Master of Science in Clinical/Counseling Psychology

The principal objective of the master of science clinical/counseling psychology program is to provide students with practical skills in counseling - through supervised training and experience - and a critical understanding of the relevant subject matter and the research evidence base.  The program offers required course work designed to meet the educational requirements for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) as outlined by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. The program is a full-time, day-time program designed to be completed in two years.The program culminates with either a thesis or comprehensive examination.  

Admission to the Program

In addition to the general requirements of the university, specific requirements for admission to classified graduate status are:

  1. A minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.0;
  2. A minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average in the major of 3.0 ("B");
  3. A baccalaureate degree in psychology;
    or
    one of the following:
    1. A baccalaureate degree in a major other than psychology and score at or above the 50th percentile on the Graduate Record Examination (advanced test in psychology);
    2. A baccalaureate degree in a major other than psychology, including a course of study judged, by the Psychology Department graduate admissions committee, to be satisfactory preparation for graduate study in psychology.
  4. Submission to the department graduate admissions committee of a brief statement (one or two typewritten pages) of the student's preparation for graduate study, goals in a graduate training program and professional aspirations following receipt of the master's degree;
  5. Submission of three letters of recommendation from people who are in a position to make relevant comments on the student's likely success in a graduate psychology program. At least two of these letters should be from former professors who are familiar with the student's scholarly activities.

For students seeking admission in the M.S.Clinical/Counseling program, the following courses are required for classified status:

Completion of the following prerequisite courses or their equivalent:
PSYC 1100Introduction to Psychology3
PSYC 2210Psychological Statistics4
PSYC 3311Research Methods in Psychology4
PSYC 3385Personality Psychology3
or PSYC 3386 Introduction to Psychotherapy
PSYC 3390Abnormal Psychology3

Students who meet the general requirements of the university for admission to graduate study, but who do not meet the Psychology Department's specific requirements for admission to classified status or who wish to take course work prior to winter quarter consideration of their application for classified status, may be admitted to the university in the unclassified postbaccalaureate status. Unclassified postbaccalaureate students may enroll, when space is available, in selected graduate courses, with the instructor's approval.

Advancement to Candidacy

In order to be advanced to candidacy, a student must have:

  1. Achieved classified status;
  2. Secured a graduate advisor to supervise the course of study;
  3. Completed, with the approval of the student's advisor, at least 30 semester units of graduate course work at this university, and achieved a minimum grade point average of 3.0 ("B") in those courses;
  4. Satisfied the Writing Requirement for Graduate Candidacy (WRGC);
  5. Filed an approved Advancement to Candidacy form which must have the approval of the student's advisor, the department chair or chair of the graduate program committee and the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Requirements for Graduation

  1. Completed at least 63-72 semester units of course work (depending on the culminating option selected (Thesis or Comprehensive examination) in # 2 below) in graduate program with a grade point average of at least 3.0 ("B") and grades of "C" (2.0) or better in all courses in the program with at least 30 semester units completed at this university;
  2. One of the following:
    1. Completed and defended an original thesis. Students selecting the thesis option take three  units of PSYC 6953 in preparation for the thesis.
      OR
    2. Successful completion of the comprehensive examination. Students selecting the comprehensive examination option take three units of PSYC 6123 in preparation for the examination;
  3. Received the approval of the student's graduate advisor;
  4. Any additional general requirements not cited above and listed in Graduate Degree and Program Requirements.
    The comprehensive examination is designed to be integrative in nature and is offered during the spring semester only. Students who do not receive a passing grade may elect to:
    1. Repeat the examination, one additional time only
      OR
    2. Complete PSYC 6974 Thesis.
      Complete details regarding the comprehensive examination option are available from the Psychology Department.
  5. The Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement is met upon successful completion of either PSYC 6974 or PSYC 6980.

Classified graduate students in the Master of Science in Clinical/Counseling Psychology program must complete their degree requirements within seven years of admission to the program. Students with classified status who fail to register for at least one course in the Psychology M.S. program each quarter will automatically be declassified.

Degree Requirements (63-71 units)

(Program Code: CCPY)

PSYC 6618Community and Public Mental Health3
PSYC 6619Community Disaster, Trauma and Resilience3
PSYC 6633PROFESSIONAL ETHICS AND LAW IN COUNSELING3
PSYC 6636Multicultural Counseling3
PSYC 6638Neuropharmacology of Psychiatric Disorders 3
PSYC 6640Advanced Methods in Psychological Research3
PSYC 6654Advanced Life-Span Developmental Psychology3
PSYC 6665Psychopathology3
PSYC 6667Family Processes3
PSYC 6671Marriage and Family Therapy Skills I6
PSYC 6672Marriage and Family Therapy Skills II6
PSYC 6674Child Therapy3
PSYC 6679Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy3
PSYC 6682Clinical Assessment3
PSYC 6871Marriage and Family Therapy Practicum I3
PSYC 6872Marriage and Family Therapy Practicum II3
PSYC 6971Advanced Practicum in Counseling Psychology I3
PSYC 6972Advanced Practicum in Counseling Psychology II3
Culminating Experience (3-11)3-11
Total Units63-71

Culminating Experience (3-11 Units)

The M.S. Clinical/Counseling Psychology Program offers two culminating experience options.

Comprehensive Examination Option (3 units)

Passage of written examination covering the areas of competence assessed on the California MFT license examinations.

PSYC 6123Directed Readings3
PSYC 6980Comprehensive Examination0
Total Units3

Thesis Options (11 units)

Successful completion and defense of an original research project including a review of relevant literature, methodology, data analysis, and critique. 

PSYC 6641Analysis of Variance4
or PSYC 6642 Regression and Nonparametric Statistics
PSYC 6953Advanced Independent Study3
PSYC 6974Thesis4
Total Units11