The Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, in collaboration with the Department of Psychology and the Counseling Department, has developed two new Pre-Counseling tracks for all students interested in studying the role that religious belief, cultural and theoretical ideas play in one’s own behavior and the ability to understand and guide others. Students interested in studying or entering graduate programs in Counselingand other service-based fields have the opportunity to pursue important questions and to develop a deeper understanding of many theoretical and practical issues within their profession. Although some colleges and universities nearby offer graduate programs in Counseling that are similar to the degree offered at Youngstown State University, there no comparable programs for undergraduates. These two tracks provide undergraduates with a unique background to prepare them for graduate studies in Counseling. These two tracks are the first of their kind and establish Youngstown State University as a regional leader in this area. The Philosophy Pre-Counseling Track Many of the issues with which individuals struggle are addressed in philosophy. Philosophers ask important questions about the meaning of life, conceptions of happiness, the nature of justice, what makes a person good, and how one knows which actions are right. Understanding why these questions matter and how they have been answered historically, as well as being able to critically evaluate the historical answers, helps those in service-based fields to understand the importance of such questions in the lives of their patients and clients. The Pre-Counseling Track within the philosophy major offers several new courses highlighting philosophical approaches to common issues: 1) evaluating and making choices in one’s life, 2) analyzing and developing character and virtuous behaviors, and 3) exploring the nature of rights, obligations, and interactions within the family. There are 30 required semester hours of credit in philosophy, and students must also take General Education courses COUNS 1587 and PSYCH 1560, and PSYCH 3702; 3775; 5807 and COUNS 2650 as University Electives. The Religious Studies Pre-Counseling Track Religious belief and spirituality are important components of life for many individuals, and structure many human interactions and rituals. Students often want to study how religion structures the behavior of individuals through doctrine, prayer, spiritual practice, and rituals surrounding major life transitions such as birth, marriage, and death. Students are also interested in how religious belief influences other beliefs about social structures, attitudes toward sexuality and gender, stance on the permissibility of war, etc. Studying the role of religious belief in human behaviors, interactions, and rituals helps those in service-based fields to understand the importance of such beliefs in the lives of their patients and clients. There are 30 required semester hours of credit in religious studies. In addition to the core courses required for the regular religious studies major, undergraduates must take the religious studies courses RELIG 2601, 2608, 4850, 4871 and choose from several cluster course options for electives. Students must also take the General Education courses COUNS 1587 and PSYCH 1560, and PSYCH 3702; 3775; 5807 and COUNS 2650 as University Electives. For more information please contact Dr. Deborah Mower.For more information regarding graduate studies in Counseling at Youngstown State University: YSU Counseling
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