Master of Science in Psychology: Concentration in Clinical Psychology

Program Coordinator: David Gard

The Master of Science in Psychology: Concentration in Clinical Psychology provides students with a degree that confers eligibility to sit for the State of California Marriage and Family Therapy license after completing 3,000 approved hours, 1,700 hours of which must be acquired post-masters.

The Clinical Psychology Master's Program at SF State was founded in 1952 and has been running continually ever since. The program emphasizes theoretical and applied training from psychodynamic, family systems, multicultural, and community psychology perspectives. The program provides two years of full-time training, leading to the Master of Science degree in Psychology with a concentration in Clinical Psychology, as well as the academic preparations and pre-master's supervised hours for the State of California Marriage and Family Therapy (M.F.T.) license. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences also requires post-master's hours for licensure as an M.F.T., and most students complete this roughly within two years after graduation. Given the course and practicum requirements of the program, full-time employment while enrolled is usually not possible.

Graduate Programs in Psychology

Application to a graduate program is completed through the Cal State Apply application process.

The graduate admission application must be submitted by the deadline to be considered for admission. The department accepts applications for the fall semester only, with a deadline of February 1st. The Master in Science programs generally require an interview during the admissions process.

Some of the Psychology graduate programs require applicants to submit the results of the Graduate Record Examination — verbal, quantitative, and writing sections. Applicants should check the current application of the program they are applying for requirements.

Students who intend to work toward the M.A. or the M.S. in Psychology must meet the prerequisites outlined within each concentration. Required undergraduate coursework that an applicant may not have completed can be rectified as the graduate advisor deems fit without being included as units toward completion of the master's degree

To advance to candidacy (graduation), graduate students must meet all the general requirements for the specific program in which they are involved.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Graduate students pursuing a Master of Science in Psychology: Concentration in Clinical Psychology must meet both of the following proficiencies to advance to candidacy (graduation):

Level 1 - Satisfactory completion of both PSY723 Clinical Methods: Psychological Assessment; and PSY728 Conference to Accompany Psychology Practicum (fall semester). 

Level 2 - Satisfactory completion of the Comprehensive Written Examination (PSY 896 or PSY 896EXM [0 units]) or PSY 898 Master’s Thesis.


Applicants to the Master of Science in Psychology: Concentration in Clinical Psychology must have:

  1. Preparation in psychology, or other fields which emphasize understanding of human functioning, as any of the social sciences or, in some instances, in fields that deal with specialized forms of human expression and experience.
  2. Required prerequisites are coursework in psychological statistics and upper-division courses in personality theory and abnormal psychology. Coursework in developmental psychology and cultural perspectives is desirable.
  3. Experience working directly with people in a helping or service-oriented situation.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Master of Science in Psychology: Concentration in Clinical Psychology the student will be able to:

  1. Develop technical skills in clinical assessment, diagnosis of psychopathology, psychological testing, and professional writing.
  2. Develop familiarity and proficiency with major psychological theoretical orientations, and with models of psychotherapy. To develop proficiency in the use of professional language and the application of theory to clinical situations.
  3. Learn to integrate theory and practice in psychotherapy through presenting and evaluating casework and applying ethical and legal principles.
  4. Demonstrate professional-level writing and ability to autonomously apply clinical and theoretical knowledge in an independent project.
  5. Identify practical uses of advanced psychological knowledge.
  6. Define a career path appropriate to the psychological specialty studied.
  7. Specify the educational and/or experience levels required of the chosen psychological career.
  8. Apply psychological knowledge and skills in the professional work setting.
  9. Make a successful transition from the master's program to a professional career or doctoral program.

Psychology (M.S.): Concentration in Clinical Psychology — 60 units

PSY 723Clinical Methods: Psychological Assessment3
PSY 724Clinical Issues: Drugs, Brain, and Behavior3
PSY 728Conference to Accompany Psychology Practicum6
PSY 729Psychology Practicum12
PSY 753Seminar in Therapeutic and Developmental Change I3
PSY 754Seminar in Therapeutic and Developmental Change II3
PSY 821Clinical Methods: Diagnosis and Advanced Psychopathology3
PSY 822Clinical Methods: Marital and Family Systems Theory and Therapy3
PSY 828Conference to Accompany Advanced Psychology Practicum6
PSY 829Advanced Psychology Practicum12
PSY 891Seminar in Selected Problems3
PSY 896
Directed Reading
and Culminating Experience Examination
or PSY 898 Master's Thesis