Master's in Counseling Curriculum

This M.A. Counseling program is an academically rigorous program consisting of 93 quarter-units as well as mandatory fieldwork, workshops and intensives. The curriculum is progressive and designed to prepare students for fieldwork culminating in a capstone project.

Palo Alto University is on the quarter-unit system:

  • Fall quarter: September to December
  • Winter quarter: January to March
  • Spring quarter: April to June
  • Summer quarter: June to August

Residential hybrid (on-campus) students complete the curriculum in 9 quarters, and distance learning (online) students complete the program in 11 quarters. Course sequences vary somewhat depending on when students start their practicum fieldwork.

Students are expected to be enrolled continuously and to complete their degree on schedule with their cohort.

  

Residential Hybrid (On-Campus) Format Course Sequence

The following sample course sequence is the degree plan for students enrolled in the on-campus format beginning in Fall Quarter.  Click the links below to download the specific sequence for the quarter in which students can start the on-campus program. Students receive their official degree plan for their cohort prior to beginning the program. 

 

Year 1

 

Fall

COUN600

3

Counseling Theory

COUN612

4.5

Life Span Development*

LCNS600

0

*includes a California required workshop - Aging and Long Term Care

COUN601

3

Professional Identity

Year 1

 

Winter

CLIN615

3

Counseling Skills

CLIN610

4.5

Legal and Ethical Foundations*

LCNS602

0

*includes a California required workshop - Child Abuse and Reporting

COUN635

3

Diagnosis and Treatment Planning I

Year 1

 

Spring

CLIN650

3

Community Mental Health with Cognitive Behavioral and Brief Therapy

COUN636

3

Diagnosis and Treatment Planning II

CLIN618

3

Family Systems Theory

Year 1

 

Summer

CLIN605

3

Child and Adolescent Counseling

COUN630

4.5

Crisis and Trauma Counseling

CLIN612

3

Clinical Advancement Project

Year 2

 

Fall

CLIN601

4.5

Multicultural Counseling Theories and Techniques

CLIN604

4.5

Addiction Counseling

PRAC603

3

Practicum *Marriage, Family, and Child Emphasis or Clinical Mental Health Emphasis

Year 2

 

Winter

CLIN619

3

Couples Counseling*

LCNS601

0

*includes a California required workshop- Domestic Violence

CLIN680

4.5

Psychopharmacology

PRAC603

3

Practicum *Marriage, Family, and Child Emphasis or Clinical Mental Health Emphasis

Year 2

 

Spring

CLIN621

4.5

Group Counseling

COUN641

4.5

Research and Program Evaluation

PRAC603

3

Practicum *Marriage, Family, and Child Emphasis or Clinical Mental Health Emphasis

Year 2

 

Summer

CLIN622

3

Advanced Family Counseling

COUN603

4.5

Appraisal and Assessment in Counseling

Year 3

 

Fall

CLIN634

3

Human Sexuality

COUN607

3

Capstone Project in Counseling

COUN661

4.5

Career Development Theories and Techniques

Total

93

 

 

 

Electives (Note: Students Pay Extra Beyond the 93 Unit Curriculum for These Electives)

PRAC603

3

Practicum-- Elective for Students Who Desire Additional Practicum Beyond the Three Quarters  (Not Financial Aid Eligible) or Required for Students Who Have Not Completed Their Fieldwork (Financial Aid Eligible)

CLIN655

3

Special Issues In Counseling -- Elective (Not Financial Aid Eligible)

COUN680 3

Counseling Immigrants

COUN681 4.5

Intro to Play Therapy

COUN682 4.5

Counseling Womxn

 

Distance Learning (Online) Format Course Sequence

The following course sequence is the degree plan for students enrolled in the online format beginning in Fall Quarter.  Click the links below to download the specific sequence for the quarter in which students can start the online program.

 

Year 1

 

Fall

COUN612

4.5

Life Span Development*

LCNS600

0

*includes a California required workshop - Aging and Long Term Care

COUN601

3

Professional Identity

Year 1

 

Winter

COUN600

3

Counseling Theory

CLIN618

3

Family Systems Theory 

Year 1

 

Spring

CLIN610

4.5

Legal and Ethical Foundations*

LCNS602

0

*includes a California required workshop - Child Abuse and Reporting

COUN635

3

Diagnosis and Treatment Planning I

Year 1

 

Summer

CLIN615

3

Counseling Skills (on site)

CLIN650

3

Community Mental Health with Cognitive Behavioral and Brief Therapy

COUN636

3

Diagnosis and Treatment Planning II

Year 2

 

Fall

CLIN605

3

Child and Adolescent Counseling

COUN630

4.5

Crisis and Trauma Counseling

Year 2

 

Winter

CLIN601

4.5

Multicultural Counseling Theories and Techniques

CLIN604

4.5

Addiction Counseling

Year 2

 

Spring

CLIN619

3

Couples Counseling*

LCNS601

0

*includes a California required workshop- Domestic Violence

CLIN612

3

Clinical Advancement Project

CLIN621

4.5

Group Counseling

Year 2

 

Summer

COUN641

4.5

Research & Program Evaluation

CLIN622

3

Advanced Family Counseling

Year 3

 

Fall

CLIN634

3

Human Sexuality

COUN603

4.5

Appraisal & Assessment in Counseling

PRAC603

3

Practicum *Marriage, Family, and Child Emphasis or Clinical Mental Health Emphasis

Year 3

 

Winter

CLIN680

4.5

Psychopharmacology

PRAC603

3

Practicum *Marriage, Family, and Child Emphasis or Clinical Mental Health Emphasis

Year 3

 

Spring

COUN661

4.5

Career Development Theories and Techniques

COUN607

3

Capstone Project in Counseling

PRAC603

3

Practicum *Marriage, Family, and Child Emphasis or Clinical Mental Health Emphasis

Total 

93

 

 

 

Electives (Note: Students Pay Extra Beyond the 93 Unit Curriculum for These Electives)

PRAC603

3

Practicum-- Elective for Students Who Desire Additional Practicum Beyond the Three Quarters  (Not Financial Aid Eligible) or Required for Students Who Have Not Completed Their Fieldwork (Financial Aid Eligible)

CLIN655

3

Special Issues In Counseling -- Elective (Not Financial Aid Eligible)

COUN680 3

Counseling Immigrants

COUN681 4.5

Intro to Play Therapy

COUN682 4.5

Counseling Womxn

For course descriptions, please see the Palo Alto University Catalog.

Practicum is a required part of the master's in counseling program. Practicum is completed in two phases: Practicum A and Practicum B.  Students complete a minimum of 700 hours, including a minimum of 280 face-to-face client hours with the student working in the role of Counselor Trainee or Therapist Trainee, over a minimum of three academic quarters (typically 9-12 months).