Jul 18, 2024  
2023/2024 University Catalog 
2023/2024 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Education, Counseling Concentration, M.A.

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(Major Code: 08261) (SIMS Code: 331021)

Submit the following in the supplementary program application.

  1. A personal statement;
  2. Employment and educational history;
  3. Three letters of recommendation.

For more information contact:
Department of Counseling and School Psychology

Admission to the Degree Curriculum

Applicants must satisfy the general requirements for admission to the university with classified graduate standing, as described in Admission and Registration . In addition, applicants must have completed a minimum of 12 units in professional education courses and must either be admitted to the program of teacher education or hold a valid California credential, other than an emergency or provisional credential, before being recommended for classified graduate standing. (This is not applicable to students in the Departments of Administration, Rehabilitation and Postsecondary Education, Counseling and School Psychology, Learning Design and Technology, Special Education, and School of Teacher Education.)

A student desiring a concentration in educational leadership must, in addition to the above, meet specific requirements for admission to the appropriate advanced credential program. A student desiring a master’s degree concentration in counseling, dual language and English learner education, or in special education must also meet specific admission requirements. (For further information, refer to the College of Education, Office of Graduate Programs, or to the coordinators of the respective programs. Students in counseling and school psychology should go to the Department of Counseling and School Psychology website http://go.sdsu.edu/education/csp/Default.aspx.

Advancement to Candidacy

A student desiring a Master of Arts degree in education with a concentration in counseling, educational leadership, elementary curriculum, instruction, reading education, or secondary curriculum and instruction may be advanced to candidacy upon completion of the basic requirements as described in Requirements for Master’s Degrees  of this bulletin.

Specific Requirements

In addition to meeting the requirements for admission to the university with classified graduate standing and the credential requirements as applicable, the student must satisfy the basic requirements for the master’s degree described in Requirements for Master’s Degrees . In addition, the student must meet the requirements specified for one of the concentrations in education (described below). Courses common to all concentrations are

Plan A

Which requires

Plan B

In which three options are available

All candidates for the Master of Arts degree in education who elect Plan B must pass a comprehensive examination.

The Comprehensive Examination

This written examination, designed to evaluate the achievement in the specific area of the student’s concentration, is required of all candidates for the master’s degree in education. A student is eligible to take the comprehensive examination only after advancement to candidacy.

The examination is offered near the midpoint of each semester. A reservation must be made at least one week in advance of the examination. For information on exact dates, and for a reservation, check with the coordinators of the respective programs.

Selection of Plan A or Plan B

In general, applicants will be programmed for Plan B, the seminar plan. After the student is approximately half way through the program, has secured an adviser and established a thesis plan, permission to transfer to Plan A may be requested. Plan A is designed for students who have a particular research problem they wish to investigate in some detail. Requests for transfer to Plan A must be prepared as an official change in program for the master’s degree, countersigned by the faculty adviser, and submitted to the Office of Graduate Programs in the College of Education.

Both Plan B options provide students the opportunity (1) to have two experiences which emphasize research or evaluation and writing, (2) to participate actively in the projects of the other members of the seminar, and (3) to subject their own work to critical evaluation by the other seminar members. Both plans require the ability to formulate and define research or evaluation problems, to assemble data pertinent to the problem, to draw conclusions, and to present the study in acceptable written form. It is expected that the two seminars will be at least as demanding as the thesis with respect to the difficulty and quantity of work required. Selection of one of the Plan B options must be made with the approval of the departmental faculty adviser.

Course Requirements

NOTE: Students are requested to consult with the appropriate master’s degree adviser prior to taking any coursework leading to the master’s degree. Students are urged to take ED 690  (3 units) as early as possible in their first graduate year.



The Department of Counseling and School Psychology offers a Master of Arts degree which prepares students to address the mental health and relational needs of culturally diverse populations to include those working in helping professions and on multi-disciplinary teams. The program covers contemporary mental health practices that focus on restorative justice practice and trauma-informed care including integrated recovery and strength-based approaches. The degree is a building block for candidates to be better equipped to work with the mental health needs of adults, children, and youth. The program also helps prepare students for more advanced training to be licensed professionals in mental health and counseling services and to meet entry requirements for doctoral study.

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