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Graduate Degrees in Arts & Sciences at Notre Dame de Namur University

Notre Dame de Namur University is a Catholic, not for profit, coeducational institution serving approximately 1,700 students from diverse backgrounds. Established in 1851 by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, NDNU is the third-oldest college in California. The university is fully accredited and offers a rich variety of programs for working adults to complete their bachelor's, master's, or credentials in the evening, during the weekend or online.

As a Master's University dedicated to higher learning, NDNU is proud to deliver good value, innovative faculty mentorship, extensive professional networks and a diverse population. The San Francisco Bay Area's successful business leaders, educators, artists and community organizers choose to build their professional skills and develop their careers through NDNU.

Clinical Psychology / Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Program Overview

A graduate degree in clinical psychology from NDNU can lead to a career in mental health, medical, allied health, administration, social service, legal, educational, research and business settings, or doctoral study in psychology or related fields.

NDNU offers three master's level programs: Clinical Psychology, Clinical Psychology / Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT), and Clinical Psychology/Marriage and Family Therapy/Licensed.

Professional Clinical Counseling (MFT/LPCC). These programs cover the highly specific range of skills required by the beginning practitioner. The college prepares students for the MFT and/or LPCC licensing exams, and they address the needs of any student who desires to continue studies in a doctoral psychology program or work in a clinical setting.

- Students are prepared for competitive doctoral studies in psychology or related fields (law, social work, education) and are supported in becoming clinical, experimental, developmental, or social psychologists.

- They offer innovative clinical and psychotherapy courses with professors who are scholar-practitioners: highly-trained, experienced clinicians who are actively practicing in the field.

The Clinical Psychology programs are approved by the Board of Behavioral Sciences

Art Therapy Program Overview

The Art Therapy Psychology Department at Notre Dame de Namur University is unique in Northern California and approved by the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) as meeting the requirements of training individuals to become Art Therapists. The MA in Art Therapy offers a path to being licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) or a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC). Both degrees lead to registration as an Art Therapist (ATR).

NDNU is the first in the nation to offer a Ph.D. program in Art Therapy that offers the structure for generating new field knowledge, emphasis on career opportunities in clinical practice, research, teaching, and international work. The Art Therapy Psychology Department draws applicants from around the world. Art Therapy graduates bring art therapy into a wide variety of settings which include schools, mental health organizations, inpatient and outpatient programs, hospitals, community centers, nursing homes, assisted living centers, prisons, private practice, and more.

Outstanding Faculty at NDNU

The faculty members at NDNU are respected leaders in their fields who put the engagement and support of their students above all else. Faculty members also remain strongly involved in the advancements of their fields. For instance, Dr. Amy Backos has had many publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations. While she serves as the chair of the graduate Art Therapy Psychology Department at Notre Dame de Namur University she is also involved in several research projects in the field of therapy.

Dr. Helen Marlo has been part of the graduate Clinical Psychology Department since 1999. Since 1990, she has taught undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students at the University of South Carolina; Palo Alto University (formerly Pacific Graduate School of Psychology); Sofia University (formerly Institute of Transpersonal Psychology); and the San Francisco School of Psychology. Dr. Marlo's website is www.helenmarlophd.com.

Community Based Learning and Research at NDNU

The Dorothy Stang Center for Social Justice and Community Engagement at NDNU provides the infrastructure and resources needed to connect academic learning with community engagement. Learning and research programs, including nearly 20 community-based learning courses, create community partnerships, provide support and leadership development for student-led projects, and help bring to fruition the university's mission of social justice and life-long learning. NDNU's Bonner Leadership Program connects students with high financial needs to volunteer programs in the community. Bonner Leaders each complete a minimum of 300 volunteer hours per year in exchange for a generous financial aid stipend.

Additional Graduate Financial and Support Services at NDNU

The financial aid office at Notre Dame de Namur University offers a wide array of support services and financial aid opportunities designed to maximize a student's abilities to meet his or her educational goals. Graduate students can apply for grants, loans, scholarships, and work student opportunities. Programs are designed with working adults in mind, and offer measures of flexibility, community, and individual attention. Graduate students are also presented with many networking opportunities, and regularly make connections with business and community leaders within the Bay Area.

Campus and Surroundings

The historic 50-acre campus is located 30 minutes south of San Francisco in Silicon Valley. The area is the heart of one of the country's most exciting areas for professional growth and personal enrichment with some of the most beautiful landscapes in North America.

The San Francisco Bay Area is a world leader for innovation in technology, social change, culture, and cuisine. The university is ideally situated for students to enjoy the career, cultural, outdoor and recreational opportunities of the region.

NDNU is conveniently located within one mile of bus, train, and major freeways, and 30 minutes from three international airports. The location is ideal for easy access for students residing on campus or commuting to class -- day or night.

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Master of Science (MS)

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? Yes

Degree Requirements

Master's Degrees Thesis Required



Application Fee - Domestic
applications accepted?
Applications processed
on a rolling basis?

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline August 1st Not reported No
Spring deadline December 1st Not reported No

Entrance Requirements

Tuition & Fees

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Financial Support

Financial award applicants must submit FAFSA

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
International Breakout (representing other countries)
Out-of-state students


Male (5%)
Female (94%)

Location & Contact

Address 1500 Ralston Avenue
Belmont, CA  94002-1908
United States
Contact Helen Marlo
Chair, Graduate Psychology Department
Email: hmarlo@ndnu.edu
Phone: 650-508-3723