Lock Haven University is a small state university located in central Pennsylvania and serving 4,220 total students throughout its undergraduate and graduate programs. It was originally founded in 1870 as a teachers' college but has since grown to be an area leader in science, business, and humanities while still remaining one of the top teaching programs in the state. In addition to the undergraduate degrees available, Lock Haven, or LHU, offers graduate programs in several areas, including the Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling described below, which is offered as an entirely online program.
Lock Haven University Accreditation Details
LHU is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) to award both undergraduate and graduate degrees throughout the university. In addition, the graduate program in clinical mental health counseling is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP).
Lock Haven Application Requirements
Undergraduate admissions for Lock Haven are fairly standard for state college requirements, with the student needing to first submit the application and the $25.00 application fee, along with high school transcripts and standardized test scores for either the SAT or the ACT or both. It is highly recommended that the high school curriculum show that the student has taken four years in each of the core subject areas of English, higher Math, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and either a foreign language or academic elective. While the school does not specify a minimum GPA or minimum scores for the high school core subjects or standardized tests, performance in these areas is a deciding factor in the admissions decision. Standardized test scores for the critical reasoning, or verbal, and math scores only are considered when evaluating a student for admission.
Students wishing to transfer to LHU as an undergraduate must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 on previous college coursework and at least 12 credit hours completed prior to the transfer. Students with less than 12 transferable credits are considered for admission under the criteria for entering freshman.
Graduate students for the Masters program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling are required to provide official college transcripts that show attainment of the undergraduate degree, three letters of recommendation, and a statement of professional goals that is about one page in length. This is in addition to the online application. In general, successful applicants will have an undergraduate degree in psychology, sociology, education, or some such related field and have maintained a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. In addition, work of life experience in the field of clinical mental health counseling is a plus, as are strong letters of recommendation and a strong showing in the virtual interview with the college that is scheduled once all other materials have been received.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Undergraduates who are residents of the state of Pennsylvania pay a per credit hour rate of $302.00 per hour up to 12 credit hours, after which the total tuition cost is $3,619.00 per full-time semester for students taking from 12 to 18 credit hours each semester. Undergraduates who are out-of-state residents pay $671.00 per credit hour up to 12 credit hours and then $8,048.00 per semester for a full-time schedule of 12 to 18 credit hours each semester.
Graduate level courses, online or otherwise, are assessed at $483.00 per credit hour for Pennsylvania residents and $725.00 per credit hour for out-of-state residents. These fees are tuition only. Other fees and charges for such as housing and meal plans also apply and will vary according to the student's individual circumstances. Undergraduate students are required to live on campus for their first two years at LHU.
Financial aid is available to help offset the cost of higher education. Students are encouraged to fill out and file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at the same time as they are applying for admission to Lock Haven. Federal aid can be provided in the form of grants, student loans, and work study programs, but students are also encouraged to seek aid for school costs through scholarships and other grants that may be available through the state, the college, or a nonprofit or private business or organization.
Degrees in Psychology and Counseling at Lock Haven University
The Department of Psychology within the College of Natural, Behavioral, and Health Sciences at Lock Haven offers two undergraduate degrees and a minor in Psychology. The more rigorous of the two major degrees is the Bachelor of Science in Psychology, involving a more extensive research sequence than the four courses required for the Bachelor of Art in Psychology degree, and completion of a faculty mentored independent research study. Students who intend to further their education into a graduate program in psychology often choose the Bachelor of Science option. While both Bachelor degrees require upper level coursework in psychology, the Bachelor of Arts also includes a broader base of liberal arts courses, four years of a foreign language, and emphasis on transferable skills valued by employers. In either case, students will complete 120 credit hours, ideally over a four year period.
The Psychology minor involves completion of 18 credit hours and is open to students majoring in any field. However, it is most often taken by students majoring in fields related to interacting with others on a regular basis. Students majoring in Health Science or Criminal Justice are some of the more common participants in a Psychology minor.
The Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree involves completion of 60 credit hours, 51 of which are in common core courses related to counseling, differential diagnosis, assessment, and ethics. The remaining nine credit hours are required to be taken in one of three specialization areas that include tracks for child and adolescent counseling, military/veterans and their families, or a generalized clinical mental health counseling specialization that includes one course from each of the other two specializations, and a course in post-traumatic stress disorder. This accredited degree program is taken entirely online and is designed to prepare students for licensure as a professional counselor in Pennsylvania.
Like other medical fields, there will always be a need for professionals in the fields of mental health counseling and psychology. Students seeking careers in psychology and counseling or simply seeking knowledge and skills in the area of psychology to augment other career choices would do well to consider gaining one of the above degrees from Lock Haven University.