Apr 22, 2024  
2022-2023 Academic Catalog 
2022-2023 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MS

The Master of Science (MS) degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, offered by the Department of Psychology , is designed to provide the student with both theoretical and practical training in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of a wide variety of individual (adult and children), couples’, and family mental health problems, and to prepare the student to work in private or public service agencies, independent practice, community mental health centers, or hospitals. The required academic course work and supervised fieldwork of 60 semester units meets the course work requirements for the California State Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) license and most of the requirements for the Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) license (see www.bbs.ca.gov for requirements). An additional 2500-3000 hours of acceptable supervised experience is required for admission to the state MFT or LPCC licensing examination.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admission into the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, you must:

  1. Meet all of the University graduate admission requirements .
  2. Have a baccalaureate degree (BA or BS) in Psychology OR any baccalaureate degree (BA or BS) and a minimum of 30 semester units (45 quarter units) in Psychology.
  3. Have taken the REQUIRED six courses in psychology from the list provided below. These are to be included in the minimum 30 semester units (10 semester courses).
  4. Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all Psychology coursework AND a minimum of 3.0 the last 2 years of academic work attempted (60 semester or 90 quarter units).
  5. Provide evidence of a minimum of 100 hours of paid or volunteer applied clinical experience working with persons in a counseling/helping capacity (e.g., volunteer in home for children with developmental, emotional, and/or behavioral disorders, provide counseling on a suicide and crisis telephone hotline).
  6. Provide three letters of recommendation. One reference MUST be from a clinical supervisor and another MUST come from a professor or instructor who can comment on the applicant’s academic work. Additional references may come from former instructors and from supervisors of previous work in volunteer placements in the clinical field.

Undergraduate Courses in Psychology Required for Admission

  1. General or Introduction to Psychology (SJSU code PSYC 1 )
  2. Elementary Statistics (SJSU code STAT 95 )
  3. Introduction to Research Methods (SJSU code PSYC 18  or PSYC 118  or PSYC 120 )
  4. Psychobiology or equivalent (SJSU code PSYC 30 )

Each of the above four (1-4) may be taken at the community college or university level and may be lower-division courses.

  1. Upper-division course in Abnormal Psychology (SJSU code PSYC 110 )
  2. Upper-division course in Theory and Methods of Counseling, or Clinical Psychology (SJSU code PSYC 160 , or PSYC 165 )

Degree Requirements

General university requirements and procedures for completing the Master of Science degree are described in the Academic Regulations section of this catalog . In addition to these, the following departmental requirements must be fulfilled.

  1. The student must complete a total of 60 units in clinical psychology as specified in the table below.
  2. Candidates must demonstrate satisfactory performance on one or more final comprehensive examinations. These examinations are both written and oral.
  3. The University requires that all graduate students complete the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)  as a condition for advancement to candidacy . For graduate courses that meet the GWAR, please refer to the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations website at www.sjsu.edu/gape.

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement

At SJSU, students must pass the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) .

Master’s Requirements (60 units)

Total Units Required (60 units)

Culminating Experience

The culminating experience for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is a comprehensive (“comp”) exam completed in two phases. The first phase is the written portion, and the second is the oral portion. The written portion of the second-year comp evidences the student’s conceptualization, treatment development, and professional and ethical delivery of therapy for a specific client while on fieldwork placement. This written portion is evaluated by two faculty members and scored according to the criteria provided in the MS Clinical Student Handbook. If and when students pass the minimum criteria for the written portion, they advance to the oral portion of the comp.

The oral portion provides time for students to briefly present the same case that was described in the written portion, to interact with other students about each other’s cases, and to field questions about their cases from faculty member examiners. The oral portion is scored according to the criteria provided in the MS Clinical Student Handbook.