Niagara University

niagara-universityNiagara University was opened by St. Vincent de Paul’s Congregation of the Mission in 1856 as Our Lady of Angels Seminary. Led by 26 Vincentian priests since, Niagara is a private, civic-oriented residential Catholic ACCU member of the Metro Atlantic Conference. Endowed for $93.06 million, Niagara University occupies 182 suburban acres in Lewiston, New York, to educate 4,200 Purple Eagles. The U.S. News and World Report rated Niagara as the North’s 48th best university, 29th most vet-friendly campus, and 15th top value. Niche named Niagara University the 308th best small college and 351st top education school in America. According to College Factual, Niagara also produces the 324th highest paid psychology graduates nationally.

Niagara University Accreditation Details

Reaffirmed in 2017 under president James J. Maher, Niagara University has decade-long regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). This body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education has approved all of Niagara’s 80 bachelor’s majors and 28 graduate programs in the Buffalo Metro and online. The College of Education holds discipline-specific approval from the National Commission for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The M.S./M.S.Ed. programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). School psychology courses also adhere to the National Association of School Psychologists’ (NASP) criteria.

Niagara University Application Requirements

Joining the Purple Eagles community for the B.A./B.S. in Psychology at Niagara University involves passing the “selective” admission rate of 83 percent. First-year freshmen must have completed 12 years of primary and secondary schooling for an accredited diploma. Scholastic achievement must be shown in four units each of English and math. In Fall 2016, admitted bachelor’s students showed a cumulative 3.4 GPA. Undergrads also reach a mean SAT score of 1110 and ACT score of 23. Psychology transfers to Niagara could receive up to 60 credits for applicable coursework graded “C” or higher.

Post-grad entry into the M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling or M.S.Ed. in School Counseling programs requires verifying your graduation with a four-year bachelor’s. Foreign equivalent three-year degrees might qualify if recognized by World Education Services (WES). Scoring at least 600 on the GRE or GMAT is sufficient for providing English language proficiency too. Graduate admission hinges on students’ ability to finish the junior and senior year with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The M.S. and CAS in School Psychology looks for the same academic marks plus cultural sensitivity, clinical judgment, and decision-making skills.

Niagara created a rolling admission process, but the regular deadline is August 31st and the financial aid priority deadline is February 15th. Prospective psychology and counseling majors can submit the Common Application or NU Application online. Some materials might be mailed to the Academic Complex Room 221 at Niagara University, NY 14109. Double check application checklists for:

  • $30 non-refundable fee payable to Niagara
  • Official final transcripts or in-progress letter
  • Two academic or professional references
  • Two-page, typewritten statement of intent
  • Exam scores, i.e. SAT, ACT, GRE, or GMAT
  • English language testing reports if required
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae of field experience

Tuition and Financial Aid

The Level Tuition Plan (LTP) lets full-time Niagara undergrads lock in current tuition of $15,250 per semester or $30,500 annually. Part-time learners in the Psychology Major are billed $1,020 per credit. Undergrads must afford the $1,450 student services fee, $80 lab supplies fee, and $200 registration fee. Living on-site at Niagara adds $12,950 for annual room and board. Post-grads studying clinical mental health counseling pay $760 per credit; however, the school counseling or psychology programs cost $730 each credit.

According to the NCES, 84 percent of full-time Niagara Purple Eagles share $55.36 million in yearly financial assistance for a mean amount of $20,597. Psychology undergrads might claim the Trustees’ Scholarship, Presidential Scholarship, Achievement Award, NU Grant, Vincentian Scholarship, or Transfer Scholarship. Aspiring counselors could receive 20-hour graduate assistantships that cover tuition and $6,000 stipends annually. Federal Work-Study (FWS) jobs provide $10/hour for part-time campus employment. Empire State natives traditionally qualify for the NYS Tuition Assistance Program, Educational Opportunity Grant, or Scholarship for Academic Excellence. Federal FAFSA forms unlock the Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, Stafford Loan, and PLUS Loan. Some M.S. students could also benefit from the NASP-ERT Minority Scholarship Program.

Recommended resource: Top 25 Most Affordable Master’s Degrees in Counseling in the Northeast

Psychology and Counseling Degrees at Niagara

The College of Arts & Sciences combines with the College of Education to provide four counseling and psychology programs at Niagara University. The Continuing Education Office also provides six-month Professional Recovery Coach and Peer Support Specialist certificates. Courses taking a Catholic perspective offer close mentoring from PhD-level faculty because of the 12:1 student-faculty ratio. Budding mental health promoters engage fully when pursuing these Niagara degrees:

Psychology Major (B.A./B.S.)

Chaired by Dr. Burt Thompson in DePaul Hall, Niagara’s Psychology Major (B.A./B.S.) is a four-year, Christ-centered bachelor’s integrating courses like motivation, cognition, and personality for undergrads to practice the systematic observation of human behavior. Students could also conduct research in the Infant Learning Lab, engage with Psychology Club, receive Psi Chi Honors, intern at Buffalo Psychiatric Center, volunteer with C.O.P.I.N. House, and study abroad from Turkey to Tahiti.

M.S.Ed. in School Counseling

Leading to Reader’s Digest’s recession-proof career with 8 percent NYS growth, the M.S.Ed. in School Counseling trains Niagara post-grads using ASCA guidelines to ethically foster optimal mental health development in P-12 children. Chaired by Dr. Jennifer Beebe, the 48-credit, NCATE-accredited degree covers certification requirements with courses from child psychology to counseling consultation and 700 combined hours in schools like Niagara Falls High or Maple Avenue Elementary.

M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Available in dual 4+2 or traditional 60-credit formats, the M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Niagara builds atop Vincentian values and advanced 500-level courses from alcohol addiction to DSM diagnosis to prepare for New York’s LMHC credentialing. Adhering to ACA Code of Ethics and CACREP guidelines, the program directed by Dr. Kristine Augustyniak integrates 1,000 fieldwork hours at partnering agencies like BryLin Hospital, Erie County MHA, and Lake Shore Behavioral Health.

M.S. and CAS in School Psychology

Reporting a Praxis II pass rate of 100 percent, the M.S. and CAS in School Psychology program was organized by Dr. Lisa Kilanowski with courses like differential diagnosis, behavior therapy, and human learning to prepare P-12 mental health clinicians for NSPCB certification. The 63-credit, NASP-recognized curriculum spans beyond Niagara University with 400 practicum hours and 1,200 internship hours in nearby districts like Buffalo Public Schools or Rochester Community Schools.