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Santa Clara University - School Of Education & Counseling Psychology Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology
Santa Clara University - School Of Education & Counseling Psychology

Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology

Santa Clara, USA

3 Years


Full time

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USD 607 / per quarter *


* 2017-18 Tuition, per quarter unit


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Units: 90 quarter units (3 quarter units = 2-semester units)
Program Length: 3 years(full-time)
Tracks: LPCC, MFT, LPCC/MFT, and No Track
Emphasis Options: Latino counseling, correctional psychology, and health psychology
Start Dates: Fall, Winter, Spring, or Summer
Instructional Method: On campus

The Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology provides an intensive 90-unit Master of Arts program for students. Students may opt to include any of our three emphasis areas in Correctional Psychology, Health Psychology, or Latino Counseling to their degree. An emphasis functions like a minor. Students not electing an emphasis may choose from a variety of electives to expand their knowledge in various areas.

The Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology has four tracks:

  • MFT Track
  • LPCC Track
  • Joint MFT/LPCC Track
  • No Track

MFT Track

The California Board of Behavioral Sciences bases the MFT Track on California State regulations, guidelines suggested by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and curriculum approval. Students choosing this track are qualified to sit for an MFT license exam after completing coursework, practicum, and clinical hours in the State of California.

Click here for Course Sequence

LPCC Track

The California Board of Behavioral Sciences bases the LPCC Track on California State regulations, guidelines from the California Coalition for Counselor Licensure, and curriculum approval. Students choosing this track are qualified to sit for an LPCC license exam after completing coursework, practicum, and clinical hours. The LPCC is a portable degree, meaning that coursework and clinical training in California will allow a student to sit for licensure in any other state; based on any residency requirements of that state. LPCC licensing requirements include a national, rather than state-centric, exam.

The LPCC program is primarily focused on individual adult clients. Students pursuing this program who wish to work with couples, families, and children will need to take classes in these specialties to work legally and ethically with these populations.

A major difference between the MFT and the LPCC is that a significant number of the required 3,000 training hours can be completed prior to receiving the Master's degree for the MFT license. The required 3,000 hours for the LPCC must all be accrued after graduation with a Masters degree.

Click here for Course Sequence

Joint MFT/LPCC Track

The joint MFT/LPCC track is available for students who wish to apply for both licenses. This combined program can be completed within the 90 units. Students can also opt for one of the three emphases; however, students completing this track with an emphasis in Health Psychology or Correctional Psychology will need to complete 91.5 units and students completing this track with an emphasis in Latino counseling will need to complete 93 units to obtain all the necessary courses. Students who wish to explore this joint track option are encouraged to meet with a Faculty Advisor. To learn more about the benefits of the joint MFT/LPCC track, visit the American Association for Marriage & Family Therapy, California Division web site at:

Click here for Course Sequence

No Track

Students may also opt for neither the MFT nor the LPCC track. This track is for individuals who desire more extensive training and experience than the 51-unit M.A. of Counseling affords. This track does not lead to licensure.

CPSY Comprehensive Exam

The Comprehensive Examination is a take-home essay exam devised to help you synthesize your learning into a powerful personal and professional statement. The exam is given once during the Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters, and you have two weeks to complete it after it is mailed to you. You take this exam near the end of your studies, typically the quarter before the last quarter in which you are enrolled in the program. Practicum experience gained by that time can help you in the exam because one of the questions requires the description of a case study.

Deadlines to register can be found in-person in Guadalupe Hall, on the bulletin boards, in the CPU newsletter or in emails sent your SCU account. To register please e-mail your full name, address, telephone number, and student ID to the CPSY Department at [email protected]. Exams are mailed out to the address you provide two weeks before it is due.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the General Requirements, an applicant for Master of Arts in Counseling and Counseling Psychology must fulfill the specific requirements stated below

  • A minimum GPA of 3.0, undergraduate grade point average (GPA) is required.
  • In addition, admission to the master’s degree programs requires prior academic excellence at the bachelor’s degree or higher level and the estimate of the admissions office of the student’s potential to be a successful counselor. Because the state license in MFT and LPCC allows its holder to engage in private practice using psychotherapeutic and counseling techniques, and because all counseling psychology graduates are likely to work in the human services arena, candidates will be selected on the basis of:
    1. Experience
    2. Previous academic background
    3. Maturity with regard to life experience and professional goals.
  • Related work experience:

    Those candidates who present significant work or volunteer experience in counseling-related activities will stand to benefit most from the program itself and in subsequent counseling endeavors. Therefore, in admissions decisions, strong preference will be given to those who have accrued real work (including volunteer) experience in counseling (at any level) prior to seeking admissions to the master’s program.
  • Applicants to the MFT or LPCC track should be prepared and sufficiently motivated to complete the experience requirement as set forth by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences upon completion of the degree program.

Letters of recommendation should be from three people who have served in supervisory or evaluative roles with you. This may include professors, instructors, bosses or managers, job supervisors, clinical supervisors, volunteer coordinators or supervisors of volunteer work, pastors, or similar. This should not include personal friends or personal therapists. We realize that letters from three such individuals may not be possible for some applicants. If you will be requesting a letter from someone that does not fit these guidelines, please briefly explain why; the expectation is that the people writing letters for you should still be able to comment on your professional capacity as a counselor.

International Applicant Requirements

  1. English Proficiency Exam: TOEFL (score of 90 or above) or IELTS (score of 6.5 or above) are required for international students who completed their post-secondary education in a language other than English. TOEFL or IELTS may be waived if your Bachelor's (and Master's, if applicable) were completed at institutions in which English is the primary language of instruction. However, all applicants may be asked to provide further evidence of English proficiency as needed.
  2. International Education Evaluation: Transcript evaluations are required by one of the approved NACES agencies. Applicants to the Master of Arts in Teaching + Teaching Credential (MATTC) program should have their transcripts evaluated by one of the agencies approved by the CTC. Please note, transcript evaluations must include the degree equivalency and U.S. GPA equivalency. We recommend the course-by-course evaluation report.
  3. Proof of Funds: United States visa regulations require proof that sufficient funds are available to finance your travel, living expenses, and program study. Please refer to the International Student Services website for an up-to-date estimate of the cost associated with a full year of academic study in the ECP.

After the receipt of the official acceptance letter, the student should contact the ECP Admissions office, [email protected], for the I-20 documentation to apply for an F-1 student visa. When this is completed it will be forwarded to the International Student Services Office.

About the School


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