Practicum Counselor Training Program

The USC Student Counseling Services offers a two semester, 23 hours per week advanced practicum program. This is an excellent opportunity for clinical experience within a university counseling center and to gain skills in short-term therapy as well as outreach and consultation. The 2016-2017 training program will be from August 15, 2016 – May 12, 2017.

Program Description

Advanced practicum trainees will be involved with clients at the Student Counseling Services and the USC campus community in the following ways. Each trainee:

  • Carries a case-load of 8-10 clients each semester
  • Conducts intakes
  • Receives one hour of individual supervision with a psychology intern in our APA-accredited internship program and an additional hour from a licensed psychologist
  • Receives 1.5 hours of group supervision
  • May participate in group process observation training, if scheduling allows
  • Participates in consultation and outreach programming

The following are regular weekly activities required for participation in the Practicum Training program:

  • Attendance at All Staff meetings Monday mornings at 11 a.m.
  • Participation in group supervision and Practicum Administrative meeting Monday afternoons from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Attendance at Professional Development Series from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

When appropriate, practicum students are encouraged, but not required, to explore historical influences and personal data which may affect subsequent clinical practice. The Training Program functions in a manner consistent with the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (2002, including 2010 amendments), Standard 7.04: Student Disclosure of Personal Information.

A mandatory orientation program commences in August of the training year. It includes training modules in short-term psychotherapy, diagnosis and assessment, psychiatric consultation, crisis intervention, ethical and legal concerns, wellness, working with diverse client populations, outreach and consultation, and other relevant topics.


Enrollment required in the clinical psychology doctoral program at either Alliant International University, Los Angeles; Pepperdine University; University of La Verne (Clinical-Community Psychology Doctoral program); or the University of Southern California. Please know, candidates may not apply to our internship program during the same year they are a practicum student.

Application Process

Required materials include a letter of interest, vita, transcript (official not required), and three letters of recommendation from a licensed clinician. Application needs to be postmarked or emailed by Friday, February 19, 2016. Interviews will take place in March. Please contact:

Susan Ramirez, PhD
Interim Coordinator of Practicum Training
Student Counseling Services
1031 West 34th Street, Suite 304
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3261
Phone: (213) 740-7711
Fax: (213) 740-6815

About Us

The Student Counseling Services (SCS) is part of the Engemann Student Health Center on the University Park Campus.

USC Student Counseling Services is staffed by twelve psychologists, two psychiatrists, four social workers, two marriage and family therapists, and three administrative staff. We have a large training program that includes: four pre-doctoral interns, one sports psychology post-doctoral fellow, four practicum counselors, two social work interns and one MFT intern.

We provide mental health treatment for students, including short-term psychotherapy, couples counseling, group counseling and crisis intervention. We also provide extensive outreach to students. As related to student needs, we provide mental health consultation to faculty and staff. Our staff assists students with not only the normative developmental issues that one might anticipate in a college counseling setting (e.g., intimate relationships, individuation, cultural adjustment and identity development), but also with more serious or longstanding struggles (e.g., major depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and psychosis). Our clients are diverse in terms of their sexual orientations, ethnicities, ages, gender identity, religions, socio-economic statuses, abilities and cultural backgrounds.

About USC

USC is a private university, established in 1880. It is a world-class research university and the oldest private research university in the West. It is known for its nationally renowned competitive sports teams. The diverse student population is made-up of approximately 40,000 students: 18,000 undergraduates and 22,000 graduate and professional students. Fourteen percent of the incoming first year students are classified as first-generation college students. USC attracts students from all over the United States and the world.


The University of Southern California is located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the most vibrant and culturally diverse cities in the world. The campus is positioned near both beaches and mountains; The University Park Campus is tree-lined campus and graced with an abundance of beautiful fountains. It is situated across the street from a complex of museums on one side and the Shrine Auditorium (home to the Emmys, Grammys, etc.) on the other side.

The University is in close proximity to downtown Los Angeles, a hub of entertainment, offering theater, opera, classical concert halls as well the Los Angeles Philharmonic, a major sports arena, museums, and historical landmarks. Additionally, the greater Los Angeles area offers many activities including arts and entertainment, movie screenings, chance encounters with movie stars, parades, fairs, theme parks, all sorts of sporting events (professional and college), and a vast array of restaurants and cuisines. The moderate climate allows for year- round outdoor activities.

Relocation to Los Angeles

Interns have lived in many of the neighborhoods found in the metropolitan area. Below are links that may help you get a sense of what it may be like to relocate to LA.