2022-2023 Catalog 
    Jul 25, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs

School: California School of Professional Psychology

Modality(ies): On-ground, online

Calendar(s): 8-week term

CIP Code: 42.2803

Program Description/Overview

This program prepares master’s level mental health professionals to be competent counselors who apply psychotherapeutic techniques to assess, treat and prevent cognitive, mental, and emotional issues related to personal growth, adjustment to disability, psychosocial and environmental stressors, substance abuse and crisis and trauma.

Clinical counseling focuses on promoting resilience, mental wellness and prevention rather than pathology.

The 60-unit curriculum incorporates all of the California State Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) educational requirements and clinical hours requirements outlined in the Business and Professions Code (BPC) Section 4999.30 for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (http://www.bbs.ca.gov/pdf/publications/lawsregs.pdf).

Program Learning Outcomes/Goals

The following learning outcomes integrate the core competency areas of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) 2016 Standards as well as the Professional Practice Competencies of Alliant-IMPACT.

  1. Professional Identity, Values and Dispositions: Students will demonstrate an understanding of the counseling profession, the role and function of counselors in multiple settings and professional organizations. Students will demonstrate behavior and dispositions that reflect the values and attitudes of counseling.
  2. Counseling Skills and helping relationships: Students will demonstrate their ability to use intentional counseling skills while maintaining empathic, nonjudgmental, and professional dispositions. Students will display knowledge of counseling skills and can effectively integrate and apply counseling techniques
  3. Lifespan Development: Students will demonstrate an understanding in applying theory and research in the needs of others at all development levels and assist in their emotional growth and development.
  4. Career Development: Students will demonstrate an understanding and application of the career development process over the life span, career decision making process, assessment and sources of information used to provide career counseling.
  5.  Group Counseling: Students will display knowledge and understanding of theories and principles of group dynamics and can facilitate group process using methods and skills in a group experience.
  6. Assessment: Students will demonstrate knowledge of selecting, administering, and interpreting assessment instruments and testing techniques in counseling. including individual and group approaches to assessment and evaluation.
  7.  Multicultural Counseling: Students will demonstrate an understanding of issues and trends in a multicultural and diverse society and its intersectionality as it pertains to their own experience, the counseling profession and the clients they serve.
  8.  Principles of the diagnostic process: Students will demonstrate proficiency using diagnostic tool to identify the etiology, prevention and treatment of mental disorders, co-occurring disorders and differential diagnoses.
  9. Counseling Research Methods and Program Evaluation: Students will demonstrate an ability to critique and use research methods, statistical analysis, and program evaluation to advance counseling practice.

Training Model

The program integrates a strengths-based and resilience perspective to foster critical consciousness and reflective thinking, developing practitioner skills in diagnosis, treatment planning and psychological interventions with individuals and groups. The program uses academically-, experientially-, and research-based clinical practice approaches and direct community service learning in coursework and field placements. The program also integrates the principles of mental health recovery-oriented practice. The program is built on the model of cultural humility, which embraces life-long learning and encourages openness to self-care.

Empower Clients Through Multicultural Competence: The program helps students develop a multicultural competence and strong foundation in social justice advocacy to empower the clients and communities they will serve. Students in the program are encouraged to break down the walls of race, gender and age to build a community amongst themselves. Many students speak of not only the education they receive through this program but also the relationships they build with their peers. Being able to look past different cultures and views in the classroom helps students to be able to venture into outside communities during their fieldwork and serve as effective culturally competent clinical counselors. This process gives students the confidence they need to reach out to those communities of need that they may have not been able to reach before.

Professional Behavior Expectations/Ethical Guidelines

  1. Students are expected to maintain a high degree of ethical conduct throughout the program. In the light of working with some of the most vulnerable populations, it is vital that counseling trainees exercise a high degree of care in working with clients and abide by the American Counseling Association Ethical Standards (https://www.counseling.org/resources/aca-code-of-ethics.pdf) as well the regulations set for by the California Board of Behavioral Science.
  2. Students are expected to demonstrate consistent depth of curiosity and a driving desire to learn more about the complexities of the human condition and mental health, to engage in metacognitive exploration of their thought processes as we engage in processes of deconstructing counseling, its assumptions and impact.
  3. Students are expected to consistently engage in self-reflection, to hear and accept feedback appropriately, and to respond in a mature manner in areas of interpersonal sensitivity and clinical judgment.
  4. Developing the ability to be both aware of and sensitive to aspects of cultural diversity is a lifelong, ongoing process that is never complete. You can expect to be challenged to recognize and address your “growth edges.”
  5. Faculty, staff and supervisors have professional, ethical obligations to evaluate and ensure the interpersonal competence of trainees. Students will at times be required to participate in learning activities that require different levels of self-disclosure. This can include, but is not limited to, exploration of one’s beliefs and values and the potential impact of one’s disposition toward the backgrounds and histories of a community, clients, peers, faculty, and supervisors.
  6. Students can expect assignments and classroom experiences that call for student self-disclosure of a personal nature, in an atmosphere of respect and confidentiality, to an extent not expected in other academic disciplines. Thus, the respectful and confidential handling of material self-disclosed by yourself and other students play a central role in your education here.
  7. Pursuit of personal growth, and willingness to work on personal issues/problems that could interfere with provision of counseling. Personal growth opportunities include experiential activities associated with courses, self-study, participating in activities outside of courses that promote self-development, and engaging in personal counseling. Examples of classes that contain many opportunities for personal growth experiences include (but are not limited to) Multicultural Counseling and Counseling Skills and Techniques with Lab.


Graduates are eligible for licensure as Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCCs) in the state of California upon completion of post-degree intern hours and passing of the licensure exams. Candidates for licensure as an LPCC in California are required to complete a total of 3,000 hours of supervised professional experience after the completion of the master’s degree. Candidates must then pass written examinations for licensure. Continuing education is required to maintain the license.

As each state has its own requirements for licensure as an LPCC, it is imperative that students planning to pursue licensure in a state other than California contact the licensing board in the applicable state for information on that state’s requirements. For further information on licensure in California or other states contact:

California Board of Behavioral Sciences
1625 North Market Blvd., Suite S-200
Sacramento, CA 95834
(916) 574-7830


American Counseling Association
5999 Stevenson Ave.
Alexandria, VA 22304
(800) 347-6647


California Association for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors
1240 India Street, Unit 1302
San Diego, CA 92101-8552

Notice for International Applicants

While we welcome international students into our Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling program, it is important to note that due to their visa status international students will likely be unable to obtain certification/licensure in the U.S. post degree completion.

The California Board of Behavioral Sciences (https://www.bbs.ca.gov/applicants/lpcc.html) requires that Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor applicants complete post-graduate supervised hours over 104 weeks (2 years). For students on F-1 visas, U.S. law only permits one (1) year of Optional Practical Training post-graduation for qualifying students in this program. Therefore, international students will likely be unable to complete the hours required to apply for licensure in California. International applicants interested in obtaining licensure outside of California should review the certification/licensure requirements of those other states.

It may be possible for international students to use training received in this program towards certification/licensure in their respective home countries, but our program is tailored to U.S. requirements. Alliant highly recommends that international applicants wishing to become certified/licensed in their home country review the certification/licensure requirements in their home country.

Programmatic Accreditation

The curriculum incorporates the educational requirements set out by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) 2016 Standards.

Internship, Practicum, and/or Dissertation Information

Students in the program participate in a one-year fieldwork sequence of practicum (100 hours over at least 2 terms) and internship (600 hours over 3 terms), beginning at the end of their first year of coursework. Students will collaborate with the resources of the CSPP Office of Placement and Training (OPT) to locate and be placed in approved field agencies in the surrounding communities to gain the supervised training required for graduation.

Students begin to acquire “real world” experience during practicum at the end of their first year in the program, with unique observation experiences with clients in agency settings. As they progress in the program through practicum and internship, students build on this initial exposure and develop their portfolio of clinical skills - gaining professional confidence along the way. Students receive a total of 700 hours of clinical experience counseling individuals, families and groups. Of these, a minimum of 280 hours are direct client counseling supervised clinical experience.

Through their fieldwork, interns have opportunities to engage in clinical training experiences that serve a broad range of client populations. Students gain experience with individual, family, group, and couple therapy, and gain experience with adults, children, families and couples. They learn to counsel individuals who are struggling with anxiety and depression, social skills, difficult behavior, anger management, grief and loss, relationship problems, sexual concerns, divorce, infidelity, intimacy, and emotional closeness along with many other conditions.

Credit Units

Total Credit Units: 60

Total Core Credit Units: 54

Total Elective Credit Units: 6

Total Concentration Credit Units: N/A

Degree Requirements

 To graduate from the program, students are required to complete:

  1. 700 hours of fieldwork, with 280 hours of direct client contact
  2. Successful completion of the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam, a national exam administered by the Center for Credentialing & Education (CCE), used by many clinical counseling programs nationwide

Curriculum Plan

8-Week Calendar (On-ground)

8-Week Calendar (Online)

The following curriculum plan is a sample and serves only as a general guide. Curriculum plans and course sequence are subject to variation depending on a student’s start term. Students must complete all coursework required for their program as set forth in their individual master plan of study.

The online program includes two residencies. Residencies will be held in California and are part of the indicated terms.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs