Western Kentucky University

Updated December 2, 2022 · 3 Min Read

Learn more about the various counseling degree programs available at Western kentucky University.

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Western Kentucky University Psychology and Counseling Programs

Western Kentucky University offers a number of programs for psychology and counseling students, and these programs are available at all levels. Many incoming students will enroll in its Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program. The university offers a concentration in forensic psychology that goes into the investigation work that forensics specialists do. It can help students gain experience working in prisons and jails too. Another concentration is in sport psychology and deals more with working with both professional and amateur athletes. Students can also pick a concentration clinical and community behavioral health. All undergrad psychology majors will take classes like Introduction to Psychology, Adjustment and Personal Growth and Research Methods in Psychology, which includes a laboratory component.

Graduate programs include a Master of Arts in Education in Counseling and a Master of Arts in Education in School Counseling. Both of these programs include some practical work that allows future counselors to work with real patients. The basic counseling program has concentrations in clinical mental health counseling for those who want to work in clinical settings and marriage, couple and family counseling for those who want to work with individuals and small groups. Those in the school counseling program can get certification in guidance counseling, which qualifies them to work with students from pre-kindergarten through high school.

The WKU Department of Psychology offers a Master of Arts in Counseling with a Clinical Counseling concentration. This counseling program features classes like Psychopathology, Professional Issues, and Ethics in Psychology and Social Psychology for the Applied Practice. Students must do a practicum, but the university allows students to take more electives in lieu of doing a thesis.

WKU graduate students can enroll in its Specialist in Education: School Psychology program too. Designed for those who want to counsel school children, it features two years of full-time classes and a third year that allows students to gain experience through practicum and internship work. The university expects students to do an independent research project too. This program includes classes such as Program Evaluation, Consultation in Education and Mental Health Settings and Theories of Psychotherapy.

Another option is the university's Master of Science in Psychology, which offers concentrations in industrial and organizational psychology and psychological sciences. The psychological sciences concentration looks at areas that include developmental science and cognitive psychology. Students in this program must do an internship or a fieldwork experience.

The university added a new Doctor of Psychology program to its curriculum in the early 2010s. Students can specialize their degrees in either school psychology or clinical psychology. Though students take 48 credits of classes over three years, the courses they take vary based on which concentration they choose. This Western Kentucky University includes classes like Psychopathology, Applied Interventions in Psychotherapy, Foundations of Supervision and Advanced Clinical Supervision.

More information about WKU's psychology and counseling programs can be found here.

About Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University is a large university with a campus in Bowling Green. Established in 1906 as the Western Kentucky State Normal School, it took over for a former school in the area that offered teaching and business programs. The state granted the school the right to offer bachelor's programs, which led to it becoming a state teaching college, but it also operated as a state college before becoming WKU. It only became a full university after merging with a business school in the 1960s.

Forbes ranks WKU as one of the top American colleges, but U.S. News & World Report ranked the university on its own list of regional schools. WKU ranks as the 30th best college in the south on that list. Washington Monthly ranked the university's graduate school as one of the top graduate schools in the United States. WKU saw its enrollment grow to include nearly 20,000 undergrads and more than 3,000 graduate and doctoral students.

WKU appears in our ranking of the Top 25 Most Affordable Master’s Degrees in Counseling in the South.

Western Kentucky University Accreditation Details

Western Kentucky University has regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges (SASC), which is helpful for those who want to bring college credits with them. SASC accreditation is one of the things required of those seeking federal student aid too. WKU has accreditation from other agencies also, including the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

Western Kentucky University Application Requirements

The application requirements for incoming WKU students vary across levels. All undergrads must use the undergraduate application and pay the application fee online. The university asks for an official score from the ACT or the SAT and for a high school transcript too.

Requirements for its graduate program are a little more strict. Prospective students must have a degree from an accredited college or university at the time they enroll, but WKU will accept students still working on one of these degrees. Students applying for one of the psychology programs must submit a transcript that shows a GPA of at least 2.75. This transcript must show that the student took research and statistics classes and that he or she maintained a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all psychology classes taken. WKU asks for an official GRE score and three letters of recommendation. Students must also write a 500-word essay.

The doctoral program in psychology has its own requirements too. Students must submit a resume and a GRE score that shows a score of at least 145 on both the quantitative and verbal sections and at least 4.0 on the writing section. Other requirements include a personal essay, resume and three letters of recommendation.

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Tuition and Financial Aid

WKU charges an undergrad tuition rate of $425 per credit for Kentucky residents and $1,063 per credit for nonresidents. This comes out to around $5,000 a semester for residents and around $12,700 a semester for nonresidents. Its graduate tuition rate starts at $589 per credit for residents and increases to $873 per credit for nonresidents. Students enrolled in a doctoral program pay the same rate that graduate students do.

The university encourages students to file the FAFSA as soon as they decide that they want to apply to the university. Though undergrads receive more financial aid, most students receive some type of financial aid package. The package may include grants, loans, scholarships and admittance to its work-study program. WKU students can use private student loans and scholarships too.

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