The Counseling and Guidance MA degree program prepares individuals to apply the theory and principles of guidance and counseling to the provision of support for the personal, social, educational, and vocational development of students, and the organizing of guidance services within elementary, middle, and secondary educational institutions. It includes instruction in legal and professional requirements, therapeutic counselor intervention, vocational counseling, and related sociological and psychological foundations.
Additional information is available on the Department of Counselor Education website: www.sjsu.edu/counselored.
Applicants must submit a complete graduate application by applying through the CSU Cal State Apply system and meet all the university admission requirements. Applicants apply separately to the department to obtain admission into the MA in Counseling and Guidance. See the GAPE Graduate Admissions website and this Catalog for general information about graduate admissions at SJSU.
Applicants from countries in which the native language is not English must achieve a minimum English-language proficiency test score as indicated on the Graduate Program Test Requirements webpage at GAPE. For TOEFL Requirements, see the Policies and Procedures section, Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate Information.
Requirements for Admission to Classified Standing
Applicants may be fully admitted if they meet the admissions requirements for the Graduate Division and the department’s requirements. The minimum requirements for the program are a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university in any major/discipline and a 3.0 GPA. Experience serving individuals from diverse backgrounds within K-12 and/or postsecondary education settings and a strong commitment to equity and social justice is also highly preferred. Candidates who do not meet the 3.0 GPA requirement will be considered if they demonstrate considerable experience in the education and/or counseling field with individuals from diverse backgrounds.
- Candidates must meet all university admission requirements.
- Department application materials include the items listed below and should be uploaded directly on the Cal State Apply portal. For more information about the Counselor Education Department’s application materials and process, visit the department’s website.
- Autobiographical and Professional Goals Statement (three pages typed and double-spaced maximum) that includes the applicant’s: a) educational background, b) experiences that demonstrate concern and capacity to work with individuals from diverse backgrounds in addition to any paid or volunteer work experience directly related to the education and/or counseling fields, c) professional goals in pursuing the master’s degree with or without a PPS K-12 School Counseling Credential (include areas of interest in counseling), and d) any additional information relevant to pursuing a master’s degree with or without a PPS K-12 School Counseling Credential through SJSU’s Counselor Education Department.
- Resume (three pages maximum) that includes degree(s) earned or in progress, employment, volunteer work, research experience, and honors/awards, if any.
- Three (3) recommendations from current or former professors who can testify to the applicant’s ability to successfully pursue an advanced academic degree and/or from employers or supervisors who can address the applicant’s experience within the proposed field of study. PPS School Counseling Credential-only applicants are only required to submit two recommendations. The Recommendation Form can be found on the department’s website.
- Official transcripts from each college/university attended can be sent digitally to email@example.com or mailed to the SJSU Graduate Admissions office at:
Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations
San José State University
One Washington Square, SH 404
San Jose CA 95192-0073
Admission to Conditionally Classified Standing
Applicants may be conditionally admitted (admitted with conditions) if they meet the admission requirements for the Graduate Division but do not fully meet departmental admissions requirements. The admission notification will explain the required terms and conditions for attaining Classified standing.
Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy
Candidacy denotes that a student is fully qualified to complete the final stages of the Master of Arts degree. General university requirements for advancement to candidacy are detailed in the Graduate Policies and Procedures section of this catalog. Candidacy includes the successful completion of the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).
- Complete 18 units of foundational core courses (EDCO 215, EDCO 218, EDCO 232, EDCO 248, EDCO 266, EDCO 282).
- Complete 9 units of advanced courses with a “C” or better. These courses can include practicum and fieldwork experience courses.
- Complete the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) by completing EDCO 215 with a “B” or higher.
- Maintain an overall graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.
- Meet with your advisor to complete the Petition for Advancement to Graduate Candidacy form (typically completed while enrolled in EDCO 221).
Requirements for Graduation
Students must complete all residency, curriculum, unit, GPA, and culminating experience requirements as outlined in the Graduation Requirements section of the Graduate Policies and Procedures. Completion of the degree also requires a minimum grade of “C” in all courses taken and a minimum overall GPA of 3.0.
- Successfully complete all “Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy”.
- Complete 6 practicum/fieldwork units.
- Complete 6 units of advanced courses (EDCO 288 and EDCO 289).
- Complete 12 units of advanced elective courses selected in consultation with the student’s department advisor.
- Complete 3 units (EDCO 221) to develop a project proposal (Plan B) or a thesis proposal (Plan A).
- Apply for graduation via MySJSU.
- Successfully complete either the project (Plan B, EDCO 298) or thesis (Plan A, EDCO 299).
Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement
At SJSU, students must pass the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).
This requirement is satisfied by passing EDCO 215 with a grade of B or higher.
Students choose a Plan A (Thesis) or Plan B (Project) option as their program culminating experience.
Plan A (Thesis)
Students selecting the Plan A option will write a master’s thesis. The thesis will include original research on a topic approved by the thesis committee and must meet university requirements as stipulated in this catalog and in the SJSU Master’s Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation Guidelines. Thesis proposals must be approved by the graduate committee, which is composed of two department faculty and a third faculty member from outside the department. Students enroll in EDCO 299 (3 units).
Plan B (Project)
Students selecting the Plan B option will complete a master’s degree project or research paper. These students enroll in EDCO 298 (3 units).