Master of Science in Clinical Counseling

Master of Science in Clinical Counseling

The Albertus Magnus College Master of Science in Clinical Counseling is a 60 credit degree program offered in the Division of Professional and Graduate Studies. Due to the intensive clinical nature of the program, most classes are offered on a semester-long basis in the evening, with some classes, particularly in the summer, following an 8-week, accelerated, modular format. Most classes are fully on-ground, though some might be offered in the blended/hybrid format.

Our M.S. in Clinical Counseling has three distinct features:

  • The ability to choose between two specialty tracks—Mental Health Counseling or Addiction Counseling. The Addiction Counseling track is distinctive in that no other counseling program in the State of Connecticut features a complete menu of courses leading the Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) credential
  • An emphasis on evidence-based practice (also known as empirically supported treatments). This is demonstrated by advanced courses in contemporary modes of psychotherapy (or addiction counseling) as well as assessment, case formulation, and treatment planning.
  • The integrated experiences in the final year of the program: a supervised internship (typical in all counseling programs) is combined with seminars in ethical issues and case formulation as well as the empirical thesis, which will involve client assessment and/or treatment effectiveness research conducted at the internship site.

The program is explicitly designed to lead to eligibility as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the State of Connecticut. This is a useful credential, enabling practitioners to work with health insurance providers to provide services in both public and private sectors. Most master’s-level positions in behavioral health require, or at least strongly prefer, that applicants possess or be eligible for some form of licensure. Note that each state sets its own standards for licensure, and Connecticut is known to have the most rigorous.

Admissions Requirements

The following will be required of all applicants accepted in the Master of Science of Clinical Counseling program:

  • An earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university (or equivalent foreign institution)
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.00 or greater on a 4.0 system.
  • At least 15 credits in psychology, including a course in statistics. (Statistics courses offered by departments of mathematics are acceptable as a substitute with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.8.)
  • For non-native English speakers, proficiency in English as demonstrated by at least three years of successful academic work at a college or university using English as the primary language of instruction.

Application Process

The following materials should be submitted in order to have an application for admission evaluated:

  • A completed application and a $50 non-refundable application fee
  • Official transcripts reflecting conferral of a bachelor’s degree. (All transcripts are to be submitted from the original institutions.)
  • ONE of the following:
    • o A substantive writing sample (such as a term paper from an upper-level class) OR
    • o Scores on the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • Two letters of recommendations from former professors or supervisors. Ideally, one letter will be from a professor who is familiar with the applicant’s quality as a student and one will be from a clinical supervisor. However, we recognize that people who graduated many years ago may not have maintained contact with former professors, while some traditional-age students (or career changers) may not have had substantive clinical experience.
  • A personal statement of 250-500 words, double spaced, detailing the applicant’s motivation and self-assessed suitability for a career in counseling
  • An interview with one or more program faculty members. (Applicants from distant states may be able to complete interviews via telephone or videoconferencing.)

Applicants whose grades or coursework fall short of the above criteria may, at the discretion of program faculty, be offered admission on a conditional or probationary basis. Such students would assume “regular” status once they meet the following criteria:

  • Completion of any outstanding prerequisites, maintaining a >3.00 GPA and with no grades below “B-” (2.70)
  • Completion of 9 or more credits in the program with a cumulative GPA >3.00 and no grades below “B-” (2.70)

Applicants whose undergraduate grades are lower than desired are encouraged to reflect on the causes of this outcome, and the factors that may have changed, in their personal statements. Lower grades are less likely to be an impediment to admission if some years have passed and the applicant has performed responsible work in the interim.

Decisions concerning admission will be made based on a holistic review of the complete application.

All application materials should be sent to:
The Master of Science in Clinical Counseling Admission Committee
Division of Professional and Graduate Studies
Albertus Magnus College
700 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511-1189

Program of Study

Core Requirements (42 - 45 credits)

PY 533 Psychopathology

PY 530 Theories of Counseling

PY 5xx Life-Span Human Development (blended format)

PY 5xx Cultural Issues in Counseling (blended format)

PY 537 Counseling Techniques

PY 5xx Clinical Assessment I: Understanding and Utilizing Appropriate Instruments

PY 535 Career Counseling (blended format) and/or Group Dynamics and Counseling

PY 534 Research Methods and Quantitative Analysis

PY 5xx Counseling Practicum (120 hours)

PY 5xx Group Dynamics and Counseling (and/or Career Counseling in blended format)

PY 5xx Counseling Internship I (300 hours)

PY 5xx Professional, Ethical, and Legal Issues Seminar, Part I (1.5 credits)

PY 5xx Thesis Research Project, Part I (1.5 credits; blended format)

PY 5xx Spiritual Issues in Counseling or Specialty Course

PY 5xx Counseling Internship II (300 hours)

PY 5xx Professional, Ethical, and Legal Issues Seminar, Part II (1.5 credits)

PY 5xx Thesis Research Project, Part II (1.5 credits; blended format)

Mental Health Counseling Track

Courses in this track involve advanced study of clinical assessment and psychotherapy, emphasizing empirically supported treatments. No existing mental health counseling program in Connecticut is comparable in this respect.

PY5xx Clinical Assessment II: Cognitive Functioning

PY5xx Advanced Counseling and Psychotherapy I: Cognitive-Behavioral Methods

PY5xx Clinical Assessment III: Personality Dynamics

PY5xx Advanced Counseling and Psychotherapy II: Affect-Centered Methods

PY5xx Advanced Seminar in Case Conceptualization

Addiction Counseling Track

Courses in this track prepare clinicians to specialize in work with substance abusing clients. Graduates will be able to pursue licensure as alcohol and drug counselors (LADC) as well as the more general LPC credential. Addiction counseling is a high-demand area within the behavioral health field. Students enrolled in this track would take these courses in company with those enrolled in the Post-Graduate Certificate in Addiction Counseling. All courses are offered in the accelerated, eight-week, modular format.

PY583 Drugs and Behavior I: Basic Science (mod 1)

PY584 Drugs and Behavior II: Applications (mod 2)

PY587 Addiction Counseling I: Core Concepts and Competencies (mod 3)

PY589 Addiction Counseling II: Advanced Techniques (mod 4)

PY588 Clinical Assessment of Substance Use Disorders (1.5 credits; mod 1)

PY591 Treatment Planning and Evaluation in Addiction Counseling (1.5 credits; mod 2)