Psychology Master's Degrees in California (A-C)

FIND A PROGRAM
Sponsored School Search
FEATURED PROGRAMS
SPONSORED LISTINGS
SCHOOL
PROGRAM
MORE INFO
Northwestern
Online Master of Arts in Counseling - No GRE req.
Pepperdine University
Online Master of Arts in Psychology - No GRE req.
Pepperdine University
Online MFT Master’s Program - No GRE req.
Pepperdine University
Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis - No GRE req.
NYU
Master of Arts in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness Online - No GRE req.
Capella University
Online BS, MS, PhD, PsyD in Psychology with over a dozen specialty options.
Southern New Hampshire University
Online BS, MS in Psychology with many different focus options.

Pursuing a career in counseling and other similar industries often demands advanced education, and those hoping to further their careers would do well to consider Master’s in Psychology Degrees in California given the state’s reputation for highly sought-after programs at the graduate level. According to Business Insider, the Golden State ranked 11th out of the 50 states for best economy in 2014. Since psychologists work in a wide range of industries, attending school here would afford students plenty of opportunities. The following list represents the first in a series of psychology master’s programs in California but does not include the California State University system of schools, which can be seen here.

Alliant International University

California School of Professional Psychology

Founded in 1969 and dedicated to providing rigorous, focused degree programs in specific industries, Alliant International University awards degrees in business, education, forensics, law and psychology under the direction of individual schools. The school is a private institution and provides students with the option to study at several locations in California. For those interested in psychology graduate programs, Alliant’s California School of Professional Psychology offers several programs at the master’s level and doctoral level as well as certification programs in select areas. With the exception of the MS in Clinical Psychopharmacology, the school’s master-level degrees are all M.A. programs with varying concentrations.

Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology

With a Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology, students will learn how to apply psychology concepts to businesses and organizations to help sustain productivity and further professional goals. The program is designed with working students in mind, and candidates may opt for regular daytime classes, evening coursework or even online courses in some cases. Students will complete 50 units on courses covering topics such as survey methods, human resources management, and organizational change and development. In addition to the 50-unit requirement, students have to complete an internship experience of 240 hours. The program is offered at the Los Angeles and San Diego campuses.

Clinical Psychopharmacology Postdoctoral MS Program

Alliant’s Clinical Psychopharmacology Postdoctoral MS Program was developed in 1998 as the nation’s first program dedicated to providing psychologists with subsequent training and certification in the management of medication for people with psychological disorders. The school retains its leadership status with this intensive program, and hundreds of practicing psychologists around the U.S. have benefited from the degree. This M.S. program is hosted entirely online, which makes it ideal for working professionals, but there is a significant time investment. Candidates in this program complete 462 hours of coursework divided into about 30 units. The credit requirement includes a 16-hour review for the Psychopharmacology Examination for Psychologists.

Accreditation

  • Senior College Commission of the Western Associate of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Contact
Alliant International University
California School of Professional Psychology
10455 Pomerado Road
San Diego, CA 92131-1799
Phone: (858) 635-4000
Email: Live Chat available online
Program Link

Azusa Pacific University

Graduate Programs

Azusa Pacific University’s motto represents the principles on which the school has stood since its foundation: “God first since 1899.” This private, evangelical Christian college has an undergraduate enrollment of around 6,500 students who pursue degrees at both undergraduate and graduate levels on campus and online. Tied at number 173 on U.S. News and World Report’s list of the best national universities, Azusa Pacific strives to educate students using a faith-based approach combined with higher academic pursuits and an award-winning athletics program. The university’s school psychology program is accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists, and students can pursue three additional psychology programs at the graduate level.

Master of Arts in Psychology

Azusa Pacific’s online-only Master of Arts in Psychology program offers students a broad perspective on psychology concepts designed to prepare them for doctoral studies or entry-level careers. According to the school’s website, program objectives center on helping students to integrate “God’s Word within the profession of psychology,” communicate effectively, identify and address ethical concerns, use appropriate and relevant technology and statistical information in analysis, and examine issues related to diversity. Students will complete 36 units for the program, 15 of which are core requirements and 21 of which come from a focus area. Most students complete the degree within 24 months.

Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy

Students researching psychology master’s degree programs in California will appreciate the in-depth approach taken with Azusa Pacific’s Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology. The program’s emphasis in marriage and family therapy will prepare students to work with families, couples and individuals in private settings. In addition to traditional academic courses on psychology topics, the school offers interdisciplinary studies centered on ethics, psychotherapy and theology to provide a well-rounded education. For those interested in becoming certified as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Azusa Pacific provides an additional course to address the licensing requirement. The program requires completion of 66 to 69 credit units.

M.S. in Organizational Psychology

The M.S. in Organizational Psychology program at Azusa University requires 39 hours and between 16 and 22 months to complete. This program is only available at the main campus at Azusa, but given the shorter time frame for completion, even working students may find it convenient to earn the master’s degree. Designed for those who want to work with organizations to improve employee experience and productivity, the M.S. in Organizational Psychology divides its required coursework into 21 hours of an organizational psychology core, 12 hours of a research and assessment core, and two units worth six credits of “integration” courses centered on thesis preparation.

Accreditation

  • Senior College Commission of the Western Associate of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Contact
Azusa Pacific University
901 E. Alosta Avenue
Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000
Phone: (626) 815-5008
Email for MFT: vewing@apu.edu (Vicki Ewing)
Email for Organizational M.S.: leadershippsych@apu.edu
Program Link for MA
Program Link for MFT
Program Link for Organizational M.S.

Brandman University

Arts and Sciences Department

Founded in 1958 as Chapman University College, Brandman University has evolved into a non-profit college offering a variety of online and on-campus programs to about 13,000 enrolled students at 25 campuses spread throughout California and Washington State. The university holds distinction with U.S. News and World Report for being one of the best online institutions at both undergraduate and graduate levels for military veterans. Students looking for graduate programs in psychology have four options at Brandman under the school’s Arts and Sciences Department. The university offers just one master’s program, but the program allows students to concentrate on a specific area.

Master of Arts in Psychology

Brandman University offers degree programs at 23 campuses throughout California, and students who pursue a Master of Arts in Psychology have the option to choose from most of these locations. The counseling focus is only offered at the Washington locations, so it’s not outlined below. The Master of Arts in Psychology program exposes students to a wide array of psychology concepts and theories so that students can explore a more generalized course of study. Program requirements vary by location, and the school does not offer specifics about the programs on its site. However, interested students can fill out a request form for information on individual programs.

Master of Arts in Psychology: Professional Clinical Counseling

Since Brandman University does not outline program requirements on its website, this and the following sections are dedicated to describing the four concentrations of its Master of Arts program in general. According to the California Association for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors, “Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.” Psychologists who practice clinical counseling undertake a variety of courses aimed at promoting this ideal. Typical degree programs emphasize theoretical work in applied settings, and most require practicum experiences and internships for experience. Counselors also need to be nationally certified in most states.

Master of Arts in Psychology: Marriage and Family Therapy

The California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists outlines the educational requirements for this specialization on its website. To become a licensed counselor in marriage and family therapy, a program must develop an integrated program to teach students how to diagnose, assess and treat mental disorders; expose students to issues that come up in families and marriages; train students in the principles, methodology and application of theories regarding family and marital problems; and offer students different ways to deal with varying levels of problems in patients. Students also need to complete a minimum of 225 hours in a practicum experience working directly with patients.

Master of Arts in Psychology: Marriage and Family Therapy & Professional Clinical Counseling

Given the demanding licensing requirements in both the clinical counseling and marriage and family therapy specializations, it’s reasonable to assume that Brandman University combines elements of both into a comprehensive and more academically challenging program for students who want to explore both concentrations. The program should offer students a variety of courses on topics such as dealing with interpersonal issues, psychological assessment and development of effective coping strategies for patients. Students would also be required to complete extensive field work or practicum experiences due to California’s certification process. This program most likely involves full-time work in order to finish the degree.

Accreditation

  • Senior College Commission of the Western Associate of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Contact
Brandman Administrative Headquarters
16355 Laguna Canyon Road
Irvine, CA 92618
Phone: (855) 344-2030
Email: N/A
Program Link

California Baptist University

School of Behavioral Sciences

As of fall 2014, California Baptist University enrolls nearly 8,000 students who can choose from 72 bachelor programs with 150 concentrations and 25 graduate programs with 45 concentrations. The school was founded as a Christian university in 1950 by the California Southern Baptist Convention and remains connected to its traditions through a commitment to providing a faith-based environment, 100 percent Christian faculty and staff, and stimulating academic community. Under the direction of its School of Behavioral Sciences, California Baptist University offers two programs for students interested in graduate-level psychology programs: a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology and a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology.

Master of Science in Counseling Psychology

The Master of Science in Counseling Psychology program at California Baptist University features a dual certification process that allows students to pursue marriage and family therapy licensure simultaneously with the Professional Clinical Counselor licensure. Experienced faculty members teach courses relevant to the field and work with students closely to reinforce learning. As a Christian school, California Baptist believes in training future counselors not only in the practical application of psychology concepts but in providing compassionate care to their future patients as well. The degree requires completion of 62 units for the MFT portion with an additional 18 units for the PCC licensure.

Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology

Forensics is a relatively new concentration within the field of psychology, but its popularity has encouraged some universities to develop programs tailored to meet the nationwide demand. At California Baptist University, students can choose to complete a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology that combines elements of the criminal justice and legal system with applied concepts from psychology. Graduates of the program will be qualified to offer assessment and other services to law enforcement, government officials and other similar entities in aid of investigative or profiling work. The degree requires students to complete 57 units of coursework on topics such as advanced criminal law and criminal profiling.

Accreditation

  • Senior College Commission of the Western Associate of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Contact
California Baptist University
School of Behavioral Sciences
8432 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504
Phone: (951) 343-4487
Email: jcraig@calbaptist.edu (Dr. Jacqueline Gustafson)
Program Link

California Institute of Integral Studies

East-West Psychology Department

Students seeking master’s degrees make up the majority of enrollment at the California Institute of Integral Studies with 52 percent of the school’s nearly 1,300 students pursuing graduate programs. Founded as a graduate educational branch of the Cultural Integration Fellowship in 1968, the school underwent several transformations before becoming the California Institute of Integral Studies. Today, the school maintains its mission of providing focused graduate and undergraduate completion programs to its students, and those seeking a master’s in psychology will find a unique approach within the school’s East-West Psychology Department. More traditional programs in various psychology fields are also available.

Master of Arts in East-West Psychology

The California Institute of Integral Studies allows students to take more control over the direction of their master’s program, encouraging graduate students to develop and explore a “psychospiritual” focus to their degree that centers on their own conceptions. Working closely with advisers, students will create a course of study within the parameters of the program requirements. To earn a master’s degree in East-West Psychology, students must complete 36 units over the course of two years. Electives may be taken during the summer, but candidates don’t have to enroll in summer sessions. Courses include topics such as indigenous and shamanic traditions, and contemporary participatory spirituality.

Accreditation

  • Senior College Commission of the Western Associate of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Contact
California Institute of Integral Studies
East-West Psychology Department
1453 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (415) 575-6246
Email: mblake@ciis.edu (Marlon Blake)
Program Link

California Lutheran University

Graduate School of Psychology

Established in 1959, California Lutheran University is a relatively small private school that nevertheless boasts a ranking of 15 on U.S. News and World Report’s list of the best regional universities in the West. Featuring an undergraduate enrollment of almost 2,900 students and a selective acceptance rate of 48 percent, the school offers undergraduate, master’s degrees and doctoral programs. In 2014, Cal Lutheran merged with Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary to expand its reach and focus areas. The university affords students looking for graduate-level programs in psychology two options under its Graduate School of Psychology, one of which is described below.

M.S. in Clinical Psychology

Students enrolled in the M.S. in Clinical Psychology program experience a research-focused course of study that will prepare them for careers that demand exceptional use of applied psychology or doctoral programs. The program requires completion of 34 to 37 units and takes an average of two years to finish. Most classes comprise only 15 students, which makes the program an ideal place for those who seek a closer academic relationship with faculty members. The credit hours are divided into 11 required courses, two courses of elective credits and the completion of a thesis, a research project or a comprehensive exam.

Accreditation

  • Senior College Commission of the Western Associate of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Contact
California Lutheran University
Graduate and Adult Programs
60 W. Olsen Road #2200
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
Phone: (805) 493-3325
Email: clugrad@callutheran.edu
Program Link

California Polytechnic State University, Pomona

Department of Psychology and Sociology

Located about 30 miles east of Los Angeles, California Polytechnic State University offers students the benefit of a suburban setting combined with the attraction of a major city. Cal Poly Pomona was founded in 1938 and boasts an undergraduate enrollment of just under 21,000 students. U.S. News and World Report ranks the university at a tie for number 31 on its list of the best Western regional universities. The College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences provides students researching graduate-level psychology degrees with a master’s program designed specifically to lead to licensure in the field of marriage and family therapy.

Master of Science Degree in Psychology

Cal Poly Pomona’s Department of Psychology and Sociology outlines 17 educational and program objectives that students will master by the time they finish the Master of Science Degree in Psychology. Among these objectives are the ability to identify and report child abuse, an understanding of how medicine affects behavior, and the development of professional skills regarding dress and decorum. Students will complete at least 74 credits on a quarter schedule that takes about two years to finish. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be eligible to apply for MFT licensure. The program also requires a practicum experience lasting for one full academic year.

Accreditation

  • Senior College Commission of the Western Associate of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Contact
California Polytechnic State University, Pomona
Department of Psychology and Sociology
3801 West Temple Avenue
Pomona, CA 91768
Phone: (909) 869-3899
Email: jsmio@cpp.edu (Dr. Jeffery Mio)
Program Link

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Psychology and Child Development Department

According to U.S. News and World Report, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo ranks number 10 on its list of the 2015 best regional universities in the West. The school has enjoyed a long history as a progressive, hands-on institution serving both men and women students since its founding in 1901. What started as a polytechnic high school evolved into a large, full-scale university that serves almost 19,000 enrolled undergraduates each year. In the field of psychology, students have the option to explore a Master of Science under the guidance of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Psychology and Child Development Department.

Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology program offered by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo provides students with the education needed to attain licensure in Marriage and Family Therapy according to California guidelines. Students who undertake this demanding course of study will spend 90 quarter credit hours pursuing courses on topics such as ethics and law in MF therapy, child and adolescent therapy, and the assessment and treatment of substance abuse. The required coursework also includes a 16-credit traineeship in marital and family therapy. To graduate, students will need to sit for a comprehensive exam or complete the thesis option.

Accreditation

  • Senior College Commission of the Western Associate of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Contact
California Polytechnic State University
Department of Psychology & Child Development
1 Grand Avenue, Building 35
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
Phone: (805) 756-2033
Email: psychhd@calpoly.edu
Program Link

Chapman University

College of Educational Studies

Chapman University began as a relatively progressive school in 1861 serving men, women and non-white students in a time when many higher institutions ignored minorities, and the school has been honored by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review and The Templeton Foundation in recent years for its continued commitment to excellence. Students who want to go into an educational setting within the field of psychology will appreciate Chapman University’s Ed.S. in School Psychology program offered by the College of Educational Studies. Students may also pursue an M.A. program in school counseling, but the focus of this section will be on the Ed.S. program.

Ed.S. in School Psychology

The focus of the Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) Program in School Psychology is for students working toward a career in an educational setting. According to the school’s website, graduates of this program should achieve the following objectives: “assessment for intervention, mental health counseling, behavior management and consultation with teachers and parents.” Students who complete the program automatically qualify for certification as school psychologists as long as they also complete the appropriate internship requirements and achieve a passing score on the Praxis II test. The Ed.S. program requires 69 credits and takes three years to complete at full-time status along with 1,800 hours of field work.

Accreditation

  • Senior College Commission of the Western Associate of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
  • National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
  • International School Psychology Association (ISPA)

Contact
Chapman University
College of Educational Studies
One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866
Phone: (714) 744-7944
Email: kkennedy@chapman.edu (Kelly Kennedy, Ph.D.)
Program Link

Claremont Graduate University

Division of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences

Claremont Graduate University was founded in 1925 and enrolls nearly 2,400 students. Students enjoy their experience here as evidenced by the fact that the school ranks fifth for “best place to live” according to Money Magazine. The university’s Division of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences operates on the notion that every student is unique, and the division has developed programs at the graduate level that allow students to explore several options for customizing their degree and changing their minds when necessary. Students here will have the ability to focus in various psychology sub-fields or pursue a joint program that combines psychology with public health.

Master of Arts Degree (M.A.)

Claremont Graduate University’s Master of Arts program in psychology focuses on “theory, research, and applications of the science of psychology” according to the website for the Division of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences. Students who pursue this program gain exposure to a broad range of topics within the field of psychology and can focus their studies on one of eight concentrations. The master’s program requires completion of 48 units. Unlike many M.A. programs in psychology, the general graduate program at Claremont Graduate University does not require completion of a thesis or independent research. Internships and jobs with faculty members outside of school supply students with relevant experience.

Masters of Public Health (MPH)/Masters in Applied Psychology (MA) Dual Degree

The dual degree program in public health and applied psychology is offered in a joint capacity by Claremont Graduate University’s Division of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences and its School of Community and Global Health. Students who pursue this program typically hope to work in industries that combine psychology concepts with public health issues. Drawing on the experience afforded by both programs, students will be able to explore a variety of career options in different fields. The dual program demands 64 units divided among 20 courses. On a full-time schedule, students can finish the degree in five semesters, but part-time scheduling is available for those who need flexibility.

Accreditation

  • Senior College Commission of the Western Associate of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Contact
Claremont Graduate University
School of Social Science, Policy & Evaluation
Division of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences
123 E. 8th Street
Claremont, CA 91711
Phone: (909) 621-8084
Email: psych@cgu.edu
Program Link for Psychology M.A.
Program Link for MPH/MA Dual Program

Claremont McKenna College

Psychology Department

The Claremont Colleges system has been modeled after Oxford University in England, which sets it apart as an intellectually elite system of schools that selects only the best students for its challenging academic programs. Established in 1946, the university enrolls about 1,200 students. Claremont McKenna College strives to educate students to pursue “thoughtful and productive lives and responsible leadership in economics, government and public affairs” according to its website, and students who study here gain access to world-class faculty and excellent research facilities. Psychology majors have the option to enroll in a program that leads to a master’s degree in conjunction with Claremont’s graduate school.

Accelerated MA Program in Psychology

For students who want to save time on earning their psychology degrees, Claremont McKenna College and the Claremont Graduate University offer an accelerated program in psychology that enables students to get a head start on the master’s program. While students are enrolled in the bachelor’s degree program at Claremont McKenna, they can take up to 16 advanced undergraduate units for credit at Claremont Graduate University. Once they complete the bachelor’s programs, students can finish their master’s degree by taking 32 units including the required core courses. Even if they enroll in the accelerated program, candidates still need to formally apply for the MA program.

Accreditation

  • Senior College Commission of the Western Associate of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Contact
Claremont McKenna College
Psychology Department
850 Columbia Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711
Phone: (909) 607-3394
Email: dkrauss@cmc.edu (Dan Krauss)
Program Link

A career in the social sciences opens doors to a wide array of opportunities in both private practice and larger businesses. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that psychologists enjoy an average salary of about $69,000 per year and will see average growth by 2022. The schools and programs outlined above offer significant value to students researching Master’s in Psychology Degrees in California.

See also:

Web Statistics