Loyola University Maryland

Department of Psychology

Accelerated B.A./M.S. Program

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Practitioner and Thesis Tracks in Clinical and Counseling Psychology

Majors intending to pursue graduate studies that achieve a GPA of 3.500 or better (both Overall and Major) are eligible to apply for the department's accelerated B.A.-M.S. practitioner track program in either Clinical Psychology or Counseling Psychology and either the Thesis or Practitioner track. This program enables students to take graduate courses during their senior year that count toward both the bachelor's and master's degrees. Students accepted into the accelerated program take the following graduate courses during their senior year, in addition to the necessary undergraduate courses:

Clinical or Counseling Thesis Track: 

Fall Semester
PY620 Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy (3 credits)
PY746 Research Methods in Psychology I (3 credits)
PY761 Thesis Guidance I (0 credit)

Spring Semester
PY621 Principles and Practices in Psychotherapy with Lab (3 credits)
PY747 Research Methods in Psychology II (3 credits)
PY762 Thesis Guidance II (1 credit)

Students enrolled in the accelerated thesis track program may count PY746 and PY747 as fulfilling Group I requirements; PY621 and PY620 as fulfilling the PY elective requirements. 

Clinical Psychology Practitioner Track:

Fall Semester
PY600 Assessment and Appraisal (3 credits) 
PY620 Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy (3 credits)

Spring Semester
PY603 Intellectual and Objective Personality Assessment (3 credits)
PY621 Principles and Practices in Psychotherapy with Lab (3 credits)

Counseling Psychology Practitioner Track:

Fall Semester
PY600 Assessment and Appraisal (3 credits) 
PY620 Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy (3 credits) 

Spring Semester
PY615 Psychopathology (3 credits)
PY621 Principles and Practices in Psychotherapy with Lab (3 credits)

Students enrolled in the accelerated practitioner programs may count PY600 and PY621 as fulfilling Group I requirements; and PY603, PY615, and PY620 as fulfilling the PY elective requirements.

Students with an interest in any of the accelerated programs/tracks who meet the GPA requirement are encouraged to apply. Students are required to have successfully completed PY101 Introductory Psychology, PY202 Psychopathology, and either: PY291/292 Research Methods, PY414 Advanced Statistics with Computer Applications, or PY413 Tests and Measurements prior to applying to the BA/MS Program . 

Candidates are selected based on GPA, letters of reference, GRE scores, and participation in departmental and college activities, such as conducting research or holding an office in Psi Chi, relevant clinical experience such as volunteer work or externship experience, and an interview conducted by a member of the Master’s Program Committee. Master's program thesis and practitioner track applications may be obtained from the Loyola website (http://www.loyola.edu/academic/psychology/admission/apply.aspx). Applications must be completed by February 1 of the student's junior year. Questions should be addressed to the Director of Master's Education, practitioner track or the Director of Master’s Education, Thesis Track.

Things to Think About:
The thesis track programs are designed for students with the goal of applying to a PhD program in psychology or working at the Masters level in a research setting. The practitioner track programs are designed for students with the goal of applying to a PsyD program (Clinical Psychology option is recommended), of becoming a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (Counseling Psychology option is recommended), or working as a Masters-level clinician such as a Psychology Associate (Clinical and Counseling options are appropriate depending on the student’s specific career goals). 

Students who are considering the accelerated programs should plan ahead to make sure they meet admissions requirements.  Talk with your advisor (ideally prior to the start of your junior year) about how to plan course selections and other activities so that you can be competitive candidates to these programs. 
Applications to the accelerated programs are due February 1st in your junior year.  If you plan to apply, please make sure you have completed the following:

  • Solicit three letters of recommendation, at least two of which will need to be from faculty members of the Psychology Department. 
  • Plan to study for and/or take the GRE in time to have the scores submitted by the fall semester following the completion of the undergraduate degree (students are accepted into the accelerated program provisionally and are expected to take the GREs prior to the start of their first full-time graduate semester.  
  • Complete PY101, PY202, and one of the following: PY291/292, PY414, or PY413 (taking more than just one of these three is encouraged and students applying to the thesis track BA/MS program are encouraged to take PY414 in their junior or senior year). 
  • Talk to your advisor about how to prepare for the interview by a member of the Masters Committee that is a required part of the admission process.  
  • Get some experience relevant to the track and program you plan to apply to.  
  • If you are interested in applying to the thesis track program, you are encouraged to have some research experience prior to applying to this program (e.g., volunteering to assist a faculty member with an ongoing research project). 
  • If you are interested in applying to the practitioner track program, you encouraged to have some clinical experience prior to applying to this program (e.g., either a formal externship or volunteer work in a clinical setting such as at a mental health treatment facility, on a crisis hotline, etc.).
  • Plan your course schedules so that all required courses are completed and there is room during the senior year graduate courses that will count for two Group I courses and two psychology electives. Interdisciplinary majors are especially encouraged to give careful thought in their planning due to the many requirements they have for degree completion. 
  • Become actively involved in the psychology field in some way, such as through involvement in Psi Chi, Psychology Club, Active Minds, or other relevant organizations. 
  • Contact the Directors of Masters Education Thesis Track or Practitioner Track for additional information.