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 in length 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 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 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 $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.  

*The MAP Program is now accepting applications for Fall 2023 start (for Domestic and International students) 

What is the application deadline?

The Priority Deadline for applications to start the MAP Program in the fall of 2023 is January 15, 2023.  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.  We are currently accepting applications for the waitlist as of May 2023.

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 ordinarily equivalent to a minor in Psychology. The six prerequisite Psychology courses must be completed before classes begins in the Fall Quarter. If you have not yet completed all six you may still apply to the program, as long as you outline a plan for completing them by the beginning of Fall Quarter.  A 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 accredited 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. We do not recommend specific online providers, but 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 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 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. Other acceptable experiences might include volunteering for a Crisis Line, 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.  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.   Beginning Fall 2024, the MAP program will offer courses as a member of the Counseling Compact.

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 from three to six students.  

When do the majority of classes meet?

Most class meetings take place Monday through Thursday.  Classes begin no earlier than 3:30pm 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 during weekday daytime hours.  

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

The program will take 3 years to complete if enrolled full time. There is also a way to complete the program on a four-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 will become a 90-credit program Fall of 2024.  The MAP program became a 72-credit hour degree in the Fall of 2012. We made this change due to national trending at that time in state licensure policy, which was more frequently requiring that applicants for licensure graduate from master level programs with 72-quarter credit hours. This has changed.  Our participation in the Counseling Compact and increasing to 90 credits will make it easier to obtain licensing in other states.  Please note that while the MAP curriculum fulfills WA state policy for master level clinical licensure, we do not make this claim with respect to other states.    Each state has its own unique requirements for licensing. For some states it can be difficult or impossible to obtain licensure coming out of the MAP program. Be aware that state licensure policies can also change from year to year depending on the jurisdiction. MAP cannot guarantee that the set of rules governing licensure in a particular state when you enter the program will remain the same as when you are ready to seek licensure. 

Program Requirements (changing to 90 credits Fall of 2024).

The Program Requirements represent the central body of the curriculum. Students must take 50 required courses credits, which includes completing a capstone integration paper.  Additionally, students need to take 22 credits in elective coursework. A 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 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 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 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?

The MAP program has a full-time faculty of six 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 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 easily doable. Thirty (30) hours is more difficult. We do not recommend working full-time while in the program.  The second year also has an approximately 20 hour weekly internship requirement.

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?

Approximately $60,000 for the 72-credit program which will end after Fall of 2023.  $75,000 for the 90-credit program beginning Fall of 2024.

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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