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    The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  Mar 31, 2023
2015-2016 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook 
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2015-2016 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

M.A. Clinical Psychology, Marital and Family Therapy Specialization

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Los Angeles - Irvine

Program Overview

The M.A. Clinical Psychology, Martial and Family Therapy (MFT) specialization provides strong preparation in the development of essential diagnostic, therapeutic and consultative skills in order to work with a variety of clinical populations- ranging from individuals, children and families  to groups and spanning the developmental spectrum from children to the elderly- and with a variety of emotional, intellectual, and psychological conditions and disorders. Graduates training will lead to state licensure which will allow them to practice in a number of settings from public agencies to private practice. The program has adopted the practitioner-scholar model which is based on the belief that a competent mental health practitioner must have both a broad knowledge of the scientific and theoretical principles in the clinical practice of Marital and Family Therapy and the ability to apply that knowledge to specific clinical situations. The program also incorporates the content areas outlined by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences to prepare students for both Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor licensure examinations. Because either of  these licenses allows, students to begin professional practice at the master’s level, the M.A. Clinical Psychology, MFT Specialization can be considered as a terminal degree.

Acknowledged for its commitment to diversity, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology recognizes that service to a diverse community plays a vital role in all levels of mental health care. The M.A. Clinical Psychology, MFT Specialization program embraces this commitment through the integration of multicultural education and diversity throughout its curriculum; successful students demonstrate an appreciation for and competency in this area. Likewise, the faculty reflects experience in graduate level teaching and clinical practice with diverse clinical populations.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program students will be able to:

  1. utilize the scientific method for critical evaluation of research examining the practice of clinical psychology.
  2. foster the development of individuals and facilitate group interaction.
  3. analyze issues of racial and cultural diversities and show an awareness of the richness of human differences in ideas and beliefs.
  4. effectively communicate critical information in the field of clinical psychology to a wide range of individuals and groups.
  5. apply insight into personal attitudes and beliefs as they conduct clinical interviewing of clients, prepare individual treatment plans, and set appropriate psychotherapeutic goals.
  6. provide effective and ethical diagnostic and assessment services to a diverse set of clients.
  7. provide a wide range of effective and ethical psychotherapeutic interventions to a diverse group of clients.

Admission Requirements

Application to The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s M.A. Clinical Psychology, MFT Specialization program is open to any person who has earned a bachelor degree from a regionally accredited institution and who meets other entrance requirements. Applicants will be judged on their overall ability to do graduate work. Factors that are considered in admission are: GPA from undergraduate and any graduate schools, successful work history after completion of the baccalaureate degree, the required admission essay, and letters of recommendation from academic professors or professional or volunteer experience supervisors. Generally, an undergraduate GPA of a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale is required for admission. Applicants must submit official transcripts from all schools where a degree was earned. It is recommended that transcripts are submitted from all schools where credit was received to enhance their applications.

The M.A. Clinical Psychology, MFT Specialization program requires that all applicants have taken at least one course in psychology during their undergraduate program. Further they must have completed this course with a grade of “C” or better.  The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required, however students  who have taken the exam may submit their scores to enhance their application. Scores should be sent directly to the school (GRE School Code: 1119) for consideration. Please see the application for detailed instructions and information regarding application requirements, application deadlines, and letters of recommendation. Applications must be submitted with a $50.00 (USD) application fee in order to be evaluated.

TOEFL or IELTS, International Credentials, and International Students

TOEFL or IELTS: If English is not your primary language, you must submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores with your application (TOEFL School Code: 7161). International students who received a bachelor’s degree from an accredited United States institution are exempt from this requirement. The minimum scores are: TOEFL - 550 paper based, 79 internet based; IELTS - 6.5.

ELS Educational Services, Inc.: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is a cooperative member of ELS Educational Services, Inc. which provides intensive English language programs. Students who have successfully completed ELS course 112 may be considered for admission in lieu of the TOEFL or IELTS.

International credentials: Applicants with international credentials must obtain and submit an official “course-by-course” evaluation through an evaluation agency such as World Education Services ( or Educational Credential Evaluators Inc( In addition to the agency evaluation, all official graduate and undergraduate transcripts must be submitted.

International students: International students must submit a completed application by the general consideration deadline. In addition, once accepted, international students must submit the International Student Information form, a copy of their passport, and financial documentation showing sufficient funding for at least one year of study and all living expenses. This documentation must be submitted at least two months prior to the start of the semester in order to allow sufficient time for the school to issue an I-20 for the student to obtain an F-1 visa, if needed. An I-20 visa will not be issued without this documentation.

Applicant Notification

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology reviews applications on a rolling basis. Once review begins, complete applications will be considered by the Admission Committee and applicants will be notified regarding the admission decision. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology does not share information or provide any feedback regarding admission decisions.

If a student is offered admission, in order to secure a place in the incoming class, a non-refundable tuition deposit of $500 will be required by the deposit deadline indicated in the offer of admission. The non-refundable deposit will be applied in full toward the student’s tuition upon enrollment.


The following policies are located under Academic Policies and Procedures :  Transfer of Credit, Waiver of Courses, Satisfactory Academic Progress, Grading Scale, Grade Change Requests, Degree Completion, Degree Conferral, Minimum and Maximum Timeframe requirements, and Credit Hours per semester for Financial Aid.  Information on the Academic Success Program is located under Student Life . 

Academic Development Plans

An Academic Development Plan (ADP) is initiated and created by the program in which the student is enrolled. When a student demonstrates deficiencies in competencies that interfere with academic performance, training competence, and/or professional behavior, the ADP is initiated. The completion of an ADP does not constitute disciplinary action, but failure to complete the plan may lead to disciplinary action.

Student Learning Assessment

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) is committed to offering the highest quality undergraduate completion program and graduate programs in applied professional disciplines. To meet TCSPP’s standard for academic quality, program learning outcomes are aligned with course learning outcomes and guide assessment.   Data collected from the results of student assessment and the aggregation of these data will inform how students are progressing towards achieving program outcomes.  

All academic programs report annual assessments of student learning and other indicators of program effectiveness as part of the Academic Program Review process.

Student Professional Evaluation and Student Review Process

The course content and experiential activities offered by the M.A. Clinical Psychology, MFT specialization program at TCSPP are designed to afford students the opportunity to advance their intellectual and professional development and functioning. Throughout the program of study, students are given feedback concerning their personal, academic, and professional strengths, developmental needs, and performance. This feedback will come from a variety of sources including faculty, supervisors, peers, and clients. Students are expected to respond and incorporate this feedback in a mature and professional manner. Throughout their matriculation in the program students are expected to explore and recognize the effects their personal beliefs, issues, emotions, and behaviors have on others and on their ability to function as a therapist or counselor and practicing clinician. Additionally, all students are reviewed annually by program faculty and administration with respect to their overall program performance during the Student Review Process.


The mission of the M.A. Clinical Psychology, MFT Specialization program is to prepare therapists professional counselors who serve the mental health profession through competence, personal integrity and academic excellence. This is realized through a curriculum that integrates the theoretical foundations of psychotherapy and clinical psychology, essential diagnostic, clinical and consultative skills, and clinical field placement into appropriate practice in a variety of settings and with diverse populations. Recognizing that our students are intrinsically motivated to help others, we acknowledge the significance of promoting an environment that is sensitive to difference and preparing clinicians, who actively develop their multicultural competence. Thus, the program seeks to engage faculty and students in the preparation of therapists and counselors who meet the needs of diverse communities.

Ethics and Professional Behavior

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology expects that all students will be knowledgeable of and adhere to the “Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct”, as published by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, as well as the “Code of Ethics” of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. In addition, no student shall obtain part- or full-time employment that is beyond the scope of their cumulative training in the field of psychology or MFT and shall not use titles governed by licensure statutes, unless so licensed by the state. A student who fails to adhere to this policy or otherwise fails to demonstrate the appropriate ethics required for practice in the field of psychotherapy or professional counseling is subject to discipline and possible removal.


The program incorporates eight content areas outlined by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and meets the degree and coursework requirements to be eligible for licensure as a marriage and family therapist (MFT)  in California. It is the student’s responsibility to determine the licensure requirements for any other state in which they plan to practice post-graduation.

MFT Practicum 

The practicum experience is designed to meet both the BBS requirements as well as to enhance the learning experience of the student through practical application of didactic classroom instruction. The practicum requires a total of six credit hours over three semesters during which time the student participates in a clinical training field placement where the student accumulates a minimum of 250 hours of face to face supervised clinical experience in a mental health setting. In addition, the student is required to attend a regularly scheduled practicum seminar during which students will participate in clinical case consultation, case presentations and complete a clinical case report. At the end of the second practicum seminar, students will complete a Clinical Competency Evaluation (CCE) which consists of a full clinical case report, tape and transcripts as well as a presentation of this case to the class and instructor. The CCE provides an important assessment of a student’s competency in meeting key programmatic outcomes.

More specific information is located in the Program Guidebook.

Clinical Competency Evaluation (CCE)

During the practicum seminar, students will conduct a formal case presentation and submit a 10-minute transcript and tape of an actual client session. In MM610 Practicum I a clinical case presentation outline will be completed and turned into the instructor along with the tape and transcript. For MM615 Practicum II the student will complete a Clinical Competency Evaluation (CCE) which consists of a Clinical Case Report (CCR,) a tape and transcript as well as a formal oral presentation of the case to the class and instructor. The CCE results will determine if a student successfully passes practicum. If a student does not pass the first time, the student will be able to submit a second CCE, tape and transcript using a different interview. Students are advised to meet with their seminar instructor to review the first CCE and prepare to pass the CCE the next time. Failure to pass a second CCE means that the student has failed practicum and the student will need to complete practicum again.

More specific information is located in the Program Guidebook.

Written Comprehensive Examination (WCE)

All students are required to successfully complete the Written Comprehensive Exam. The information tested by the exam covers the program competencies. The comprehensive examination is generally administered twice a year and taken during the last year of enrollment in academic coursework. Students must be in good academic standing to be eligible to take the Written Comprehensive Examination. Additional information regarding registering, qualifying, format and dates of the exam can be obtained from the Department Chair of the program. Students who are unable to pass the Written Comprehensive Examination will be allowed to retake the exam a maximum of two additional times. The exam may be retaken during the next scheduled administration of the exam. Students will receive information from their faculty advisor concerning their performance on the examination. Assistance from faculty in constructing additional experiences and instruction aimed at enabling them to pass this program requirement can be offered. Any student who fails the Comprehensive Examination a third time will be referred to the Student Affairs Committee (SAC).

The Curriculum

Required Core Courses: 57 credits

Elective Courses: 3 credits

Total Program Credits

M.A. Clinical Psychology, Marital and Family Therapy Specialization: 60 credits

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