Psychology Master's Program

I.  Psychology General Masters Program

The Psychology Master's Program at The City College of New York provides a solid broad-based graduate education in general psychology. Students acquire knowledge in research methods and basic topics in psychology. Our Master's Program is designed for students who need to enhance their background and credentials in psychology either for the job market, or to advantage themselves in applying to doctoral programs.

Some students in our program are participating in our B.A./M.A. program, which allows them to obtain a B.A. or B.S. degree and the M.A. degree concurrently. Master's courses are usually conducted as seminars, consisting of 15-25 students. After their first semester, students may take up to 40% of their coursework at other CUNY branches, including doctoral courses offered through the Graduate Center.


Students may enter the program with an undergraduate major either in Psychology or in another field. Acceptance is based on assessment of the student's overall record and promise. The Graduate Record Examination is required; however, admission is based on flexible criteria. Special attention is given to the student's performance in the undergraduate courses of statistics and experimental psychology (or research methods). Students who have earned less than a B in either of these courses, or who have not taken them, are advised to contact the Director of the Masters Program in General Psychology, Dr. Vivien Tartter at  before applying.

For information on how to apply, please visit the City College Admissions website, or read the FAQ section below for further inquiries.

Prospective students should note that it is not necessary to obtain a Masters degree before applying to a Ph.D. program, but is a way to improve your credentials if your psychology background, undergraduate transcript, or direction for graduate study needs buttressing. Students who do move to Ph.D. programs sometimes can transfer credits, but often cannot. Students may apply from the Masters in General Psychology to the Masters in Mental Health Counseling program. If accepted, the courses taken in the General program will transfer as elective credits.

Degree Requirements

A student in the Masters Program in General Psychology has two choices for completing the degree: one involves more coursework, and the other involves a research-intensive thesis experience. With either choice the program includes two mandatory courses:

V0100: Advanced Experimental Psychology I (4 credits)
V0500: Statistical Methods in Psychology I (3 credits)

A student also must take one course from the areas of cognition, sleep, neuroscience, psychometrics, psycholinguistics, psychopharmocology, or else achieve a score in at least the 65th percentile on the advanced psychology section of the Graduate Record Examination.

If the student chooses to complete the program without a thesis, he or she must complete 40 credits (including the two mandatory courses). If a student chooses to complete the program with a thesis, 31 credits are required. In either case, the student must maintain a minimum Grade Point Average of 3.0.

Students choosing the thesis option are required to enroll in B9900 for which they receive 3 credits with no grade until they complete their thesis. Most students will also enroll for B9800 for at least one semester prior to B9900 while they develop their thesis plans and complete the proposal.


Q.: I do not have a psychology background. Can I still apply to the program?

A.: Yes. Our program welcomes students with different academic backgrounds; however some demonstration of psychology pedagogy such as introduction to psychology and statistics courses is a must. If you have fulfilled those two courses with at least a B you can apply and be admitted with the condition that you take experimental/research methods at the undergrad level, not for master’s credit, in your first year and earn at least a B. You would be able to take MA classes simultaneously.

Q.: I did not take any statistics or research methods classes as an undergraduate. What are the steps I can take in order to qualify?

A.: You must take the classes as a non-matriculated student either at CCNY or outside of CCNY.

Q.: I have not taken an Experimental Psychology course in undergraduate studies, but I took Research Methods. Does that qualify to apply to the program?

A.: Yes. Research Methods is likely the same course by another name. Different schools use either.

Q.: What do you look for in a successful applicant?

A.: We look for applicants who are likely to be successful at graduate school and demonstrate evidence that they will be able to perform well academically. Our program is research directed and requires strong statistics and research methods skills at the graduate level. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in order to graduate from the program.

Q.: Is the GRE required?

A.: Yes. It is a requirement for all students regardless of what you received in a statistics course as an undergraduate. GRE is required because most applicants apply for a PHD program, and performing well in the GRE is very important for that.

Q.: My undergraduate GPA is lower than 3.0, what can I do to improve my chances of getting into the program?

A.: You may take the following steps to demonstrate your eligibility as an applicant:

  • Provide a thorough explanation in your personal statement as to why your undergraduate GPA is lower than 3.0.
  • Take courses as a non-matriculated student and demonstrate that you do well in graduate-level courses.

The admissions committee considers all components of the application. Strong letters of recommendation, a transcript trajectory or improvement, high GRE score, and a personal statement explaining effectively the poor grades can offset a low GPA.

Q.: What is the typical class size?

A.: Master’s courses are usually conducted as seminars, consisting of 15-25 students.

Q.: Can I enroll in the program part-time?

A.: Yes. Most students are part-time. You pay for the number of credits you take, and you move toward completion by how many credits you take.

Q.: Do you offer weekend classes?

A.: No. There are no weekend classes.

Q.: Can I schedule a meeting with the program’s representative?

A.: Prospective applicants are advised to reach out to the director of the program, Dr. Vivien Tartter with any inquiries via email at  

Q.: When is the deadline to apply?

A.: Spring - November 15th

Fall - April 15th

Q.: How do I apply?

A.: Please visit the CCNY’s Graduate Admissions official website to learn more about the application process.

Applications typically require the following:

  • The complete application form
  • Application fee
  • Personal statement
  • Two letters of recommendation (at least one letter should be academic).
  • Resume/CV
  • Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.
  • Test scores such as GRE & TOEFL

Q.: Where do I send application materials?

A.: All application materials should be submitted online via the Apply Yourself website. Nothing should be mailed to the program director or to the department directly. All supporting documents such as official transcripts, application fee, and any other supporting materials should be mailed to the Office of Admissions at:

Wille Administration Building, Room 101
160 Convent Avenue
New York, NY 10031


II.  Psychology Masters in Mental Health Counseling


For less in tuition costs than other programs!

The City College Mental Health Counseling program provides educational and career opportunities to New York residents, satisfying the new state requirements for licensure as a mental health counselor.  For more information about these requirements, please visit the New York State Education Department website.

The Department of Psychology offers a Master of Arts Degree in Mental Health Counseling with a focus on prevention and community development. The curriculum provides a thorough foundation in the theory and practice of counseling for the prevention and amelioration of psychological distress. Prevention strategies and the application of counseling principles to the larger community context are central features of each course's content. The Masters in Mental Health Counseling program provides an opportunity for an education in a high demand, high growth career area.

The program is designed primarily for students who have completed a baccalaureate degree in Psychology or a Masters degree in General Psychology and who wish to obtain training needed to be effective counselors to people in need of assistance with psychological adjustment and development.

Students in the program will study theories of psychological development, learn to evaluate the effectiveness of programs, examine issues related to the ethics of providing counseling, appreciate the need to understand the cultural backgrounds of people they counsel, and be exposed to problems that may develop when working in various sites (clinics, schools, hospitals etc.) in the community.

Admissions Cycle

The MHC program accepts new cohorts in the Fall only. Please see the City College Admissions website to check admission deadlines.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants must have an undergraduate degree with good grades.  An undergraduate major in psychology is preferred; however, students with another major who have completed courses in introduction to psychology, developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, psychological statistics and experimental psychology (or an equivalent course in psychological research) will be considered.  Applicants should also have had some type of hands-on experience working with others in a helping capacity, either through work or by volunteering; applicants should include in the application a letter of reference from someone familiar with the way they performed in that capacity.  To apply for admission to the Mental Health Counseling Program, please visit the City College Admissions website


The curriculum offers courses in various aspects of understanding psychological adjustment including etiology, development, diagnosis of, and counseling for, psychological distress in general, and more specifically in areas such as substance abuse, learning disabilities, and mood and anxiety concerns.  The program also incorporates training in the creation, maintenance, and evaluation of, community-based interventions to prevent and treat disorders.

The degree requires 60 credits to be completed in two years, four or five classes taken in each of four semesters.  Students are required to enroll in at least four classes in each of four semesters.  Classes are commonly scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:00 - 4:30 PM and 5:00 - 7:30 PM with one 10 AM - 12:30 PM course usually on Tuesdays.  To be accepted into the program, students must agree to commit to this schedule.  We are sorry that we are unable to accept part-time students into the program.

The Two-Year Sequence
Semester 1    
  • V2000 - Developmental Psychology
  • V6532 - Theories and Techniques of Counseling
  • V5500 - Psychopathology
  • V6584 - Professional Orientation and Ethics
  • V6540 - Trauma and Resilience
Semester 2
  • V6556 - Group Dynamics and Group Counseling
  • V6575 - Assessment & Appraisal of Individuals, Couples, Families and Groups
  • V6587 - Clinical Instruction/EBT
  • V7000 - Drug and Alcohol Abuse Diagnosis & Treatment
  • V6597 - Foundations of Mental Health    Counseling and Consultation
Semester 3
  • V6560 - Multicultural Issues in Counseling
  • V6563 - Research and Program Evaluation
  • V6582 - Counseling Adolescents
  • V6589 - Practicum in Counseling I
  • V6593 - Family and Couples Counseling I
Semester 4   
  • V6564 - Psychoeducational and Community Interventions
  • V6590 - Practicum in Counseling II
  • V6591 - Lifestyle and Career Development
  • V6594 - Family and Couples Counseling II

Plus one elective course to be taken as desired.

If you have any questions or would like more information about the program,

please contact Dr. William King (  or 212-650-7380).


Q.: What is the Masters of Mental Health Program?
A.: It is a two year, full time, 60 credit master’s program, accredited by the State of New York, given by the Department of Psychology, situated in the Colin Powell School of Civic and Global Leadership at The City College of New York.

Q.: Is the Program Accredited?
A.: Yes, we are accredited by the New York State department of education. Graduates are automatically eligible to take the licensing exam once they fulfill the state post graduate supervised work requirement.

Q.What is the Deadline for Applications?
A.: February 1st is the deadline.
However, applications complete by Jan 1 will receive a decision by march 1

Q.: How do I Apply for Admission?
A.: Go to the Graduate Admissions page on the College website.
please check The City College admissions website for more information.

Q.Do you accept students for the spring semester?
A.: No, we only accept students for the fall semester of each year.

Q.How many students apply for the program and how many are accepted?
A.: In recent years we have received between 120 and 140 applications and we have accepted 20- 25 applicants.

Q.What academic requirements must be met to be eligible for admission?
A.: The minimum requirements are classes in introductory psychology, child development, abnormal psychology, psychological statistics, experimental psychology, or their equivalents. However, most applicants have completed a bachelor’s degree majoring in psychology.

Q.What is the minimum grade point average to be considered for admission?
A.: in general, we expect applicants to have an overall gpa of at least 3.2 and a gpa in psychology of at least 3.5. Moreover, we expect students to earn at least b’s in their undergraduate psychological statistics and experimental psychology classes.

Q.Do students who do not meet these academic criteria have any chance of being considered for admission?
A.: We try to be flexible in our evaluations and examine each transcript in detail taking into account the nature of the courses completed and whether the student shows improvement towards the end of their undergraduate training.

Q.What other requirements are there aside from academics?
A.: Applicants are expected to have supervised work or volunteer experience helping others and be able to substantiate that experience by providing a letter from their supervisor. They are also required participate in an interview with faculty as part of their evaluation for admission. On the basis of the quality of their written materials, we invite approximately 40 potential students for interviews.

Q.: Are letters of reference required?
A.: Yes, at least two letters (three are requested) we request that at least one be from a supervisor and one from an academic instructor.

Q.: Are the GRE’s required?
A.: No

Q.: What are the minimal TOEFL scores for Foreign students?
A.Minimum TOEFL/IELTS scores: 550 (PBT), 79-80 (IBT) or 6.5.

Q.Will classes taken years ago be accepted?
A.: We have no set policy but expect some classes to be within the last five years.

Q.: Do you take part-time students?
A.: No. We require students to be able to take five classes for three consecutive semesters and four classes in the fourth semester while completing 600 hours of practicum work (approximately 20 hours per week in each of the last two semesters).

Q.When are classes scheduled?
: Classes are scheduled on Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 to noon, 2pm to 4:30pm and from 5pm to 7:30pm.

Q.Is it possible to work while completing the program.
A.: It is very difficult to work more than 20 hours per week as students must be full time and carry five classes per semester. Taking the elective in the summer or during the winter session makes the load during a semester easier. It is difficult to work much during the third and fourth semesters as practicum takes up about 20 hours per week in addition to the required classes.

Q.Can students find their own placements for the required practicums?
A.: The program must approve all placements and provides list of institutions in which our students have worked. Students are encouraged to suggest placement opportunities. Placements are competitive. All our students have found placements if they began their search in the spring semester prior to the fall in which their placements’ must begin.

Q.: If I am accepted and discover that I cannot attend may I defer admission?
A.: Students may defer beginning the program for one year after which they must file a new application.

Q.: Are there research opportunities?
A.: There are many faculties engaged in research in the department.  Students may volunteer to work under supervision; however, the MHC degree is designed to train students to be professional counselors and there is little time available to be involved in research unless students opt to extend their time.

Q.: Is funding available? 
A.: There is no funding for MHC students, however, the financial aid office can help students apply for loans.  For those with the experience there are often teaching assistantships or even adjunct teaching positions available. Also, some of our students have applied for and been awarded Colin Powell fellowships.

Q.Can I transfer classes from another institution.
A.: No more than 9 credits to be transferred from other accredited graduate programs. In all cases the classes must be approved by the director of the program. First semester classes must be approved before the first day of classes.

Q.: What is the tuition?
A.: As of spring 2016, in-state tuition is $5,065 per semester for full time students and $425 per credit.
For nonresidents the cost is $780 a credit or $11,700 for 15 credits.
Please check The City Collage Bursar’s website for the latest tuition and fees.

Q.: what is the sequence of required classes?

Semester 1   Fall      

Theories and techniques of counseling v6532    
Ethics and reporting child maltreatment v6584
Psychopathology v5500 
Trauma and resilience v6540
Developmental psychology. V2000

Semester 2   Spring

Evidence-based treatments v6587
Foundations on mental health counseling v6597
Assessment & diagnosis of individuals, families, and groups v6575
Drug and alcohol abuse diagnosis & treatment v7000             
Group dynamics and group counseling  v6556 

Semester 3  Fall      

Multicultural issues in counseling v6560
Counseling children and teens v6582
Practicum in counseling I v6589
Family and couples counseling I v6593
Research and program evaluation v6563

Semester 4   Spring       

Lifestyle and career development v6591
Practicum in counseling II v6590
Psychoeducation and community-based interventions v6564
Family and couples counseling II v6594
Elective (may be taken in any semester or summer session)