The vision of The Alkaram Institute is to become the first Muslim graduate school of psychology in the United States – an accredited degree granting institution of higher education that trains tomorrow’s Muslim professionals in research and applied domains of psychology. Our long-term goal is to offer a wide variety of psychology programs including Masters and Doctoral degrees in Psychology, Mental Health Counseling, School Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy, Organizational/Industrial Psychology, Social Psychology, and Psychological Science, all of which are grounded in an Islamic worldview. Some degrees lead towards licensure and clinical practice, others are research oriented.
Our plan is to begin by offering two programs: an online Master’s in Psychology (non-clinical research based) and a low-residency Master’s in Mental Health Counseling (an applied degree leading towards licensure). Below are brief program descriptions and a select listing of required courses.
Master of Arts (M.A.) in (Islamic) Psychology
The Master’s in Psychology is an academic/research degree that will equip students with foundational knowledge in psychological theory and research in Western and Islamic contexts and will prepare students to work in a variety of fields in which psychological knowledge is needed or to pursue advanced, doctoral level programs in various psychology subfields (research or applied), Islamic Studies, or related fields. Students will contribute to the field of Islamic Psychology via their MA thesis research project, the topic of which will be tailored to their interests and future plans. The experiential component of the degree prepares students to engage in the life-long process of self-refinement / character development.
Example Courses: Introduction to (Islamic) Psychology, History and Systems of Psychology, Islamic Theology, Psycho-Spiritual Practice and Integration, Lifespan Development, Interdisciplinary Research Methods, Psychopathology & Diagnosis, Theories of Personality, Counseling and Psychotherapy, Professional Ethics, Psychology Subdisciplines: Social, Industrial/Organizational, Positive, Forensic.
Master of Arts (M.A.) in Mental Health Counseling
The Master’s in Mental Health Counseling is an applied degree that will prepare students to work as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). The degree will equip students with foundational knowledge in mental health counseling theory within Western and Islamic contexts as well as a basic understanding of Islamic theology. The program includes clinical practicums and internships and will prepare the student to sit for LPC licensure.
Example Courses: Theological Foundations in Counseling, Counseling Skills, Marriage and Family Counseling, Human Development, Psychopathology, Addictions Counseling, Practicum, Group Counseling, Social and Cultural Issues, Lifestyle and Career Counseling, Assessment and Testing, Internship in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Ethical and Legal Issues.
We aspire to open our doors to our first student cohort within the coming few years. We have already developed some institutional infrastructure such as our curriculum, course catalogs, accreditation plan, and faculty, but there are a number elements that require significant financial resources in order to meet certification standards such as having a physical location, administrative personnel, and substantial financial guarantees. The certification process is costly both in terms of the application fees as well as meeting the infrastructure standards set forth by the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV), the certifying body for postsecondary education in Virginia. We need your support!
Help us train tomorrow’s Muslim psychologists!