MA Transpersonal Counseling Psychology: Wilderness Therapy

In addition to the standard graduate admissions requirements, the following is required to apply for Fall 2014 admittance to the MA Transpersonal Counseling Psychology: Wilderness Therapy program:

Personal Traits:

  • Personal maturity
  • Graduate-level writing ability and strong verbal communication skills

Prerequisite Coursework:

  • One 3-semester-credit course in Abnormal Psychology (example courses: Psychopathology or Abnormal Behavior)
  • One 3-semester-credit course in Developmental Psychology (example courses: Life Span Development, Child Development, or Child Psychology)
  • One 3-semester-credit course in Theories of Personality (example courses: Methods of Psychotherapy, Psychology of Personality, Introduction to Personality, History and Systems of Psychology)

An Unofficial Coursework Evaluation Worksheet is now available to help you track your prerequisite coursework.

A grade of "C" or above is required for all prerequisite coursework. All prerequisites are to be completed at accredited on-site or online academic institutions for credit (not Pass/Fail or Audited). Applicants must submit an official transcript showing proof of completion of the prerequisite coursework by August 1, 2014. If applicants apply before their prerequisite coursework is completed, they must submit proof of scheduled enrollment in the prerequisite coursework. To ensure that transcripts of prerequisite coursework arrive to the Office of Admissions by August 1, 2014, we strongly recommend that all prerequisites are completed no later than July 1, 2014. Applicants cannot take prerequisites alongside their Naropa coursework, and prerequisites cannot be taken at Naropa without enrolling as a full-time undergraduate student.

If using the online application, please record prerequisite coursework and details in the spaces provided. If using a paper application, please record all prerequisite coursework on the MA Transpersonal Counseling Psychology: Wilderness Therapy Supplemental Application Form and submit the form with the paper application. Official transcripts of this coursework must be sent to the Office of Admissions for both online and paper applicants.

Prerequisite Skills/Experience:

  • Required Skills
    • Wilderness leave-no-trace camping
    • Campcraft
    • Wilderness travel (hiking/backpacking)
    • Swimming
  • Recommended Skills (one or more of the following)
    • First aid
    • Rock climbing
    • Canoeing/rafting
    • Horseback riding
    • Horticulture/gardening
    • Other
  • Prior work experience in a clinical setting is recommended; experience in working with others is essential.

Prerequisite Wilderness Experience:

A wilderness experience of 10 consecutive days in the field is a prerequisite of this program. The preerequisite may be completed with an organized outfitting company or as a personal trip. In your application, 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 include:

  • 10 days under the stars (no huts, cabins, or hostels).
  • Travel was conducted through personal means (no motorized boats, horses, etc.).
  • All necessary gear for food and equipment was personally carried (no car camping or use of horses, lamas, or sherpas).
  • For more information on guided wilderness trips, please go to: 

Physical and Medical Requirements:

It is also required that you are in adequate physical and medical condition to participate in the field activities of the program. This includes the following:

  • The ability to carry a forty-pound backpack on and off trail for up to ten miles a day; intermediate-level swimming; ability and willingness to participate in rock climbing, horseback riding, and gardening.
  • Sufficient medical and psychological condition so as not to be at an undue risk in backcountry settings.

If offered admission into the program, all incoming students must submit Naropa's Confidential Medical Record Form by July 1. If you have any concerns about meeting any of the requirements,  please discuss this with the Office of Admissions before submitting your application. If it is determined that you cannot meet any of these requirements, admission into the program may be rebuked. Therefore, we encourage you to be proactive.

Admissions Interview:

Candidates are required to have a personal interview before an admissions decision can be made. Candidates chosen for interviews will be invited to attend one of the MA Transpersonal Counseling Psychology: Wilderness Therapy Interview Days (dates to be announced). In addition to group and individual interviews, candidates will have an opportunity to observe a class, talk to faculty and current students, take a campus tour, and meet with a financial aid counselor.

The 2014 interview dates are as follows:

  • Friday & Saturday, February 7-8
  • Friday & Saturday, February 28-March 1

If candidates are unable to make the in-person interview due to an extreme situation, they will discuss alternative options with the interview committee once they have been invited to the interview.

It is also required that you are in adequate physical and medical condition to participate in the field activities of the program. This includes the following:

  • The ability to carry a forty-pound backpack on and off trail for up to ten miles a day; intermediate-level swimming; ability and willingness to participate in rock climbing, horseback riding, and gardening.
  • Sufficient medical and psychological condition so as not to be at an undue risk in backcountry settings.

If offered admission into the program, all incoming students must submit Naropa's Confidential Medical Record Form by July 1. If you have any concerns about meeting any of the requirements,  please discuss this with the Office of Admissions before submitting your application. If it is determined that you cannot meet any of these requirements, admission into the program may be rebuked. Therefore, we encourage you to be proactive.

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