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Pepperdine | Graduate School of Education and Psychology

MA in Clinical Psychology with Emphasis in Marriage & Family Therapy - Day Format

Frequently Asked Questions - Program

What is the deadline for applications for Fall 2019 admission?

11:59 p.m. February 1st, 2019.

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.

How many units, cost per unit, and how long is the program?

The 62-unit program is completed in 2 academic years (22 months). The cost per unit for the 2018-2019 academic year is $1,530/unit.

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.

What practicum sites are available to students?

Students from the Daytime program are highly regarded in the clinical training community and a wide variety of practicum sites are available to students in our program. Students have the opportunity to work with children, adults, families and/or couples. Practicum sites range from working in general counseling centers to more specialized populations, such developmental disorders, trauma, addiction, geriatrics, grief, faith-based, homelessness, school-based, LGBTQ issues, etc.

During the first semester in the program, students work with the Clinical Training Coordinator and Preparation for Practicum Instructor to obtain a practicum site in the community. Students are able to review practicum sites and student feedback through Pepperdine's online job platform called Handshake. Questions and additional information about a site and whether it is a good fit can be addressed in individual meetings the Clinical Training Coordinator or Sr. Program Administrator.

Will this program prepare me to eventually become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) or a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC)? Do I have to choose an LMFT or LPCC track while in the program?

The program fulfills the educational requirements for both the LMFT and LPCC licenses in California. After graduation, the state requires additional practice and exam requirements before one can be licensed.

Students in the program take a single curriculum that fulfills the educational requirements for both the LMFT and LPCC licenses. The total number of client contact hours required during one's graduate program is higher for the LPCC license; however, hours earned at practicum count towards both the LMFT and LPCC license requirements. Therefore, if a student wishes to have the option to seek eventual licensure as either an LMFT or LPCC (or both), (s)he would plan to meet the number of client contact hours required for the LPCC license during their practicum traineeship.

Why is the GRE required for this program, but not required for the evening format program?

Because we admit a limited number of students once a year at one campus location, we use the GRE as an additional tool in seeking well-qualified applicants. However, we utilize a holistic approach in our thorough review of each and every application and consider all aspects of an individual's application. The Evening format program admits students 3 times a year for 3 satellite campus locations at West Los Angeles, Encino, and Irvine.

What if I am interested in both the Daytime and Evening format programs?

We encourage you to apply to the Daytime format. If you are waitlisted or denied, you can automatically be considered for the Evening format program and receive an immediate decision.

The Evening Format program utilizes a traditional class schedule format with classes at 4:15pm – 7:00pm and 7:15pm – 10:00pm. Evening program students typically have schedules that are independent of their peers instead of the cohort model which is used in the Daytime program in Malibu.

Can I apply even if I am not a Psychology major?

Yes. There are two Foundation Classes that are required for the Daytime program, then there are recommended courses as well. Please contact Kelley Hill kelley.hill@pepperdine.edu for specifics.

Can you connect me with a current student or alum to hear their perspective on the program?

Yes! We have an extensive alumni network as well as current students who are willing to share their experience in the 2-year program. Please email Kelley Hill that you would like to be connected to an alum or current student.

Where do students live while attending the program?

Students who are enrolled in the program can live in the Drescher Graduate Campus Apartments or in the surrounding Los Angeles area. Many students live in Calabasas, San Fernando Valley, and Santa Monica.

Drescher Campus Apartment pricing varies between each semester; however, it is usually posted on the Housing and Residential life section of the university website. Students are able to live on-campus throughout the duration of program. Each Graduate Student Apartment has four room for 4 students. Students living in the Drescher Campus Apartments have their own room and a storage room, along with a shared kitchen, living space and bathroom, with two sinks. Photos of the inside of these apartments can be found on Pepperdine's housing website: https://community.pepperdine.edu/housing/gsep/

Do students have time to hold a part-time job?

Some students in the daytime program work part-time. We recommend students work no more than part-time while enrolled in the program due to the course load and practicum requirements. Many students find work on campus or in the surrounding area while they are in the program. Employment opportunities are listed on Pepperdine's online job platform called Handshake.