2020-2021 Graduate Academic Catalogue 
    Jun 18, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Academic Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Clinical Professional Counseling, MS


The MS in Clinical Professional Counseling provides training to individuals who wish to promote mental health in individuals, couples, families, and other groups. The program strives to provide a learning environment that facilitates the development of skills in critical thinking, assessment, and intervention and one that is grounded in an appreciation for both psychological science and human diversity.

This program prepares students to become Master's level mental health practitioners. The program meets the current coursework requirements for the Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) credential in the state of Maryland and also meets coursework requirements for similar credentials in other states, however applicants are encouraged to determine the licensure requirements in the state in which they plan to practice. Graduates typically go on to obtain the supervised postgraduate clinical experience hours required for LCPC licensure or work as Psychological Associates under the supervision of a licensed psychologist.

Learning Aims

Learning Aim 1: Ethical Conduct. Students will conduct themselves in accordance with applicable ethics codes in all interactions and activities in their roles as graduate students and will demonstrate the effective application of ethical decision-making processes when confronted with ethical dilemmas.

Learning Aim 2: Cultural Diversity. Students will demonstrate sensitivity to cultural diversity by behaving inclusively, demonstrating receptivity to feedback, and fostering collaboration based on awareness of privilege in all roles (e.g., peer, clinician, supervisee, assessor, researcher) and in all settings (e.g., classroom, externship site, lab) in which students represent Loyola University Maryland.

Learning Aim 3: Professional and Personal Demeanor. Students will display professional conduct to include written and verbal communications, attire, and interactions appropriate to all settings where students represent Loyola University Maryland, as aligned with departmental and agency policy.

Learning Aim 4: Research and Scholarship. Students will apply the scientific approach to evaluate psychological information and to use this information in professional settings.

Learning Aim 5: Appraisal and Assessment. Students will act in accordance with professional standards in the selection, use, scoring, and interpretation of appraisal and assessment measures appropriate to each client's referral question. Students will use this information to inform case conceptualization and diagnosis and effectively communicate these findings to clients and referral sources.

Learning Aim 6: Treatment and Intervention. Students will demonstrate the ability to develop and implement evidence-based treatment and intervention plans with groups and individuals from a diverse society.

Learning Aim 7: Supervision. Students will actively participate in and effectively utilize supervision while engaged in professional activities. Students will seek out additional supervision when warranted and will be receptive to feedback from supervisors. Students will be aware of and receive/provide supervision in accordance with applicable ethics codes and with sensitivity to individual differences.

Admission Criteria

Applicants for the MS in Clinical Professional Counseling should have a strong undergraduate academic background in psychology. Students must have a bachelor's degree in psychology or another field. The applicant's bachelor's degree must be from an accredited college or university with a minimum overall grade point average of 3.000. Applications are considered for fall admission only. The following minimum prerequisite coursework must have been completed at the undergraduate level: introductory psychology, psychopathology, and at least one course relating to the experimental or statistical areas of social science, such as experimental psychology, research methods, psychological statistics, or tests and measurement. All of these courses must have been offered through a social sciences department (e.g., psychology, sociology, etc.).

All applicants must submit three letters of recommendation. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are optional. Admitted applicants are required to pass a background check as well as submit immunization records before they can matriculate.

Detailed admission information (application procedures, required documents, deadlines, etc.) can be found under Admission .

Grading and Academic Dismissal

University-wide academic standards can be found in the section on Academic Standards and Dismissal under Academic Regulations and Policies .

In addition, students who receive a grade of less than B- (2.670) in any course will not be permitted to count this course for their degree. Students receiving a grade of less than B- in a required course must retake and successfully complete the course and are encouraged to meet with their advisor to discuss this issue. Both the original and retake grades remain on the student's transcript and will be calculated into the cumulative quality point average (QPA).

Students receiving a grade of less than B- in an elective course must meet with their advisor to determine if they should retake the same course or substitute an alternative elective. In either case, the original course grade remains on the student's transcript and is calculated into the cumulative quality point average.

It is the student's responsibility to make certain that the minimum QPA requirement of 3.000, which is a B average, is maintained. Students who fall below this level of achievement will be placed on academic probation for one semester, and must meet with their advisor to discuss their progress. Failure to raise the cumulative QPA to 3.000 in the following semester will result in dismissal from the program. Moreover, either the receipt of one F (0.000) or the accumulation of two grades of C+ (2.330) or lower also will result in dismissal from the program.

Academic dismissal may also result from excessive course withdrawal, academic dishonesty, or other unethical unprofessional conduct reflecting upon a student's ability to enter into the academic or professional field in which the degree is being offered. If the Psychology Department perceives that a student is not progressing satisfactorily in the development of the competencies and behaviors required at his or her level of professional development, a Professional Assessment Review (PAR) will be conducted for the purpose of remediation or dismissal.

Program Requirements

Students who are accepted for admission to the master's program must attend an in-person orientation session in August prior to the start of the fall semester in which they first enroll. All new students have online access to the Student Handbook describing program requirements and departmental policies.

The MS in Clinical Professional Counseling requires 60 graduate credits. Students must enroll full-time and will complete coursework in a structured sequence.

As human service professionals, it is important that Loyola graduates use only the most up-to-date knowledge and skills in clinical psychology. For these reasons, master's students must complete all requirements for their particular program within four years, including courses, practicum, and externship.

Practicum and Externship Training

The practicum and externship experiences offer the opportunity for students to apply concepts developed in academic coursework. Partnerships between the department and a variety of community organizations have been established to fulfill student externship requirements and needs. The externship allows students to gain practical training and experience under the supervision of a licensed mental health professional in a community-based facility, hospital or other mental health setting.

The department maintains an extensive list of approved externship sites which meet the training requirements of the program. Students work with the director of field education to select sites which are appropriate to their experiences and desired goals. All approved sites must be located within the state of Maryland or within close proximity to Maryland, including Washington, D.C., northern Virginia, or southern Pennsylvania. Sites located outside of a one-hour drive from Baltimore may be approved at the discretion of the Program Director upon formal request.

Transfer credits for practicum or externship are not accepted.

Students must successfully complete a formal 100-hour practicum experience supervised by Loyola faculty members prior to beginning their externship training.

Students are required to complete a total of 600 hours of externship training during the summer and fall semesters of the third year in the program. A minimum of 40 percent of the total training hours should be in the direct provision of services to clients.