Psychology M.A. - Counseling Psychology

Counseling Psychology Concentration

Program Director: Christa K. Schmidt
410-704-3063
ckschmidt@towson.edu

The Counseling Psychology concentration of the Master of Arts in Psychology aims to train individuals to facilitate growth and development for persons with mental health problems and general life concerns. This concentration is intended for persons wishing to counsel clients with concerns in the personal, social, vocational or educational areas. A central focus of this concentration is developing multicultural competence and a social justice perspective.

Graduates of the Counseling Psychology concentration may find employment in a variety of settings, such as community mental health centers, hospitals, group homes, rehabilitation centers and substance abuse programs. Graduates may also choose to pursue doctoral training in Counseling Psychology.

Students are encouraged to attend full time to meet the program requirements in two years. Students may, however, attend part time for some of their degree work. Some courses are offered during the summer session.

Admission Requirements

  • Students must have taken the following prerequisites (all of which must be completed with a “C” or better):
    General Psychology (3)
    Behavioral Statistics (3)
    Research Methods (3)
    Abnormal Psychology (3)
  • A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.00. All GPA calculations for admission are based upon the last 60 units of undergraduate and post-baccalaureate study.
  • An undergraduate transcript from all colleges attended must be sent to University Admissions.
  • Acceptable performance on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  • The highest-ranking applicants will be required to interview with the faculty of the Counseling Psychology program.

Send the following admission materials to:

University Admissions
Towson University
8000 York Road
Towson, MD 21252

  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A letter of intent indicating why the applicant is interested in pursuing a graduate degree in Counseling Psychology

Completed applications and admission credentials must meet the deadline of January 15 for fall term admission. Applications are not accepted for spring term admission.

Non-immigrant international students: See additional admission information in Graduate Admissions.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete prerequisite courses. Students should be prepared to take at least two years to complete the program.

The Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology offers a practitioner option and a thesis/research option from which degree candidates can choose.

The research option provides students with the experience, knowledge and skills required for successful admission to a doctoral program. Students in this option receive intensive training and mentorship in research and complete a thesis.

Students in the practitioner option are trained to work as counselors and therapists at the master’s level. Graduates of the practitioner option may choose to continue their education or pursue licensure at the master’s level.

Both the practitioner and research options require a minimum of 48 units for the degree.  However, students are permitted to take up to 60 course units in their degree program for the purposes of meeting state licensing requirements to practice as a professional counselor.

Required Courses

PSYC 605COUNSELING TECHNIQUES3
PSYC 606CAREER DEVELOPMENT3
PSYC 607APPLIED THEORIES OF COUNSELING3
PSYC 609ADVANCED COUNSELING TECHNIQUES3
PSYC 611DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY3
PSYC 615INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH METHODS IN COUNSELING3
PSYC 647INDIVIDUAL APPRAISAL3
PSYC 631ADVANCED ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY3
PSYC 721GROUP COUNSELING3
PSYC 722ADVANCED MULTICULTURAL COUNSELING3
PSYC 745PRACTICUM IN COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGY3
PSYC 790ETHICAL, LEGAL AND PROFESSIONAL ISSUES IN PSYCHOLOGY3
PSYC 793INTERNSHIP IN COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGY3
Total Units39

Practitioner Option Courses

PSYC 613COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING3
Total Units3

Electives

Electives 16
Total Units6
1

NOTE: Electives selected by students must have prior written consent of the adviser and must be approved for the student’s program of study.

Research Option Courses

PSYC 687ADVANCED EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN I3
PSYC 688ADVANCED EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN II3
PSYC 897PSYCHOLOGY THESIS6
Total Units12

Field Experiences

This program includes field experiences in the form of practicum and internship. These clinical experiences are part of the requirements necessary for certification or licensure in the state of Maryland.

Practicum: During the second year of the program, concurrent with other course work, students enroll in a term-long practicum course. The course involves 240 clock hours (16 hours a week) in a setting where students provide counseling under the supervision of a licensed mental health professional. Practicum also involves attendance and participation in a required weekly class on campus. The practicum placements are arranged by the coordinator of clinical training in consultation with the student and available licensed supervisors. During the practicum, students engage in clinical experiences appropriate for their level of professional training.

Internship: Following successful completion of the practicum, students complete a supervised 300-hour internship in a clinical setting. Practitioner option students may elect to enroll in 6 units of internship and complete 600 clinical hours on a full-time basis (40 hours a week) over one term or on a part-time basis (20 hours a week) over two terms. Internships are supervised on site by a licensed mental health professional and include a weekly class meeting with a faculty member.

Examinations

At the end of the first year of full-time study and in the last term of enrollment, students participate in a formal evaluation process to assess their cumulative knowledge of completed course work and skills in counseling psychology.

  • The advancement examination contains assessment of research methods, community mental health counseling, advanced abnormal psychology, individual appraisal, counseling theories, and ethics. The completion of this evaluation is a prerequisite for the following courses:
    PSYC 718TECHNIQUES OF FAMILY COUNSELING3
    PSYC 721GROUP COUNSELING3
    PSYC 722ADVANCED MULTICULTURAL COUNSELING3
    PSYC 745PRACTICUM IN COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGY3
    PSYC 793INTERNSHIP IN COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGY3
  • The comprehensive examination contains assessment of career counseling, developmental psychology, multicultural counseling and group counseling.

Students will be given two attempts to complete these examinations. Students who do not pass either of these examinations after two attempts will be dismissed from the program.

All degree candidates must meet with their academic advisor to file intended programs of study. This should be done prior to or during the first term of course work. The program can be amended in consultation with the advisor.