Master of Arts in Psychology with Individualized Concentration (MPIC)

The MPIC concentration is an individually designed, 60-unit, five-quarter MA degree in Psychology with an emphasis in the student’s area of developing professional interest within psychology (such as organizational psychology, health psychology, spiritual psychology, career counseling or psychology and the arts). Important Note: At present, this degree is only available to students who were previously enrolled in a degree program within the Graduate Psychology Program. New students who are interested in a non-clinical degree should review the Master of Arts in Psychological Studies degree.

 Mission of the Master of Arts in Psychology with Individualized Concentration

The MA in Psychology with Individualized Concentration:

● Provides students with the opportunity to design an individualized program reflecting their personal interests, ideals, values and career paths.
● Allows students to design a specialized program that can both act as a foundation for doctoral study and include courses that can possibly transfer into doctoral programs outside of Antioch University. Note: Antioch University does not guarantee that courses will be transferred into outside doctoral programs. Students hoping to transfer courses should: (a) request letter grades from the instructor of these courses for ANY and ALL courses that they are hoping to transfer; (b) consult with the academic affairs department of the doctoral program to which they hope to transfer.
● Fosters creativity and innovation in psychology and society

MPIC Degree Requirements

Students interested in the MPIC should contact the MAP Program Office to discuss the specifics of their program. 

Core Curriculum 20 units  

PSY 5120AField Study: Psychology and Society2-3
PSY 5310APersonality Theory I: Psychodynamic Theories3-4
PSY 5320APersonality Theory II: Comparative Contemporary Theories3-4
PSY 5360AResearch and Professional Writing3-4
PSY 5450Society and the Individual3-4
PSY 5350A Theories of MFCC I3

 Breadth Requirement             9 units

Students take 9 units of AULA classes (from the BA, MAP or MAOM curricula), selected with the help of the students’ advisor, to provide additional core work relevant to the individual program.  If an undergraduate course is taken, graduate level work is substituted for the undergraduate assignments in consultation with the course instructor and the advisor. 

Area of Concentration            10-16 units

This represents the specialization in the degree, designed by the student working with the student's advisor. Units may consist of AULA courses, independent studies, and/or courses at other institutions (with a 9-quarter-unit limit on transfer credit from other schools). 

Masters Document                 4-12 units

A thesis, project or supervised practicum relevant to the area of specialization, carried out over one or a series of quarters of study, as PSY 5990 Masters Document. 

Elective Units                            4-12 units

Total Units in Degree               60 units

(Minimum completion time: 5 quarters Residency. Students transferring into MPIC relatively late in their program may have to extend their residency beyond the usual five quarters in order to meet all the MPIC requirements.)

The MPIC Master’s Document

The MPIC Program includes the preparation of a Masters Document (PSY 5990, 4-12 units overall). The MPIC Masters Document may take a number of forms, including:

  • a Masters Thesis (an academic thesis on a topic in the field);

  • a Project (an applied project with extensive documentation of learning);

  • or a Practicum (a supervised field experience or related internship, with learning summarized in a written document). 

Expectations for the scope and length of the Masters Document vary in accordance with the number of units of credit undertaken. No more than 6 units of Master’s Document work may be undertaken in a single quarter. 

Credit for the Masters Document cannot be earned until both Form J (Degree Plan) and Form K (Permission to Register for PSY 5990 Masters Document) have been filed with the Registrar.  Each quarter, the Advisor must approve a student’s registration for PSY 5990 units.

Forms of the Master’s Document

1. Thesis as Master’s Document

Some doctoral programs might be interested in seeing that a student has completed a master’s thesis when considering the student for admission. If the MPIC student chooses to write a traditional Masters Thesis, the student should state a problem or question of a theoretical or empirical nature related to the learning that has occurred in the student’s program of study and devises a way to investigate it. The thesis topic is usually chosen to further the student's professional or career interests. The final thesis includes a review of relevant literature, followed by the student's original work or theorizing on the problem of choice. Theses may be theoretical, or may involve carrying out original, empirical research.  Examples of such theses include:

  1. “The Usefulness of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator in Career Counseling” a review of the literature with original synthesis and thinking;

  2. “Myers-Briggs Typing of Hospital Administrators,” an empirical research project carried out in the workplace.)

Expectations for the scope and length of a Masters Thesis vary in accordance with the number of units of credit undertaken. 

2. Project as Master’s Document

If an MPIC student chooses to complete a Project for the Masters Document, the student demonstrates the use of professional psychological knowledge and skills, as a practitioner, writer, program developer, manager and/or consultant in some area related to the practice of psychology. The final product is an integrative, written description of the student's activities with reference to relevant theory and research in the field. The Project may further the student's work or career interests. Recent students' projects have included:

  1. preparing the first draft of a psychology-related book for the general public;

  2. developing and presenting a workshop in the community;

  3. planning, implementing, and evaluating diversity training and consultation for a large corporation. 

3. Non-clinical Practicum as Master’s Document

If a non-clinical Practicum is chosen for the Masters Document, the MPIC student spends one or more quarters of study in a part-time supervised non-clinical internship relevant to the student's special interests. For example, the student might work as a career counselor under the supervision of a mentor in that field, might work as an administrator or researcher in a mental health clinic, or might work as a consultant or program evaluator in a school setting. The final product is a written summary of learning through the experience, including references to professional literature relevant to the work. 

4. Management-Related Masters Document

MPIC students with Concentrations related to management may wish to fulfill the Masters Document requirement through participation in MGT 600A/ 598, the structured 4-unit Field Concentration Project offered in the MA Program in Organizational Management. Permission for this option is not guaranteed, but must be obtained from both the MPIC Advisor and the MAOM Capstone Experience Advisor who supervises and evaluates this learning activity. For the Capstone Experience, the student enrolls in a three-quarter MAOM course sequence in Summer, Fall and Winter quarters (4 units total).  The project report is prepared jointly with other members of the student's field consultation group within the course. The group’s project report replaces the student's Masters Document for the MPIC. 

5. Masters Document Related to Clinical Work

An MPIC student with a Concentration related to Clinical or Counseling Psychology occasionally receives permission to include clinical training (PSY 6200 Applied Psychotherapeutic Techniques) as part of the Area of Concentration. (This does not meet requirements for BBS licensing in California, but may be appropriate for international students or students not seeking licensure who nonetheless wish to acquire some clinical experience).  Clinical training is not in itself sufficient to fulfill the Practicum Masters Document requirement. PSY 6200 is included as part of the Area of Concentration, and the student also completes a Practicum Masters Document as, for an additional 4 or more units of credit. An example: The Practicum Master's Document might, summarize learning through a case study or discussion of a particular issue encountered in the clinical traineeship, with a review of relevant professional literature.

Advisement in the MPIC Program

On entering the MPIC, the student is assigned to an academic advisor.  Although the MPIC Director most often advises MPIC students, any MAP faculty member may serve as an MPIC student's academic advisor. Specifically, if the student is in a program specialization (Child Studies, LGBT, Applied Community Psychology, Spiritual-Depth Psychology, or Trauma), a faculty member in the student’s specialization may serve as the advisor for that MPIC student.

Planning the MPIC Program; Filing the Degree Plan

Early in the first quarter in the MPIC, the student makes one or more individual appointments with the student’s Faculty Advisor to talk about the broad outlines of the MPIC program, which will meet the student’s goals. The student then generally embarks on an individual investigation of possibilities for learning opportunities within and/or outside of AULA, possibly including sites for independent study and/or courses or workshops of interest at other institutions. The student often locates a mentor within the AULA faculty who can serve as Primary Evaluator and mentor for the Masters Document (thesis, project or supervised practicum).

By the second full-time quarter of study, many MPIC students are in a position to block out their Degree Plan with the advisor, specifying the title of the individualized degree focus, and stating what courses or other activities will make up the 60 units of work for the degree.  For other students, the Degree Plan takes shape more slowly. In any case, once the program has been planned through consultation with the Advisor, the MPIC student completes Form J (Degree Plan for Individualized/Dual Concentration), which is signed by the Advisor and filed in the Office of the Registrar. If courses at other universities are planned as part of the MPIC program, details on each course must be provided on Form J, including when the student plans to take them.

Students are free to make changes in their program subsequently, but Form J must then be formally revised (with the MPIC Advisor’s signature) to reflect the student’s changed plans.  An approved Form J must be filed with the Office of the Registrar before the student’s Candidacy (i.e., the fifth week of the quarter before the quarter in which the student intends to graduate). It is in the student’s best interest to complete Form J, obtain approval, and file it much sooner, since without Form J there is no guarantee that the University will accept particular activities as part of the student's Individualized Concentration.

ACP, Child Studies, Spiritual and Depth, Trauma, LGBT and ADD

Individualized Concentrations

A student designing an individualized MA in Psychology in the area of one of the Specializations can often take advantage of the special curricula established for the Specializations (Child Studies, Trauma, LGBT, or ACP) in order to design the individualized concentration of their master’s degree in psychology. MPIC students can pursue a focus in any specialization while matriculating in the MPIC individualized degree by incorporating all of the required specialization courses into their degree plan.

If the MPIC degree includes only some of the Specialization courses, the degree should be titled differently to make it clear that the entire Specialization curriculum is not included. For example, the titles "Child Studies Specialization," and “LGBT Psychological Studies Specialization” are normally reserved for students who complete the 90-unit Specialization programs exactly as described in this catalog, including clinical training. MPIC degrees in these areas should be differently titled.


MPIC Admissions

Students may be admitted directly into the MA Psychology Individualized Concentration at the time of application or after initially starting in the MA in Clinical Psychology.   Admission to the MA Psychology Individualized Concentration requires that the student be able to articulate a clear focus of interest for the degree. It is important that the applicant/student discuss the student’s interest with the MA Psychology Individualized Concentration faculty advisor as soon as possible.

Transferring from the MAP to the MPIC

Changing from the MA in Clinical Psychology into the Individualized Concentration requires formal admission to the MPIC.  The current MAP student interested in MPIC should schedule a personal interview with the MPIC Director. The MPIC Director will meet with the student in-person to explore the student's planned focus for the degree, as well as the student's demonstrated capacity to pursue academic work independently. If the MPIC Director gives permission for the change, perhaps in consultation with other MAP Faculty members, and it is agreed that the student is not interested in BBS licensure, the student should obtain:

  • Form J: Degree Plan for MPIC and Dual Concentration (students who are not transferring into MPIC don’t need to complete this form until later

  • Form K: Permission to Register for PSY599 Master’s Document

The student should have either the MPIC Director or the student’s MPIC project advisor sign these forms , and files the form with the Registrar.  As is noted above, students entering the MPIC relatively late in their program may have to extend their residency beyond the usual five quarters in order to meet all the MPIC requirements.

Transferring from the MPIC to the MAP

Changing from the MPIC to the Clinical Psychology program with MFT Concentration requires formal admission to the MAP.  The student submits a Change of Program Form to the MPIC Advisor, who brings it to the MA Psychology faculty as a petition. A personal interview with one or more faculty members is sometimes required to evaluate the student’s readiness for clinical work. Transfer from the MPIC to the Clinical Psychology program is entirely by permission of the faculty and is not guaranteed.

Courses Taken at Other Institutions concurrently with MPIC enrollment

The MPIC student may wish to take one or more graduate courses at other accredited institutions, as part of the Area of Concentration. Courses taken at other institutions must be approved in advance by being listed on the student’s completed Form J. Such courses may be included by transfer or as all or part of an independent study. Students should consult with the Advisor and Office of the Registrar to determine the best plan for their individual situation. 

If the coursework is to be used as all or part of an independent study, the student registers for the learning activity and completes a Form A built around instruction at the other institution. The evaluator can be either the faculty member at the other school or a qualified AULA faculty member. The student lists the learning activity as an appropriately titled PSY 5960 for the student's AULA registration and is evaluated on an AULA Graduate Student Learning Evaluation. 

Students are free to devise a plan that includes whatever status is appropriate with the other institution (e.g., registering and paying at that institution for credit, paying as an auditor, etc.).

Graduate Students in Other Program Courses

MPIC students may enroll in BA courses that are relevant to their concentration on a space available basis and with the agreement of the course instructor. In these cases, the instructor and student negotiate modifications to the syllabus to incorporate appropriate graduate-level learning objectives and assignments for demonstrating learning at the graduate level. Taking on this responsibility is at the discretion of the instructor for the respective BA course.


Clinical training in the MPIC Degree

Occasionally, MPIC students construct an Area of Concentration which includes units of Clinical Training (PSY 6200A), although the MPIC 60 unit degree will under no circumstances be accepted by the Board of Behavioral Sciences for licensure, even if clinical training is included as part of the program.  MPIC students in clinical training are subject to all requirements, which pertain to Clinical Psychology MAP students, e.g., they must train in AULA approved sites and must complete all paperwork and comply with all Clinical Training Office regulations and procedures. As noted below in the section on clinically related Master’s Documents, Clinical Training does not in itself satisfy the Master’s Document requirement.

Thesis Completion

If the student fails to meet the Masters Document deadlines, and/or fails to provide the Office of the Registrar with two copies of the completed work with the approved PSY 5990 Graduate Learning Evaluation by the stated deadline, the student must re-enroll for the following quarter on Enrollment Maintenance status.  (See Thesis Completion Status policy.)

The Master of Arts in Psychology - Individualized Concentration (MPIC) degree does not fulfill educational requirements for master’s-level licensure as an MFT or as an LPCC in California. However, some MPIC students design programs with an individualized clinical or counseling emphasis (e.g. if they wish to acquire limited clinical experience en route to a different career goal). Since the MPIC degree does not meet requirements for licensure in California, it is the appropriate choice for a student seeking a nonclinical MA in Psychology for personal and professional development and/or academic preparation for doctoral study.