New Mexico State University
| Staff Writers
Psychology and Counseling Degrees at New Mexico State University
New Mexico State University appears in our ranking of the Top 25 Most Affordable Master’s Degrees in Counseling in the West.
Degree Programs Offered by the Psychology Department
With its numerous state-of-the-art lab spaces, a 3:1 student-to-faculty ratio and plentiful opportunities for students to work alongside professors on research and publications, the Psychology Department at NMSU offers students the potential for a highly engaged and collaborative college experience. The department’s programs run the gamut from B.A. all the way to Ph.D. in Psychology.
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
A versatile degree program centered on the liberal arts, NMSU’s bachelor’s degree in psychology can either stand as an entry-level qualification for employment in a variety of fields, or it can serve as the first step toward graduate study and eventual licensure as a practitioner, depending upon the student’s individual goals. Students take foundational courses in statistics, biology, human behavior and experimental methods. Possible electives include abnormal psychology, social psychology, psycholinguistics and developmental psychology.
Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in Psychology
The graduate programs in psychology at NMSU adhere to the apprenticeship model, meaning that each degree candidate collaborates closely with their faculty mentor in an area of shared research. The model is designed to graduate Ph.Ds who are bona fide practitioner-scientists, adept at both conducting original research and advising clients.
Degree candidates may choose to enroll in one of three tracks: cognitive psychology, social psychology, and engineering psychology. All students who enter the Ph.D. program with a baccalaureate degree in hand are initially enrolled in the master’s degree program. After completion of the master’s degree requirements, students may choose to end their studies with a terminal master’s of psychology, or they may continue on in pursuit of their doctorate.
Degree Programs Offered by the Counseling and Educational Psychology Department
With a stated mission of “promot[ing] social justice/advocacy through the cultivation and preparation of professionals” in counseling psychology and related fields, the Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology at NMSU has been recognized by organizations such as the American Psychological Association and the American Counseling Association for innovative, multicultural-focused programs that emphasize training through community outreach.
Bachelor of Science in Counseling and Community Psychology
A practical, career-focused track, NMSU’s B.S. in Counseling and Community Psychology is ideal for students who want to start making a positive impact in their communities as soon as they graduate college. And it’s a good thing, too: The need for mental health professionals is growing at a faster-than-average rate in the United States, which means that the skills developed by NMSU’s program – like case management, interpersonal communication and a solid understanding of human behavior – will be in high demand.
Classes in parenting and childhood development, addiction prevention and recovery, and educational psychology culminate with a real-world internship to prepare graduates for entry-level employment. But that’s not to say that undergraduates who choose this track are in any way limited in their options. The program is designed to smoothly facilitate double majoring, and students can begin simultaneous coursework for licensure as a Substance Abuse Associate.
Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
The two-year M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling prepares graduates for the supervised post-graduate practice and state licensing exams necessary to earn the title of Clinical Mental Health Counselor. Graduates find employment in private practices, hospitals, and agencies.
Degree candidates in the program take coursework in both theory and technique, with topics covered including family therapy, group therapy, child and adolescent counseling and addictions counseling. A series of counseling practica are used to determine whether the candidate is prepared to graduate and begin post-graduate supervised practice. Students also have the option to complete and defend an original thesis in lieu of 3 credits of practicum experience.
Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology
The Ph.D. program in Counseling Psychology, which typically entails three full years of coursework as well as a year-long internship, gives doctoral students the opportunity to practice researching, teaching and counseling in a diverse academic setting.
Doctoral candidates teach undergraduate classes and work closely with their assigned faculty mentors as they research and write their dissertations, which are presented at a multicultural research symposium during a candidate’s second year of study. Candidates provide supervised assessment and counseling to New Mexico State University undergrads as well as to the greater Las Cruces/Doña Ana County community, allowing future Ph.D.s to begin helping others even before they finally walk the stage to get that diploma.
About New Mexico State University
Lying at the feet of the rugged Organ Mountains and perched on the edge of the shimmering Chihuahuan Desert, Las Cruces, New Mexico — also known as “The City of Crosses” — is one of the Southwest’s most colorful and tradition-steeped cities.
Since 1888, Las Cruces has been home to New Mexico State University, a research university ranked among the top 150 public colleges in the nation. With a just-big-enough student body of around 20,000, NMSU is the second-largest public university in the state and has a rich history of serving Hispanic students.
NMSU boasts a wide and numerous variety of academic tracks, but future students with an interest in human behavior and the human brain will especially appreciate the university’s research and practica-based degree programs in psychology and counseling, and especially the emphasis these programs place on learning through experiences such as student-faculty collaboration, community outreach, and clinical internships.
New Mexico State University Accreditation Details
As of publication, New Mexico State University is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the accrediting organization that oversees degree-granting post-secondary institutions in the North Central region of the United States.
Many of NMSU’s individual departments and programs have earned additional, special accreditations from the relevant organizations, including several of the university’s psychology and counseling programs. NMSU’s M.A. in Counseling program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP), while its Ph.D. in Counseling program has received accreditation from the American Psychological Association (APA).
New Mexico State University Application Requirements
Admissions requirements vary from program to program, and differ for undergraduate and graduate applicants, so prospective students are advised to contact their chosen department for details. That said, a few helpful facts:
- Prospective freshman should expect to provide their high school transcripts as well as SAT and/or ACT scores when applying. Additional information, such as letters of recommendation, may also be requested. A minimum high school GPA of 2.75 is considered competitive for admission.
- Transfer applicants should have completed at least 36 credits at their previous college prior to applying to NMSU, and should have a college GPA of at least 2.0.
- Master’s degree applicants should have a GPA of at least 3.0. Applicants with a GPA between 2.5 to 2.9 may be considered for provisional admission.
- Graduate applicants should be ready to furnish GRE scores, recommendation letters and curricula vitae. Some programs, such as the M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, may also require an interview process.
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Tuition and Financial Aid
As of the 2015-2016 academic year, in-state undergraduates paid $3,364 in tuition and fees each semester. Residents of Colorado and Arizona, or students coming from within a 135-mile radius of the school, may be eligible for discounted or reciprocal tuition rates. Otherwise, the out-of-state tuition rate was $10,617 per semester.
For graduate students attending during the 2015-2016 school year, in-state tuition was $3,543 per semester, while non-resident students paid $10,584.
Eligible students can apply for federal student aid to help finance an NMSU education. This aid may include grants and work-study opportunities as well as loans. Additionally, the Psychology Department at New Mexico State University funds many of its graduate students through assistantships, and according to the department’s website, over 50 percent of the department’s students receive some type of monetary award while completing their studies.
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