General Program Questions:
Tuition and Funding Questions:
We offer a Masters of Arts in Clinical/Counseling Psychology.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Background and importance of the study
Statement of the problem
Definition of terms
Review of Literature
Previous studies related to the problem
Studies related to the instruments to be used
Sample selection and subject assignment
Research design and procedures
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
Discussion and implications
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.
Presenting problem/history of the problem
Testing information (if available)
Five Axis DSM-IV-TR diagnosis
Nomothetic disorder conceptualization
Changes across treatment
Test scores (if available)
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Parking information can be found on the MSU Police webpage.