Admission Requirements

  • Have a BA/BS degree - preferably in psychology or other related behavioral sciences. School counseling students should have some first hand knowledge of the K-12 school system.
  • For both options, a course in personality theory is required; in addition, a course in abnormal psychology is required for the
    CMHC option.
  • PPS applicants have additional prerequisites (beyond the Personality Theory class). These include:
    1.      A course in child development.
    2.      In order to apply to the PPS Program, documentation that you have passed the CBEST (a requirement to obtain the PPS credential in School Counseling).
    3.      Students accepted into the School Counseling track will need to provide evidence of a current and valid Certificate of Clearance prior to the start of classes.

  • All prerequisite courses should be completed before beginning M.A. classes in the Fall of the student’s entry year.  Students may enter the program with prerequisite courses that are not complete, but it is strongly discouraged because it will delay the student’s course of studies.  Prerequisite courses not completed by the end of the Fall semester of the student’s entry year will result in the student being blocked from entering classes in the Spring.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to have acquired an undergraduate-level of understanding of human development, psychodynamic principles, family/educational systems, cognitive-behavioral applications, and client-centered therapy. This introductory knowledge base may be acquired by enrolling in relevant course-work or by undertaking thoughtful reading on these topics.
  • A 3.00 (B) grade point average. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 should include an explanation of any extenuating circumstances.
  • 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 determinig the applicant's readiness for beginning training for a career in counseling. All disclosures are held in strict confidence.
  • Departmental admissions committees have found the following criteria meaningful, or even indispensable for applicants:

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

  • GRE results are not required for admission to the Masters in Counseling program.
  • Certificate of Clearance

Application Procedures:

Students are accepted into the Counseling program only once per year, in the fall.

Beginning October 1st, apply to the University and Department via Cal State Apply: https: //

The Department of Counseling deadline for materials to be received via Cal State Apply is January 11, 2019 by 4:30pm.  You need THREE letters of recommendation. Should you or your recommender encounter difficulties with the Cal State Apply Evaluation/Letter of Recommendation process, here is the form you may use:

Fall 2019 Counseling Department Letter of Recommendation Form-click here

Helpful note: You will need to click the link AND download the form to your computer, after doing that you will be able to type on the form, save it and email it.

Please have your recommender email the completed form to:

TRANSCRIPTS: Request two sets of official transcripts. You will need one set of official transcripts sent to the Counseling Department (address below) AND one set of official transcripts sent to the Sonoma State University Admission Office (instructions below). Unsealed transcripts provided by applicants are not acceptable. If you are applying to SSU, be sure to promptly respond to the request for transcripts from Admissions and Records. If you are receiving your Bachelor’s Degree from SSU, remember to request a set of transcripts from SSU for the Counseling Department! The Counseling Department would like transcripts from all the institutions from which you received a degree and/or took any relevant (behavioral science) course work.

Sending Official Transcripts-Whenever sending materials by mail, get a tracking number (i.e. FEDEX or UPS) to make sure your items were received BEFORE the January 11, 2019 deadline.

You need two sets of official transcripts, one set for the Counseling Department and one set for the SSU Admissions Office:

MAIL ONE SET OF TRANSCRIPTS (including SSU transcripts) TO NICHOLS 220 (The Counseling Dept.):







(please see the Admissions Office website for instructions on handling the transcripts that the University requires)

All applicants to the program must follow University timelines and admission procedures. Please report difficulties with the Counseling Department Graduate School Segment of Cal State Apply to Lisa Kelley ( or phone 707-664-2544.


General Information

Students planning to apply for admission are urged to attend one of the Information Meetings specifically planned for prospective students, the meetings schedule is listed at the following website:


Selection criteria, admission procedures, and registration and advisement procedures will be explained. For information about financial aid, please visit Sonoma State's Financial Aid home page