Masters In School Counseling With PPS Credential California

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Masters In School Counseling With PPS Credential California Overview

There are Schools that runs Counseling degree with a specialization in School Counseling and the California Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) credential for School Counseling. The Master of Arts in Counseling and Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Counseling is an integrated program designed to streamline the process by reducing the steps to becoming a school counselor. Change the lives of adolescents by encouraging them to pursue college, a career and dream about their future.

  • Understand state and federal laws and regulations affecting school district guidance programs.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of personal strengths, assets, values, beliefs, and attitudes.
  • Apply research-based counseling theory to particular problems.
  • Create effective counseling program.
Master's Programs | California State University, Northridge
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The mission of the SDSU School Counseling program is to prepare school counselors to become leaders, advocates, and systems change agents in our diverse schools. As an integral part of the total educational program for student success, school counselors learn to design, develop, implement and evaluate their comprehensive school counseling program to ensure that every student receives developmentally appropriate competencies in academic, career and personal/social development.

School counselors become professional student advocates who promote equity and access to a rigorous education for every student and who work to prevent and remove barriers to learning. Our graduates develop themselves as culturally sustaining leaders in educational transformation and social justice in the schools and communities they serve.

Masters of Science in Counseling, Option in School Psychology | California  State University, Northridge | School psychology, Educational psychology,  Psychology

Program Design

The program consists of 2 years of full-time graduate study for a 64-unit Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Counseling with a specialization in School Counseling and the California Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) credential for School Counseling.

If you’d like to earn your master’s or Ph.D. in counseling in California, take a look at these top-ranked schools. For actors and actresses, writers and directors, California – specifically Hollywood – has long been a land of opportunity. More recently, Silicon Valley has emerged as a career springboard for many an aspiring tech guru. But this West Coast state provides a haven for another industry as well: counseling!

Although there’s no single counselor education landmark to match the cultural recognition of Hollywood or Silicon Valley, there are plenty of top-notch universities scattered all across the state – from San Diego to Sonoma – that have the ability to help you launch a successful career in clinical mental health counseling, school counseling, marriage and family counseling, and many other areas of this helping profession.

8. University of San Diego

San Diego, CA

School Counseling, M.A.; Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.A.

Between the University of San Diego’s two accredited master’s in counseling degrees, this school is able to provide an impressively comprehensive survey of psychological and counseling-related topics. On the school counseling side, students can concentrate in Pupil Personnel Services (PPS), which requires 48 units of study, or combine the PPS credential with training to be a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (15 additional credits, or 63 in total). For aspiring Clinical Mental Health Counselors, an engaging, hands-on curriculum – which includes a minimum requirement of 725 supervised clinical hours – will transform them from curious amateurs to seasoned professionals.
Tuition & Fees: $25,192/yr
Score: 60

How High School Counselors Can Help Students, Parents - US News

7. California State University-Sacramento

Sacramento, CA

School Counseling, M.S.; Career Counseling, M.S.; Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling/Therapy, M.S.

If Sacramento is a little too “SoCal” for you, there’s good news; plenty of other colleges, including California State University at Sacramento, also have top counseling master’s degree programs. CSU Sacramento’s counselor education program finds its strength in extensive faculty experience, community service, and public outreach. These values manifest themselves throughout the program; for example, the curriculum relies heavily on practicum experiences, field study, seminars, and portfolio projects that encourage students to start thinking in real terms. CSU Sacramento is also one of just schools on this California master’s in counseling list to offer a specialization in Career Counseling.
Tuition & Fees: $12,602/yr
Score: 74

6. California State University-Fresno

Fresno, CA

Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling, M.S.

Maybe Sacramento is a little too far north for you. If so, try splitting the difference and head about two hours back down south to Fresno, California. Here, at CSU Fresno, you can access what very few schools offer: an accredited master’s degree in counseling devoted entirely to marriage, couple, and family relationships (the university does provide tracks in school, student affairs, and college counseling that are not CACREP accredited). Along with this access, CSU Fresno counseling students benefit from a number of specialized facilities, such as the Fresno Family Counseling Center and the Reading Laboratory.
Tuition & Fees: $12,041/yr
Score: 76

5. California State University-Fullerton

Fullerton, CA

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.S.

Are you noticing a theme yet? The third out of five CSU universities on this top master’s in counseling degree ranking, Cal State Fullerton’s program shares plenty of similarities with its sibling schools. But there are also plenty of differences – namely, that the Fullerton campus is the only school in the CSU state system with an accredited master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. This program will prepare you to become a licensed professional clinical counselor, but it also meets state educational requirements to train licensed marriage and family therapists. The curriculum’s crossover appeal, plus flexible scheduling that includes evening classes, summer sessions, and part-time enrollment options, make CSU Fullerton an attractive choice for grad students of all types.
Tuition & Fees: $12,167/yr
Score: 84

4. California State University-Northridge

Northridge, CA

Student Affairs, M.S.; Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling/Therapy, M.S.; Career Counseling, M.S.; School Counseling, M.S.

Instead of traveling south of Los Angeles to Fullerton, you could head about the same distance in the other direction and find yourself in Northridge, home to another CSU campus. One of the most striking features of this top master’s in counseling degree program is the sheer variety of specializations on offer – four, to be exact. The School Counseling track offers training for grades K through 12, while the College Counseling option emphasizes job opportunities at community colleges and universities. In comparison, the Career Counseling track will prepare you for work in schools but also industry and government. Throw in the Marriage and Family option and you’ve got a comprehensive program that easily covers the entire spectrum of human development.
Tuition & Fees: $12,299/yr
Score: 89

MA School Counseling, PPSC, & LPCC | Attallah College of Educational  Studies | Chapman University

3. California State University-Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA

M.S. in Counseling, Option in School-Based Family Counseling

After mentioning the Fullerton and Northridge campuses, it seems fitting that we also include the CSU school sitting right between them: Cal State Los Angeles. This university ranks as the best masters in counseling degree program of any CSU branch on our list, primarily due to its long history in counselor education (the university first earned CACREP accreditation in 1978!). With age comes wisdom, as they say, and the College of Education has sagely leveraged their experience in the field to develop a truly unique degree option. Officially labeled a “School-Based Family Counseling Program,” this M.S. in Counseling will qualify you for both LPCC and MFT licensure and comes with a PPS credential as well CWA advanced authorization.
Tuition & Fees: $12,085/yr
Score: 94

2. San Francisco State University

San Francisco, CA

Career Counseling, M.S.; Gerontological Counseling, M.S.; Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling/Therapy, M.S.; College Counseling, M.S.; School Counseling, M.S.

Enough about Los Angeles! If you’d like to trade a city of celebrities for a city of culture and bohemian character, San Francisco is right up your alley. For aspiring counselors, this move may take them to San Francisco State University, the leading source of counseling graduate degrees in California – at least when it comes to variety, that is. Five separate accredited programs prove that SFSU has been working hard to make sure its curriculum meets the highest national standards. And the sheer size of this program comes as a major benefit to students, who can immerse themselves in the active department through extracurriculars like the Counseling Student Association as well as workshops, events, and conferences throughout the year.
Tuition & Fees: $12,206/yr
Score: 98

1. Sonoma State University

Rohnert Park, CA

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.A.; School Counseling, M.A.

Masters In School Counseling With PPS Credential Online - College Learners

Earn Your Master’s in School Counseling and Guide Students to Discover Their Full Potential

APU’s Master of Arts in Education: Educational Counseling program equips candidates with in-depth understanding of the numerous issues and pressures facing pupils today. With a solid background in this area, candidates are better able to communicate with pupils of all cultures, socioeconomic levels, and learning abilities.

The master’s degree coupled with the Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Counseling significantly increases one’s marketability. This program immerses the candidate into the world of school counseling, emphasizing practical techniques to help pupils stay in school. Candidates explore problem-solving skills, discipline procedures, crisis and routine intervention, and work side-by-side with practicing school counselors.

Program Highlights

APU’s Master of Arts in Education: Educational Counseling with embedded School Counseling Credential program:

  • Combines the master’s degree with the credential program requirements, equipping students to advance their career.
  • Renders the graduate highly marketable and competitively qualified to serve as a professional school counselor in a public school setting.
  • Offers an efficient path toward the dual goal of meeting state requirements and earning a prestigious advanced degree from a reputable university.

Meet a School Counselor Who Helps Students Prepare for the Future

Pursuing a career in K-12 education meant Tony Morrow ’11, M.A.Ed. ’12 would be a positive influence early in students’ journeys. Meet Tony and learn more about the role of school counselors. Watch Now Meet the Faculty: Roberta Alba

Meet Roberta Alba, EdD, assistant professor in the Department of School Counseling and School Psychology

School of Education Accreditation

Azusa Pacific University receives accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). In addition, the School of Education receives accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), which is transitioning to the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), making APU one of only three private schools in California with this distinction. Further, our credential programs are accredited by California’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). Our Educational Psychology program is also accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). These notable accreditations set APU graduates apart from other candidates and ensure that your degree will be recognized throughout the United States and internationally.

University Reputation

Azusa Pacific University secured a place in the most prestigious category of U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges 2019 rankings, and also ranked No. 22 for First-Year Experience, No. 23 in Service Learning, and No. 31 in Campus Ethnic Diversity. In addition, Forbes and The Princeton Review included Azusa Pacific in their America’s Top Colleges 2019 and 2020 Best Western Colleges rankings, respectively. Azusa Pacific is also a military-friendly Yellow Ribbon University, serving more than 500 military-connected students and families, and is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as an R2 Doctoral Research University.

School Social Work Credentials

Overall employment of social workers is projected to grow 13% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment of child, family, and school social workers is expected to grow by 12% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. In schools, more social workers will be needed as student enrollments rise. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook-Social Workers,(link is external) September 2020)

School Social Work Credentialing (“PPSC”) Program

School social work is one of the fastest growing areas of social work practice.

To meet this growing demand, Berkeley Social Welfare offers a fully accredited curriculum in school social work practice, leading to eligibility for a recommendation for the Pupil Personnel Services Credential (“PPSC”)(PDF file)(link is external) with a specialization in School Social Work (“PPS/SSW”), which is issued by the State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).(link is external) The PPS School Social Work credential is typically a requirement for employment as a school social worker in California K-12 public schools.

Berkeley’s PPSC program educates master’s-level social workers to assist public schools in achieving their educational and developmental missions. We aim to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to be effective public school social workers. Students electing the school social work credentialing program option learn intervention skills to address the problems of school children and their families. Academic and field education experiences focus on serving disadvantaged and at-risk pupils and their families in an informed and self-reflective manner.

Our graduates understand the services available to vulnerable children and their families through the primary public service systems in the community, in addition to regular and special education. We emphasize collaborative and interdisciplinary modes of practice that include direct service with school children, their parents and caretakers; collaboration with teachers, administrators and other support personnel; linkage and advocacy with other resource providers; program evaluation; and participation in interdisciplinary educational teams. 

Requirements for the PPS Credential with a Specialization in School Social Work

Individuals must satisfy all of the following requirements in order to be eligible for a PPS/SSW credential recommendation from Berkeley. For more detailed information please read the CTC’s Pupil Personnel Services: School Social Work Preconditions, Program Standards, and Performance Expectations.(link is external)

Bachelor’s Degree

Individuals seeking the PPS School Social Work credential must hold a minimum of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. To be eligible for a credential recommendation from Berkeley Social Welfare, students seeking the PPS/SSW credential must provide an official transcript documenting conferral of a baccalaureate degree. For this reason we highly encourage all applicants to the MSW Program to upload official copies of transcripts to their online UC Berkeley Graduate and Professional Application for Admission whenever possible.

Master’s Degree and School Social Work Practice Curriculum

PPS/SSW candidates must complete a post-baccalaureate program study consisting of a minimum of 45 semester units in an approved professional preparation program specializing in school social work, including a practicum with school-aged children. Berkeley Social Welfare’s fully accredited MSW Program and associated curriculum in school social work practice satisfy this requirement for the PPS/SSW credential.

In addition to successfully completing all requirements for the Master of Social Welfare (MSW) degree, students seeking the PPS School Social Work credential must complete the following courses as part of their program of study:

  • SOC WEL 212-Child Development from Infancy to Adolescence in its Social Context(link is external) is required for the Berkeley MSW specialization in Strengthening Children, Youth and Families (SCYF). PPS/SSW students may petition to waive this course requirement if they can provide proof of completion of another college-level course that addresses equivalent content and it is approved by our program.
  • SOC WEL 232-Social Work and Education Policy(link is external) and SOC WEL 250T-Social Work Practice in School Settings(link is external) must both be completed at Berkeley in order to be eligible for a PPS/SSW credential recommendation from Berkeley Social Welfare. No transfer credit or waivers are granted for either of these courses.

Field Practice Experience

PPS/SSW candidates must complete a minimum of 1000 hours of field experience that includes at least 450 hours of school-based field placement in public pre-schools, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, district level and alternative schools. Candidates must work in multiple public school levels and the distribution of hours should be decided in collaboration with the candidate, field supervisor, and university supervisor.

Berkeley Social Welfare MSW students satisfy the field experience requirement through a combination of both first and second year MSW field placements. MSW students pursuing the PPS credentials will typically need to have a second year field placement in a school-based setting. This arrangement is most meaningful in terms of synchronizing required academic course work with field experiences.

PPS/SSW candidates should have a broad base of experiences including but not limited to: families and students identified as eligible for Free and Reduced Priced Meals, English Language Learners, Homeless, Foster Youth, Students in need of Special Education and Section 504 plans, students who have been expelled from school, sexual minority youth (LGBTQ+), and students with mental health needs. School-based field placements intended to satisfy the field practice experience requirement for the PPS/SSW should provide credential-seeking students with direct contact with students and families that is sufficient to demonstrate competency in the School Social Work Performance Expectations(link is external).

Masters In School Counseling With PPS Credential Online –

Field Practice Supervision Requirements

A PPS/SSW candidate must be supervised by someone who holds a PPS credential in School Social Work, or an MSW with another PPS credential, and a minimum of two years post MSW experience. In addition, a valid Child Welfare and Attendance (CWA) authorization is required in those settings where the candidate will accrue hours and experience toward the CWA authorization. PPS/SSW candidates must meet with their field supervisor for a minimum of one (1) hour of individual supervision per week.

Certificate of Clearance

BEFORE beginning any school-based field placement that will be used to satisfy the PPS/SSW field practice experience requirement, credential-seeking students must obtain a Certificate of Clearance(PDF file)(link is external) (or hold another valid certificate or permit) issued by the CTC. The Certificate of Clearance is a document issued to an individual who has completed the required fingerprint(link is external) and background check process. You MUST obtain the Certificate of Clearance prior to accruing any school-based field placement hours you wish to have count towards the PPS/SSW field experience requirement.

Obtaining a Certificate of Clearance is a two-step process: FIRST you complete CTC-specific LiveScan fingerprinting(link is external), and THEN you apply for the Certificate of Clearance(PDF file)(link is external) online through the CTC Online(link is external) system.

Individuals who have received fingerprint clearance from a school district, other California state agencies, or in other states are NOT exempt from this requirement and must fingerprint for the CTC. This means you must complete the LiveScan process specifically for the CTC(link is external), even if you have already done it for another agency. Exceptions are granted only to individuals who have already completed the fingerprint process, and have been issued a valid document by the CTC. These individuals are not required to obtain another Certificate of Clearance. Certificates of Clearance are valid for five years.

Add-on Specialization in Child Welfare and Attendance

Child Welfare and Attendance (CWA)(link is external) is a specialized student support service intended to help address complicated issues regarding student attendance or behavior problems. PPS/SSW candidates may also seek the add-on CWA Authorization(PDF file)(link is external), which requires a minimum of 150 clock hours of supervised school-based field experience engaging in supervised practice in the following areas: student attendance, student enrollment and discipline, educational records, parent engagement, and legal and ethical compliance related to pupil services. Berkeley Social Welfare’s curriculum in school social work practice addresses requirements for both the PPS/SSW credential and the add-on CWA Authorization.

Basic Skills Requirement

All applicants for a PPS/SSW credential must complete the state’s Basic Skills Requirement(PDF file)(link is external) in order to be eligible for a credential recommendation. The basic skills requirement may also be required as a condition of employment in some school districts. All credential candidates MUST provide a copy of the examination score report used to verify completion of the Basic Skills Requirement prior to requesting an online credential recommendation from Berkeley Social Welfare (generally upon completion of the program).

The Basic Skills Requirement is most commonly satisfied by successfully passing the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST).(link is external) Several alternative options are also accepted by the CTC. For more information on how to complete this requirement please see the CTC’s Basic Skills Requirement Leaflet.(PDF file)(link is external)

Recommendation from a CTC-approved PPS Preparation Program

PPS/SSW credential candidates must obtain the recommendation of a California college or university with a CTC-approved Pupil Personnel Services program specializing in school social work. Upon verification that all requirements have been satisfied, Berkeley Social Welfare submits credential recommendations on behalf of eligible candidates online directly to CTC.

Declaring PPSc for current MSW Students

Use this Declaration and Documentation Form(link is external) to declare your intent to pursue the Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Social Work (PPS/SSW), and to provide information about or upload documentation indicating you have satisfied the requirements to be eligible for a credential recommendation from Berkeley Social Welfare. You will also use this form to submit your request for an online credential recommendation when you have completed all requirements.


School Counseling (PPS)

The School Counseling / Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential option is a 60 unit program, comprised of 19 units of Major Core Requirements and 41 units of School Counseling coursework. 

To earn the Pupil Personnel Services Credential Master’s degree, students must complete the core requirements above and the School Counseling specialization courses below.

While it is possible to complete all the courses required for the credential in a two-year period, such a program requires careful planning. The Department intends to offer each PPS course at least once a year, but students need to plan the sequence with their advisor to insure it matches the availability of courses. 

COUN 501 Counseling Theories & Professional Orientation4
COUN 510A Applied Counseling Techniques & Assessment 4
COUN 511F Career Counseling: Foundations, Measurement and Assessment, and Issues Throughout the Lifespan 3
COUN 513 Research, Evaluation, and Assessment in Counseling4
COUN 570 Multicultural Counseling 4
COUN 510B Counseling Practicum4
COUN 511G Academic/Career Planning and Counseling Issues of K-12 Populations1
COUN 514A School Counseling Field Experience I4
COUN 514B School Counseling Field Experience II4
COUN 520 Introduction to School Counseling 4
COUN 521 Pupil Personnel Services: Concepts and Organization 4
COUN 523 Working with Families in a School Setting 4
COUN 524 Counseling Children & Adolescents4
COUN 526 Group Counseling in the Schools4
COUN 527 Law & Ethics for School Counselors4
COUN 528A Consultation 3
COUN 528B Crisis Intervention 1

All Master’s candidates are required to complete a project representing a comprehensive and integrative understanding of the field of Counseling. Projects include a case analysis and a comprehensive exit exam.

Six hundred hours of supervised field experience are required for other PPS options. For the PPS Credential at least 450 of these hours are to be completed in two out of the following sites: elementary school, junior high or high school.


The School and College Counseling program at CSUDH offers a blended educational counseling program with the opportunity to specialize in both school and college student populations. Students are able to simultaneously earn one or more of the objectives below:  

Degree and Credential Objectives offered in the Counseling Program:

  • Master of Science in Counseling, School Counseling option
  • Master of Science in Counseling, College Counseling option
  • Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential, School Counseling
  • Child Welfare and Attendance (CWA) Authorization
  • Certificate in College Counseling

Please click the following program links for specific information about the M.S. in Counseling, PPS, CWA, and Certificate in College Counseling programs:

The School/College Counseling program admits new students once a year, every Fall Semester. The application window opens on October 1st and closes on February 1st. Applications must be submitted in full by the Feb. 1st deadline for consideration. 

Counseling Online Information Session

We invite you to attend our next Information Session scheduled for Wed. Nov. 3, 2021, 6:00 pm via Zoom.  

Registration link:

Counseling Info. Session Flyer [click here]Please download our Program Information sheet and Frequently Asked Questions (links below) prior to the session to best inform you about our program. Prospective students will have the opportunity to ask questions to faculty and current students. 

To Apply to the Counseling Program:

  1. Download the MS Counseling Program Information to learn about the specific items you will need to complete the application. The Frequently Asked Questions sheet is also very helpful to prospective students when applying.
  2. Apply through Cal State Apply Cal State Apply .The Cal State Apply application is the only application needed to apply to the Counseling program. The application fee is $70 and is non-refundable.   
  3. Applications must be completed in full by the Feb. 1 deadline in order to be considered for admission, so be sure to upload all requested documents and respond to each question carefully. 

Please contact the Division of Graduate Education office for more information: (310) 243-3524.

The Counseling and Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) graduate programs at CSUDH’s College of Education prepare educators to work successfully with culturally and linguistically diverse learners in urban schools grade Pre-K through 12 as school counselors, as well as college counselors in community colleges and universities. Valued and hired by public school districts throughout greater Los Angeles, as well as private schools and institutions of higher education, our Counseling graduates are recognized for their professional standards, collaborative skills and commitment to educational equality for all learners.

Features of the Counseling and PPS programs include:

M.S. in Counseling with options in School Counseling and College Counseling

The Master of Science in Counseling program prepares students for careers in a variety of educational counseling settings.  Students can choose to specialize in School or College specializations and are able to concurrently pursue the Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) credential, which is required to work as a School Counselor in the public schools.

Our program is designed to provide students with a broad conceptual knowledge base in counseling, and training in specific counseling skills applicable to a diversity of populations and needs.  Our program stresses the importance of self-awareness, reflective examination, and intrapersonal and professional growth in order to provide a comprehensive preparation in educational counseling.

Specialized Credential in Pupil Personnel Services (PPS), School Counseling, Optional authorization in Child Welfare and Attendance (CWA)

Candidates completing the M.S. in Counseling (in either option) have the option to simultaneously earn a PPS Credential in School Counseling provided they have passed the CBEST. The PPS Credential program equips candidates with the knowledge and skills to promote the personal, social and academic development of multicultural and linguistically diverse pupils in public schools. Candidates completing the PPS Credential also have the option of earning an authorization in Child Welfare and Attendance (CWA). The CWA authorization prepares candidates with the specialized training to assist pupils with school attendance and truancy concerns.

Theory into Practice

Blending theory and practice, our Counseling courses include assignments and projects that integrate research, practice, reflective and experiential learning and field-based experience. Through field experiences in schools, colleges, and other community agencies, Counseling and PPS candidates have a range of opportunities to gain valuable firsthand experience with students in educational settings.

Evolving Curriculum

By continually assessing and evaluating the needs of local urban schools, the Counseling coursework and training remain relevant and connected to the current demands of school districts as well as the communities they serve. Candidates finish the program well prepared to anticipate and address emerging as well as existing challenges learners face in today’s urban high-needs schools.

Post-Master’s, School Counseling PPS

Program Details

The Counseling Department at Saint Mary’s prepares PPSC students to become professional, empathic, well-rounded School Counselors through best practice academics and field experience. Our counseling framework emphasizes culturally responsive counseling and social justice, which is reflected in the College’s Lasallian Core Principles and the Department’s Student Learning Outcomes. In keeping with CCTC requirements, our program gives primary emphasis to helping public school pupils achieve academic success by emphasizing the importance of student support services. We also emphasize the holistic wellness of students and school communities, and our students learn how to support PreK–12 pupils in the academic, career, and social/emotional domains as outlined by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA).

Each student receives an individualized plan of study within a cohort model, wraparound supervision and support both on campus and in the field, and attends intentionally small classes for an in-depth experience. Saint Mary’s PPSC graduates enter schools with the self-confidence and skills to be advocates for their students, parents, teachers, and greater community.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the School Counseling PPS Credential-Only, applicants must already hold a clinically-based master’s degree from a regionally accredited university. For a degree to be clinically-based, you must have had specific coursework in counseling skills and fieldwork hours supervised by a licensed or credentialed supervisor. Common qualifying degrees include:

  • Counseling
  • Social Work
  • Clinical Psychology

While the following master’s degrees are certainly relevant, they do not include counseling skills or fieldwork components, and therefore do not qualify for the credential-only program: General Psychology that is research focused, Education, Special Education, Applied Behavior Analysis. However, if you have one of these degrees, you are encouraged to apply to our full master’s program, specialize in School Counseling (which includes the credential), and you will likely be able to transfer and challenge several courses.

If you earned your master’s at a university outside of the United States, you must first complete a foreign transcript evaluation by a CCTC-approved company. This process will determine course and degree equivalency necessary to confirm eligibility.

Again, if you do not meet the eligibility requirements for this program, but still wish to become a School Counselor, you may apply to the full master’s program and specialize in School Counseling — which includes the School Counseling PPS

Admissions Requirements

  • Application and $50 fee.
  • 2–3 page, double spaced personal statement of academic and professional goals (if GPA is lower than 2.8, please address it in your Personal Statement & second interview is required)
  • Current resume
  • One official transcript (sealed) from all colleges or universities attended. If your bachelor’s degree is in progress, upload an unofficial one now; then send the official transcript after your degree is posted. 
  • Bachelor’s degree: Evidence of completion from a regionally-accredited college
  • Three letters of recommendation from professional and/or academic references who can evaluate your potential to be a counselor. Letters from personal references (such as family or friends) will not be accepted. Please provide three professional and or academic references and their contact information in the Recommenders section of the application. The online system will contact them directly with instructions on uploading letters of recommendation. 
    • Please note: Letters of Recommendation must be received for your file to be deemed complete and ready for review; however, the letters DO NOT need to be received by admissions prior to submitting your application.
  • Evidence of health insurance (and/or a signed waiver)
  • Results of a tuberculin test (within the last year)

For Master’s degree applicants specializing in School Counseling and School Psychology or Post-MA, PPS Credential students only:

  • Certificate of Clearance (student needs to have paid for the CTC document): Required for all School Counseling and School Psychology applicants. Clearance is mandatory before any PPS School Counseling or School Psychology student enters any practicum or field placement.
  • Proof of registration for CBEST test or passing another Basic Skills Requirement (BSR) alternative option approved by the CCTC. Passing is not required for admission; however, a passing BSR is required prior to beginning any practicum or field placement.
School Counseling | Fresno Pacific University

NOTE: After submitting your application, you will be notified to schedule an admissions interview.


You may begin your application and reference our admissions checklist and application deadlines and requirements to ensure it is completed thoroughly. 

If you have not been working in the field since earning a master’s degree, then you must take the National Counselor Examination (NCE) to verify currency before a plan of study is created. 


After your application is processed and it is determined that your Master’s meet the CTC requirements, you will be contacted to schedule a group interview. If your graduate GPA is below 2.8, a second, individual interview is also required.


Once you have been admitted into the School Counseling PPS Credential-Only Program, you will pay a $200 transcript evaluation fee and a faculty advisor will create your individualized plan of study. Most students will earn their credential in 1.5 or 2 years.

You will need to supply your master’s degree transcript, course syllabi, and course catalogs, for evaluation to determine which of your master’s courses are transferrable. To fulfill the College’s residency requirement, at least 27 units must be completed within the PPSC Program. A maximum of 9 units (3 full unit classes) can be transferred in and 18 additional units may be challenged. Professional experience is also taken into consideration for course challenges and will be discussed with the faculty advisor when creating your plan of study. 

Courses acceptable for transfer credit must have been taken within the last five years. Coursework may be acceptable beyond five years if you are able to display current experience and knowledge or by taking the National Counselor Examination (NCE).

You may reference our general School Counseling plan of study to compare to your graduate transcript and see which courses you may want to challenge, transfer, or still need to take.

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