Our vision imagines a region and world in which everyone has access to an inspiring education and the psychological tools and support to propel them toward flourishing lives of meaning, purpose and connection. Our education is characterized by Strong Values, Social Justice, Transformative, Diverse Community.
The Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology provides an intensive 90-unit Master's program. Receive outstanding preparation to be become licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) or a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC).
Our faculty prepares you to be an agent of change in your clients' lives. Students may also choose to include any of the following four optional emphasis areas in their degree: Correctional Psychology, Health Psychology, Latino Counseling, or LGBTQ Counseling.
MA in Counseling Psychology Highlights
Emphases & Concentrations
We offer five specialized interest areas. Our four emphases function like a minor. Students who don't choose an emphasis may choose from a variety of electives. The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Concentration is similar to the emphases, but requires additional elective coursework.
A focus on culturally and linguistically appropriate counseling experiences centered on a deep understanding of Latino culture, ethnicity, acculturation, and immigration.
Apply psychology to issues of well-being, stress and stress management, the modification of health behaviors, health promotion, wellness, and disease prevention.
Offering training in the application of counseling to issues of gender, diversity in sexual identity and expression, oppression, discrimination, and acculturation, among other topics.
Graduates work in community and law enforcement agencies, private practice, schools, correctional institutions, mental health and rehabilitation facilities, and group homes.
Students will be trained to develop greater proficiency in supporting children, teens, and young adults. Coursework will focus on: issues in early intervention and infancy; issues in school-based settings; developmentally-appropriate interventions; working with disabled children and youth; trauma- informed care; evidence-based approaches to working with children and youth, including short term therapies, cognitive behavioral therapy, play therapy, expressive arts therapy, family therapy, and much more.
The Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology has four tracks:
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 a LPCC license exam after completing course work, 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 Masters degree for the MFT license. The required 3,000 hours for the LPCC must all be accrued after graduation with a Masters degree.
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 four emphases; however, students completing this track with an emphasis in Correctional Psychology, Health Psychology, Latinx Counseling, or LGBT Counseling 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.
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 a MFT license exam after completing course work, practicum, and clinical hours in the State of California.
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 52.5-unit M.A. of Counseling or 45-unit M.A. in Applied Psychology affords. This track does not lead to licensure.
"After having just graduated from UC Berkeley, I was seeking a program that would provide me both a community and a solid academic foundation. And today I am so grateful to say that SCU’s Counseling and Psychology program gave me exactly that. It’s because of the relationships, the knowledge, and the practice I received from this program did I then have the opportunity to become the type of therapist I had sought out to be."
- Kimberly Panelo, ’10, Counseling Psychology