Frequently Asked Questions

Are students accepted all year round? 

No, we admit in the winter for beginning in Fall quarter annually.  

What does the admissions process entail? 

Application to the MAP program is online and overseen through the Office of Graduate Admissions. 

In the process of applying to the program you will need to submit the following items to Office of Graduate Admissions:  

  • A completed graduate application. 
  • An official, sealed transcript from each college and university you have attended, regardless whether the courses and credits are also listed on another school’s transcript.
  • An autobiographical essay of roughly 6 pages double-spaced. Details on this are provided in the online application process.
  • A writing sample such as an undergraduate paper.
  • Three letters of recommendation. Following the procedures outlined in the online admissions website, you should generally ask your recommenders to submit their letters electronically directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Under unusual circumstances your recommenders may submit hard copy letters. When doing so they should follow procedures described by the Office of Graduate Admissions. Permission to contact your recommenders is assumed.
  • The priority deadline for submitting applications to the program is January 15. This is the date at which we will begin to review applications. We will typically continue to accept applications for several weeks after that, up until we have filled all spaces in the program.
  • Applicants who appear promising in the initial screening stage will be contacted by a member of the admissions committee to set up an in-person interview. If you live out of town, we can work with you to arrange a virtual interview.  
  • Offers of admission will come directly from the Office of Graduate Admissions in the weeks that follow, usually the latter part of March.
  • If you accept an offer of admission to the MAP program, you will need to pay a $250 non-refundable tuition deposit to the university's Student Financial Services office.
  • Note: We do not require applicants to take the GRE general test or GRE subject test in Psychology unless you are coming out of an undergraduate program which does not issue grades.   

What is the application deadline?

The Priority Deadline for applications to start the MAP Program in the Fall is January 15. We begin review of applications at that point. We typically continue to accept applications beyond that date until we have a full cohort of students.  

What are the academic prerequisites for entrance into the MAP program?

Candidates must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. Candidates will also need to have completed prerequisite psychology coursework in the following six areas: 1) Introduction to Psychology, 2) Abnormal Psychology, 3) Developmental/Lifespan Psychology, 4) Personality Psychology, 5) Statistics, and 6) Research Methods. This is the rough equivalent to an undergraduate minor in Psychology. The six prerequisite Psychology courses must be completed before you begin your actual work in the program in the fall. If you have not yet completed all six you may still apply to the program, as long as you outline a realistic plan for completing them by the beginning of Fall Quarter.  A transcript showing a combined 3.0 grade point average (GPA) in undergraduate work is also required. 

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

Classes can be taken through any accredited undergraduate institution that is able to provide transcripts of completed work to Seattle University. Classes can be online, in person or hybrid in format. In the Seattle area, institutions that offer this coursework include (but are not limited to) Bellevue College, Seattle Central Community College, North Seattle College, South Seattle College and Shoreline Community College. While we do not recommend specific online programs or providers, many are available. They simply need to be accredited. Please note: Personality Psychology (sometimes called Personality Theory) can be a difficult course to find as it's often only offered once a year, so please plan accordingly. Taking the course online may offer the most flexibility. 

What qualifies as "human services" volunteer or work experience?   

Our intention with this requirement is that applicants should have some experience working with persons in distress and have a sense of what it might entail to be a psychotherapist or work in community mental health settings prior to beginning work in the program.   

This experience can take a variety of forms.  We prefer that an applicant has experience working in a structured role in a community mental health program, human services agency, or an educational or social services setting.  The work should involve direct interaction with clients experiencing distress or difficulties. So, for these purposes, working as a teacher or teaching assistant with children with autism or emotional difficulties would qualify.   

Likewise, working with at risk youth in a community-based program, or doing support work with clients in a domestic violence shelter would count, but serving in an administrative or fund-raising role at a VA clinic would not qualify. Other acceptable experiences might include volunteering for a crisis hotline, working as a residential counselor or caseworker, or serving as an intern screening participants for a clinical mental health research study.  

Ideally, your experience(s) should include some form of training, mentoring, and/or supervision by a professional in the field. The key is that you receive some meaningful form of training for the role you are in, along with opportunities for feedback and growth in your role so that you are not left alone to struggle with your experiences/challenges. You can accumulate the required 600 hours across a variety of different work or volunteer experiences or in a single role at a single site.  You do not need to have completed the full 600 hours of work at the time you apply and interview for the program.  However, you should have completed some significant portion of this work requirement at the time you apply.  In your application essay, you should be prepared to describe and reflect on your human services experiences to this point, and you should be prepared to describe how you will complete the 600 hour requirement prior to starting work in the program in September.  

Is the MAP program accredited?

Seattle University is regionally accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) and this accreditation applies to the MAP program as well. The MAP program’s curriculum meets licensure requirements in the State of Washington for the Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate (LMHCA) credential. It meets, as well, the criteria for eligibility for the interstate Counseling Compact.  The Counseling Compact, an agreement among 30 states, including Washington, provides a path for individuals who become licensed counselors in one state to apply for the privilege to practice in any other Compact state. Additional information about the compact is available here (is there a link?). Requirements for licensure in other, non-compact states differ on a state-by-state basis. It is the responsibility of applicants to the MAP program to research requirements in states where they may wish to practice and determine if the program will meet the licensing requirements for that state. 

Are there scholarships available for the MAP program?

Some limited scholarship (fellowship) aid is available to new students entering the MAP program.

  • Continuous enrollment of at least three credits per term, and a minimum of 12 credits per academic year, is expected to remain eligible for renewal of the graduate award.
  • Recipients receive between $2,400 to $3,600 per academic year for each of the two years in the program if they remain in good standing. Total scholarship dollars cannot exceed $6,400.
  • A separate application is not needed to be considered for a fellowship.  You will automatically be considered for a scholarship award when you submit your application.

Selection Criteria and Process of Selection:

Fellowship awards are based on a combination of factors, the most important of which include indication of unmet financial need, strength of fit with the values and training approaches of the program, and evidence of interest in working with underserved or marginalized groups.  This would include work with individuals from racial, sexual and ethnic minority backgrounds, service to refugee or immigrant communities, homeless or at-risk youth, women with children recovering from domestic violence or youth in the juvenile justice system. Faculty meet to discuss applicants and determine fellowship recipients in the spring of the year.

Notification Process:
Applicants who are awarded a scholarship are generally notified at the time of their acceptance into the program. Letters are initiated and sent from the Office of Graduate Admissions.

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 is 20 students.

What is the average class size?

Class sizes vary somewhat between elective and required courses.  In general, in required courses for the program, class sizes tend to be approximately 20 students. This reflects the fact that, since students are part of a cohort, they take many courses together with their peers. However, elective classes tend to be smaller, having an average of 12 to 18 students. Certain intensive clinical skills courses are taught in smaller groups of three to six students.   

When do the majority of classes meet?

Most class meetings take place Monday through Thursday.  Classes tend to begin no earlier than 3:00pm and end no later than 9:00pm. This schedule changes during the summer terms, when classes are run in four-week blocks during weekday daytime hours.   

How long will it take to get my master's degree?

The MAP program is 90-credit degree program that requires 3 years to complete on a typical schedule of study.   

Does the program have a particular clinical emphasis and what are the options for specialization?

The LMHC license in Washington state is a general mental health counselor license.  Students do not have to have an emphasis on work with a specific clinical population, though many do have areas of practice in which they want to focus.Students can choose what populations they want to work with in their clinical internship, whether children, couples, groups, adults or families, and what particular types of clinical issues and approaches they would like to focus upon.    

What is the curriculum?

The core curriculum includes the following subject areas: 

Foundations for Existential-Phenomenological, Relational and Humanistic Clinical Practice 

  • Assessment and Diagnosis 
  • Abnormal Psychology and Psychopathology 
  • Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice 
  • Social and Cultural Diversity 
  • Counseling and Helping Relationships 
  • Group Counseling and Group Work 
  • Counseling Couples and Families 
  • Human Growth and Development 
  • Research and Program Evaluation 
  • Career and Vocational Development  
  • Clinical Internship, Supervision and Practical Experience 

Electives may include the following subject areas:

  • Trauma/Race and Trauma 
  • Counseling Across the Gender and Sexual Spectrum  
  • Reproductive Mental Health 
  • Depth Psychology 
  • Addictions 
  • Play Therapy 
  • Mindfulness
  • Focusing Oriented Therapy 

Current Program Requirements:

For the 90-credit program, students must take 72 credits of required courses, which includes completing a clinical internship and a capstone integration paper. Additionally, students need to take 18 credits in elective coursework. A full list of required courses and a sample of electives is available here: Required Courses

What is internship and how do I find a placement? 

MAP students fulfill a substantial clinical internship requirement (600+ hours) in their final year in the program. The MAP program holds an Internship Orientation Session at the end of the fall quarter for students who will be going on internship the following academic year. At this event, the MAP Clinical Director reviews the Internship Handbook and walks students through the process of researching and applying to clinical internship sites. 

We provide students with a list of thirty to forty approved sites in the Puget Sound area with which the program has worked in the recent past. The list provides an overview of the orientation of each clinic, the clientele served, as well as contact information for site training directors. Students are responsible for choosing which sites they want to apply to, and then applying and interviewing with sites. Clinical internship entails roughly 20 hours per week of work in the role of counselor/therapist for a period of 9 to 12 months.  

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

Seattle University's MAP program is existential-phenomenological (EP) and humanistic 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 that also engages the humanities. Through exploring these in relation to psychotherapy and counseling, students come to appreciate the significanceoftherapeutic attitude and presence. Most fundamentally, we place a strong emphasis on the relational and ethical dimensions of psychotherapy. 

What opportunities are there for doing research and research training in the MAP program?

The time limits and curriculum constraints of a three-year professional degree program mean thatthe MAP program is primarily a clinical training program.  While there are opportunities to get involved in ongoing qualitative research projects with faculty members and alumni, and MAP students frequently author papers for professional presentations and sometimes publication, there are significant limits on the support the program can provide for student research and research training.    

Only under exceptional circumstances may a student substitute undertaking a master’s thesis (that is, a research project involving human subjects review, collection and analysis of original data) for completion of the program's capstone Integration Paper. These exceptional circumstances include: 

  • A thesis is necessary to fulfill licensure requirements of the student's home country--outside of the US. 
  • The thesis represents a continuation of a pre-existing academic project. 

A thesis cannotbe undertaken in the MAP program solely in anticipation of pursuing future graduate study (e.g., Ph.D., Psy.D). Students focused on seeking graduate training at the doctoral level and interested in gaining additional research experience should speak with the program faculty regarding the available options. Applicants to the program should consider as well whether their ultimate career goals might be best served by applying directly to a research-focused doctoral program.    

How is the Master of Arts in Psychology faculty different from other programs?

The MAP program has a full-time faculty of five professors. Each faculty member brings their distinct educational background and experiences to teaching and training students. Most are experienced clinicians; all are active researchers in the human sciences. In addition, we have an excellent supporting team of adjunct faculty, clinical instructors and mentors with expertise across a wide range of clinical areas.  

Can I work and still attend the program?

Yes. Twenty (20) hours per week is doable. Thirty (30) hours is more difficult.  We do not recommend working full-time while in the program.  The third year in the program has a twenty (20) hour weekly internship requirement so we recommend a maximum of ten to fifteen (10-15) hours of work per week. 

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?

Tuition for the 2024-2025 academic year is $849 per credit hour (subject to change by Seattle University Board of Trustees). The MA in Psychology program is a 90-credit program, so the total cost for tuition is approximately $76,410. Additional student fees apply.

If I am relocating to the Seattle area, how 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 or visit Seattle University's partner Places4Students. 


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Master of Arts in Psychology

MAP Program Information
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