MS Clinical Psychology Graduate Student Handbook

Master of Science in Clinical Psychology

This handbook is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as the basis of a contract between a student and the University of Alaska Anchorage. Although every effort is made to ensure its correctness, regulations of the university and this program’s requirements change from time to time during the period any student is attending the University of Alaska Anchorage; to the extent there is a conflict between this handbook and university policies, regulations, rules, or procedures, the university policies, regulations, rules, or procedures will control.

The Department of Psychology

The Department of Psychology is one of the largest departments on the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) campus, with over 600 undergraduate majors, approximately 50 M.S. and Ph.D. students, more than 20 full-time faculty, and an administrative assistant. The department has a psychology laboratory, a computer lab classroom, and an in-house Psychological Services Center where M.S. and Ph.D. students gain supervised psychotherapy experience.


The Department of Psychology is housed in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and reports to and receives its budget allocations from CAS.  The department is led by an Assistant Dean for Psychology, an Undergraduate Studies Coordinator, a Clinical Training Coordinator for the M.S. Clinical Psychology, a Director for the Ph.D. in Clinical-Community Psychology, and a Director for the Psychological Services Center.  Students are involved in departmental governance through student representatives on departmental committees.

The Graduate School at UAA

In 2007, UAA created a Graduate School to support admission and graduation from graduate programs. The Dean of the Graduate School has responsibility for and oversight of graduate programs. Students admitted to the M.S. in Clinical Psychology must meet requirements in the 2023-2024 UAA catalog ( for graduation.  Check the Graduate School website for resources and information about Graduate School requirements (


The M.S. in Clinical Psychology

Since 1967, the Master of Science in Clinical Psychology has been dedicated to training graduate students for mental health careers in Alaska.


The mission of the Master of Science in Clinical Psychology is to provide quality training to graduate students interested in mental health careers in diverse communities.  The training seeks to produce graduates who are practitioner-scientists, prepared to address local behavioral health needs in a context that is culturally sensitive and community-focused.


The M.S. curriculum is based on academic standards, the needs of Alaskans, licensing requirements, and the input of students.  The goal is to provide students with a well-rounded education that includes training in the best evidence-based practices applicable to community mental health settings.  The curriculum addresses local behavioral health needs in a context that is culturally sensitive and community focused. 

The program is designed to provide students with academic and practicum/internship experiences required as part of preparation for LPA (Licensed Psychological Associate) and LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) licensure examinations.  (Please note that licensing decisions are made by licensing boards; UAA provides training that meets some of the requirements for licensure in Alaska but is not responsible for requirements or decisions of the various licensing boards.)  Of special importance is training students to meet the mental health needs of Alaska, including awareness of and sensitivity to the needs of Alaska Native people.  With proper planning, the M.S. program can also provide a stepping stone for students who wish to pursue a doctoral degree in psychology.

With these goals in mind, the program prepares students for professional practice in clinical psychology through skill development in assessment, psychotherapy, and research.  Faculty members are actively involved with students and student progress is closely monitored through course work, hands-on practicum and internships, and the opportunity to collaborate with faculty on research.  Students gain practical therapy and assessment experience under the supervision of licensed professionals at the Psychological Service Center and in community agencies.

The M.S. program provides all students with an understanding of applied research so that students become knowledgeable and critical consumers of the empirical literature in psychology.  Students wishing to receive more specialized skills in research may work with faculty on independent research projects and may elect to produce an empirical thesis.


The purpose of the M.S. degree in Clinical Psychology is to prepare graduates for a variety of mental health careers.  The program requires at least two years of study (48 credit hours; 51 credit hours for thesis option) and is designed to provide the student with:

  • Skills in assessment, diagnosis, treatment planning, and psychotherapy
  • Supervised clinical experience in a variety of settings
  • Course work meeting minimum licensing requirements for the LPA credential (Note: LPA licensure requires a graduate degree in clinical mental health and 48 credit hours of graduate work; LPC licensure requires a graduate degree in clinical mental health and 60 credit hours of graduate work.)
  • The ability to critically evaluate research and apply research findings

After completing the M.S., students typically pursue one of two options: applied work in the clinical field as a licensed master’s-level practitioner or doctoral studies for a Ph.D. or Psy.D.

Faculty-Student Interaction

When you enter the M.S. program, you are assigned a temporary faculty advisor and you will choose your program advisor after the student orientation. You may at any time request a change of advisor.

Structure of the M.S. Degree Program at UAA

Prerequisites for Admissions in Academic Year 2023-2024

To ensure that all students entering the M.S. program have been exposed to the general content upon which the M.S. degree is built, we require prerequisite undergraduate training in general psychology, statistics and research, learning and cognition or strategies of behavior change, clinical psychology, and psychological testing.  These courses may be from UAA or from other institutions if the content of those courses is equivalent to the UAA courses.  Students who have an undergraduate degree in psychology may be admitted to the M.S. program without all prerequisites completed, but all prerequisite courses must be completed within the first year of the MS program.  Students who do not have an undergraduate degree in psychology must complete all prerequisite courses prior to admission to the M.S.

Course Requirements

Number of Credits and Course Completion.

A minimum of 48 total credit hours (51 if a thesis is elected) are required for graduation. Each course must be completed with a B grade or better and all degree requirements must be completed within five years of admission to the program.  Note that the M.S. in Clinical Psychology has more stringent requirements than the UAA Graduate School.  Specifically, the M.S. C.P. requires a minimum grade of "B" in each class rather than a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and requires completion of the degree within 5 years rather than 7 years. 

Required Coursework.

All students must take the following 45 hours of required courses, which represent the basic content and skills necessary for practicing psychotherapists and practitioner-scientists.  Each course (with the exception of practicum and internship) is offered once per year.  The semester in which the course is typically offered is noted in parentheses.

  • PSY A604 Biological and Pharmacological Bases of Behavior (Spring)
  • PSY A611 Ethics and Professional Practice (Fall)
  • PSY A612 Advanced Human Development in a Cultural Context (Fall)
  • PSY A622 Multicultural Psychopathology (Fall)
  • PSY A623 Intervention I (Fall)
  • PSY A624 Group Therapy (Spring)
  • PSY A626 Family Therapy (Fall)
  • PSY A627 Community-Based Intervention Skills (Spring)
  • PSY A634 Tests and Measurements in Multicultural Context (Spring)
  • PSY A639 Applied Research Methods (Spring)
  • PSY A654 Cultural Issues in Psychotherapy (Fall)
  • PSY A665 Psychotherapy Practicum (Fall/Spring/Summer)
  • PSY A670 Psychotherapy Internship (2 semesters) (Fall/Spring/Summer)
  • PSY A681 Substances of Abuse in Alaska (1 credit Spring)
  • PSY A682 Clinical Interventions for Substance Abuse (1 credit Spring)
  • PSY A683 Substance Abuse Assessment and Treatment Planning (1 credit Spring)

Elective Courses.

Students must take 3 hours of elective credits.  These credits may consist of graduate level psychology elective courses; PSY699 Thesis; and/or pre-approved graduate courses from other programs.  Independent study and/or independent research courses (pre-arranged through a faculty member) may also be taken as elective credits.  Courses in the Graduate Certificate in Children’s Mental Health (see description below) may serve as electives.  Some psychology graduate courses designated for the Ph.D. program are open to students in the M.S. Clinical Psychology program. 600-level courses for the specialty in Applied Behavior Analysis may also serve as electives.

Graduate Certificate in Children’s Mental Health.

This 12-credit graduate certificate program prepares students and post-graduates to work with agencies and systems that serve children with mental health challenges. This certificate will strengthen competencies for work in education, social work, public health, and psychology jobs that specialize in children's mental health. Students in the M.S. program must apply to be accepted into the certificate training program.

M.S. Clinical Portfolio.

The final graduate project for all students is the Clinical Portfolio.  The Clinical Portfolio does not require separate registration.  Discussions of its requirements are embedded in many classes and, in particular, PSY A670 (Psychotherapy Internship).  Successful completion of the portfolio is required for graduation.

The portfolio has three main requirements: 1) an e-portfolio documenting your courses, syllabi, evaluations and details of clinical experiences and supervision in practicum and internship, 2) a scheduled Oral Examination conducted by faculty in the M.S. program, and 3) a written Professional Licensing practice exam.  An e-portfolio template will be distributed to students and must be used for the portfolio.

For the Oral Examination, students are given a clinical scenario to prepare one week in advance of the oral examination.  Students who do not pass the oral examination are given detailed feedback and an opportunity to repeat the oral examination with a new scenario.  Students will repeat the oral examination until they meet the competencies in case conceptualization and treatment planning required for graduation.

The written practice examination does not require a passing grade, however, students who do not meet standard on that practice exam must do a written analysis of deficiencies in their exam performance and submit a plan for improvement.

Graduate Studies Plan.

Your official Graduate Studies Plan (GSP) is filled out in Degreeworks and serves as your commitment to a plan of study, culminating in the M.S. degree.  Your GSP must be completed in discussion with your advisor. Your Degreeworks plan is used by Degree Services to perform an audit when you apply for graduation to determine if you have met the requirements for graduation. Please review your course plan with your advisor each semester of the program.

Please note: Deadlines for application for graduation are set by the Graduate School and are several months before the desired graduation date, so students must carefully note these deadlines posted on the Graduate School website.  This is important.  If you miss the deadline for applying for graduation you will have to pay a late fee to apply and may have to wait until the next semester to graduate. All this underlines the need to be mindful about your program, maintain communication with your advisor, and adhere to Graduate School requirements.

Admission to Psychotherapy Practicum and Internship.

Admission to PSY A665 (Psychotherapy Practicum) and PSY A670 (Psychotherapy Internship) are not automatic but are dependent upon the judgment of the Clinical Training Committee that the student is prepared to embark upon supervised clinical training with clients in the Psychological Services Center at UAA or in a community agency.  Prior to admitting a student to PSY A665 (Psychotherapy Practicum) or PSY A670 (Psychotherapy Internship), the Clinical Training Committee will discuss and vote on the student’s preparedness to progress to supervised clinical training.  Similarly, completion of PSY 665 and PSY 670 are not dependent solely on attaining sufficient client contact and supervision hours.  Students must demonstrate clinical skills, responsiveness to supervision, ethical behavior, and professionalism.  

Each student must work with the Internship Coordinator to select, apply for, and be assigned to an internship site.  Approval for admission into Psychotherapy Internship is a decision of the Clinical Training Committee and is separate from entry into the graduate program. Difficulties, including minimal academic performance, problems with ethics or professionalism, a practicum evaluation that shows areas of clinical or professional weakness incompatible with the demands of PSY A670, or other factors may cause denial of entry into psychotherapy Internship. This may result in development of a remedial plan that includes repeating PSY A665 Psychotherapy Practicum and other activities.  Furthermore, depending on the circumstances, denial of entry into Psychotherapy Internship may result in dismissal from the program.

Practicum (PSY A665). 

All students are required to complete and pass one semester of practicum in the Psychological Services Center (PSC). This experience involves direct clinical contact with clients of various ages and backgrounds. The PSC is a professional setting that requires a high degree of commitment, ethical behavior, and professional conduct. The experience is time-consuming and often emotionally draining, especially if this is your first face-to-face contact with clients.

Time and Effort Involved in Practicum.  On average, the practicum will require 20 hours of work per week in the fall and spring semesters at the PSC (summer term, which is shorter, requires up to 30 hours). This includes time to be on call, write reports, see clients, receive supervision, consult with others, prepare for appointments, etc., for an approximate total of 300 hours per semester or summer session. Practicum students will average a minimum of 5 individual clients per week, i.e., will have about 80 hours of individual therapy contact per semester or summer session. Please note that because of COVID restrictions, PSY 665 is being conducted through telehealth in fall 2021 and there is a high likelihood that that will continue for spring 2022.  Students in PSY 665 will conduct their work in the PSC at UAA and must follow UA COVID safety guidelines during their work at PSC.  Procedures at PSC have been altered to provide students with a safe environment if students follow those procedures.

Practicum students will receive a minimum of one hour of individual supervision per week to review their psychotherapy cases, i.e., 15 hours of individual supervision over the semester or summer session. In addition, students will be required to participate in weekly two-hour staff meetings and group supervision. Informal and frequent peer consultation is also strongly encouraged. 

The summer session occurs in an intensive 10-week format with an average of 30 hours per week (not including the 2 hour staff meeting and group supervision).  Because of the intensive format and long hours, students who take practicum in the summer should not expect to have a job or other major work-related commitment during this 10-week period.

Practicum begins with a 2 day orientation, which is typically offered Thursday and Friday of the week prior to the start of the semester. This meeting is mandatory and will be conducted by the PSC Clinic Coordinator. Do not make plans for that week until you have confirmed the date of the orientation.  Orientation covers a broad range of topics including clinic procedures/etiquette/protocol; using PSC technology including Titanium/OQ/DVD recording/electronic records, scheduling for the semester, and so forth. This meeting is mandatory - plan your return from vacations accordingly. To maximize smooth functioning in the clinic and the transfer of cases, you will be assigned continuing transfer clients at the end of orientation. Clients will begin to be scheduled immediately when the semester begins. 

Emotional Reactions during Practicum.  Practicum can be an intense experience that may leave you feeling drained, anxious, depressed, and excited. Whether the feelings are positive or negative, they are often strong. Fortunately, your classmates will be having similar reactions. In the past, students have formally or informally met to discuss and process their experiences. This kind of mutual support is important and something all faculty members encourage because it is an integral part of the training experience. You should also expect to discuss your reactions in group or individual supervision. Processing your reactions is an important way to attend to your personal needs. It is also a helpful way to discover similarities with your colleagues and to recognize when your personal reactions may be entering into the therapy you are doing with clients. Some students choose to engage in their own personal therapy by meeting with a private psychotherapist during this time to process personal issues that are stimulated by the work.  The M.S. Clinical Psychology program and the Clinical Training Committee encourage students to do this as it fosters growth and competency as a therapist.

Taking Practicum More Than Once.  At times, students believe they would benefit from additional supervision, exposure, and training before internship. To meet this need, practicum may be retaken for credit as an elective. At other times, a student may not pass practicum (i.e., may receive a grade lower than B). In such a situation, the student will be required to retake practicum, although these extra practicum credits will not count toward the 48 required for your degree. In general, you should consider retaking practicum if you receive a grade of B. This level of performance suggests areas of relative weakness that might be remedied by an extra semester of training and supervision. Doing so would help prevent or reduce problems that may arise during internship.  In addition, students may be required to continue practicum if they have not accumulated the required number of client contact hours or if there are areas of skills or professionalism that require extra time in the PSC.

Psychotherapy Internship (PSY A670).

All students are required to complete a minimum of two semesters of internship at a community agency. Before starting internship, students must complete an application packet and submit it to the Internship Coordinator for approval. Internship involves a minimum of 300 hours (roughly 20 hours per week) at your internship site where you will have a designated supervisor from the facility overseeing your work. In addition, you attend a 2-hour weekly class with other Internship students and the Internship Coordinator from the M.S. program.  Internship requires a strong professional commitment and it is not compatible with other full time work, especially if you are taking other classes. It is generally best to keep enrollment in other courses to a minimum during this time. If internship is taken during summer months, keep in mind that the 300 hours required take place in a compressed timeframe (closer to 30 hours per week).  Please note that due to COVID, many internship sites are conducting their activities in a telehealth format.  Students must follow the COVID safety guidelines of UAA and of the internship site.

Many sites require background checks, week-long orientations, and agency paperwork before client contact can begin.  As you begin thinking about an internship, talk to students who are currently doing internships and ask them about their experiences. Arrange to meet with your advisor and the Internship Coordinator to discuss schedules, meetings and individual goals.  Do not do independent solicitations of potential internship sites.  That is the responsibility of the program and the Internship Coordinator.  Internship sites must meet particular training and supervision requirements and must have a Memorandum of Agreement with UAA.

Issues involved in Internship.  Internship involves direct contact with clients under close individual and group supervision. You are responsible to know and comply with confidentiality and ethics rules of the internship site as well as procedures and schedules for their paperwork, staff meetings and supervision requirements.  Once the Internship Coordinator has approved the internship site, the student intern and site supervisor will set up a schedule together. The Internship Coordinator will monitor your experience during the weekly internship class. Activities in the class include, among other activities, discussion of your experience and focusing on specific needs for information or resources. You must keep the Internship Coordinator advised of activities at your site, particularly if problems or misunderstandings develop. The Coordinator is your advocate who facilitates and supervises your experience in the community agency.

Sites for Internship.  Internships vary greatly depending upon the site. The internship coordinator selects the site, based on availability and on your professional interests and goals. The internship coordinator will work closely with you to select a site that optimizes your experience. The goal of Internship is to train students for a wide variety of jobs in the community.  Private practices of community professionals are not considered for internship as they are not generally able to provide the level of individual supervision required for an internship experience.  The Internship coordinator makes the initial contact with the selected site. Some sites used in the past include:  Alaska Behavioral Health, Providence Family Practice Center, Providence Hospital inpatient programs and RTCs, AK Child and Family, CITCI, and Volunteers of America Anchorage.

Emotional Reactions during Internship.  The emotions and needs that emerge for students during internship are similar to those during practicum. However, in addition, interns often feel more isolated because they are no longer working shoulder-to-shoulder with classmates or other students at the PSC. This may make mutual sharing with your classmates more difficult. Nevertheless, internship also allows for an enriching exposure to professional colleagues with different backgrounds and levels of expertise.

Another problem that develops occasionally involves politics or ethical dilemmas at the internship site. These issues should never be handled by the intern alone. The UAA Psychology Internship Coordinator must be kept informed if situations arise and will provide direct help and intervention. Ethical questions or any situation that is uncomfortable or questionable should always be referred to the site supervisor and/or Internship Coordinator immediately.  Failure to do so may inadvertently put you in a situation that may threaten your academic standing as well as create legal repercussions. Consult with the Internship Coordinator early and often. If the situation is one you and the Internship Coordinator think you can manage on your own, the Internship Coordinator will support your efforts, but must be informed in all cases.

Similar to the practicum experience, internship may involve personal challenges and emotional demands.  Being and becoming a psychotherapist often stimulates personal issues that must, ethically, be processed separately from the therapy sessions.  The intern should bring these concerns to the site supervisor, peer consultants, academic advisor and/or the internship coordinator.  Some students choose to engage an external psychotherapist during this time to process personal issues that are stimulated by the work.  The MS Clinical Psychology program and the Clinical Training Committee encourage students to do this as it fosters growth and competency as a therapist.

Internship Interface with UAA/UAF Ph.D. Program.  The Ph.D. in Clinical/Community Psychology is a separate program from the M.S. Clinical Psychology program. However, the psychology department faculty is an integrated faculty and opportunities are designed to maximize benefit for all students. One example of this is that M.S. students may be placed in Internships where they are supervised by advanced Ph.D. students.  M.S. students in internship will be informed of these relationships and be given complete instructions and procedures by the internship supervisor and the site supervisors.


Students may elect to complete a thesis (PSY A699) under the direction of a thesis advisor and a thesis committee. The MS Clinical Psychology graduate program requires a traditional empirical thesis. Thesis topics can be wide-ranging and should accommodate your interests. Your advisor is a primary source of information and advice about doing a thesis. If you are interested in a thesis, plan to take PSY A639 (Applied Research Methods) in spring of your first year in the program and use that course as a vehicle for beginning work on your thesis proposal. Students electing to complete a thesis are required to take 6 hours of thesis credit in 1-3 credit increments.  Consult your advisor for how to enroll for thesis credits. You will register for these credits with your thesis supervisor, who will create a syllabus for each term you are enrolled in thesis credits.  You will receive deferred grades (DF) for each term until the final thesis is approved by the Graduate School and your thesis supervisor will submit grades for the six credits of thesis.

MS Clinical Psychology Thesis Procedures (The Five Thesis Stages)

The Graduate School website has thesis preparation resources such as a handbook, flowcharts and guidelines for thesis preparation. Thesis requirements are posted on the Graduate School Thesis website:  While Graduate School regulations have primarily to do with formatting and submitting your thesis, the MS Clinical Psychology program has developed specific steps for developing, designing and timing the production of your thesis. It is your responsibility to ensure you have followed appropriate procedures in both venues. You must be familiar with the thesis process and take responsibility for ensuring the appropriate steps are taken at the appropriate times, under the guidance of your thesis supervisor. The thesis process has five stages that gradually move from an informal to a very formal process.

STAGE 1 - Selecting Your Topic and Your Committee [first term of graduate program].

  • Consider your interests and career goals and think about topics that you would want to spend time and energy exploring in more depth.
  • Discuss topics with faculty members that have an interest in similar areas and ask about their availability to chair your thesis committee.
  • Select and invite a faculty member to be your chair. 
  • Once you have a topic and have selected an advisor, select the remaining members of your committee.  You require three faculty members from UAA (including your committee chair).  These faculty members may be from any department although your chair must be from the Psychology department.  You may also add additional committee members from other universities if you wish.  You and your advisor must complete the Graduate School form for appointing and changing committee members.  This must be signed and your advisor must document your committee and thesis topic in Degreeworks.
  • Once this is all in place, you can register for thesis credits under your Thesis Supervisor.
  • Choosing a specific topic for your thesis is important. You should keep two things in mind when making this choice: 
    • Choose a topic that will sustain your interest over the course of the project.
    • Choose a topic that is feasible as far as time commitments, availability of subjects, and publication or presentation opportunities.

STAGE 2 - Thesis Proposal

  • Prepare a formal thesis proposal under the supervision of your thesis chair. This is one of the major undertakings of the thesis process. It requires several rounds of drafts submitted to your chair with several weeks between revisions. Begin early and stay on track by arranging meetings with your chair to discuss progress. 
  • After your thesis chair approves your proposal, distribute copies of the proposal to all committee members and schedule a time when all of you can meet to discuss your proposal (allow at least two weeks for committee members to review your proposal before the meeting).
  • Generally, during your proposal meeting, you will be asked to provide a verbal overview of your project and a rationale that explains the reasons why your topic should be approached in the manner proposed.
  • Committee members will make recommended changes during the meeting, so anticipate that the meeting will help shape your final product.
  • The thesis chair will keep minutes of the proposal meeting and will ensure that you implement all suggested changes.
  • After the proposal meeting, you must make revisions to your proposal based on the feedback you received. Once this is done, distribute a revised copy of your proposal to your committee members and have them sign the Thesis Proposal Committee Signature Form (see Graduate School Website).
  • If your thesis project changes you must revise your proposal and have all committee members sign off on the revised version. If your committee changes you must use the Graduate School form for appointing and changing committee members to document the committee change.  Your advisor must also document the change in Degreeworks.
  • Once your proposal is approved by your committee, you can submit your IRB proposal for review. You may not begin any data collection until you have received IRB approval.  Your IRB proposal must be approved and signed by your Thesis Supervisor before it can be submitted to the IRB.  See UAA Office of Research Integrity and Compliance webpage

STAGE 3 - Conduct Your Research

  • Collect data, analyze results, and prepare the Results and Discussion sections.
  • Maintain frequent contact with your thesis chair and consult with other committee members as necessary during this time.
  • Work with the UAA Thesis Formatting Handbook (see Graduate School Website) to ensure your thesis has the proper formatting. You can also call the Graduate School office with questions. The CAS Dean’s office, Graduate School and library each have deadlines each semester for submission of material.
  • The thesis chair will review and approve the final write-up before it is sent to the other committee members.

STAGE 4 - Thesis Defense

After your thesis chair approves your final draft, distribute your thesis to the committee members. Meet with the administrator for the Graduate School who will review your thesis formatting and approve the schedule for your defense. Schedule a time for your oral defense. All committee members must be present at the defense (be sure they have at least 2 weeks to read your thesis beforehand). Provide public notice regarding your thesis defense. At a minimum, you should display flyers in the Psychology Department at least one week before the defense. The Graduate School will also post a notice of your thesis defense on their website. During your defense you will be asked to provide a verbal overview (usually with PowerPoint) of your project and a summary of the main findings and limitations of your work. Committee members may recommend changes to your final thesis during the defense, so anticipate that the meeting will help shape your final product.

The thesis chair will keep minutes of the thesis defense and subsequently will ensure that you implement all the suggested changes. After all changes have been implemented and your chair approves the final version of your thesis, you must distribute copies to the rest of the thesis committee for approval.  At this time, the committee members will sign the Graduate School form approving the thesis.  They must also sign the correctly formatted signature page that will be included with your thesis when you submit it electronically to the Graduate School. Note that you should not represent your research as an M.S. thesis in a public forum until after it has been defended and approved by your thesis committee.  The Graduate School must be notified of the date of your final defense and they will publish that date in advance on the Graduate School website.

STAGE 5 - Final Submission to Graduate School

  • The thesis cover sheet needs to be signed by all committee members.  Follow the Graduate School electronic formatting instructions on the Graduate School website.
  • Your final thesis must be approved and signed by the Psychology Department Director, the Dean of CAS, and the Dean of the Graduate School.  The final deadline for submission to the Graduate School will be posted each term on the Graduate School website.  These final submission dates occur approximately one month before the end of each term but they do change so check with the Graduate School website to make sure that you do not miss a deadline for submission.

Thesis Timeline.

While your thesis is not fundamentally different from other work you have done, it is work that is scrutinized by many different people. This makes the thesis process inherently longer than the other academic work you do in the program. As you anticipate graduation, recall that your thesis needs to be read and approved numerous times, and each time revisions are common. After you have written your thesis, it must be approved at six or seven distinct steps: 1) by your thesis chair prior to your defense; 2) by your thesis chair after the defense (who ensures all feedback was addressed); 3) by your other committee members following the defense; 4) by the Director of the Psychology Department; 5) by the CAS Dean's office and; 6) by the Dean of the Graduate School. Each semester, both Dean’s offices post deadlines regarding when your thesis must be submitted to be processed for graduation that semester. This deadline changes from semester to semester. 

If you assume that there are no major problems with your thesis and if you have the ability to write clearly with proper grammar, then revisions at each step in the thesis process should proceed smoothly (taking an average of about two weeks at each step). If you have trouble writing clearly, you should allow yourself plenty of time and seek editorial assistance (perhaps even from a paid editor-consultant) during thesis preparation.

If you want to be confidently on top of the thesis process to meet a graduation deadline, it would be a good idea to schedule your defense as early as possible in the semester in which you want to graduate (always check the Graduate School website for thesis submission deadlines). What this means is that most of your thesis work (e.g., literature review, data collection, data analysis, etc.) should be completed before your final semester. Allow your final semester to be devoted to polishing your document and planning your oral defense. In general, students underestimate the amount of time that is involved in the thesis, so work closely with your advisor to come up with a sensible time-line.

Thesis Grades.

You won’t finish your thesis in one semester so when you register for thesis credits you will receive a Deferred (DF) grade. This grade does not affect your grade point average, and merely indicates on the transcript that the project is too large to be completed in one semester. Grades of DF are standard for projects that span more than one academic term. If you are only working on your thesis and not enrolled in any other classes, however, you must maintain continuous enrollment, either by taking at least one credit hour of class or by extended registration. 

While DF's are commonly given when a thesis extends to a second semester, a DF may affect your financial aid status.  If a grade of DF is given, the credit hours involved are not applied toward your credit hour load for that semester. Please note: If a DF causes you to have less than 9 completed credits for that term, it may trigger a loss of your eligibility for financial aid. Always make your UAA financial aid advisor aware when you are taking thesis credits. DF grades for thesis are considered a normal part of thesis completion and are not treated the same as other DF grades by enrollment services. 

Other Program Issues

Continuous Enrollment Policy

The University of Alaska Anchorage has a Continuous Enrollment Policy that requires students in graduate programs to be continuously enrolled until the completion of the degree. Students must be enrolled every semester until graduation. Continuous registration is not required for the summer because the MS CP does not offer required courses, except for PSY 665 and PSY 670 in the summer.  Noncompliance with this policy may result in Enrollment Services dropping you from the graduate program. If you have completed all of your course work, yet are still finishing with deferred coursework, you must pay a continuous enrollment fee or enroll in coursework to keep your status as a graduate student.

Leave of Absence

Occasionally, a student who has begun the M.S. program may need to take a break from studies for personal or professional reasons. Because of the University's Continuous Enrollment Policy, the Clinical Training Committee must approve such a break. Unapproved absences for even one semester result in automatic dismissal from the MS Clinical Psychology program. To initiate a Leave of Absence (LOA), first discuss the matter with your advisor. Subsequently, the student must submit a Leave of Absence form along with a petition outlining your request to the Clinical Training Committee. Once the committee has made a decision, you will be notified in writing. 

LOAs are granted for no longer than one year. If a longer absence is required, you will need to re-petition the Clinical Training Committee after a year. A leave of absence does not affect the five-year completion rule, so even if you take a leave, you must complete the degree requirements within five years of admission to the program. Please note: Students newly accepted into the program cannot be granted a leave of absence or deferment before beginning the program. 

Departmental Academic Probation

Students are automatically placed on Academic Probation if they receive a grade less than a B in any graduate course.  A probationary contract will be drawn up and signed by you, your advisor and the Clinical Training Coordinator with a plan to remediate problems. Failure to follow through on a remediation plan may result in removal from the program. Please note: any graduate coursework that receives a grade of B or less cannot count toward your degree and must be retaken. 

A grade of C in PSY A665 or PSY A670 is considered a failing grade and may be cause for dismissal from the program.  If you receive a C in PSY A665 or PSY A670, the Clinical Training Committee will review your status.  If probation is designated rather than dismissal, the Clinical Training Committee will develop an academic remediation plan which will be supervised by your advisor, the PSC Director and/or Internship Coordinator, and the Clinical Training Coordinator.

Academic probation may affect your ability to receive financial aid.  Teaching and research assistantships are not granted to students on academic probation. If you find yourself in this position and have concerns about how academic probation will affect you, consult the Financial Aid Office at UAA regarding student loans and grants.


Graduate courses are graded on an A to F basis unless otherwise specified. A grade of C in PSY A665 or PSY A670 is considered a failing grade and may be cause for dismissal. Consult with your instructors during each semester about your progress in classes and your goals for learning and grades. Be open and prompt (with either your instructor or advisor) in discussing personal needs that may impinge on your ability to participate in any class.

Deferred (DF) grades are usually given for thesis credits that were not completed within the intended semester. Additionally, grades for Practicum or Internship may need to be deferred if extenuating circumstances make it impossible to achieve the required number of clinical hours during a semester. These deferred grades are very common and represent no shame. However, they may affect your financial aid status, as credits of DF do not count toward your course load for that semester. However, financial aid should be consulted if you are taking thesis credits or if it becomes evident that you will receive a DF in Practicum or Internship as these are not treated the same as other DF grades.  

A student has a maximum of two years to complete a DF. Incomplete grades (I) may be negotiated with individual instructors if you are unable to complete a small percentage of course work within a given semester. However, the effect of an ‘I’ grade on financial aid is that it may drop you below the minimum number of hours required for full time status in that semester and make you ineligible for financial aid. Incomplete grades can remain on your transcript for exactly one year. If you fail to complete the work within that time period, the instructor may assign an F, or the Office of Student Records turns the ‘I’ into a permanent grade. You may petition to receive an extension beyond 1 year for an Incomplete, as long as you have the approval of the course instructor to do so. This petition must be made to the Director of the Office of Student Records. Incomplete, Deferred, and Pass/No Pass grades do not affect your overall grade point average. Again, please ask for help from your advisor or the Clinical Training Coordinator.

Liability Insurance

The University will purchase liability insurance for students from your course fees. This insurance will cover you for any clinical work that you perform as part of your coursework in our program. This is done by the university and you do not have to purchase liability insurance yourselves.

Professional Development

To maximize options for post-graduate employment or doctoral study, consider engaging in activities that foster your professional development, such as becoming involved in professional organizations and student associations, doing research, seeking out clinically relevant volunteer work, and attending professional workshops. Getting involved in organizations can be as easy as signing up (see section VIII of this handbook). Other options take a little more effort on your part and are addressed here individually.

Clinical Work

Every student gains clinical experience in the M.S. program through practicum and internships. Although the amount of clinical experience you gain is quite respectable as far as academic curricula go, additional experience is often helpful for the student who plans to apply for mental health service delivery jobs upon graduation. The easiest way to gain additional experience is through volunteer work in community agencies or through extra semesters of practicum in the Psychological Services Center. Some students also gain experience by seeking employment in mental health agencies. While this is a sensible approach to gaining experience, it can be a disadvantage when it requires a considerable time commitment. While completing your degree, part-time work is much more desirable than full-time work, as full-time work can interfere with your progress through the program.. Clinical settings that have offered students volunteer or part-time work experiences include: Anchorage Community Mental Health Services, the ARC of Anchorage, Alaska Children’s Services, North Star Behavioral Health System, Providence Hospital, S.T.A.R., AWAIC, and South Central Foundation.


There are several ways to become involved in research.  At times, professors may offer students the option of conducting research as a term-paper requirement in a class.  Second, many faculty members have ongoing research projects and would welcome your participation.  Third, you can seek out an individual faculty member’s approval to register for PSY A698 Independent Research so you can conduct a project that is of mutual interest.

Once a project is completed, its findings should be shared with the academic community. This can be accomplished through professional presentations at conventions and conferences, or through publication. Publication involves sending the manuscript to a journal for review. Often this process requires six months or more. The first time you attempt to publish a manuscript, it may be best to consult with a faculty member in order to learn the ins-and-outs of the submission process.

Professional presentations can be done at the local, state, regional or national level. UAA and the Department of Psychology offer two unique settings for students to begin to familiarize themselves with the presentation process. Every spring, there is a university-wide conference called the Student Showcase, wherein students can present their work (empirical or otherwise). 

Workshops and Teaching

While the curriculum of the M.S. program has been carefully designed to maximize your learning experience, there is always more to learn. The Graduate Student Association (GSA) and various national organizations have sponsored workshops in the past, as have the Department of Psychology and the Alaska Psychological Association ( Other offerings in the community are placed in the back of the student mail box in the PSC and then placed in the “Workshop Notices” notebook in the PSC Director’s office.   Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of these learning opportunities as they come up. Workshops are an excellent way to learn things that do not fit neatly into an academic curriculum or to expand upon skills that are only touched upon during your formal education. In addition there is often a reduced ‘student rate’.

Another excellent way to learn material thoroughly is to teach it. Thus, you are encouraged to seek out opportunities in which you can function as a teaching assistant and/or a guest lecturer. Most faculty members are more than happy to have students enroll in PSY A695, Teaching Practicum in Psychology. This experience can be particularly valuable if you plan to continue on in a doctoral program.  On occasion, there are opportunities for students to present professional workshops to the community. If you become aware of such an opportunity, you should pursue it, particularly because this is a way to develop a reputation in the local mental health community. Some agencies that have asked students to present workshops are Kids' Corp, HeadStart, UAA Student Health Center, and UAA Student Services. Clinical faculty can provide more details about these types of teaching opportunities.

Ethics and Professionalism

APA Ethical Guidelines for Psychologists

The American Psychological Association has formulated a set of ethical guidelines for its members, and all students enrolled in the M.S. program must adhere to these principles. It is your responsibility to ensure you are quite familiar with these guidelines. The Ethical Principles of Psychologists address professional responsibility, competence, moral and legal standards, public statements, confidentiality, welfare of the consumer, professional relationships, assessment techniques, and research with human and animal participants. A complete copy of the guidelines can be found at   

Professional Conduct

Professional conduct is required of all students enrolled in psychology courses. It includes adherence to the guidelines for ethical behavior outlined by APA, as well as adherence to the behaviors specified for practicum/intern students by the university and by internship sites. Thus, requirements may vary slightly depending on where you are working.  For instance Anchorage Community Mental Health Services requires a specific computer program training for client records management.  While placed at such a site, you would be expected to conform to that agency's guidelines. Although not exhaustive, a few obvious guidelines of professionalism include the following:

  • Respect fellow students, staff, research participants, and faculty.
  • Respect the privacy and confidentiality of others.
  • Maintain honesty and integrity.
  • Do not cheat on exams.
  • Do not help other students cheat on exams.
  • Do not plagiarize material for work that is done for a course
  • Do not misrepresent the source of work that is done for a course.
  • Do not use papers written for one course to satisfy requirements for a second course.
  • Do not use departmental computers for personal pursuits.
  • Deal directly and appropriately with a person you may have problems with or complaints about, including faculty (in other words, you should not talk about a person behind his/her back and you should follow specified procedures for appeals and grievances).
  • Demonstrate respectful and appropriate behavior in a clinical setting (e.g., maintain quiet conduct in the waiting room of the Psychological Service Center; do not enter the PSC staff room without authorization; maintain client confidentiality at all times).
  • Avoid sexual harassment at all times (this can include even the use of sexist language, as sexual harassment is defined by the target of the behavior, not by the person engaging in it).
  • Avoid prejudice or discrimination against others at all times.
  • Students are expected to know and follow the Student Code of Conduct (

Title IX and Non-Discrimination 

The University of Alaska is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer, educational institution and provider. The University of Alaska does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, citizenship, age, sex, physical or mental disability, status as a protected veteran, marital status, changes in marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, parenthood, sexual orientation, gender identity, political affiliation or belief, genetic information, or other legally protected status. The University's commitment to nondiscrimination, including against sex discrimination, applies to students, employees, and applicants for admission and employment. Contact information, applicable laws, and complaint procedures are included on UA's statement of nondiscrimination available at

Licensed Professional Counselor

Alaska has Master's level licensure as a Professional Counselor based on the requirements and Ethics of the American Counseling Association (ACA). The MS Clinical Psychology program can be the first step in preparing you for this license. Other requirements include additional postgraduate courses for a total of 60 credits of graduate education, successfully passing a national written exam and state essay exam and two years of supervised post-degree experience. For the two years of supervised experience to count, the State Board requires you to engage a professional who has been approved by the Board as an LPC supervisor.  At this time, the supervised experience must be completed before the National Exam can be taken.  Students interested in pursuing the LPC can obtain information and application materials directly from the state website ( or by using the following contact information:

State of Alaska 
Board of Professional Counselors 
Division of Occupational Licensing 

P.O. Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811-0806

Telephone: (907) 465-2551
Fax: (907) 465-2974

Substance Abuse Counselor Certification.

The State of Alaska offers a certification process for counselors working in the substance abuse field. There are three levels of certification: Level I, Level I Advanced, and Level II. All three certifications do not require a Master's degree. For Level I, the following are required: one full year of substance abuse experience, or a minimum of 150 training hours specializing in substance abuse, or an acceptable combination of experience and training. For Level I Advanced: two full years of experience, or a minimum of 270 hours of training, or an acceptable combination of experience and training. For Level II: passing the Substance Abuse Counselor written exam, three years of experience, minimum of 270 contact hours specializing in substance abuse in an approved training program, completion of a 300-hour practicum, and successfully passing an oral examination. For further information, talk to a clinical faculty member or contact the following: 

Alaska Commission for Chemical Dependency Professionals Certification
3705 Arctic Boulevard, Room # 695
Anchorage, AK 99503
(907) 563-8505 - (907) 562-7948 – Fax

You can also contact the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors at

Licensure in Other States and National Certification

All 50 states have some form of master's level licensure or certification. For specific information see .These licenses and certifications bring with them specific rights, which vary from state to state. For the most part, these licenses and certifications will allow you to conduct private practice, and, in many states, collect third party payments. The specific requirements for each state vary considerably. However, most require a master's degree, and successful completion of both a national and state examination, and one to three years of post-degree supervised experience. While the credit hours required for master's degrees varies from 30 to 60 credit hours, most states require 45, 48, or 60 credit hours.

Please note that each state has different licensing requirements and that you must satisfy those requirements to be licensed.  Licensing requirements change over time so if you are interested in pursuing a license in another state, you are responsible for learning what is required for licensing in that state and determining the extent to which the UAA MS degree satisfies those licensing requirements.  You may be required to complete other requirements for licensure in other states.

Planning for Licensure

If you are studying for licensure as a Licensed Psychological Associate (LPA) or Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) you should become familiar with the academic requirements for each license and plan accordingly. Please see the licensing requirements at

To facilitate licensure after graduation, students should keep the following records for inclusion in their licensure application:
1) all practicum and internship evaluations, and

2) all records of training (contact hours and supervision) and workshop attendance that have contributed to competency as a therapist.

3) all course syllabi

The M.S. program does not maintain these records for you.  Licensing boards, particularly in other states, may ask you for course syllabi as part of your license application.  Please keep electronic copies of all course syllabi, course descriptions, and training records.  You will need them as you pursue licensure.

*Please note: Licensure as a Professional Counselor (LPC) involves accumulating a total of 60 credit hours of graduate level study.  Hours beyond the 48 hours required for graduation may be accumulated after graduation.

Certification by the American Association for Marriage and Family TherapyRequirements: A master's degree with major course work in Marital and Family Studies, Marital and Family Therapy, and Human Development; minimum of two years post-master's counseling experience under supervision of an AAMFT Approved Supervisor.

National Counselor CertificationRequirements: Two years of post-master's professional counseling experience and satisfactory completion of National Counselor Examination.

National Career Counselor CertificationRequirements: Three years of post-master's professional career counseling experience and satisfactory completion of National Career Counselor Examination.

Career Choices

Psychological Associates and Professional Counselors work in a variety of health care settings and often work in conjunction with other mental health professionals, such as psychiatrists, clinical social workers, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and paraprofessionals. Common settings include community mental health centers, outpatient clinics, psychiatric or general hospitals, rehabilitation centers, private or group practice, Veterans Administration mental health services, and residential treatment centers for various populations, including emotionally disturbed children, severely mentally ill persons, developmentally disabled individuals, substance abusing persons, juvenile offenders, and victims of abuse.

Master's Level Employment

The parameters of Master's level employment depend on the state, as well as on the certificates and licenses a person holds. In states that provide Master's level licensure (like Alaska), private practice is a possibility. In all states, master's level graduates can practice in residential settings, hospitals, community mental health agencies, and private mental health agencies. In general, graduates with a master's degree may not call themselves Psychologists. Although this title is regulated by individual states, it is formally reserved for individuals who hold a doctorate in psychology. Master's level practitioners generally have the option to refer to themselves as counselors, therapists, Psychological Associates (if licensed at the master's level), or psychological assistants, or may use their official job title as provided by an agency or the state. Alaska has specified several types of positions and titles for persons with a master's degree in psychology. Some examples are:

  • Mental Health Clinician I 
  • Psychological Counselor I
  • Developmental Disabilities Program Specialist I

Common settings for employment at the master's level include community mental health centers; outpatient clinics; psychiatric or general hospitals; rehabilitation centers; private or group practices; Veterans Administration centers; and residential centers that treat various populations, including emotionally disturbed children, people who are severely mentally ill, developmentally disabled, substance abusing, juvenile offenders, and/or victims of abuse. Graduates from our program have found employment in these diverse settings, both in Alaska and elsewhere.

Continuing Your Academic Career

Some students decide to continue their education after graduation and may pursue several avenues to continue their academic career in psychology. Depending on the program, doctoral studies may lead to a PhD, a PsyD, or an Ed.D. in Clinical Psychology, Counseling Psychology, School Psychology, Counselor Education, Counseling, or other mental health fields. A useful resource is the APA publication Graduate Study in Psychology and Associated Fields, which provides an overview of programs and degree options (see 

Types of Doctoral Programs.

Many Ph.D. programs in clinical psychology follow the scientist-practitioner model of the American Psychological Association, training students to do research, teach, and practice. These represent the most rigorous programs and tend to be the most respected in the professional community. Receiving a Ph.D. from a psychology program that is not accredited by the APA can present many problems. These programs do not always qualify the applicant for licensure and can make the application process extremely difficult.

The Psy.D. degree is a professional psychology degree that focuses less on research and more on practitioner skills. It has gained acceptance within the field of psychology, and the APA accredits many PsyD programs. Students considering this option should find an accredited program if they hope to gain licensure as a psychologist.

Subjects of Doctoral Programs.

The three most common mental health fields in psychology are clinical psychology, counseling psychology, and school psychology. Other mental health fields are also emerging in psychology such as Neuropsychology, Industrial/Organizational Psychology. These specialties can also be developed from a post-doctoral level. While counseling and clinical programs are becoming more similar than dissimilar, some minor differences remain. Doctoral Counseling Psychology programs often maintain a career or rehabilitation component and the typical student enters with a master's degree (with some exceptions). Many Clinical Psychology programs also reserve some of their admission slots for master's level applicants. Clinical and counseling psychology programs may include specialty tracks in the areas of career or vocational work, substance abuse, marriage and family interventions, or child psychology. School psychology is largely focused on preparation to work with children in a school setting, conducting psychological and psycho-educational assessments, and providing some therapy or other interventions.

Applying to Doctoral Programs.

The application process for doctoral programs is lengthy and involves planning and preparation. You should talk to people who have gone through this process, including professors, fellow students, and professionals in the community. Successful applicants often apply to as many as ten different programs, a decision that is not only time-consuming, but also expensive. 

If you think you may apply to a doctoral program, you should carefully keep track of all your research, teaching, and psychotherapy activities so this information will be on hand when you complete your applications (it is also required for your Clinical Portfolio). You should also find a mentor who is willing to assist you with your preparations by steering you toward research and teaching opportunities. Depending on the program you are considering, you should become actively involved in research, with a target of at least one publication and one or more presentations before applying. It would also help to gain some teaching experience by becoming a teaching assistant or offering to guest lecture in various courses.

Student Representation, Associations, and Organizations

You can foster your own professional development via several routes, including joining professional organizations that interface with the psychological community, joining associations that focus on academic curricula, or choosing to run for an elected office within a representative student body that influences local departmental policies.

Graduate Student Representation

Graduate students participate in setting and reviewing departmental policies and procedures by electing a student representative who attends and votes in departmental faculty meetings and Clinical Training Committee meetings. The entire graduate student body elects a representative in annual elections. The role of the student representative is to introduce and represent student concerns to the faculty, communicate pertinent information to the students, and act as a liaison between students and faculty. The representative should adhere to APA ethical standards in all activities associated with his or her role. Representatives are expected to maintain confidentiality regarding personal business discussed in departmental meetings that are not a matter of public record. The representative insures student input on curriculum, colloquium offerings, and budgetary concerns. The representative facilitates a flow of information between students and faculty on special programs and offerings such as workshops, conferences, and psychology related activities.

Student Associations and Honor Societies

American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS).

APAGS is designed to: 1) promote high standards in the teaching, training, and practice of psychology in order to further the education and development of all students involved in the study of psychology; 2) represent, as well as facilitate the exchange of information and ideas among students from all specialties of psychology; 3) promote graduate Jennstudent leadership by offering opportunities to participate in a national organization; and 4) establish and maintain channels of communication between APAGS and schools, universities, training centers, and other members of the psychological community. Membership is available to those who are currently graduate students or post-doctoral fellows in psychology. As long as you are a member of APA, you are automatically a member of APAGS. Members must pay an annual fee and agree to conform to the APA Code of Ethics.

Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology.

Psi Chi offers membership in the national organization through the local University of Alaska Anchorage chapter. The purpose of Psi Chi is to encourage, stimulate, and maintain scholarship in psychology and to advance the science of psychology. To achieve these goals, Psi Chi offers a wide range of programs locally, regionally, and nationally. The local chapter programs are designed to augment and enhance the regular curriculum, afford opportunities for members to use their talents in roles that are meaningful, and promote interaction among fellow members, faculty, and other psychologists.

Membership is available to undergraduate and graduate students and faculty whose academic concentration is in the field of psychology. Students who have attained and maintained a GPA of 3.0 overall and a GPA of 3.5 in psychology and who exhibit high standards of behavior are eligible to join. Because Psi Chi is an honor society it does not have open membership. Rather, membership depends upon invitation. It is a prestigious organization.

Professional Organizations that Offer Student Memberships.

There are a number of professional organizations that accept student members, which can serve as an excellent introduction to the professional psychology field. Student members usually receive an organizational newsletter, discounts for journal subscriptions and books, and reduced rates for convention attendance.

Alaska Psychological Association (AK-PA).  Benefits: Listserv membership; training notification; reduced rates at CE workshops.

P.O. Box 241292
Anchorage, AK 99524
(907) 243-7495


American Counseling Association (ACA).  Benefits: Free subscription to Journal of Counseling and Development, ACA Guidepost

5999 Stevenson Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22304
(703) 823-9800


American Psychological Association (APA).  Benefits: Free subscriptions to APA Monitor and American Psychologist, reduced rates for books and journals, membership in American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS)

750 First St., NE 
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 336-5970


American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).  

1100 - 17th Street NW, 10th Fl.
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 429-1825


American Psychological Society (APS).  Benefits: Free subscriptions to APS Observer, Psychological Science

1511 K Street, Suite 345
Washington, DC 20090-0457
(202) 783-2077


Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT).  Benefits: job placement assistance, journals, conferences, and membership directory

15 West 36th Street
New York, NY 10018-7910
(212) 279-7970

Society for Personality Assessment.  Benefits: Free subscription to the Journal of Personality Assessment and SPA's quarterly newsletter, the SPA Exchange.

6109 H Arlington Blvd.
Falls Church, Virginia 4402
Western Psychological Association (WPA).  Benefits: Quarterly newsletter
Address: Department of Psychology
San Jose State University
San Jose, CA 95192-0189


Finances and Financial Aid

Financial Aid Office

The Financial Aid Office can provide information and application forms for various grants, loan programs, scholarships, and employment opportunities. Be prepared to show your letter of admission to the M.S. degree program, complete a FAFSA financial aid form (UAA’s code is 4896), complete a Student Aid Report, and satisfy other paperwork specific to the type of funding for which you are applying. You will also need to bring and/or verify such things as income tax returns, family size, and dependent status, as well as satisfactory academic progress. Many of the students in the M.S. program apply to the Alaska Student Loan Program. 

Paid Assistantships and Grader Support

The Department of Psychology does not receive a guaranteed budget from the College of Arts and Sciences for teaching and research assistantships. 

Occasionally, paid research assistantships are also available through faculty grants. These are generally offered to students who have been fully admitted and/or who have established a track record as a conscientious and dedicated student. Interested students should again discuss these possibilities with their advisor or the Clinical Training Coordinator.

Finally, a small amount of funds are occasionally available to assist faculty with grading for large undergraduate courses. There are very few of these positions and they are generally not available until students are in their second semester. These positions vary in pay and type of work required, depending upon the course and the instructor. If you know a professor who regularly receives support for her or his classes (e.g., large sections of PSY A111 or PSY A150), it is best to approach that professor directly about arranging a position. Otherwise students can speak to a department secretary or the Clinical Training Coordinator.

Faculty Members and the Clinical Training Committee


The Department of Psychology has approximately 20 full-time tenure-track faculty members.  A list of faculty members and their areas of interest are provided on the psychology website. You are encouraged to meet and introduce yourself to as many of the faculty as possible early in your career as a graduate student as you will probably encounter all of them at one time or another. 

Clinical Training Committee

Four full-time faculty members serve on the Clinical Training Committee, which addresses programmatic issues related to the M.S. Program.  There is one Graduate Student Representative from each year who is a voting member of this committee but who is not privy to confidential discussions about study issues or progress in the program.  The CTC members are: 

  • Dr. Gloria Eldridge (Clinical Training Coordinator)
  • Dr. Hannah Ekstrom (PSC Director)
  • Dr. Kevin Tarlow (Internship Coordinator)
  • Dr. Steffi Kim
  • Dr. Eric Murphy (Department Director)
  • Graduate student representative from each year elected by the students

University Offices Relevant to Student Needs

There are several offices in the university, Department of Psychology, and student body that may have relevance to you as a student in the M.S. program.

Relevant UAA Offices

Chancellor: Mr. Sean Parnell

Provost: Dr. Denise Runge

Dean of the Graduate School: Dr. Mary Jo Finney

Dean of CAS: Dr. Jenny McNulty

Relevant Psychology Department Offices 

Department Director: Dr. Eric Murphy

MS Clinical Training Coordinator: Dr. Gloria Eldridge

Applied Behavior Analysis Training Coordinator Dr. Mychal Machado

Undergraduate Studies Coordinator: Dr. Gwen Lupfer

Director, PSC: Dr. Hannah Ekstrom

UAA Program Director, Ph.D. program Dr. Vivian Gonzalez

Psychology Administrative Support: Anissa Hauser