Master of Science (M.S.) Program in Clinical Psychology

Graduate study in the helping professions rooted in psychology and the Catholic tradition.


Admissions Information for M.S. in Clinical Psychology

Master of Science (M.S.) Program in Clinical Psychology

There are two parts to the application process: the application materials and the personal interviews. Interviews are required for the M.S. Clinical Program.

Once the application is complete and approved by the Admission Committee, which is comprised of faculty and appointed by the department chair, applicants are invited to interview.

Application Deadlines (both M.S. and Psy.D. deadlines included)

Psy.D. application deadline (for external applicants) October 1
Psy.D. application deadline (for current M.S. IPS students) November 1
Psy.D. interview deadline December 6
Psy.D. decision letters mailed December 18
M.S. early admission application deadline December 20
M.S. early admission interview deadline January 31
M.S. application deadline (to be considered for financial aid) March 1
M.S. early admission decision letters mailed February 15
Financial Aid application deadline March 15
M.S. interview deadline (to be considered for financial aid) April 1
M.S. admission decision letters mailed April 15
Financial Aid letters mailed April 15
Deposit due for incoming students May 1
Final M.S. application deadline (space permitting) June 30


Financial Aid deadline: The deadline to apply for financial aid is March 15

  • Submit your IPS application to the Admissions Department
  • Be sure to complete the Financial Aid section of the IPS application (page 3, Section VI)
  • Complete the U.S. Department of Education’s On-Line Entrance Counseling Program
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Students wishing to take only a single course-for-credit and students desiring to audit may apply and register as space allows. (See the section on Course-for-Credit and Audit for instructions).

Admission Process – M.S. in Clinical Psychology Program

The Admission Committee reviews completed applications only, for each applicant seeking admission. For an application to be considered complete, each applicant must submit the following to the Office of Admissions:

• Application form with personal statements as instructed on the form (form can be downloaded here, or is available from the Office of Admissions);

• Three (3) letters of recommendation capable of evaluating the applicant’s academic preparedness for graduate work in psychology, philosophy, and theology. Download form here.

• Official transcripts from all institutions attended, each in an official sealed envelope. (International students must submit a comprehensive course-by-course evaluation from an approved service, or

• GRE scores – General Test Score – taken within the last five years, submitted directly to the Institute from the Educational Testing Service (IPS school code 5639)

• Non-refundable application fee ($55)

• (For those who do not have English as their first language) Test scores of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Test System (IELTS), if applicable, submitted directly to IPS by the testing agency (IPS school code 5639).

Applicants holding degrees from outside the United States must arrange to have any international transcript(s) translated and a “Course-by-Course” evaluation completed and sent directly to IPS from an approved evaluation service (i.e., or Official transcripts must also be sent directly to IPS from the institution(s).

It is the applicant’s responsibility to arrange for the forwarding of official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate schools attended, and to ensure that all required application materials reach the Office of Admissions before the intended deadline(s).

Once all required forms, fees, and documents are received, the Admission Committee will contact all qualified applicants to the M.S. Program in Clinical Psychology to schedule onsite personal interviews.  The applicant is responsible for all personal transportation costs associated with these interviews. Scheduling of interviews is done through the Office of Admissions and must take place by the indicated deadline(s).

Admission Requirements – Master’s Program

Admission to the Master’s Program in Clinical Psychology, requires that a student submit a completed application and have completed a baccalaureate degree and graduated from a regionally- accredited academic institution with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

In considering applicants to the M.S. Program, the faculty Admission Committee overall considers the following factors: cumulative undergraduate GPA and undergraduate record (and graduate GPA if applicable); GRE scores; letters of recommendation; essay answers on the application; interview responses (for the clinical program, and general program if required), clinical suitability (for the clinical program), scholastic aptitude, interpersonal skills, and TOEFL or IELTS scores (where applicable).

Applicants whose native language is not English must have taken the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) within the past two years. TOEFL scores must be at least 100 on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT), 250 on the computer-based (CBT), and 600 on the paper- based (PBT) version. Academic IELTS scores must fall into the overall band of at least 7.0, with no individual band scores below 6.0. Test results must be sent directly from the testing agency, which only make them available for up to two years from the test date.

IPS recommends, but does not require, that applicants complete a minimum of 18 credit hours of coursework in basic psychology content areas (e.g., abnormal, developmental, experimental, physiological, and social psychology, statistics, tests and measures, learning and motivation, or personality theory) prior to entering the program. However, applicants with little or no previous coursework in psychology will be considered for admission. If admitted, such applicants will be required to take additional coursework offered by the Institute during the first year of their program to make up for these deficiencies.

Background Check

Applicants who are admitted and become IPS students should be aware that they will be required to be fingerprinted and to pass a background check prior to beginning work with clients in their external practicum or internships.

International Students

The Institute can accept foreign applicants who are in the United States as dependents of someone in the country on a work visa.  The Institute can also accept students in the country on F-1 and R-1 visas.  International students are required to maintain valid immigration status throughout their stay at the Institute.  In most cases, this requires that the student be enrolled full-time for two consecutive semesters out of every year.  A person whose immigration status is not valid is not considered a current student, and cannot register for classes, participate in the Institute’s activities, or apply for readmission or admission to a degree program.

For any coursework completed outside the United States, please see instructions for the translation and/or evaluation of foreign transcripts.

Course-for-Credit or Audit

A limited selection of master’s-level courses may be taken on a course-for-credit or audit basis by non-degree seeking students holding an appropriate baccalaureate degree. Any person wishing to apply to register on a course-for-credit or audit basis must submit a completed application, official undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) transcript(s), and the required application fee ($35). Personal statements, GRE scores, letters of recommendation and interviews are not required. The application is reviewed and approved by the Chair of the department and registration will be subject to the enrollment limitations that follow.

Only the following courses are eligible to be taken by non-degree students (unless special permission is received from the Department Chair and Academic Dean): PHT 502, PHT 535, PHT 614, PHT 633, PHT 635, PSY 500, PSY 503, PSY 504, PSY 605. Students receiving permission to register course-for-credit or audit are not admitted nor guaranteed admission to a degree program. Enrollment is subject to limitations of class size, with priority given to students enrolled for credit, any special requirements for auditing a particular class, and the exclusion of auditors from a particular class or a given type of class.

For students registering on a course-for-credit or audit basis, attendance is required (see “Class Attendance”). Auditing students will not be obliged to complete any of the class requirements. No academic credit is awarded for auditing a course.

A student currently taking a course on an audit basis may petition to take the course on a course-for-credit basis through the Office of Enrollment Services. The petition must be presented and approved prior to the commencement of the third scheduled week of classes. Students who have previously audited a class for which they later wish to receive credit may later re-enroll in the same course, for credit, by registering and paying the regular registration fee. Students who have previously audited a class, and who are now taking the course for credit are required to complete the assignments for the course as outlined by the current syllabus for that class, including any requirements for class participation, papers, and examinations. The student may, however, petition the instructor and Academic Dean in writing for a modification of the Institute’s class attendance.

Criteria for Transfer of Credit

Graduate credits are transferable from regionally accredited institutions. Courses considered for transfer must have been completed within a period of six years prior to acceptance into the Institute’s programs. Exceptions to this time limit may be granted for applicants who have been actively involved in the field in which the degree was earned on a continuous basis prior to admission. Extension, continuing education, or in-service courses that are not intended by the institution offering the courses as part of a degree program are not acceptable for transfer credit to the Institute. No graduate credit can be awarded for undergraduate-level courses.

Students admitted to the M.S. Program in Clinical Psychology or General Psychology may transfer a maximum of nine credit hours. Students admitted to the Psy.D. Program may petition for the transfer of a maximum of 18 credit hours. All transfer courses must have been earned at a graduate-level program in a regionally accredited college or university.

Transfer of graduate credits earned at other institutions is not automatic. Only graduate credit for courses determined to be equivalent to courses offered at the Institute can be transferred for course credit. In addition, only courses for which a grade of B (3.0) or better is obtained will be considered for transfer.

Applicants should note that given the unique mission of the Institute, certain courses completed at other academic institutions may differ significantly in content, although a similar title is given to the course at both institutions. Therefore, the following courses typically are not eligible for transfer from another institution:

PHT 502 Philosophical and Theological Anthropology
PHT 535 The Catholic Vision of Spiritual Maturity
PHT 614 Practical Reasoning and Moral Character
PHT 635 Theology of Marriage and Family
PSY 512 Law, Ethics, and Psychology
PSY 516 Basic Interviewing and Clinical Skills
PSY 609 Adult Psychotherapy
PSY 610 Child Psychotherapy
PSY 611 Marital Psychotherapy
PSY 724 Advanced Adult Psychotherapy
PSY 734 Advanced Child, Marriage, and Family Therapy I
PSY 735 Advanced Child, Marriage, and Family Therapy II
PSY 736 Child Psychopathology
PSY 836 Advanced Personality Assessment

Students wishing to apply for transfer of credit to the Institute must be enrolled in a degree program and must submit the appropriate transfer of credit form (obtained from the Office of Enrollment Services) to the Program Director prior to the end of the second semester in which they are enrolled in their degree program. This request will be reviewed by the Department Chair who will notify the student of the decision regarding the request.

Life Experiences and Course Exemptions

IPS does not permit course exemptions for life experiences.

Deferral of Enrollment

Admission is granted only for the semester to which the applicant applies. Deferral of enrollment does not guarantee deferral of financial aid package. Those failing to register for the semester for which they have received acceptance can request that their application remain active for up to two years from the year for which they originally applied, provided:

1) the applicant understands that admission to a future semester is not guaranteed and their application will be re-considered with the pool of applicants for the year they choose to apply;
2) the request to maintain an active application file must be received in writing by the Office of Admissions prior to August 15 of the year for which they were offered enrollment;
3) the applicant confirms to the Office of Admissions his or her desire to be re-considered for admission prior to January 1 of the year for which they would like to enroll. This confirmation comprises updated materials for their file to reflect their work or study since the time of their original application, including:
a. personal Statement “A” explaining how their current goals coincide with study at IPS;
b. official transcripts reflecting any academic work completed since the original submission;
c. at least one letter of recommendation from a professor or employer which reflects the applicant’s accomplishments or abilities;
d. test scores (GRE, and TOEFL or IELTS, if applicable). Students must re-take tests if test scores have expired prior to enrollment
e. admission or degree requirements adopted since original application may be required as well;
f. application fee of $55; and,
4) interviews may or may not be required at the discretion of the Admission Committee

Re-Application for Admission of Previously-Enrolled Student

Students who have withdrawn from the Institute in good standing may re-apply for admission. If their re-application is within three years of their withdrawal, they are not required to re-submit official transcripts from their education prior to IPS but should be prepared to submit the following:
1) revised application form, including updated contact information;
2) revised Personal Statement “A,” stating the reasons for their desire to return to complete their studies at IPS;
3) official transcripts reflecting any academic work completed during the time they have been away from IPS;
4) at least one letter of recommendation from a professor or employer which reflects the applicant’s accomplishments or abilities in the time they have been away from IPS; and,
5) application fee of $55.

The student will be required to adhere to the admission and degree requirements adopted since original matriculation or to special requirements imposed as a condition of re-admission, such as repetition of certain examinations or courses.

If it has been more than three years since the student’s withdrawal they must re-submit all application materials as required by the Office of Admissions.

Students who have financial obligations to the Institute are ineligible until these obligations are satisfied.

Statement of Non-Discrimination

The Institute admits qualified students of any age, race, gender, color, nationality or ethnic origin to its programs. Applicants should understand that the central mission of the Institute for the Psychological Sciences is the development of a Christian approach to the psychological sciences. The Institute welcomes qualified students of any religious faith; nonetheless, all students who seek admission must sincerely desire to share the Institute’s mission and objectives. Given its distinct and unique goal of integrating psychology with the Catholic view of the person, the degree programs at the Institute differ from traditional psychology programs in their approach, while maintaining the rigor in both the quantity and quality of clinical training.


Tambi Spitz
Director of Admissions
703.416.1441 x 117