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 2022 M.S. in Counseling program will be accepted October 1, 2021 through February 1, 2022.
  • Applications for the Spring 2025 M.S. in Counseling Evening Cohort will be accepted August 1, 2024 through October 1, 2024. For more detailed information regarding the program and upcoming information sessions please visit the M.S. in Counseling, University Extension and International Programs websiteOpens in new window  

    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 two 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.
  • 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 3,000 words) should include the following:
    • Personal biography, including childhood and later-life significant life experiences, that contribute to your aspirations in becoming a counselor.
    • Discuss your motivation and suitability for entering the counseling profession, including the most relevant aspects of your education background and your work and volunteering history.
    • Discuss your personal strengths that will benefit you in meeting your professional goals, and areas for personal growth you would need to address to meet your goals
    • 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 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 write this section in English, Spanish, or a combination of the two. (Ánimo is only offered in the traditional program)

More information for International StudentsOpens in new window


International Students

Travel to the US has been difficult or impossible for most new international students. 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 AppointmentsOpens in new window

Email ISS Student Questions to  with  Subject: Topic & Name/CWID

For more information on English language requirementsOpens in new window



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).