About the Program

The Master of Science in Psychology at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is a 90-quarter unit professional degree program that fulfills the educational requirements for the state of California's Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) license.

The program's mission is to provide the state of California with highly competent master-level clinicians trained to counsel individuals, couples, families, and groups in a multicultural society. Graduates are often employed by County Mental Health, Social Services, and other inpatient and outpatient community mental health centers. Many graduates also build successful private practices. Fifteen percent of our graduates pursue doctoral studies in Clinical or Counseling Psychology.

Psychology and Child Development Department faculty members coordinate the M.S. Program and regularly teach graduate classes. Some courses are taught by mental health professionals from the community. The M.S. faculty is diverse in terms of professional degrees, clinical training, cultural background, and gender.

Graduate classes are small and students receive much individual attention in our on-campus practicum training clinic and community traineeship sites.

There are approximately 40 fully matriculated students in Cal Poly's M.S. Psychology Program. Graduate courses are scheduled so that full-time students carrying 12-16 quarter units can secure their degree in two years. Many students take 2 ½-3 years to finish, however, because of the program's extensive clinical training. Student work, family, and other schedules may also make a longer timeline more feasible. Courses are held in the day and evening and are offered only once a year.


The MS in Psychology accepts applicants from all disciplines (e.g., English, Biology, Philosophy). Accepted applicants must complete five (5) program prerequisites (3 semester/4 quarter units each) by July 31 prior to entering the program: Research Methods in Psychology, Introductory Statistics, Personality Theory, Abnormal Psychology, and Developmental Psychology.

These courses may be taken at Cal Poly as a matriculated undergraduate, through Cal Poly’s Open University or at another fully accredited institution, including online. In order to determine if a course you have taken satisfies one of our prerequisites, but has a different title than Cal Poly's, compare the content with the Expanded Prerequisite Course Outlines. Applicants who fail to complete these courses before their first quarter of enrollment will be dropped from the program.

Required Courses

In order for the University to verify the student has fulfilled California's requirements for MFT licensure, the student must successfully complete 90-quarter units of required courses. Please see The Cal Poly catalog for a description of these courses.

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Last updated November 20, 2018
This course is Online, Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2019
2 - 3 years
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Start Date
Sep 2019
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Sep 2019

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