Clinical Psychology, M.A. - Illinois School of Professional Psychology

The Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Clinical Psychology is designed to prepare graduates for subsequent doctoral study in clinical psychology. To ensure that students are prepared adequately, the curriculum provides for the meaningful integration of theory, training and practice.

The first year of our Master of Arts (M.A.) in Clinical Psychology program provides students with foundational coursework, followed by a full-year practicum experience and additional coursework.
This program emphasizes the development of attitudes, knowledge, and skills essential in the formation of master’s-level professionals who are committed to the ethical provision of quality services.

Eligibility for Licensure

The M.A. in Clinical Psychology degree program curriculum’s focus is preparation for the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology degree program and not for independent practice. Depending on state requirements, the program may help to prepare students for licensure in psychology or counseling at the master’s level. Additional coursework may be needed for licensure at the master’s level. Master’s level licensure varies from state to state. It is the student’s responsibility to determine the requirements for professional licensure in the state they wish to practice.

For more information on state licensure and certification information please visit NLU’s Public Disclosures page. 

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs):

1. Research: Students will demonstrate knowledge of research methods and the ability to apply this knowledge to critically evaluate research literature.
2. Ethics: Students will demonstrate knowledge of ethical and legal standards, application of ethical decision making processes, and ethical conduct in professional activities.
3. Diversity Application: Students will apply the theoretical and empirical knowledge necessary to address the multidimensionality of human diversity and work effectively with issues of difference.
4. Diversity Self-Awareness: Students will demonstrate self-awareness of the impact of their own social and cultural identities and biases.
5. Professionalism: Students accept responsibility for their own actions, integrate feedback from peers, colleagues, and supervisors in a non-defensive manner, and behave in a professional manner across settings.
6. Communication: Students will demonstrate professionalism through clear and effective written and verbal communication.
7. Interpersonal Effectiveness: Students will demonstrate effective interpersonal skills and the ability to manage difficult communication well, forming and maintaining productive and respectful relationships with clients, colleagues, supervisors, and other professionals.
8. Clinical Assessment: Students will demonstrate an ability to make appropriate diagnoses and recommendations for treatment that take into account both personal and cultural client strengths and challenges.
9. Intervention: Students will demonstrate competency in intervention by articulating a theory-driven case conceptualization and; developing, applying, and evaluating evidence-based treatment plans that are grounded in a coherent orientation.

In addition to the College of Professional Studies and Advancement Graduate Admission Requirements, applicants must:

  • Submit official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
  • Submit a personal/ professional goal statement with a self-appraisal of qualifications for the profession
  • Submit a minimum of three professional letters of reference, preferably speaking to the applicant's academic and clinical suitability for the program. 
  • Complete an interview with members of the program Admissions Committee 

Note: All applicants are automatically admitted to both degrees, M.A. and Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, if admission criteria are met and acceptance by the Program Admission’s Committee is granted. Undergraduate students who apply for the Psy.D. degree, can choose to be considered for acceptance into the M.A. program if not granted acceptance into the Psy.D. program. Those students who are offered admittance into the M.A. program in place of the Psy.D. program can re-apply for the Psy.D. program during year two of the M.A. program. For Psy.D. Admission, an undergraduate degree grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a scale of 4.0) or a conferred graduate degree grade point average of 3.25 (on a scale of 4.0) is required.

Program Details:

  • Requires 50 SH for completion
  • Requires successful completion of the M.A. Clinical Capstone tasks
  • Requires completion of all core courses with a grade of "B" or better with an overall program GPA no lower than 3.0 on a scale of 4.0
  • Requires completion of all program requirements within five years of matriculation into the program
  • Students may transfer a maximum of 15 semester hours of post-master's degree coursework, certain rules apply

Required Courses

Core Courses - 31.5 SH

PSYD 708Personal and Professional Development Group

1 TO 2

PSYD 710Professional Issues: Ethics, Conduct, and Law

1.5 TO 3

PSYD 718Statistics

3

PSYD 719Health and Human Dysfunction I

3

PSYD 722Health and Human Dysfunction II

3

PSYD 732Child and Adolescent Development

3

PSYD 736Clinical Interviewing

1.5 TO 3

PSYD 737Cognitive Assessment

3

PSYD 752Personality Assessment

4

PSYD 753Survey of Diversity and Multicultural Psychology

3

PSYD 847Adult Development and Aging

3

Note: PSYD 708 must be taken for 2 SH. PSYD 710 must be taken for a total of 3 SH. PSYD 736 must be taken for 1.5 SH. 

Intervention Electives - 6 SH

Students must choose two of the following courses: 
PSYD 802Person-Centered and Experiential Theory and Therapy

3

PSYD 805Family and Couples Therapy

3

PSYD 806Psychoanalytic Theory and Therapy

3

PSYD 809Cognitive Behavioral Theory and Therapy

3

General Electives - 6 SH

Students must choose 6 SH from the list of courses below:
PSYD 703History and Systems of Psychology

3

PSYD 705Biological Bases of Behavior

3

PSYD 707Cognition and Affective Processes

3

PSYD 709Social Psychology

3

PSYD 721Advanced Quantitative Methods

1 TO 3

PSYD 723Research Methods

1.5 TO 3

PSYD 724Advanced Qualitative Methods

1

PSYD 733Child and Adolescent Psychopathology

3

PSYD 754Psychology of Women

3

PSYD 756Neuroanatomy and Pathology

3

PSYD 761Clinical Psychopharmacology

3

PSYD 762Integrated Healthcare Psychology

1.5

PSYD 764Extended Empathic Responding I

1.5

PSYD 765Extended Empathic Responding II

1.5

PSYD 766Self-Care for Mental Health Professionals

1.5

PSYD 767Exploring Diversity I

1.5

PSYD 768Exploring Diversity II

1.5

PSYD 769Integrated Forensic Assessment

3

PSYD 770Integrated Projective Assessment

3

PSYD 774Integrated Neuropsychological Assessment

3

PSYD 789Advanced Group Leadership I

1.5

PSYD 790Advanced Group Leadership

0 TO 1.5

PSYD 840Psychology and Trauma

3

 

Professionalization Group Requirements - 0 SH

PSYD 715Professionalization Group I

0

PSYD 716Professionalization Group II

0 TO 1

Practicum and Practicum Seminar Requirements - 6 SH

PSYD 781Master's Practicum & Seminar I

3

PSYD 782Master's Practicum & Seminar II

3

Portfolio Requirement - 0.5 SH

PSYD 793Portfolio Development

0.5