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Pepperdine | Graduate School of Education and Psychology

MA in Clinical Psychology (Daytime Format) FAQs

 I am interested in this program. Where should I begin?

The first step in the process, and the best way to get all of your questions answered, is to attend an information meeting. For a schedule of upcoming meetings and to RSVP to the meeting of your choice, visit here. If you're unable to attend, contact us at 310.258.2850 to set up an appointment.

 What's the admission period? When will I know if I am accepted?

We admit students one time per year and operate on a "Competitive Entry" process. This means we review and accept applicants after the application deadline and all applications are compared to each other. For application deadlines click here. Decisions go out mid-March.

 Do I need to send in all application materials at once?

No. You can send in different parts of your application as they are completed. We will hold any materials that arrive under your name, but we will only begin tracking you as an applicant when we receive your full application and fee.

 What are my chances of being accepted into the program?

In seeking quality applicants, we utilize a holistic approach in our thorough review of each and every application. This means that we do not disqualify any applicant based on any one part of their application.

 What are the admission requirements?

Admission requirements can be found here.

 Will professional references be accepted?

Please refer to our Admission Requirements webpage.

 Can foundation classes be waived?

Because students are expected to have an excellent foundation in psychology with a degree in psychology or closely related field, there are no foundation classes in the day program. It is designed as a lock-step, cohort-based program in which students attend all classes together with their cohort.

 Can the GRE be waived?

Yes. Please submit an Exception Request Form in order to waive the GRE.

 I am an international applicant. What additional admission requirements do I need to submit?

Please refer to our Admission Requirements webpage.

 What is the difference between the two master's programs in psychology?

The MA in Psychology program provides students with a theoretical and practical understanding of the principles of psychology within the framework of a strong clinical emphasis. This program prepares individuals for doctoral study in psychology or positions in human services, vocational counseling, or marketing.

The MA in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy provides the knowledge and experience needed to work as a clinician, in private practice or with an agency, by preparing students for the Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT) and/or the Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor License in the state of California. As part of the curriculum, students are required to gain supervised counseling experience in approved clinical settings. This program is designed for students who wish to gain knowledge and develop skills necessary for providing high-quality psychotherapeutic services in a variety of settings. It is also excellent preparation for doctoral programs.

The MA in Clinical Psychology Program is offered in a daytime format or evening format. The daytime format program is a cohort-based program designed for full-time students. It is offered on Pepperdine's Drescher Graduate Campus in Malibu and can be completed in two academic years. For more information about the evening format program, click here.

 How long does the program take to complete?

The day program takes two academic years to complete and spans six academic terms. It begins in the fall. Students are enrolled in a fall (15 weeks), spring (15 weeks), and summer (7 weeks) term during each of the two years of the program.

 When and where are the classes offered?

The full-time, day-format program is available only at our Malibu campus. Classes are held from 9 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 4 or 5:30 pm. During the first semester, students attend class two full days and one half day. From the second semester on, students come to campus twice a week for a full day for their classes, which allows time during the rest of the week for students to work at their practicum sites.

During the fall and spring terms, each class meets once a week; during the shorter summer term, each class meets twice per week. The program is lock-step and the schedule of classes is predetermined.

 Can I change programs if my interests change?

You may switch from the day program to one of the evening programs; however, it is not possible to transfer into the day program from an evening program or to transfer back to the day program once a switch to the evening program has been made.

 Does Pepperdine assist with clinical practicum experience?

Yes. MFT Clinical Training and Professional Development staff assist students with locating Pepperdine-approved clinical practicum sites. The clinical training staff visits and evaluates established and potential sites. Career Services also helps with resumes, cover letters, and mock interviews. The PSY 661: Preparation for Practicum class also prepares students for the practicum experience.

 What are the requirements for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) or a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC)? Can I become licensed in other states?

The Pepperdine MFT program is designed to ensure that our graduates will have met all academic requirements to sit for the MFT or LPCC licensure exams in the state of California . An overview of licensure requirements can be found here.

Overall, our graduates have been quite successful in pursuing licensure in other states; however, because licensing requirements vary across states, we strongly recommend that you contact the licensing board in the state in which you are interested in working prior to starting the Pepperdine MA in Clinical Psychology program.

 Can I go straight on to the doctoral program from the masters program?

There is a separate application process for admission into the Pepperdine Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) program. Applicants to the PsyD program have a completed master's degree, or will have completed a master's degree prior to starting the program. Acceptance to one of the masters in psychology programs does not guarantee admission to the PsyD program. However, the MA in Clinical Psychology program is an excellent preparation for various doctoral programs.

 How many students are admitted and when do decisions go out?

We aim for an entering class of approximately 45-46 students, who are then divided into two cohorts of 22-23 students each. These students remain in their cohort for the entire program. Admissions decisions go out mid to late March.

 Are there any scholarships or grants available for the Daytime program?

On average,*70% of our students receive the Colleague's Grant, which covers up to 25% of tuition. Awards are based on financial need and a FAFSA is required. The Daytime program is the only Master's program at GSEP that offers the Colleague's Grant.

*Based on years; 2016, 2017, 2018.

 When and where are classes?

Classes are held at the Drescher Graduate Campus on Pepperdine's main Malibu campus. Students attend classes 2 ½ days per week during their first term (Fall) in the program, and then attend classes 2 days per week in subsequent terms. Classes are held between 9am-4pm (and for a couple of terms in the program, extend until 5:30pm).

The program is considered a full-time program and students take between 11-14 units during the Fall and Spring terms, and between 6-8 units during the Summer term. Fall and Spring terms are 15 weeks long and the Summer term is 7 weeks long.

 I don't know anything about "practicum". What is this?

As part of their experience in the program, students will conduct clinical work with clients at training sites in the community – this experience is referred to as "practicum." This practicum traineeship is required as part of the preparation for eventual licensure as either an LMFT or LPCC in California. Students in the program begin their practicum traineeship during the second term (Spring term) of the 1st year of the program.

To prepare for the practicum traineeship, during the 1st term of the program, all students take PSY661: Preparation for Practicum. This course helps students prepare resumes and practice mock interviews, provides guidance in applying to practicum sites, and helps prepare students for what it will be like to work with clients in psychotherapy. GSEP has relationships with over 130 clinical practicum sites, and the number is always growing. These sites serve a diverse array of clients, from children to older adults.

Starting in the Spring term of the 1st year of the program, students take 4 terms of PSY662: Clinical Practicum, which is a course that provides ongoing support for students while they are working as practicum trainees.