Academic Catalog 2023-2024


College of Education
Division of Graduate Education

Program Description

The Master of Science in Counseling program prepares students for careers in educational counseling settings and is designed to provide a broad conceptual knowledge base and the development of specialized counseling skills applicable to a diversity of student populations and counseling needs. Students choose to concentrate in School or College specializations and are able to concurrently pursue the PPS credential, which is required to work as a School Counselor in the pK-12 public school system. Through a framework of cultural humility and a commitment to justice in education, the program stresses the importance of self-awareness, reflective examination, and interpersonal and professional growth in order to provide a comprehensive preparation in K-16 educational counseling.

The PPS Credential program in School Counseling prepares candidates with the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions to maximize the developmental potential of culturally diverse student populations in public elementary, middle, and high schools. The program is accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to offer both the PPS credential and the Child Welfare and Attendance (CWA) authorization. The optional CWA specialization authorizes specialized counseling services specifically related to student attendance and truancy prevention and remediation. 

Pre-Admission Disclosure Programs Leading to Licensure or Credentialing

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 program coordinator. 

Admission Requirements

Admission Procedures and Requirements for MS Degree and PPS Credential

All applicants to the program must apply for the Master’s degree (unless they already hold a Master’s degree in Counseling, Psychology, Social Work, or Education and do not wish to pursue a second Master’s). In addition to the MS degree, applicants may also select admission to the PPS credential and/or College Counseling Certificate.

Admission to the program does not automatically guarantee completion of the degree, fieldwork, credential, or certificate if there are any dispositional, interpersonal, intrapersonal, or psychological difficulties demonstrated that might inhibit the effectiveness of the candidate’s role as a counselor.

  1. Application to the University and the Counseling Program via Cal State Apply by the February 1 deadline

  2. Submission of one official electronic set of transcripts for all undergraduate and any post-graduate work to the CSUDH Admissions Office at:

  3. The following items are required to be uploaded within the Cal State Apply application:

    1. Unofficial set of transcripts showing BA degree (from a regionally accredited college or university) and any post-baccalaureate or graduate work.

    2. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 or better in all undergraduate and if applicable, graduate coursework (or a minimum combined score of 300 on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) (Revised) Verbal and Quantitative Tests.

    3. Three professional recommendations from individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s potential as a counselor.

    4. Statement of Purpose (4-5 page minimum).

    5. Small group interview (if selected).

    6. A valid Certificate of Clearance or teaching credential.

    7. A valid TB clearance

    8. For School Counseling applicants: verification of meeting the CA Basic Skills Requirement (BSR) will need to be furnished if admitted to the program.

Additional Degree and Credential Requirements

  1. The Master of Science degree in Counseling, PPS credential, and College Counseling Certificate require completion of all courses with a “B” or higher.
  2. Students must maintain continuous enrollment in the university by enrolling in a programming course or GED 600 every semester.
  3. The Culminating Experience/Capstone Requirement includes a choice between the comprehensive written examination (within PPS 560) or the completion of a thesis. Students choosing to complete the thesis must seek advisement from the program chair prior to beginning a thesis project.
  4. Students must complete all of the requirements for the degree and credential within seven years.
  5. Candidates must adhere to all ethical and professional standards required of the university, professional counseling organizations, and accrediting affiliations associated with the degree or credential. Candidates must, at all times, demonstrate high-quality interpersonal skills with faculty, staff, fellow students, and others in their field experiences. If candidates fail to meet this requirement, they are subject to disqualification from the program.
  6. Students who have earned their baccalaureate degree outside the U.S. or from a non-English speaking university in the U.S. will need to consult with the CSUDH Testing Office to determine equivalency for the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). If the GWAR has not been met, then it must be satisfied in the first semester of studies.
  7. In addition to the major requirements, students must meet all university requirements for the Master's degree indicated in the section of the catalog entitled "Graduate Degrees and Postbaccalaureate Studies."

Additional Requirements for the PPS Credential in School Counseling

  1. Completion of degree requirements and required courses for the MS Counseling, School Counseling option with a “B” or higher.
  2. Completion of the California Basic Skills Requirement.

Additional Requirements for the Child Welfare and Attendance Authorization (60 units)

  1. Completion of degree requirements and required courses for the MS Counseling, School Counseling option with a “B” or higher.
  2. Completion of the PPS credential.
  3. Additional 6 units of the following CWA coursework: 
PPS 557Child Welfare and Attendance3
PPS 558School Attendance Improvement and Truancy Remediation: Prevention and Intervention3

Conditionally Classified and Classified Standing

Students who satisfy the above requirements of program admission will be admitted as Conditionally Classified. Upon successful completion of PPS 525 Group Dynamics for Personal Growth, students will qualify for Classified Status in the program. Candidates who fail to demonstrate appropriate professional dispositions at any time are subject to disqualification from the program. Should the candidate wish to continue in the program, the program faculty will require the fulfillment of a remediation plan before the candidate can reapply. After one year from the time of not passing a course or from being disqualified based on dispositional concerns, the candidate may reapply to the program if they have satisfactorily completed the remediation plan.