The M.A. in Clinical Psychology program at CSUN provides a unique and rigorous curriculum designed to prepare students to be more competitive candidates for Ph.D. or Psy.D. programs in Clinical Psychology, Counseling Psychology, Community Psychology, or closely related fields. Students receive training in research methodology and statistics, core clinical areas including psychopathology, psychological assessment, and psychotherapy theories. Clinical students are also matched with a faculty mentor based on their research and/or clinical interests. Additionally, students receive hands-on experience in supervised clinical fieldwork.
Please note that completion of this or any other Psychology M.A. program does not confer eligibility for licensure. Doctoral level graduate education is required for licensure as a psychologist in all 50 US states.
Unique Features of Our Program
- Program Options: The M.A in Clinical Psychology program has two options: a) clinical research and b) clinical fieldwork. Students in the clinical research option engage in independent research projects, under the guidance of a faculty mentor, leading to graduate thesis projects. Students in the clinical fieldwork option participate in fieldwork placements, under the guidance of a faculty mentor, in clinical practicum settings leading to the completion of comprehensive examinations.
- “Mentor-match” model: similar to many doctoral programs, our program matches each admitted student with a faculty mentor based on mutual research or clinical interests. Applicants rank up to 3 potential faculty mentors in their applications to the program. Students in the clinical research option work in their mentor’s research lab and/or receive guidance on their thesis project. Students in the clinical fieldwork option participate in fieldwork placements and receive mentorship on practicum placements and the successful completion of comprehensive examinations Since admission to the program depends in part on fit with a faculty mentor, students are strongly encouraged to review program faculty bios (see “Program Faculty” below) for more information on their areas of expertise and interest. Potential applicants may also wish to contact program faculty mentors prior to applying if they have questions about their work, interests, or available opportunities.
- Clinical fieldwork experience: All students receive hands-on clinical fieldwork experience through one of our in-house clinics; our Assessment Clinic or our Mood & Anxiety Disorders Clinic, both supervised by full-time clinical faculty who are licensed Clinical Psychologists. Fieldwork is rarely available at the MA level, and provides invaluable experience in clinical-service delivery.
Opportunities for teaching experience: We offer several opportunities for students to gain valuable, hands-on teaching experience, ranging from assisting a faculty member in their course instruction to obtaining a paid position as an independent instructor for an introductory psychology course.
Our curriculum trains graduate students using the "scientist-practitioner" model, and is designed to be completed in 2 years of full-time study. Students receive extensive training in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of psychological disorders as well as in quantitative research methods and statistics. Classroom instruction and seminars are supplemented by field work training.
Master of Arts in Psychology
|Clinical Research Option and Clinical Research Option with Culminating Experience||Clinical Fieldwork Option and Clinical Fieldwork Option with Culminating Experience|
|Required Core Courses All Options (21 units)|
PSY 624/L Advanced Psychological Assessment and Lab (3/1)
PSY 628 Fundamentals of Psychotherapy (3)
PSY 485US/S Univariate Statistics and Lab (3/2)
PSY 692A Seminar in Research Methodology (3)
PSY 655BC/CC Fieldwork in Psychological Services (3)
|Clinical Research Option (10 units)||Clinical Fieldwork Option (12 Units)|
PSY 524/L Multivariate Analysis Computer and Lab (3/1)
|PSY 655BB/CC Fieldwork in Psychological Services (3,3,3,3)|
|Clinical Research Culminating Experience (6 units)||Clinical Fieldwork Culminating Experience (3 units)|
PSY 698C Thesis or Graduate Project (3,3)
PSY 697C Directed Comprehensive Exam (3)
Our program is highly competitive, admitting only about 12 students per year. Over the past 2 years, successful applicants to our program had an average undergraduate GPA of 3.6. For students completing a research thesis, successful applicants are typically able to clearly articulate their research interests and fit with their potential faculty mentor(s). Prior research experience is preferred but not required.
Prior to enrollment in the program, students must have obtained an undergraduate degree and have completed at least 18 units in undergraduate psychology courses, including the following specific prerequisite courses or equivalents, which are required by the Clinical Psychology program:
- Introductory Psychology
- Abnormal Psychology
- Statistics and Lab
- Research Methods and Lab
Applying to the program
Please note that it is a CSUN Graduate Studies policy that you can only apply to 1 graduate program. Therefore, you cannot apply to both the Psychological Science and Clinical MA program.
To apply, you must submit
1) an application to the University: consult the Office of Admissions and Records for formal University application procedures:
2) an application to the Department by
- Completing the online application form. To create your login and complete the online application, please visit our application webpage.
- Submitting the following additional materials by e-mail to ClinicalPsychMA@csun.edu
- an official or unofficial copy of your undergraduate transcripts
- your current curriculum vitae (CV) or resume
- three letters of recommendation
Please note that we use a “mentor-match” model, in which each admitted student is matched with a faculty mentor. In your departmental application, you will be asked to rank up to 3 potential faculty mentors, and to describe why you would like to work with them. Please carefully review program faculty bios (links below under “Program Faculty”) to assess your fit with potential mentors. Students may wish to contact potential faculty mentors in advance.
Deadline: Online applications for the Clinical Psychology MA program for the 2022-2023 academic year will be open November 15, 2022. Applications will be accepted until the deadline of January 19, 2023. Selected candidates will be invited for virtual, Zoom interviews. Interviews will be held via Zoom in March 2022.
Clinical Option Letter of Recommendation Form
Three letters of recommendation are needed. Send completed forms to: firstname.lastname@example.org
University Graduate Admission Application Forms:
Admissions and Records Student Forms includes change of objective, diploma application, graduation date change, change of address, name change, and more.
Clinical Psychologists (i.e., Core Clinical Program Faculty):
Applied Behavior Analysts:
Associated Psychology Faculty:
- Sara Berzenski
- Stefanie Drew
- Elise Fenn
- Sun-Mee Kang
- Bradley McAuliff
- Mark Otten
- Jill Quilici
- Abe Rutchick
- Omar Ruvalcaba
- Yolanda Vasquez-Salgado
- Erica Wohldmann
Please consult the University Catalog
Department Hours: M-F (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Phone: (818) 677-2827
Fax: (818) 677-2829