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Certificate in LGBT Human Services and Mental Health

Advanced studies in LGBT mental health.

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LGBT Mental Health Certificate Overview

Offered online to CSPP students, the LGBT human services and mental health certificate is designed to meet the growing need for behavioral health professionals to develop competencies in working with lesbian, gay male, bisexual, and transgender individuals, couples and families. The counseling certificate focuses on multicultural competencies specific to the intersecting identities of LGBT clients, historical and cultural influences impacting these clients, and best practices for assessing and addressing issues in their mental health. If you are looking to help solve common LGBT issues as a counselor, this LBGT mental health certificate program may be right for you.

The LGBT certificate provides courses that address competencies recommended by the American Psychological Association (APA) ethical guidelines for the treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations. They are offered online to students in all CSPP programs and on all Alliant campuses, and may be taken individually or as part of the certificate. Required certificate courses are offered annually and electives are offered at least once every two to three years.

The LGBT certificate offers the unique opportunity to take courses from national and international experts on LGBTQ psychology who may not teach on their campus. Instructors are either fellows of the Rockway Institute who are core faculty in one of Alliant programs, or other national and international experts in LGBTQ psychology who have been invited to teach our students. In some courses, two to four different instructors work together to guide students in their LGBT studies through the ever-growing literature on LGBTQ psychology, and to help them develop the competencies they need to effectively serve these communities.

Students pursuing the LGBTQ studies certificate are required to take the foundations of LGBTQ mental health. The remaining required units are divided into two groups: advanced study courses (where issues impacting one group within the LGBTQ community are explored in more depth) and LGBTQ electives (which focus on a specific area of practice and topic within the broader LGBTQ literature). Students are required to take at least one advanced study course, at least three or four LGBTQ electives, and a two-semester practice sequence involving direct service provision. Additional courses may be taken from either group to round out the 12-unit requirement. The philosophy behind this distribution is based upon the student's preference for breadth versus depth. For example, some students may choose to take the foundations course (which surveys issues that impact all communities within the LGBTQ umbrella), the advanced study in transgender issues course (which gives them more in-depth knowledge about the transgender community over all others), and two LGBTQ electives focusing on issues related to couples and families, and lifespan development. This assures minimal competence with all LGBTQ groups, while allowing students to tailor the curriculum to their interests.

The certificate is awarded when the student completes 12 units of the coursework during their graduate matriculation.

NOTE: The LGBT human services and mental health certificate is an add-on certificate to a degree-seeking program at Alliant. Any graduate student completing either a masters or doctoral degree at Alliant can opt to pursue the certificate concurrent with their main degree-seeking program. Post-graduate professionals and graduate students pursuing a degree from other universities are not eligible to enroll at this time. Plans for extending the certificate to non-Alliant students is underway.

As a counselor to LGBTQ patients, you may also need to address common social justice issues they face. Are you interested in helping the LGBT population? Learn about sexuality and mental health among the LGBT community in this counseling program.



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School Performance Fact Sheet


LGBT Human Services and Mental Health Certificate Curriculum (2020 – 2021)

Required Courses

All students completing the certificate must take the following course:

  • Clinical Elective: Foundations of LGBT Mental Health

Advanced Study Courses

At least one of these Advanced Study Courses is required:

  • Advanced Study of Bisexual Issues
  • Clinical Elective: Advanced Study of Transgender Issues
  • Clinical Elective: Advanced Study of Lesbian Issues
  • Clinical Elective: Advanced Study of Gay Male Issues

LGBTQ Electives

Additional 6 units must be taken from Advanced Study Elective listings or the following Cross-Population Electives:

  • Cultural Seminar: LGBTQ Couples and Families
  • Clinical Elective-Practice Seminars: LGBTQ-Affirmative Subst. Abuse Treatment
  • General Elective: Sociocultural Diversity-Intersectionality of Identities
  • LGBTQ Lifespan Development
  • LGBTQ Affirmative Psychotherapy
  • LGBTQ Issues in Education (Pre-K through High School)
  • LGBTQ Health Disparities
  • LGBTQ Immigration and International Issues

In order to complete the LGBT graduate certificate, students may need to enroll for more than the required number of units for their degree-granting program and this could add time to their matriculation at CSPP/Alliant.

Students interested in the LGBTQ community and are interested in this certificate should consult with their program director and academic advisor about the effect of the certificate on their entire program of study. For inquiries about the certificate, contact Dr. Cristina Magalhaes at

For more information on the prerequisites and courses for this program.

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Why Alliant

At Alliant, our mission is to prepare students for professional careers of service and leadership and to promote the discovery and application of knowledge to improve lives. We offer an education that is accredited, focused on practical knowledge and skills, connected with diverse faculty and alumni, and aimed at the student experience.

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Founded in 1969, CSPP was one of the nation’s first independent schools of professional psychology. Today, CSPP continues its commitment to preparing the next generation of mental health professionals through graduate-level degree programs in clinical psychology, marriage and family therapy, clinical counseling, organizational psychology, psychopharmacology, and more.


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