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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Applied Clinical Psychology (ACPSY)

Program Home Page

GINA BRELSFORD, Graduate Program Coordinator
Penn State Harrisburg
W-311 Olmsted Building
777 West Harrisburg Pike
Middletown, PA 17057

MELANIE HETZEL-RIGGIN, Graduate Program Coordinator
Penn State Behrend
170 Irvin Kochel Center
4951 College Drive
Erie, PA 16563

Degree Conferred:



The Graduate Faculty (Harrisburg)

The Graduate Faculty (Erie)


The Program

The Master of Arts in Applied Clinical Psychology program helps students prepare to work as mental health professionals in a variety of settings and is intended to provide a broad training program in empirically validated clinical psychology which, when accompanied by an additional 12 credits in advanced graduate studies in psychology and/or counseling, can provide the academic training necessary for graduates to apply for master's level licensing as a professional counselor in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The M.A. program requires 48 credits of course work. An optional 12-credit certificate program is available for students seeking licensure.

The overall model emphasizes the scientific bases of behavior, including biological, social, and individual difference factors. The training model is health-oriented rather than pathology-oriented and emphasizes the development of helping skills, including both assessment and intervention.

The degree program is intended for both part- and full-time students. Students are admitted fall semester only. The deadline for admission is May 1.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin.

Students will be admitted on a competitive basis and must submit the following:

  • completed application form with the application fee
  • Official transcripts of all colleges and universities attended
  • three professional letters of recommendation
  • a brief (two-page) interest statement
  • verbal, quantitative, and analytical scores on the Graduate Record Examinations

The applicant must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited academic institution or the equivalent, must have completed at least 18 credits in psychology, and must have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or above in the last 60 credits of undergraduate course work. The undergraduate work must include a statistics course and a psychology research methods course with grades of B or higher. A personal interview is required.

Transfer Credits

Penn State allows a maximum of 10 transfer credits of high-quality graduate work to be applied toward the requirements for a graduate degree, subject to restrictions outlined in the Transfer Courses section of the Graduate Bulletin.

Degree Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the DEGREE REQUIREMENTS section of the Graduate Bulletin.

The M.A. in Applied Clinical Psychology requires 48 credits of coursework. At lest 20 must be earned at the established graduate campus where the program is offered. Included in the core courses are 100 hours of clinical practicum, 600 hours of supervised internship experience, and a master's research paper completed in association with PSYC 500.

Psychology Core Courses (23 credits) provide a foundation in professional ethics, individual differences and cultural diversity, the scientific bases of behavior, and scientific research skills. These courses are intended to facilitate the development of an awareness of the context in which clients live and in which interventions must work.


  • 500. Ethics and Professional Practice in Psychology and Counseling (3)
  • 501. Cultural Competency in Psychology (3)
  • 502. Applied Social Psychology (3)
  • 520. Research Methods (4)
  • 521. Statistics (4)
  • 524. Biological Basis of Behavior (3)
  • 530. Research Paper (3)

Clinical Core Courses (25 credits) provide a general background in clinical diagnosis, assessment, and interventions with appropriate supervised experience to allow students to develop the clinical skills appropriate for master's level practitioners.


  • 510. Human Growth and Development (3)
  • 517. Psychopathology (3)
  • 518. Interviewing and Counseling (3)
  • 519. Theories and Models of Psychotherapy (3)
  • 540. Group Interventions (3)
  • 571. Tests and Measurement (3)
  • 595A. Clinical Practicum (1)
  • 595B. Clinical Internship (6)

Grade-Point Average

Students must have a 3.00 grade-point average to graduate from the program.

Financial Aid

There are a limited number of scholarhsips and research grants available, as well as graduate assistantships. Graduate assistantships available to students in this program and other formas of student aid are described in the Student Aid section of the Graduate Bulletin. Students on graduate assistantships must adhere to the course load limits set forth in the Graduate Bulletin.

Many students work full-time and take classes part-time. In many cases, employers have a tuition-reimbursement plan which reimburses employees for partial or full tuition. To find other options available to you, contact the Financial Aid Office at 717-948-6307 (Harrisburg) or 814-898-6162 (Erie).


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 599 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

PSYCHOLOGY (PSYC) course list


Last Revised by the Department: Fall Semester 2015

Blue Sheet Item #: 44-04-000

Review Date: 1/12/15

Faculty linked: 8/14/14

Harrisburg coordinator updated: 5/12/16