Lead Faculty: Dr. Brian P. Tilley
The Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology degree provides the academic pathway for students who are committed to the practice of professional counseling. The program includes core courses that all MA Counseling Psychology students must take and two Areas of Specialization options. Each student must choose one of the following specializations:
The MA Counseling Psychology - MFT Area of Specialization emphasizes marriage and family therapy and is designed for students who are committed to the practice of individual, couples, family, adolescent, and child psychotherapy. This version of the degree meets the academic requirements necessary to sit for the Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) License mandated by the Board of Behavioral Sciences in the state of California. Students may take courses from the LPCC Area of Specialization as their electives if they want to qualify for both licenses. They must take one additional theoretical course and complete the additional practicum hours required for the LPCC license in order to meet the educational requirements for both licenses.
The MA Counseling Psychology - LPCC Area of Specialization emphasizes counseling techniques and theories, including those related to career development, and is designed for students who are committed to the practice of individual and group counseling. This version of the degree meets the academic requirements to be eligible for licensing as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) by the Board of Behavioral Sciences in the state of California. Students may take courses from the MFT Area of Specialization as their electives if they want to qualify for both licenses or want to qualify to work with couples, families, and/or children as an LPCC.
The degree with either specialization may not meet requirements in other states. Students should consult the licensing boards of the appropriate states for information about licensure outside of California. The degree also prepares students for the pursuit of doctoral studies in practitioner-oriented programs such as counseling or clinical psychology.
Students interested in enrolling in this program should contact the appropriate campus for further information regarding the application process.
To be considered for admission, applicants must meet the University graduate admission requirements listed in the general information as well as the MAC program criteria. All applicants are evaluated for the psychotherapy profession, regardless of career goals. Students must submit an application packet, pass a personal interview, and attend the program orientation before they may begin classes.
Students for whom English is not their primary language must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam and receive one of the below scores before beginning the program:
Paper-based - 550
Computer-based - 213
Internet Based - 79
Students must submit their TOEFL score with their application.
Students should consult the regional faculty to determine at what point in the sequence they may enter the program. Entrance points may differ in each region.
For students in the MFT Specialization: $350 for materials that assist students in the preparation for the California Marriage and Family Therapist examination for licensure.
The program is guided by the standards of the California Board of Behavioral Sciences for academic training relevant to licensing as a Marriage and Family Therapist in the State of California (MFT Specialization) or as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC Specialization), and by contemporary scientific, professional, and public practice. At the completion of the program students will achieve the following outcomes required for successful practice of Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT Specialization) or Professional Clinical Counseling (LPCC Specialization):
(20 courses; 90 quarter units)
To receive the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology, students must complete at least 90 quarter units of graduate work. A total of 13.5 quarter units of graduate credit may be granted for equivalent graduate work completed at another institution, as it applies to this degree and if the units were not used in earning another advanced degree. Students for whom English is a second language must take and pass an English Language Proficiency exam prior to beginning any coursework. Students should refer to the section on graduate admission for specific information regarding additional application and evaluation requirements.
Prerequisites for the Major (2 courses; 9 quarter units)
Students who hold a bachelor's degree in Psychology may request these courses to be waived. Please contact the Lead Faculty. These courses will count towards the 90 quarters units of graduate work.