MA in Clinical Psychology
Location: AU Santa Barbara
Credits for Degree: 90 quarter credits
Standard Mode of Instruction: Classroom, Online
Standard time to completion: 24 months
The Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology is an applied psychology program designed to prepare culturally sensitive individuals who want to be professionally licensed as Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) and/or as Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC). The program meets the educational and training requirements of the Board of Behavioral Sciences for professional licensure as specified in the CA Business and Professional Code Section 4980.36.
Antioch’s Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology Program is designed for a diverse student body, including working adults. Classes are offered in three-hour blocks in the daytime and evenings. Additionally, some classes are offered online and on weekends, enabling students who follow the required course of full-time study to complete their degree in 24 months. Flexible options may be available including part-time and cross-campus registration.
The Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology Program provides education and training in the theory and practice of psychotherapy and meets the educational standards for a MFT and/or LPCC license. A licensed MFT in California is able to offer psychotherapy to individuals, couples, and families to facilitate quality of life and maintain healthy family and interpersonal relationships. A LPCC focuses on counseling for purposes of improving mental health. Within the Master’s in Clinical Psychology Program, students also have an option of developing expertise in one of three concentrations; either Somatic Psychotherapy, Latinx Mental Health or Healthy Aging. The concentration in Somatic Psychotherapy is completed in an additional 9th quarter beyond the full time 8 quarter completion of an MA in Clinical Psychology. The Latinx Mental and Healthy Aging Concentrations can be completed within 24 months (8 quarters) with extra course content building on the foundations for meeting MA in Clinical Psychology requirements.
The Program emphasizes the academic, practical and personal knowledge that will enable each graduate to gain competence in core areas of study in Psychology including; diagnosis, treatment planning and psychological interventions. Multicultural competence, community mental health, and ethical practices are emphasized throughout the curriculum. Training in the application of psychology is a primary goal. Graduates find career opportunities working with diverse populations in a range of settings, including mental health, non-profit, school, medical, and private practice.
The MACP Program has a mission consistent with Antioch University’s tradition of community-based education and awareness of social issues. The Program is designed to educate and train professionals in theory and practice while remaining responsive to social change. The classroom experience makes use of experiential teaching methods and a “hands-on” approach to learning, integrated with direct practice learning of psychotherapeutic skills in community-based clinical traineeships.
Students receive a solid foundation in family systems, community mental health, and developmental theories as well as an appreciation for multicultural psychology. Central to the program is the development of self-awareness, respect for diversity, broad-based clinical skills, and the capacity for critical thinking. Antioch exposes students to a variety of theoretical orientations to meet the needs of diverse populations and communities. Faculty are seasoned professionals, many of whom are actively engaged in clinical practice and/or supervision and use techniques drawn from a range of psychotherapeutic orientations and theories. Students are assisted in selecting and developing an orientation consistent with their values and worldview. Teaching methods combine lecture and discussion with experiential learning techniques. This model of learning requires that students access their personal experiences to use as a beginning reference point when acquiring new knowledge and clinical and professional skills.
Students who graduate from the Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology Program will demonstrate
- Theoretical Foundations of Professional Psychology
- Clinical Skills Integration
- Professional/Legal and Ethical Competence
- Multicultural Competence
- Interpersonal Competence/Clinical Suitability
- Critical Thinking
The Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology is a 90-credit degree that meets California licensing requirements for Marriage and Family Therapists. To complete the degree, a student must meet both a credit requirement and a residency requirement. Residency is defined as the number of quarters of study for which a student must be enrolled. In the MACP program, students must be enrolled for a minimum of 90 credits and 8 full-time quarters or the equivalent. Some of the coursework requirements are satisfied through weekend and online courses. A full-time quarter consists of approximately 9-13 credits. All quarters of residency must be completed for graduation.
Students also have options to pursue their Master’s in Clinical Psychology Degrees with a Concentration in Somatic Psychotherapy (102 credits in 27 months), Latinx Mental Health (90 credits in 24 months) or, with a Concentration in Healthy Aging (95 credits in 24 months). The Program also offers a track for students interested in meeting qualifications for both MFT and LPCC by completing 9 additional credits of coursework required for LPCC licensure. The Latinx Mental Health and Healthy Aging concentrations and LPCC additional coursework may be completed in 8 full-time quarters. Students must complete their degree within five calendar years of the first admission including any leaves of absence or periods of withdrawal. (See Admissions and Registration policies for further detail).
Students are able to transfer up to 9 credits of graduate psychology courses taken elsewhere if they meet Antioch University’s requirements for transfer credit. Credits must be current and no older than 5 years. To apply for transfer credit, obtain the Permission to Transfer Credits Form from the Student Services Office.
Board of Behavioral Sciences Education Requirements
Students awarded the degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University meet the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) curriculum requirements for licensure as MFTs in the State of California and can also meet academic requirements towards LPCC licensure in California. Students interested in licensure in a state other than California should contact that state’s professional licensing body for information on academic and clinical training requirements for licensure in that state.
BBS regulations specify the coursework and professional training experience that must be completed within a 90-credit degree. Degree requirements for all MFT track students include 225 face to face hours of clinical training experience.
Personal Psychotherapy Requirement
The Psychology Program requires all students in the Clinical Program to engage in personal therapy and to demonstrate that they have begun psychotherapy before the end of their second quarter by submitting the “Begin Personal Psychotherapy” form to the Director of Clinical Training. This requirement is based upon the belief that psychotherapy is a vital component of the training and growth of psychotherapists, and that it is the professional responsibility of every therapist to identify, address, and work through personal issues that may have an impact on clinical interactions with future clients. Graduate students in the MACP Program are required to complete 20 hours of personal individual, couples, family or group therapy during the course of the program. This requirement is met by seeing a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Licensed Psychologist, or a Board Certified Psychiatrist. Once the 20 hour requirement has been met the “Completion of Psychotherapy” form is submitted to the Director of Clinical Training. Psychotherapy hours earned prior to beginning the Program are not eligible for meeting this requirement. Students are advised to plan for this requirement and to complete their hours early in their enrollment in order to finish prior to graduation.
Dual Relationships in Psychology
In compliance with the CAMFT, LPCC, and APA Codes of Ethics, dual relationships are not permitted. A dual relationship in clinical practice occurs when a therapist allows an additional connection to develop with a client outside the boundaries of therapy. In the Psychology Program, a dual relationship occurs when someone becomes the student’s instructor or supervisor who has a pre-existing significant relationship with the student, such as parent or child, spouse or partner, business associate, client or therapist. This kind of dual relationship has potential for harm because one person has the power to exploit the other by engaging in favoritism, prejudicial evaluation, or abuse of power. In order to avoid such relationships, students may not take an Antioch course from a faculty member if that faculty member is currently their therapist or has been their therapist in the past.
Furthermore, students may not see a member of the Adjunct or Core Faculty or their current traineeship supervisor for psychotherapy in order to meet the Program’s therapy requirement. It is acceptable however, to enter therapy after graduation with someone who was formerly the student’s instructor.
Students may elect to graduate with a concentration in addition to the coursework in Marriage and Family Therapy. Concentrations generally require additional academic units and coursework in addition to the ones required by the degree program. In some cases, courses in the concentration may substitute for those in the required degrees.
Currently the MACP Program offers concentrations in Somatic Psychotherapy, Latinx Mental Health and Healthy Aging.
- The concentration in Somatic Psychotherapy offers training in a unique therapeutic approach that examines the self through an integrated body-mind lens focusing on applied practice skills in various modalities and with diverse populations addressing trauma-related symptoms and other stressors.
- The concentration in Latinx Mental Health includes courses designed to develop proficiency in providing mental health services to Latino and Hispanic consumers. Students in this program are required to be proficient in Spanish and English.
- The concentration in Healthy Aging is designed to develop proficiency in providing counseling services to older adults and their families.
In exceptional circumstances, a student may apply to do an Independent Study (PSC 6110) in order to meet a program requirement As a rule, core courses may not be taken as Independent Study; however, the faculty may make exceptions where there are special circumstances. Student requests for Independent Study will not be honored when the course is being offered during the quarter. Courses in which there is a strong experiential or skills practice component may not be taken as Independent Study.
Independent Study courses should have both a breadth and a depth component. Courses are developed with the Student Advisor and require approval of the Chair prior to registration. If approved, the student and Advisor identify an evaluator for the student’s learning. Evaluators assist students in setting learning objectives, creating assignments that will demonstrate the learning acquired and assigning the number of units to be granted for the work (calculated as one unit for each 10 hours of study). Finally, evaluators write the narrative evaluation for the course. Experiential Learning and Confidentiality in the Classroom
Experiential Learning and Confidentiality in the Classroom
Classes in the MACP Program offer an opportunity for students to gain insight about themselves and their interpersonal impact on others through feedback from classmates and instructors. Experiential education fosters this type of learning through shared experience and an active focus on the application of new learning.
The use of this model to acquire clinical and professional skills requires informed consent from students for disclosure in the classroom or written assignments. In order to create safety in this learning environment, students are asked to maintain confidentiality with regard to the comments and experiences of other students. Respecting the privacy of others is most important in managing the risk and enjoying the benefits of experiential learning.
Research with Human Subjects
Although Antioch Psychology Programs do not require a Master’s Thesis, if a student is interested in conducting a research study it is important to be aware of the need for review of proposed research by a research ethics committee whenever human subjects are the focus of research. Proposed research must be submitted to the Ethics Committee for review. Ethical principles in human research include confidentiality, informed consent, care of subjects, and communication of the results of your research. Please confer with your faculty advisor or the Program Chair for information on how to obtain a Human Subjects Committee Review (from the Institutional Review Board).
The clinical traineeship allows students to gain knowledge and develop psychotherapeutic skills by providing services in a variety of settings such as non-profit, government, educational, health care or rehabilitation sites. The MACP Program maintains relationships with sites serving a variety of populations in the tri-county area (Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo Counties), as well as some sites in Los Angeles County. Students are required to obtain 225 hours of face to face client contact at their traineeship in order to graduate from the program. The Healthy Aging concentration requires that 75 of the 225 client hours include in-person contact and/or client advocacy with older individuals and their families. The Latinx Mental Health concentration requires that 75 of the 225 client hours include in-person contact and/or client advocacy with Latinx clients. Hours earned during the clinical traineeship are counted towards the 3,000 hours of experience required for the MFT license. Students opting for the dual track of MFT and LPCC must complete 280 face to face hours.
To be eligible for traineeship, students must complete and receive full credit for 18 quarter units, for the following courses:
Theories of Psychotherapy in Context
Clinical Skills I
Clinical Skills II
Clinical Skills with Families and Couples
Domestic Violence, Spousal, Elder, and Child Abuse
Professional Ethics & Law
Practicum: Professional Orientation
Students will not be able to accrue traineeship hours until these requirements have been satisfied and they are enrolled in a Practicum course. Students must have a traineeship site to be enrolled in the Practicum sequence.
Students should be familiar with Antioch University’s Clinical Training Handbook and the regulations governing the practice of marriage and family therapy as defined by the BBS. It is also recommended that students consult the BBS website periodically for updated information (http://www.bbs.ca.gov). LPCC licensure began in CA in 2012. The degree requirement is 280 face-to-face hours. Students interested in this license should seek updated detailed information on the BBS website (https://www.bbs.ca.gov/applicants/lpcc.html).
The Traineeship Application Process and Documentation
Prior to starting their traineeship students participate in a professional practicum orientation class. Students are responsible for seeking and identifying traineeship sites on their own. The Director of Clinical Training and Student Advisor are both available to provide consultation in this process. A list of approved traineeship sites with contact information is also available to students on the Clinical Training Sakai site.
Upon acceptance to a traineeship site, a Clinical Training Agreement is completed and signed prior to the start of training. The Clinical Training Agreement is a contract for the student’s work in the traineeship and is required by the BBS. The site administrator, the clinical supervisor, the student, and the MACP Director of Clinical Training all sign this document. The original Agreement is kept in the student’s permanent file and electronic copies are distributed to all signers. At the end of each thirteen-week quarter the supervisor completes an End of Quarter Evaluation rating the student’s progress for that quarter. Hours are accrued and BBS paperwork retained by the student for future application for MFT licensure. New Clinical Training Agreements are completed if and when the student changes sites or supervisors.
All current and active students in traineeship must be covered by professional liability insurance which is provided by the University. Proof of this coverage is requested by many sites and is available electronically on the Clinical Training Sakai site.
Clinical Training Requirements
As part of the degree program, students participate in clinical traineeships within community agencies that provide them with experience in psychotherapy and counseling under the supervision of a licensed professional. Students are required to accrue 225 hours of face to face counseling experience with individuals, couples, families, and/or groups. Students enrolled in the Healthy Aging Concentration are required to complete 75 hours of face to face counseling and/or client advocacy with older adults and their families. Students enrolled in the Latinx Mental Health Concentration are required to complete 75 hours of face to face contact and/or client advocacy with Latinx or Hispanic clients. Supervised hours may also be applied toward licensure with the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS).
The required 280 face to face hours for LPCC track students are not counted towards LPCC licensure as determined by the Board of Behavioral Sciences. Students in the LPCC track accumulate hours towards LPCC licensure after they have graduated the program and received their PPC number.
Clinical Training Probation
Students are reviewed and evaluated for clinical suitability and skills in all clinical courses including both in-class instruction and field experience. Clinical suitability is defined as the ability to adopt a professional demeanor by establishing good personal and professional boundaries, accepting feedback with minimal defensiveness and/or reactivity, managing personal distress as well as freedom from behavioral or emotional problems that interfere with interpersonal functioning. Students in the MFT track are expected to abide by the ethical standards for Marriage and Family Therapists established by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists; and by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences’ statutes and regulations relating to the practice of Marriage and Family Therapy. Students in the LPCC track must abide by the ethical standards established by their licensing board.
When students demonstrate challenges in the area of Clinical Suitability as defined by the Program’s Clinical Suitability criteria and identified either by the student’s instructor, advisor, Director of Clinical Training, or Program Chair, a “Clinical Suitability Form” is completed to identify areas of concern and in need of development. At any time in the Program, a student may be placed on Clinical Training Probation and/or dismissed from the MACP Program for failure to demonstrate appropriate clinical skills and/or violation of the ethical principles or statutes and regulations for marriage and family therapists.
How to Apply
- Complete the online admissions application.
- Official transcript indicating Bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited college or university
- One essay
- Two letters of recommendation
- The program does not require that applicants submit GRE scores.
Admission Review Process
An application will be reviewed once the following are received by the Office of Admissions:
- Online admission application (including application fee or fee waiver)
- Unofficial or official transcript indicating Bachelor’s degree conferral from a regionally accredited college or university
- Admission essay
- At least one letter of recommendation
Upon recommendation from the Admissions Committee an applicant is scheduled for a group interview. The group interview lasts approximately 1 1/2 hours, and includes members of the Admissions Committee and between 3 and 6 applicants. An individual interview is offered to applicants that reside out of state. As part of the process, at the time of the group interview each applicant is also asked to respond in writing to a brief essay question.
Upon successful completion of the interview and recommendation from the Admissions Committee, the applicant is notified via email (only) of an offer of admission. Additionally, applicants who are not granted admission will be notified via email as well. Antioch University Santa Barbara particularly seeks qualified candidates who will contribute to building a student population diverse in gender, ethnicity, age, class, physical abilities, learning styles, sexual orientation, professional backgrounds, and community experiences.
Current Tuition and Fees
University Tuition and Fees