Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology

A regionally accredited, stand-alone two-year graduate program leading to eligibility to become a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC).

Quick Facts


Kenmore, Washington campus
San Diego, California campus

General Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree with an average GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • An Introduction to Psychology course with a 3.0 or better in the last seven years

Length of Program

2 years

  • Summer Start 

Tuition and Financial Aid

Career Opportunities

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of mental health counselors is expected to grow by 24 percent in the next decade. Insurance companies increasingly are providing reimbursement of counselors as a less costly alternative to psychiatrists and psychologists. In this context, the growing demand for mental health professionals will allow a graduate of Bastyr’s Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology program to successfully:

  • Practice as independent licensed mental health counselor
  • Work in a variety of integrative clinical settings
  • Pursue doctoral study in psychology or related fields

The California Board of Behavioral Sciences provides information for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) applicants, License Requirements, Out of State Applicants, and approved Schools with LPCC Programs.


Bastyr University’s Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology is a regionally accredited, two-year graduate program leading to eligibility to become a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) in Washington or a licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC) in California.

Emphasizing whole-person wellness and healing, the program embodies a fresh approach to mental health counseling that is grounded in health psychology. Beyond simply preparing students to become qualified licensed mental health practitioners, Bastyr’s counseling program fosters a deep understanding of an integrative approach to individual and societal mental health. This prepares graduates to effectively address mind, body and spirit wellness in clients.


The program’s course format accommodates traditional students and working professionals who desire nontraditional course scheduling, and facilitates intensive and meaningful learning opportunities to train exceptional clinicians.

  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 4:00 - 7:50 pm - Kenmore campus
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 3:30 - 7:20 pm – San Diego campus

All sections will include additional hours during the second year with an external practicum and clinic shifts at the Bastyr Clinic for Natural Health in Kenmore or the Bastyr University Clinic in San Diego

Program Strengths

  • Condensed course format allows students to commute from outside of the area.
  • Innovative curriculum covers topics in complementary and alternative medicine, behavioral medicine, spirituality, multiculturalism and social justice, human sexuality, and chronic and terminal illness.
  • Honoring diverse educational backgrounds and perspectives, the program includes a 14-course psychology core to provide the necessary foundation for clinical practice.
  • Hands-on clinical skills development, including a shift at Bastyr's clinics and internship opportunities.
  • Small class sizes and committed faculty to ensure powerful learning experiences.


Entering students must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with an average GPA of 3.0 or higher in their undergraduate degree. In addition, an introductory course in general psychology must have been completed with a grade of B or better within the last seven years. 

Our most competitive applicants have experience, either paid or volunteer, in applied (face-to-face) social services. It is strongly recommended that students gain experience in the social services field prior to applying for this program.

In addition, prospective students are highly encouraged to have experience with in-person psychology courses.  The on-site, cohort model of this program requires that students be familiar with and comfortable in an intense face-to-face classroom setting.

Meeting the minimum admissions requirements is not a guarantee of acceptance into the program. This Master's program has a competitive admissions process and only highly qualified applicants will be invited to campus for an interview.



Expected Learning Outcomes

The educational objectives of the M.A. in Counseling Psychology are focused on the education and training of our graduates. We support our graduates in becoming:  

  • Learners who are keenly aware of and invested in themselves as instruments, and as such able to create and follow robust plans of self-care utilizing mind-body-spirit techniques and components, as well as a curiosity and openness about the recognition that graduate school is a profound growth experience, and involves ongoing development and care of the self.
  • Skilled in the ethical and professional practice of mental health counseling, including a thorough understanding of one’s roles, responsibilities and the practice of ethical decision making.
  • Competent in working across cultural differences, including the cultivation of the awareness, knowledge, and skills necessary to work with those different than oneself across a wide range of social identities.
  • Knowledgeable about human growth and development, including theories of both individuals and groups that support optimal development across the lifespan. Proponents of the knowledge that wellness and wholeness are about more than alleviation of pain and suffering, and are deeply rooted in Love, Joy, Self-Actualization and a life truly worth living.
  • Skilled in the practice of mental health counseling with both individuals and groups, including the development of the therapeutic relationship, assessment, and clinical interventions, all informed by theory and research.
  • Able to access and critically assess published research in counseling and psychology based on an understanding of statistics and research design.
  • Qualified to pass national and state counseling exams.


Reference our curriculum table in the course catalog for the course schedule, lecture and clinic hours and total contact hours. 


Clinical Training

As a student pursuing the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology (MACP), you will learn to put theories and skills into practice with supervised clinical training at Bastyr Center for Natural Health (Wash.) and Bastyr University Clinic (Calif.)

This real-world experience prepares you to become a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) (Wash.) or licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC) (Calif.), with guidance by experienced mental health professionals from Bastyr's clinical faculty.

Your rotation at the Bastyr clinic begins during the Spring term of your first year in the program. You will practice basic counseling and assessment skills as you assist clients with mental health issues.

Diverse Patient Population

With an average of 35,000 patient visits annually, Bastyr Center offers a valuable opportunity for you to interact with a culturally diverse client population. Through this clinical experience, you'll learn to recognize health conditions and support clients in dealing with multiple psychological disorders.

This clinical training at Bastyr Center, combined with the external work experience required of MACP students, will provide a foundation for effective clinical practice in your future career.

Patient Contacts/Training Hours

  • Two quarters of clinical training at Bastyr Center under the direct supervision of Bastyr clinical faculty. 
  • This clinical training helps prepare you for a carefully chosen nine-month practicum at a community agency working 16 to 20 hours a week, with 40 percent of your time working in direct contact with clients.
  • Practicum site examples include Sound Mental Health, Monarch Children's Justice and Advocacy Center, and Compass Health.


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