Department of Counseling and School Psychology Programs

The Post Master’s Certificate in Addiction Counseling provides advanced training to professionals in counseling and other mental health disciplines in their preparation to treat and prevent substance use disorders and addictive behaviors. This program further enables candidates to take on management and leadership roles in substance use disorder treatment and a variety of social service settings where clients with substance use concerns are served.

This 12-credit post-master’s certificate program is composed of four courses with topics including ethics, HIV/AIDS, pharmacology, assessment and treatment planning in addictions, and cross-cultural, special populations and ethnically diverse groups. The PMC is intended to help candidates complete coursework commonly required by state certificate/license-granting bodies. Note that PMCAC students are responsible for contacting specific credential-granting bodies to determine the student’s own unique curricular needs for certification/licensure in their state or region. The PMC is administered completely online. This program is not CACREP accredited. For further information: CMHCGrad@southernct.edu.

The licensure track program is designed to meet the Connecticut Department of Public Health curricular requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (LPCA) and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). The Masters of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (60 credit hours) prepares graduate students to work in a broad variety of community counseling settings, including outpatient, inpatient, and residential, college counseling centers, substance use disorder facilities, and independent private practice. Students develop skills and theoretical knowledge in practicing individual, group, family and career counseling with diverse populations with a variety of psychological disorders and concerns. 

The M.S. program is accredited by the Council on the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), which is the premier independent accrediting body in counselor education. A comprehensive exam is required. Students who complete the M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling are prepared to take the National Counselor Examination, the exam required by the state of Connecticut for licensure as a professional counselor. This examination is also required for national board certification by the National Board of Certified Counselors. 

Master of Science Degree in Counseling — Clinical Mental Health Counseling 

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program prepares graduates to work with clients across a spectrum of mental and emotional disorders, as well as to promote mental health and wellness. Clients may be served individually, as families, or in group settings. Clinical Mental Health Counselors are knowledgeable in principles and practices of diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders, referral, and prevention and often work in interdisciplinary teams with other health professionals. Employment opportunities may include private practice, community-based mental health centers, hospitals, and other treatment centers. For more information please see the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) website.

The licensure track program is designed to meet the curricular requirements for Connecticut State Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). The program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (60 credit hours) prepares graduate students to work in a variety of community counseling agencies, college counseling centers, hospitals, and other counseling settings including private practice. Students develop skills and theoretical knowledge in practicing individual, group and career counseling with diverse populations in either public or private agencies. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master of Science requires completion of 60 credits, including completion of one semester practicum (100 hours) and two semester internship (600 hours). Students find practicum and internship placements in a variety of settings, including community counseling centers, child guidance centers, crisis  stabilization programs, rape crisis and domestic violence programs, substance abuse programs, college counseling centers, youth services programs and inpatient and residential treatment programs. All practicum and internship experiences must be completed under the supervision of a Licensed Professional Counselor with at least two years of experience in the counseling field. A comprehensive examination and a portfolio submission are required for Masters  of Science Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Please note that completion of a Masters program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is only one of the requirements for obtaining Licensure as a Professional Counselor. Each student is responsible for understanding the Connecticut State Department of Public Health licensure requirements, as described on their website. 

A criminal record review may be required for licensure or certification in professional counseling. Additionally, some sites require fingerprinting and a criminal check when working vulnerable populations, such as children or clients involved in the criminal justice system.

Admissions Criteria for Clinical Health Counseling

Candidates for the program are evaluated on the following criteria:

  1. Applicants should have a strong academic background and/or potential, as evidenced by a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. For applicants with undergraduate GPAs between 2.5 and 3.0, GPA Waivers may be possible under certain circumstances, with program faculty and university approval. For information on how to improve your undergraduate GPA to above a 2.5, you can use a GPA calculator to identify the number of courses you might need to reach the required GPA threshold.

  2. Applicants should have a foundational knowledge related to human services or psychology, as represented by holding a Bachelor's degree psychology or related field and having at least 3 required prerequisites: Introduction to Psychology, Statistics or Research Methods, and Abnormal Psychology/Psychopathology. Applicants with degrees in unrelated fields may still be considered for admission. It is possible for students to complete prerequisites after acceptance.

  3. Applicants should have should be strongly recommended by 3 individuals who have known them in a professional and/or academic setting and can speak to their potential as a graduate student and clinical mental health counselor, including an assessment of their interpersonal skills and commitment to diversity. At least one recommendation should be from an academic reference (e.g., professor).

  4. Applicants should submit a clear, well-written 500 word essay describing the basis of their interest in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at SCSU.

  5. Applicants should have some experience, either volunteer or professional, in a helping role. These experiences can be described on their resume.

  6. Applicants should demonstrate potential as a professional counselor, including strong interpersonal skills, and knowledge of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling field within an admissions interview, if invited.

Application Deadline

In order to be considered for admission to the program the following summer or fall, all admissions materials must be received by January 15 for summer only. Students may start coursework in summer or fall. For further information: CMHCGrad@southernct.edu.

This respecialization certificate prepares students who already have a School Counseling Masters for work as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor and is designed to satisfy the curricular requirements for the Connecticut Department of Public Health  Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (LPCA) and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). The certificate includes 20 credits of required coursework – 12 credits of course content and 8 credits of fieldwork. Candidates are required to complete a two semester 600-hour supervised internship placement within a clinical mental health counseling setting. 

Candidates for this certificate program must hold a Master’s Degree in School Counseling. In addition, candidates must complete prerequisite courses in psychology and have a course related to  the treatment of substance abuse. No comprehensive exam or thesis is required. 

Each student is responsible for understanding the Connecticut State Department of Public Health licensure requirements, as described on their website. Further, students seeking board certification by the National Board of Certified Counselors are responsible for understanding requirements for this optional certification. Application for licensure cannot occur until after post-graduate supervision hours are earned and all other requirements have been met.

A criminal record is a required component of Licensure as a Professional Counselor. Additionally, some sites require fingerprinting and a criminal check when working vulnerable populations, such as children or prisoners.

Admissions Criteria for Post-Master’s Certificate in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Candidates for the program are evaluated on the following criteria:

  1. Applicants should have a strong academic background and/or potential, as evidenced by a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. For applicants with undergraduate GPAs between 2.5 and 3.0, GPA Waivers may be possible under certain circumstances, with program faculty and university approval. For information on how to increase your undergraduate GPA to above a 2.5, you can use a GPA calculator to identify how many courses you would need to improve your GPA.

  2. Applicants should have a Masters Degree in School Counseling.

  3. Applicants should have should be strongly recommended by 3 individuals who have known them in a professional and/or academic setting and can speak to their potential as a graduate student and clinical mental health counselor, including an assessment of their interpersonal skills and commitment to diversity. At least one recommendation must be from an academic reference (e.g., professor).

  4. Applicants should submit a clear, well-written 500-word essay describing the basis of their interest in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at SCSU.

  5. Applicants should have some experience, either volunteer or professional, in a helping role, as demonstrated on their resume.

  6. Applicants should illustrate potential as a counselor, interpersonal skills, and knowledge of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling field within an admissions interview, if invited.

Application Deadline

In order to be considered for admission to the program the following fall, all admissions materials must be received by January 15. In order to be considered for admission to the program in the following spring, all admission materials must be received by September 1

For further information: CMHCGrad@southernct.edu.

Please note, this certificate program is not accredited by CACREP.

The Counselor Education and Supervision doctoral program (CES Ed.D) meets a national need for CACREP-accredited doctoral programs in counselor education and supervision, and at the same time the CES Ed.D will also serve a specific need for such programs in the New England region. This program is designed to produce scholars and leaders who are prepared to train and provide clinical supervision to counselors who will address the unique needs of the populations served in New England.

The doctorate in counselor education and supervision offers three tracks: counselor education, clinical counseling and supervision, and leadership and management. Within each of the three available tracks, candidates have opportunities for teaching, research, leadership, advocacy, supervision, as well as advanced counseling skill development. The program is both trauma-informed and infused with social justice applications so that graduates will enter the field prepared to address the needs of underrepresented and underserved individuals and members of groups at risk for marginalization and disenfranchisement.

The CES Ed.D program is aligned with the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Program (CACREP) requirements and as per CACREP's procedures, the program will be evaluated for accreditation by the CACREP site team in 2022. The plan of study follows a hybrid model. Courses are offered in various formats, including online and on-ground classes. This program is created for working professionals with courses held in evenings and on weekends and can be completed in three years.

Admission Criteria 

  1. Applicants must have a master’s degree in counseling, preferably from a CACREP- accredited program (or demonstrate through file review that the program from which they earned their master’s degree meets CACREP standards). Candidates holding a master’s degree from a non-CACREP program may apply.

  2. Note: Submission of syllabus may be necessary for review of accreditation requirements.

  3. Preferred candidates will have 2 years field experience and hold licensure (LPC), provisional licensure, and/or a school counseling certificate.  

  4. 2-4 page (double-spaced, 12 pt. font) essay speaking to the following areas:

    • reasons for pursuing a doctorate in CES;

    • career history and goals;

    • areas of experience/interest in terms of population, modalities, teaching/supervision/research/leadership;

    • the role that social justice has played for the applicant in their drive to pursue a doctorate in CES.

  5. Cumulative Undergraduate GPA must be 3.0 or above. Graduate GPA must be 3.5 or above. For select candidates, a GPA waiver can be requested.

  6. A select group of applicants will be offered the opportunity to participate in an admission interview. Components of the admissions interview include: 

    • Individual interview with faculty 

    • Group interview with current students

    • Group-processing vignettes with other applicants

    • 15-minute mock counseling session with one of our current students

Application Deadline

 December 28 for summer admission. For further information: CounselingEDDgrad@southernct.edu

The M. S. School Counseling program is accredited by the Council on the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), which is the premier independent accrediting body in counselor education. A comprehensive exam is required.

The School Counseling program is designed to meet the State of Connecticut Certification (068) as a K-12 School Counselor. The School Counseling program (60 credit hours) prepares graduate students to work in a variety of school settings including elementary, intermediate, middle, and high school levels. Students are trained to provide preventive and responsive counseling services that meet the guidelines of the American School Counselor Association's (ASCA) National Model, as well as the Connecticut Comprehensive School Counseling Framework (CCSCF). The ASCA Model and CCSCF prepare graduate students to focus their work on the academic, career and social-emotional domains of student development and to design, implement, coordinate, and evaluate school counseling programs for optimum overall student success.

There are two field experiences, a practicum and an internship. Practicum offers students the opportunity to develop, sharpen, and demonstrate individual and group counseling skills. Students are required to spend a minimum of 100 hours over the course of one semester within a school setting. The internship is an intensive, diversified experience that exposes students to a full range of school counselor responsibilities appropriate to the setting. The internship consists of a 10-month long, 700-hour minimum, supervised counseling experience in a school setting. Both fieldwork experiences are completed under the supervision of a certified school counselor.

Note: Because the MS-SC program is CACREP accredited, certified teachers with 30 months of teaching experience must complete no less than 600 hours over the course of one or two semesters.

School counselors are employed primarily in educational settings. They use their counseling knowledge, insight, and skills to promote human welfare and educational success, and to improve the institutions and programs in which they are involved.

School counselors:

  • provide a program of services for students in the school to promote academic, social- emotional, and career development in a proactive and preventive manner;

  • provide individual and group counseling for students identified in need;

  • consult with teachers, parents, faculty, and administrators concerning student
    academic, social-emotional, and career success;

  • provide a liaison with community agencies to garner services for students and families.

  • implement a comprehensive program which focuses on the uniqueness of all students based on data-informed decision making, closing achievement and opportunity gaps, and results in improved student outcomes. These areas are in alignment with the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Standards and the Connecticut Comprehensive School Counseling Framework (CCSCF). The program components include delivery of service (i.e., school counseling curriculum, individual planning, responsive services), accountability, and program management. For more information about school counseling, see the Connecticut School Counselor Association (https://csca.wildapricot.org/)and the American School Counseling Association (ASCA).

Admission Criteria for School Counseling

Admission to the program is based on the following criteria:

  1. Academic background: Students must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. GPA Waivers are possible under certain circumstances.

  2. Connecticut State Department of Education's special education requirement: This requirement is a course that is offered at many colleges and universities in Connecticut (at SCSU it is SED 481 or 482 or 502). A list of those courses is available at the CT State Department of Education's Website. You may apply even though you have not completed this final course requirement. Many students opt to take this course in the summer prior to beginning their school counseling program. It is possible for students to complete this prerequisite after acceptance. 

  3. Recommender Contacts: contact information for at least three individuals who know the candidate in a professional and/or academic setting. 

  4. Admission Essay: A 500-word essay describing the basis of their interest in the School Counseling program at SCSU.
                   a. Evidence of a desire to enter the program and knowledge of the field.

                   b. Knowledge of profession.

    Note: Prior to being admitted to the program, students may take up to 9 credits on non- matriculated basis. However, taking such courses does not guarantee admission.

  5. Evidence of completion of an academic skills test within the last five years (i.e., SAT, ACT, GRE, or Praxis I).

Application Deadline

In order to be considered for admission to the program the following fall, all admissions materials must be received by January 15. In order to be considered for admission to the program the following spring, all admission material must be received by September 15.

For further information: SchoolCounselingGrad@southernct.edu.

This advanced certificate provides course requirements and supervised fieldwork to prepare for State of Connecticut Certification (068) as a K – 12 School Counselor. Candidates for this certificate program must hold a Master’s Degree in Counseling. In addition, candidates must complete the program prerequisite course in special education required for Connecticut State Department of Education certification. The certificate includes 20-credits of required courses, 12-credits of course content, and eight-credits of fieldwork. Candidates are required to complete a 700-hour, 10-month long supervised internship placement within a school setting. No comprehensive exam or thesis is required. This program is not CACREP accredited. 

Admission Criteria 

Admission to the program is based on the following criteria:

  1. Academic background: Students must have an earned master’s degree in counseling, and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. GPA Waivers are possible under certain circumstances.

  2. Connecticut State Department of Education's special education requirement: This requirement is a course that is offered at many colleges and universities in Connecticut (at SCSU it is SED 481 or 482 or 502). A list of those courses is available at the CT State Department of Education's Website https://portal.ct.gov/SDE/Certification/Approved-Courses-for-Special-Education You may apply even though you have not completed this final course requirement. Many students opt to take this course in the summer prior to beginning their school counseling program. It is possible for students to complete this prerequisite after acceptance. 

  3. Recommender Contacts: Contact information for at least three individuals who know the candidate in a professional and/or academic setting.

  4. Admission Essay: A 500-word essay describing the basis of their interest in the School Counseling program at SCSU.
                   a. Evidence of a desire to enter the program and knowledge of the field.

                         b. Knowledge of profession.

Note: Prior to being admitted to the program, students may take up to 9 credits on non- matriculated basis. However, taking such courses does not guarantee admission.

  1. Evidence of completion of an academic skills test within the last five years (i.e., SAT, ACT, GRE, or Praxis I).

Application Deadline

In order to be considered for admission to the program the following fall, all admissions materials must be received by January 15. In order to be considered for admission to the program the following spring, all admission material must be received by September 15. 

For further information: SchoolCounselingGrad@southernct.edu.

This advanced certificate provides course requirements and supervised fieldwork to prepare for State of Connecticut Certification (068) as a K-12 School Counselor. Candidates for this certificate program must hold a Master’s Degree in helping professions or education-related areas. In addition, candidates must complete the program prerequisite course in special education required for Connecticut State Department of Education certification. The certificate includes 41-credits of required course and fieldwork experiences. Candidates are required to complete a 100-hour practicum, and a 700-hour, 10-month long supervised internship placement within a school setting. Candidates with 30 months certified public teaching experience may waive 50 percent of the internship. No comprehensive exam or thesis is required. This program is not CACREP accredited. For further information: SchoolCounselingGrad@southernct.edu

Admission Criteria

Admission to the program is based on the following criteria:

  1. Academic background: Students must have an earned master’s degree in helping professions or education-related areas, and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. GPA Waivers are possible under certain circumstances.

  2. Connecticut State Department of Education's special education requirement: This requirement is a course that is offered at many colleges and universities in Connecticut (at SCSU it is SED 481 or 482 or 502). A list of those courses is available at the CT State Department of Education's Website https://portal.ct.gov/SDE/Certification/Approved-Courses-for-Special-Education You may apply even though you have not completed this final course requirement. Many students opt to take this course in the summer prior to beginning their school counseling program. It is possible for students to complete this prerequisite after acceptance. 

  3. Recommender Contacts: Contact information for from at least three individuals who know the candidate in a professional and/or academic setting.

  4. Admission Essay: A 500-word essay describing the basis of their interest in the School Counseling program at SCSU.
                   a. Evidence of a desire to enter the program and knowledge of the field.

                           b. Knowledge of profession.

Note: Prior to being admitted to the program, students may take up to 9 credits on non- matriculated basis. However, taking such courses does not guarantee admission.

  1. Evidence of completion of an academic skills test within the last five years (i.e., SAT, ACT, GRE, or Praxis I).

Application Deadline

In order to be considered for admission to the program the following fall, all admissions materials must be received by January 15. In order to be considered for admission to the program the following spring, all admission material must be received by September 15.

The School Psychology program is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Students who complete both the Master of Science and Sixth Year Certificate in School Psychology are eligible for certification as a school psychologist in the State of Connecticut as well as the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential offered by National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

Connecticut certification as a School Psychologist requires both the Master’s and the Sixth Year Certificate, which are offered through the SCSU School Psychology program. The Master of Science in School Psychology is completed first, during which students apply for admission to the Sixth Year Program.

A School Psychologist is a mental health professional, with broad and specialized training in both psychology and education, who provides psychological services using data-based problem solving processes. As stated by our professional organization, the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP):

School psychologists are uniquely qualified members of school teams that support students' ability to learn and teachers' ability to teach. They apply expertise in mental health, learning, and behavior, to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. School psychologists partner with families, teachers, school administrators, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school, and the community (NASP, 2017).

Admission Criteria

To begin the application process, applicants should visit the online application portal.

Admission to the Master’s Program is based upon following criteria:

1. Academic background: applicants to the Master's Program must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0.

Although no particular undergraduate major is required, applicants to the Master's Program are required to have taken the following prerequisite courses (completion of these courses is not required to apply to the program but completion is required prior to matriculation):

  • Developmental Psychology or Child Development

  • Educational Psychology, Theories of Learning, or Cognitive Psychology

  • Abnormal Psychology, Abnormal Child Psychology, or Psychopathology

  • Statistics , Psychological Statistics, or Statistics for the Behavioral (or Social Sciences)

  • Exceptionality or Exceptional Children (must be a state-approved course).

The full list of courses in Connecticut that meet the criteria for this requirement are posted on the CT State Department of Education's website.

2. The School Psychology program requires that applicants to the Master's Program must submit evidence of having taken the Praxis® Core exam, Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), Graduate Record Exam (GRE), or American College Testing (ACT). The Praxis® Core exam is an essential skills test which is administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS).

3. Recommendations from at least THREE individuals who know the candidate in professional and/or academic setting.

4. Personal essay explaining your reasons for wanting to enter the field of school psychology and the SCSU School Psychology program in particular. The typed/word processed essay should be approximately 250- 500 words in length.

5. A current professional resume or vita.

6. Psychology program faculty and student representatives, if invited. 

Students who are granted admission to the program and have not yet fulfilled all of the course requirements will be given "Conditional Acceptance" until these requirements are met.

Application Deadline

January 15 for fall semester. For further information: starlingn1@southernct.edu.

Connecticut certification as a School Psychologist requires both the Masters and the Sixth Year, which are offered through the SCSU School Psychology program. The Master of Science in School Psychology is completed first, during which students apply for admission to the Sixth Year Program.

The Sixth Year Program prepares students for eligibility for the Sixth Year Certificate (a Specialist level credential). The Sixth Year pProgram is only offered on a full-time basis and includes one year of full-time coursework followed by a year-long full-time internship. The majority of enrollment openings in the Sixth Year Program are reserved for students who have completed the SCSU School Psychology Master’s program.

Admission Criteria

Admission to the Sixth Year Program is based upon following criteria:

  1. Applicants to the Sixth Year Program must have a minimum graduate GPA of 3.0. Students must submit ALL prior transcripts with their application to the Sixth Year program, including ALL transcripts submitted at the time of their application to the Master’s program. If you have attended SCSU, you only need to indicate this on your application; you do not need to send your official SCSU transcript.

  2. Applicants to the Sixth Year Program are required to have taken the following prerequisite course (completion of this course is not required to apply to the program but completion is required prior to matriculation): Exceptionality or Exceptional Children (must be a state-approved course).

  3. The School Psychology program requires that applicants must submit evidence of having taken the Praxis® Core exam, Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), Graduate Record Exam (GRE), or American College Testing (ACT). The Praxis® Core exam is an essential skills test which is administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS). This requirement is waived for matriculated students in our Master's Program who are applying to the Sixth Year Program.

  4. Submit a personal essay explaining your reasons for wanting to enter the field of school psychology and the SCSU School Psychology program in particular. The typed/word processed essay should be approximately 250-500 words in length and should be uploaded to the same portal to which you logged in to apply. This requirement is waived for matriculated students in our Master's Program who are applying to the Sixth Year Program.

  5. Upload your professional resume or vita to the same portal to which you logged in to apply. This requirement is waived for matriculated students in our Master's Program who are applying to the Sixth Year Program.

  6. Have THREE recommenders upload their recommendations directly into the system via a personalized link sent to them when you applied. At least one recommendation should be from someone who can speak to your academic skills. This requirement is waived for matriculated students in our Master's Program who are applying to the Sixth Year Program. Students who are granted admission to the program and have not yet fulfilled all of the course requirements will be given "Conditional Acceptance" until these requirements are met. 

Praxis® II– Examination in School Psychology

All students completing the School Psychology Sixth Year Program must take the Praxis® II Specialty Examination in School Psychology and achieve a passing score prior to beginning Internship. The passing score is designated by the current NASP National Certification (NCSP) guidelines. A passing score is also required in order to graduate from the program.

For further information: starlingn1@southernct.edu.