Apr 18, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog

Counseling Psychology, M.S.

Counselors serve valuable functions in the fields of education, health and human services, and business. Their domains of practice include public and private educational institutions, medical facilities and allied health agencies, social service agencies and organizations, state and federal human service agencies and programs, correctional facilities, business and industry, and private practice. The program’s philosophy is to introduce students to a variety of approaches to counseling, and to encourage the development of competencies within these approaches.

The program combines theory and practice utilizing on and off campus course work and field work assignments. 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 backgrounds are trained at the graduate level to be able to perform entry level duties expected by the counseling profession and its specialty areas. Students are prepared to assume future leadership positions in their area(s) of expertise after additional work experience has been acquired in the field following graduation.

Students in this program will be prepared for licensed independent MFT and LPCC practice to work in private practice, community-agency settings, government-court settings, hospitals, clinics, Employee Assistance Programs, and city-county-state agencies to provide counseling services for adults, children, families, and couples. Visit the program website for program details.


The following are required for admission to the program:

  1. Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university in a behavioral science, education, or related field.
  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 www.csulb.edu/cie for more information.


Applicants use Cal State Apply to submit university application materials and MyCED to submit programs applications 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.

Course Prerequisite

Take the following course:

Advancement to Candidacy - Clear Admission

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

  1. Complete COUN 510 , COUN 513 , COUN 515 , COUN 522 , COUN 608 
  2. Maintain a 3.0 grade point average in all course work.
  3. Resolve all incomplete grades.

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


Select an Option:

Option A - Thesis (total units: 65):

Option B - Comprehensive Exam (total units: 65):

Take an additional 6 units of approved electives from courses in the Counseling program.

Additional Requirements

Students must complete COUN 609 with a B grade or better in order to move forward in the graduate program in Counseling Psychology. Students who do not pass COUN 609 with a B grade or better will be given a second chance to compete COUN 609. If a student does not pass COUN 609 with a B grade or better after two semesters/attempts they will be dismissed from the MS in Counseling Psychology program.