Notre Dame de Namur University

| Staff Writers

Notre Dame de Namur University was initially founded in 1851 as the College of Notre Dame in San Jose. Seventeen years later, it was chartered as California’s first women’s college offering baccalaureate education. In 1922, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur bought William Chapman Ralston’s estate for a larger 50-acre campus in the Bay Area suburb of Belmont. Endowed for $12 million, Notre Dame de Namur now serves nearly 2,000 Argonauts as a private, co-educational Catholic AACU member. Named California’s 29th “Safest College” on Niche, NDNU is ranked the 44th best Western school and 17th top value by the U.S. News.

Notre Dame de Namur University Accreditation Details

Reaffirmed in June 2015, Notre Dame de Namur University is institutionally accredited under the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior Commission. Therefore, NDNU’s 22 bachelor’s and 12 graduate degrees, including those in psychology and counseling, meet U.S. Department of Education standards. Both the M.A. and Ph.D. in Art Therapy are approved by the American Art Therapy Association (AATA). Master’s programs are also recognized by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences to satisfy licensure qualifications.

Notre Dame de Namur University Application Requirements

Odds are good for getting an acceptance letter from Notre Dame de Namur University with the “less selective” admission rate of 87 percent. Freshmen interested in the Psychology B.A. must graduate from an approved high school or score above 450 on the GED test. Taking a college-prep curriculum with four units of English and AP/IB courses is suggested. On average, NDNU Argonauts held a cumulative secondary GPA of 3.2. First-years also present a mean SAT score of 1060 and ACT score of 21. Incoming transfers need 12+ units from accredited colleges with a 2.0 GPA or better.

Entering graduate-level psychology and counseling study will mandate finishing a bachelor’s degree at a regionally accredited U.S. college or foreign equivalent. Majors in the behavioral and social sciences or art are preferred. Candidates need at least 18 quarter units of psychology courses, including human development and personality theory. Each prerequisite should be graded “B-” or higher for a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. Applicants for the Ph.D. in Art Therapy also need two or more years of clinical experience. Eighteen units of studio painting, drawing, and sculpture are also expected.

Bachelor’s applicants are held to the Early Action deadline of December 1st and Priority deadline of February 1st. Graduate programs have set deadlines on April 1st for Summer, August 1st for Fall, and December 1st for Spring starts. Before these critical dates, apply to Notre Dame de Namur University by sending the online Common Application with:

• $50 non-refundable fee by credit card
• High school and college transcript requests
• Official SAT, ACT, GRE, or MAT scores
• Two to three-page autobiographical statement
• Two current letters of recommendation
• Portfolio of 12 color images (art therapy only)

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Tuition and Financial Aid

Daytime undergrads taking 12-18 units per term are charged $33,926 for annual tuition. Part-time bachelor’s students will pay $1,094 each credit. Mandatory fees like the $135 student activity fee are extra. Room and board is estimated to cost $4,477 and $2,274 respectively each semester. Total annual cost of attendance is roughly $52,844 for on-campus undergrads. Non-education master’s students are billed $720 per unit while Ph.D. candidates pay $992 per unit.

The NCES reports that 99 percent of beginning, full-time NDNU students earn financial aid at an average amount of $21,439. Institutional awards like the Ralston Presidential Scholarship, Provost Scholarship, Belmont Scholarship, Emerging Talent Scholarship, Catholic Schools Scholarship, and Elaine L. Cohen Graduate Scholarship are plentiful. Undergrads could earn up to $5,920 through the Federal Pell Grant or $1,000 through the FSEOG Grant. “Golden State” students can apply for the Cal Grant, California Dream Act, and Chafee Grant. Students may borrow Federal Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, Perkins, and Grad PLUS loans. Notre Dame de Namur also has Federal Work-Study jobs and graduate assistantships open.

Psychology and Counseling Degrees at NDNU

The College of Arts & Sciences at Notre Dame de Namur University is packed with five programs in psychology and counseling specialties to inspire tomorrow’s mental health practitioners. Courses have an average student-faculty ratio of 11:1 and retention rate of 76 percent for effective, engaged instruction. Emphasis is placed on community-based learning from San Francisco to Palo Alto through the Dr. Dorothy Stang Center for Social Justice. Consider obtaining one of these NDNU degrees:

Psychology (B.A.)

Available in Belmont with daytime or evening courses, NDNU’s Psychology (B.A.) teaches the fundamentals of human behavior and interpersonal dynamics for human services jobs or graduate study. The flexible, 24-unit major builds upon the 60-unit liberal arts core with electives from forensic psychology to marital counseling. Undergrads could also declare the Pre-Law Minor, take a Washington Semester, study abroad in Guadalajara, and join Psi Chi.

Art Therapy (M.A.)

Leading to ATR and/or LPCC credentialing, the Art Therapy (M.A.) at Notre Dame de Namur is Northern California’s sole 63-unit, AATA-approved major focused on bringing creative arts into the client-counselor domain for enhanced mental health. Courses delve into career counseling, trauma, multicultural therapy, sand play, creative expression, and child psychopathology with 1,000 client-contact hours and a required capstone research project.

Marriage and Family Therapy (M.A.)

Closely tied to the San Francisco CAMFT Chapter, the Marriage and Family Therapy (M.A.) allows NDNU post-bachelor’s scholars to become Licensed MFT practitioners with the therapeutic tools to improve relationships between couples and families. The 63-unit curriculum integrates 1,300 fieldwork hours into courses like psychopathology, addiction, sexuality, child abuse, and eldercare before a master’s thesis.

Clinical Psychology (M.S.)

Ranging from 37 to 67 units, the Clinical Psychology (M.S.) takes a whole-person approach to studying the social, neurological, cognitive and spiritual aspects of behavior. The evening program offers three tracks: the MSCP to prepare unlicensed students for doctoral study, the MSCP/MFT for licensing in family therapy, and the MSCP/MFT/LPCC for multiple counseling licenses. There’s also an eight-unit Clinical Gerontology Certificate available.

Art Therapy (Ph.D.)

As the United States’ sole WASC-accredited program of its kind, the Art Therapy (Ph.D.) has trained post-master’s students since 1979 with a scholar-practitioner approach. The 52-unit curriculum spans three years full-time with four modules: epistemology, theoretical approaches, practicum, and dissertation. Admitting each Fall, the program opens doors in academia or clinical practice with just nine weekends at Notre Dame de Namur University yearly.

See also: 35 Best Master’s Degrees in Art Therapy, Ranked by Affordability

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