Sep 24, 2022  
2021-2022 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Counseling, Student Development in Higher Education (SDHE) Option, M.S.

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Counselors and student affairs professionals serve valuable functions in the field of higher education in community colleges and 4-year colleges and universities. The program’s philosophy is to introduce students to a variety of approaches to counseling, student development and leadership for equity and social justice. The program combines theory and practice utilizing on and off campus course work and field work assignments to development competencies necessary for successful careers in higher education settings. Required courses are offered predominantly in the evening, but most field assignments require daytime participation during normal business hours defined by the off-campus sites.

Students coming from diverse experiential and academic backgrounds are trained at the graduate level to be able to perform entry level duties expected by the counseling and student affairs professions and their specialty functional areas in higher education. Students are prepared to assume future leadership positions in their area(s) of expertise after additional work experiences have been acquired in the field following graduation. Students completing this option are employed in residence halls, financial aid, student activities, adult re-entry, admissions, career centers, academic advising, disabled student services, counseling centers, orientation, TRIO and Educational Opportunity Programs, multicultural affairs, and community outreach in two- and four-year institutions.


The following are required for admission to the program:

  1. Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
  2. Minimum 2.85 overall grade point average in last degree (not credential or certificate) earned from an accredited institution of higher education. Applicants whose overall GPA is less than 2.85 but meet the University minimum GPA requirement and who present compelling evidence of academic and professional potential either through recent academic performance and/or experiential background, may be considered for admission at the discretion of the program admission committee.
  3. International applicants have additional university application requirements including meeting the English language proficiency requirement. Please visit The Center for International Education (CIE) website at for more information.


Applicants use Cal State Apply to file all application materials before the deadline. Deadlines and details about the Program Materials (e.g. statement of purpose prompt, recommendation prompts) may be found in the Application Process section of the College of Education Graduate Studies Office website. Please contact the College of Education Graduate Studies Office if you have questions. 

Submit official transcripts from the college or university from which you earned your bachelor’s degree. This set of transcripts will be used to determine grade point average eligibility. Failure to submit transcripts in a timely manner will result in a delayed review of the application.

After an initial review, select applicants are invited for an interview with program faculty.

Classified Admission

Successful applicants are admitted to the program Option with Classified Admission status.

Advancement to Candidacy - Clear Admission

Students should advance to candidacy as early as possible. For advancement to candidacy (Clear Admission status), students must:

  1. Fulfill the campus Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).
  2. Complete COUN 510 , COUN 513 ; EDP 400 ; SDHE 538 , SDHE 593 .
  3. Maintain a 3.0 grade point average in all course work.
  4. Resolve all incomplete grades.
  5. Meet with the program coordinator and faculty advisor

Please contact the College of Education Graduate Studies Office if you have questions. 


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