Frequently Asked Questions

Are students accepted all year round? 

No, we admit one group of students each year who begin the program together in September. 

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/or have sent to Office of Graduate Admissions the following items:  

  • 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 of 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 theirs 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 in 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 set arrange a telephone-based interview.  
  • Offers of admission will come from the Office of Graduate Admissions in the weeks that follow.
  • If you accept an offer of admission to the MAP program you will need to pay a $100 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.  

 *The priority deadline to apply for Fall 2019 is Jan 15, 2019. (for Domestic and International 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: introduction to psychology, abnormal psychology, developmental/lifespan psychology, personality psychology, statistics, and research methods. This is ordinarily equivalent to a minor in psychology. The six prerequisite psychology courses must be completed before classes begins in the Fall Quarter. I.e. if you have not yet completed all six you may still apply as long as you outline a plan for completing them by the beginning of Fall Quarter.  Transcript showing a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) in undergraduate work 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: Personality Psychology can be a difficult course to find or get into because many institutions only offer it once a year, so please plan accordingly. Taking the course online may offer the most flexibility.

What qualifies as volunteer or work experience in the field of "counseling or human services"?   

Our intention with this requirement is that applicants should have some experience working with persons in distress, and a sense of what it might entail to be a psychotherapist and work in community mental health settings prior to beginning the program.  This experience can take a variety of forms.  We prefer that an applicant have 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 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. Other acceptable experiences might include volunteering for a Crisis Line, working as a residential counselor or caseworker, or 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 the course of doing the work.  You are not simply left alone to struggle with your experiences. 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 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. Regional accreditation a primary requirement for licensure in all states. While not a CACREP accredited program, the MAP program's curriculum meets and exceeds licensure requirements in the State of Washington for the Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) credential. Our graduates are trained and qualified to enter professional work in counseling, community mental health, psychotherapy and a myriad of other vocational choices across Washington.  Rules for licensing in other states are established on a state by state basis.  It is the responsibility of applicants to the program to research licensing requirements for states where they may wish to practice and determine if the MAP program curriculum will meet their licensing requirements.   

Are there scholarships available for the MAP program?

MAP SCHOLARSHIPS DESCRIPTION & GUIDELINES:

Dr. Marylou Wyse Award
Limited need-based scholarship available to new students admitted to select programs for up to two years.
• Students must complete a FAFSA form to be eligible.
• Continuous enrollment of at least three credits per term, but a minimum of 12 credits per academic year, is expected to remain eligible for renewal of the graduate award.
• Recipients receive up to $2,400 per academic year for a total of eight quarters if you remain in good standing. Total scholarship dollars cannot exceed $4,800
• Awarded through the Graduate Admissions Office. Separate application is not needed.

MAP Scholarship
The MAP Scholarship is a yearly, renewable award given to incoming and current students who demonstrate financial need, strong program fit, and evidence of working with or interest in working the underserved or marginalized. No separate application is necessary. Recipients receive approximately $2500 per academic year, for two years, if they remain in good standing.

Minimum Requirements:
12 credit hours a year minimum per year, equal distribution of funds across quarters, with the option of using a summer quarter as one of the quarters.

Selection Criteria and Process of Selection:
Based on FAFSA score and admissions interview. Weight is given to strength of fit with program and evidence of working with or interest in working with the underserved and marginalized groups such as homeless individuals, sexual minorities, multicultural families, refugees, and women with children recovering from domestic violence. Faculty meet to discuss all those with completed FAFSA forms and determine 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 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 of which 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 from three to six students.  

When do the majority of classes meet?

Most class meetings take place on weekdays, Monday through Thursday. They begin no earlier than 3:45pm and end no later than 9:00pm. This schedule changes during the summer term between students' 1st and 2nd year in the program.  In summer term classes are run in four week blocks with weekday daytime hours.  

How long will it take to get my masters degree?

The program takes years to complete if enrolled full time. There is also a way to complete the program on a three year schedule if competing commitments make full time study untenable.  

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 with to work with in their clinical internship experiences whether children, adults or families, and what particular types of clinical issues and approaches they would like to focus upon.  

What is the curriculum?

Please see Graduate Degree Requirements with Course Descriptions on the Registrar's website.

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. Please note that while the MAP curriculum fulfills WA state policy for master level clinical licensure, we do not make this representation with respect to other states. Be aware that state licensure policies can change from year to year depending on the jurisdiction. MAP cannot guarantee that the set of rules governing licensure in a state when you enter the program will remain the same as when you are ready to seek 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 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
Internship 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. MAP 72 Credit Scenario

What is internship and how do I find a placement? 

MAP students fulfill a substantial clinical internship requirement (600 hours) in their second year in the program. The MAP program holds an Internship Orientation Session each year in the winter quarter in which the MAP Clinical Director and clinical faculty walk first year students through the steps of the process of researching and applying to clinical internship sites. We provide students with a list of roughly thirty 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 and previous interns from the MAP program who may have worked there. 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 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.

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

The time limits and curriculum constraints of a two year professional degree program mean that the 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 cannot be 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?

At SU, there is a full time faculty of six professors in the program. 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 clinical instructors and mentors with expertise across a wide range of clinical areas. 

Can I work and still attend the program?

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

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

No.

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

Yes. 

What is estimated cost of the program?

Between $48,000 - $52,000

Are scholarships available?

All Psychology Department students are eligible for MAP and Wyse Scholarships.

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 or visit Seattle University's partner Places4Students.

 

Contact Us

Master of Arts in Psychology

MAP Program Information
Casey 3E
206.296.5400
eppsyc@seattleu.edu

SU Graduate Admissions
206.220.8010
grad-admissions@seattleu.edu