The M.A. degree in Counseling Psychology offered at Pacifica attracts a broad and diverse mix of motivated working professionals and recent college graduates who are seeking advanced knowledge in marriage and family therapy, professional clinical counseling, and depth psychology to pursue careers in psychotherapy and related fields. Students, many of whom are called to the program with interest in personal development as well as vocation, often report profound personal growth. Graduates say that they feel equipped to practice their learned skills to help others achieve the same personal gains.

Our students secure counseling jobs in hospitals, educational institutions, community counseling centers, and establish private practices across the country. Graduates become authors, educators, therapists, and administrators. Some of our students become board members of organizations and state recognized agencies that foster continued training, education and quality control in the field of psychotherapy, relationship therapy, and depth psychology.

Graduates report sustained inner work and ongoing self-discovery from being in a program that fosters both academic rigor and personal development. The program’s emphasis on the ethics of depth psychology affords students the opportunity to sustain responsibility for the not yet discovered, allowing students, and ultimately practitioners in the field, to tolerate the necessary ambiguity for the development of maturity, patience, and resiliency that is critical to their ongoing work with others.

Beyond the options listed, many of our students develop unexpected and creative applications of the degree to their career, finding new or deepened areas of interest within the program. Our alumni web page highlights some of their stories.

DOE Gainful Employment Disclosure scroll to bottom of page for Department of Education disclosure

Time to Completion

The majority of counseling psychology students who complete the program do so within the standard time of 36 months for master’s degree programs, as defined by our accrediting agency, WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). Many of our students (67%) graduate earlier, finishing all their requirements within 33 months, in time for May graduation. Our graduates are well-prepared for licensure: the Board of Behavioral Sciences reports that 85% of the Pacifica graduates taking the California LMFT licensing exams from 1/1/2007-6/30/2013 passed. (

Pacifica provides students in need with a generous leave of absence policy to accommodate the complexities of the lives of adult students while maintaining high academic standards. Therefore, completion rate averages are lengthened by those students who need to withdraw and re-enter the program.

Overall Time To Completion: Counseling Psychology Graduates 2005–2015
Counseling Graduates Number Average Time to Completion (Years)
MA Graduates 946 3*

*This figure may include temporary withdrawals and leaves of absence from the program, which can occur due to illness, pregnancy, or other serious instances that students encounter in their academic career.

Pacifica Graduate Institute’s U. S. Department of Education’s Office of
Post Secondary Education identification number (OPEID): 031268-00

Program Name: Counseling Psychology

CIP for program: 42.2803
This program prepares students for the following career:

Program Level: Master of Arts

Program Time to Completion Parameters

Program *Standard Minimum *Standard Maximum **Counseling Program Minimum ***Gainful Employment **Counseling Program Time Limit (Maximum)
MA 36 mos/3 yrs 60 mos/5 yrs 30 mos/ 2.5 yrs 60 mos/5 yrs

*Standard time to completion rates are defined by WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) as standard for any graduate program at any academic institution.

**The Counseling Psychology curriculum is designed to be completed in a minimum of 30 months, as published in the 2014-2015 Pacifica catalog.

***Department of Education Gainful Employment “Program On-time to Completion.”

MA Completion Rates 2014-2015:

Students who completed the MA program between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015 within the Department of Education’s Gainful Employment “Program On-time to Completion” criterion of 30 months reported approximately 84%. An additional 14% of the students completed the program in between 3 and 5 years. The remaining 2% completed the program in more than 5 years.

Time to Completion MA Counseling 2014-2015

Cost for Entire Program Completed in Minimum Program Completion Time based on the 2014-15 Catalog
Estimated Total Tuition Estimated Costs for Books and Supplies
MA (30 mos/2.5yrs) $58,774 MA (30 mos/ 2.5 yrs) $3,750

Total annual room and board charges:

Residential Fee: $6,600/Non-Residential Fee: $3,672

Annual program direct cost information
Annual Cost of Attendance

MA Debt for all graduates between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015:

Of the 103 MA graduates who completed the program during this time, 77% completed with student loan debt.

Median cumulative debt (borrowers and non-borrowers):
Federal student loan debt: $61,500
Private loan debt: $0
Institutional financing plan debt: $0