Counseling, MA Frequently Asked Questions

  • Begin the application for your MA in Counseling and reference our admissions checklist and application deadlines and requirements to ensure it is completed thoroughly
  • For those interested in the Post-Master’s, PPS Credential-Only Program in School Counseling, please visit the link for details regarding eligibility and admissions
  • Once your application has been received, you will be contacted by our department to schedule a group admissions interview

The Counseling Department has fall and spring term admissions. Those who are accepted to the department may begin their coursework in fall or spring semester. We strongly encourage you to begin the application process three months before the term in which you want to begin.

  • The Tuition and Fees page has current details regarding Counseling program costs per unit
  • The Financial Aid page has current resources and information about scholarships, loan forgiveness, financial aid webinars and more!

We require a BA or BS degree with a minimum GPA of 2.8. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA below a 2.8 are still welcome to apply, but we ask that they address the circumstances surrounding their GPA in their required 2-3 page Personal Statement. Applicants with a GPA below 2.8 are also required to attend a second, individual admissions interview.

Many of our students work full or part-time. We do not recommend that students go to school full-time if they are working full-time. We instead recommend they opt for a longer plan of study.

It depends on your specialization(s). We offer cohort plans of study that vary in length for each specialization so that students may choose the plan that best suits their needs. On average the plans of study range from 2–4 years in length. The shortest plan of study for our School Psychology specialization is 3 years. Dual specialization plans of study are also available, for those interested in more than one specialization!

When are classes held?

Our Counseling Department classes meet once a week in the evenings on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday from 4:15–7:00pm and 7:15–10:00pm. Some Saturday classes are required, including Counseling Skills (COUN 520 and COUN 521), which are held on alternating Saturdays. During the truncated January and Summer Terms, classes may meet 2-3 times per week and evening class times may vary. 



Where are classes held?

All Counseling Department classes are held on the Saint Mary’s College campus in Moraga. We do not have any online courses or satellite locations. Most classes are in the Kalmanovitz School of Education (KSOE), in Filippi Academic Hall (FAH). Visit our campus map for directions.

WHY IS A CERTIFICATE OF CLEARANCE REQUIRED FOR ADMISSION for those applying to the School Counseling or School Psychology specializations or the PPS Credential-only programs?


It is required by state law that every participant in a basic credential preparation program complete a fingerprint clearance check and receive a Certificate of Clearance through the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC).

Before being officially admitted to the KSOE you must have applied to the CCTC and PAID for this clearance. The clearance document must be ISSUED prior to the start of your practicum placement (COUN 235 for School Counseling or COUN 527 for School Psychology).

No, there is no need for St. Mary's students to take the CBEST. The counseling curriculum at St. Mary's College of California includes the coursework necessary to meet the Basic Skills Requirement (BSR) for the Pupil Personnel Services Credential. When filling out your St. Mary's application for the Education Specialist in School Psychology, a specialization in School Counseling or either of these credential-only programs, please indicate that you intend to meet the the BSR through the "Coursework" option.

Yes! For more details about our Counseling programs and the chance to meet some faculty and staff, please attend one of our Information Sessions! To schedule a time to speak with an admissions counselor, click the button below. 

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