Master of Arts Curriculum

Our curriculum is built to prepare students with basic clinical skills that enable them to serve the mental health needs of diverse client populations, while also serving as a preliminary step for students who wish to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology.

The MA in Clinical Psychology degree program can be completed in as little as 2 years, but must be completed within 5 years. If admitted to the doctoral degree program, most master's -level coursework taken at the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University | Northern Virginia will apply toward the PsyD in Clinical Psychology degree program at the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University | Northern Virginia.

Course Listing

The MA in Clinical Psychology degree program requires the satisfactory completion of 47 semester credit hours, distributed as follows: assessment requirements, 14 credit hours; bases course requirements, 3 credit hours; individual differences requirements, 9 credit hours; intervention requirements, 9 credit hours; methodology requirement, 3 credit hours; professional issues requirements, 2 credit hours; practicum requirements, 6 credit hours; and integrative paper requirement, 1 credit hour.

PsyD Course Schedule – Northern Virginia

Assessment Requirements

Students are required to take the following:

  • PP 7365 - Clinical Interviewing (3)
  • PP 7370 - Cognitive Assessment (4)
  • PP 7371 - Objective Personality Assessment (3)
  • PP 7372 - Projective Personality Assessment (4)

Assessment Requirements—14 Credit Hours

Bases Course Requirements

Students are required to take one of the following:

  • PP 7000 - History and Systems (3)
  • PP 7040 - Cognition and Affective Processes (3)
  • PP 7050 - Physiological Psychology (3)
  • PP 7060 - Social Psychology (3)

Bases Course Requirements—3 Credit Hours

Individual Differences Requirements

Students are required to take the following:

  • PP 7010 - Lifespan Development (3)
  • PP 7330 - Child and Adolescent Psychopathology (3)
  • PP 7501 - Adult Psychopathology (3)

Individual Differences Requirements—9 Credit Hours

Interventions Requirements

Students are required to take the following:

  • PP 7340 - Issues in the Assessment and Treatment of Diverse Populations (3)
  • PP 8010 - Cognitive Behavioral Theory and Therapy (3)

Students choose one of the following:

  • PP 7373 - Integrative Assessment (3)*
  • PP 8030 - Psychodynamic Theory and Therapy (3)
  • PP 8050 - Family and Couples Therapy (3)
  • PP 8060 - Group Psychotherapy (3)

Interventions Requirements—9 Credit Hours

*Students intending to apply for the PsyD in Clinical Psychology degree program should select PP 7373 Integrative Assessment to satisfy the Intervention elective requirement. Successful completion of this course is required in order to be eligible to take the first year practicum in the PsyD in Clinical Psychology degree program.

Methodology Requirements

Students are required to take the following:

  • PP 7200 - Statistics and Research I (3)

Methodology Requirements—3 Credit Hours

Professional Issues Requirements

Students are required to take the following:

  • PP 6401 - Professionalization Group I (1)
  • PP 6402 - Professionalization Group II (1)

Professional Issues Requirements—2 Credit Hours

Practicum Requirements

Students are required to take the following:

  • PP 6201 - Master’s Practicum I (3)**
  • PP 6202 - Master’s Practicum II (3)**

Practicum Requirements—6 Credit Hours

** Practicum and corresponding seminar require concurrent enrollment.

Integrative Paper Requirements

Students are required to take the following:

  • PP 6011 - Integrative Paper (1)

Integrative Paper Requirements—1 Credit Hours

Graduation Requirements

To be eligible for graduation, students must meet the following requirements:

  • The satisfactory completion of 47 semester credit hours, which must be completed by the end of the fifth year of matriculation. The total credit hours must include:
    • 40 credit hours of required courses
    • 6 credit hours (one year) of practicum and practicum seminar
    • 1 credit hour of Integrative Paper
  • A grade point average of at least 3.0 on a scale of 4.0
  • Completion of the master’s Clinical Presentation Evaluation
  • A completed Petition to Graduate submitted to campus administration

Research Training

Consistent with our practitioner-scholar model and goals, this program can help you learn the knowledge and skills needed to critically evaluate professional literature, use this literature to inform your professional practice, and engage in research that aligns with your career objectives. Across the curriculum, your studies will be informed by current empirical research, and you will be taught to critically evaluate the literature and assess outcomes in a manner consistent with the model of the local clinical scientist. Formal training in research methods and statistical analysis occurs in two required semester-long courses, and, with this knowledge and experience, you may then begin work on your Clinical Research Project (CRP).

The Clinical Research Project (CRP)

The CRP is designed to develop and refine the skills necessary to integrate your clinical knowledge with research literature to produce original, scholarly research in clinical psychology. During this project, you will be expected to:

  • Significantly deepen your knowledge about a particular area (or areas) of clinical psychology
  • Sharpen your critical thinking and writing skills
  • Develop and apply skills in research methodology

The CRP requires you to analyze and synthesize the psychological literature, to develop and investigate original research questions, and to draw conclusions based on the results of your study. CRPs may involve original empirical research using quantitative, qualitative or mixed-methodologies, or a comprehensive literature review with an original contribution, such as a proposal for program development, evaluation, or a novel treatment approach.

The Clinical Research Project can serve as a launching point for students and alumni to pursue further scholarship such as publications and presentations, often in collaboration with program faculty. Recent examples of such collaboration include:

  • Dr. Lisa Lilenfeld along with other faculty and students presented at a national conference: Edwards, T.M., Lilenfeld, L.R., & O’Sullivan, D. (2014, October). A cross-cultural examination of the influences of an afrocentric worldview on body dissatisfaction. Poster presented at the 20th Annual International Meeting of the Eating Disorders Research Society; San Diego, California.
  • Gruzska, S. N., Lilenfeld, L.R., & Riso, L.P. (2014, October). Are women with eating disorder pathology negatively impacted by a therapist’s body size?: An experimental analog study. Poster presented at the 20th Annual International Meeting of the Eating Disorders Research Society; San Diego, California.
  • Dr. Jessica Gurley along with other faculty and students had six posters presented at the 2014 American Psychological Association (APA) conference in Washington DC. Corum, M., & Gurley, J.R., (2014, August). Doctoral-level training in psychological assessments and internship director satisfaction. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Washington DC.
  • Gurley,J.R., Darby, J., & Corum, M. (2014, August). The EPPP is not the whole story: An examination of licensure rates among APA accredited clinical psychology programs. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Washington DC.
  • Luzzi, J., Butler, L., Gurley, J.R., Piechowski, L., & Lally, S. (2014, August). Assessment use and acceptability among forensic psychologists. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Washington DC.
  • Dr. George Stricker, faculty member, and two students presented at the 2014 APA conference in Washington DC. J. Wilson, K. Dunlop, & J. Sexton (2014, August). Electronic gaming and motivation (with) Poster presented at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Washington DC.
  • Dr. Larry Riso collaborated with a student in a 2014 book: Riso, L.P., & Guzman, A. (2014). Treatment of adult depression. In L.R. Grossman & S. Walfish (Eds.), Translating Research into Practice: A Desk Reference for Practicing Mental Health Professionals, New York: Springer.
  • He also presented at APA 2014: Kindel, L.T. & Riso, L.P. (2014). Are schema modes important for relationship functioning in married and dating Couples: Implications for Schema Therapy with Couples. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association.
  • Dr. Lisa Piechowski combined with other faculty and students presented at the 2014 APA conference in Washington, DC. Piechowski, L.D., Corum, M., Gray, J., & Gurley, J. (2014, August). Identifying invalid presentations in civil forensic evaluations. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Washington, DC.
  • Gray, J., Piechowski, L.D., Corum, M., & Gurley, J. (2014, August). Test usage in forensic disability evaluations: an analysis of archival data. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Washington, DC.
  • Corum, M., Piechowski, L.D., Gray, J., & Gurley, J. (2014, August). Trends in the assessment of malingering in forensic disability evaluations. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Washington, DC.
  • She also had a number of publications: Gurley, J. R., Sheehan, B. L., Piechowski, L. D., & Gray, J. (2014). The admissibility of the R-PAS in court. Psychological Injury and Law, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12207-014-9182-2
  • Piechowski, L.D. (2014). Workplace disability. In K. Heilbrun, D. DeMatteo, S. Brooks-Holliday, & C. LaDuke (Eds.) Forensic Mental Health Assessment: A Casebook—Second Edition. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Dr. Steve Lally co-authored a book: Higuchi, S. A., & Lally, S. J. (eds.) (2014). Parenting coordination in post-separation disputes: A comprehensive guide for practitioners. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.