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School Counseling

Masters of Counseling, School Counseling/MFT Concentration

The School Counseling concentration is a full-time, two-year course of study. Courses are offered during the day and evening.

School Counseling reflects an integration of local program needs, the campus mission, and the direction provided by the National Standards and National Model of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) and the National Career Development Guidelines (NOICC). 

Students acquire the skills to develop curriculum for small-group guidance, conduct individual and group therapy, and provide consultation and leadership in the creation and evaluation of integrated, comprehensive prevention and intervention programs.

Program Overview

  • Fall Admission 
  • 2 year program (5 semesters)
  • Hayward Campus Only
  • Courses offered during fall and spring semesters with a summer semester between first and second years
  • Classes are during the weekday in the day and evening

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Zachary Pietrantoni
Phone: 510-885-2978

Candidates who graduate from the school counseling program will have completed course work to obtain the following:

  • Master’s of Science in Counseling
  • Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential in School Counseling

Candidates who choose to complete the marriage and family therapy option will have completed course work to obtain the following in addition to the aforementioned credentials:

  • Associate Marriage and Family Therapy License (Intern License)

The Master’s of Science in Counseling with a School Counseling concentration is designed to prepare candidates to be professional school counselors who use data-driven, comprehensive programs and services to advocate for social justice, equity, inclusion, and diversity in P-20 settings.  Candidates have an option to complete additional courses work and fieldwork hours to acquire an Associate Marriage and Family Therapy License (Intern License) to increase their options to work with children and families inside and outside of schools.  The School Counseling Program is committed to training socially just candidates who are competent in developing, implementing, and evaluating comprehensive programs and services that are designed to be educational and preventative with a focus on developmentally appropriate and culturally responsive approaches.  

Our school counseling program is committed to the advancement of social justice, democracy, and professional excellence.  Our candidates are knowledgeable and competent in engaging in counseling, consultation, advocacy, and support to diverse populations.  Furthermore, our candidates learn how to become effective leaders and systemic change agents to ensure access, attainment, and achievement of all students.

Program and Course Structure

The M.S. in Counseling with the MFT Option is a full-time, two-year program. Courses are offered in a defined cohort sequence during fall and spring terms with a summer term in between first and second years. Courses may take place during the day and evening.


A "cohort" is a group of candidates who enter, move through, and graduate from the program in the same group, at the same time. Cohorts foster learning communities where candidates support each other.


Faculty members in the Department of Educational Psychology have expertise in different areas, thus providing a diverse background of experiences in the classroom. Many of the faculty continue to engage in work in the field, either practicing counselor positions, consultants, or researchers.


All candidates are required to complete a minimum amount of hours in the field each semester.  Candidates are prepared for work with youth and adults who need support with academic, college/career, social-emotional, and mental health.  Our program trains candidates to be trauma-informed counselors who promote resilience, mindfulness, and wellness by focusing on client strength.  Our program is field-based and candidates learn theory in the classroom and practice what they learned in the schools under the supervision of site and university supervision.

Coursework and fieldwork experiences emphasize the development of the student's ability to provide data-driven, comprehensive school counseling programs and services that meet national and state standards.  Candidates acquire the knowledge and skills to develop, deliver, and evaluate consultation, individual counseling, small group counseling, and classroom guidance lessons.

Candidates who choose the complete the Marriage and Family Therapy option will complete specific assigned activities and supervised experiences related to the California MFT licensing qualifications of the Board of Behavioral Sciences.

Candidates will complete the following:

  • Coursework for the degree and credential;
  • Fieldwork 1 to 2 days per week, for entire academic year (450 hours per year);
  • Assignments and supervised experiences that meet the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and Board of Behavioral Sciences requirements;
  • MFT option only, mandatory training hours (225) in the Community Counseling Clinic.

School Counseling Credential

The PPS credential is required to work as a counselor in K-12 school settings.  The Department of Educational Psychology does not issue the PPS credential.  Our program is accredited by the CTC and prepares candidates for the PPS certification requirements in California.

Marriage and Family Therapy License

The Department of Educational Psychology does not issue licenses.  Our School Counseling Program with an option in MFT is designed to meet the educational requirements for the California State MFT License issued by the Board of Behavioral Sciences.  This license requires additional experience beyond this degree, as well as written and oral exams administered by the Board of Behavioral Sciences.

  • Marriage and Family Therapy License
    • 3,000 hours of supervised experience
    • Standard Written examination and Written Clinical Vignette examination

Candidates successfully completing the program may apply for an Associate MFT License (Intern License) with the California Board of Behavioral Science; additional hours and an exam are required for licensure.  Please refer to for additional information.

School Counseling Profession

Graduates of our program work in a variety of educational settings.  Our graduates mostly work as elementary, middle school, and high school counselors.  However, a portion of our graduates also work in postsecondary institutions.  

For more specific information regarding the current role of school counselors, please visit:

School Counselor Role

Elementary School Counselor Information

Middle School Counselor Information

High School Counselor Information

Graduates who complete the MFT option are allowed to work as an intern until they complete the BBS licensure requirements.  MFT counselors can work in community agencies, hospitals, schools as mental health counselors, or in drug and alcohol treatment centers.  Once fully licensed, MFT counselors are able to open their own private practice to work with clients.

Admission Requirements

Students are admitted once annually to commence studies during Fall Semester. Students are encouraged to attend a program orientation prior to submitting and application. Information about orientation dates and additional program descriptions including a program handbook can be viewed on the Department website.

Students applying to this program should follow the university and departmental admissions procedures, including the submission of:

  • University application (submitted via Cal State Apply)
    • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
    • Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0
    • Official transcripts
  • Department application
    • Personal Statement
    • Current Resume
    • Official Transcripts
    • Three academic/professional letters of recommendations (see recommendation form in application).
    • Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
    • Basic Skills Requirement (i.e. CBEST) - Must score of 123 or better for Credential and you must take for application. See information about Basic Skills Requirement or options.
    • Prerequisites (see curriculum requirements below) are not required for admission, but must be completed prior to start of graduate coursework in the Fall term of admission to the program.

Prospective students who submit complete applications will be contacted during Spring Semester. Students are admitted into cohorts that begin during Fall Semester only.

Prerequisite Coursework

Candidates must complete prerequisite courses prior to the start of graduate coursework. Please check degree and concentration requirements for additional course prerequisites. The following are required prerequisites for admission into our school counseling program:

Please refer to the Prerequisite Equivalency Course List to determine if your past courses and/or courses from others institutions fulfill these requirements.

If your institution or course is not listed, please contact the Education Administrative Office at Include a copy of the course description, course number, institution, and date completed. Courses 5 years or older will not be considered.

For any other questions please feel free to refer to our Frequently Asked Questions section.
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