Masters (MA) in Social and Behavioral Studies

Masters in Social and Behavioral Studies (MA degree)

Effective Summer 2018


The Master of Arts in Social and Behavioral Studies degree will equip graduates to serve in the broader field of human services.  Students who choose this option are not seeking a clinical degree and do not anticipate serving as a licensed mental health professional.

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates will:

  • Articulate a holistic, multi-faceted, respectful understanding of persons in context.
  • Listen effectively and in an informed way to people and their needs.
  • Collaborate with mental health professionals in various community, school and ecclesiastical organizations for people to receive the help that they need.
  • Serve in any of a variety of ways and settings in the human services arena in a non-clinical capacity. 

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. A cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or above is required. The undergraduate degree does not have to be in the field of psychology.
  • Completed Application Form at
  • $40 non-refundable application fee
  • Résumé of work and/or volunteer experience
  • Written admission statement addressing the question provided in the Application Form
  • One academic reference form and one professional reference form
  • An official transcript from each college or university attended
  • Group interview with the Admissions Committee. An invitation will be extended to those meeting initial program criteria.

The Admissions Committee will consider each application item and the Group Interview as part of the admissions decision.

Additional requirements for international students are online here.

Transfer Credit

No transfer credit is allowed toward the Master of Arts in Social and Behavioral Studies program. Transferability of credits earned at this institution and transferred to another is at the discretion of the receiving institution. Consult the registrar's office for information on eligibility of transfer credit.

Residence Requirements

All 36 hours must be taken in resident study at George Fox University. Reinstatement to the program after withdrawal requires Admissions Committee action and may subject the student to additional requirements for the degree.

Course Requirements

The MA in Social and Behavioral Studies program is generally 3 years in length with 36 semester hours of coursework required as a minimum for graduation. However, some students may complete the program in 2-4 years, based on individual requirements and schedules.  Of those hours, 5 are in prescribed spiritual integration courses, 25 in prescribed counseling courses, and 6 in counseling or trauma response or other coursework approved by the Graduate School of Counseling Faculty.

Other Degree Requirements

Each student must complete a minimum of 20 clock hours of personal counseling/therapy as part of the MA in Social and Behavioral Studies program. Graduate School of Counseling faculty will review students each fall and spring semester. For more specific information, please refer to the student handbook.

Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate with the MA in Social and Behavioral Studies degree students must:

  • Satisfactorily complete a minimum of 36 semester hours with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Achieve no grade lower than a B in all courses. If a grade of a B- or lower is received in a required course, that course must be retaken (for more specific information, please refer to the student handbook).
  • Complete 20 clock hours of personal counseling/therapy

Curriculum Plan

Spiritual Integration (5 hours)
GCEP 561 Spirituality and Clinical Praxis 3
GCEP 577 Images of God or GCEP 579 Spiritual Identity 1
GCEP 578 Shame and Grace 1
Counseling Core (25 hours)
GCEP 500 Introduction to Couple and Family Therapy
GCEP 501 Principles and Techniques of Counseling 3
GCEP 510 Human Growth and Development 3
GCEP 520 Personality and Counseling Theory 3
GCEP 530 Psychopathology and Appraisal or GCEP 504 Child and Adolescent Disorders or GCEP 547 Personality and Behavioral Assessment* 3
GCEP 534 Human Sexuality 2
GCEP 554 Addictions 2
GCEP 566 Research Methods and Statistics 2
GCEP 567 Cultural Foundations and Social Justice 3
GCEP 587 Interpersonal Neurobiology and Pharmacology 1
Counseling Electives (6 hours)
Students must select 6 credits of electives from any additional GCEP or TRMA coursework 6


*If a student takes GCEP 547 Personality & Behavioral Assessment the 4th semester hour can apply toward the required elective hours for the degree.

Counseling Course Descriptions