MFT California
Compare masters programs that meet the MFT licensure requirements in California.

Pacifica Graduate Institute

Pacifica Graduate Institute


M.A. in Counseling Psychology

Blended Online/Campus-Based Program

On-Campus Location:

Pacifica Graduate Institute - Ladera Campus
801 Ladera Lane
Santa Barbara, CA 93108

(805) 969-3626

Pacifica Graduate Institute M.A. in Counseling Psychology Program Page

Program details below are quoted from program websites, supplied here for informational purposes only, and subject to change at any time. Refer to the program website for current information, deadlines, complete admission requirements, etc. It is the responsibility of the prospective student to verify with program administrators program details and that the program still meets BBS requirements for licensure in the state of California.

Program Snapshot



Concentrations/Specializations Offered


Length of Program

2.5 years


Counseling Psychology classes take place in three-day sessions approximately once each month during the fall, winter, and spring quarters. There is a seven-day summer session each of the first two years. 

The program begins each fall with students joining a weekend (Friday-Sunday) or weekday (Monday-Wednesday) cohort. Our low residential format means that students meet at the Ladera Lane campus in nine three-day sessions, (approximately once each month) during fall, winter, and spring quarters, and a seven-day session during the summer term per year

The schedule consists of nine three-day sessions and a seven-day summer session each year, during the first two years and six three-day sessions in the final year. Classes meet from approximately 9:00am to 9:00pm during the first two days of each session and from 8:30am-4:30pm on day 3.

Throughout the program, students are engaged in experiential learning and collaborative processes during residential sessions, in online and hybrid courses, and at their second- and third-year practicum sites. 

Program Start 


Estimated Total Program Tuition


Religious orientation

The mission of Pacifica Graduate Institute is to foster creative learning and research in the fields of psychology and mythological studies, framed in the traditions of depth psychology.

By creating an educational environment with a spirit of free and open inquiry, consistent with the recognized values of academic freedom, Pacifica is dedicated to cultivating and harvesting the gifts of the human imagination. So that these insights may influence the personal, cultural, and planetary concerns of our era, this dedication is contained in the motto: animae mundi colendae gratia – for the sake of tending soul in and of the world.

Entering Class Size

Approximately 120 students

Fieldwork Hours Accrued during program

Students must complete a minimum of a 300-hour practicum, including a minimum of 280 direct service hours.

Personal Psychotherapy Requirement During Program

Students must participate in 50 hours of personal psychotherapy.

Comprehensive Exam/Culminating Project/Thesis/Etc:

Two comprehensive examinations and a master’s thesis are to be completed in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

Application Process

Application Deadline

Pacifica offers rolling admissions.  Applicants are encouraged to work toward an acceptance date of at least 6-8 weeks before the program begins.

Undergraduate GPA Requirement


GRE Requirement


Prerequisite Courses

While we encourage students with a psychology background to apply, students with a variety of educational backgrounds may be considered for admission to the Masters in Counseling Psychology Program. Given our interdisciplinary approach, previous background or readings in the fields of depth psychology, mythology, literature, religion, and art are of significance in enhancing a student’s experience in the program.

Application highlights

Program values students whose backgrounds include work in social, religious, or human services; academic training in psychology or the humanities; and experience in personal therapy. Successful applicants will also display scholarly writing skills and an interest in research.

Personal Statement
Please describe your professional and academic areas of interest related to depth psychology and your program of interest, and discuss how this degree would advance your professional and academic goals. Address your potential for success in the program, including anticipated strengths and challenges, and add any other information you feel is important for the Admissions Committee to consider. (3-5 pages)

Letters of Recommendation
Two signed Letters of Recommendation and the Admissions Recommendation forms; one academic, one professional.

List all previous and present work experience, including appropriate dates and job descriptions. Include lists of the following, if applicable: areas of research interest; professional and clinical licenses held; clinical settings in which you have worked, and in what capacity; any publications you have to your credit, where they appeared, and dates published.

Writing Sample
As a therapist, you will need to have the ability to succinctly capture the beauty and complexity of a counseling session within a few short sentences in your clinical notes. This short writing sample is an opportunity for you to show your ability to capture an experience of psyche with a minimum of words. Please submit a 300 word essay where you describe your experience with a creative work (movie, book, poem, short story, etc.) and its meaning and significance to you.

(see program website for complete application requirements)

Interview Requirement

Yes, an in-person interview is required.

Dedicated to offering students unique and evidenced-based comprehensive training in the art of marriage, family, and individual psychotherapy and professional clinical counseling with an appreciation for the systemic and immeasurable dimensions of the psyche.
— Pacifica Graduate University

Program Summary

(Reprinted from program website.)

For over three decades, Pacifica’s M.A. Program in Counseling Psychology has offered distinctive and comprehensive training and emphasis in the art, science, and practice of marriage and family therapy, professional clinical counseling, and depth psychology. As preparation for licensure in Marriage and Family Therapy and Professional Clinical Counseling, this rigorous academic program emphasizes both theoretical understanding and experiential training in clinical skills. Pacifica students have outstanding pass rates of the California LMFT exams. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences reports that 85% of the Pacifica graduates taking the MFT standard written exam from 1/1/2015-6/30/2015 passed the exam, which ranks higher than the state average of 65% for that time period.

Students in the Counseling Psychology Program pursue two and a half years of coursework in Marriage and Family Therapy, Professional Clinical Counseling, Theory and Praxis, and Humanities and Depth Traditions.

Research studies prepare students to explore and contribute to the continuing development of scholarship within the marriage and family therapy, professional clinical counseling, and depth psychological tradition. This underlying emphasis invites a curiosity about the psyche and encourages respect for the diversity of life and human experience. Supervised practicum provides students the opportunity to apply clinical counseling techniques in a clinical setting. Students continue to learn multi-theoretical perspectives and supervisory styles while working with individuals, couples, families, and groups. Interdisciplinary courses in literature, mythology, religion, and culture deepen students’ ability to link archetypal themes to sociopolitical and personal issues in the lives of individuals, families, and communities.