M.A. Counseling Curriculum

Areas of Emphasis:
Marriage, Family, and Child or Clinical Mental Health

Palo Alto · San Mateo · Monterey Bay · Global Online

Palo Alto University's M.A. counseling curriculum can be completed in two years and three months of full-time study. Some students elect to take a full three years.

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This master's in counseling  program consists of 90 quarter-units as well as mandatory workshops and intensives.

Palo Alto University is on the quarter-unit system:

  • Fall quarter: September to December (11 weeks)
  • Winter quarter: January to March (11 weeks)
  • Spring quarter: March to June (11 weeks)
  • Summer quarter: June to August (8 weeks)

Courses are offered in a similar sequence in both on-campus or online formats. There are no electives. The curriculum can be completed in two years and three months of full-time study. Some students elect to take a full three years. Students have a maximum of five years to complete the program.

For complete course descriptions, please download the Master's Degrees Catalog. (PDF)

On-Campus Blended Format Course Sequence

Italics indicate courses typically offered online.

Year 1   1st Qtr
COUN600 3 Counseling Theory
PSYS610 4.5 Life Span Development
LCNS602   California required workshop- Aging and Long Term Care
COUN601(DL) 3 Professional Identity
Year 1   2nd Qtr
CLIN615 3 Clinical Interviewing
CLIN610 4.5 Legal & Ethical Foundations
LCNS602   Workshop - Child Abuse and Reporting
ASMT600(DL) 3 Psychopathology & Psychodiagnosis I
Year 1   3rd Qtr
CLIN650 3 Community Mental Health with Cognitive and Behavioral and Brief Therapy
CLIN618 3 Family Therapy I: Family Systems Theory
ASMT601(DL) 3 Psychopathology & Psychodiagnosis II
Year 1   4th Qtr
PSYS605 3 Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy
COUN630 4.5 Crisis and Trauma Counseling
CLIN612 (DL) 1 Clinical Advancement Project
Year 2   1st Qtr
CLDV601 4.5 Multicultural Counseling Theories and Techniques
PRAC603 3 Practicum I: Marriage, Family, and Child Emphasis
or
Practicum I: Clinical Mental Health Emphasis
CLIN604(DL) 4.5 Substance Abuse
Year 2   2nd Qtr
CLIN619 3 Family Therapy II: Couples Counseling
*Includes a California required workshop in Domestic Violence (15 hrs)
PRAC603 3 Practicum II: Marriage, Family, and Child Emphasis
or
Practicum II: Clinical Mental Health Emphasis
CLIN680(DL) 4.5 Psychopharmacology
Year 2   3rd Qtr
CLIN621 4.5 Group Psychotherapy
PRAC603 2 Practicum III: Marriage, Family, and Child Emphasis
or
Practicum III: Clinical Mental Health Emphasis
MTHD600(DL) 4.5 Research & Program Evaluation
Year 2   4th Qtr
CLIN622 3 Family Therapy III:  Advanced Family Therapy
PRAC603 1 Practicum IV: Marriage, Family, and Child Emphasis
or
Practicum IV: Clinical Mental Health Emphasis
ASMT603(DL) 4.5 Psychological Appraisal & Assessment
Year 3   Final
CLIN634 2 Human Sexuality
COUN607 1 Capstone Project in Counseling and Psychotherapy
CLIN655  2 Special Issues in Counseling and Psychotherapy
COUN661 (DL) 4.5 Career Development Theories and Techniques 
Total 90  

Online Format Course Sequence

The course sequence is the same for U.S. and global students except that students in Online with One-Week Residency programs take Clinical Interviewing during their residency at the Palo Alto campus while students in other countries typically attend this course in their home country through the Global Advancement of Counseling Excellence initiative.  

Year 1   1st Qtr
COUN600 3 Counseling Theory
PSYS610 4.5 Life Span Development
LCNS600   California required workshop - Aging and Long Term Care
COUN601 3 Professional Identity
Year 1   2nd Qtr
CLIN615 3 Clinical Interviewing
CLIN610 4.5 Legal and Ethical Foundations
ASMT600 3 Psychopathology & Psychodiagnosis I
Year 1   3rd Qtr
CLIN650 3 Community Mental Health with CBT and Brief Therapy
CLIN618 3 Family Therapy I: Family Systems Theory
ASMT601 3 Psychopathology & Psychodiagnosis II
Year 1   4th Qtr
PSYS605 3 Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy
COUN630 4.5 Crisis and Trauma Counseling
CLIN612 1 Clinical Advancement Project
Year 2   1st Qtr
CLDV601 4.5 Multicultural Counseling Theories and Techniques
PRAC603 3 Practicum I: Marriage, Family, and Child Emphasis
or
Practicum I: Clinical Mental Health Emphasis
CLIN604 4.5 Substance Abuse
Year 2   2nd Qtr
 CLIN619 3 Family Therapy II: Couples Counseling
PRAC603 3 Practicum II: Marriage, Family, and Child Emphasis
or
Practicum II: Clinical Mental Health Emphasis
CLIN680 4.5 Psychopharmacology
Year 2   3rd Qtr
CLIN621 4.5 Group Psychotherapy
PRAC603 2 Practicum III: Marriage, Family, and Child Emphasis
or
Practicum III: Clinical Mental Health Emphasis
MTHD600 4.5 Research & Program Evaluation
Year 2   4th Qtr
 CLIN622 3 Family Therapy III: Advanced Family Therapy
PRAC603 1 Practicum IV: Marriage, Family, and Child Emphasis
or
Practicum IV: Clinical Mental Health Emphasis
ASMT603 4.5 Psychological Appraisal & Assessment
Year 3   Final
CLIN634 2 Human Sexuality
COUN607 1 Capstone Project in Counseling and Psychotherapy
CLIN655 2 Special Issues in Counseling and Psychotherapy
COUN661 4.5 Career Development Theories and Techniques
Totals 90  
 
 
 

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