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Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology


The Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling Psychology (formerly Marriage and Family Therapy) course of study fulfills all educational requirements for the California (CA) Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) license as prescribed by the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS), and with additional coursework, the requirements of the CA Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) license as well. These programs prepare students for future clinical work in private practice settings as well as county and/or community based agencies.

Interwoven through the coursework are essential themes such as community mental health practice, cultural diversity, systemic thinking, collaborative treatment, wellness, resiliency, and recovery. A combination of didactic and experiential classroom learning and supervised intensive fieldwork cover both contemporary issues in the field and essential skills of effective practitioners. Students are encouraged to increase their own self-knowledge through an ongoing examination of their own values and beliefs, cultural backgrounds and contexts, abilities and growth areas.

This innovative, applied 90-unit program is composed of three phases. Phase I consists of foundation courses that combine current and traditional theory applied within the context of the classroom using didactic and experiential methods. In Phase II, coursework is supplemented by introduction of clinical training through fieldwork placements, which continues through Phase III with the addition of individual and group supervision and group didactic training. Successful completion of each phase is required in order to advance to the next phase.

Students have a choice of full- or part-time programs at the Pleasant Hill or San Jose campuses, including a morning option as well as the standard late afternoon/evening program. In addition, an accelerated full-time cohort program is available at the Berkeley campus.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students completing the Master's in Counseling Psychology will be able to do the following:

  • Articulate and evaluate the role of the self in marriage and family therapy and in professional clinical counseling along with developing strong professional identities as therapists and counselors and demonstrating leadership and advocacy applicable to furthering the professions.
  • Assess and diagnose client problems systematically and contextually.
  • Establish, maintain, evaluate, and utilize the therapeutic relationship to serve the mental health needs of diverse clients.
  • Recognize their own potential biases and deliver culturally sensitive treatment.
  • Utilize concepts, structures, theories, models, and technologies appropriate to the practice of marriage and family therapy and professional clinical counseling.
  • Identify, explain, and apply state, federal, and local laws that govern the provision of psychotherapy and counseling and can employ ethical decision-making processes.
  • Be aware of, evaluate, and respond to measurable outcomes of their work with clients using the research tools and methods in the field and employing evidence-based practices in psychotherapy and counseling interventions, assessments, and program evaluations.


To receive the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology degree, students must complete 90 units. The curriculum is detailed below.

Note: Courses are offered in Pleasant Hill (PSY), San Jose (PSJ), and Berkeley (PSB). For simplicity, all courses listed below will have the PSY prefix, although they also may be offered as PSJ or PSB.

Phase I (36 units)
PSY 5000 - New Student Orientation (0 units)
PSY 5054 - Research Methods, Quantitative and Qualitative (3 units)
PSY 5070 - Theory and Practice of Community Mental Health (3 units)
PSY 5112 - The Family Life Cycle (3 units)
PSY 5115 - Theories for MFT Practice I (3 units)
PSY 5156 - Theories for MFT Practice II (3 units)
PSY 5157 - Theories for MFT Practice III (3 units)
PSY 5167 -  Brief Therapy (2 units)
PSY 5230 - Clinical Skills Training A: Self as Clinician (3 units)
PSY 5231 - Clinical Skills Training B: MFT Techniques I (3 units)
PSY 5232 - Clinical Skills Training C: MFT Techniques II (2 units)
PSY 5303 - Child Adolescent, and Family Therapy: Assessment and Treatment A (3 units)
PSY 5403 - Diagnosis and Assessment of Psychopathology A (3 units)
PSY 5635 - Ethics and the Law (3 units)
PSY 9000 - Child Abuse Assessment, Reporting & Treatment Workshop (0 Units)
PSY 9001 - Diversity Awareness Workshop (0 units)

Phase II (40 units)
PSY 5154 - Couple Therapy (3 units)
PSY 5179 - Family Treatment of Addiction (3 units)
PSY 5247 – Clinical Case Seminar (2) (6 total units)

Quarters 2, 3, 4 of practicum
Sessions 7, 8, 9 of practicum
Select from the following course sequences (Note – all Berkeley cohort field placements are considered External):
PSY 5249 - Field Practicum A External (3 units Pleasant Hill, San Jose; 2 units Berkeley) OR
PSY 5260 - Field Practicum A Internal (3 units)

PSY 5250 - Field Practicum B External (2 units) OR
PSY 5261 - Field Practicum B Internal (2 units)

PSY 5251 - Field Practicum C External (2 units) OR
PSY 5262 - Field Practicum C Internal (2 units)

PSY 5252 - Field Practicum D External (2 units) OR
PSY 5263 - Field Practicum D Internal (2 units)

Berkeley only:
PSB 5253 - Field Practicum E External (1 unit)

PSY 5304 - Child, Adolescent, and Family Therapy: Assessment and Treatment B (3 units)
PSY 5309 - Seminar in MFT (1 unit)
PSY 5310 - Group Therapy (3 units)
PSY 5404 - Diagnosis and Assessment of Psychopathology B (3 units)
PSY 5434 - Family Violence (2 units)
PSY 5613 - Human Sexuality (2 units)
PSY 5620 - Multicultural Competence (3 units)
PSY 9007 - Introduction to Community Bases Program (0)
PSY 9008 - Aging & Long Term Care Workshop (0)
PSY 9010 - Issues with HIV and AIDS (0)
PSY 9090 - Written Master’s Examination (0)

Select TWO of the following 5120 courses categories (Child, Family, or Individual)
PSY 5120C - Specific Theories of Change: Child Therapy (3 units)
PSY 5120F - Specific Theories of Change: Family Therapy (3 units)
PSY 5120I - Specific Theories of Change: Individual Therapy (3 units)

PSY 5309 - Seminar in MFT (1) (2 units total)
PSY 5406 - Psychopharmacology
PSY 5436 - Crisis and Trauma
PSY 9075 - Personal Psychotherapy (0)
PSY 9091 - Oral Master’s Exam
PSY 9100 - Professional Development: Post Master’s Preparation (0)

Pleasant Hill and San Jose students not completing the program’s required Practicum hours in the four quarters outlined in Phase II, will need to enroll in
PSY 5253 - Field Practicum E External (2 units) OR
PSY 5264 - Field Practicum E Internal (2 units)

Berkeley students not completing the program’s required Practicum hours in the five sessions outlined in Phase II, will need to enroll in
PSB 5254 - Field Practicum F External (2 units)

If hours are not completed in the above practicums for Pleasant Hill and San Jose students, then students will continue into
PSY 5254 - Field Practicum F External (2 units; Pleasant Hill and San Jose) OR
PSY 5265 - Field Practicum F Internal (2 units; Pleasant Hill and San Jose)

The following courses are required for the PCC specialization. These 10.5 specialization units along with the 90 core units of coursework, fulfill requirements for the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology degree with a Specialization in Professional Clinical Counseling.

PSY 5780 - Theories of Career Development (4.5)
PSY 5405 - Psychological Testing (3)
PSY 5407 - Recent Advances in Pediatric & Geriatric Psychopharmacology (1.5)
PSY 5646 - Advanced Studies in Research (1.5)