Welcome to M.S. in Counseling, Option in School Psychology
The School Psychology Program at Cal State LA is a graduate program within the Division of Special Education and Counseling in the Charter College of Education. Students have the opportunity to earn a Master of Science degree in Counseling, option in School Psychology.
The mission of the School Psychology Program at Cal State LA is to facilitate complete access to the schooling process for ALL children, youth, and their families with recognition of their diverse, multicultural and linguistic backgrounds. The Master of Science Degree in Counseling, Option in School Psychology is designed for graduate students who plan to work as school psychologists who will focus on the psychoeducational development of individuals from birth to age 21, their abilities and potentialities, biological, emotional, behavioral, and cultural factors that influence the learning process. Candidates who earn the master’s degree with this option also qualify for the Pupil Personnel Services credential with Advanced Specialization in School Psychology and Advanced Specialization in Child Welfare and Attendance Services.
We offer a 3-year, full time program of study. Part time study options are not available. Students should expect most classes to be completed in the evening hours and to be on campus 2-4 days/week.
The M.S. in Counseling, option in School Psychology is accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
Program Application and Admission Requirements:
The school psychology program accepts one new cohort of students every year to begin in the Fall semester. Typically, we receive between 80-160 program applications every year for 24 positions. No specific undergraduate major is required, nor is a standardized test, such as the GRE. The applicant must complete and submit the university application (CSUApply) and the College application. Applications are screened by the Program Admissions Committee and in person interviews are scheduled for qualified applicants. Every qualified applicant will be required to participate in an in person interview with the Program Admissions Committee.
In addition to University requirements for admission to graduate study, students:
- must have a 2.75 GPA in the last 60 semester units or 90 quarter units attempted
- must complete an undergraduate level inferential statistics class (must be completed prior to students' second year in the program)
Below are links to tutorial videos for the Cal State/Cal State Apply and Master's Program Application process:
- Link for Admission to Cal State/Cal State Apply Tutorial: Admissions to Cal State/Cal State Apply Tutorial
- Link for Admissions to a Master's Program Tutorial: Admissions to Master's Program Tutorial
- Will I be okay if I only meet the minimum GPA requirement?
Most years we receive well over a hundred applications with GPAs above the minimum 2.75 requirement. During those times we tend to interview applicants whose GPA is above 3.0, consistent with the minimum GPA that graduate students are expected to maintain. If one has taken graduate coursework, those units and GPA are considered; however, the undergraduate record is still evaluated as part of the last 60 semester units or 90 quarter units.
- What are you looking for in a candidate for your program?
We are looking for candidates with a strong commitment to become a School Psychologist, a willingness and readiness to study on a full-time basis, an appreciation for cultural and linguistic diversity, excellent communication skills (oral and written), a desire to work with children and adolescents – including students with special needs, good interpersonal skills, and shared values with the Charter College of Education & Division of Special Education & Counseling.
- If I have a low GPA, will my experience or letters of recommendation be considered?
We always take experience and letters of recommendation into consideration when evaluating candidates for our program. We do not, however, consider such experience as compensatory for scholastic achievement. Advisors are available to recommend ways to improve academic performance.
- If I miss the deadline, can I start taking classes in the program until I can apply next year?
If you have been accepted to the University, you will have status as an unclassified graduate student and that will allow you to enroll into 4000-level courses. However, all of our coursework is at the 5000-level and you will need instructor consent to enroll in them. Even if the coursework is taken here at Cal State L.A., all coursework taken prior to formally being admitted into the program will have to be considered transfer units.
- How can I tell if a course I took at another university meets the prerequisite requirement?
Meet with the program coordinator or a program advisor. Bring transcript and course description for the course in question. You may also meet with the instructor of the course and obtain a brief letter in which the instructor indicates that the course you took is the equivalent.
- If I already have a Masters or Doctorate degree, can I apply for only the PPS credential?
Our program offers the Master of Science degree in Counseling or a related field. If your degree is in an unrelated field, then you should apply for the degree as well as the credential. If you obtained a Master of Arts degree (45 semester units or 60 quarter units) in a related field such as Psychology or Special Education, then again, you should be applying for the Master of Science degree and the credential. If you have a M.S. degree or Doctorate in a related field, then you can apply for the PPS credential only. Credential-only candidates are evaluated based on their fitness to enter into the second year of our training program. Thus, it is highly recommended to meet with an advisor to determine whether you have completed the first year program requirements.
Master of Science Degree in Counseling, Option in School Psychology