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  • Center for Achievement in Psychological Science
  • Students from Dr. Otten's Lab
  • Psychology Department Faculty Fall 2017

    Your Psychology Faculty

Clinical Psychology Option

What opportunities are available to Clinical Psychologists?

The Clinical Psychology program is designed for persons who wish to develop skills and knowledge related to the organization and provision of psychological services. The emphasis, however, is not on a private-practice service model. Students who wish to enter an accredited doctoral program in community, counseling, or clinical psychology following the M.A. should select this option. For graduate students to be competitive for employment in clinical-service delivery positions as well as for highly competitive doctoral-level APA-approved internship positions, fieldwork in a variety of settings is an invaluable experience; this program offers numerous opportunities for such training. It should be noted that doctoral level graduate education is required for licensure as a psychologist in all 50 states. The 48-unit curriculum of the program and the associated fieldwork will enhance the opportunities available to our students for acceptance into highly competitive doctoral programs offering the final pathway to licensing. The program provides a high quality graduate alternative to potential doctoral-level students who are often unable to attend graduate programs for socioeconomic or geographic reasons. For those students looking for employment, our broad-based training program will lead to entry level supervised clinical-service delivery positions in Health Management Organizations (HMOs), private agencies and multidisciplinary treatment team centers where knowledge of psychological principles may be used to promote prevention and health maintenance programs.

What can I expect from the Clinical Psychology program?


The field of Clinical Psychology differs from many other areas of graduate study in that the predominant training model for clinical psychologists involves the "scientist-practitioner" approach. In line with this model, the Clinical Psychology program trains graduate students in:

(a) conducting research in the scientific study of behavioral principles as they apply to psychological and physical health and pathology,

(b) applying psychological theory and methods in the area of human services.

This option has a 48-unit curriculum designed as the master's level component (two years) of graduate training. Clinical graduate students receive extensive training in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of psychological disorders as well as in quantitative research methods. Classroom instruction and seminars are supplemented by field work training beginning in the first semester of graduate study and continuing, pending student interest, into the second year as well. 

All students must satisfactorily complete a culminating experience that will encapsulate the student’s academic, clinical, or research work for the program.  For some students, this will involve undertaking an original research project leading to a thesis proposal and defense.  For other students, this may involve additional clinical experiences and successfully passing the Comprehensive Examination. Specific academic, formatting, and oral defense requirements for a thesis are found in the Department of Psychology Graduate Handbook (.pdf)

What are the admission qualifications for the Clinical Psychology degree?

Admission to classified graduate status in this option requires an undergraduate major in psychology. Applicants who do not have a major in psychology are required to complete core undergraduate courses prior to acceptance to classified status; they should study the Graduate Handbook and consult with their graduate advisor about these requirements. A 3.0 grade point average is required, except on approval by the admission committee of the Clinical Psychology program.

Enrollment is limited; it is not possible to admit all of the qualified students who apply. GRE scores above the 50th percentile are highly desirable. A personal statement, transcripts, letters of recommendation and personal interviews are also required. Information for prospective applicants may be obtained from the Psychology Graduate Office. Early application, careful study of the Department of Psychology Graduate Handbook and of the University Catalog (.pdf), and consultation with the graduate advisor are strongly recommended.


Prerequisites required by the Clinical Psychology program include completing at least 18 units in undergraduate psychology courses, including the following specific courses:

  • Introductory Psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Statistics and Lab
  • Research Methods and Lab

How do I apply to the Clinical Psychology Program?

Online applications for the Clinical Psychology MA program for the 2018-2019 academic year will be accepted until January 25th, 2018. To create your login and complete the online application, please visit our application web page.

*Please note that GRE scores are REQUIRED for all applicants. GRE Psychology Test scores required for non-psychology majors, optional for psychology majors.

Consult the Graduate Handbook (.pdf) and University Catalog

If you have further questions, contact the Psychology Department.

Department Hours: M-F (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Phone: (818) 677-2827
Fax: (818) 677-2829

Program Faculty

**Additional forms may be found on the Graduate Forms page.