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The Master of Science in Psychology

Course Requirements for the Master's Degree: 60 units

Continuous enrollment is required. A maximum of 9 semester units of transfer and/or CSU Chico Open University coursework may be applied toward the degree.

Graduate Time Limit:

All requirements for the degree are to be completed within five years of the end of the semester of enrollment in the oldest course applied toward the degree. See Master's Degree Requirements in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements.

Application Procedures:

The Department of Psychology admits applicants to its MS program only in the fall semester each year. In addition to the Office of Graduate Studies' admission prerequisites and application procedures (please see the University Catalog , Graduate Education: Application Procedures), the Department of Psychology requires the completion of its own Admissions Application, including a Statement of Purpose and three letters of recommendation. These application materials are available online at www.csuchico.edu/psy/ and are to be submitted along with transcripts and test scores, by January 15 for consideration for fall admission.

Area of Specialization:

MS Psychology/Marriage and Family Therapists:

The Master of Science in Psychology degree has been designed to meet the educational requirements for the Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT) license in the State of California (MFT licensing law SB-33; Section 4980.36).

For specific advisory patterns and recommended course sequence in the MS Psychology program's specialization, MS admits should consult the MS Psychology Coordinator.

Prerequisites for Admission to Conditionally Classified Status:

1. Satisfactory grade point average as specified in Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Admission Requirements in the University Catalog.

2. Approval by the department and the Office of Graduate Studies.

3. An acceptable baccalaureate from an accredited institution.

4. Completion of either the Graduate Record Examination Aptitude Test or the Miller Analogies Test. The Graduate Record Examination Advanced Test in Psychology is not required but will be considered if available.

Prerequisites for Admission to Classified Status:

In addition to any requirements listed above:

Students must have completed the following four course prerequisites within the last ten years: one course in psychology of learning; one course in developmental or child psychology; one course in statistics for psychology; one course in either the psychology of personality, abnormal psychology, or social psychology (abnormal psychology is recommended because it is also a prerequisite for PSYC 643 in the MS program).

Advancement to Candidacy:

In addition to any requirements listed above:

1. Classified graduate standing and completion at the University of at least 18 units of the proposed program, including PSYC 573, PSYC 670, PSYC 673A, and 9 units selected from remaining eligible program course requirements with at least a B average in these courses.

2. A student must pass the writing proficiency requirement in order to be advanced to candidacy.

3. All "Incomplete" grades must be completed before a student will be advanced to candidacy.

4. Formation of the graduate advisory committee.

5. Development of an approved program in consultation with the MS Psychology Coordinator and the graduate advisory committee, and approved by the Graduate Coordinator.

6. Demonstrated ability to provide competent service, in accordance with Section 4.2 of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists' Code of Ethics (2011), Principles 4.4 and 4.5 of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy's Code of Ethics (2001), Section F.5.b of the American Counseling Association's Code of Ethics (2005), and Standards 2.05 and 7.06 of the American Psychological Association's Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (2010).

7. Approval of the graduate committee in the Department of Psychology.

Requirements for the MS Degree in Psychology:

Completion of all requirements established by the department graduate committee, the graduate advisory committee, and the Office of Graduate Studies.

MFT Coursework:

Students seeking eligibility for the California Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) license must complete at least 60 units of coursework, including PSYC 697R (Analytical Review) or PSYC 699T (Master's Thesis) as designated by the department, the courses listed below (under Requirements for the MS Degree in Psychology ), and any elective units needed to attain this 60-unit minimum.

1. Completion of an approved program consisting of 60 units of 500/600-level courses as follows:

18 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: PSYC 381 or PSYC 382, senior or graduate standing, faculty permission.
Theory of individual and family counseling and laboratory practice in individual counseling. 2 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (007976)
Prerequisites: PSYC 364 or equivalent, faculty permission.
An examination of the nature and process of understanding and evaluating, as well as designing and conducting psychological research and evaluations studies. Important issues and criteria for evaluating quality and drawing conclusions will be emphasized. 3 hours seminar. (007996)
Prerequisites: PSYC 355, faculty permission.
Study of both typical human development and individual differences. Developmental issues and life events from infancy to old age and their effects upon individuals, couples, and family relationships. Emphasis will be on current theory and research related to social, emotional, and language development, and its relationship to practice. Biological and environmental influences are addressed. 3 hours seminar. (008018)
The study of psychopharmacology in a clinical setting. This course emphasizes applied clinical pharmacology, knowledge of drug interactions, compliance issues, drug seeking, and polypharmacy. 3 hours seminar. (021250)
Prerequisites: PSYC 381 and classified status in Psychology MS program.
Seminar in child, adolescent, and adult psychopathology. The etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of selected mental disorders using the DSM-IV-TR diagnostic framework. 3 hours seminar. (007949)
Prerequisites: PSYC 560 or equivalent course in psychometrics strongly recommended.
An examination of psychological assessment procedures commonly used in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT). Includes training in the use and interpretation of selected procedures within the scope of MFT practice and familiarization with other tests and instruments used collaboratively in patient/client care by other mental health professionals. Also covered is spousal or partner abuse assessment. 3 hours seminar. (008039)
Prerequisites: PSYC 573 (with a grade of B or better), faculty permission.
The theory, research, and laboratory practice of group counseling techniques with small groups and families. 2 hours seminar, 3 hours laboratory. (007977)
Prerequisites: PSYC 573, PSYC 603, faculty permission.
Seminar in diagnosis and treatment of childhood and adolescent behavior disorders and emotional disturbance. Topics include specific treatment modalities used with children and parents and various disorders and stressors of developing children. 3 hours seminar. (008043)
Prerequisites: PSYC 573, faculty permission.
Seminar addressing the evaluation of the various models of psychotherapy as they relate to ethnic minorities and the influence of the mores and values of various ethnic minority populations upon the counseling process. Self-exploration of racial/ethnic perceptions, attitudes, and experiences. Review and evaluation of contemporary examples of cross-cultural research. 3 hours seminar. (008044)
Prerequisites: PSYC 573 (with grade of B or higher), classified status in MA or MS Psychology program, faculty permission.
Stresses skill development in individual counseling in a supervised practicum setting. Instruction and experience includes individual counseling with children and collaborative consultation with schools and family members. May not be repeated more than once without approval of the Psychology Graduate Committee, in consultation with MS subcommittee. 9 hours supervision. (008046)
Prerequisites: Candidacy in MS Psychology program. Grade of B or higher in PSYC 670; PSYC 673A, faculty permission.
Stresses skill development of group leadership in counseling through a supervised practicum setting. May not be repeated more than once without approval of the Psychology Graduate Committee, in consultation with MS subcommittee. 9 hours supervision. (008047)
Prerequisites: PSYC 673A (with grade of B or higher), PSYC 675 (may be taken concurrently), faculty permission.
This is a beginning family therapy practicum designed for advanced master's level counselor trainees. The course applies both didactic and experiential learning, emphasizing family systems theories and post modern family therapy approaches. 9 hours supervision. (008048)
Prerequisites: Classified status in MS Psychology Program, PSYC 573 (may be taken concurrently), faculty permission.
Counseling issues related to substance abuse and addictions. Emphasis is on the etiology, prevention, assessment, diagnosis, treatment of substance abuse, behavioral addictions, and dual-diagnosis disorders. 3 hours seminar. (008049)
Prerequisites: PSYC 673A (with a grade of B or higher), faculty permission.
An advanced seminar in Marriage and Family Therapy providing a contemporary and integrative study of the field of marriage and family therapy, emphasizing current theory, research, and practice. 3 hours seminar. (008050)
Prerequisites: Classified status in MS Psychology program, PSYC 573 (may be taken concurrently), faculty permission.
This course covers the study of conjoint therapy with a focus on sexuality across the life-span and counseling approaches to sexuality issues. Topics include: a history of sexuality, development of sexual identity, sexuality in a social context, relationship issues, assessing couples as an interacting system, conjoint treatment planning, core counseling skills and frameworks in conjoint therapy, psychosexual dysfunction, and sexual abuse. 3 hours seminar. (021251)
Prerequisites: Classified status in MS Psychology program, PSYC 573 (may be taken concurrently), faculty permission.
Seminar studying recovery and wellness in the field of mental health with an emphasis on the philosophy and service delivery approaches adopted by California and codified in the Mental Health Services Act. 3 hours seminar. (021249)
Prerequisites: Classified status in the MS in Psychology program or faculty permission.
Seminar examining professional ethics and California law for Marriage and Family Therapists and other mental health professionals. Therapeutic, clinical, and practical considerations involved in legal and ethical practice of Marriage and Family Therapy. Topics: scope of practice, ethical and legal issues, current legal patterns and trends in mental health profession, aging and long-term care, psychotherapist/patient privilege, confidentiality, dangerousness, and treatment of minors, with and without parental consent. Relationship between practitioner's sense of self and human values and professional behavior and ethics will be explored. 3 hours seminar. (008056)
Prerequisites: PSYC 673A and PSYC 673B (with grade of B or higher in each course); PSYC 673B may be taken concurrently with program coordinator permission.
This course is an internship offered for 1.0-6.0 units. You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. Supervised counseling internship in a campus or community setting for those pursuing MFT licensure. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (008075)

3 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: Advancement to candidacy, faculty permission.
Cultimating activity for MS degree program. A comprehensive written critique of the literature in an area of specialization and/or interest and a written examination. 9 hours supervision. (008099)
Prerequisites: Advancement to candidacy, faculty permission.
This course is offered for 1.0-6.0 units. You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. 9 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (008100)

(a) Not more than 9 semester units of transfer and/or extension credit (correspondence courses and U.C. extension coursework are not acceptable).

(b) Not more than 15 units taken before admission to classified status.

(c) At least 9 units completed after advancement to candidacy.

(d) Not more than a total of 10 units of Independent Study (697) and Master's Thesis (699T); not more than 6 units of Master's Thesis (699T). (Enrollment in 699T is restricted to students who have been advanced to candidacy; students may not enroll in 699T for more than three semesters.) Not more than 4 units of supervised college teaching (PSYC 628B and PSYC 629B).

(e) With the exception of Master's Thesis (699T), all coursework included in the approved program must be taken for a letter grade.

2. Completion and final approval of a thesis or an analytical review as specified by the student's graduate advisory committee.

3. Satisfactory completion of an oral examination for the thesis option or a written examination for the analytical review.

4. Approval by the departmental graduate committee and the Graduate Coordinators Committee on behalf of the faculty of the University.

Graduate Requirement in Writing Proficiency:

Writing proficiency is a graduation requirement.

Psychology MS students will demonstrate their writing competence through an essay examination offered once a semester by the Department of Psychology's graduate committee. This requirement must be completed before advancement to candidacy.

Graduate Grading Requirements:

All courses in the major (with the exception of Master's Thesis-699T) must be taken for a letter grade, except those courses specified by the department as ABC/No Credit (400/500-level courses), AB/No Credit (600-level courses), or Credit/No Credit grading only. A maximum of 10 units combined of ABC/No Credit, AB/No Credit, and Credit/No Credit grades may be used on the approved program (including 699 and courses outside the major).

Students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average in each of the following three categories: all coursework taken at an accredited institution subsequent to admission to the master's program; all coursework taken at CSU, Chico subsequent to admission to the program; and all courses on the approved master's degree program.

All courses in the major (with the exception of Master's Thesis-699T) must be taken for a letter grade.

Graduate Advising Requirement:

Students should consult the MS Psychology Coordinator in planning their MS program.

Research with Human Participants or Animals:

All research projects which involve human participants must be reviewed for adherence to ethical guidelines as outlined in departmental and University policies (EM 84-03). No project may proceed without prior approval by the department's Ethical Treatment in Human Investigations Committee. All research with animals must adhere to the guidelines outlined in the University Animal Welfare Policy.

Catalog Cycle:14