M.A. Program Information | Clinical Psychology | Counseling & Clinical Psychology

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Clinical Psychology

Clinical Psychology

In the Counseling and Clinical Psychology Department

M.A. Program Information

M.A. in Psychology in Education

The Gateway to the Mental Health Professions

Our Master of Arts degree is formally titled “Psychology in Education” for historical reasons, but is today well-known as a premier MA program for students interested in the field of Clinical Psychology and the mental health professions. The program provides foundational knowledge of psychopathology, treatment, theory, and research methods, with a range of courses in areas such as trauma, forensics, and mindfulness practice. It is ideally suited for applicants who are looking to strengthen their academic background prior to applying to doctoral programs such as the PhD or PsyD in Clinical Psychology or Counseling Psychology, or other branches of Psychology. In addition, the program has many students who do not hold undergraduate degrees in psychology and who wish to gain exposure to the field, either to further their careers or explore new areas of knowledge.  Please note: The program is not intended to prepare students for the independent practice of professional psychology and will not lead to licensure in New York State.

Why the MA Program?
The Department of Clinical Psychology at Teachers College is a world-renowned training ground for researchers and clinicians, particularly known for innovation in pedagogy and clinical practice. Students within the MA Program are given an unprecedented opportunity to experience the demands of a graduate-level education in Clinical Psychology while also exploring the multiple avenues available in the ever-growing mental health field beyond. Our mission is to provide students with a platform to clarify their interests and then direct themselves toward their next professional goals. The field of applied psychology is vast. The MA Program exposes students to diverse perspectives and populations, and supports them with intensive academic advisement, so that they may discover the best fit for their unique abilities. Graduates of the MA Program leave prepared to confidently pursue higher education or gainful employment.

How does the MA Program work?
During their tenure, students are closely guided by MA Program Advisors, which include current Ph.D. students from the Clinical Psychology department. Advisors help to clarify students' academic goals, to gauge progress, and to assist with their professional development. MA Program Ambassadors, which include current 2nd year MA Students, also assist with community-building and information-sharing so that student needs are heard and creatively addressed. Through the innovative MA Program curriculum, which includes a combination of didactic instruction and experiential learning, students develop the critical thinking skills needed to interpret scientific knowledge, review traditional and contemporary treatment models, engage in innovative research, and contribute to fieldwork sites throughout New York City. By the end, students are intimately familiar with the depth and breadth of the Clinical Psychology orientation as a result of their tailored educational experience.

What is the MA degree for?
The MA Program is intended to awaken a student's passion and to give him/her the knowledge-base and skill-set to pursue it in earnest. Whether a student has a set path (e.g., to pursue a Ph.D. Program) or only a vague idea (e.g., to work with children), the MA Program offerings will allow for a range of opportunities. The MA degree is not intended to prepare students for the independent practice of professional psychology and will not lead to licensure. It is instead designed with the notion that there is more than one road to achieving a fulfilling career in Psychology. Many of our graduates have applied their degree to pursue prestigious doctoral programs, to engage in compatible disciplines (Social Work, Neuroscience, Anthropology, Public Health), or to become more gainfully employed (Research Laboratories, Non-profit Organizations, Undergraduate Colleges, Human Resource Departments) with the understanding that their degree can be effective in many settings.

Where are MA students from?
The MA Program student body is represented by individuals from various ages, cultures, geographies, and training backgrounds. International professionals, mid-life career changers, and psychology majors are only a few examples of the diversity that enriches our community. The program leading to the MA degree is appropriate for students who have obtained undergraduate degrees in Psychology as well as for those with a limited exposure to the field. Some students use the program to enhance their current work (elementary education, international policy), while others use it to distill their interests within psychology (global mental health, addictions). Yet others use it as a first step toward a doctoral education. The MA Program celebrates that our students are not of one voice. This diversity of perspectives is considered necessary to solve the very real-world problems they will encounter upon graduation. Each student has a unique contribution to make.

How can I find out more about the Spirituality Mind Body Summer Intensive MA Degree?

Please visit the following link

When is the MA Admissions Application due?

January 15th or April 15th (see Office of Admissions)

Concentrations

Students may concentrate their coursework in a particular sub-specialty within Clinical Psychology. Qualifying for a concentration means taking 1-2 required foundational courses in the area plus 3 additional courses in the topic of your choosing.  Several Special Topics courses (CCPX 4199s) are rotated every year that will also fulfill concentration requirements. Please check with advisors to see if a particular 4199 course meets criteria. There are nine concentrations of 12 credits each listed below:

 

1) Research Methods: This area of focus prepares students for in-depth understanding of quantitative procedures in psychological research. Courses will focus on the methods of research design and statistical inference/mathematical modeling. This concentration helps students to work as highly competent researchers. The ONE requirement is CCPX 5533 OR CCPX 5534. Either class fulfills the requirement. Please choose THREE additional courses from the list below. Total = 4 courses/12 credits. Dr. Randall Richardson is the head of this concentration.  Dr. Randall Richardson is the head of this concentration.

 

Required:      CCPX 5533: Research Methods in Clinical Psychology I                                       OR

                      CCPX 5534: Research Methods in Clinical Psychology II  

HUDM 4050: Introduction to Measurement  

HUDM 4120: Methods of Empirical Research  

HUDM 4122: Probability and Statistical Inference  

HUDM 5122: Applied Regression Analysis  

HUDM 5123: Linear Models and Experimental Design  

HUDM 5124: Multidimensional Scaling and Clustering  

HUDM 6026: Statistical Treatment of Mass Data  

HUDM 6122: Multivariate Analysis I  

ITSF 4092: Qualitative Research/Evaluation Intl Ed.

IND 5199: Participatory Methods: Theory and Practice

 

 

2) Child & Family: This area of focus prepares students for in-depth understanding of children, families, and developmental processes. This concentration has two fundamental areas of emphasis: i) child development; ii) the family in context. This concentration orients students to the challenges of working with children and their families. The ONE requirement is CCPX 5034. Please choose THREE additional courses from the list below. Total = 4 courses/12 credits. Dr. Susan Bodnar (Adjunct Assistant Professor) is the interim head of this concentration.

 

Required:      CCPX 5034: Child Psychopathology  

CCPX 5040: Development & Psychopathology: Atypical Contexts & Populations  

CCPX 4126: Mother-Child Matrix: Developmental & Clinical Implications  

HUDK 4021: Developmental psychology: Infancy  

HUDK 4022: Developmental psychology: Childhood  

HUDK 4023: Developmental psychology: Adolescence  

HUDK 6036: Child & Family Policy I  

HBSK 5031: Family as a Context for Child Development  

ITSF 5005: Interdisciplinary Study of the Family  

ITSF 4034: Dynamics of Family Interaction  

 

  

 

3) Spirituality & Mind/Body Practices: This area of focus prepares students for in-depth understanding of the role of spirituality and contemplative practices (e.g. meditation) as contributors to mental health and well-being. This concentration fosters competency in exploring the essential spiritual principles and practices of human experience within the context of illness and healing. The ONE requirement is CCPX 5045. Please choose THREE additional courses from the list below. Total = 4 courses/12 credits. Dr. Lisa Miller is the head of this concentration.

 

Required:      CCPX 5045: Psychotherapy, Religious Diversity, and Spirituality  

CCPX 4039: Spiritual & Traditional Treatment 

HUDK 5028: Spiritual Development Across the Lifespan  

CCPX 4063: Analytic Psychology: Jung to Present

CCPX 4055: Spirit Mind-Body Medicine

 

The Spirituality Mind Body Institute offers various Special Topics courses (CCPX 4199) that may fulfill the concentration.  The classes and topics covered vary by semester. 

 

 

4) Community Psychology & Integrated Health Services: This area of focus has been re-envisioned to prepare students to improve services for underserved populations within their specialized contexts. This concentration enables students to seek out work settings that serve the growing numbers of patients facing barriers to mental health treatment due to aging, gender/sexuality, illness/disabilities, incarceration, addiction, poverty, globalization, etc. The TWO requirements are CCPX 4010 and CCPX 4230 (Refer to Fieldwork Section of the Handbook). Please choose THREE additional courses from the list below. Total = 4 courses/12 credits. Dr. Dinelia Rosa is the head of this concentration.

 

Required:      CCPX 4010: Social Problems for Clinical Psychologists                                       AND

                      CCPX 4230: Fieldwork and Applied Psychology

CCPX 4020: Geriatric Mental Health

CCPX 4040: Introduction to Psychological Testing & Assessment  CCPX 4125: Women & Mental Health  

CCPX 4150: Introduction to Forensic Psychology  

CCPX 4050: Introduction to Health Psychology  

CCPX 5010: Introduction to Global Mental Health  

 

 

5) Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis: This area of focus prepares students to deepen their understanding of the various psychotherapeutic perspectives and their styles of intervention.  Students will sample theories of contemporary and classical therapeutic orientations so they may one-day train to become psychotherapists or psychoanalysts. Upon graduation, students may pursue this training within doctoral programs (PsyD programs focus on clinical practice), psychoanalytic institutes (many now have licensure tracks and welcome MA level applicants), or even an LMHP Licensure track Masters (Licensed Mental Health Practitioner). This concentration is for those who wish to one-day focus on direct patient contact and the treatment of individuals through psychotherapy and counseling theories and techniques.  The ONE requirement is CCPX 4038. Please choose THREE additional courses from the list below. Total = 4 courses/12 credits. Dr. Barry Farber is the head of this concentration.

 

Required:      CCPX 4038: Comparative Psychotherapies  

CCPX 4035: Personality & Behavior Change  

CCPX 4037: Introduction to Cognitive Behavior Therapy  

CCPX 4120: Psychotherapy through Fiction and Film  

CCPX 4063: Analytic Psychology: Jung to Present

CCPX 4542: Introduction to Contemporary Psychoanalytic Thought  

CCPX 5033: The Evolution of Freud’s Psychological Theories  

 

6) Global Mental Health & Trauma: This concentration provides coursework in two closely associated fields: global mental health and trauma. Courses offer exposure to:  Longitudinal and prospective studies of individuals’ reactions to adversity and their cross-sectional context; risk and protective factors for various forms of resilient outcomes; basic research in cognitive and emotional processes that inform adjustment.  Assessment of local idioms of distress, mental health needs and attitudes towards illness and treatment in regions around the world; Development and psychometrics of new and validation of existing symptom and functioning scales; Definition and development of metrics of individual and community-level resilience. Intervention -training in principles and strategies of evidence-based psychotherapies relevant to GMH and trauma exposure for prevention, treatment, implementation/dissemination; Policy: Country-wide mental health situational analysis; Partnering with government and non-government stakeholders to develop and implement mental health policy

Thereare TWO requirements for this concentration: CCPX 5010 AND CCPX 4060. Please choose TWO additional courses from the list below. Total = 4 courses/12 credits. Drs. Lena Verdeli and George Bonanno are the heads of this concentration.

 

Required:      CCPX 5010: Introduction to Global Mental Health                                    AND

                      CCPX 4060: Psychology of Loss and Trauma  

CCPX 5011: Psychotherapy around the Globe

CCPX 4037: Introduction to Cognitive Behavior Therapy  

CCPX 5020: Cognition, Emotion, Culture & Health  

ORL 5524: Instrument Design and Validation - Seminar  

CCPX 5532: Clinical Issues: Families from Diverse Backgrounds  

CCPX 5533: Research Methods in Clinical Psychology I

CCPX 5534: Research Methods in Clinical Psychology II

 

7) Sexuality, Women & Gender:This area of focus prepares students to envision and implement the next wave of theories and practices to improve well-being of persons with a focus on sexuality and gender. Students will sample and apply women, gender, and sexuality theories to better understand the psychological and social lives of understudied groups such as women, LGB and Transgendered persons. This concentration is also relevant to the study of the human development of gender differences and roles (“masculinities/femininities”), sex and intimacy, reproductive and maternal mental health, and violence against women (VAW), among others. The ONE requirement is CCPX 4125 OR CCPJ 4180. Please choose THREE additional courses from the list below. You may also find other courses and email for their approval. Total = 4 courses/12 credits. Dr. Aurélie Athan is the head of this concentration.

 

Required:      CCPX 4125: Women and Mental Health                                                    OR

                      CCPJ 4180: LGBT(Q) Issues

CCPJ 4000: Multicultural Psychopathology

CCPX 4126: Mother-Child Matrix: Developmental & Clinical Implications

CCPX 4036: The Psychology of Human Sexuality & Intimacy

CCPX : Perinatal Mental Health

A&H 4065: Media & Gender

C&T 4032: Gender, Difference & Curriculum

HBSS 4133: Human Sexuality Education

HBSS 4122: Women's Health 

 

8) Clinical Psychology & Technology: In this concentration, students will 1) gain the skills to apply technology towards modernizing various fields within psychology, and 2) learn about a wide array of psychology fields to identify where need for modernization is most pressing. There are FOUR required courses for this concentration. These four courses are sufficient to fulfill the concentration credit requirement, but you may take additional courses from the list below. Total = 4 courses/12 credits. Dr. George Nitzburg is the head of this concentration.

 

Required:      CCPX 4023: Technology, Psychology, and Psychotherapy                          AND               

                      CCPX 5533 or 5534:   Research Methods: Clinical Psychology                  AND

                      MSTU 4031: Object-oriented theory and programming I                            AND

                      MSTU 5031: Object-oriented theory and programming II                          AND

CCPX 4040: Introduction to Psychological Testing & Assessment

CCPX 4050: Introduction to Health Psychology

CCPX 4020: Geriatric Mental Health

CCPX 4150: Introduction to Forensic Psychology 

CCPX 5010: Introduction to Global Mental Health

 

9) Forensic Psychology: This course concentration prepares students for employment and further graduate education in the fields of child protection and child forensic mental health services at the MA level. Coursework from several concentrations are joined with specialized courses in child protection forensic psychology, child forensic interviewing, and child maltreatment psychology to form this study area. The curriculum is intended to prepare students for entry level positions in private and public agencies.  The TWO required courses for this concentration are CCPX 4199: The Forensic Psychology of Child Protection AND CCPX 4150: Introduction to Forensic Psychology. Please choose THREE additional courses. Total = 4 courses/12 credits. Dr. David Mantell is the head of this concentration.

 

Required:      CCPX 4199: The Forensic Psychology of Child Protection                     AND

                      CCPX 4150: Introduction to Forensic Psychology          

CCPX 4199: Child Forensic Interviewing

CCPX 5034: Child Psychopathology

CCPX 4126: Mother-Child Matrix

ITSF 4034: Dynamics of Family Interaction

HUDM 4050: Introduction to Measurement

HUDM 4120: Methods of Empirical Research

CCPX 5533 or 5534: Research Methods in Clinical Psychology

CCPX 4040: Introduction to Psychological Testing and Assessment 

CCPX 4060: The Psychology of Loss and Trauma

Frequently Asked Questions

The early deadline is January 15. The final deadline is April 15. Students are encouraged to apply prior to the early deadline. However, students are not penalized should they apply closer to the final deadline.

No. You are welcome to submit them, but they are not required.

Application Form and Fee; Personal Statement (No more than 3 pages); Résumé; Official Transcript(s); 2 Letters of Recommendation (at least one must be academic).

Previous research and clinical experience is not required to apply.

The program only admits new students in the Fall semester. If accepted, students with special permission from the Admissions office can begin their course of study the Summer before the Fall term of the year of their admittance.

This varies each year and is based on how many applications we receive.

Your score must be at least 100 on the computer test and 600 on the paper test

This varies each year and is based on how many applications we receive.

Each student is required to complete 36 credits worth of coursework. Additionally, students must submit a special project, which can consist of an extensive literature review of a particular area of interest or an empirical study.

All transfer requests for credit must be submitted to the Office of Admissions.

The shortest amount of time possible to finish the M.A. is three semesters (fall, spring, and summer) while the longest is five years. Most students complete the degree within two years.

No. However, students are encouraged to seek out fieldwork while in the program. You can meet with the fieldwork coordinator to explore possibilities.

No because most of the classes are not offered online.

The program will assign an advisor for you when you enroll in the program.

You can find one on the TC main website by clicking on our Department.

The class size changes depending on whether it is an intimate seminar course or a large survey course. It can range from 8 to 50 people, but the average is between 20 and 30.

Yes. You will have the opportunity to apply to work in a faculty member’s lab. However, each faculty member is unique with regard to their availability to speak with individually or work in their laboratories.

The Counseling MA is an entirely separate program. It is 60 credits and leads to the possibility of licensure as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). Please see the counseling program’s website for a full description of their program. The Clinical MA is much shorter at 36 credits and does not lead to licensure.

Students can receive loans, but there are no scholarships or grants offered within our department for the MA degree. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid if you have any further questions.

The doctoral admissions process is the same for all applicants, whether a student applies directly from an undergraduate school, or brings a Masters degree from TC or elsewhere.

No. This brief (36 credit) MA Program is not designed to prepare students for MA-level licensure in New York State. Most graduates are interested in ultimately studying for more advanced degrees.

This program best serves students making career changes into the field of psychology, those who wish to integrate psychological principals into their current expertise, and especially for those who are pursuing advanced degrees such as a Ph.D. Graduated students have been known to work in research institutions and to strengthen their doctoral applications by clarifying their long-term goals.

Only students whose credentials qualify them for admission into the MA program (but not the Ph.D. program) are invited into the MA program. Successful MA applicants meet standards regarding undergraduate grade point average, English proficiency (where relevant), have good personal statements and letters of recommendation

Approximately 140 students enter the MA program each fall.

Graduates typically find employment in research centers, clinics, hospitals, social service agencies, and community colleges.

Our Masters of Arts degree is formally titled "Psychology in Education" for historical reasons only. A program called "Psychology and Education" has existed at Teachers College for many, many years. Faculty of the program in Clinical Psychology recognized the need for an MA focused on academic clinical psychology and so retooled the existing program to house the MA program in Clinical Psychology.

There is a "Integrative Project" for which the MA Handbook outlines guidelines. The term "Masters Thesis" is not used, and college guidelines for the Masters Thesis are not applicable.

Our own Ph.D. program is small. Nevertheless, as many as four MA students are successful applicants to our program in a single year. Most students apply to several programs for more advanced degrees, and many are successful in gaining admission.

There is a very wide variety of placements in which our students are involved (see the Fieldwork section of this Handbook (pg.15) for their applied work. Students often become involved in research projects with faculty in our program.

You should work closely with the department’s Fieldwork Coordinator, Dr. Defne Koramen; da2105@tc.columbia.edu, Box 102, Room 422E Thompson). The Program Advisors are also available to provide guidance.

Every faculty member in the MA program is actively involved in research and has a research lab. More information on individual faculty research interests and uptown research opportunities are available in this Handbook.

Your sponsor may be a full-time or adjunct faculty member in the college; but not necessarily in the clinical program. You may also ask faculty or principal investigators from off-site research programs to be your sponsor, pending the approval of Program Coordinator, Dr. Richardson.

It is a 36 credit program. If you are a full-time student you may be able to complete it in three semesters (including summer). If you are part-time it is very likely to take longer. Many students find that spending more than one year is highly useful. It may permit them to become closer with faculty members, become more deeply involved in clinical and research activities, and generally prepare to become stronger applicants for doctoral admission or employment. Up to five years are allowed for degree completion.

No, new admitted students must begin their degree during the Fall semester.

We do not accept deferrals. You are welcome to apply again the following admissions cycle.

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