Psychology and Child Development

College of Liberal Arts

Program Description

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is a 90-quarter unit professional degree program that fulfills the educational requirements for the state of California's Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) license.

The program's mission is to provide the state of California with highly competent master-level clinicians trained to counsel individuals, couples, families, and groups in a multicultural society. Graduates are often employed by County Mental Health, Social Services, and other inpatient and outpatient community mental health centers. Many graduates also build successful private practices. Fifteen percent of our graduates pursue doctoral studies in Clinical or Counseling Psychology. 

Five Psychology and Child Development Department faculty members coordinate the M.S. Program and regularly teach graduate classes. Some courses are taught by mental health professionals from the community. The M.S. faculty is diverse in terms of professional degrees, clinical training, cultural background, and gender. 

Graduate classes are small and students receive much individual attention in our on-campus practicum Community Counseling Clinic and community traineeship sites.

There are approximately 40 fully matriculated students in Cal Poly's M.S. Psychology Program. Graduate courses are scheduled so that full-time students carrying 12-16 quarter units can secure their degree in two years and 3 months. Many students take 2 ½-3 years to finish, however, because of the program's extensive clinical training. Student work, family, and other schedules may also make a longer timeline more feasible. Courses are held in the day and evening and are offered only once a year.


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