Apply to the Program

COVID and in-person learning announcement:

We are anticipating that we will be holding all courses in-person beginning in Fall 2021. All classes meet face-to-face and are offered Monday through Friday. Although the situation with COVID-19 is unpredictable and continually evolving in education, all applicants should be prepared to be on campus for class in the coming Fall and Spring semesters. As of now, no courses will be taught in Fall only online. 


Thank you for considering SJSU's MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate program (formerly called MS in Clinical Psychology). Please fully review the program website to be sure this is the right graduate program for you. 

The application cycle opens on October 1, and the deadline to apply to the program is February 1 to begin in Fall of that year (no Spring or early admissions).

Please note the temporary changes to the applied clinical experience requirement in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic described here.

In the application process you will apply to both the University as well the MS Clinical Program through CalStateApply. The University offers SJSU's Steps to Graduate Admission guide (pdf) that may be helpful.

Please note that beginning in Fall 2021, the MS Clinical Psychology program will be called the MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program.This will be the name you see on the application page through CalStateApply (and can search for that term).

Even though we have a new name, it is the same program that reflects the training we provide for those seeking to become psychotherapists under the MFT or LPC licenses in California. [Note: We are not a counselor eduction program for those seeking to be guidance or school academic counselors; see SJSU's Guidance & Counseling program.]

The University's Domestic Application Steps to Admission are found here.

Instructions for submitting your transcripts are found in Step 4 on the Application Steps page (above) including information about WES evaluated international transcripts. 

The University's international application steps to admission are found here.

For the MS Clinical Program, here is the key information about your application:

Program Application Statement of intent
GPA calculations Application timeline
Letters of recommendation  

Note that we do NOT require GRE scores for our program application.  


Program Application

The MS Clinical Program Application is completed online and is found in the tab "Questions" in the Program Materials section of CalStateApply (part of the specific application to SJSU's Clinical Program). This tab is near the top of the page and to the right of the "Recommendations" tab.

Here, you will complete all of the information about your degree(s), enter your psychology and last 60(90) units GPAs that you have calculated (described below), provide your clinical experience, and detail the courses you have taken that meet the prerequisite requirements. Toward the end of the application you will also find a Felony Conviction statement that you must complete. Please see this section for Prospective Students to learn more about why we ask about this.    


GPA Calculation 

A minimum GPA of 3.0 in all Psychology courses AND a 3.0 for the last 60 semester units or 90 quarter units of undergraduate coursework is required for admission.

You MUST include a PDF of BOTH your Psychology GPA and Last 60/90 units calculations with your application in CalStateApply.

Upload these by clicking on the "Documents" tab and then using the two Academic Record tabs. 

Do NOT include any credit/no credit courses in the calculation. 

Psychology coursework GPA

You are required to provide your GPA calculations for all of your psychology courses using the Psychology GPA Calculator worksheet to calculate your Psychology GPA. 

Be sure to enter this GPA into your Application that you complete online (see above) AND upload this to the the firstAcademic Record tab.

NOTE: You MUST have completed a minimum of 10 semester courses in psychology including the required 6 perquisite courses or were a Psychology major. For details, see the information for prospective students. Completed and in progress courses must be shown on your Psychology GPA calculation worksheet.

Last 60/90 units GPA

You are also required to provide your GPA calculations for all for your last 60 semester units or last 90 quarter units using the Last 60/90 GPA Calculator worksheet to calculate your your GPA.

Be sure to enter this GPA into your Application that you complete online (see above) AND upload this to the the second Academic Record tab.

NOTE: You can mix quarter and semester units on the same sheet, but you must show 60  Semester Weighted Units at the bottom of the calculation table. 


Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required to apply to the MS Clinical Psychology program at SJSU. You will complete the letter of recommendation process on CalStateApply. This year, your recommender will be sent a link to submit their letter of recommendation for you. There is no form for them to complete; the recommender will only upload the letter through the portal. This will be sent directly through CalStateApply when you input their contact information. 

Please note the temporary changes to the applied clinical experience requirement in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic described here.

One of the recommenders (letter writers) MUST be one of your applied clinical experience supervisors (NOTE COVID CHANGES) AND one of the recommenders (letter writers) MUST be a professor or university level instructor you have had. 

As stated on the COVID-19 changes page: Whether or not you have applied clinical experience, we ask that you have a supervisor, program coordinator, or other professional colleague write and submit a letter that can discuss the relationship that your experience has to your goals to become a psychotherapist.

The third recommendation can be from additional supervisors, professors in relevant courses, or other professionals who are familiar with your work and professional skills.

THIS IS OUR USUAL REQUIREMENT (PRE COVID19): With respect to your letter from a supervisor, please note that you must have at least 100 hours of applied clinical experience (volunteer or paid) before you apply to the program. This number of hours will allow you to be trained (training hours count toward that 100) and to engage in some amount of supervised intervention so that your supervisor can write a letter evaluating your skills. See the information for prospective students for details on what meets this requirement. 

For your application to be evaluated, you must have a total of three letter of recommendation completed by your selected recommenders (letter writers). These letters need to be from professionals who can speak to your capabilities.

You MAY NOT send a request a letter of recommendation from a friend, classmate, or previous therapist. 


Statement of Intent (Personal Statement)

To help us evaluate your application, please prepare a 2-3 page double-spaced essay describing your fit with the MS Clinical Program at SJSU. You should include information about your background, your plans for your future, and how you see admission to our graduate program in the context of your goals as a psychotherapist. You will need to upload a PDF of your Statement of Intent to CalStateApply by clicking on the "Documents" tab (to the right of the "Home" tab) and then clicking on the link for Personal Statement.


For SJSU, answer the following questions within the context of your statement:

  1. What are your academic and professional goals? How does our graduate program “fit” in terms of you meeting these goals?
    You need to be very specific about why you have chosen to apply to the SJSU MS Clinical Program. Describe what evidence based practice means to you and how that fits your training goals as a therapist. You must discuss evidence based practice in your application.
  2. What personal and professional experiences have led you to choose psychotherapy (clinical psychology as a profession), and why have you decided to apply to the MS Clinical Program at SJSU in particular?
    Be sure to discuss your applied clinical experiences specifically. Discuss what you learned and what skills you developed in your applied clinical experience. Describe how you utilized your supervision experience. If you have research experience, discuss how that relates to your choices for this program. YOU MUST REVIEW THE COVID-19 RELATED REQUIREMENTS LISTED HERE to complete this section. 
  3. What personal qualities do you possess (e.g., interpersonal qualities or skills, second language skills) that might help you to become a successful psychotherapist? What personal qualities might challenge your ability to succeed (e.g., time management, receiving feedback)?
  4. The Clinical program at SJSU is very demanding, is academically rigorous, and seeks to graduate top quality clinicians. Overall, how are you prepared for this program, given these demands?


Our Application Timeline & General Graduate Admissions

Although you can submit your materials beginning in October, we will not review applications until after February 1. All applications are reviewed at one time (after Feb. 1) to build a cohort to enter in the Fall.

If your application moves forward after the first review, you will be invited to interview (typically in March). Offers for admission are made in mid-April, and acceptances are due by the beginning of May. We seek to build a cohort of 12-14 students each year. 

Important Note regarding seeking licensure: Admission into programs leading to licensure and credentialing does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or credential. Licensure and credentialing requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the CSU and requirements can change at any time. For example, licensure or credentialing requirements can include evidence of the right to work in the United States (e.g., social security number or tax payer identification number) or successfully passing a criminal background check. Students are responsible for determining whether they can meet licensure or credentialing requirements. The CSU will not refund tuition, fees, or any associated costs, to students who determine subsequent to admission that they cannot meet licensure or credentialing requirements. Information concerning licensure and credentialing requirements are available the BBS website.