Academic Catalog 2021-2022


This is an archived copy of the 2021-2022 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

College of Education
Division of Graduate Education

Program Description

The Master of Science in Counseling program prepares students for careers in a variety of educational counseling settings. Students can choose to specialize in School (pK-12) or College populations, and are able to concurrently pursue a Certificate in College Counseling and the Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) credential, which is required to function as a School Counselor in the public school system. The program is designed to provide students with a broad conceptual knowledge base and the development of specific counseling skills applicable to a diversity of populations and counseling needs. The program stresses the importance of self-awareness, reflective examination, and interpersonal and professional growth in order to provide a comprehensive preparation in educational counseling.

The PPS Credential program is School Counseling prepares candidates with the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions to maximies 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. 

Admission Requirements

Admission Procedures and Requirements for the 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. Submission of University application and supporting documents
  2. Application to program

The following items are required to be submitted online within the Counseling program application before the applicant eill be considered for program admission:

  • Program application
  • Official set of transcripts showing BA degree (from a regionally accredited college or university) and any post-baccalaureate or graduate work.
  • 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.
  • Three professional recommendations from individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s potential as a counselor.
  • Statement of Purpose (3-5 page minimum).
  • Small group interview (if selected).
  • A valid Certificate of Clearance or teaching credential.
  • For PPS credential applicants, it is strongly recommended that applicants include verification of meeting the CA Basic Skills Requirement within the program application as this requirement must be furnished prior to the start of Fieldwork. 

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 program 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 with 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 9 units of the following CWA coursework:
    PPS 557Child Welfare and Attendance3
    PPS 558School Attendance Improvement and Truancy Remediation: Prevention and Intervention3
    PPS 555Child Welfare and Attendance Fieldwork3

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 Dynam Pers 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 he or she has satisfactorily completed the remediation plan.