MA in Clinical Psychology

The Clinical Psychology MA 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, or closely related fields. Students receive training in research methodology and statistics, core clinical areas including psychopathology, psychological assessment, and psychotherapy theories.

Please note that completion of this or any other Psychology MA 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

  • Clinical fieldwork experience: Students also 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.
  • Options for culminating experience: While all students in our program complete a formal culminating experience, students can select between completing a comprehensive examination or completing a research thesis.
  • “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 who are interested in completing the comprehensive examination are matched with a faculty mentor based on clinical or research interests. Students who seek to complete a research thesis are matched with a faculty research mentor who will guide and supervise the student’s M.A. thesis. Students typically work in their mentor’s research lab or receive consultation on their own independent research project. 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.
  • 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.

Program Overview

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. Students pursuing a research thesis work closely with their research mentor throughout the course of their study. All students must satisfactorily complete a culminating experience that encapsulates the student’s academic, clinical, or research work for the program, either 1) an original research project, leading to a thesis proposal and defense, or 2) completion of additional clinical experiences and successfully passing the Comprehensive Examination. More information can be found in the Department of Psychology Graduate Handbook (.pdf)

Admissions Information

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, average GRE Verbal scores at the 69th percentile, and average GRE Quantitative score at the 38th percentile. 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

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 an online application form,
  • Submitting the following additional materials by e-mail to
    • an official copy of your GRE scores (required for all applicants). Non-psychology majors must also submit Psychology subject area GRE scores.
    • an official or unofficial copy of your undergraduate transcripts
    • your current curriculum vitae (CV) or resume

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 2018-2019 academic year were accepted until January 25th, 2018. On-campus interviews were held between March 9-13. Check back next December for 2019-2020 admissions information.

Program Faculty


Please consult the Graduate Handbook (.pdf) and University Catalog

Or contact our Graduate Administrative Coordinator, Jessica Worland:

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