Phillips Graduate University
| Staff Writers
Phillips Graduate University was originally called the California Family Study Center in 1971 by pioneering therapists Dr. Clinton E. Phillips and T. David Jansen. It was the United States’ first free-standing MFT program focused on human relationships. By 1992, the name was changed to Phillips Graduate Institute to honor the American Institute of Family Relations’ founder. With around 260 current students, Phillips has trained over 3,000 licensed therapists as a graduate, mental health higher education institution. Based on Plummer Street, PGU stands in the San Fernando Valley within Los Angeles’ suburb of Chatsworth, California. Phillips Graduate University is presently ranked the 103rd best “Gay-Friendly School” in America on LGBT-Colleges.com.
Phillips Graduate University Accreditation Details
Last reaffirmed in February 2016, Phillips Graduate University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission. This means that Phillips’ nine academic programs have Title IV eligibility from the U.S. Department of Education. Master’s degrees are aligned to meet the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) licensing qualifications. The MFT in Art Therapy has approval from the American Art Therapy Association (AATA). School counseling coursework is also recognized by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC).
Phillips Graduate University Application Requirements
Classified as “selective,” Phillips Graduate University solely admits adults at a median age of 37 who’ve finished four-year bachelor’s education at a regionally accredited college. Having majored in psychology or counseling is preferred to fulfill the 12 units of social science prerequisites with a “B” or better. The MFT in Art Therapy also requires 18 units of studio art like drawing or 3-D design. Regular Admission Standing mandates a minimum 3.0 GPA overall, but lower grades are considered conditionally. International learners are welcomed if English fluency is proved with a TOEFL iBT over 80 or IELTS above 6.0.
Phillips Graduate University sets priority deadlines of April 17th for Fall and November 1st for Spring enrollment. Interested applicants must schedule an interview and complete the online Application for Admission form with the following:
• Payment of the $80 fee by credit card
• Official transcripts from each college
• Resume or CV of experience and honors
• Two signed recommendation forms
• Ten original prints of artwork (MFT in Art Therapy only)
• Copies of teaching certificates if applicable
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Tuition and Financial Aid
Master’s and PPS Credential courses at Phillips Graduate University cost $854 per unit. At the doctoral level, PsyD courses charge $894 each unit. All students are billed $375 each semester for administrative and technology fees. Clinical placement training also provides a fee of $200 per term. Students pursuing the master’s degrees full-time can expect paying $22,954 annually, whereas full-time doctoral candidates pay $22,206 per year. Graduate health insurance premiums are generally $1,877 each semester or $3,064 annually.
PGU awards financial assistance to 100 percent of full-time students ranging from $500 to full-tuition. United States citizens or eligible non-citizens filing the FAFSA form could borrow up to $20,500 through Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford and Graduate PLUS loans. This interest-accruing debt could be eradicated with the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program. “Golden State” residents may have earned funds like the California Dream Act, Middle Class Scholarship, or APLE for Credentialed Teachers. Based on need, Phillips will fulfill Federal Work-Study jobs for at least the minimum wage of $10.50. The Financial Aid Office can help scholars find outside awards like the APA’s Visionary Grant or Eric A. Harris, EdD Grant.
Studying Psychology and Counseling at Phillips
Phillips Graduate University focuses on the “helping” professions by providing five psychology and counseling programs as well as the Child Welfare and Attendance (CWA) Credential. Since 1971, students have developed their therapeutic skills in the on-site David H. Fox Counseling Center’s client rooms with one-way mirrors. Courses are taken in Chatsworth either one weekday or Saturday per week from 8am-5pm. The 11:1 student-faculty ratio keeps learners connected to PhD-level professors trained at CSU Northridge, Arizona State, Pepperdine, and more. Aspiring mental health practitioners could pursue these Phillips degrees:
MA in Marriage & Family Therapy
Leading to LMFT licensure, the MA in Marriage & Family Therapy at Phillips trains post-bachelor’s students on the theoretical frameworks for relational-based intervention with couples and families. The 60-unit curriculum spans five semesters with a three-hour Case Conference session and 15+ practicum hours weekly. Students can join the MFT Consortium of Greater Los Angeles while finishing 450 total hours at agencies like Valley Therapy Center and Northridge Hospital.
MFT in Art Therapy
Founded in 1999, the MFT in Art Therapy confers a 64-unit Master of Arts in Psychology for Phillips graduates interested in California LMFT licensure and the Art Therapy Registration (ATR). Master’s clinicians combine courses like interpersonal neurobiology with studio sessions in painting and sculpture to promote healing in couples and families via artistic expression. By graduation, students will finish 700 practicum hours, including 350 hours of direct client contact.
MA/PPS in School Psychology
Spanning three years full-time, the MA/PPS in School Psychology is a 64-unit, CCTC-approved program leading to the Pupil Personnel Services Credential for Phillips students interested in enhancing the academic and mental health of K-12 youth. Courses will range from research design to developmental psychology and aptitude testing with time in the Psychological Assessment Lab. After 450 practicum hours, NCSP candidates complete a 1,200-hour internship at nearly schools like Superior Street Elementary or Burbank High.
MA/PPS in School Counseling
Featuring a built-in Child Abuse Workshop, Phillips’ MA/PPS in School Counseling is another option to pass the CBEST Test and earn the Pupil Personnel Services Credential for caring, ethical practice with youth under age 21. Completing the 55-unit curriculum takes five semesters for advanced courses like developmental assessment, 700 hours of field experience at 34 partnering California districts, and a professional project. Graduates could return for the Co-Occurring Disorders Program too.
PsyD in Organizational Management & Consulting
Consisting of 96 units, the PsyD in Organizational Management & Consulting is an eight-semester, doctoral program for scholars to engage in research-based practice that helps businesses make positive changes. OMC students complete two 14-week field practica consulting with companies like Anisa Rashad Enterprises LLC, Mobile Film Classroom, the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce. Instead of a dissertation, Phillips Graduate University requires presenting a two-part portfolio project.
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