Advanced School Mental Health Practice Certificate

About the School Mental Health Advanced Practice Certificate at Loyola

The U.S. is facing a mental health crisis, and our children and young people are among the most affected. As a School-Based Mental Health Practitioner (SBMHP), you are in the best position to engage with students and their families on mental health issues by identifying emerging issues and behaviors and offering the tools to help them effectively manage stress and strong emotions.

The School Mental Health Advanced Practice Certificate at Loyola University Chicago is a post-master's certificate program that equips you to better impact positive psychosocial development of your students and overall well-being of your school community.

Through this certificate in mental health, you will gain advanced training in fostering collaboration between schools and families as well as learn to implement strength-based interventions in schools, advocate for whole-school interventions, and become a more data-driven and evidence-informed mental health professional.

At the start of the certificate program, you will identify a topic for your School-Change Project, a two-year systemic intervention designed to address the social-emotional learning needs for your school community, and conduct an initial needs assessment with key school stakeholders. You will then put together a proposal for your project and begin implementing it in your second year.

Program Structure

The School Mental Health Advanced Practice Certificate can be pursued full time or part time. Classes are offered online with one in-person immersion weekend required.

This certificate in mental health consists of 15 credit hours, including two synchronous courses, two asynchronous (self-paced) courses, and one hybrid elective class. To be considered for this program, you must be working full time in a school.

Why Choose Loyola for the School Mental Health Advanced Practice Certificate?

This post-MSW certificate program, unique to Loyola University Chicago, is ideal if you are seeking a program that allows you to immediately and directly apply your learning to your professional work in schools. You will be equipped with the training and skills to lead your school's response to mental health needs in an effective way, while also gaining a better understanding of research and how to use it to enhance your practice.

Learn in a supportive cohort

As a full-time working SBMHP, you will find that our program allows you to grow your professional network while learning in and from a community of your peers.

Unlike a doctoral program, which could shift your career to research, this program helps you become more skilled and effective while continuing to do the work you love most.

Our program is designed for full-time working professionals like you. Courses are delivered online with only one weekend of in-person immersive learning required.

Not only is this post-MSW certificate program much less costly than a PhD program, it also allows you to apply what you are learning immediately to your work in schools.

The focus of your experience in this program is your School-Change Project, a 2-year systemic intervention designed to address the SEL needs for your school community.

If pursued full time, you can complete your mental health certificate in only two years. The program begins each fall with courses offered during the fall and spring semesters.

Meet the Faculty

Loyola is proud to have talented and nationally-recognized scholar-teachers as part of our diverse community of exceptional faculty, students and staff. Loyola faculty are known for their commitment to teaching, the dissemination of knowledge through innovative and interdisciplinary scholarly research, and a commitment to social justice and cura personalis, or care for the whole person. Visit the School of Social Work faculty and staff directory to learn more about the teachers and mentors involved with the Advanced School Mental Health Practice Certificate program.

Faculty and Staff

Curriculum and Program Outcomes

While courses for the Advanced School Mental Health Practice Certificate program may vary from semester to semester, Loyola’s extensive Academic Catalog will always house the official listing of courses, programs of study, academic policies, degree requirements, and specialization or concentration options.

Additionally, this resource will provide Advanced School Mental Health Practice Certificate learning outcomes, showcasing the commitment to specific skills and growth graduates can expect to achieve following completion of the program.

2023-2024 Catalog
Browse Academic Catalog

Costs, Scholarships, and Aid

Loyola University Chicago is committed to making your graduate and professional studies a reality. Our Cost & Financial Aid page can help better inform you about the costs and potential funding opportunities through scholarships, loans, and aid for graduate and professional education.

If you are a current Loyola undergraduate or recent alum, you may be eligible for a Returning Rambler discount. Learn more and see if you qualify on our Returning Rambler Scholarship page.

Tuition and Costs

The estimated tuition and fees for the Advanced School Mental Health Practice Certificate totals $11250.00, or 15 credit hours at a cost of $750.00 per credit hour. Please note that tuition and fees for all of Loyola's academic programs are subject to change.

For more detailed information about tuition and fees, and a breakdown of how these costs are calculated on a yearly basis, please visit Tuition and Fees from the Office of the Bursar.

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Appointments and Events

Whether you’re just beginning your search, in the midst of the application process, or eager to explore our graduate and professional programs, our admissions staff is here to assist you every step of the way.

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The School of Social Work offers graduate open houses, information sessions, individual appointments, open Zoom and text sessions, and a multitude of other ways to get to know us better.

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With our visit opportunities, you can tour our beautiful Chicago campuses and learn more about Loyola's ties to one of the most prestigious cities in the world.

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Application Process

Application Deadlines

The available start terms and corresponding application deadlines for the Advanced School Mental Health Practice Certificate are listed below. Please keep in mind that both the application and the required materials must be submitted by the specified deadline.

Fall: August 1

Application Requirements

Application requirements for the Advanced School Mental Health Practice Certificate include:

  • Official Transcripts

  • 2 Letters of Recommendation

  • Proof of Employment

  • Statement of Purpose

Statement of Purpose Details

The overarching goal of the ASMHPP is to equip you with new information and skills to prepare you for leadership in school mental health work in your school and school district.

Please describe how you became interested in completing a certificate in school mental health practice, specifically why you wanted additional training to build on your prior graduate work. Describe how you hope to use this program to enhance your present position in your district. In addition, please outline what you see as the three most important issues in your school/district that you hope to address with the additional training you will receive from the ASMHPP.

Official Documents

Official transcripts are those that are sent directly by the college/university to Loyola University Chicago. Transcripts sent by the student to Loyola are considered unofficial documents, and while they may be utilized for initial review of your application, official transcripts are still required. Official documents should be sent by the institution to

International Applicant Requirements

An official English language proficiency exam is required for international applicants whose native language is not English. If you have non-U.S. educational credentials, you are required to submit an official transcript evaluation. The transcript evaluation cannot be waived.

Please visit our International Applicant Requirements page for specific information regarding the application process for international students.

International Applicant Requirements
Start Your Application

Applying online to the Advanced School Mental Health Practice Certificate program is a swift, uncomplicated, and cost-free process. After submission, you can proceed to send and upload any additional requirements.

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