Program: Counseling, M.S.

School Counseling Option

Program Description

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Counseling offers three options: (1) Career Counseling, (2) College Counseling and Student Services, and (3) School Counseling. Students must successfully complete all prerequisite courses before formal admittance to a master’s degree program. Only students admitted to a Master of Science degree program may take classes in that program.

Students in the Career Counseling, College Counseling and Student Services, and School Counseling options of the Master of Science (M.S.) in Counseling degree program will complete a common core of counseling courses (51 units)–some of which include focus on mental health and clinical counseling, as well as school counseling–and will complete 18-21 additional units in their option area (Career Counseling, College Counseling and Student Services, or School Counseling).

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Counseling with an option in School Counseling is a full-time program consisting of a core of counseling courses designed to prepare students to be counselors in a variety of settings, and specialization courses specifically focused on school counseling. Students entering this program will be prepared to work in PreK-12 public schools as school counselors, as well as in community agencies as professional clinical counselors. The program is driven by a vision for counselors who can develop comprehensive, results-based school counseling programs that promote educational equity and high academic achievement for all students. Program courses are integrated with school-based experiences and activities that prepare counselors to address the personal, social, emotional, career and academic development of PreK-12 students. The program meets the accreditation standards of and is approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). At the completion of the program, graduates qualify for the State of California Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential in School Counseling, required to become a School Counselor in PreK-12 education in the State of California. Graduates are eligible to take the National Counselor Examination (NCE) to qualify for certification as a National Certified Counselor (NCC) [additional requirements must be met]. For those graduates with an interest in preparing for clinical practice as a psychotherapist, the option of pursuing a license as a Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) in California exists. Clinical coursework and a clinical fieldwork requirement are embedded in the program. Postgraduate work, candidates would be required to complete postgraduate field experience and sit for state examinations.

Admission into programs leading to licensure and credentialing does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or credential. Licensure and credentialing requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the CSU, and requirements can change at any time. For example, licensure or credentialing requirements can include evidence of the right to work in the United States (e.g., Social Security number or taxpayer identification number) or successfully passing a criminal background check. Students are responsible for determining whether they can meet licensure or credentialing requirements. The CSU will not refund tuition, fees, or any associated costs to students who determine subsequent to admission that they cannot meet licensure or credentialing requirements. Information concerning licensure and credentialing requirements is available from the department. See Notice to Students: Licensure and Certification for more information.

Program Requirements

A. Admission Requirements for Classified Standing

  1. Complete University application and requirements.
    1. Have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
    2. Have been in good standing at the last institution attended.
    3. Have at least a 2.5 GPA in the last 60 semester/90 quarter units attempted. For admittance into the credential program through the Credential Office, applicants must have at least a 2.75 cumulative GPA.
    4. If cumulative undergraduate GPA is less than 3.0, score at or above the 50th percentile on one of the three sections of the aptitude test of the Graduate Record Examination (i.e., verbal, quantitative or analytical).
  2. Complete the department application for admission to graduate programs.
    1. Submit the following: Two recommendations (either as letters or on the departmental form), personal statement, resume, applicable test scores, unofficial transcripts.
    2. Participate in the admission’s interview process.
    3. Be accepted by Counseling program faculty.
  3. Complete required prerequisite courses EPC 451 and PSY 310 with a grade of “B-” or better within the past 7 years. Equivalent courses may be substituted for prerequisites.

B. Requirements for the Master of Science in Counseling Degree

1. Core Program (51 units)

EPC 601 Individual and Group Assessment (3)
EPC 602 Research Principles (3)
EPC 609 Human Development: A Lifespan Perspective (3)
EPC 643 Diversity in Counseling (3)
EPC 655 Seminar in Counseling Theory and Practice (3)
EPC 658 Seminar in Group Counseling (3)
EPC 659A Communication Skills in Counseling (3)
EPC 659B Practicum in Counseling (3)
EPC 670A Systemic Family Therapy Theories and Their Evidence Base (3)
EPC 671 Laws, Ethics and Professional Issues in Counseling (3)
EPC 672 Mental Health Assessment and Diagnosis (3)
EPC 673 Community Mental Health (3)
EPC 675 Substance Abuse and Addictions Treatment (3)
EPC 678 Psychopharmacology and Neurobiological Foundations (3)
EPC 696 Directed Graduate Research (3)

Clinical fieldwork will be completed over two semesters in the final year.

EPC 659JC Fieldwork in Clinical Counseling (3)
EPC 659KC Fieldwork in Clinical Counseling(3)

2. Option (18 units)

EPC 621 Collaborative Consultation for School Counselors (3)
EPC 657A Seminar in Career Counseling Theory (3)
EPC 659CC Fieldwork in Counseling Services (3)
EPC 659DC Fieldwork in Counseling Services (3)
EPC 682 Foundations of School Counseling (3)
EPC 689 Leadership in School Counseling (3)

3. Culminating Experience (3 units)

Total Units Required for the M.S. Degree: 72


Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling
Chair: Shyrea Minton
Education (ED) 1218
(818) 677-2599

Graduate Coordinator: Alberto Restori
(818) 677-2599

Staff: Esther Choi
(818) 677-2549

Program Learning Outcomes

Students receiving a Master of Science in Counseling will be able to:

  1. Identify and articulate the relevant professional laws and ethical codes of their respective fields of study and practice.
  2. Develop empathetic, respectful and congruent interpersonal skills and demonstrate their ability to work successfully with groups and individuals from diverse backgrounds in educational, community and mental health settings.
  3. Collaborate skillfully and respectfully as leaders, consultants and team members in a variety of settings to assess and evaluate individuals and groups.
  4. Through reflective practices, examine the impact of the Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies on the student trainee and professional counselor’s counseling process/engagement, and identify ways in which counselors promote social justice, access, equity and opportunity for historically marginalized populations in their respective fields of study and practice.
  5. Conduct clinical, diagnostic, psychosocial and crisis assessments, and use effective treatment planning methods to design prevention and early intervention therapeutic programming that is educative in nature and promotes social/emotional well-being, healthy relationships, academic success and/or career mastery.
  6. Utilize current technology to engage in and disseminate creative, empirical and applied research studies and program evaluations.
  7. Identify and demonstrate advocacy skills needed to transform harmful policies and practices of institutions that provide services to individuals and families.