Quick Facts - MA in Counseling Psychology
Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology
Bachelor’s degree with an average GPA of 3.0 or higher and an Introduction to Psychology course with a 3.0 or better in the last seven years.
Length of Program
2 years, weekend course format
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of mental health counselors is expected to grow by 24 percent in the next decade. Insurance companies increasingly are providing reimbursement of counselors as a less costly alternative to psychiatrists and psychologists. In this context, the growing demand for mental health professionals will allow a graduate of Bastyr’s Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology program to successfully:
- Practice as independent licensed mental health counselor
- Work in a variety of integrative clinical settings
- Pursue doctoral study in psychology or related fields
Program Summary - MA in Counseling Psychology
Bastyr University’s Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology is an accredited, stand-alone two-year graduate program leading to eligibility to become a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC).
Emphasizing whole-person wellness and healing, the program embodies a fresh approach to mental health counseling that is grounded in health psychology. Beyond simply preparing students to become qualified licensed mental health practitioners, Bastyr’s counseling program fosters a deep understanding of an integrative approach to individual and societal mental health. This prepares graduates to effectively address mind, body and spirit wellness in clients.
The program’s weekend format accommodates traditional students and working professionals who desire nontraditional course scheduling. It also facilitates intensive and meaningful learning opportunities to train exceptional clinicians.
- Condensed course format allows students to commute from outside of the Seattle area.
- Innovative curriculum covers topics in complementary and alternative medicine, behavioral medicine, spirituality, multiculturalism and social justice, human sexuality, and chronic and terminal illness.
- Honoring diverse educational backgrounds and perspectives, the program includes a 14-course psychology core to provide the necessary foundation for clinical practice.
- Hands-on clinical skills development, including a shift at Bastyr Center for Natural Health and internship opportunities.
- Small class sizes and committed faculty to ensure powerful learning experiences.
- Opportunities to explore electives in other disciplines, such as nutrition or botanical medicine.
Curriculum - MA in Counseling Psychology
Expected Learning Outcomes
The educational objectives of the M.A. in Counseling Psychology are focused on the education and training of our graduates. We support our graduates in becoming:
- Learners who are keenly aware of and invested in themselves as instruments, and as such able to create and follow robust plans of self-care utilizing mind-body-spirit techniques and components, as well as a curiosity and openness about the recognition that graduate school is a profound growth experience, and involves ongoing development and care of the self.
- Skilled in the ethical and professional practice of mental health counseling, including a thorough understanding of one’s roles, responsibilities and the practice of ethical decision making.
- Competent in working across cultural differences, including the cultivation of the awareness, knowledge, and skills necessary to work with those different than oneself across a wide range of social identities.
- Knowledgeable about human growth and development, including theories of both individuals and groups that support optimal development across the lifespan. Proponents of the knowledge that wellness and wholeness are about more than alleviation of pain and suffering, and are deeply rooted in Love, Joy, Self-Actualization and a life truly worth living.
- Skilled in the practice of mental health counseling with both individuals and groups, including the development of the therapeutic relationship, assessment, and clinical interventions, all informed by theory and research.
- Able to access and critically assess published research in counseling and psychology based on an understanding of statistics and research design.
- Qualified to pass national and state counseling exams.
Prerequisites - MA in Counseling Psychology
Entering students must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with an average GPA of 3.0 or higher in their undergraduate degree. In addition, an introductory course in general psychology must have been completed with a grade of B or better within the last seven years. Students must also submit a statement of intent and two letters of recommendation.
Our most competitive applicants have experience, either paid or volunteer, in applied (face-to-face) social services. It is strongly recommend that students gain experience in the social services field prior to applying for this program.
In addition, prospective students are highly encouraged to have experience with in-person psychology courses. The on-site, cohort model of this program requires that students be familiar with and comfortable in an intense faceto-face classroom setting.
Meeting the minimum admissions requirements is not a guarantee of acceptance into the program. The MACP program has a competitive admissions process and only highly qualified applicants will be invited to campus for an interview.
Clinical Training - MACP
As a student pursuing the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology (MACP), you will learn to put theories and skills into practice with supervised clinical training at Bastyr Center for Natural Health.
This real-world experience prepares you to become a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC), with guidance by experienced mental health professionals from Bastyr's clinical faculty.
Your rotation at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health begins during the summer term of your first year in the program. You will practice basic counseling and assessment skills as you assist clients with mental health issues.
Diverse Patient Population
With an average of 35,000 patient visits annually, Bastyr Center offers a valuable opportunity for you to interact with a culturally diverse client population. Through this clinical experience, you'll learn to recognize health conditions and support clients in dealing with multiple psychological disorders.
This clinical training at Bastyr Center, combined with the external work experience required of MACP students, will provide a foundation for effective clinical practice in your future career.
Patient Contacts/Training Hours
- One quarter of clinical training at Bastyr Center under the direct supervision of Bastyr clinical faculty.
- This clinical training helps prepare you for a carefully chosen nine-month practicum at a community agency working 16 to 20 hours a week, with 40 percent of your time working in direct contact with clients.
- Practicum site examples include Sound Mental Health, Monarch Children's Justice and Advocacy Center and Compass Health.
Tuition for Master's & Doctoral Degrees
Average first-year costs for a typical credit load in the 2016-17 academic year.The first year is considered fall, winter and spring quarters.
Average CreditsFirst year.
Tuition & FeesFees include a $25 quarterly student activity fee. See the University Catalog for a full schedule of fees.
Books & Supplies
TotalThe budget used to determine financial-aid eligibility allows for an additional $21,600 for a 9-month period of living expenses.
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See also Financial Aid at Bastyr
PLEASE NOTE: For financial aid purposes, cost of attendance includes costs above plus $21,600 per nine months to cover room & board, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses.