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Admission Requirements

The Department of Counseling accepts students once-a year for its M.S. in Counseling Traditional Program and every three years for the evening cohort program.

  • Applications for the Fall 2025 M.S. in Counseling program will be accepted October 1, 2024 through December 15th, 2024.  More info. to come. 
  • Applications for the Spring 2025 M.S. in Counseling Evening Cohort will be accepted August 1, 2024 through October 15, 2024. For more detailed information regarding the program and upcoming information sessions please visit the  M.S. in Counseling, University Extension and International Programs website. The Department welcomes applicants from diverse academic, social, and cultural backgrounds. International, minority, underrepresented, older students, and students with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

    Preparation for the counseling profession is rigorous and multifaceted, necessitating the student's development in interpersonal, self-reflective, and academic realms. Admission is therefore based upon indicators of the applicant's potential for becoming an effective counseling practitioner, including but not limited to grade point average (GPA), letters of reference, personal statement and Departmental interview. Admission is not based upon any single factor but on a composite assessment of all factors. The following are required for consideration to the program:
  • An acceptable Bachelor's Degree (or equivalent) from a regionally accredited institution.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 for the undergraduate degree.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 for four prerequisite courses in behavioral science courses (or equivalents): counseling theory, research methods or statistics, abnormal psychology, and human development.
  • At least three of the four prerequisites must be completed at the time of entrance; any remaining prerequisite(s) must be completed during the first semester of enrollment.

PLEASE NOTE FOR FALL 2025 applicants only:  Prerequisites are no longer required for the FALL 2025 admissions cycle. They are still required for the SPRING 2025 Cohort.  If you have any quetsions concerning this adjustment, please reach out to our Admissions Advisor, Angie Mello.

  • Three letters of recommendation. These letters should address the author's assessment of your suitability for pursuing graduate studies and entering the counseling profession. At least one letter must be academic (i.e., written by a professor or an instructor). The Department understands that for some applicants, contacting former instructors is not feasible; in these situations, professional references, written by supervisors or managers who are familiar with your work, are also appropriate.
  • An interview with Department faculty.
  • The GRE is not required.
  • A detailed personal statement (approximately 2,000 words) should include the following:
    • Personal biography, including childhood and later-life significant life experiences, that contribute to your aspirations in becoming a counselor. Please include the most important aspects of your life experience that you want the admissions committee to know about and why they are important to who you are as a person.
    • The counseling profession and our Department place a high value on social justice. Discuss what motivates you to be an advocate for social justice. You can draw from your own life experiences, other people’s experiences you’ve witnessed, a book or books you have read, and/or news events you have followed.
    • Discuss your motivation and suitability for entering the counseling profession. Do not discuss your educational experiences. They can be listed in your resume.
    • Discuss your long-term professional goals and how you believe this program will prepare you for them.
    • As applicable, describe your interest in the Ánimo Latinx Counseling Emphasis and your experience/background with the Latinx community and mental health. Feel free to send an additional  250  to  500  words for this section and write in English, Spanish, or a combination of the two. (Ánimo is only offered in the traditional program).
  • Resume of Curriculum Vitae (CV).  Please attach a 1-2 page resume or CV, that includes your educational history and your volunteer or paid mental health or related experiences.  Be sure to include a description of your particular responsibilities in your paid or voluntary mental health-related work experiences.  Please feel free to include courses completed with grades, course number, year taken, and institution where earned if applicable.


In order to fully apply and participate in the program, students will need various technological proficiencies. The following list entails technological expectations required of all students. If a student does not meet these requirements, it is his/her/their responsibility to seek help and work to increase his/her/their aptitude. Various campus resources are also listed below.

When a student is accepted into the program, he/she/they will need to meet 16 the following technological competencies, which includes but is not limited to:

1.  Meet the university’s basic level of computer competency for all new students, which reads, “All entering students are expected to be knowledgeable in the use of a personal computer (Windows or Mac) prior to being admitted to the university. Entering students should have 1) the ability to use an electronic device [(e.g., laptop, tablet)] to locate, create, move, copy, delete, name, rename, and save files and folders on hard drives and on secondary storage devices; 2) the ability to use a word processing program that runs on a Windows or Mac computer to create, edit, format, store, retrieve and print documents; 3) the ability to use an electronic mail system to receive, create, edit, print, save, and send an email message with and without an attached file and 4) the ability to use an internet browser.”
2.  The knowledge and ability to read information from a digital screen.
3.  The access, knowledge, and ability to run reliable Internet for various tasks.
4.  The access, knowledge, and ability to troubleshoot Internet connectivity difficulties.
5.  The access, knowledge, and ability to run and navigate an Internet browser, such as Google Chrome or equivalent. All applications are completed digitally.
6.  The knowledge and ability to engage in Internet search and retrieval skills to complete assignments.
7.  The knowledge and ability to use electronical mailing systems, such as Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, or equivalent. Most information with prospective students is communicated via email. Regular access and checking of email is required to ensure clear communication between students and the program.
8.  The knowledge and ability to use, or learn to use course and learning management systems, such as Canvas or equivalent.
9.  The knowledge and ability to upload, download, and attach documents in electronic mailing systems, learning management systems (e.g. Canvas), and Internet browsers.
10.  The knowledge and ability to use software for writing and formatting required documents, such as Microsoft Word, Adobe Cloud, or equivalent.
11.  The knowledge and ability to use software for presenting, such as Microsoft PowerPoint or equivalent.
12.  The ability to utilize other software applications as course requirements dictate.
13.  The knowledge and ability to run and navigate tele-video platforms, such as Zoom or equivalent.
14.  The access, knowledge, and ability to regularly print assignments.
15.  The ability to conduct yourself in an appropriate and professional manner when online.
16.  The ability to ask for technological assistance when needed. The follow resources are available on campus for students needing assistance with technological access and aptitude:  (a)  Student IT Help Desk,  (b)  Student IT Do-It-Yourself Guides,  (c)  Center for Equitable Digital Access Equipment Checkout,  (d)  Campus Computer Labs. There are many computer labs around campus that students can access to complete their work, collaborate on projects, and print,  (e)  Student Software. Division of information Technology offers free and low-cost software, such as Adobe Creative Cloud , Microsoft Suite, and Dropbox to students,  (f)  Library Support, and  (g)  Disabled Student Support Services. For assistance with accessing these resources, please contact our Prospective Student Advisor, Ali Dilley, at 


Travel to the US has been difficult for most new international students since Spring 2020. However, international students can enroll in their programs virtually while abroad this academic year. The ISS Office will provide updates from the Student & Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regarding students’ ability to travel to the US. If you are an international student and have any questions about your individual situation please contact ISS.

lSS Student Advising Appointments
For more information on English language requirements
Email ISS Student Questions to    with    Subject: Topic & Name/CWID


California State University programs for professions that require licensure or certification are intended to prepare the student to meet California licensure and certification requirements. Admission into programs for professions that require licensure and certification does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or certificate. Licensure and certification requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the California State University and licensure and certification requirements can change at any time.

The California State University has not determined whether its programs meet other states’ educational or professional requirements for licensure and certification. Students enrolled in a California State University program who are planning to pursue licensure or certification in other states are responsible for determining whether they will meet their state’s requirements for licensure or certification. This disclosure is made pursuant to 34 CFR §668.43(a)(5)(v)(C).