Master of Arts in Applied Clinical Psychology

The Master of Arts program in Applied Clinical Psychology offers the educational background to prepare students to work as mental health professionals in various settings. It is intended to provide a broad training program in empirically validated clinical psychology which, when accompanied by an additional 12 credits in advanced graduate studies in psychology and/or counseling, can provide the academic training necessary for graduates to apply for master’s level licensing as a Professional Counselor in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The M.A. program requires 48 credits of course work. Optional 12-credit certificate programs are available in the areas of clinical health psychology, and applications in clinical psychology through the School of Behavioral Sciences and Education for students seeking licensure. Additionally, successful completion of this program may be a good indicator of potential to succeed in a doctoral program, and thus may be valuable for individuals seeking to develop their research and or clinical skills to support future doctoral studies. The degree program is intended for both part-time and full-time students, with classes in late afternoon or evenings.

The overall model emphasizes the scientific basis of behavior, including biological, social, and individual difference factors. The training model is health-oriented rather than pathology-oriented and emphasizes the development of helping skills, including both assessment and intervention.

Degree Conferred: M.A.

Program Requirements for Admission

Requirements More Information
GPA Students must have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or above (on a 4.0 scale) in the last 60 credits of course work. The undergraduate work must include a statistics course and a psychology research methods course with grades of B or higher.
Education The applicant must have completed at least 18 undergraduate credits in psychology.
Supporting Materials

Application Deadline

Semester Deadline
Fall April 30

Early application is encouraged, especially for anyone who is hoping to be considered for merit-based awards. Decisions are made on a rolling basis beginning in January.

Application Process

Gather supporting materials and begin the standard graduate application.

Associated Graduate Faculty

The Curriculum

The M.A. in Applied Clinical Psychology requires 48 credits of course work. Included in the core courses are 100 hours of clinical practicum, 600 hours of supervised internship experience, and a master’s research paper.

Psychology Core Courses

Psychology Core Courses (23 credits) provide a foundation in professional ethics, individual differences and cultural diversity, the scientific bases of behavior, and scientific research skills. These courses are intended to facilitate the development of an awareness of the context in which clients live and in which interventions must work.

  • PSYC 500 ETHICS AND PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE IN PSYCHOLOGY AND COUNSELING (3). Prerequisite: admission to the Applied Clinical Psychology or Applied Psychological Research programs
  • PSYC 501 CULTURAL COMPETENCY IN PSYCHOLOGY (3). Prerequisite: admission to the Applied Clinical Psychology or Applied Psychological Research programs
  • PSYC 502 APPLIED SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY (3)
  • PSYC 520 RESEARCH METHODS (4). Prerequisite: admission to the Applied Clinical Psychology or Applied Psychological Research programs
  • PSYC 521 STATISTICS (4). Prerequisites: PSYC 520, admission to program, satisfactory performance on a statistics proficiency exam
  • PSYC 524 BIOLOGICAL BASIS OF BEHAVIOR (3). Prerequisite: admission to the Applied Clinical Psychology or Applied Psychological Research programs
  • PSYC 530 RESEARCH PAPER (3). Prerequisites: PSYC 520, 521, and permission of the program

Clinical Core Courses

Clinical Core Courses (25 credits) provide a general background in clinical diagnosis, assessment, and interventions with appropriate supervised experience to allow students to develop the clinical skills appropriate for master's level practitioners.

  • PSYC 510 HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT (3)
  • PSYC 517 PSYCHOPATHOLOGY (3). Prerequisite: admission to the program
  • PSYC 518 INTERVIEWING AND COUNSELING (3). Prerequisite: admission to the program
  • PSYC 519 THEORIES AND MODELS OF PSYCHOTHERAPY (3). Prerequisites:  PSYC 518, and admission to the program
  • PSYC 540 GROUP INTERVENTIONS (3). Prerequisites: PSYC 518, and admission to the program
  • PSYC 571 TESTS AND MEASUREMENT (3). Prerequisite: admission to the program
  • PSYC 595A CLINICAL PRACTICUM (1). Prerequisites: PSYC 500, 517, 518, and 519; and professional liability insurance
  • PSYC 595B CLINICAL INTERNSHIP (6). Prerequisites: PSYC 595A, and professional liability insurance

Additional Courses in Psychology

  • PSYC 514 PREVENTIVE PSYCHOLOGY (3). Prerequisite: admission to program
  • PSYC 515 CLINICAL HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY (3). Prerequisite: admission to the program
  • PSYC 516 CHILD HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY (3). Prerequisite: admission to the program
  • PSYC 525 FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY (3). Prerequisite: admission to the program
  • PSYC 526 BEHAVIORAL SYSTEMS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE (3). Prerequisite: admission to the program
  • PSYC 535 BEHAVIORAL MANAGEMENT (3)
  • PSYC 572 NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT (3). Prerequisite: PSYC 524, 571
  • PSYC 594 RESEARCH TOPICS (1-18)

For a complete list of courses with descriptions and prerequisites, visit the Whitebook.

Transfer Credits

Penn State allows for the approval of up to 10 transfer credits to graduate programs.

For Current Students


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