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Master of Arts in Psychology: Clinical Counseling Program

The Citadel's Master of Arts in Psychology: Clinical Counseling program offers graduate education for those interested in becoming professional counselors in community agencies, including college counseling centers, hospitals, mental health, and social services agencies. The program requires completion of 54 credit hours of coursework, typically completed in 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 years. The curriculum has been developed according to guidelines set forth by the Council of Applied Masters Programs in Psychology (CAMPP) and the program is accredited by the Master's in Psychology Accreditation Council (MPAC). Coursework is consistent with requirements for licensure as a Professional Counselor in the state of South Carolina. The curriculum reflects current knowledge and perspectives concerning psychological counseling and human development needs of a diverse multicultural society.

Philosophy and Mission

The Department of Psychology espouses a philosophical perspective of training and practice which stresses an empirical and applied approach to addressing psychosocial problems of clients. Most faculty members are engaged in clinical practice, research efforts, or both. Faculty members' activities are guided by a scientist-practitioner model, which emphasizes a scholarly approach to applications of psychology.

The mission of the Master of Arts in Psychology: Clinical Counseling program at The Citadel is to prepare students to become scholarly practitioners of psychosocial counseling in community agencies, including college counseling centers, hospitals, mental health centers, and social services agencies. The program emphasizes the application of theories of human development, psychopathology, and behavior change to psychosocial problems of a diverse population of individuals and families seeking mental health services in the community. The program's model blends didactic and experiential training to facilitate students' ability to utilize an empirical approach to assessment, goal development, intervention, and evaluation of services for a wide range of individuals and families experiencing a variety of psychosocial difficulties. It is the expectation of the program that students will be trained to be competent and ethical professional service providers who will bring a scholarly perspective as well as compassion and caring to their work.

Requirements for Graduation

Students must complete all course requirements within a 5 year period from the date of initial enrollment. Appropriate degrees will be conferred on students who have successfully completed the requirements for their program with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Admission Requirements

1. Completion of the online graduate application along with the non-refundable application fee. 

2. Submission of an official transcript of the baccalaureate degree and all other undergraduate or graduate work directly from each regionally accredited college and university.

  1. Applicants are expected to have a minimum 3.0 cumulative undergraduate grade point average.
  2. Applicants must have a minimum of 12 credit hours in psychology coursework or a GRE Psychology score of 600.

3.  Submission of an official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) test score.  Test must be taken within five years of application.

  1. Acceptable GRE minimum score is a verbal and quantitative combination of 297 (minimum 150 verbal and 141 quantitative).  If taken prior to August 1, 2011, the minimum acceptable GRE test score is a verbal and quantitative combination of 1,000 (minimum of 450 for each section).
  2. Acceptable MAT minimum is a raw score of 410.

4. Submission of two letters of recommendation.

5. Completion of the admissions questinnaire.

All admission requirements should be submitted to The Citadel Graduate College.

Admission Deadline

This program only accepts qualified graduate candidates once per academic year. All application requirements must be submitted to The Citadel Graduate College by March 15th for consideration of admission to the program to begin Fall Term.

Program Description

The MA in Psychology: Clinical Counseling is awarded after successful completion of 54 semester hours. It is the mission of this program to prepare students to function as scholarly-practitioners. In order to achieve this goal, the program is divided into three distinct course blocks, each building upon the one before.

The first block focuses on training students as scholars and consists of core counseling and psychology courses. These courses are designed to enhance student understanding of individual differences, theories of development and behavior change, and professional roles and functions from a scholarly perspective. To that end, courses address biological and environmental factors influencing normal and abnormal human development, theories of personality and counseling, learning theory and application, social/multicultural influences on behavior, scientific approaches to understanding human behavior, and ethical/professional issues. All courses emphasize an empirical approach toward gaining and evaluating knowledge. Students completing this core of courses should have a firm theoretical grasp of normal and abnormal development and of factors influencing such development. They should understand the major theories of personality and behavior change. Students will be expected to demonstrate knowledge of foundations of psychology and counseling, basic assessment skills, and good communication and listening skills. Additionally, students will appreciate the importance and utility of the scientific method for advancing knowledge and clinical practice. Finally, students will have a firm grasp of ethical/legal and other issues essential to professional practice.

Following a demonstration of competency in the content of core courses as indicated by a passing score on a comprehensive examination, students will move on to the second block of courses. These advanced, clinically focused courses build upon the basic foundation established in the first block of courses. These courses prepare students to be practitioners and specifically address interventions designed to facilitate behavioral, cognitive and affective functioning. Students will be exposed to theory and practice of group and individual counseling. They will learn about the process of counseling from diagnostic assessment and treatment planning through selection/evaluation of intervention strategies and termination. Students also learn about psychopharmacologic approaches to treatment. Through electives, students may choose to address theory and practice of family systems approaches to treatment or treatment of children/adolescents. The courses in this advanced clinical block are applied, and blend didactic and experiential components to facilitate the development of therapeutic skills.

The final block of courses consists of two field experiences. The practicum and internship courses reflect the culmination of the program and provide students with structured, supervised experiences with actual clients in community agencies. It is during these experiences that students are able to integrate and apply their coursework to actual clinical problems by conducting psychosocial and/or diagnostic assessments and implementing intervention strategies. Students are expected to develop awareness of professional and clinical strengths and weaknesses (and begin to address these), a personal style of counseling, and to develop as professionals.

Students are required to take at least one elective. Electives may be taken at any point during the course of study (though some have prerequisites). Electives should be selected in consultation with the student's advisor. One elective, EDUC-550 Career Counseling is required if a graduate plans to seek licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor.

Additional details, including course descriptions, can be found in the CGC Catalog and Handbook or the most current Program Handbook below.

Important Program Materials For Current Students

Current and recent versions of the Clinical-Counseling Program Handbook

Information and Guidelines for Comprehensive Examination

Field Placement Forms


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