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Master of Science in Counseling - Option in School Counseling

Master of Science in Counseling Information

Counselors serve valuable functions in fields of education, health and human services, and business. Their domains of practice include public and private educational institutions, medical facilities and allied health agencies, social service agencies and organizations, state and federal human service agencies and programs, correctional facilities, business and industry, and private practice. The program's philosophy is to introduce students to a variety of approaches to counseling, and to encourage the development of competencies within these approaches.

The program combines theory and practice utilizing on and off campus course work and field work assignments. Required courses are offered predominantly in the evening, but most field assignments require daytime participation during normal business hours defined by the off-campus sites.

Students coming from diverse experiential backgrounds are trained at the graduate level to be able to perform entry level duties expected by the counseling profession and its specialty areas. Students are prepared to assume future leadership positions in their area(s) of expertise after additional work experiences have been acquired in the field following graduation.


The following are required for admission to the program:

1. Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university in a behavioral science, education, or related field.

2. Minimum 2.85 overall grade point average in last degree (not credential or certificate) earned from an accredited institution of higher education. Applicants whose overall GPA is less than 2.85 but meet the University minimum GPA requirement and who present compelling evidence of academic and professional potential either through recent academic performance and/or experiential background, may be considered for admission at the discretion of the program admission committee.

3. International applicants have additional university application requirements including meeting the English language proficiency requirement. Please visit The Center for International Education (CIE) website at for more information.


Candidates must apply separately to both the university and the program by posted deadlines. Applications should be submitted at the same time. Program Option application deadlines may vary.
The application for Graduate Admission to the University is available online through CSUMentor ( One complete set of official transcripts must be submitted with the university application. This set of transcripts will be used to determine grade point average eligibility. Failure to submit transcripts in a timely manner will result in a delayed review of the application.

A separate application to the selected Counseling program Option must be submitted to the College of Education Graduate Studies Office (EED-7). You may only apply to one program per year. A program Option application and directions can be downloaded at The program Option application does not require a set of transcripts. After an initial paper screening, select applicants are invited for an interview with program faculty.

Classified Admission

Successful applicants are admitted to the program Option with Classified Admission status.

Option in School Counseling

The Master of Science in Counseling (School Counseling Option) and the Pupil Personnel Services School Counseling Credential Programs are designed to prepare counselors to work in elementary, middle, and high schools. Both programs support a comprehensive, developmental, and collaborative school counseling model. Based upon the American School Counselor Association's National Standards for K-12 School Counseling Programs and their 2003 National Model, our programs further support a balanced, holistic approach that considers the academic, career development, and personal/social needs of K-12 students. Graduates are expected to become proactive leaders who will advocate for their students and themselves, as counseling professionals working toward equity, achievement, and opportunity for all students.

Students entering the Master of Science in Counseling (School Option) program concurrently fulfill requirements for the Pupil Personnel Services School Counseling Credential and must apply to both programs. The Pupil Personnel Services School Counseling Credential (PPS/SC) is required by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) for persons employed by the public schools as school counselors (See Credential Programs).

Each year the School Counseling Programs Information and Application Packet is revised. Applicants must use the application developed specifically for the year for which they are applying.

Advancement to Candidacy - Clear Admission

Students should advance to candidacy as early as possible. For advancement to candidacy (Clear Admission status), students must:

1. Fulfill the campus Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).

2. Complete COUN 506, COUN 513, COUN 515, EDP 400.

3. Maintain a 3.0 grade point average in all course work.

4. Resolve all incomplete grades.

5. Submit to the Graduate Studies Office an Advancement to Candidacy form signed by the program advisor.


Take all of the following (51-57 units):

  • COUN 506 Counseling in School Settings (3)
    Prerequisites: Official admission to the School Counseling Program.
  • COUN 507 Career/Acd Counseling in K-12 Settings (3)
    Prerequisites: COUN 506.
  • COUN 510 Law and Ethics for Counselors (3)
    Prerequisites: None.
  • COUN 513 Introduction to Clinical Interviewing (3)
    Prerequisites: None.
  • COUN 515 Counseling Theories (3)
    Prerequisites: COUN 513.
  • COUN 555 Cross-Cultural Counseling (3)
    Prerequisites: COUN 510, COUN 513, COUN 515; COUN 506 for School Counseling Option, SDHE 538 for SDHE Option, or their equivalent upon approval of the instructor.
  • COUN 606 Current Issues in Professional School Counseling (3)
    Prerequisites: COUN 506.
  • COUN 607 School Counseling Practicum (3)
    Prerequisites: COUN 506, COUN 515.
  • COUN 638 Group Counseling (3)
    Prerequisites: Admission to the MS in Counseling and/or PPS School Counseling Credential, or School Psychology Program, COUN 510, COUN 513, COUN 515 or equivalent upon approval of instructor.
  • COUN 643A Counseling Field Work: School Counseling (3)
    Prerequisites: COUN 607, Certificate of Clearance, EDP 536 (must be taken concurrently with either COUN 643A or 644A.)
  • COUN 644A Advanced Counseling Field Work: Advanced School Counseling (3)
    Prerequisites: COUN 507, COUN 638, COUN 643A; EDP 536 (must be taken concurrently with either COUN 643A or COUN 644A); pass Basic Skills Requirement.
  • COUN 695C Integrative Seminar in Professional School Counseling (3)
    Prerequisites: Advancement to candidacy; COUN 507, COUN 555, COUN 638; EDP 596; and permission to enroll from School Counseling Program Coordinator. Prerequisites/Corequisites: COUN 643A.
  • EDP 400 Intro to Educational Research (3) (or equivalent)
    Prerequisites: None.
  • EDP 520 Quantitative Research Methods in Education (3)
    Prerequisites: For majors in MA in Educational Psychology: ED P 419 or equivalent. For other majors: ED P 400 or equivalent.
  • EDP 536 Collaborative Consultation in the Schools (3)
    Prerequisites/Corequisites: COUN 643A, 644A, EDP 642A, EDP 642B, or Field Placement in Special Education.
  • EDP 596 Program Evaluation in Education (3)
    Prerequisites: EDP 400 and EDP 520, or equivalent.
  • EDP 604 Seminar in Human Development (3)
    Prerequisites: EDP 301 or EDP 302, and EDP 400 or EDP 419.
  • EDP 698 Thesis (must take 6 units)
    or comprehensive examination.

Prerequisites: Advancement to candidacy, EDP 519 or EDP 520 or EDP 595 or EDP 696, approval by director, department chair and associate dean.

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