Loyola University Maryland

Department of Psychology

Master's Externships in Counseling Psychology

image divider

The purpose of the master externship in counseling psychology is for the student to further develop counseling skills in a supervised setting. The experience allows students to gain practical experience in an approved agency, hospital, counseling center, school, etc. within the community. The emphasis is to provide opportunities for students to practice the skills and techniques acquired in their classes under professional supervision. The externships in Counseling Psychology (PY731 and PY732) involves a focus on the application of counseling and therapy skills. The student is required to translate classroom and book learned material and skills to a practical setting, thereby gaining additional competencies, confidence and experience.

The format for each graduate student's externship results from an individualized assessment of his/her career and educational goals. As a result of this individualization, each externship may vary in scope and experience based on the student's needs. Externships are arranged through collaboration between the student, the director of masters field education, and the site supervisor. Two counseling externships are required for the M.S. counseling degree, practitioner track. M.S. practitioner track students may complete a third externship as an elective toward their degree requirements. For further information on the program, please contact:

Katie J. Loomis, Psy.D.
Interim Director, Masters Field Education

Casey Hofmann
Assistant, Field Education

Off-Campus Externship Component

The off-campus externship requires a minimum of 150 hours (this translates to approximately 10-12 hours per week) at the supervision site. Since each agency and student contract has different schedules, it is strongly suggested that students plan out their schedules in order that they can complete their 150 hours on time even in the case of extenuating factors (e.g., school closings due to inclement weather, etc). It is expected that approximately one-half of the total externship hours will involve direct contact with clients (intake interviews, individual, group or family counseling, crisis intervention, etc.). A journal describing learning experiences and integrating fieldwork with classroom learning must be maintained by the student throughout the semester and must be submitted to the Director before a grade will be posted for the externship. All 150 hours must be completed by the end of the semester. The Loyola College Liability Insurance is provided only during the semester in which you are registered for the externship experience. Hours cannot "carry over" to the next semester. Counseling Externship I (PY731) and Counseling Externship II (PY732) are offered in the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters.

Students can also create their own counseling externship opportunity. The Director of Masters Field Education must make a site visit and approve the externship supervision before students can begin. Therefore, contact the Director at least two (2) months prior to the start of the new semester to obtain approval.

On-Campus Externship Component

All counseling students are required to participate in an on-campus supervision group led by third-year Psy.D. students. The group (class) meets six (6) evenings during the semester. These meetings are not optional and are part of the externship learning experience. Students are required to attend every scheduled supervision group meeting until the externship is completed. In addition to the six externship meetings, there is required reading textbook assignments and paperwork due at specific times during the semester. The Director of Masters Field Education will review all on-campus requirements on the first scheduled externship meeting of the semester.

View a sample Counseling Externship syllabus.


Counseling students must complete 18 credits and the following prerequisite courses within their program prior to the externship:

  • PY620: Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • PY621: Principles and Practices of Psychology

View the Psychology Department externship checklist.