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Masters in Clinical Psychology

The Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology (MA) degree program at Hawai'i School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Hawai'i is designed as a terminal degree for those who subsequently plan to pursue doctoral study. The program is constructed to provide students with a solid foundation in basic psychology, as well as a strong clinical orientation and skills in psychological assessment. A driving goal of the MA program is to prepare students to serve diverse populations.

As the Clinical Program is the only one in Hawai'i designed to produce practitioners of psychology, we believe that our MA program is vitally important for contributing to the development of psychologists who can meet the mental health needs of our state and across the greater Pacific Rim. We feel honored to be in this unique position and value immensely the role our MA program plays in this regard.

Our clinical program bases professional training of students on the science of psychology by integrating research into our curriculum and through the teaching of evidence based practices. Our program proudly employs the practitioner-scholar and Local Clinical Scientist models of training, both of which emphasize educating and training students to become clinicians and practitioners. In particular, we strive to instill in our students the desire and skills necessary to help them address local problems with the clinical skills and research evidence found in the science of psychology. Full-time MA students are normally placed in a master's practicum and seminar during their second year of study.

Through practicum work, students have the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge, implement clinical techniques based on this knowledge, and develop the professional and personal attitudes important to the identity of the professional psychologist. Practicum training covers a wide range of training opportunities, and students gain training experience at state psychiatric facilities, mental health clinics, and child and adolescent facilities. By the end of their clinical training, our students possess well-developed and effective assessment and intervention skills, and practice in a highly ethical and culturally sensitive manner.

Both by virtue of the location of Hawai'i and by the specific design of the faculty, a central focus of education is the importance of social issues, social justice, and human diversity and difference in the training of our students. As such, our MA program is comprised of diverse faculty members who devote part of their time to the practice of psychology and have various areas of expertise. Our faculty is committed to mentoring students who provide effective and relevant services to underserved populations.

Classroom experiences allow students the opportunity to develop a strong knowledge base of theory and research, to include the development and application of clinical competence to work with diverse and marginalized populations. In so doing, our MA program establishes an academic standard of excellence essential to preparing competent, valuable contributors to the field of psychology.

Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology Degree Program

The MA in Clinical Psychology degree program and its faculty are committed to the development of attitudes, knowledge, and skills essential to the training of clinicians. Our MA program is designed to ultimately educate and train students to function effectively as future clinical psychologists. Our curriculum provides for the meaningful integration of theory, training, and practice. Specific goals of the program include the following:

Effective Psychological Services

The preparation of practitioners of psychology who ethically deliver diagnostic and therapeutic services effectively to diverse populations of clients in need of such treatment.

Foundation Knowledge

The preparation of practitioners of psychology who understand the scientific foundations of psychology.

Expanding Roles of Practitioners of Psychology

The preparation of practitioners of psychology who operate in the expanding roles of psychology, including the areas of consultation, management, supervision, and teaching.


The preparation of students who demonstrate their knowledge of and competence in addressing the needs, values, and experiences of people from diverse, marginalized, or underserved subpopulations during relevant courses and practicum. Students demonstrate this knowledge and competence by recognizing and distinguishing people from such subpopulations, differentiating their experiences, and prioritizing their needs.

Research Literacy and Scholarship

The preparation of practitioners of psychology who evaluate and use the existing and evolving body of knowledge and methods in the practice and science of psychology to enhance applications of psychology.

Clinical Training Overview

Students' clinical training involves supervised out-of-class contact with clinical populations. Through this contact, students have the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge, implement clinical techniques based on this knowledge, and develop the professional and personal attitudes important to the identity of a professional psychologist. By the end of clinical training, HSPP students possess effective assessment and intervention skills, and practice in a highly ethical and culturally sensitive manner.

During their clinical training, students advance through progressively more challenging levels of training. At each level, students' progress is assessed in multiple ways by multiple faculty members and field supervisors.

Practicum and Practicum Seminar Requirements

Full-time MA clinical students are normally placed in a master's practicum and seminar during their second year of study. For registration purposes, the practicum and seminar are treated like one course. The practicum/seminar carries a total of 3 credit hours per semester (2 credit hours per practicum/1 credit hour per seminar) and 6 credit hours per academic year. Practicum usually begins in September and concludes in June. Throughout the year, students are required to spend 20 24 hours per week or a minimum of 720 hours in the practicum training experience (not including the seminar). All students enrolled in practicum must be concurrently enrolled in a practicum seminar class, which meets weekly throughout the academic year (fall, spring, and summer I). Concurrent enrollment in practicum seminars is mandatory. Students who are placed in a 12 month practicum must enroll in practicum seminar class during the summer II term.

Research and Scientific Literacy

The philosophy of the MA in Clinical Psychology degree program with respect to research, research skills, and the MA thesis is consistent with our practitioner-scholar model. We expect our students to critically evaluate research and use research findings as a primary resource for their clinical work. We expect our students to read current research articles and evaluate the methods and statistics, draw appropriate conclusions from research, and critique research in terms of internal and external validity. All of these skills are important and necessary when integrating information in our field and, more generally, in eventually becoming a qualified clinical psychologist. We do not expect that most students will be involved in publishing large-scale scientific studies. They may, however, be involved in case studies, program evaluation research, and quantitative and qualitative research.

Master's Integrative Paper

As part of the requirements for the Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology degree program, each student is required to complete a Master's Integrative Paper. The purpose of the Master's Paper is for the student to demonstrate critical and analytical skills focused upon a specific topic in applied psychology. The Master's Paper is most useful when the topic is related to the student's area of interest and projected career goals. It serves to deepen the student's knowledge and understanding of the current thought and research in their area of interest. As the focus of the Master's Paper is on the application of theoretical perspectives to clinical work, the paper may be a review of the literature as it relates to clinically relevant topics.

Students write the paper within the context of a two-semester MA Integrative Paper Seminar that is a requirement for all master's program students. Clinical MA students must register for the 1-credit hour course in the fall and spring semesters of their second year. This course is graded on a "Credit," "Progressing," or "No Credit" basis. Credit is granted upon approval of the paper by the instructor. In addition, students are required to register for two consecutive semesters of formal seminar meetings. Students who do not meet requirements in the seminar by the stated deadline, during either of the first two semesters, will not receive credit for that semester.

Because the curriculum requires two Master's Integrative Paper credit hours for graduation, students who do not receive credit must register for one or more additional Masters Integrative Paper credits to be eligible for graduation. Students who do not complete and receive approval of their paper by the end of the second semester must continue to register for MA Integrative Paper until the project is completed and accepted.

Graduation Requirements

Students who are admitted into the MA in Clinical Psychology degree program are responsible for completing the program requirements that are in effect at the time of their admission. The school retains the right to modify these requirements in accordance with the demands of the profession of psychology. The courses will be completed in the order recommended by Argosy University, Hawai'i. To be eligible for graduation, students must meet the following requirements:

50 semester credit hours that must be completed by the end of the fifth year of matriculation. The total credit hours must include:
42 credit hours of required courses completed with a grade of "B-" or better.
2 credit hours of Master's Integrative Paper
6 credit hours (one academic year) of Master's Intervention Practicum and Seminar.
Satisfactory completion of the Master's Paper
A grade point average of at least 3.0 on a scale of 4.0
Successful completion of the first year and Master's Clinical Competency Evaluation (CCE).
Completed Petition to Graduate submitted to campus administration

Students enrolled in the master's degree program are required to complete all graduation requirements within five years of the date of matriculation.