Clinical M.A.

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The clinical psychology option is designed for those who want to enter a career of mental health service delivery founded on assessment, diagnosis and treatment of mental health problems people have, whether they be complex, chronic conditions, or relatively transient, acute problems. As a professional with a M.A. degree in psychology, one would also be eligible to teach psychology on the post-secondary level.

Graduates of our clinical psychology programs are prepared to obtain a license as a professional counselor or to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology. Demographic analyses show that there is a shortage of licensed counselors and psychologists in our region. Although the local population is often not aware of the benefits that counseling can provide, there is tremendous growth potential for the career paths of licensed counselors and psychologists in the Rio Grande Valley. There are also a variety of counseling positions available throughout the country for bilingual counselors, or counselors with experience with Hispanic populations, that our students would be well-prepared for. Entry level salaries for licensed counselors are generally commensurate with beginning school teachers, but upward earnings potential is much greater. 

The department also offers a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) concentration. Details about this specialized degree are provided on the “BCBA Training” page of our website.

Students completing a clinical psychology Master’s degree can choose a non-thesis or thesis track:

Clinical Psychology, non-thesis option has the objectives of:

  1. providing core and broad applied knowledge of psychology to produce a master‘s level, competent, culturally sensitive direct service provider for supervised psychological and counseling services, and
  2. providing adequate knowledge of the professions of psychology and counseling to pass state licensure exams for Psychological Associate and Licensed Professional Counselor.

Clinical Psychology, thesis option has the objectives of:

  1. providing core and applied knowledge of psychology to produce a master's level, competent, culturally sensitive direct service provider of supervised psychological and counseling services,
  2. providing the ability to understand and conduct research in applied areas of psychology,
  3. preparing students with the necessary background to support continuation of graduate study in clinical psychology doctoral programs, and
  4. providing adequate knowledge of the professions of psychology and counseling to pass state licensure exams for Psychological Associate and Licensed Professional Counselor.

Advantages and disadvantages of choosing to do a thesis

Advantages: Writing a thesis means that the student has performed a scholarly research project, and has participated in the academic environment. This accomplishment should increase the chance of employment in an institution of higher education, and increase the likelihood of acceptance into a doctoral program.

Disadvantages: Writing a thesis is a great deal more work than the six hours credit one receives. It requires skill, organization, intentionality and persistence. If one's goal is to work in direct service delivery such as assessment and/or psychotherapy, a thesis will probably not be highly relevant; taking more applied courses to help with service delivery would be less effort and more relevant to one's career.

Clinical Psychology (MA) Program Requirements

Each course listed below is 3 credit hours, unless indicated otherwise.

Thesis Option:

 

Required Courses (27 hours)

  • PSYC 6301: Psychological Statistics
  • PSYC 6305: Advanced Studies in Psychopathology
  • PSYC 6311: Advanced Studies in Personality Theory
  • PSYC 6320: Neuropsychology
  • PSYC 6325: Conditioning and Learning
  • PSYC 6332: Research Design
  • PSYC 6336: Advanced Psychological Measurement
  • PSYC 6340: Cross Cultural Psychology
  • PSYC 6363: Contemporary Professional Issues and Ethics in Psychology

Clinical Applications (6 hours)

  • PSYC 6352: Personality Assessment
  • PSYC 6354: Individual Psychotherapy or PSYC 6356 Group Psychotherapy

Supervised Clinical Practice Courses (9 hours)

  • PSYC 6364: Clinical Practicum (taken twice)
  • PSYC 6368: Internship (480 hours)

Capstone Thesis Requirements (6 hours)

  • PSYC 7300: Thesis I
  • PSYC 7301: Thesis II

 

Total graduate hours for degree: 48 hours

 

Non-Thesis Option:

 

Required Courses (24 hours)

  • PSYC 6301: Psychological Statistics
  • PSYC 6305: Advanced Studies in Psychopathology
  • PSYC 6311: Advanced Studies in Personality Theory
  • PSYC 6320: Neuropsychology
  • PSYC 6325: Conditioning and Learning
  • PSYC 6336: Advanced Psychological Measurement
  • PSYC 6340: Cross Cultural Psychology
  • PSYC 6363: Contemporary Professional Issues and Ethics in Psychology

Clinical Applications (9 hours)

  • PSYC 6352: Personality Assessment
  • PSYC 6354: Individual Psychotherapy
  • PSYC 6356: Group Psychotherapy

Designated Electives for Licensed Professional Counselors (6 hours)

  • PSYC 6330: Developmental Psychology
  • EPSY 6366: Lifestyle and Career Development

Supervised Clinical Practice Courses (9 hours)

  • PSYC 6364: Clinical Practicum (taken twice)
  • PSYC 6368: Internship (480 hours)

Capstone Requirements

  • Written Comprehensive Exam
Total graduate hours for degree: 48 hours

Certificate: Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Must have completed or be concurrently enrolled in a master’s degree program in psychology or other health-related discipline. The certificate can be added on to the Clinical degree plan for a total of 63 hours.

Required Courses (when the certificate is added to the clinical psychology degree plan): 15 hours

  • PSYC 6174: Journal and BCBA Review (1 credit hour)
  • PSYC 6274: Special Topics in Psychology, Journal and BCBA Review (2 credit hours)
  • PSYC 6315: Applied Behavior Analysis
  • PSYC 6334: Single Subject Designs  
  • PSYC 6350: Behavioral Assessment
  • PSYC 6362: Contemporary Professional Issues and Ethics in Applied Behavior Analysis

Required Courses (when the certificate is a stand- alone): 18 hours

  • PSYC 6174: Journal and BCBA Review (1 credit hour)
  • PSYC 6274: Special Topics in Psychology, Journal and BCBA Review (2 credit hours)
  • PSYC 6315: Applied Behavior Analysis
  • PSYC 6325: Conditioning and Learning
  • PSYC 6334: Single Subject Designs
  • PSYC 6350: Behavioral Assessment
  • PSYC 6362: Contemporary Professional Issues and Ethics in Applied Behavior Analysis