Academic Experience

The University of Washington Master of Arts in Applied Child & Adolescent Psychology: Prevention & Treatment program combines rigorous academics with hands-on clinical experience to prepare students to deliver effective mental health services to children and teens.

A Curriculum With an Emphasis on Evidence-Based Practice

Program courses are designed to give you a theoretical foundation in child psychology and prepare you to diagnose and treat mental health disorders in children and adolescents.

By the end of the program, you’ll be able to:

  • Diagnose psychosocial difficulties and disorders in children and youth
  • Select, tailor and deliver interventions based on evidence-based practices
  • Assess and analyze prevention and intervention needs for specific therapeutic or educational contexts
  • Implement strategies for successful professional interactions (e.g., mindfulness, effective listening and effective verbal and written communication)
  • Understand and be able to apply ethical principles in the delivery of interventions for children and youth

Pathway to Licensure as a LMHC

therapist and child

For those seeking to become a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) in the state of Washington, the Master of Arts in Applied Child & Adolescent Psychology: Prevention & Treatment degree is designed to equip graduates with the foundational competencies to meet licensing requirements.

Each state has its own distinct licensing requirements. If you graduate from our program and would like to be licensed outside of Washington state, you will likely be required to take additional coursework to fulfill licensing requirements for that state. It is your responsibility to consider this issue as you determine whether to apply to our program. We advise that you research the licensing requirements in the state(s) in which you might want to practice.

For more information, see the Preparation for Licensure section. 

Program Format

Our 48-credit* program can be completed in five quarters on a full-time schedule (summer quarter through summer quarter) or a little over two years attending part time. Courses meet during the afternoon and evening on the UW campus in Seattle. In the first summer, some weekend classes are required. 

The program includes a significant practicum component. Most practicum assignments begin in mid-to-late September and last about one calendar year. Part-time students do their practicum in their second year. 

Students spend an average of 16 hours (two full workdays) a week on their practicum work. The student and the practicum site supervisor collaborate to arrange the schedule.

*The UW Graduate School is reviewing an increase from 48 to 52 credits for the 2022–2023 academic year.