Lenoir-Rhyne University

| Staff Writers

Studying Counseling and Psychology at LRU

Lenoir-Rhyne University appears in our ranking of the Top 25 Most Affordable Master’s Degrees in Counseling in the South.

Since 1929, the College of Arts & Sciences has awarded a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology for Lenoir-Rhyne University undergrads to apply empirical knowledge on human behavioral and cognitive mechanisms. Chaired by Dr. Amy Hendrick, the 2009 JDS Editor’s Choice Award recipient, the curriculum uses inquiry-guided learning in a Christian framework to examine daily life problems. Courses for the 128-credit degree, such as Consciousness, Forensic Psychology, Child Development, and History of Psychology, have a close-knit 13:1 student-faculty ratio in Hickory. Outside class, students could join Psi Chi, enter the Bridges to Dreams Program, research in the Solmaz Institute, and exchange to Universidad de Almeria. Similar LRU degrees include the B.S. in Community Health and B.A. in Human Services.

In Hickory, Asheville, and Columbia, Lenoir-Rhyne’s College of Education & Human Services offers the Master of Arts in Counselor Education to take the NBCC licensure exam. Chaired by Dr. Neal Gray, the 61-credit, portfolio-based program holistically trains therapeutic professionals for fostering self-awareness in two practice tracks. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling M.A. emphasizes the methods to diagnose psychological disturbances by DSM-5 criteria. The School Counseling M.A. focuses on nurturing whole-person growth in PreK-12 classroom buildings. One 100-hour practicum precedes LRU’s 600-hour internships at diverse settings like Alex Lee Center, Thrive Counseling, Triad Psychiatric, Cone Behavioral Health, Broughton Hospital, and Jenkins Elementary. There’s also the 24-credit Christian Counseling Certificate online.

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About Lenoir-Rhyne University

Lenoir-Rhyne University was established by Lutheran ministers as Highland Academy in 1891 with an inaugural class of 12 in a one-room schoolhouse. Sponsored by the North Carolina ECLA Synod in 1895, the Academy was renamed to honor Confederate Captain Walter Lenoir. After the Lincoln County industrialist donated his assets, Lenoir-Rhyne University was born in 1923. Doubling enrollment in the 1940s, LRU has become a private, coeducational Protestant SAC member serving 2,523 Bears, including Psychology and Counseling majors. West of Winston-Salem, Lenoir-Rhyne University occupies a 56-acre, tree-lined Catawba County campus with two extensions. Linked to 8,369 LinkedIn alumni, LRU has graduated Rick Barnes, James B. Black, Stefanie Gaither, Harold Johnson, and more.

The U.S. News & World Report ranked Lenoir-Rhyne the 61st best Southern college, 31st best value, and 36th top university for veterans. On Niche, LRU was America’s 263rd best athletics school, 317th most conservative campus, and 397th most diverse student body. College Choice picked Lenoir-Rhyne University for the Old North State’s 24th best online education. According to College Factual, LRU is the country’s 16th best Lutheran institution with the 397th best psychology program and 138th top-paid human services grads. PayScale noted Lenoir-Rhyne for a mid-career median salary of $82,400. In Washington Monthly, LRU stood out for the 224th highest bachelor’s graduation rate and 51st best financial aid too.

Lenoir-Rhyne University Accreditation Details

In 2018, Lenoir-Rhyne University is preparing for review by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to renew its Level III accreditation for another 10 years under president Frederick Whitt. Located in Decatur, this regional body is authorized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) to judge the quality of LRU’s 51 baccalaureate and 29 master’s programs. The Counselor Education M.A. is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP) through 2022. School Counseling courses also adhere to National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standards.

Lenoir-Rhyne University Application Requirements

The 73 percent acceptance rate is classified as “moderately difficult” on Peterson’s for Lenoir-Rhyne University undergrads pursuing the B.A. in Psychology. First-year Bears must be graduating from a licensed high school or homeschool with a 15-unit curriculum that covers four units each of English and math. Passing the GED equivalent with subject tests above 145 is also acceptable. On average, freshmen present a 3.29 GPA, 1050 SAT score, and 21 ACT score. Transfers with 24-96 semester credits, including AA degrees, from accredited colleges are welcome with minimum 2.0 GPAs. Starting the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health/School Counseling involves finishing 120+ credits for a bachelor’s in any field. Besides the 2.75 GPA benchmark, graduates must send GRE or GMAT scores in the top 50th percentile from the last six years.

Lenoir-Rhyne University has an Early Action deadline of November 7th, but undergrad admission then becomes rolling. The Counselor Education M.A. Program has priority deadlines of May 16th for Summer, August 1st for Fall, and December 1st for Spring starts. Hopeful entrants create ConnectLR accounts to file the application online. If needed, supplemental materials may be sent to admission@lr.edu or 625 Seventh Avenue NE in Hickory, NC 28601. Psychology and counseling majors generally need the following:

  • Non-refundable $35 fee by credit or debit
  • University and high school transcript requests
  • Official SAT, ACT, GRE, or GMAT test scores
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae of life experiences
  • Original, 1,000-word essay articulating goals
  • Contact information (email) for one reference
  • English language proficiency exams if pertinent

Tuition and Financial Aid

Undergrad B.A. in Psychology majors taking 12-18 credits per term are billed $33,730 annually. Part-time study costs $1,395 per credit, except for summer school that charges $545 per credit. Living at the Hickory campus’ dorms like Isenhour Hall adds $11,600 for yearly room and board. Budgets should also include $1,160 for textbooks and $2,850 for other supplies. The annual cost of bachelor’s attendance is $51,510 on-campus and $39,360 at home. The Counselor Education Program is presently priced at $550 per credit for a grand M.A. total of $33,550.

According to the NCES College Navigator, 88 percent of full-time LRU Bears share $39.3 million annually with financial aid offers averaging $22,957 each. Psychology majors could qualify for institutional funds, such as the Martin Luther Fellowship, Legacy Scholarship, Friends in Faith Scholarship, Child of a Lutheran Minister Grant, and Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship. Submitting the FAFSA form with code 002941 evaluates estimated family contribution for Federal Pell or FSEOG Grant money. Resident Tar Heels might earn the Golden Leaf Scholars Award, North Carolina Incentive Grant, or Forgivable Education Loan for Service. Undergrads can borrow a maximum of $31,000 from Stafford Loans, but there are also Grad PLUS Loans. Assistantships give M.A. students tuition benefits and $500 monthly stipends. Lenoir-Rhyne University also delivers the LR Partners Discount and Alumni Advantage Rate.

Learn more about Lenoir-Rhyne University at the Counseling Department website.

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