Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology

The Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology is designed to produce Master's-level practitioners who are qualified to sit for licensure as Licensed Psychological Associates (LPA) by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists.  Recent changes to Texas state licensure rules and regulations require 60 hours of coursework in order to be eligible to obtain an LPA.  As such, students are expected to take a full course load of classes each fall, spring, and summer for two years in order to meet the requirements for licensure.  Given the intensive clinical training offered, the program is designed to produce effective practitioners.  A Master's degree in Clinical Psychology from SHSU also prepares students for further graduate study and/or community college teaching. The program provides a minimum of 300 hours of supervised practicum experience and equips students with applied skills in psychometrics and professional intervention.  Students partake in a capstone course typically during their last semester of the program.

Given the intensive coursework and clinical training required by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, the default is for students to enter the program on a non-thesis track.  In special circumstances, however, students may petition to be given the opportunity to conduct a formal thesis; this is at the discretion of the faculty and department chair.  Regardless of engagement in a Master's thesis or not, students are encouraged to join faculty members' research labs in order to gain valuable research experience.

Students seeking admission to the Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology must submit the following documents to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  1. Graduate Application: The Graduate Application is an institutional application required by SHSU. Students must provide biographical and educational information and information relevant to determining State of Texas residency.
  2. Application fee: An application fee is required for all applications to graduate programs at SHSU.
  3. Transcripts documenting all prior degrees.* (18 hours of undergraduate coursework in psychology is required)
  4. Applicants who do not possess a graduate degree from an accredited institution are expected to have earned a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 from the accredited institution granting the undergraduate degree.  Applicants who do not possess a graduate degree and have an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 are encouraged to provide an explanation for the applicant’s low GPA and why the GPA is not indicative of the applicant’s academic and professional potential in the Letter of Intent.
  5. Letter of intent: The Letter of Intent is your opportunity to discuss your fit with the program offered at Sam Houston State University. While you have a significant amount of freedom to discuss anything you would like in your letter of intent, you may want to address your short-term and long-term academic/professional goals, why you would like to attend our program, and why your interests fit with our program.
  6. Three letters of recommendation that discuss the applicant’s suitability for graduate study.  The most useful letters of recommendation come from university faculty who are able to describe the applicant’s potential for success in graduate study.
  7. Official GRE scores.
  8. Curriculum Vita (CV) with sections emphasizing education, research experience, volunteer or clinical experience, and any notable achievements, awards, or proficiencies.

*Applicants may submit unofficial transcripts for review by the admissions committee. However, under university policy, admission decisions are contingent upon receipt of official transcripts.

Students will be admitted for the Fall (no summer admissions). The application deadline for Fall enrollment is February 15.

Admission to the MA in Clinical Psychology program is competitive and the number of available positions is limited.

Note: Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

In addition to the courses listed below, all students must complete a comprehensive examination near the end of their program. The details of the comprehensive examinations are set out in the Program Handbook.

Master of Arts in Psychology-Clinical Psychology
Specified Courses
PSYC 5330Psychopathology3
PSYC 5332Advanced Social Psychology3
PSYC 5333Thry & Rsch In Psychotherapy I3
PSYC 5336Advanced Cognitive Psychology3
or PSYC 5381 Advanced Learning Theory
PSYC 5360Adv Physiological Psychology3
PSYC 5379Ethical Practice in Psychology3
PSYC 5380Psychology of Diversity3
PSYC 5387Advanced Statistics3
PSYC 5388Experimental Design3
PSYC 5394Psychometrics3
PSYC 5395Assmt Of Intellgnc & Achievmt (Correct spelling: Assessment of Intelligence & Achievement)3
PSYC 5396Assmt-Personlty& Psychoptholgy (Correct spelling Personality & Psychopathology)3
PSYC 5397Adv Developmental Psychology3
PSYC 6390Techniques in Psychotherapy3
PSYC 6391Practicum I3
PSYC 6392Practicum II3
PSYC 6393Practicum III3
Restricted Electives
Select three of the following:9
Thry & Rsch Psychotherapy II
Advanced Child Assessment
Thesis I
Thesis II
Developmental Psychopathology
Total Hours60

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) marketable skills initiative is part of the state’s 60x30TX plan and was designed to help students articulate their skills to employers.  Marketable skills are those skills valued by employers and/or graduate programs that can be applied in a variety of work or education settings and may include interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skill areas.

The MA in Clinical Psychology is designed to provide graduates with the following marketable skills:

  • Eligible to pursue licensure at the Master's level as a Licensed Psychological Associate (LPA).
  • Trained to effectively conduct psychotherapy with a variety of clinical populations.
  • Able to conduct psychological evaluations.
  • Develop the skills to be an effective scholar and consumer of the scientific literature.