Support the Mental Health of Children and Adolescents with the Master’s in Counseling Psychology Degree

  Available Online

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 American children ages 3 to 17—about 15 million—have a diagnosable mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder in a given year. Only 20 percent of these children are ever diagnosed and receive treatment. Now more than ever, these children and adolescents need qualified, compassionate professionals who are equipped with the skills to support them. If you desire to make a difference in the mental health of young people, Azusa Pacific’s Master of Science in Counseling Psychology with Specialization in Children and Adolescents may be for you.

The MS in Counseling Psychology degree program not only prepares individuals to work with the general population, as many psychology-related degrees do, it also prepares clinicians to specialize in the needs of children and youth. You will graduate ready to pursue LPCC licensure in California and help meet the high demand for specialists in this field.

This degree is designed to equip professionals of the highest standards while providing flexibility so you can reach your education and career goals while balancing life and work. Benefits of the program include:

  • Full-time and part-time options available, allowing you to set your own pace for completing the program.
  • Choose your modality. Program is offered in person at Azusa for those who start in the Fall and online for those who start in Spring.
  • Courses offered in the evening to fit your schedule.
  • Fieldwork opportunities where you will gain firsthand experience while meeting the 280 practicum hours required by the Board of Behavioral Sciences.

Learn from Experienced Faculty

Study with APU faculty-mentors who bring professional experience in children and youth health and mental health needs, including expertise in best practice treatments, youth substance abuse, childhood trauma and recovery, and more. As active practitioners and researchers in the field, these faculty know firsthand the challenges facing today’s young people. Throughout coursework, faculty integrate a Christian perspective, focusing on developing clinicians who provide compassionate, whole-person care.

Gain Experience to Work in a Variety of Settings

Put learning into practice through fieldwork and play therapy lab opportunities, allowing you to gain experience while working alongside a fieldwork mentor. You will complete two practicum courses providing therapy services to children and adolescents in the community to fulfill the 280 hours of practicum experience required by the Board of Behavioral Sciences.

Combined with course learning, this experience equips graduates to work in a variety of mental health service settings for children and youth, including public and private mental health agencies, public school mental health programs, private practice, hospital-based practice, and juvenile justice-based practice.

Gottman Couples Therapy Levels 1 and 2 Certificate

The program’s Family Therapy course includes the completion of Gottman Couples Therapy Levels 1 and 2 training, which equips students with insight into couples’ struggles using research-based assessments and effective interventions based on the Gottman Sound Relationship House Theory. Students receive a certificate of completion and are then eligible to take the Level 3 training.

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) Assessment and Treatment of Couples and Families

The MS in Counseling Psychology with Specialization in Children and Adolescents program offers one additional 3-unit course that provides for students interested in LPCC licensure for the assessment and treatment of couples and families. Coursework meets California requirements for scope-of-practice qualifications to assess and treat couples and families; students seeking licensure should contact the Board of Behavioral Sciences for information regarding clinical requirements.

Child Life and Counseling Psychology Programs: What’s the Difference?

In addition to the MS in Counseling Psychology, APU offers an MS in Child Life. Learn more about the difference between these two programs to see which one is right for you.

Related Degrees

If you’re looking for a more generalist psychology degree program, check out APU’s Marriage and Family Therapy program. The MS in Child Life is for individuals desiring to focus specifically on helping children in medical settings.

Note: This information is current for the 2023-24 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.