The MA program in Clinical/Counseling Psychology is an exciting and dynamic program designed to prepare students for employment as masters level clinicians.   Our graduates are eligible to sit for licensure as either professional counselors, psychological associates, or both. 

As a program, we are committed to providing the highest quality clinical training in the areas of: psychological theory, assessment, and intervention.  Students can expect to become knowledgeable in a variety of theories of personality, principles of assessment, and methods of therapy.  Although our primary mission is to train masters level clinician, the research and training experiences provided by a productive and knowledgeable faculty prepare students aspiring to doctoral studies. Our graduates have gone on to study at a variety of well-respected universities (e.g., University of Oklahoma, Bowling Green State University, Texas Women's University, University of North Texas).

Two facts attest to our success:
  1. The MA in Clinical/Counseling Psychology (MPCAC) program is one of only two Texas programs nationally accredited by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council!

  2.  Surveys of our former graduates indicate that all responding graduates are working within the field or are attending doctoral programs within one year of graduation!

General Program Questions

What degree(s) do you offer?

We offer a Masters of Arts in Clinical/Counseling Psychology.

What are the benefits of pursuing a masters degree rather than a PhD?

There are several advantages to pursuing a masters degree rather than a PhD. First, licensure at the masters level allows you to provide therapy services similar to those provided by PhD psychologists (see information regarding LPC and LPA licenses). Second, a masters degree typically takes 3-4 years  less  time to complete. Third, masters level programs are typically less competitive, smaller, and more flexible in nature.

What are your program goals and objectives?

The mission of the Midwestern State University Graduate Program in Clinical/Counseling Psychology is to provide training of the highest quality in the areas of psychological theory, assessment, and intervention. We have two primary foci. First, we are committed to training the masters level practitioner of clinical and counseling psychology. Second, we train and support students who wish to pursue doctoral training.

That said, all students can expect to become knowledgeable in a variety of theories, principles, and methods of psychology intervention. Graduates will leave the program with the professional skills needed to impact diverse individuals, families, and communities in a manner that is ethical and consistent with the practitioner-scholar model.

What courses would I be required to take?

The specific courses you would be required to take depend whether you are pursuing the 60-hour or the 63-hour degree (see question five regarding the difference between the two degrees). That being said, the required courses for each degree are listed as follows:

View our program requirements

What is the difference between the 60-hour and the 63-hour program?

The primary difference between the two programs is the goal of the student.   The 60-hour program (25 months to complete) provides sufficient credit hours to meet the current LPC and/or LPA licensure in Texas and majority of states with the USA-it is designed for individuals who plan to become licensed therapists and practice at the master's level. The 63-hour program (29 months to complete) meets licensing requirements but also requires a thesis and is available only for students committed to pursuing a PhD/PsyD upon graduation. The majority of students complete the 60-hour program, obtain their license, and work as therapists.

What is the difference between a thesis and an applied research project?

A thesis is strongly encouraged for students who are contemplating continued graduate studies at the doctoral level. The thesis is a traditional research endeavor conceived, conducted, and reported by the graduate student. The applied research paper is encouraged for students who aspire to provide clinical services upon graduation. To this end, the applied research paper is an extensive case presentation supplemented by research literature relevant to the case conceptualization.

What clinical training does your program offer?

In addition to didactic coursework in Psychopathology, Individual Psychotherapy, Theories of Counseling, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Group Therapy, and Vocational Assessment and Counseling, students participate in one semester of clinical practicum and two semesters of Internship during which the student provides direct therapy services. These clinical experiences start approximately one year into the program.

The first semester of practicum experience is spent providing services in the Psychology Clinic. This clinic is run by the department and serves not only university students, faculty, and staff, but also serves individuals from the community. Students completing their second and third semesters of Internship provide services at one of a number of off-campus sites (e.g., state hospital, non-profit service providers, battered women’s shelter). 

During all three clinical assignments, students will be supervised by a licensed psychologist at least one hour a week as well as attend group supervision. During the first practicum, supervision may be more frequent and often includes role-plays and review of video. In addition to receiving individual supervision during practicum experiences, students also participate in a weekly three hour clinical staffing or group supervision. Group supervision is conducted by a licensed psychologist and provides students the opportunity to consult on cases and share clinical insights in a group format.

What clinical orientation(s) are represented among your faculty?

Our faculty espouse a number of clinical orientations. For example, our faculty espouse behavioral/cognitive-behavioral orientations as well as family systems and psychoanalytic orientations.

What research opportunities are available in your program?

Students, especially those desiring to pursue doctoral studies post graduation, are actively encouraged to participate in research throughout the program. Students may assist faculty on faculty driven research. Additionally, a mass screening is conducted of all students enrolled in undergraduate introductory psychology. Graduate students are encouraged to tap into this data source. Finally, students are encouraged to present and publish their research endeavors. The Psychology department has an excellent track record in terms of student scholarly activity.

What are the requirements for a thesis?

A checklist of the typical sections and subsections of the thesis proposal is provided below. Occasionally, the unique nature of a particular investigation may merit some deviation from this format. These deviations should be made with the approval of the thesis director.

The Problem

  • Introduction
  • Background and importance of the study
  • Theoretical rationale
  • Statement of the problem
  • Research questions
  • Definition of terms
  • Delimitations

Review of Literature

  • Historical background
  • Previous studies related to the problem
  • Studies related to the instruments to be used


  • Sample selection and subject assignment
  • Research design and procedures
  • Research hypotheses
  • Statistical analyses

Additional sections of the thesis, but not the thesis proposal, are:


  • Presentation of findings
  • Findings not related to the hypothesis (if any)

Summary, Conclusion, Discussion & Implications

  • Condensed summary of procedures and findings
  • Conclusions
  • Discussion and implications
  • Recommendations for further research


What are the requirements for an applied research paper?

A checklist of the typical sections and subsections of the applied research paper is provided below. Occasionally, the unique nature of a particular case may merit some deviation from this format. These deviations should be made with the approval of the graduate advisory chair.

Background Information

  • Presenting problem/history of the problem
  • Individual/family history
  • Medical/Psychological history
  • Testing information (if available)


  • Complete DSM-5 diagnosis or diagnoses

Case Formulation

  • Life-Span Stages and Typical Issues
  • Theory

Treatment Goals

  • Based upon the case formulation

Treatment Summary

  • Changes across treatment
    • Symptoms
    • Behaviors
    • Skills

Recommendations for the future

  • Based upon the case formulation
  • Empirically Supported Treatments/Experimentally Based Treatments

This is the most important section of the applied research paper.  Not only are students expected to demonstrate a clear, theoretically based understanding of the client’s symptoms and the mechanisms causing these symptoms, this conceptualization should directly inform the treatment goals and structure both treatment summary and recommendations for the future.

What will I be able to do when I graduate?

Students who graduate from our program have two options. On the one hand, students are able to apply for the LPC and/or the LPA license (Texas requires 3000 hours of post-graduation supervision). These licenses allow students to provide a variety of clinical services across a number of settings. On the other hand, students are well prepared to apply to doctoral programs in clinical or counseling psychology. Our program has a strong track record in each of these areas. For example, 100% of graduates were admitted to doctoral training (20%) or obtained relevant employment (80%) within one year following completion of their MSU graduate degree.

What is the average class size in your program?

Required courses offered yearly typically have 6-10 students. Required courses on a two-year rotation typically have between 16-20 students.

What is the difference between your program and the MA in Counseling offered through the West College of Education?

There are several similarities between our program and the MA in Counseling offered through the West College of Education. Both programs prepare students for licensure as a professional counselor (LPC). As such, both programs offer a number of similar core courses.

Although the two programs may be somewhat similar, there are four significant differences between the two programs. First, our MA in Clinical/Counseling Psychology also prepares students for licensure through the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists as a psychological associate (LPA). The LPA license allows its holders to provide a broader range of supervised services than those provided to LPC holders, especially in the areas of testing and assessment. Second, students in our program are required to obtain nine rather than six credit hours of clinical experience. This increased supervised clinical practice is extremely important in the development of clinical competence. Third, our program is significantly smaller. We restrict our total program size to 18.   This small size results in smaller classes, strong student-faculty relationships, and increased clinical supervision. Finally, all of our classes are taught traditionally; there are no online courses in our program.

Tuition and Funding Questions

What is the tuition for your program?

Tuition and fee information is available each semester at the "Front Portion" of the course catalog. Please be aware that each graduate credit hour is an additional $40 above the statutory rate. The link to the current class schedule is provided below.

View the current class schedule

Do your graduate students receive any funding or financial support through the department?

Yes. All accepted students receive funding for their graduate studies. Currently the rate of funding is $2,000.00 each semester, excluding summer. Students are expected to work approximately 10 hours a week for faculty in order to stay eligible for this funding. Additionally, students are typically awarded a competitive scholarship of $500.00 a semester, excluding summer. Students who tutor or teach for the department (not allowed until the second year) earn more than $2,000 per semester.

Do assistantships include health benefits?

Assistantships do not include health benefits.

Miscellaneous Questions

Will I have an office?

All students in the program have office space. We have five designated offices for graduate students. Students generally will share an office with two other graduate students. Each student will have their own desk and a shared phone.

What library resources are available to students?

The library resources are adequate. Students have access to the primary databases such as PsycInfo, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection, ERIC, Academic Search Premiere and others. Also, the library has a reliable interlibrary loan program. Students may request items not held at MSU and expect to receive them in PDF format via email in approximately two to three weeks. Additionally, students may access the library server from home.

Moffett Library

How much is parking?

Parking information can be found on the MSU Police webpage.