New advanced clinical behavioral health graduate certificate

The behavioral health field needs more practitioners who are equipped to meet the needs of individuals dealing with mental illness and substance abuse, and Colorado State University’s new graduate certificate program will offer training to help fill this need.

“CSU’s Advanced Behavioral Health Graduate Certificate was developed to address a gap in specialization within the areas of psychopathology, psychopharmacology, and trauma-informed care,” said Dorothy Farrel, assistant professor in the School of Social Work. “As our society’s needs in behavioral health continue to explode, we need professionals who are able to provide competent services. This certificate will provide the tools, resources, best practices, and knowledge needed to tackle the behavioral health arena,” she said.


Learning outcomes

This certificate will help students:

  • Sharpen diagnostic abilities with clinical skills training so they can ultimately create more effective treatment plans
  • Understand recent changes to industry diagnosis standards as a result of the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual (DSM) V release
  • Utilize practical insights from trauma-informed care training to ensure physical, psychological and emotional safety for clients and providers
  • Obtain the necessary knowledge and skills to sit for state clinical exams

In addition, unlike many master’s-level programs, CSU’s certificate features psychopharmacology courses that train professionals to work with clients who take prescribed medication. The admissions requirement for this program is a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and is ideal for current or aspiring social workers looking to supplement their skill set.

Experienced faculty

Students have the opportunity to study with CSU faculty who have obtained their clinical social work license and are currently practicing in the field. These expert practitioners share modern theory and research and teach a progressive curriculum designed to adapt to industry trends.

Career opportunities

This certificate prepares students to step into a variety of roles within clinical practice, as well as pursue a License of Clinical Social Work (LCSW). Career path examples include:

  • Clinical therapy
  • Social work
  • Counseling
  • Marriage and family therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Nursing

In addition, the graduate certificate’s coursework in trauma-informed care and psychopharmacology can open doors within two growing areas of the mental health field. 

“The new certificate will provide invaluable tools and resources that build a competitive edge and an understanding of current best practices within the field,” Farrel said.

Registration open now

The new graduate certificate in Advanced Clinical Behavioral Health is currently accepting students for the Fall 2015 semester. Applications are due July 15. Those interested in the program should contact the CSU OnlinePlus Student Success Team with any questions, 970-492-4898. More information about the certificate can be found at

About OnlinePlus

Colorado State University OnlinePlus has more than 45 years of experience delivering online and distance education. We support the University’s land-grant mission of expanding access to education by connecting students who cannot, or choose not to, come to campus with Colorado State’s renowned faculty, research, and academic curricula.

CSU OnlinePlus is a division of the Office of Engagement, which strengthens CSU’s ability to achieve excellence in the areas of teaching and learning, retention and graduation, admissions and access, and engagement and service and assists communities through engagement, scientific discovery, and regional research.

For more information about Colorado State University OnlinePlus, visit or call (970) 491-5288.