Master of Science in Counseling

The M.S. in Counseling is a professional program to prepare students for a successful career in the counseling profession. The program's emphasis in postmodern praxis and commitment to social justice sets the tone of preparing counselors who can respond to complex issues in a variety of settings. The degree offers two concentrations, one in Professional Counseling and one in School Counseling, each being 60 units as a stand alone degree. Students who complete the appropriate concentration within the degree can apply to the California Board of Behavioral Sciences to become Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC). Coursework in the appropriate concentration prepares students to become counselors in grades K-12 through applying for the California Pupil Personnel Services School Counselor Credential (PPS). Students may also elect to combine concentrations, as core courses overlap, for a total of 72 semester units.

Admission to the Program

In addition to the general requirements of the university, specific requirements for admission to classified graduate status are:

  1. Attend a Counseling Program information meeting (meeting schedule can be found on the program’s website);

  2. Submission of an Admissions Portfolio following criteria and guidelines provided at the orientation meeting. Portfolios will be evaluated according to the Counseling Program portfolio rubric. Students will be notified as to the status of their application to enroll in COUN 6220. A completed portfolio contains:

    1. Admission to CSUSB Graduate Studies;

    2. Application and current vita/resume;

    3. Transcripts of all higher education coursework;

    4. GPA of 3.0 or higher from all previous undergraduate/graduate work;

    5. Written Personal Statement;

    6. Three positive recommendations from persons having knowledge of applicant’s counseling potential (forms provided by program);

    7. Evidence of current negative TB test;

    8. Evidence of CTC clearance or possession of a valid California teaching credential;

    9. Upon completion of the above requirements, the student’s file will be reviewed by an admission committee composed of at least three members of the Counseling faculty. Students will be notified about the result of their application and invited to enroll in COUN 6220.

  3. Completion of  COUN 6220 with a grade of “B” (3.0) or better.

  4. Students who do not meet admissions criteria will be notified of their deficiencies.

Advancement to Candidacy

In order to be formally advanced to candidacy a student must have:

  1. Completed 12 semester units of coursework with a grade point average of 3.0 ("B"), to include COUN 6220, COUN 6221; COUN 6222.

  2. Complete COUN 6220 with a B or better.

  3. Meet graduate writing requirement that is housed in COUN 6221 with a passing grade as specified in course syllabus.

  4. Filed an approved graduate program plan for completion of the degree. This must be prepared in consultation with a program advisor and approved by the program coordinator.

Requirements for Graduation

  1. A minimum of 60 semester units of graduate-level work, with a minimum of 42 units completed in residency at this university. Students pursing the dual concentration must complete a minimum of 49 units in residency;

  2. A minimum of 20 semester units of credit taken after a student has been advanced to candidacy for the degree;

  3. A grade point average of 3.0 (“B”) in course work taken to satisfy the degree requirements, including a minimum of a “B” in COUN 6220, and COUN 6224, and no grade below a “B-” (2.7) in all other courses in the program;

  4. The graduation writing requirement is met either through demonstrated competence by a passing grade on the writing assignment housed in COUN 6221 as specified in course syllabus or the completion of an equivalent course, GRE score of 5.0 or higher on the writing portion, publication, or masters degree as outlined in the graduate writing waiver form and approved by the program coordinator & graduate studies dean

  5. Comprehensive examination, culminating experience, and/or through completion of a Master’s degree project;

  6. Completion of a graduation requirement check;

  7. Any additional requirements not cited above and listed in the requirements for a Master’s Degree listed in Graduate Degree and Program Requirements.

The comprehensive examination is designed to test the student’s knowledge of the field of counseling. The examination is a standardized national exam, the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE). The student will take the examination during their final term. The student must be advanced to candidacy at least one semester before taking the comprehensive examination. The student must complete a graduation check with the Office of Records, Registration and Evaluations before permission to take the examination can be granted. Students who do not receive a passing score may petition the program coordinator to retake the examination. Students who do not receive a passing score the second time must petition the Dean of Graduate Studies to retake the exam. Approval to retake the examination may be, at any time, contingent upon completion of additional designated courses.

A Master’s research project can be reported in the form of a paper, which could include other media. The project proposal and the project must be approved by the student’s advisor and one other professor in the College of Education and submitted in an approved format. Further information is available in the Graduate Thesis and Project handbook available through the Graduate Studies Office. Students who elect to complete a project are not required to take a comprehensive exam.

Degree Requirements (60-69 units)

COUN 6220Introduction to Counseling3
COUN 6221Introduction to Research & Evaluation3
COUN 6222Law & Ethics in Counseling3
COUN 6224Advanced Counseling3
COUN 6226Conflict Resolution3
COUN 6227Counseling Theories3
COUN 6229Socio-Cultural Counseling3
COUN 6230 Human Development in Counseling 3
COUN 6231Group Counseling3
COUN 6232Career Counseling 3
COUN 6233Practice Based Placement (Must be taken for a minimum of 6 units and a maximum of 12 units in consultation with advisor)6
COUN 6237Appraisal3
Culminating Experience (0)0
Concentration (21-30)
Students must satisfy the requirements of one of the concentrations listed below.21-30
Total Units60-69

Culminating Experience (0 units)

Students must choose one of the following:
COUN 6980Comprehensive Examination0
COUN 6960Master's Degree Project0
Total Units0

Concentrations (21-30 units)

School Counseling Concentration (21 units)

(Program Code: CSCC)

COUN 6223Learning Theories3
COUN 6225Systems Consultation3
COUN 6240Professional School Counseling3
Electives (Choose 4 of the following) (12)12
Addictions Counseling
Crisis and Trauma Counseling
Family Counseling
Aging, Death & Grief in Couples & Families
Gender & Sexuality
Total Units21

Professional Counseling Concentration (21 units)

(Program Code: CPCC)

COUN 6228Addictions Counseling3
COUN 6235Crisis and Trauma Counseling3
COUN 6234Diagnosis3
COUN 6236Psychopharmacology3
COUN 6239Family Counseling3
COUN 6238Aging, Death & Grief in Couples & Families 3
COUN 6241Gender & Sexuality3
Total Units21

School and Professional Counseling Dual Concentration (30 units)

(Program Code: CSPC)

COUN 6223Learning Theories3
COUN 6225Systems Consultation3
COUN 6240Professional School Counseling3
COUN 6228Addictions Counseling3
COUN 6235Crisis and Trauma Counseling3
COUN 6236Psychopharmacology3
COUN 6239Family Counseling3
COUN 6238Aging, Death & Grief in Couples & Families 3
COUN 6241Gender & Sexuality3
COUN 6234Diagnosis3
Total Units30