Listed below are the answers to several questions most frequently asked of our Admissions staff.
Is this program approved?
Yes, Naropa University has been accredited since 1986 by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges (NCA).
How experienced do I need to be at working with others before applying to the program?
Because of the competition for internship sites in the Boulder area, we advise students and applicants to familiarize themselves with more than one client population and the agencies that serve them. It is also important to pursue some form of working knowledge with various client populations. This can be accomplished through volunteer work or a paid position prior to submitting your application; however, this is not a requirement.
How long will it take to complete the program?
The Transpersonal Counseling Psychology concentration is a 60 credit, three-year (six-semester) program. A three-year program provides a strong sense of community among students and allows time for deeper integration of coursework while offering the ability to maintain outside obligations to work and family. A four-year option is also available for students who need more time to complete the program.
What is the Counseling Experiential requirement?
A Counseling Experiential is a required part of the Counseling program. All students must participate in a counseling relationship with a qualified psychotherapist of his or her choice. This component emphasizes the importance of self-reflection and first-hand experience in individual therapy. During the initial meeting with advisors, students will be asked to complete a student self-assessment form which will assist the student in determining their counseling needs. The Counseling Experiential requires documentation of a minimum of 30 individual sessions of face-to-face psychotherapy with a qualified and approved practitioner (at least 25 with the same therapist of at least 50 minutes duration each). Students are required to complete at least 5, 50-minutes sessions by first year Fall registration (held during Spring semester) and an additional 15 by the 2nd year Fall registration (again, held during Spring semester). In order to be cleared for Fall registration during each of the Spring semesters, students will be asked to provide their advisors with documentation of the required completed sessions signed by their therapist. Subsidized counseling provided to Naropa students through Student Services may not be used to fulfill the Counseling Experiential requirement.
Students pay for all psychotherapy sessions separately from other academic requirements. Due to our program’s curriculum, challenging emotional content, and the transitional chaos that is frequently a by-product of entering such a program, students are required to begin working with a therapist by second semester of their first year. The individual counseling experiential provides students with the support they need during this difficult training process, as well as providing an opportunity for students to learn more about the counseling profession.
How much do I need to know about Transpersonal Psychology or contemplative practice for entry into the program?
We strongly recommend that interested students inform themselves about Transpersonal Psychology by reading the suggested books listed on our website. We also prefer our applicants to have direct experience with some form of contemplative practice. Clearly this invitation can take many forms such as a sitting meditation practice, hatha yoga, martial arts or religious affiliation with a specific tradition. The main point for us is that you practice and consider the fruits of transformation that come with sincere engagement with your chosen tradition. If you have not yet cultivated a practice, please know that you are still welcome to apply—we just want to invite you to cultivate your own personal path of transformation.