Jul 18, 2024  
2024-2025, 2nd ed. General Catalog 
2024-2025, 2nd ed. General Catalog

Counseling, MA

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Admission Requirements

  1. Have a BA degree, preferably in psychology or other related behavioral sciences. School Counseling students should have some first hand knowledge of the K-12 school system.
  2. For both options, a course in personality theory is required; in addition, a course in abnormal psychology is required for the CMHC option. A course in child development is required for the PPS option. Effective for fall 2018 admission, all PPS applicants must have passed the CBEST in order to apply to the program.
  3. Applicants are encouraged to have acquired an undergraduate-level of understanding of human development, family/educational systems, cognitive-behavioral applications, and client-centered therapy. This introductory knowledge base may be acquired by enrolling in relevant coursework or by undertaking thoughtful reading on these topics.
  4. A 3.00 (B) grade point average. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 should include an explanation of any extenuating circumstances.
  5. Completion of counseling department application forms, in addition to those required by the University.
  6. A personal interview and group interview is required for applicants considered for final review. In these interviews, questions may involve personal disclosure deemed relevant by the faculty for determining the applicant’s readiness for beginning training for a career in counseling. All disclosures are held in strict confidence, within the department.

The Departmental Admissions Committee has found the following criteria meaningful for applicants:

  1. The ability to handle academic work of graduate-level rigor, generally as evidenced by previous academic performance;
  2. Counseling-relevant work experience (paid or volunteer); and
  3. Global personality assessment—suitability for a career in a helping profession, as evidenced by quality of interview, personal data, autobiography, and letters of recommendation.

For more information, please see Graduate Degrees in the Degree Requirements section of this catalog.

Application Procedures

Interested persons can obtain the standard statewide graduate application form from the Admissions Office of Sonoma State University or download an application from the Sonoma State web page. Students are accepted to the counseling program only once a year. All applicants to the program must also apply for admission to the University and follow the University timelines for admission procedures. For specific instructions, dates, and procedures, contact the Counseling Department and/or the Office of Admissions and Records.

General Information Meetings

Students planning to apply for admission or students wishing to enroll in any of the counseling department’s courses are urged to attend one of the informational meetings specifically planned for prospective students. Selection criteria, admission procedures, and registration and advisement procedures will be explained. For informational meeting dates, visit the department web page.


All master’s candidates are required to complete a culminating project (in lieu of a Master’s thesis) demonstrating a comprehensive and integrated understanding of the field of counseling. School Counseling culminating projects will be comprised of 1) a clinical case presentation in the COUN 515A /COUN 515B  Field Experience sequence; and 2) a culminating portfolio. Clinical Mental Health Counseling culminating projects will be comprised of 1) a clinical case presentation in the COUN 515A /COUN 515B  Field Experience sequence; and 2) passing the CMHC Exit Exam. Six hundred (600) hours of supervised field experience are required for the CMHC option and eight hundred (800) hours of supervised field experience are required for the School Counseling option.


Total units in M.A. core: 31 Units

Total units in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Concentration: 29 Units

Total units in the School Counseling Concentration: 29 Units

Total units in the degree: 60

Community College Counseling Credential

The MA degree program is not intended to meet criteria for a community college counseling specialization.

Sample Two-Year Program

Master of Arts in Counseling


School Counseling/PPSC

Total Units: 60

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