Psychology MS

Total Units Required: 60

Mission Statement

The mission of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at California State University, Chico is to train exemplary, passionate, research-informed, culturally-sensitive, client-centered, systemic therapists capable of excelling in a multitude of mental health settings through innovative and experiential learning. 

Program Description

This three-year program provides an integrated course of study that meets the educational requirements for the Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) license as specified in California State law (SB-33; Section 4980.36). The 60-unit program is designed to train exemplary professional therapists to work in public mental health agencies, private practice, and other similar settings. Skill acquisition is emphasized by a strong core of introductory laboratory courses and on-campus practica in our Counselor Training Center (CTC), culminating in an off-campus traineeship at a local agency. Theoretical background and training are provided in a variety of theoretical approaches, with emphasis on core “common-factors” that span all therapy practice. The program is designed to emphasize three overarching facets of clinical training: academic research, clinical practice, and personal experience. Self-care and personal growth are recognized as equally important processes to clinical learning as is academic ability. Program faculty aim to present themselves as models of ethical, professional, and passionate therapists.

A patient, whose back is to the camera, sits across from a counselor inside a counseling office.

Program Learning Objectives

  1. Preparing students to provide mental health services to the population of Northern California by meeting the specific needs of predominantly rural and multi-ethnic communities. 
  2. Challenging students to continually develop an ethical and professional foundation to their therapy practice, including emphasis on developing a culturally sensitive practice.
  3. Training students to use a systemic framework to conceptualize varied individual, child, couple, family, and group concerns in therapy.
  4. Developing research and feedback-informed clinicians capable of critically evaluating and applying research in practice.
  5. Obtaining skills in the assessment and diagnosis of psychopathology and related clinical issues.
  6. Encouraging students toward personal growth and the development of effective self-care strategies so as to maintain efficacy and longevity in the field;
  7. Helping students place their role as a therapist in the larger healthcare landscape by teaching them effective collaborative skills. 

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 93-004). No research involving human subjects will be conducted until a review of the project has been carried out and written approval given. All activity with animals must adhere to the guidelines outlined in the University Animal Welfare Policy (EM-09-006). Guidelines on the use of human or animal subjects are available from Chico State Enterprises.