50th Anniversary

Academics at Prescott College

Photo By Ken Anderson

Area of Study:
Psychology, Human Development, and Counselor Education

Area of Study:
Psychology, Human Development, and Counselor Education

Prescott College offers both Resident and Limited Residency Bachelor of Arts programs in Psychology and Human Development, and a Limited Residency Master of Science in Counseling.  

Resident Bachelor of Arts

Are you interested in taking a critical look at the current mental health field while focusing on solutions and strategies to make a positive change? The Psychology and Human Development program at Prescott College prepares students for meaningful careers as practitioners and change agents working within the mental health field. In this program, students are asked to question valued assumptions embedded in Western psychological discourse in order to find ways to eradicate injustices and inequities in our current social, economic, and political systems. Students will be given the opportunity to critique the foundational underpinnings on which the field of psychology is based, using critical theory as the primary lens.

There are a variety of concentrations a student can choose from, including:

Students in each concentration will be encouraged to create their own unique study plan which reflects their personal interests and learning goals. All concentrations are  uniquely designed for undergraduate students who want to develop the skills they need to become effective practitioners, while also providing opportunities to develop interpersonal skills that can benefit them in other areas of their lives.  

Limited Residency Bachelor of Arts

Human Development Studies provides relevant and rigorous theoretical and experiential preparations for students interested in advocacy, community-service, and the helping-professions generally. Students pursue courses and internships that provide perspectives on human needs and potential while encouraging personal growth and increasingly sophisticated communication skills. They develop self-awareness and a respect for both human and non-human worlds that fosters integration of the cognitive, emotional, behavioral, social, and spiritual aspects of the human personality with an understanding of systems perspectives. This kind of integration often requires a shift in attention beyond modern Western views of human nature.

Although each student is free to design an individualized degree program, many students opt for one of these popular learning paths:

• Holistic Health
• Human Services
• Psychology
• Women’s Studies

Limited Residency Master of Science in Counseling

The Prescott College Master of Science in Counseling program offers you an opportunity to discover and develop your own therapeutic qualities while learning theory and building skills for professional practice as either clinical counselors, couple and family therapists, addiction counselors, or school counselors in various capacities of your own choosing. At the heart of the program is a holistic approach to mental health, healing and wellness.  This approach emphasizes empowerment of the client and recognizes the client’s experiential awareness as a key element in meaningful change. 

The Masters in Counseling Program provides an interdisciplinary, student-centered learning environment that integrates global and local social and professional issues with professional practice while maintaining an emphasis on student academic, professional, and cultural competence.

The 60 semester credit curriculum includes required core courses and supervised clinical experiences needed for all graduates to be prepared for successful, ethical and competent practice as mental health counselors as well as eligibility to pursue licensure in most states.  Please see our Annual Report and Vital Statistics Report.

Students must select one of five areas of specialization:

  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling prepares graduates to work with clients across a spectrum of mental and emotional disorders, as well as to promote mental health and wellness. Clinical Mental Health Counselors are knowledgeable in the principles and practices of diagnosis, treatment, referral, and prevention, and often work in interdisciplinary teams with other health professionals.  An emphasis in Somatic Oriented Counseling is available within this specialization. 
  • Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling prepares graduates to work with individuals, couples, and families from a family systems perspective. Marriage, Couple and Family Counselors work with clients across a variety of mental and emotional disorders, relationship issues, or communication issues and in a variety of work settings including inpatient facilities, community mental health centers, private practice offices, and social service agencies.
  • Rehabilitation Counseling prepares graduates with the knowledge, skills, and practices necessary to address a wide range of disabilities issues in training, and vocational programs, as well as in a more broad mental health counseling context. Rehabilitation counselors partner with individuals with disabilities to assist them in make informed choices, obtain gainful employment, pursue meaningful careers, and live independently.
  • Addictions Counseling prepares graduates to work with persons and families affected by alcohol, drugs, gambling, sexual and other addictive disorders (e.g., food-related).  This program focuses on models of treatment, prevention, recovery, and relapse prevention of addiction, along with the appropriate application of appropriate interventions.
  • School Counseling prepares graduates to work with students ranging from kindergarten through high school. School counselors promote the academic, career, and personal/social development of students through understanding how to design and implement comprehensive school guidance and counseling programs that include time for individual counseling, group counseling, classroom guidance, and family and teacher consultations within the school setting.

Students have the option to enhance their education by choosing from several innovative concentrations.  Prescott College shares the distinction of offering these concentrations with a select handful of other programs in the United States: Adventure-based Psychotherapy, Ecotherapy, Equine-Assisted Mental Health,  and Expressive Art Therapy.

Graduate Teaching Scholarships are available for students who wish to gain teaching experience and defray the cost of their Master’s program.  A complete description and application instructions can be found here.

We have submitted our application for CACREP accreditation, but there is no guarantee in terms of timeline or eventual outcome.   More information on CACREP accreditation

Academic Elements

Academic Elements


Each fall and spring, new Prescott College students find themselves in “the classroom,” the breathtaking, sometimes raw, always diverse terrains and environments of the Southwest.  New Prescott students are introduced to the natural environment of the Southwest, learn about themselves and each other, and experience the educational philosophies of Prescott College during Orientation, thus beginning the journey of developing relationships with their new home, community, and academic career.

For most students, Orientation will mean a three-week Desert, Mountain and Canyon Expedition (aka Wilderness Orientation). Students, as a small community of engaged learners, will be backpacking throughout ecologically diverse locations in Arizona. Studying - Connecting - Growing.  Other students will participate in a Base Camp Orientation, or Community-Based Orientation.

Follow this link for detailed information on these Orientation options: Orientation Details 

First Year Experience

In their first semester, freshmen will enroll in courses addressing the concerns and challenges of being a college student.  First Year Students will choose from an array of immersive semester courses - like Water in the West, Art and Ecology, Foundations of Leadership, and Introduction to Psychology and Yoga - which continue to build community, forge relationships with faculty advisors, and develop academic inquiry.

In their first semester at Prescott College, transfer students participate in Crises of the 21st Century: Research Methods & Theories.   Students from environmental and social disciplines, the arts, and humanities will be introduced to theoretical and research approaches that foster ways of integrating their questions through class discussions and personal research.  Students enrolled in this course will be given individual support in creating a degree plan organizing courses they are transferring with into a pathway for graduation in their chosen fields.

Degree Plan

During the first semester of their junior year, students create a degree plan, with the assistance of their faculty adviser, which sketches the academic map of their journey.  It includes an overview of courses and credits earned; brief descriptions of competence, breadth, and liberal arts areas; lists of courses completed and those to be completed; a tentative Senior Project plan and description; and additional honors or experience that contribute to competence or breadth.  The Degree Plan is a living document that continues to evolve throughout the student's final three terms.

Senior Project

Prescott College requires every student, not just designated "honors" students, to design and carry out an ambitious Senior Project.  This Project functions as both a demonstration of competence and a culmination of the undergraduate experience.  It may take the form of an ambitious research project, a collection of original creative writing, a curriculum plan and implementation, a studio art exhibition, a performance, a case or field study, or a challenging internship.  Another way of thinking about the Senior Project is as a bridge between a student's undergraduate career and work after graduation. The Senior Project stands as a calling card that proclaims to graduate schools, prospective employers, and the world, "Look, this is what I'm capable of doing."


Academic Elements-Lim Res MA and MS

Academic Elements-Lim Res MA and MS


All incoming Prescott College students are required to participate in New Student Orientation at the beginning of their first semester. During Orientation, you will receive information and experience activities designed to guide you through your specific program.  Orientation is a time during which students and faculty from diverse cultures, different areas of study, and with a variety of expertise can come together to build friendships, exchange ideas, and develop cohorts or informal networks to support you through your distance learning journey.  Students typically come away from Orientation inspired, energized and ready for the next phase of independent scholarship.


Limited Residency Master’s students attend colloquia on the Prescott campus during each Fall and Spring semester.  Each Prescott Colloquium begins on Friday morning and goes until Sunday or Monday afternoon. During the colloquia, students connect with their cohort, make presentations, and contribute to ongoing dialogue and scholarship among peers and faculty. Colloquia also include workshops that address the nuts and bolts of the limited-residency programs and presentations from internationally known keynote speakers.

Program Components - Limited-Residency Undergraduate

Program Components - Limited-Residency Undergraduate


All incoming Prescott College students are required to participate in New Student Orientation at the beginning of their first semester. During Orientation, you will receive information and experience activities designed to guide you through your specific program.  Orientation is a time during which students and faculty from diverse cultures, different areas of study, and with a variety of expertise can come together to build friendships, exchange ideas, and develop cohorts or informal networks to support you through your distance learning journey.  Students typically come away from Orientation inspired, energized and ready for the next phase of independent scholarship.

Prior Learning Assessment

Prescott College’s commitment to student-centered, experiential learning includes a respect for the adult student’s prior learning, whether that learning occurred in non-college settings, recognized Massive Open Online Courses, or in extended, demanding professional experiences. After the first semester, Limited-Residency Undergraduate students may apply to begin a process in which they document and request assessment of their prior learning in order to earn Prescott College credits. 

Mentored Study

Our mentored study program is the special ingredient that makes our distance program a high-touch, face to face experience that is customizable for each student, and a proven success across the country. Mentors are experts in their field and are vetted by our faculty. You can work with your mentor in your home community, virtually, and even abroad. The mix of mentored studies and online coursework allows you to achieve your educational goals while maintaining your personal schedule.

Academic Resources

Academic Resources

Prescott College Library

Library From Above

The Prescott College Library supports the curriculum with a variety of print and electronic resources. Our library catalog  reflects not only our collection but that of more than 30 other libraries in Yavapai county. A system-wide library card allows borrowers to request books from any library in the county.  Online resources include millions of full-text articles available through our article databases, and over 130,000 e-books available through ebrary.  

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