Counseling Psychology Frequently Asked Questions
What are the similarities/differences between the three different counseling tracks?
First, the practitioner requires less quantitative coursework (e.g. research and statistics). Instead, a course is required that is designed to help evaluate and use research to inform future counseling practices. Much more fieldwork (thus hands on) experience is included in practicum and internship courses. Students following this track are better trained for work in the field and closer to the necessary hours of supervised experience needed for licensure by the time they are finished. The science track requires the traditional graduate statistics and research methods, only one semester of practicum, and a thesis option (if so desired). Students following this route are better positioned to apply for a doctoral program in psychology. The counseling psychology track is a combination of the practitioner and science specializations. It may be followed if a student has both an interest in pursuing licensure, as well as a PhD program.
Is it possible to work full-time while completing an internship?
It would be quite challenging to attempt internship (two full semesters at approximately twenty two hours a week on site) and work full-time. For students who are unable to complete internship due to the demands of working full-time may wish to follow the counseling psychology track. This track does require statistics and research methods, but only two semesters of practicum (8-10 hours a week on site to accrue the required 100 hours of professional experience at the site).
Would it be possible to take time off in between finishing the MS degree and completing the Certificate in Professional Counseling Studies (CPCS) program? If so, would it be possible to find a job in the field prior to completing the CPCS?
Yes, students can take time off between the programs. There are jobs available in the substance abuse field where students can obtain a different credential to work under. However, it is not possible to get a job doing counseling until licensed-the licensure law requires this.
Can you switch to another counseling specialization after starting with a different one?
It is understandable that a student’s career goals may change once they begin their coursework. So the short answer is yes. You should meet with the program director or academic advisor to see what the implications of the switch will be and how it will affect the timeline to graduation.
When will I be eligible to sit for the National Counseling Exam (NCE)?
Please refer to the NCC FAQ sheet for detailed information.
When should I apply to the post master’s CPCS program?
To be eligible for the CPCS program, you need to complete your MS requirements first. This means you will need to apply to graduate with your Master's.
To apply to the CPCS program: first, email/call Graduate Admissions and let them know you're one of our APPL masters students who is intending to transfer to the CPCS program. They should waive your application fee (giving you a code for the online application to do so).
Second, go to the UBalt webpage and fill out an application online, indicating that you are applying to the CPCS program and what semester you plan to enter the CPCS program. Make sure you designate the right semester for which you'd enter the CPCS program--the semester following the one you graduate with your MS. On the application itself, make sure you check the box that says "Former UBalt Student" so that your transcripts are applied to your CPCS application (saving you from having to submit them again); however, if there is any problem with transcripts, work with Admissions on this. In the personal statement, a one-sentence statement will suffice: "I am completing my MS in counseling at UBalt and wish to finish the academic requirements for licensure in Maryland by completing the CPCS program." Again, make sure that, on your application, you tell state which semester you are applying to the CPCS for (this will be the semester AFTER you graduate with your MS degree, so the first semester you intend to take coursework in the CPCS program).