Psychology and Counseling Degrees at Alaska Pacific University

Alaska Pacific University appears in our ranking of the Top 5 Psy.D. Online Degree Programs.

Degree programs at Alaska Pacific University are organized into institutes. These institutes focus on five distinct competencies that are interwoven throughout every degree program at Alaska Pacific University. These competencies are:

  • Effective Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Cultural and Historical Perspective
  • Scientific Inquiry
  • Ethical Engagement

The focus on critical thinking inspires students to question maxims of all kinds, and the focus on scientific inquiry means that students can discover the answers to their critical questions themselves.

The undergraduate degree available in psychology is the Bachelor of Arts in Counseling Psychology. Concurrent with this degree, students may earn certificates in Behavioral Health, Chemical Dependency, and Behavioral Health Aid. The program comprises 120 credits. It is a hybrid degree, and students may take classes on campus, online, and in traditional correspondence. The university accepts life experience and training toward fulfilling part of the degree. Students may “test out” of up to 32 credits worth of classes. The gist of the program combines mindfulness and sense of community.

The Master of Science in Counseling Psychology is also a hybrid degree. As with the bachelor’s degree, the master’s degree focuses heavily on the sense of community in interpersonal relationships. The doctoral program comprises 93 credits and includes the dissertation. The graduate programs at both levels are research-heavy.

A special graduate certificate exists called the Alaska Native Executive Leadership Program. It is a business certificate that prepares students for the unique challenges inherent in First Nations corporations and other businesses in the State of Alaska.

About Alaska Pacific University

Alaska Pacific University began its existence in 1960 as Alaska Methodist University. The original mission of the university was to provide exceptional educational opportunities for Inuit and other First Nations peoples in Alaska shortly after it became a state.

Even though the university remains affiliated with the Methodist Church to this day, it took on the name Alaska Pacific University in 1978. The university has never wavered from its initial goal to support First Nations students, culture, and society in Alaska and beyond.

U.S. News and World Report ranks Alaska Pacific University No. 64 in the West Region. The school is more selective than one would think as it accepts only about half of those who apply.

The spacious, 170-acre campus in downtown Anchorage is home is about 600 students, all told, so the professors can give everyone a lot of individual attention. Being located where it is, the school offers “off-the-beaten-path” activities to all of its students, including kayaking, canoeing, snowshoeing, and whitewater rafting. Because the university is only 370 miles from the Arctic Circle, students can enjoy many daytime activities after midnight, such as watching the Northern Lights.

Alaska Pacific University Accreditation Details

Alaska Pacific University is a regionally accredited institution. That accreditation comes from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. In addition, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education has accredited the university’s education programs.

Alaska Pacific University Application Requirements

Incoming freshmen must have had at least a 2.5 GPA in high school. They must submit all transcripts from any secondary school attended, and these must be official transcripts. Students may also submit their GED paperwork and scores for consideration. Alaska Pacific University is test-optional, so students may submit scores from the SAT, ACT, or both if they wish. As part of the application process, students must submit an essay and a “midway” transcript from their senior year.

Graduate students may need to submit a statement of interest, personal essay, resume, and letters of recommendation. Which of these, or perhaps all, depends on the person’s desired program of study. They must also submit transcripts from the regionally accredited institution they attended for their bachelors’ degrees. They might also have to take one of the following: Graduate Record Examinations, Graduate Management Admissions Test, or Miller Analogies Test.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Many students take college prep classes at Alaska Pacific University. For them, the total cost of a year at the university is roughly $24,000, $16,000 of which is tuition. The rest comprises book costs, incidentals, transportation, and a reduced food plan.

“Regular” freshmen pay about $35,000 annually, $20,350 of which is tuition. Room and board make up about $8,000, and the rest is the same collection of incidentals as for the prep students.

Master’s candidates pay about $30,000 annually, which includes $13,000 for off-campus housing. Ph.D. candidates pay $45,000 annually. There is also a special program for Alaskan First Nations peoples called the Alaska Native Executive Leadership Program, which costs roughly $40,000 annually.

Students who wish to receive financial aid begin by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This form is also known as the FAFSA. Using the FAFSA, the government and the university will figure out how much need-based aid any one student will get. This aid will take the form of a scholarship, loan, or grant, or perhaps a combination of all three. The need-based loans are subsidized, which means that the government covers the interest while the student is enrolled.

Work-study programs are classified as grants. Students’ allowable work hours depend on their class loads. International students who qualify for work-study programs must also have proper work and student visas in place before applying for either the grant or admittance to the university.

Students may also apply for as much private aid as they wish. Any private loans are considered unsubsidized. That means that they accrue interest while the student is enrolled. They also accrue interest on the interest. Many private grants and scholarships come with unforgiving academic requirements. Students who do not maintain any standards associated with their private awards risk the loss of the reward or even the conversion of the money already received to an unsubsidized loan. Students who have any questions at all should consult with the Bursar’s Office.

Alaska Pacific University may be there for the First Nations peoples, but it’s also there for everyone else. Its focus on critical thinking and the scientific method ensure that its educational philosophy will always be relevant.