The counseling program is a careful balance of theory with practice. Students are required to complete a practicum and a minimum of two internships. Over the years, the department has developed a variety of sites for experiential learning. These sites include elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, public and private social service agencies, and hospitals and businesses. Learning sites are jointly selected with advisement.
Program Specific Information
(Course Work, Candidacy & Portfolio Requirements)
A minimum of 60 semester hour credits of graduate work is required for the Master of Education degree with specialization in Counseling. Certification as a School Counselor by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) requires successful completion of four (4) PRAXIS Exams. All students must successfully complete the three (3) subtests of the PPST PRAXIS Exam prior to candidacy. The School Guidance and Counseling PRAXIS Exam (#0420) should be completed toward the end of a student’s course of study, ideally following or while enrolled in Clinical Field Experience II and Organization and Administration of School Counseling Services.
- Dual (PK-12) School Counseling Specialization (Degree and Certification)
The Master of Science degree with specialization in Counseling has been designed to meet the needs of students whose backgrounds and aspirations vary. Its orientation is toward persons who are preparing for service in areas other than elementary and secondary schools; therefore, completion of the Master of Science degree will not lead to certification as a school counselor. A minimum of 48 semester credit hours is required for completing all specialization degrees except for the Mental Health specialization which requires 60 semester hour credits. A common core curriculum provides each student with a common base of substantive and experiential knowledge. The remaining credits are taken in an area of emphasis which has been planned with the close assistance of an advisor.
Students in this Counseling program may select, with Departmental approval, an area of emphasis from the following: Clinical Mental Health Counseling, College Counseling, and College Student Personnel.
- Mental Health Counseling Concentration: The Mental Health Counseling emphasis is designed to prepare counselors with a significant level of diagnostic and treatment skills. Those selected into the program are expected to complete 60 credits, including an Advanced Clinical Field Experience (3 credits).
- College Student Personnel: The College Student Personnel emphasis provides preparation for persons who plan to work as student affairs educators in colleges, universities, or community colleges.
In addition to the “for credit courses” each student in the College Student Personnel specialization is required to complete a research project during the program. The proposal for the study should be completed during the CNS 600, Research and Statistics course which should be taken early in the program. Additional work on the project will be completed in CNS 587, Advanced Research Seminar in Counseling (offered only in the summer). Completion of the research project is due April 1 for graduation in May, and July 15 for graduation in August and October 15 for December graduation, unless otherwise approved by the instructor. Note that the project is to be turned into the instructor journal ready. Minor or major revisions may be necessary prior to graduation.
- College Counseling Concentration: The College Counseling emphasis prepares counselors to work in college, university, and community college settings.
Certification-Only School Counseling
For more information about Certification-Only School Counseling, please look at
this PDF file.