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Graduate Certificate in Animal Assisted Therapy


Program Overview

This 9 credit Graduate Certificate in Animal Assisted Therapy in Counseling (AAT-C) provides specialized training and supervised practice in the ethical and humane inclusion of animals in the psychotherapeutic environment by credentialed mental health professionals. The curriculum is in alignment with the American Counseling Association (ACA) adopted AAT-C Competencies of Practice (2017). The AAT-C certificate may be completed by Clinical Mental Health Counseling students using the available 9 credits of elective coursework in the CMHC program of study, and is also open to School Counseling, Social Work, and Psychology graduate students pursuing a clinical learning track.

Students who complete the UNF Graduate Certificate in Animal Assisted Therapy in Counseling will be able to:

  • Interpret and apply the ACA AAT-C Competencies to practice in the CMHC setting.
  • Articulate processes necessary to gain species-specific registrations needed for ethical practice.
  • Classify animal welfare risks inherent in the utilization of animals in the counseling setting.
  • Analyze attitudes, beliefs and acculturative experiences through experiential learning actives that foster student understanding of self, counselor identity and ethical practice especially with culturally diverse clients.
  • Demonstrate ethical AAT-C practice congruent with identified evidence based theories of counseling for assessment and interventions for treatment, personal growth and wellness.

Special Notes about the Program

Certificate programs are not eligible for financial aid. Please visit the Financial Aid website for more information regarding eligibility.


This certificate has priority admission for UNF Graduate Students pursuing Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and those in a clinical track in School Counseling, Social Work and Psychology. Current UNF graduate students should complete a Change of Major Form to add the certificate. Graduate Students in other university based clinical mental health training programs or post-master's licensed mental health professionals may also apply and will be admitted based upon space available. Enrollment is limited to 20 students per year.


Application Information

Helpful Information:

Application Requirement Information

International Applicant Requirements

Frequently Asked Questions

Application Deadlines

Fall Term . . . . . . . . August 1

Spring Term . . . . . December 1

Summer Term . . . April 15

The following must be submitted by the posted deadline. Incomplete applications with outstanding requirements, or those post-marked after the posted deadline, are subject to cancellation. Once an application has been cancelled, the applicant will be required to apply for the next available term, or as a graduate non-degree seeking applicant (limitations apply).

  • UNF admission application
  • Application fee
  • If applicable, collection holds and judicial holds must be cleared
  • All of the below university and program requirements

Admission Requirements

University requirements:

  • A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, or its equivalent from a foreign institution, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all work attempted in the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate study.
  • Official transcripts, and foreign evaluations if applicable, from all post-secondary institutions attended.

Program requirements:

  • Personal essay
    • Title page with student name and date of submission
    • 1-2 page double spaced, typed APA format
    • Describe interest in the field of Animal Assisted Therapy in Counseling
    • Detail experience in working with animals, human-animal bond and/or the inclusion of animals and/or nature in healthcare or education
    • Provide expectation for professional use of Animal Assisted Therapy Certificate if admitted to program of study and awarded
  • Two letters of recommendation
    • Professional
Graduate Program Director & Advising Coordinator

Dr. Carlene Taylor

Instructor/Program Contact

(904) 620-5716

Building 39 , Room 4009