Frequently Asked Questions

On this page: Review frequently asked questions about the School Counseling M.S. Program.

Costs and Expenses

For information and assistance, see the College of Education page on Financial aid and Scholarships.
On-campus housing is available. More information about SDSU housing options can be found at SDSU Housing under the Future Residents section of their website. We do not currently have information on the percentage of students living in university housing, however, we encourage current students to secure housing that best fits their needs.

General Application Questions

While you do not need to be a certified teacher to apply to this program, you will need to take the CBEST (California Basic Educator Skills Test). The CBEST is needed for clearance at school sites for practicum (first year internship) and fieldwork (second year internship). For more information go to http://www.ctcexams.nesinc.com/.
Yes, out-of-state applicants are allowed to wait until after they are offered admission into the program to take the CBEST. However, the CBEST must be taken immediately upon beginning the program as failure to pass the CBEST will impact the student’s ability to continue within the program.
Applicants are looked at holistically. While we do not calculate average GRE scores, applicants do need to score in at least the 30th percentile.
Students with an undergraduate degree in psychology or child development may be able to waive their theories and/or development courses. Therefore, while not required prior to admission, undergraduate courses in counseling theories, abnormal psychology, developmental psychology and child psychology provide very useful preparation.
Applicants are looked at holistically. While there is not a calculated average GPA, applicants do need to have a minimum GPA of 2.85 to apply to this program.
Yes, it is important to gain recent experience working with diverse children and adolescents in a professional helping context. It is also beneficial to have professional experiences working with diverse students in a school setting. Experiences that support and promote leadership, advocacy and multicultural growth in one’s professional and personal development are highly beneficial and strongly encouraged.
No, you do not need to be a certified teacher to complete this program. However, all students need to take the CBEST.
No, there is only one application cycle to apply for the incoming graduating class. Learn more about the application process.
While we do not currently have the information on the acceptance rate, we can share that each graduating class is typically comprised of 18 students. Due to the small class sizes, the application process can be very competitive.

General Program Questions

The PPS credential is specific to California. If you wish to work in another state, a high score on the Praxis Exam will help you earn reciprocity in other states. All students take the Praxis Exam before graduation. For more information, visit https://www.schoolcounselor.org/school-counselors-members/careers-roles/state-certification-requirements.
Unfortunately, SDSU does not offer this type of evaluation service because our school counseling program is a full time, cohort model program. SDSU does not offer a part time program. A person seeking a review to determine which additional courses are necessary to earn a PPS credential would be best served by conducting their review at the same institution where part time coursework could eventually take place and a PPS could be earned. For further information, please contact the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) at http://www.ctc.ca.gov.
Many classes are scheduled 4 to 7 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays. First-year students typically have one class in the daytime (CSP 600 and CSP 600L) and a full-day practicum class at a school site (typically held on Thursdays). Second-year students have 2 full days (at least) of fieldwork at their school sites. Classes will be offered on Saturdays.
Current students must enroll in and complete all courses in the program. No course can be waived based on undergraduate or post-graduate transcripts.
The MS and PPS full-time program is completed in 2 full years (summer inclusive).
Our program is full time with most classes scheduled for Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. We do not suggest students work more than 20 hours a week.
Our program is full-time with most classes scheduled for Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. We do not suggest students work more than 20 hours a week.
Our program is currently not CACREP accredited. However, here is some information about our program that many be helpful in terms of our accreditations:
  • SDSU's School Counseling coursework (62 units - which is is more than the 48 required for CA) aligns with CACREP requirements (http://www.cacrep.org/section-5-entry-level-specialty-areas-school-counseling).
  • Our program is both NCATE and CTCC accredited.
  • CACREP is not required in CA and in terms of employability, our students have a very high success rate in CA and in many other states.
  • In addition, our program requires the PRAXIS test (our students' scores typically exceed all minimums in all states) and credentials earned in CA are portable. Many of our students are employed in states other than CA.

Program Requirements

Being a teacher is not required in CA, however, it might be required for hiring in some districts and or states. Regardless, experience working with children and adolescents in a professional school and helping context is strongly recommended as school counselors are better prepared when they have experience in schools.
Entry into the school-counseling program requires students to complete a two-year full time program in a cohort model approach. All students in the program are required to complete the application process and begin at the same time. SDSU does not admit students on a part time basis. Students may waive up to nine (9) units upon acceptance to the program (in consultation with the Director), however it is unlikely that more than a few previously completed courses will transfer for credit to SDSU. Courses in the school counseling program at SDSU are designed to scaffold learning in a deliberate systematic fashion. All courses are integrated with and build upon one another. A distinctive philosophy underpins the program. Thus, to maintain the integrity of our training program, we require that all students enroll in courses offered by the SDSU school counseling program unless otherwise pre-approved by the Program Director.
SDSU’s school counseling program is a full time, cohort model program. SDSU does not offer a part time program. A person seeking a review to determine which additional courses are necessary to earn a PPS credential would be best served by conducting their review at the same institution where part time coursework could eventually take place and a PPS could be earned. For further information, please contact the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) at http://www.ctc.ca.gov.
SDSU’s school counseling program is a full time, cohort model program. SDSU does not offer a part time program. A person seeking a review to determine which additional courses are necessary to earn a PPS credential would be best served by conducting their review at the same institution where part time coursework could eventually take place and a PPS could be earned. For further information, please contact the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) at http://www.ctc.ca.gov.