Additional Admission Requirements

In addition to the standard graduate admissions requirements, the following is required to apply for Fall 2016 admittance to the MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Transpersonal Wilderness Therapy program:

Preferred submission date: January 15, 2016

Prerequisite Requirements

Naropa University requires an earned grade of "C" or higher for all prerequisite coursework. Due to the competitive nature and academic rigor of the Transpersonal Wilderness Therapy program, a grade of "B" or above is recommended. All prerequisites are to be completed at accredited on-site or online academic institutions for credit (not pass/fail or audited). Official transcripts of this coursework must be sent to the Office of Admissions by July 1st, 2016, and all courses are subject to approval and may require additional documentation such as a syllabus or course description. Please fill out the appropriate title and institution for each course listed below.

  1. One required 3 semester credit course in Abnormal Psychology
  2. One required 3 semester credit course in Developmental Psychology
  3. One required 3 semester credit course in Theories of Personality

Statement of Interest

All of Naropa University's counseling psychology programs offer skills training and counseling career preparation, diversity work, contemplative practice, community engagement, and deep personal reflection.

Given this, in a three-to-five page double-spaced essay, please respond to the following:

How are you prepared to participate in this distinctive community, and how would your life and educational goals be reached by attending the Transpersonal Wilderness Therapy program?  Using specific examples from your life experience, please describe your inspiration, intention, and commitment to studying psychotherapy in the Transpersonal Wilderness Therapy program. Describe your vision of how your education will allow you to be of service in the world.

Please be sure to include:

  • Your experience with working in service to others, as a professional or volunteer, in a mental health or comparable setting and what you have learned about yourself in the process.
  • How you have engaged in working with your own personal process and how these experiences have prepared you for completing the program to which you are applying.
  • Your experience with sitting meditation and/or body/mind awareness disciplines.
  • What is your experience with the outdoors, nature, and/or wilderness?

Wilderness Experience

A wilderness experience of ten consecutive days in the backcountry is a prerequisite for this program. This prerequisite may be completed with an organized outfitting company or as a personal trip. Please describe the details of your trip, including the dates, outfitting company (if applicable) and specific plans for completing this prerequisite prior to the start of the program. If you are developing a plan, please consult with the Wilderness Therapy admissions counselor before submitting the plan to us. The trip criteria includes: ten days under the stars (no huts, cabins, or hostels); travel by personal means (no motorized cars/boats, horses, etc) and all necessary gear for food and equipment carried on your person (no car camping or use of sherpas).

Wilderness/Outdoor Skills

It is a requirement of the program that you have experience in wilderness travel, campcraft, leave-no-trace camping and first aid, we recommend that students have developed one or more outdoor skills in addition to backpacking. It is also required that you are in adequate psychical condition to participate in the field activities of the program. These include the following: the ability to carry a 40lb pack off trail for up to ten miles a day; intermediate-level swimmer; ability and willingness to participate in rock climbing, horseback riding, and gardening. You will use this form: Wilderness/Outdoor Skills to describe your experience as part of the application.


Due to number of applications received each year, it may not be possible to schedule an interview for every candidate. The Office of Admissions will assess a candidate's completed application to determine if the candidate will move forward in the process and be invited to an interview. On-campus interviews are a required part of the admissions process. The interview dates this year are:

2016 Interview Dates:

  • Friday and Saturday, February 5-6, 2016
  • Saturday, March 11-12, February 11-12, 2016

Additional Program Considerations

If accepted into the program, you will be required to fill out a medical form prior to the first day of classes. This form will be used to verify that you do not have any medical (physical/psychological) issues that might put you at risk in the backcountry. If there is any medical conditional that may put you at risk in the backcountry setting, you may be prohibited from starting the program.

To view a sample medical form (PDF) click here.