Following is specific information and admission requirements for the Counseling Psychology program.
Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology
Our Counseling Psychology degree prepares students to obtain their LPCC or MFT license.
Units: 90 quarter units (3 quarters equals 2 semester units)
Program Length: 3 years (full-time and part-time available)
Tracks: MFT, LPCC, MFT/LPCC, and No Track
Start Dates: Fall, Winter, Spring, 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 four emphasis areas in Correctional Psychology, Health Psychology, Latinx Counseling, or LGBTQ 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.
90 Unit Self Design Tracksheet
Course Descriptions and Syllabi
2022-23 Counseling Psychology Student Handbook
The Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology has four tracks:
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.
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.
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 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.
CPSY Tracking Sheet 90 Unit MFTLPCC (fillable)
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 affords. This track does not lead to licensure.
We offer four optional emphases: Correctional Psychology, Health Psychology, Latinx Counseling, or LGBT Counseling available to all students in either the 52.5 unit or 90 unit degree programs. 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 Emphasis in Corrections is designed for individuals with a combined interest in counseling and corrections. Graduates of the program work in agencies and private practices, schools, correctional institutions, law enforcement agencies, community settings, mental health facilities, group homes and rehabilitation facilities.
The emphasis in Correctional Psychology offers a concentration and focus on the population of youth and adults who are connected with the various formal or informal adjudication options in today’s society. The program deals with practical methods of working with those who lead alternative life styles, involved in gangs, those seeking vocational and life transitions, at-risk, antisocial and non-conventional youth and adults, mental health issues, social services, community work, juvenile justice, correctional and school programs. Coursework concentrates on the development of knowledge and practical skills in the following areas: dealing with youth and adults who are considered to be at-risk, working within institutions; including, but not limited to, schools, group homes, social service agencies, law enforcement and the prison system, developing rapport with this clientele and the application of applied behavior analysis.
Coordinator: Robert Michels
Correctional Psychology Emphasis courses:
CPSY 243 Delinquent, At-Risk and Nonconventional Youth: Trauma and Effects
CPSY 244 Correctional Psychology
CPSY 245 Transitional Treatment and Vocational Planning
The emphasis in Health Psychology is designed for individuals with a combined interest in counseling and health psychology. Graduates of the program work as agency and private practice counselors; health promotion specialists in industry, schools, and hospitals; counselors in employee assistance programs; and counseling and health specialists in other settings.
The Health Psychology emphasis focuses on applications of psychology to issues of health, disease, and prevention at individual and societal levels. Coursework concentrates on the development of knowledge and practical skills in the following areas: maintaining and promoting personal health, preventing disease, exploring the individual and social contexts of health problems, counseling healthy and ill individuals regarding health-related problems and issues, counseling for grief and loss, developing stress management programs, addressing interpersonal issues in health care settings and the emerging field of Positive Psychology.
Coordinator: Dale G. Larson, Ph.D.
Health Psychology Emphasis courses:
CPSY 380 Positive Psychology and Health
CPSY 381 Health Psychology: Theory and Practice
CPSY 385 Stress and Stress Management
The emphasis in Latino Counseling offers a concentration and focus on counseling the large component of the population that defines itself as Latinx. The program focuses on applications of psychology with reference to issues of culture, ethnicity, acculturation, and assimilation. Implications of counseling within a Latinx family system and issues of language are explored. Coursework concentrates on the development of knowledge and practical skills in the following areas: reaching clients from this normally underserved population, developing rapport with clients from these cultures, intervening in culturally sensitive and appropriate ways, and counseling at various times throughout the life cycle. Some of the classes will stress the importance of language and may be instructed partially or substantially in Spanish. Students who choose the Latino counseling emphasis may be eligible for a special scholarship.
Coordinator: Lucila Ramos-Sánchez, Ph.D.
Latino Emphasis courses:
CPSY 360 Latino Psychology
CPSY 362 Individual Counseling Skills with Latino Clients
CPSY 364 Interventions with Latino Families and Children
CPSY 366 Spanish-Based Interviewing and Assessment (Fluency in Spanish required)
The LGBTQ Counseling emphasis will provide training to serve the LGBTQ population. It will focus on the application of clinical practice relevant to issues of gender, diversity in sexual identity and expression, oppression, discrimination, acculturation, and assimilation. The coursework for the emphasis concentrates on the development of knowledge and skills in the following areas: current theories regarding the etiology of same sex orientation; the evolving language of LGBTQ; developmental challenges for LGBTQ persons; homophobia and its many faces; the coming out process; relationships with parents and families of LGBTQ people; issues of support and socialization; the dynamics of gay relationships; gay marriage; gay families and gay parenting; the impact of AIDS; social, cultural, political and religious considerations and their impact; the many and unique issues affecting the transgender community; available resources; research opportunities.
Coordinator: Donald St. Louis, D.Min.
LGBT Emphasis courses:
CPSY 213 Foundations of LGBTQ Psychology
CPSY 230 Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients
CPSY 332 Psychotherapy with Transgender and Non-binary Clients
1. Create your online application
2. Statement of Purpose
Your statement of purpose must be a clear and legible draft focusing on the specific guidelines of the program and the chosen emphasis you are applying for at the School of Education and Counseling Psychology. Your statement must include evidence of your commitment to Social Justice, Multiculturalism, and Diversity. Please limit your statement to two pages, typed and double-spaced. You must not receive any assistance writing or editing the personal statement; it must be your own original work.
Explain your reasons for entering the mental health profession, highlight related experiences, and any unique reasons for selecting Santa Clara University. Please provide all relevant background information about the context of the specific work you have done, as well as a description of the aspects of the work you find most engaging and/or meaningful.
3. Current Resumé or CV
All applicants are required to submit a resumé or curriculum vitae to provide information about relevant job experience and education. Your resumé should include educational background and relevant experiences, including jobs, internships, community service, activities, languages (if applicable), and research projects. Writing a resumé for a graduate school application follows the same principles as writing a resumé for a job. Please include dates of attendance for education, job titles and years of employment and explain any gaps in employment exceeding 6 months.
4. One copy of official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
You must send one official transcript from each post-secondary institution that contributed to your Bachelor’s degree. Transcripts can be delivered by postal mail in a sealed envelope, or electronically by the school or other third-party service.
Transcripts delivered electronically must be delivered to the ECP Admissions Office at email@example.com.
Transcripts delivered by postal mail must be sent to:
Attn: ECP Admissions
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95050
Applicants with a Bachelor's degree from outside of the United States are required to have their official transcripts evaluated by a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Our preferred member is WES, ICAP version. We require a course-by-course, cumulative GPA, and U.S. degree equivalency evaluation.
If your Bachelor’s degree has not been conferred by the application deadline, you must submit a final official transcript demonstrating conferral of your degree to the Student Services department prior to enrolling in classes.
5. Three letters of recommendation
Letters of recommendation should be from individuals who have served in supervisory or evaluative roles with you. This may include professors, instructors, bosses or managers, job supervisors, clinical supervisors, volunteer coordinators, supervisors of volunteer work, or similar. Letters of recommendation should not be from personal friends, family members, or personal therapists. We realize that letters from 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 practitioner.
6. Minimum 3.0 Undergraduate GPA
A minimum GPA of 3.0, undergraduate grade point average (GPA) is required.
7. Submit a $50 non-refundable application fee
Please Note: We do not require submission of GRE or GMAT test scores for admission to our programs.