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Psychiatry Certificate

Increase access to high quality mental healthcare as a fully trained psychiatric Physician Assistant.

Online | 3-5 Semesters | 12-20 Months

Online
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Credits
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Courses
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Clinical Hours
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Certificate Highlights

Prepare for the NCCPA Exam

Demonstrate your qualifications as a PA specializing in psychiatry. Our curriculum is specifically designed to prepare you to pass the NCCPA Psychiatry CAQ exam. Our certificate curriculum includes 1600 hours of high quality didactic content, taught by experienced psychiatric PAs.

 

1000 Supervised Clinical Hours

Receive dedicated online supervision in psychotherapy while you continue to practice clinically full-time. You’ll complete a total of 1000 guided clinical hours over the course of two semesters, which count toward the two required practicum courses. Doctorate-prepared psychotherapists and clinical psychologists, specially trained in virtual clinical supervision,  will serve in this supportive role. You can complete these supervised clinical hours no matter your current clinical specialty or geographic location.

Transfer Into Our DMSc Program

Take the first step towards earning your Doctor of Medical Science (DMSc), the clinical doctorate for PAs. Credits from our Psychiatry Certificate transfer directly into our DMSc program). Our certificate program is a great option for PAs with an interest in specializing in psychiatry who aren’t interested in earning their doctorate, who aren’t ready to begin earning their doctorate yet, or who have already earned their doctorate and want to specialize further.

Learn while you continue working. Our certificate program is completely online; the structure and pace is designed specifically with busy professionals in mind. Practice what you learn at your own place of employment with feedback and guidance from our student-centered faculty.

 

Designed for Working PAs

Continue your education and advance your credentials while you continue working as a physician assistant; specialize in psychiatry while you continue practicing as a PA. This certificate is designed for the busy schedule of a PA, and is completely online and mostly asynchronous.

 

Curriculum

Our curriculum is designed to help you specialize in psychiatry as a PA. With supervised clinical contact hours, a thorough didactic curriculum, and experienced faculty, you will be prepared to confidently practice in psychiatry.
 

Psychotherapy Practicum

During the two practicum courses, you will carry out supervised psychotherapy while engaging in full-time clinical practice for a total of 1000 hours over two semesters. You’ll learn motivational interviewing and cognitive-behavior therapy from master practitioners, and increase your knowledge of psychotherapeutic methods and procedures. Our specialized instructors will provide instructive, evidence-based feedback that will increase your proficiency in clinical case formulation and expose you to therapeutic applications of cognitive-behavior therapy.

Psychiatry Diagnostics

Focus on the psychiatric interview for the accurate diagnosis of psychiatric conditions. Learn more about the ethical and legal issues associated with the diagnosis of psychiatric disorders. Dive into the diagnosis of neurodevelopmental, psychotic, trauma-related, eating, substance-related disorders and more.

Psychiatry Therapeutics

Learn how to implement comprehensive treatment plans for psychiatric conditions. Deepen your knowledge of psychiatric pharmacology, crisis intervention, and risk management. Broaden your knowledge of treatments for a wide range of psychiatric conditions.

Courses

Code

Course

Credits

This course provides a detailed review of the neuroscience model beginning with neuroanatomy and neurophysiology (cells, circuits, neurotransmitters, receptors and signaling the nucleus, genetics, and epigenetics) followed by an exploration of how these structures and processes are modulated (hormonal actions in the brain, plasticity during maturation and adult development, immunity/inflammation and bioelectric modulation) and finally how the neuroscience model contributes to our understanding of pain, pleasure, appetite, anger and aggression, sleep, sex, social attachment, memory, intelligence, attention, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Content will be delivered using the latest evidence-based asynchronous methods to a small group of dedicated learners from around the world in a virtual classroom environment. In addition to the course text, a variety of video presentations will be included, with weekly formative assignments that will engage learners in a self-directed review of the published literature, peer to peer learning through post and reply style academic writing on a scholarly forum, and brief quizzes to build confidence in the mastery of instructional content. Summative assignments will require each student to complete 24 learning activities qualifying for the Neuroscience Education Institute (NEI) Master Psychopharmacology Certificate and complete all 10 self-assessments for the NEI Master Psychopharmacology certificate.

This course focuses on the psychiatric interview for the accurate diagnosis of psychiatric conditions and the implementation of comprehensive treatment plans. In addition to psychiatric pharmacology, crisis intervention and risk management will be reviewed. The course will also explore the ethical and legal issues associated with the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders. Neurodevelopmental, psychotic, mood, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive, trauma-related, stressor-related, dissociative, and somatic disorders will be covered in this course.

Prerequisite: PMH 710

This course is a continuation of the Psychiatry Diagnostics & Therapeutics course series, building upon the concepts that were explored in Psychiatry Diagnostics & Therapeutics I. The focus of this course will be feeding/eating disorders, sleep disorders, sexual and gender identity disorders, disruptive and impulse control disorders, substance use disorders, neurocognitive disorders, and personality disorders.

Prerequisites: PMH 710, PMH 720

The focus of this course is Motivational Interviewing (MI) for advanced graduate-level students in assisting individuals, families and groups in achieving therapeutic goals. Learners will be provided with a comprehensive review of MI as a person-centered therapeutic modality, its clinical application to a wide range of behavioral and psychological conditions involving diverse clinical settings and populations across the life span. Learners will receive access to online therapy supervision asynchronously from a licensed mental health therapist while they complete 500 hours of clinical practice at their current location of employment. Learners will conduct systematic and continuous process and outcome measurements during their practical application of established psychotherapeutic methods and procedures. This course will include proctored case scenarios and real-time audio-visual patient/client interactions to promote mastery of the course material. Learners will receive instructive feedback through evidence-based clinical supervision models that include session recording, transcription, and analysis.

Prerequisite: PMH 710

This course focuses on the gold-standard of contemporary psychotherapy practice, Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (CBT), for advanced graduate students. Learners will be guided through a comprehensive review of CBT based on the theoretical models and strategies proposed by CBT pioneers, Aaron and Judith Beck. Learners will receive access to online therapy supervision asynchronously from a licensed mental health therapist while they complete 500 hours of clinical practice at their current location of employment. The learner will expand their proficiency in clinical case formulation and the therapeutic application of CBT in a variety of clinical settings with diverse populations (individuals/families and groups) across the lifespan. This course will incorporate clinical conceptualizations, reflective strategies, practice exercises, interactive videos, and case examples to stimulate learner skill acquisition, fostering needed social, cognitive, behavioral, and affective change in clients/patients. This course will include proctored case scenarios and real-time audio-visual client/patient interactions to promote mastery of the course material. Learners will receive instructive feedback through evidence-based clinical supervision models that include session recording, transcription, and analysis.

Prerequisite: PMH 790

Code

Course

Credits

This course focuses on Medical Family Therapy (MedFT) and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) for advanced graduate-level students. Learners will develop MedFT skills to conceptualize patients from a family systems model and infuse interpersonal strategies and interventions into general psychotherapy practice and integrated care – especially patients presenting with trauma syndromes and somatic-based illnesses. Additionally, learners will acquire knowledge and skills relative to SFBT to address patient needs without exploring the illness history and origin of problems. Competencies with this psychotherapy modality focus on practical application to many family-related situations, including children, pregnant and peripartum women, couples, parents treating family members of patients with serious illnesses, and families coping with suicide. Learners will concurrently engage in online supervision and consultation with faculty, colleagues, and peers.

Prerequisites: PMH 790 & PMH 795

This course focuses on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for advanced graduate-level students. Learners will obtain DBT skills to treat patients with personality disorders and interpersonal conflicts, mood disorders and suicidal ideation, post-traumatic stress and dissociative disorders, traumatic brain injuries, and changing behavioral patterns such as self-harm, substance use, and eating disorders. Additionally, learners will acquire ACT skills to promote psychological flexibility, including the following behavior-change strategies: reducing the tendency to reify thoughts, images, emotions, and memories; allowing unwanted thoughts, feelings, and urges to come and go without engaging in compulsive behaviors; and awareness of the present moment allowing them to experience greater openness, interest, and acceptance (mindfulness). Learners will concurrently engage in online supervision and consultation with faculty, colleagues, and peers.

Prerequisites: PMH 790 & PMH 795

*Course offering dependent on enrollments

Semester Dates

Fall 2024

Type

Date

Priority Application Deadline
7-8-2024
Final Application Deadline
8-12-2024
Semester Start
9-3-2024

Winter 2025

Type

Date

Priority Application Deadline
11-11-2024
Final Application Deadline
12-16-2024
Semester Start
1-6-2025

Summer 2025

Type

Date

Priority Application Deadline
3-10-2025
Final Application Deadline
4-14-2025
Semester Start
5-5-2025

Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor’s or master’s degree from a Physician Assistant (PA) program at a regionally accredited institution, or from a foreign university based on a transcript evaluation completed by an agency from the NACES website,www.naces.org.
  • Proof of unencumbered licensure and/or certification as a physician assistant (PA), or for new graduates, certification or licensure must be obtained during the first semester of the Psychiatry Certificate program.
  • Current full-time clinical practice.

Clinical Rotation Requirements including required vaccinations: Admitted students to Rocky Mountain University who will be completing a clinical rotation will receive vaccination forms regarding required vaccinations. Not all vaccinations or proof of immunity are required at the beginning of the program but will be prior to the first clinical rotation. The University allows for vaccination exemptions and more information about the University’s position on vaccination can be reviewed at https://rm.edu/vaccination-statement/

RMU requires the following items prior to starting any clinical rotations (these are subject to change depending upon public health concerns and specific clinic requirements):

  • MMR
  • Varicella
  • Hepatitis B
  • TB
  • Tdap
  • Annual Influenza
  • COVID 19
  • HIPAA certification
  • OSHA certification
  • CPR certification

Tuition & Fees

2024

2025

Cost per Credit
$450
$525
Total Credits
15
TBA
Total Tuition Cost
$6,750
TBA
*Other Program Fees
*University Resource Fee
$39 per Credit (Up to 15 credits per semester)
Tuition is due 2 weeks after the start of each semester
*Fees may be subject to change.

This program is not eligible for Federal Student Loans. Private Loan options are available.
More Information

Locked-in Tuition

Rocky Mountain University offers guaranteed tuition rates while completing your graduate degree. Our programs have a cost per credit rate lock once you are enrolled. Locked-in tuition helps you see your total cost from start to finish. If you defer to a later cohort start, you may be subject to an increased rate.

Cost of Attendance

The cost of attendance (COA) is the cornerstone of establishing a student’s financial need, as it sets a limit on the total aid that a student may receive. Learn more…

Financial Aid

There are many ways you can pay for your education and receive aid. See how our Financial Aid Office can help you fund your education.
This program is not eligible for Federal Student Loans. Private loan options are available.