Philosophy of the Clinical Track
The clinical track of the Master of Arts in Psychology is an adult-focused program that follows the Boulder scientist/practitioner training model which emphasizes the integrated roles of science and practice. Training in the applied skills of clinical assessment and intervention requires a thorough understanding of the range of human functioning. The database of the psychological literature is our groundwork and the scientific method guides our work. We require students to develop an understanding of how this database is generated, how to evaluate its utility, and how to apply it. Thus, all students are required to take the core of methodology and basic psychology courses in addition to the clinical core and a practicum experience in the community. Because a two-year curriculum can provide only the basics, it is expected that we are preparing students to proceed with training at the doctoral level. For a more detailed discussion of the clinical standards and goals, see our "Statement of Scope of Training and Standards of Behavior" which can be found here.
Prospective students should be aware that the clinical MA track has a focus on adult populations. There is limited coverage of child-related topics in the clinical coursework and limited child-oriented practicum opportunities. While research opportunities with children and adolescents are possible, limited clinical training with children is provided in the MA track.
This program values and promotes self-awareness as a significant component of training in clinical psychology. Students in this program engage in self-awareness exercises within their courses and practicum training. They are also strongly encouraged to engage in their own psychotherapy during their training.
Sub-Plans available to Clinical MA Track students:
Coursework in Assessment, Intervention, Applied Skills, and the Practicum
The clinical core consists of a set of didactic courses and a set of applied skills courses. The didactic requirements include the following courses: PSY 6780 Advanced Psychopathology, PSY 6850 Clinical Interviewing and Personality Assessment, PSY 6920 Seminar in Psychotherapy, and either PSY 6860 Cognitive Assessment or PSY 6880 Neuropsychological Assessment.
Students in the clinical track take a course in basic interviewing skills (PSY 5710 Clinical Skills Lab) during their first year and a clinical practicum (taken in conjunction with PSY 6720 Professional Development I, and PSY 6730 Professional Development II) during their second year. Practicum experiences are completed at several sites either on-campus (at the University Counseling Center or the CU Aging Center) or in the community under licensed, PhD-level supervision. The goal of these experiences is to expose students to clinical settings, to the roles of clinical psychologists, and to begin the development of clinical skills. Placements must be approved by the DCT. Most sites require a 10-12 month commitment and students are expected to work approximately 15 hours per week at their site, or a minimum of 450 hours.
Be informed that clinical training in the MA Clinical track requires a community practicum placement in local agencies that partner with us for training opportunities. Many of these institutions require a legal background check to ensure all employees and trainees meet current standards. In addition, state licensing boards usually require applicants to report on their legal background. As such, certain types of criminal backgrounds will prevent applicants from being able to complete program requirements or to eventually attain licensure as a mental health professional in some states. Please disclose relevant background information accordingly and before you enroll in the UCCS program.
Sample Clinical-Track Course Sequence
The clinical track requires a minimum of 42 credit hours. The required courses can be completed by a full-time student in 2 years if the following course sequence is followed:
Fall: Clinical Skills Laboratory, Research Statistics and Methodology I, Advanced Psychopathology
Spring: Research Statistics and Methodology II, Cognitive Assessment or Clinical Neuropsychology*, Seminar: Psychotherapy, and a Core Content Course
* Note: We advise students to take the Cognitive Assessment course unless there is a specific reason to take the Clinical Neuropsychology course. Please consult with the Director of Clinical Training.
Fall: Research Practicum, Ethics and Standards of Practice (Prof Dev I), Clinical Interviewing and Personality Assessment, Masters Thesis
Spring: Cultural and Family Diversity (Prof Dev II), Masters Thesis, and a Core Content Course
The terminal MA program in Clinical Psychology at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs is designed to prepare students for further training at the doctoral level. The goal is that the students are eventually eligible to become licensed as a Psychologist once they have completed the PhD degree or PsyD degree at another institution. As such, our program is not designed to meet the master’s level licensure requirements as a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Colorado.
It is imperative that potential students in our MA program carefully research the educational requirements for the intended licensure or certification in the state(s) where they will seek licensure or certification. Because we are not designated as a licensure program, we have not sought approval by the Council for Accreditation and Other Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Please note that the licensure requirements of state boards and licensing agencies vary from state to state and also change over time. Consequently, successful completion of MA degree requirements does not guarantee that a state board or licensing agency will accept a graduate’s application for licensure at the MA level. It is important that potential students are aware of their responsibilities regarding licensure and certification.
Please note that it is absolutely necessary that you save the syllabi from all of the courses you take and that you keep course catalogs from each year that you are a student in the terminal MA program in Clinical Psychology at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Many licensing boards require detailed course descriptions that show what specific material and skills have been covered. By saving your own syllabi, you will have the appropriate sections and classes that correspond to your transcript.
Colorado State Licensure
Since 1989, Colorado has licensed masters’ level professional counselors by instituting a licensure board and creating standards and testing to determine qualification for such licensure. The vast majority of other states also have licensure requirements for masters’ level professionals, with each state having their own requirements and regulations. License requirements in one state do not necessarily translate to other states. To be licensed in Colorado as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), students must submit syllabi and course descriptions for the courses that fulfill the eight LPC content areas; pass the LPC examination; complete 2,000 hours of postgraduate supervised clinical practice; and receive 100 hours of supervision over a minimum of twenty-four months. These requirements may change over time. Full details on licensure are available from:
State of Colorado, Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA).
Potential students in our MA program are advised to carefully review licensure information provided by DORA and to be aware that it may not be possible for our graduates to become licensed in Colorado as a Licensed Professional Counselor without taking additional courses or without taking an additional practicum. As laws for licensure at the MA level become more stringent, it may be the case that graduates from our MA program will not be able to become licensed in Colorado as a Licensed Professional Counselor even with additional training and courses at another program. Please check the state requirements carefully if you are planning on attending our MA program and pursuing licensure at the MA level.
Application Materials and Deadlines
The application deadline for Fall admission each year is January 1st.
Graduate Student Handbook
The Graduate Student Handbook for the MA Clinical track can be found in .pdf format here.
Please direct all inquiries about the MA Clinical program to Dr. Molly Maxfield at:
Dr. Molly Maxfield
Assistant Professor of Pscyhology, Program Director of Clinical MA Training
Office: Columbine Hall 4041
Phone: (719) 255-3778
Professor of Psychology, Director of Clinical Training in Psychology
Office: Columbine Hall 4017
Phone: (719) 255-4180
Fax: (719) 255-4166