MA, Psychology, Professional Clinical Counseling

Master of Arts in Psychology, Professional Clinical Counseling

The program is designed to help students acquire a broad-based knowledge of psychology in its historical and cultural contexts, both as an empirical science of human behavior and as a foundation for a professional career in human services. The Master of Arts in Psychology with an emphasis in Professional Clinical Counseling explores areas such as research, bibliographic methods, ethical issues, human diversity, psychopathology, diagnosis, assessment and life span development. It is a practice-oriented program that includes a substantial experimental component in which the student works under supervision at an approved counseling site.

The degree curriculum meets the education requirements for licensure in California as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor or certification in other states and membership in the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). In addition to Professional Clinical Counseling Brandman offers alternative emphasis options including:

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Community Mental Health:  Analyze the role of environmental factors and community resources in providing mental health services.
  • Career Counseling: Apply career development theories and techniques to work/career issues and problems.
  • Advanced Individual Counseling: Implement theory and techniques from multiple orientations to therapeutic problems of individuals.
  • Psychopathology and Diagnostics: Apply diagnostic assessment and criteria to clinical cases.
  • Ethics, Law, and Professional Issues: Apply ethical and professional decision making to issues in the practice of psychotherapy and counseling.
  • Marital Individual, and Group Theories and Interventions: Implement theory and techniques to therapeutic problems and developmental challenges.
  • Assessment: Apply assessment techniques, including diagnostic interviewing, to crisis issues and diagnostic concerns.
  • Psychopharmacology: Analyze the role of psychopharmacological agents on the prevention and treatment of psychological dysfunction.

Admission to the program may be achieved by the completion of the following requirements:

  1. Satisfactorily fulfill graduate admission requirements for Brandman University as stated in the catalog. (See the Graduate Admissions section.)
  2. If the student uses Option Two in the BRANDMAN UNIVERSITY graduate admissions requirements, submit passing scores from one of the following standard admission tests:
    1. Graduate Record Examination (GRE): achieve a minimum score of 300 on the combined scores of the verbal and quantitative subsections of the GRE or score at or above the 60th percentile on the Graduate Subject Test in psychology.
    2. Miller’s Analogies Test (MAT): achieve a scaled score of 400.
  3. Admission is also contingent on the quality of the autobiography and the recommendation forms. The student should submit an autobiography, which must be at least three to four typed pages in length and conform to the following guidelines:
    1. Include childhood, family and (if applicable) marital data and values derived from these experiences in relation to your choice of a career in marriage and family therapy/counseling. Incorporate two or three relevant experiences that have helped to shape your development and personality; and
    2. Discuss how you arrived at this point in your career development. Include any relevant professional experience.
  4. Submit three recommendation forms from individuals who know you in a professional, and/or academic, and /or personal context (i.e. skills with youth, intellectual problem solving skills, character). Relatives may not submit recommendations.
  5. The application process includes submission of both the Graduate Admissions application and the Psychology program supplemental form. The application packet must be complete, including both the autobiography and recommendation forms. 
  6. Note that licensing and certification agencies typically have regulations denying licensure or certification to anyone who has been convicted of a felony, most especially one which reflects an offense which would be a cause for disciplinary action if committed by one already holding the license. Please contact the licensing board in the state you plan to license for clarification of how a conviction may affect licensing. This clarification should be done before the application for admission to this program is submitted.
  7. Students must have regular admission status prior to enrollment in graduate coursework. Students from the Washington Campuses are permitted to enroll in up to 12 credits of graduate coursework prior to receiving regular admission.

(Offered at California campuses only)


Foundation courses

PSYU 501 The Counseling Process 3
PSYU 508 Life Span Development/Aging and Long session Care 3
PSYU 511 Psychological Assessment 3
PSYU 532 Research & Bibliographic Methods 3
PSYU 578 Ethical & Professional Issues 3


Marriage Therapy/Domestic Violence

PSYU 561 Marital Systems & Studies and Domestic Violence 3


Multicultural Counseling and Techniques

PSYU 613 Clinical Issues in Human Diversity 3


Adult Counseling

PSYU 570 Advanced Psychopathology & Diagnosis 3
PSYU 575 Advanced Individual Counseling I 3
PSYU 576 Advanced Individual Counseling II 3


Specialized Topics

PSYU 533 Psychopharmacology 3
PSYU 565 Child/Adolescent Psychopathology and Child Abuse Reporting 3
PSYU 581 Assessment and Treatment of Sexual Disorders 3
PSYU 582 Community and Environmental Mental Health 3
PSYU 586 Assessment and Treatment of Substance Abuse 3
PSYU 595 Crisis and Trauma Counseling 3
PSYU 617 Transition to Work and Career 3
PSYU 652 Theory and Practice of Group Counseling 3



PSYU 688, 689, 690 3,3,3


Total Credits 63