundreds of community agencies and organizations across Western Pennsylvania, which serve as field placement training sites and places of future employment.

Trained by Nationally Recognized Faculty: 14 full-time faculty teach in The MSCP program. Every faculty member has a PhD (in either clinical or counseling psychology). Most faculty members are engaged in both clinical practice and research in an area of their expertise. Faculty members are nationally recognized experts in counseling athletes, advocacy interventions for girls and women, interpersonal process therapy, group therapy, infant mental health, counseling men and fathers, ecopsychology and sustainable health, multicultural counseling, helping individuals with disabilities, and positive psychology (to name a few).

The faculty publishes research in respected and rigorous peer-reviewed, professional journals and present their work at national and international professional conferences and serve leadership roles within professional organizations. Taken together, the faculty is able to integrate their clinical practice and research expertise into state-of-the-art and cutting-edge training and education for students in the MSCP program.

Please see our faculty profiles for additional information: https://www.chatham.edu/mscp/faculty.cfm

Additional Benefits: We also provide opportunities outside of the classroom and beyond our curriculum for students to become involved in various student organizations and groups that enhance professional identity and development.

Psi Chi: Advised by Dr. Deanna Hamilton, this student led international honor society promotes community outreach and connects students across all levels of psychology training at Chatham. Undergraduates, Masters, Doctoral Students, and Faculty collaborate on service projects and enjoy psychology related social events.

Neuropsychology Club: Advised by Dr. Jill Cyranowski and coordinated by a former master’s student, Adam Saad, this club explores the fascinating area of neuropsychology. Students have observed neurological surgeries at local hospitals, among other cool activities.

Professional Identity Development: Yes, students in our program receive the necessary training to become Licensed Professional Counselors. Additionally, throughout their academic and extracurricular experiences they are able to integrate their professional identities in counseling and psychology.

+ Is the MSCP program accredited?


Accreditation serves a useful and important function in helping programs develop and maintain the best possible educational standards and practices for students. It is important that the type of accreditation matches the mission and practices of the program being accredited. There are several organizations who accredit masters counseling professionals. The idea of different types of accreditation leading to professional licensure is not new, nor is psychology the only field that has multiple methods of accreditation. Both nursing and physician training programs have more than one accrediting body.

We have received accreditation for the MSCP program from the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC), which was established in 1997. Chatham's MSCP program sought MPCAC accreditation because it reflects the mission, values, and standards of our program. Further, as state licensing boards increasingly require graduation from "accredited programs," MPCAC offers an alternative to other accreditations. Please note that the Commonwealth of PA does NOT require graduation from a program with any specific accreditation to become licensed.

+ What is this CACREP I've heard so much about?

CACREP stands for the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. It is an accrediting organization interested in promoting Masters-level counseling education and licensure for those trained in Counselor Education and related programs. CACREP has been clear in its refusal to accredit Counseling Psychology programs.

As you might suspect based on our program's mission and identity, we are not CACREP-accredited. We are not CACREP-accredited because of our identity as a Counseling Psychology program, and psychology programs are not eligible for that accreditation. As a counseling psychology program, we take pride in both aspects of our dual professional identity: counseling and psychology.

We believe that the mental health needs of communities that can be served by well-trained counselors from all disciplines. From this perspective, licensure restrictions based on academic discipline are a social justice issue -- vulnerable populations may be not receiving the counseling support that they need. At-risk populations and the general public need competent and well-trained counselors, independent of academic discipline.

+ Where did you get all of this Useful Information?

Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC) website: www.mpcacaccreditation.org

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania LPC Licensure Board: www.dos.pa.gov/social

Horne, A. M. (2013). Looking to the future - The role of master’s programs in Counseling Psychology: A response to Quality of Master’s Education: A Concern for Counseling Psychology? The Counseling Psychologist, 41, 710-716.

Jackson, M.A. & Scheel, M.J. (2013). Quality of master's education: A concern for counseling psychology? The Counseling Psychologist, 41, 669-699.

Jackson, M.A. & Scheel, M.J. (2013). Integrating master's education in counseling psychology for quality, viability, and value added. The Counseling Psychologist, 41, 717-723.

Palmer, L.K. (2013). Legitimizing and reclaiming master's training and education in counseling psychology: An urgent concern. The Counseling Psychology, 41, 700-709.