For students interested in the field of Clinical Psychology
Our Master of Arts degree is formally titled “Psychology in Education” for historical reasons, but is widely known as the premier MA program for students interested in the field of Clinical Psychology. The program provides foundational knowledge of psychopathology, treatment, theory, and research methods, with a range of courses in areas such as trauma, forensics, women's mental health, global mental health, 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 Psy.D. or Ph.D. in Clinical or Counseling Psychology.
Please note: This program is not intended to prepare students for the independent practice of professional psychology and will not lead to licensure in New York State. Applicants interested in a license-eligible Master's level education are encouraged to consider the department's M.Ed. program in Mental Health Counseling.
The Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Teachers College is a world-renowned training ground for researchers and clinicians, particularly known for innovation in research, pedagogy and clinical practice. Students within the M.A. program 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 M.A. 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.
During their tenure, students are closely guided by M.A. 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. M.A. program ambassadors, which include current 2nd year M.A. Students, also assist with community-building and information-sharing so that student needs are heard and creatively addressed. Through the innovative M.A. 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.
Students have the option to concentrate their studies in any of ten areas of study. Whereas most students choose one concentration, some organize their coursework around more than one.
The M.A. program student body draws students from all over the world with the current class comprising students from over 30 countries and almost every state in the Union. Students are typically serious about pursuing doctoral degrees, and are excited by the opportunity to prove themselves in a rigorous learning environment.
The program has many dimensions, and 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 (e.g., elementary education, international policy), while others use it to distill their interests within psychology (e.g., global mental health, neuroscience). Yet others use it as a crucial step toward a doctoral education. The M.A. 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.
The program for the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Psychology in Education requires 36 points of coursework and the Integrative Project. The program has a simple structure, in which 18 credits (6 classes) must be completed within the Psychology in Education program (CCPX). An additional 9 credits (3 classes) of Breadth Requirement must be taken at Teachers College in other areas (e.g,, Statistics in HUDM). Nine additional credits of Electives (3 classes) may be taken anywhere at Columbia University, including the Psychology in Education program. Students typically take 3 classes per semester, over a period of 4 semesters. Although the degree can be completed in less time (e.g., 2 semesters, and 2 summer periods) it is advisable for students to allow themselves time to focus on independent research. Students may take up to five years to finish the program.
Transfer credits from courses taken outside of Teachers College are not accepted toward any M.A. program at Teachers College. Some CCPX classes may be restricted to doctoral students only. Please refer to the course schedule to determine which courses are open to M.A. students.
All students matriculating in the M.A. Program are given a copy of the Student Handbook for the specific academic year in which they matriculate. The Handbook outlines these requirements in detail.
The Integrative Project
The Integrative Project is intended to be the culmination of a student's development in the Master's Program and represents a substantial contribution to the field. Students are encouraged to meet with the Program Director as early as possible in the development of their project to review their proposal and to identify an appropriate Sponsor, who will be the person primarily responsible for evaluation of the finished work. For more information on the Integrative Project, please see the Student Handbook.
*The Program Coordinator or the M.A. Program Assistants are available for consultation about course selection and about the Integrative Project.
*Please note: Clinical required and elective ‘topics’ courses (CCPX 4199) change each year. Information about these courses can be found in the M.A. Handbook but not in the Teachers College Catalog.