Frequently Asked Questions about the EdD in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Sport and Performance Specialization Program
How many credits is this degree?
The program is completed in 138 quarter credits. This degree includes 84 credits focused primarily on counseling content and 54 credits focused primarily on sport and performance consulting content. Many states and colleges utilize a semester credit system. To convert from semester to quarter credits, multiply your state’s semester credit requirements by 1.5. (92 semester credits x 1.5 = 138 quarter credits).
How long is the program?
Students can complete the program in either 3.5, 4.5, or 5 years. Students typically take 2-3 courses per term. Please see our EdD curriculum page for links to our degree planners.
Will completing the program help me become licensed as a counselor in my state?
Becoming licensed as a counselor in any state is a multi-step process and the educational program you choose is just the first step. Every state has different requirements for licensure including number of credit hours, types of courses, clinical experience hours, an application with fee, completion of post-master’s clinician hours under professional supervision, state exam, and national exam. This program was designed to meet the educational content and clinical experience requirements of a majority of states. However, applicants should find and review their state requirements for comparison and come prepared to ask those question of the admissions advisor or during the applicant’s interview.
Will completing the program help me earn the Certified Mental Performance Coach credential?
Yes. This program was designed to include the educational content requirements of Standards K1-K8 and includes the supervised Practicum hours required for that certification as well. Students must take and pass the national Certified Mental Performance Consultant exam after graduation as well as demonstrate via application and transcripts, that they have completed academic requirements for the certification. Please review the certification requirements through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology.
What makes this program unique from other online programs?
This degree is designed to prepare students to become eligible for licensure as a counselor and eligible for the Mental Performance Consulting certification offered by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP). Many traditional counseling courses include sport and performance content, case studies, and texts. Counseling and Sport and Performance courses are taught side-by-side throughout this program. This helps students learn to be intentional with their future counseling and consulting clients in terms of choosing which type of service the client needs and clarifying that with clients. A highly unique aspect is our Standardized Patient Program, which allows us to use trained actors to portray mental and behavioral health clients so students can practice applying their skills in a controlled environment.
Why would I choose the EdD rather than the MS or an EdD in Sport and Performance Psychology?
Each applicant’s goals and circumstances are different. The admissions advisor can help you determine which degree option is best for you. As a competitive program, this degree requires applicants to have a 3.0 cumulative GPA from a Master’s degree, or a 3.3 cumulative GPA from a Bachelor’s degree. This degree also allows applicants to earn master’s and doctoral degrees without applying to two different degree programs. Successful completion of this program results in two degrees. At the end of the academic program, students earn a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and an EdD in Sport and Performance Psychology with Sport and Performance specialization. This program is designed for those who have not already completed a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
Why would I choose this degree over a degree in clinical psychology?
A degree in clinical psychology may allow you to diagnose and treat those with mental or behavioral health disorders, but may not include the sport and performance focus offered in this program. Additionally, clinical psychology programs are landed (on ground rather than online). The American Psychological Association has not yet accredited any fully online clinical psychology programs, which means applicants have to move or travel to the city or state where the program is offered during all or part of the program. This is difficult for applicants who cannot or do not wish to move. In most state’s those with master’s degrees in clinical mental health counseling who meet eligibility for licensure in their states can assess, diagnose, plan treatment, and treat those with mental and behavioral health disorders.
Is this program accredited?
Programs at UWS are regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). NWCCU is a candidate with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Students should check with their state licensing agencies to confirm the accreditation requirements. At this time, the program is not accredited by the Council for Accreditation for Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
Will I be considered a Psychologist when I graduate with this degree?
No. Psychologists typically complete a PhD in clinical psychology or a Doctorate of Psychology (PsyD). An EdD is a Doctorate in Education. This degree is typically associated with academic or administrative roles. The counseling content and master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling earned at the end of this program are the components that prepare students to pursue a clinical license in their states.
What if my GPA is below the stated minimum?
Applications with a GPA that falls below the minimum will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and will require submission of a General Waiver Form. You may request this form from your admissions advisor. The EdD-CMHC program does not require or accept GRE/MAT scores in lieu of the minimum GPA. UWS Admissions uses a holistic application processing approach, wherein the committee evaluates each element of your application on its own merits. Please include all relevant skills, experiences, and education in your application via the written essays, resume, references, and interview.
When can I start the program?
Entry points for this program are Fall (October), Spring (April) and Summer (July) terms. Check with the admissions advisor about application deadlines so you know when you have to have your application completed.
What happens after I apply?
Once you have completed the application process, the admissions office will schedule an interview with the Clinical Mental Health Counseling faculty. The admissions office will forward your application materials to the faculty, who will review your essays, prior academic records, and the term you would like to start. Admission is competitive so faculty consider the number of students they admit during each entry point. You will then participate in an hour-long interview, including time for you to ask questions to determine whether the program is the best fit for you. Based upon the faculty recommendation, the admissions office will then notify the applicant of the outcome.
Can I transfer master’s-level or doctoral-level courses in if I have started or completed a counseling or sport and performance program elsewhere?
The current policy allows students to apply for transfer credit after admission and within the first three terms of the program. The policy requires the student to complete a detailed application that includes a comparison of the course learning outcomes, the provision of syllabi from the time period during which the student completed the courses, and specific grades in those transfer courses. If all requirements are met, students may transfer up to 16 quarter credits (equivalent of 10.67 semester credits).
What can I do with this degree?
Check your state to ensure the program meets the academic requirements that allow you to pursue licensure. Once your state license application is approved, you will be able to work as a counselor in your state. Students with these degrees can work as counselors, consultants, educators, researchers, writers, clinical and administrative supervisors, and coaches. Please see our Career Pathways page for more information.
Do students need to set up their own practicum and internship?
Students participate in practicum and internship in their own communities. Students are prepared for the search via foundational assignments in the Pre-Practicum courses. These assignments include development of an appropriate counseling resume, a guided site search, development of dynamic answers to clinically focused interview questions, and a review of required site documentation and orientation. Additionally, faculty work with each student, individually, to offer guidance and suggestions, review agency websites, and check site supervisor credentials to ensure potential sites can provide the types of clinical experiences that lead to student development.
Are students able to maintain their employment while completing the practicum, internship and culminating experience?
Yes. Most students in the program work part or full time, though this requires significant attention to maintaining a healthy work/life balance. This work/life balance is encouraged in the program. The program advisor will work with you to adjust your program plan if you find you need to take fewer courses per term or if you think you can take on a greater course load.
Can students use their employer as their practicum/internship site?
Generally, no. There is a potential for students to be placed in dual role situations when relying on an employer to provide opportunities for a separate, clinical role. Some large corporations may have divisions that might allow a student to be supervised in a different facility by a different administrator. In those cases, students are welcome to make the request and faculty will review the option.
Can my practicum and internship be at the same site?
Yes. Traditionally, students complete all five clinical terms at one site. This, however, is not required. Students may have multiple sites – either consecutively or concurrently. We will review every site request submitted by each student.
I am a permanent resident of the United States. Would I apply as a domestic or international student?
As a permanent resident you would apply as a domestic student.
Are international students eligible to apply for this program?
Currently, we are unable to admit international students who live abroad. The program prepares students for counseling licensure in the United States, and we cannot guarantee licensure internationally. Additionally, we cannot guarantee that practicum/internship hours completed outside of the U.S. will be accepted for licensure within the U.S. Since the program is online and does not have location-bound requirements, University of Western States cannot issue student visas for the purposes of completing practicum and internship requirements domestically.
What is the structure and format of the online courses?
Terms are 11 weeks long. Our online learning platform is presented in a weekly format, with clear information about requirements and assignments. Links to resources and assignments are clear. Each course template looks the same. The program’s goal is to reduce cognitive load by creating a familiarity from course to course. Students will learn how to understand the format in our online orientation prior to their first term. Common types of assignments include engaging discussion forums, article reviews, case study evaluations, literature reviews, reflection papers and creative presentations.
How many hours per week should students dedicate to homework and study?
We suggested that students plan for 2 – 2.5 hours or work for every enrolled credit hour. For example, a student taking 12 credits should plan for 24 – 30 hours of reading, review, assignment preparation, activities, and submission.
Am I required to complete a dissertation as part of this EdD program?
No, students have two options for their culminating experience. A traditional dissertation allows students to select a committee, choose a research topic, design and complete a research study, and write the results. The Sport and Performance Mentorship, the second option, combines the design of a study with practical application under the supervision of a certified mental health consultant with the intent that the student complete the practicum hours required for the CMPC.