College of Arts and Sciences
Master of Arts in Psychology

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are students accepted all year round? 

    No, we admit students once per year. January 15 is the preferred deadline for applications, and the program will accept applications until the cohort is filled.

    What does the admissions process entail? 

    Each new cohort enters at the same time, in fall quarter. January 15 is the preferred deadline for all application material but and the program will accept applications until the cohort is filled. Application packets are available from Graduate Admissions or the Psychology Department. Be sure to request that an official transcript be sent to Graduate Admissions from every college or university attended. Confirm with each institution their policy for issuing official transcripts. If mailed to you directly, the transcript must remain in a sealed envelope. Carefully assemble application materials as instructed below. Assemble the following documents, including recommendations, and send them in the manila envelope addressed to Graduate Admission.

    • A copy of the completed graduate application.
    • One official, sealed transcript from each college and university you have attended, regardless whether credits are posted on another school’s transcripts. To maintain their official status, please do not open them.
    • An autobiographical essay of 6-8 pages double spaced. 
    • A writing sample such as an undergraduate paper.
    • Three letters of recommendation. Your recommenders must seal and sign their envelopes before returning them to you. To maintain their official status, please do not open them. Permission to contact your recommenders is assumed.
      • Note: MAP does not require any official recommendation letter forms. Your recommenders can use their own stationary as long as they seal the envelope and sign across the seal.
      • Important: Recommendations are to be sent to Graduate Admissions.
    • Send original application, the fee and one set of transcripts in the envelope addressed to Graduate Admissions.
    • Those applicants who have reached the final screening will be contacted for an interview after the January 15 deadline, though applicants will continue to be contacted after until the cohort is filled. Upon acceptance, a $100 non-refundable tuition deposit is required to be submitted to Student Financial Services.
    • To obtain an application packet, please visit the Graduate Admissions site. You can also apply online.
    • *Note: The six prerequisite psychology courses must be completed before class begins in the Fall Quarter. If you have not yet completed all five you may still apply as long as you outline a plan for completing them by the beginning of Fall Quarter.

    What are the prerequisites for entrance into the MAP program?

    A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution including the following six prerequisite psychology courses: intro to psych, abnormal, developmental, major theories of personality, statistics, and scientific research (e.g. experimental psychology/research methods). This is ordinarily equivalent to a minor in psychology. Transcript showing a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) is required.

    Where can I complete the prerequisite classes for entrance into the MAP program?

    Any institution that can provide you with transcripts of the classes you have completed may qualify whether the class was taken online, in person, or a combination of both. In the Seattle area, these include (but are not limited to) Bellevue College, Seattle Central Community College, North Seattle College, South Seattle College and Shoreline Community College. Please note: Psychology of Personality is difficult to find or get into because many institutions only offer it once a year, so please plan accordingly.

    Is the MAP program accredited?

    Seattle University is a regionally accredited University (NWCCU) and this applies to the MAP program as well. Regional accreditation is the primary requirement for licensure in all states. While not being a CACREP accredited program, our curriculum meets and exceeds licensure requirements in most states. Our graduates are trained and qualified for counseling, community mental health, psychotherapy and a myriad of other vocational choices.

    What qualifies as supervised experience in the field?   

    Our intention with this prerequisite is that applicants have a good sense of what it will mean to be a psychotherapist prior to beginning the program.  This 'sense' of the profession can come through a variety of avenues.  We prefer that an applicant have a structured experience in a mental health setting or related, human services setting (e.g. teaching dually diagnosed children would likely qualify, but not being a teacher in general) that includes mentoring and/or supervision by a professional in the field.  As for what defines supervised work, we take this broadly to mean any oversight of your work as a volunteer or paid employee.  This can take various forms, so we do not strictly define this. Some examples are volunteer coordinator positions, such as those available at larger mental health agencies. Others such as volunteering for the Crisis Line would qualify, or even a part-time jobs such as a counselor or case-worker. The key is that you are not left alone to struggle with the volunteer experience and that you do receive some form of mentoring. We do not require documentation of your practical experience in the field.  However, the applicant should address this prerequisite in the personal statement. 

    What is the MAP program's student body size? Are students part of a cohort?  

    Students are part of a yearly cohort, the average size of which is 20-22.

    What is the average class size?

    Class sizes vary somewhat between electives and required courses, but in general our class size is approximately 20-22. Since students are part of a cohort, they take many of the same classes. However, elective classes tend to be smaller due to the choices involved. 

    When do the majority of classes meet?

    Classes take place on weekdays. They begin no earlier than 3:45pm and end no later than 9:00pm.

    How long will it take to get my masters degree?

    2 years if enrolled full time.

    When was the program founded?

    1981 - Co-founders were Drs. Halling and Kunz.

    Do you have to have an emphasis and what are the options?

    You do not have to have an emphasis on a specific clinical population, though most of our students have an interest on which they focus. What you get from your practicum and electives depends on your choices in what populations to work with and what types of therapy to pursue.

    What is the curriculum?

    Please see our Graduate Bulletin of Information on the Registrar's website for course descriptions.

    The MAP program became a 72 credit hour degree beginning with the Fall 2012 cohort. We made this change due to national trending in state licensure policy, which is more frequently requiring that applicants for licensure graduate from master level programs with 72-quarter credit hours within the degree. Unfortunately, this increases the cost of your education, but will make moving from WA State to other states for licensure, should you choose, less of an issue. Please note that while the MAP curriculum fulfills current WA state policy for master level licensure, we do not make this representation with respect to other states. Be aware that state licensure policy changes from year to year depending on the jurisdiction. MAP cannot guarantee that the set of rules enacted by a state at the time of entering the program will remain the same by time you are ready for licensure. 

    Program Requirements

    The Program Requirements represent the central body of the curriculum. You are required to take the following courses for a total of 46 credits, including the integration paper:

    PSYC 5110  Phenomenology of the Face - Fall Year 1   
    PSYC 5170 Therapeutic Skills I: Listening - Fall or Winter Year 1
    PSYC 5150  Madness and Society - Spring Year 1
    PSYC 5120  Desperate Styles - Fall Year 1
    PSYC 5130  Issues in Psychotherapy - Winter Year 1
    PSYC 5140  Ethics and Phenomenology - Spring Year 1 or 2
    PSYC 5160  Therapeutic Communication - Spring Year 1
    PSYC 5210  The World of the Clinic - Fall Year 2
    PSYC 5820,
    5830, & 5840
    Practicum in Therapeutic Psychology I, II, III
    Year 2 - (6 Credits each) Fall, Winter, and Spring
    PSYC 5220,
    5230, & 5240
     Clinical Supervision I, II, III
    Year 2 - (2 Credits each) Fall, Winter, and Spring
    PSYC 5990  Integration Paper - Winter-Spring Year 2

    ELECTIVE courses totaling 26 credits are needed to complete the degree.   Typical 72 Credit Program

    What is practicum and how do I find a placement? 

    MAP students fulfill their practicum requirement (600 hours) in their second year. Students are responsible for choosing and applying to their own practicum site, but the MAP program has a Practicum Information Session in winter quarter. We also keep detailed profiles on previous agencies on file, with contact and internship information.

    How is the Master of Arts in Psychology program at SU different from other programs?

    SU's MAP program is existential-phenomenological (EP) and therapeutic in its orientation. EP is a continental philosophical tradition that speaks to contemporary psychology and psychotherapy by offering a fundamentally different model of training than most other training programs. The program offers a broad foundation in psychology, philosophy, and psychopathology and engages the humanities as well. Through exploring these in relation to psychotherapy and counseling, students come to appreciate the significance of therapeutic attitude and presence. Most fundamentally, we place a strong emphasis on the relational and ethical dimensions of psychotherapy.

    How is the SU Faculty different from other programs?

    At SU, there is a full time faculty of five professors. Each faculty member brings their distinct educational background and experience to the preparation of psychotherapists. Some are experienced clinicians; all of us are active researchers in the human sciences. In addition, we have an excellent team of adjunct lecturers, many who have graduated from MAP, with specific expertise in certain clinical areas. 

    Can I work and still attend the program?

    Yes. 20 hours per week is easily doable. 30 hours is difficult. We do not recommend working full-time while in the program.

    If the catalog changes, do I have to meet the new requirements?


    If I get an Incomplete in a class, can I enroll in the following quarter?


    What is estimated cost of the program?

    Between $48,000 - $52,000

    Are scholarships available?

    All Psychology Department students are eligible for the MAP Scholarship.

    Where can I find housing?

    The need for affordable housing is a critical issue for many students and those thinking about attending the MAP program.For information and resources for housing that is located near the SU campus click here.


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