Dec 06, 2023  
Loyola Marymount University Bulletin 2023-2024 
Loyola Marymount University Bulletin 2023-2024

Counseling, M.A.

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Contact Information

Academic Program Director: Sheri Atwater

Assistant Director: Maryann Francis

Academic Advisor: Michael Cersosimo


The Master of Arts in Counseling program prepares candidates to succeed as a counselor in diverse educational, community, private, and non-profit settings. This is a 60-semester-hour program designed for those who intend to pursue Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) certification. This degree program meets the requirements of section 4999.40 of the California Business and Professions Code (BPC) and contains the LPCC course content as specified in BPC section 4999.33. Graduates of the M.A. in Counseling program are eligible to apply to the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) for Associate Professional Clinical Counselor (APPC) status. As an APCC, graduates then complete 3,000 hours of clinical work and pass two national exams (covering mental health and law and ethics) to receive LPCC status. Candidates enrolled in this 60-unit program have the option to pursue the Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential in School Counseling.

Program Outcomes

As a result of this training, students will:

  • Apply effective counseling strategies to meet the diverse academic, social, emotional, and career needs of clients
  • Counsel clients individually using appropriate theoretical approaches to address academic readiness, language proficiency, cultural background, and individual development
  • Counsel clients in group settings using group facilitation skills derived from appropriate theoretical approaches to address academic readiness, language proficiency, cultural background, and individual development
  • Evaluate clients using suitable/pertinent assessment measures based on the purpose of measuring instrument and identified counseling need
  • Implement prevention and intervention strategies for diverse clients based on scientific research and program evaluations 
  • Consult effectively with clients, their families, and support systems; with peers and colleagues; and with appropriate clinical staff in order to improve client functioning
  • Exemplify the main dimensions of personal growth and dispositions central to successful counseling, including self-awareness, self-care, and self-reflection
  • Exhibit and defend the ethical codes related to the specific field of counseling within which one works (e.g., ACA Code of Ethics, LPCC ethical codes)
  • Demonstrate advanced intervention techniques in the areas of addictions, trauma, community psychology, and human sexuality to address the diverse needs of clinical populations

Program Admissions Requirements

  • Online Graduate Application
  • Bachelor’s Degree from a Regionally Accredited Institution in Psychology or a related field (e.g., Education, Child Development, Human Services, Communication Studies, etc.)
  • Official Transcript from all Colleges/Universities Attended, including all Community/Junior Colleges
    • Applicants who completed an undergraduate/graduate degree outside of the United States of America:
      • Official Transcript Evaluation from an approved evaluation agency that details content of coursework completed, degree equivalency, and cumulative GPA
      • Official Transcript still needs to be submitted with Transcript Evaluation
      • Cumulative Undergraduate GPA of 3.0, or 3.05 in the last 60 Undergraduate Units, a 3.0 in at least 9 Graduate Units, or Completion of a Request for Exception to GPA Requirement
  • Applicants whose citizenship is from a county where English is not the primary language:
    • TOEFL or IELTS or Duolingo English Test Minimum Scores (unless a High School Diploma or a Bachelor’s Degree was obtained in the United States)
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
  • CTC Certificate of Clearance (COC)
  • For candidates pursuing the PPS in School Counseling
    • Basic Skills Requirement (BSR)
  • Personal Statement of Intent addressing:
    • The characteristics the applicant possesses that he or she thinks will make him or her an effective counselor;
    • In what specific ways does the LMU Counseling Program help the applicant achieve his or her professional goals;
    • The applicant’s commitment towards preparing himself or herself to be an effective counselor, including devoting the required time and financial planning to a culminating internship in the field, a time when it is difficult and ill-advised to work full-time, and becoming active in related professional organizations (e.g., CALPCC, CASC, ASCA);
    • The applicant’s related work or volunteer experiences with individuals from diverse backgrounds (e.g., culture, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, and/or children/adults with disabilities);
    • The applicant’s perspective on multiculturalism and social justice, as outlined in the School of Education’s REAL conceptual framework;
    • A bulleted list (to be included at the end of Statement of Intent) indicating a) positions held, b) length of time/duration, c) supervisor name/contact information, and d) volunteer or paid positions.

Clinical Mental Health Specialization*:

Total: 60 semester hours

Additional Requirements

  • 100 completed hours of practical experience prior to enrollment in Fieldwork courses
    • EDSP 6391   Foundations of Counseling (20 hours)
    • EDSP 6392   Counseling Theories & Techniques (10 hours)
    • EDSP 6394   Helping Skills (10 hours)
    • EDSP 6378   Group Counseling (25 hours)
    • EDSP 6386   Culturally Responsive Counseling with Individuals (25 hours)
    • YOUR CHOICE Pre-Counseling Hours (10 hours)
  • Candidate Disposition evaluations
    • (1) BY END OF FIRST SEMESTER: One Self-Assessment Disposition Form AND One Faculty-Assessment Disposition Form must be completed and turned in to the Counseling Program Advisor and EDSP Associate Director no later than the end of the candidate’s first semester in the Program.
    • (2) BY END OF EDSP 6386  Culturally Responsive Counseling with Individuals: One Self-Assessment Disposition Form AND One Faculty-Assessment* Disposition Form must be completed and turned in to the Counseling Program Advisor and EDSP Associate Director upon your completion of EDSP 6386 Culturally Responsive Counseling with Individuals. *This Faculty Assessment MUST be completed by the candidate’s EDSP 6386 Instructor.
  • Completion of a total of 600-800 fieldwork hours (400 hours per semester, if adding PPS)
  • Fieldwork I Application Form
  • Pre-Counseling Documentation Log (“Your choice 10 pre-counseling hours”)
  • Counseling Organization Membership
  • Proof of Liability Insurance with Counseling Organization
  • Fieldwork Planning Document
  • Approval of Fieldwork Site
    • Candidates seeking the Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential must complete their fieldwork at an approved school site.
  • Completion of all courses prior to enrollment in Comprehensive Exam with the exception of:
    • EDSP 6392  Psychopharmacology 3 semester hours
    • EDSP 6395  Addictions Counseling: Foundations of Wellness 3 semester hours
    • EDSP 6396  Human Sexuality 3 semester hours
    • EDSP 6400   Community Psychology: Theories and Practice 3 semester hours
    • EDSP 6508   Student Diversity and Exceptionality 3 semester hours
    • Fieldwork courses pertaining to the candidate’s specialization:
      • Clinical Mental Health Specialization:
        • EDSP 6940  Fieldwork in Mental Health Counseling I 3 semester hours
        • EDSP 6945  Fieldwork in Mental Health Counseling II 3 semester hours
      • School Counseling Specialization:
        • EDSP 6970  Fieldwork in School Counseling I 3 semester hours
        • EDSP 6980  Fieldwork in School Counseling II 3 semester hours
      • Child Welfare and Attendance Coursework
        • EDSP 5303  Foundations in Child Welfare Attendance 3 semester hours
        • EDSP 5304  School Attendance Improvement and Truancy Remediation 3 semester hours
        • EDSP 5305  CWA Fieldwork and Supervision 3 semester hours
  • Application for Degree
  • All coursework must be completed within 5 years.

Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential Requirements

  • To apply for the Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential candidates must complete their fieldwork at an approved school site with an approved site supervisor.
  • All above listed coursework and program requirements must be met in order to be eligible for a credential recommendation.
  • All coursework must be completed within five years.


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