Located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mount Mercy University is a co-educational, four-year Catholic liberal arts university. The school was founded in 1928 by the Sisters of Mercy. Students take a number of liberal arts courses that provide them with a strong foundation for a number of areas of study, including speech/drama, social science, religious studies, philosophy, natural science, multicultural studies, mathematics, history, fine arts and English. Mount Mercy offers six graduate programs and more than 45 undergraduate programs, a number of which are available online for distance learners.
Mount Mercy University Accreditation Details
Mount Mercy University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy degree is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy (COAMFTE).
Mount Mercy University Application Requirements
Undergraduate students seeking admission into Mount Mercy University must submit a completed online or paper application and send their official standardized test scores directly to the school. Mount Mercy also requires official high school transcripts as well as official transcripts of any college coursework completed, if applicable.
Graduate students must have earned an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited university or college as well as a record that reflects the student’s ability to be successful in graduate studies. Graduate applicants must provide a personal statement that demonstrates a motivation for graduate studies and solid writing skills, and students must submit two letters of recommendation, preferably from work supervisors and/or faculty, who can attest to the applicant’s ability to succeed in graduate studies.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Undergraduate students can expect to pay $30,382 per year for full-time tuition. Students pursuing a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy can expect to pay $490 per semester hour. Mount Mercy offers financial aid counseling for all students, and students may be eligible to receive certain types of financial aid in the form of loans, grants and scholarships. Students must submit a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility. In addition, with the assistance of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, many veterans and active service members find that Mount Mercy is fairly affordable. In addition to standard scholarships, Mount Mercy offers veterans a specific scholarship that can be used toward the cost of tuition. However, this scholarship is reserved for students who are transferring directly from Kirkwood Community College to Mount Mercy. The school participates in the Yellow Ribbon program, and financial aid experts can help military members to navigate all of the financial resources available to them.
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Psychology and Counseling Degrees Available
Mount Mercy University offers psychology and counseling degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The undergraduate psychology program places students directly into research opportunities and internships, providing hands-on, real-life work experience before graduation. Guided by an interactive approach, faculty-student research and an engaging curriculum, students develop valuable research, counseling and critical thinking skills.
The undergraduate degree in psychology provides students with a theoretical and empirical understanding of the basic methods, concepts and knowledge of psychology. This approach emphasizes the importance of both critical evaluation of evidence presented before the students as well as an awareness of how psychological theory and knowledge can affect an individual on a daily basis. Most psychology courses at the undergraduate level emphasize critical thinking and self-awareness.
A bachelor’s degree in psychology from Mount Mercy University is designed to prepare students for entry into pre-professional employment or for advanced study. Psychology majors may also act as the core of educational programs, and both an internship in psychology and courses in basic skills for human service workers are incorporated into the curriculum in order to help students apply basic knowledge to real-life situations.
The Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy degree from Mount Mercy University is COAMFTE-accredited and designed to train therapists to work from a systems perspective in order to help families and individuals lead more productive lives. The program is grounded in the idea that people who are in need of psychotherapeutic assistance are often influenced by certain factors, and therapists must be able to understand these factors in order to help them live more productively.
Students are required to complete at least 12 semester hours in psychology at Mount Mercy. Students will cover a broad range of topics such as holistic health, historical roots, self and society, fine arts, religion, global awareness and philosophy. Students are required to complete a total of 125 hours in the major, including electives. Upon graduation, students will be awarded a Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree.
Individuals majoring in psychology should bear in mind that they will be required to use critical thinking skills in order to solve human behavioral problems. The coursework and instruction will help them to develop insight into their career goals and values as they strive to strengthen their written and oral communication skills. Classes will also help students to further hone their skills in understanding and using research and statistics methods as they relate to real-life settings.
The quality practicum experiences and research-based classes ensure that graduate students have the skills necessary to be an effective consultant or therapist in a variety of settings. After finishing the required postgraduate supervised hours, students are eligible for state licensure as a marriage and family therapist. The program features an evening class schedule as well as an on-site marriage and family therapy clinic, and students can earn their degree in 24 months.
The master’s degree consists of 60 credit hours for graduation, and students can expect to cover topics such as ethical and professional issues in marriage and family therapy, human sexuality and family systems, pre-practicum in marriage and family therapy, microcounseling, human development and the family, family systems and models of marriage and family therapy within the first year of study. During the second year, students will be exposed to therapeutic techniques with parents and children, spirituality and the family, research methods for marriage and family therapy, psychopathology and the family, the cross-cultural family and neuroscience for marriage and family therapy.
Whether a student pursues an undergraduate or graduate degree from Mount Mercy University, the school’s academic program, combined with opportunities for hands-on, real-world practice, allows students to immerse themselves in the field of psychology to better prepare them for careers in the industry and/or graduate study.