The M.S. in Clinical or Counseling Psychology provides training to individuals who wish to promote mental health in individuals, families, organizations, and communities through careers in direct service, leadership, research, and education. The programs strive 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. Students seeking a master's degree in clinical or counseling psychology may choose to enter either the thesis track or the practitioner track.
The thesis track program prepares students to continue on to a doctoral degree program or establish a career as a research coordinator or program manager in applied or basic social science. Students receive training in psychological theory, assessment, intervention, and research application. An empirical thesis is required for completion of the program. Many thesis track graduates have continued their training in clinical, counseling, developmental, applied social, and industrial/organizational psychology Ph.D. programs.
The practitioner track program prepares students to begin employment in psychology under the supervision of a doctoral trained and licensed psychologist. In addition, some practitioner track students apply to Psy.D. programs of study, since these programs attract students who have a background in practicum and internship experiences, as opposed to research and thesis requirements.
Individuals with a master's degree are not eligible to practice independently as psychologists in Maryland but can function as psychology associates under supervision or continue their studies toward eligibility as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). Psychology associates provide services under the supervision of a licensed, doctoral-level psychologist with permission from the Maryland Board of Examiners of Psychologists. In the state of Maryland, the LCPC must meet the criteria set forth by the Maryland Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors and Therapists, including specific coursework as determined by the Board, 60 graduate credit hours, at least two years of supervised postgraduate experience, and successful completion of an exam administered by the Board. The LCPC is eligible to provide services independently in the state of Maryland.
Goal 1: Ethical Conduct. Students will conduct themselves in accordance with the American Psychological Association Ethics Code 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.
Goal 2: Cultural Diversity. Students will demonstrate sensitivity to cultural diversity-to include all aspects of diversity included in Principle E of the American Psychological Association Ethics Code-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.
Goal 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.
Goal 4: Research and Scholarship. Students will apply the scientific approach to evaluate psychological information and to use this information in professional settings (practitioner and thesis tracks). Students will conduct scientific studies to generate new knowledge and will communicate their findings effectively (thesis track).
Goal 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.
Goal 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.
Goal 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 the standards of their profession's code of ethics and with sensitivity to individual differences.
Applicants for the M.S. in Clinical or Counseling Psychology 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 and a grade point average of 3.000 in psychology courses. If the bachelor's degree is in a field other than psychology, 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.).
Detailed admission information (application procedures, required documents, deadlines, etc.) can be found under Admission .
Students who are accepted for admission to the master's program must attend an in-person orientation and registration session prior to the semester in which they first enroll. All new students have online access to the Student Handbook describing program requirements and departmental policies.
The M.S. in Clinical or Counseling Psychology requires 48 graduate credits and allows students to petition to complete a 60-credit degree (see Extended Master's Option). Students may enroll full- or part-time. Full-time students usually complete nine credits per semester (six credits for summer), while part-time students complete six or less credits per semester.
The practice and professions of clinical and counseling psychology are dynamic, evolving, and ever changing. The skills and techniques used are constantly being refined. As our understanding grows, the profession itself changes.
As human service professionals, it is important that Loyola graduates use only the most up-to-date knowledge and skills in clinical and counseling psychology. For these reasons, master's students must complete all requirements for their particular program within seven years, including courses, the thesis track thesis, the practitioner and thesis track externships, and comprehensive exams. Additionally, it is expected that graduates will maintain and update their knowledge and skills through ongoing professional development and continuing education activities.