The M.A. degree in Counseling Psychology offered at Pacifica attracts a broad and diverse mix of motivated working professionals and recent college graduates who are seeking advanced knowledge in marriage and family therapy, professional clinical counseling, and depth psychology to pursue careers in psychotherapy and related fields. Students, many of whom are called to the program with interest in personal development as well as vocation, often report profound personal growth. Graduates say that they feel equipped to practice their learned skills to help others achieve the same personal gains.
Our students secure counseling jobs in hospitals, educational institutions, community counseling centers, and establish private practices across the country. Graduates become authors, educators, therapists, and administrators. Some of our students become board members of organizations and state recognized agencies that foster continued training, education and quality control in the field of psychotherapy, relationship therapy, and depth psychology.
Graduates report sustained inner work and ongoing self-discovery from being in a program that fosters both academic rigor and personal development. The program’s emphasis on the ethics of depth psychology affords students the opportunity to sustain responsibility for the not yet discovered, allowing students, and ultimately practitioners in the field, to tolerate the necessary ambiguity for the development of maturity, patience, and resiliency that is critical to their ongoing work with others.
Beyond the options listed, many of our students develop unexpected and creative applications of the degree to their career, finding new or deepened areas of interest within the program. Our alumni web page (http://alumni.pacifica.edu/?x1=profile ) highlights some of their stories.
Time to Completion
The majority of counseling psychology students who complete the program do so within the standard time of 36 months for master’s degree programs, as defined by our accrediting agency, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Many of our students (69%) graduate earlier, finishing all their requirements within 33 months, in time for May graduation. Our graduates are well-prepared for licensure: the Board of Behavioral Sciences reports that 80 - 95% of the Pacifica graduates taking the California LMFT licensing exams in 2011 passed. (http://www.bbs.ca.gov/exams/exam_stats.shtml).
Pacifica provides students in need with a generous leave of absence policy to accommodate the complexities of the lives of adult students while maintaining high academic standards. Therefore, completion rate averages are lengthened by those students who need to withdraw and re-enter the program.
*This figure may include temporary withdrawals and leaves of absence from the program, which can occur due to illness, pregnancy, or other serious instances that students encounter in their academic career.
Overall Time To Completion: Counseling Psychology Graduates 2003–2012
Number of Students
Average Time to Completion (Years)
Pacifica Graduate Institute’s U. S. Department of Education’s Office of
Post Secondary Education identification number (OPEID): 031268-00
Program Name: Counseling Psychology
CIP for program: 42.2803
This program prepares students for the following career:
SOC code: 19-3031- Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists
SOC code: 25-1066- Psychology Teachers, postsecondary
SOC code: 11-9199 Managers, all other
Program Level: Master of Arts
Program Time to Completion Parameters
**Counseling Program Minimum
36 mos/3 yrs
60 mos/5 yrs
33 mos/ 2.75 yrs
60 mos/5 yrs
*Standard time to completion rates are defined by WASC (Western Accreditation Schools & Colleges) as standard for any graduate program at any academic institution.
**The Counseling Psychology curriculum is designed to be completed in a minimum of 33 months, as published in the 2011-12 Pacifica catalog.
***Department of Education Gainful Employment "Program On-time to Completion."
MA Completion Rates 2012-2013:
Students who completed the MA program between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013 within the Department of Education's Gainful Employment "Program On-time to Completion" criterion of 33 months reported approximately 69%. An additional 15% of the students completed the program in between 33 months and 4 years. The remaining 16% completed the program in 4 or more years.
Cost for Entire Program Completed in Minimum Program Completion Time based on the 2012-13 Catalog
Estimated Total Tuition
Estimated Costs for Books and Supplies
MA (30 mos/2.5yrs) $56, 052
MA (30 mos/ 2.5 yrs) $3,250
Total annual room and board charges:
Residential Fee: $6,030/ Non-Residential Fee: $3,366
Annual direct program cost information: http://www.pacifica.edu/fee.aspx
Annual cost of attendance: http://www.pacifica.edu/COA_2.aspx
MA Debt for all graduates between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013:
Of the 104 MA graduates who completed the program during this time, 82 completed with student loan debt.
Median cumulative debt (borrowers and non-borrowers):
Federal student loan debt: $59,302
Private loan debt: $0
Institutional financing plan debt: $0