Master's in School Counseling in California

Learn about master's degree programs in school counseling in the state of California. You can compare costs, requirements, and credentials received in this article of accredited California universities offering this degree. Schools offering Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California's Master of Education degree is offered online through USC's Rossier School of Education. The curriculum integrates three areas of focused study: career and college readiness, restorative justice, and trauma-informed practice. Students who complete this coursework are prepared to apply for the California-required Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) credential. The USC Master of Education in School Counseling program can be completed in 2-3 years including the required internship (600 hours) and practicum (100 hours).

California Lutheran University

California Lutheran University offers a Master of Science in Counseling with a specialization in School Counseling that includes the requirements for the PPS credential. The 49 units of coursework can be completed in 2½ years. The curriculum integrates a 'cultural proficiency model,' which helps students understand how culture impacts service delivery.

Chapman University

Chapman University offers a Master of Arts in Counseling requiring 51 units, a practicum (200 hours) and internship (600 hours). Dependent upon full- or part-time status, students can complete the program in 2-3 years. Students earn the PPS credential concurrently and have the option to emphasize professional clinical counseling coursework.

Concordia University Irvine

Concordia University Irvine offers a Master of Arts in Education in School Counseling degree requiring 48 units of study. The program is designed to be completed in groups known as cohorts and also meets the conditions required to earn the PPS credential. Concordia University offers the master's program in a blended format allowing the options for online and on-campus coursework.

Fresno Pacific University

Fresno Pacific University offers 2 program options for students interested in pursuing a master's degree in school counseling. The Master of Arts in School Counseling can be completed with a minimum of 59 units of coursework and allows the student to concurrently earn the PPS credential. Students may also choose to participate in Fresno Pacific University's dual program, earning a Master of Arts in School Counseling and School Psychology; the dual program includes a 1200-hour school psychology internship.

Loma Linda University

The Master of Science in Counseling with LPCC (Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor) offers students at Loma Linda University a wide option of career paths from clinical counseling in private practice to school counseling in pre-12 school programs. The PPS credential is earned concurrently within the 90-quarter-unit requirement for graduation. 450 hours of fieldwork and the coursework can be completed in 2 years.

University of San Diego

The School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) at the University of San Diego offers a Master of Arts in School Counseling degree that emphasizes strategies that support underserved populations. Students have two options for specialization: earning a Master of Arts in School Counseling and the PPS credential, or that combination along with training for a Professional Clinical Counselor license. The MA in Counseling requires 48 units of study, while the additional LPCC increases the required coursework to 60 units.

California State University Long Beach

California State University Long Beach offers two concurrently earned certifications for school counseling: the Master of Science in Counseling, option in school counseling and the PPS credential. Students can complete the program within two years. California State University offers this program at these additional locations: Bakersfield, Dominguez Hill, East Bay, Fresno, Los Angeles, Northridge, and San Bernardino.

Sacramento State (California State University)

Included in the Master of Science in Counseling school counseling specialization are the requirements for the PPS credential. There is a required practicum (100 hours) and internship (600 hours) as well as 60 units of coursework. The counseling program collaborates with the Migrant Education Advisor Program.

San Francisco State University

The Master of Science in Counseling degree program offers students an option to major in school counseling. Students who complete the Master of Science in Counseling with a School Counseling specialization are eligible for the PPS credential. They may pursue other specializations as well, such as career counseling, gerontological or marriage counseling, among others. Students can complete the 60 required units in 2 years.

School NamePrograms OfferedTuition Cost 2019-2020*
University of Southern California Master of Education in School Counseling $1928/unit (49 units)
California Lutheran University Master of Science in School Counseling $770/unit (49 units)
Chapman University Master of Arts in Counseling$985/unit (51 units)
Concordia University Irvine Master of Arts in Education in School Counseling$570/unit (48 units)
Fresno Pacific University Master of Arts in School Counseling;
Master of Arts in School Counseling and School Psychology
$650/unit (59 and 93 units)
Loma Linda University Master of Science in Counseling with LPCC$830/unit (90 units)
The University of San Diego Master of Arts in School Counseling
Master of Arts in School Counseling with LPCC
$1465/unit (48 and 60 units)
California State University Long Beach Master of Science in Counseling$2082/semester < 6 units
$3588/semester >6 units
Sacramento State Master of Science in Counseling$2082/semester < 6 units
$3588/semester >6 units
San Francisco State University Master of Science in Counseling$2846/semester < 6 units
$4352/semester > 6 units

*Sources: school websites

All the graduate programs listed in this article include the requirements for the Pupil Personnel Services credential mandated for school counselors in California and can be completed within 2-3 years. Each school offers a unique focus that differentiates it from the others and helps prospective students identify those programs most aligned with their values and goals.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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