M.A. in Counseling, Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy/Professional Clinical Counselor
St. Mary's College of California
1928 Saint Mary’s Road
Moraga, CA 94575
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.
Length of Program
Almost all Counseling Department courses are held in the late afternoon or evenings on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Most of the 3-unit courses are held one evening a week, at the 4:15-7:00 pm time slot or at the 7:15-10:00 pm time slot. A few courses, such as COUN 520 and 521, are held on Saturdays. During the January and Summer Terms, class times vary, depending on the number of units. Almost all classes are held after 4 pm on weeknights and/or on Saturdays. Students may enroll full- or part-time.
Estimated Total Program Tuition
To affirm and foster the Christian understanding of the human person which animates the educational mission of the Catholic Church.
Saint Mary's College holds that the mystery which inspires wonder about the nature of existence is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ giving a transcendent meaning to creation and human existence. Nourished by its Christian faith, the College understands the intellectual and spiritual journeys of the human person to be inextricably connected. It promotes the dialogue of faith and reason: it builds community among its members through the celebration of the church's sacramental life; it defends the goodness, dignity and freedom of each person, and fosters sensitivity to social and ethical concerns.
Recognizing that all those who sincerely quest for truth contribute to and enhance its stature as a Catholic institution of higher learning, Saint Mary's welcomes members from its own and other traditions, inviting them to collaborate in fulfilling the spiritual mission of the College.
Entering Class Size
Anywhere from 12-18 student entering in the spring and 55+ in the fall, however these numbers are inclusive of all of seven specializations, not just MFT/PCC.
Fieldwork Hours Accrued during program
All MFT/PCC students have to accrue 600 total hours in placement, with 280 of those hours being face-to-face counseling hours.
Personal Psychotherapy Requirement During Program
All students must engage in at least 30 hours of in-person, personal psychotherapy with either a licensed mental health professional (a LMFT, LPCC, LCSW, licensed psychologist, or psychiatrist) or supervised intern (MFTI, PCCI, Psychologist Intern). Half of these hours (15) can be acquired during a two-year period prior to beginning field placement (COUN 530/540) and the other half must be gained while in field placement. Of the 30 hours, a minimum of 20 hours must be in the form of individual therapy, and up to ten hours can be gained in couples, family, or group counseling.
Comprehensive Exam/Culminating Project/Thesis/Etc:
To fulfill the requirements for the degree that the graduate student has selected, a thesis, synthesis project, counseling master’s project, or action research project must be completed and approved.
Applications are accepted and students are admitted on a year-round basis. Prospective students are encouraged to begin the application process several months before the term in which they wish to begin. Once accepted, students may start the program of study in their specialization at the beginning of the fall semester, the spring semester, or the 6- week summer term.
Undergraduate GPA Requirement
- A Personal Statement describing your academic and vocational objectives
Three (3) letters of recommendation from professionals who can write to your potential for graduate level work and/or potential for becoming an effective counselor.
(see program website for complete application requirements)
(Reprinted from program website.)
Student Learning Outcomes for the MA in Counseling
Theories: Students begin to demonstrate knowledge of and skills in applying a wide range of developmental and counseling theories relevant to counseling in general and specific to their specialization(s), and are aware of the limitations of these theories when working with diverse or multicultural populations.
Counseling Skills: Students will articulate the core conditions of a high quality therapeutic relationship and conceptual framework of the Human Resource Development (HRD) Model, and demonstrate the full range of counseling skills of the HRD Model.
Personal Growth and Wellness: Students will identify goals and steps, and implement action plans that promote their personal growth and wellness.
Professional Development: Students will identify goals and steps, and implement action plans that encourage their professional development relevant to their counseling specialization(s).
Diversity: Students will demonstrate self-awareness around their own biases, prejudices, limitations, and assets in working with diverse populations. Students will exhibit knowledge of and skills in counseling clients from a wide range of diversity in all its forms (e.g., gender, culture, ethnicity, race, age, sexual orientation, religion/spirituality, physical/mental abilities, class, and social and economic background).
Social Justice and Client Advocacy: Students will actively promote sensitivity to and awareness of social and ethical concerns, specifically related to the consequences of economic and social injustice. Through coursework and field experiences, students will begin to engage in promoting social justice for their clients/students, and work towards addressing systemic oppression.
Law and Ethics: Students will demonstrate knowledge of and skills in applying the laws and ethical principles relevant to their counseling specialization(s), and discuss the limitations of ethical codes when working with diverse populations.
Research: Students will demonstrate their ability to access, evaluate, and apply culturally relevant research practices that emphasize a collaborative approach specific to their counseling specialization(s).
Case Management: Students will demonstrate the skills of goal-setting, assessment, and effective intervention with their clients as relevant to their specialization(s), counseling setting, and scope of practice, and learn to adapt their interventions to meet the needs of their diverse clients.
10. Technology Literacy: Students will demonstrate a basic level of information technology literacy and skills, and use technology in culturally sensitive ways that reflect an understanding of the digital divide.
11. Written and Oral Communication Skills: Students will demonstrate professional and effective written and oral communication skills, including APA formatting.
Themes Infused in the Counseling Courses
The faculty of the Counseling Department have agreed that there are a number of themes that are to be represented in all of our courses. These are:
1. The mission and vision of the Counseling Department to prepare our students to be agents of positive personal and social change through advocacy;
2. The emphasis on addressing counselor and client holistic, systemic wellness;
3. The centrality of ethical and professional behaviors and ongoing professional development;
4. The importance of self-awareness and of gaining skills for working with a wide range of diverse clients, as well as of understanding, appreciating, and respecting the diversity and socio-cultural contexts of people (gender, culture, ethnicity, religion/spirituality, age, disabilities, language, class/economic status, sexual orientations, and other differences);
5. The social and psychological implications of socioeconomic position and how poverty and social stress impact an individual’s mental health and recovery;
6. The importance of mental health recovery-oriented care and methods of service delivery in recovery-oriented practice environments; and
7. The value of using clinically relevant research (how to use the library; how to do a literature search, review, and critique of professional journal articles; how to keep current in the particular area covered by the class; and how to remain current in the profession of counseling).