Program FAQ's

 General Program Questions:

1.      What degree(s) do you offer?

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

3.      What are your program goals and objectives?

4.      What courses would I be required to take?

5.      What is the difference between the 50-hour and the 60-hour program?

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

7.      What clinical training does your program offer?

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

9.      What research opportunities are available in your program?

10.  What are the requirements for a thesis?

11.  What are the requirements for an applied research paper?

12.  What will I be able to do when I graduate?

13.  What is the average class size in your program?

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

Tuition and Funding Questions:

1.     What is the tuition for your program?

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

3.      Do assistantships include health benefits?

 

Miscellaneous Questions:

1.      Will I have an office?

2.      What library resources are available to students?

3.       How much does a parking sticker cost?



1.      What degree do you offer?

 

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

2.      What are the benefits of pursuing a masters degree rather than an 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.
 

3.      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.
 

4.      What courses would I be required to take?

 

The specific courses you would be required to take depend whether you are pursuing 50 or 60 hour degree (see information regarding the difference between the two degrees).  That being said, the required courses for each degree are listed as follows:

 

(Link to Program Requirements)
 

5.      What is the difference between the 50-hour and the 60-hour program?

 

The primary difference between the two programs is obviously the number of hours require for graduation.  More importantly, the 50-hour program provides sufficient credit hours to meet the current LPC and/or LPA licensure in Texas.  The 60-hour program provides sufficient credit hours for LPC and/or LPA licensure in any state.  Therefore, the 60-hour program provides the most options for graduating students and is recommended by the faculty to most students.
 

6.      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 a case presentation supplemented by research literature relevant to diagnosis and treatment.
 

7.      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 three semesters of clinical practicum.  These clinical practicum 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 clinical practicum 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 practicum assignments, students will be supervised by a licensed psychologist at least one hour a week.  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.  Again, this course is conducted by a licensed psychologist and provides students the opportunity to consult on cases and share clinical insights in a group format.

 

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

 

Our faculty espouse a number of clinical orientations.  For example, two of our faculty espouse behavioral/cognitive-behavioral orientations, while the other two faculty adhere more closely to family systems and psychoanalytic orientations.

 

9.      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 currently assist faculty on a variety of research projects addressing sexual aggression, light therapy treatment for depression, academic dishonesty, and community supports for fathering.  Furthermore, 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.
 

10.  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

 

Methodology

            Sample selection and subject assignment

            Research design and procedures

            Research hypotheses

            Statistical analyses

 

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

 

Results

            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
 

11.  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

            Testing information (if available)

            Individual/family history

            Medical/Psychological history

Diagnosis

            Five Axis DSM-IV-TR diagnosis

Case Formulation

            Nomothetic disorder conceptualization

            Idiographic conceptualization

Treatment Goals

Treatment Summary

            Changes across treatment

                        Symptoms

                        Behaviors

                        Skills

            Test scores (if available)         

Recommendations for the future
 

12.  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.  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.
 

13.  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.
 

14.  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 three 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.


Tuition/Funding

1.      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 course catalog is provided below.

 

(link to class schedule)

 

2.      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 $1,875.00 each semester, excluding summer.  Students are expected to work approximately 5 hours a week for faculty in order to stay eligible for this funding.  Additionally, students are awarded a competitive scholarship of $500.00 a semester, excluding summer. 

 

It is anticipated that students will receive funding for five academic semesters, not including summers.  In past years we have never had a student not receive their funding for five semesters and, on rare occasions, students extending their studies have been able to earn a stipend beyond their fifth semester.
 

3.      Do assistantships include health benefits?

 

Assistantships do not include health benefits.

 Miscellaneous

1.      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.

 

2.      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. 

 

(link to Moffett Library)

3.      How much is parking?

 

Parking information can be found on the MSU Police webpage.