This program consists of 60 credits of graduate study that leads to a Master of Science in Psychology and eligibility to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the state of Florida.

Students further develop an area of specialization in the field of counseling psychology, acquiring expertise with particular problems and populations through independent study and research with individual faculty members. Students are trained to use various methods in examining and implementing evidence-based treatments in counseling psychology and psychotherapy that have a significant impact on maladaptive and adaptive functioning.

Students in the program have access to a wide range of research facilities and resources, including academic computer facilities; two libraries; laboratory facilities; affiliation with faculty members across FIU and at other local universities; and affiliations with local businesses, government agencies and social service organizations.

Please note that this program runs at a higher cost than other FIU graduate programs.

Program Structure

Students may earn their degree through a hybrid or fully online program.

The hybrid program has in-class and online components. This is an accelerated two-year, lockstep program that must be completed in the planned sequence. Courses meet on campus once a week for the entire day and online. We try to schedule all courses on the same day for our students so they can attend classes in person once a week and schedule their other obligations, including the required clinical experience hours, the other days of the week. However, this is not guaranteed. Even if we have all classes in one day, students are typically expected to be on campus 3-4 times a week to complete clinical experience hours.

Students have the opportunity to gain hands-on clinical experience in select practicum and internship sites; study and learn with a diverse and highly select group of peers; and learn from top-notch faculty and local professionals. Students benefit from hassle-free registration, on-site food and beverage service, and ongoing personalized support and advisement.

  • Coursework

    Our core curriculum consists of 45 credit hours of coursework and is intended to prepare students for advanced study in psychology, with a focus on developing applied counseling and therapeutic skills for working in multicultural environments with populations that range across the life span from childhood to later adulthood.

    Students must take courses that corresponds to the following License Content Areas:

    1. Counseling theories and practice
    2. Human growth and development
    3. Psychopathology
    4. Human sexuality
    5. Group theories
    6. Individual evaluation and assessment
    7. Career and lifestyle assessment
    8. Research
    9. Social and cultural foundations
    10. Counseling in community settings
    11. Substance abuse
    12. Legal, ethical and professional standards

    PCO 6206 Principles & Practices of Counseling & Psychotherapy (3)
    License Content Area: Counseling Theories and Practice
    This course reviews counseling theories and advanced practice with a focus on patient assessment, case conceptualization, treatment planning, and measurement of treatment outcome. This course will also guide students through the development of an advanced case conceptualization and a personal approach to counseling and psychotherapy based on methods of psychotherapy integration.

    CYP 6536 Principles & Methods of Psychological Consultation (3)
    Core Psychology Course
    This course provides an introduction to basic counseling skills and theories and looks at variables of the counselor-client relationship and the stages of counseling and psychotherapy. The course will help students develop an understanding of how theoretical perspectives of counseling and psychotherapy approaches can be applied to patients’ presenting problems, the development of treatment goals and therapeutic intervention (e.g., basic strategies and techniques).

    DEP 5796 Developmental Research Methods for Counselors (3)
    Core Psychology Course
    This course provides an overview of the latest research and research methods used in psychotherapy and evidence-based treatments.

    PSY 5939 Advanced Case Conceptualization (3)
    Core Psychology Course
    This course will provide instruction and guidance for completing the advanced case conceptualization. The project for this course will result in a paper and formal presentation of a clinical case the student has treated at the Internship Site. A formal evaluation of the Written Content, Oral Communication, and Content Knowledge will be completed by faculty. Students will develop literature reviews, identify evidence-based assessments and interventions used to treat a particular clinical problem, develop treatment plans, and be able to measure and evaluate treatment outcomes of a clinical case while identifying ethical and cultural considerations involved with treatment.

    DEP 5068 Applied Lifespan Developmental Psychology (3)
    Licensing Content Area: Human Growth and Development
    This course is an advanced introduction to applied lifespan developmental psychology, with a particular focus on how a developmental understanding aids in the prevention of human problems, the relief or remediation of problems and symptoms, and the enhancement of positive potentials across the entire human lifespan. This course will also review knowledge development, methodology, and application in the area of applied developmental psychology.

    CLP 5166 Advanced Psychopathology (3)
    Licensing Content Area: Psychopathology
    In this course, students will gain knowledge and understanding of psychopathology, its symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. Students will become familiar with the DSM-IV-TR, used to describe psychological disorders. Cultural and medical issues will be covered as relevant to the diagnosis of a particular disorder. Students will learn to classify psychopathology using the DSM-IV-TR, and gain an understanding of cultural variants in diagnosis and treatment.

    CLP 6498 Diagnosis & Treatment of Sexual Disorders (3)
    Licensing Content Area: Human Sexuality
    This course focuses the recent theory and research pertaining to sexual disorders and treatment. The course will offer an in depth clinical examination of sexual functioning, emphasizing disorders of gender identity, paraphilias and other dysfunctions of intimacy problems.

    CYP 5534 Groups as Agents of Change (3)
    Licensing Content Area: Group Theories
    This course provides an overview of theoretical concepts and research findings relevant to group psychotherapy. The course covers therapist issues, patient election criteria, group structuring, and basic therapeutic techniques. Students will acquire basic skills in leading group therapy sessions and dealing with difficult situations through experiential exercises.

    CLP 6436 Introduction to Psychological Assessment (3)
    Licensing Content Area: Individual Evaluation and Assessment
    This course provides an overview of the principles and methods underlying the administration, construction and evaluation of psychological tests and measures. Students will become familiar with the instruments available for assessment and measurement along with strategies for selecting, administering, and interpreting assessment and evaluation instruments. Ethical and legal considerations will also be reviewed.

    CLP 6449 Career Development in Adolescence & Adulthood (3)
    Licensing Content Area: Career and Lifestyle Assessment
    This course provides an overview of career development and other life factors relevant to adolescence and adulthood from a lifespan developmental perspective. Issues related to research and proven strategies for working with clients in all stages of their career will be reviewed. Career and lifestyle assessment instruments and techniques will also be presented. The interrelationships among and between work, family, and other life roles and factors including the role of diversity and gender in career development will also be examined.

    CYP 6526 Psychological Methods of Program Evaluation (3)
    License Content Area: Research
    This course provides an overview of the methods and principles of program evaluation of human service programs. It also surveys the methods available for clinical research (e.g., random clinical trials, process outcome) and the application of the basic principles of such methods. Student will become familiar with conceptualizing, designing, and writing a research project and program evaluation project.

    CYP 6766 The Psych of Cross Cultural Sensitization (3)
    Licensing Content Area: Social and Cultural Foundations
    This course will offer a series of weekly seminars to increase student sensitivity to working with clients from different cultural backgrounds to: (1) to facilitate awareness of cultural differences and their impact on social and human service delivery, services (2) identify student's own personal biases and values and (3) to help students develop culturally appropriate intervention skills.

    CYP 6936 Current Issues in Community Psychology (3)
    Licensing Content Area: Counseling in Community Settings
    This course provides an in depth examination of research and practice in the area of community psychology with issues related to preventing mental health disorders and promoting mental health and wellness. This course will look at the design and implementation methods used to implement program and policies that build and strengthen communities. Topics include: prevention, program evaluation, change strategies, social support, empowerment of client populations, self-help and non-professional helpers, outreach, social justice, and social policy.

    PCO 5311 Theory, Research, & Treatment of Addictive Behavior (3)
    Licensing Content Area: Substance Abuse
    This course provides an overview of the latest theory and research findings that pertain to the process and development of addictive behavior and the stages and mechanisms of change. The course focus is on providing a practical and comprehensive overview of the major developments in our understanding of the biological mechanisms of chemical dependency and addiction including the neuro-biological underpinnings of substance abuse disorders. Students will be presented with basic therapeutic techniques, intake procedures and diagnostic instrumentation with respect to substance disorders.

    CLP 5931 Ethical Code in Psychological Practices (3)
    Licensing Content Area: Legal, Ethical, and Professional Standards
    This course provides an overview of ethical theory and its practical applications to psychotherapy and mental health counseling. The course will cover the APA and ACA Codes of Ethics as well as issues related to Florida Statute 491, Rule Chapter 64B4, F.A.C., legal issues and professional identity.

    PCO 6945 (3) 

    This course will provide structure and guidance for completing the advanced case conceptualization. This is a capstone course.

    PSB  6247 Bio-Bases of Behavior (3)

    Advanced survey of biological bases of behavior. Topics include neuroanatomy, functional organization and electrochemical processes of the nervous system, and neural bases of learning and memory.
  • Clinical Training

    Students are given the opportunity to work in on-campus and community-based settings to gain 1,000 hands-on, supervised hours of clinical training. For more information, please review the Practicum and Internship Manual and the Student Handbook.

    The 1,000 hours of Supervised Clinical Experience is made up of two parts:

    • Clinical Practicum: 400 clock hours of supervised clinical experience.
    • Clinical Internship: 600 clock hours of supervised clinical experience.

    Completing the Practicum and Internship

    When students enter this program, they will apply for practicum and be placed at a university-sponsored site for supervised clinical training. Students will be selected by the program director to begin the clinical practicum during the first semester of the program, and move on to the clinical internship during the second year of the program.

    1. Applying for & Selecting a Site

    Fill out the Application for Practicum/Internship, found in the Practicum and Internship Manual, and turn it in to the program coordinator the semester before you plan to begin your practicum or internship.

    Schedule a meeting with the Program Coordinator to discuss your area of interest and identify possible sites for placement.

    2. Interview with Site

    Once the program coordinator has contacted the site(s) that you are interested in, you should arrange an interview with the Site Supervisor.

    3. Notify Program Coordinator of Outcome

    Once the student has interviewed with the selected site's supervisor, the program coordinator should be notified of the outcome of the interview.

    4. Obtain Student Liability Insurance

    Obtain student liability insurance and provide a copy to the program coordinator during the first week of the semester. Insurance may be obtained through APA, ACA or HPSO.

    5. Register for Practicum

    You will be registered for practicum and internship classes.

  • Case Conceptualization

    In addition to completing clinical training, students specialize in a particular clinical problem or population through the completion of a Final Project: an advanced case conceptualization that is completed as part of the clinical training experience.

    Associated courses include:

    • CLP 6945 Clinical Practicum (3)
    • CLP 6943 Advanced Clinical Practicum (3)
    • CLP 6943 Advanced Clinical Practicum (3)
    • CLP 6948 Clinical Internship (3)
    • CLP 6949 Advanced Clinical Internship (3)

    The Case Conceptualization Manual is a guide to completing the case conceptualization requirements. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact your committee chair, reader or program coordinator.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    What can I do with a master’s degree in psychology with a specialization in Counseling Psychology?

    • Graduates are eligible to apply for a Mental Health Counseling license in the State of Florida.
    • Graduates may be employed in college and community college settings as faculty members involved in teaching, research and community service.
    • Graduates may be employed in research settings within the government or private sector as research consultants or project directors, and in scientific management capacities.
    • Graduates may be employed in applied settings as practitioners and planners, as well as in other service implementation and evaluation capacities.

    Can I take graduate level classes at FIU without being admitted into the program?

    No, you must be fully admitted in order to take courses in the program.

    I have a master’s degree from another University. Will you accept my degree? Will my courses transfer? 

    No, unfortunately our program doesn't allow transferring credits in from other programs or Universities. 

    My bachelor's degree is not in Psychology. Can I still apply to the program? Are there any courses I must take before applying? What are they? 

    Yes, you may apply for admission into the program provided you have satisfactorily completed specific courses. You can find the required prerequisite courses for non-psychology majors under the Admissions page.

    What can I do with a Mental Health Counselor license in terms of clinical practice?

    According to Florida State Law, the "practice of mental health counseling" is defined as the use of scientific and applied behavioral science theories, methods, and techniques for the purpose of describing, preventing, and treating undesired behavior and enhancing mental health and human development and is based on the person-in-situation perspectives derived from research and theory in personality, family, group, and organizational dynamics and development, career planning, cultural diversity, human growth and development, human sexuality, normal and abnormal behavior, psychopathology, psychotherapy and rehabilitation.

    The practice of mental health counseling includes methods of a psychological nature used to evaluate, assess, diagnose, treat, and prevent emotional and mental dysfunctions or disorders (whether cognitive, affective, or behavioral), behavioral disorders, interpersonal relationships, sexual dysfunction, alcoholism, and substance abuse. The practice of mental health counseling includes, but is not limited to, assessment and diagnosis, psychotherapy, treatment planning and utilization review, alcoholism and substance abuse treatment, psychoeducational and prevention programs, and crisis management. The practice of mental health counseling may also include clinical research into more effective psychotherapeutic modalities for treating and preventing such conditions.