Trauma-Informed Psychotherapy Graduate Credit Certificate Program

Person-in-ChargeMelanie Hetzel-Riggin
Program CodeTRITH

The primary goal of this certificate is to prepare mental health professionals, and those in related fields, with training and practice in trauma-focused assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. The curriculum will provide thorough training in trauma informed conceptualization of and empirically-supported treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and other trauma-related problems.

Effective Semester: Spring 2024
Expiration Semester: Spring 2029

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies. International applicants may be required to satisfy an English proficiency requirement; see GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.

An applicant must have a master's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education in clinical or counseling psychology, counselor education, marriage and family therapy, or social work, or be concurrently enrolled as a degree student in a Penn State master’s degree in clinical or counseling psychology or counselor education.

Certificate Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in Graduate Council policy GCAC-212 Postbaccalaureate Credit Certificate Programs.

All candidates are required to take 12 credits in four courses (trauma and resiliency, foundations in trauma-focused treatment, advanced trauma-focused treatment, and crisis intervention.)

Required Courses
PSYCH 442Trauma and Resiliency3
PSYC 843Trauma-Focused Approaches to Psychological Intervention I3
PSYC 844Trauma-Focused Approaches to Psychological Intervention II3
PSYC 845Crisis and Disaster-Related Interventions in Psychology3
Total Credits12

For students concurrently enrolled in a master's degree program, the certificate will be awarded upon completion of the 12 credits required for the certificate. The certificate cannot be awarded prior to completion of the master's degree.


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the psychological theories, models, and research on traumatic stress.
  2. Demonstrate effective assessment and diagnosis of trauma-related disorders.
  3. Utilize evidence-based treatments for trauma-related disorders.
  4. Utilize effective crisis assessment and intervention.


Campus Erie
Graduate Program Head Melanie D. Hetzel-Riggin
Program Contact

Melanie D. Hetzel-Riggin
170 Irvin Kochel Center Behrend
Erie PA 16563
(814) 898-6949