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

Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University


M.A. in Counseling Psychology

Campus-Based Program

On-Campus Location:

Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real,
Santa Clara, CA 95053

(408) 554-4000

SCU 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

Latino counseling, correctional psychology, and health psychology.

Length of Program

3 years


Full-time or part-time. Classes usually meet once a week for three hours. The majority of our classes are held in the evenings: typically, 5:30-8:30. An increasing number of classes are held in the day: 9:30 – 12:30 and 1:30 – 4:30. Summer classes are on a different schedule. Most summer classes meet twice a week for three hours, but there are also opportunities to take weekend, morning, or Monday-Friday classes that meet for a two week period.

You can fulfill the degree requirements by only taking evening classes. Daytime classes are offered when two sections of the same course are being offered in the same quarter. One will be in the day and the other at night. It will not be possible for you to complete the degree if you are unable to take evening courses.

Program Start 

Fall, Winter, Spring, or Summer

Estimated Total Program Tuition


Religious orientation

Santa Clara University abides by a Jesuit-inspired philosophy centered around developing the whole person, justice and service to people in need. The life of SCU is founded on challenging individuals to make a commitment towards personal growth in competence, conscience, and compassion. The counseling department is a leader in pursuit of this tradition. In addition to developing professional competence students are encouraged to take a sincere look at themselves in many different capacities.

Entering Class Size

20-70 students, depending on the quarter

Fieldwork Hours Accrued during program

MFT students are required to accumulate 550 hours at a site that includes 150 hours of face to face time and an additional 75 hours client advocacy hours. Up to 1,300 hours of the required 3000 hours of supervised training may be obtained pre-degree as long as the student is enrolled in a practicum course.

Personal Psychotherapy Requirement During Program

Encouraged but not required.

Comprehensive Exam/Culminating Project/Thesis/Etc:

The Comprehensive Examination is a take-home essay exam devised to help you synthesize your learning into a powerful personal and professional statement. The exam is given once during the Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters, and you have two weeks to complete it after it is mailed to you. You take this exam near the end of your studies, typically the quarter before the last quarter in which you are enrolled in the program. Practicum experience gained by that time can help you in the exam because one of the questions requires the description of a case study.

Application Process

Application Deadline


  • Round 1 - Priority Deadline: April 10 - May 10
  • Round 2 - Second Priority Deadline: June 01 - July 01
  • Round 3 - Rolling Deadline


  • Round 1 - Priority Deadline: October 10 - November 10
  • Round 2 - Rolling Deadline


  • Round 1 - Priority Deadline: January 10 - February 10
  • Round 3 - Rolling Deadline

Undergraduate GPA Requirement

 A minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 is required. 

GRE Requirement


Prerequisite Courses


Application highlights

Statement of Purpose
Please limit your statement to two pages – typed and double-spaced. You must not receive any assistance writing or editing the personal statement; it must be your own original work. Include your reasons for entering the mental health profession, related experiences, and any unique reasons for selecting Santa Clara University. All writing of the statement of purpose must be your own original work.

  1. Relevant background information about the context and the specific work you have done;
  2. A description of the aspects of the work you find most engaging and/or meaningful.

Current Resume or CV

3 Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation should be from three people who have served in supervisory or evaluative roles with you.  This may include professors, instructors, bosses or managers, job supervisors, clinical supervisors, volunteer coordinators or supervisors of volunteer work, pastors, or similar.  This should not include personal friends or personal therapists.  We realize that letters from three such individuals may not be possible for some applicants.  If you will be requesting a letter from someone that does not fit these guidelines, please briefly explain why; the expectation is that the people writing letters for you should still be able to comment on your professional capacity as a counselor.

Admission to the master’s degree programs requires prior academic excellence at the bachelor’s degree or higher level and the estimate of the admissions office of the student’s potential to be a successful counselor. Because the state license in MFT and LPCC allows its holder to engage in private practice using psychotherapeutic and counseling techniques, and because all counseling psychology graduates are likely to work in the human services arena, candidates will be selected on the basis of:

  1. Experience
  2. Previous academic background
  3. Maturity with regard to life experience and professional goals.

Related Work Experience
Those candidates who present significant work or volunteer experience in counseling-related activities will stand to benefit most from the program itself and in subsequent counseling  endeavors. Therefore, in admissions decisions, strong preference will be given to those who have   accrued real work (including volunteer) experience in counseling (at any level) prior to seeking admissions to the master’s program.

(see program website for complete application requirements)

Interview Requirement


The faculty of SCU’s counseling program feel it is in the best interest of the students as well as the field at large to offer a poly theoretical-integrative perspective of the therapeutic arts.
— Santa Clara University

Program Summary

(Reprinted from program website.)

Counseling Psychology is an extremely diverse field comprised of many different facets and understandings, all of which have a degree of relevance and merit. The faculty of SCU's counseling program feel it is in the best interest of the students as well as the field at large to offer a poly theoretical-integrative perspective of the therapeutic arts. Students study numerous types of therapy and are directly and indirectly asked to take a personal and often very soulful and emotional inventory of the different ways of working with clients. The ultimate goal is for students to discover the therapy that resonates best with their personal values will be the most effective and honest approach when dealing with others.

Programs at other schools have their own philosophies - some adhere to one particular therapeutic theory and teach only from that standpoint, others have a more transpersonal orientation and tend to focus on the spiritual, still others may have a style comparable to SCU. It is important that you research and become familiar with the programs of greatest personal interest and choose to apply to those that seem the best fit for your personality.