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General Admission Requirements

We will begin accepting applications for Fall 2024 on October 1, 2023. Please go to Cal State Apply to apply to the university and department.

The Counseling application period for Fall 2025 is open from October 1, 2024 to December 1, 2024. All application materials, including letters of recommendation, must be submitted by the deadline to be considered. No exceptions.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all portions of the application are completed/uploaded.

The following are required for admission to both the CMHC and School Counseling programs:

  • A BA or BS degree, preferably in psychology or another related social/behavioral science. School Counseling applicants must have BA or BS degree from an accredited college or university.
  • A 3.0 grade point average. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 should include an explanation of any extenuating circumstances in their personal biography.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to have acquired an understanding of human development, theories of personality, and basic principles of counseling. In addition to the program prerequisite courses (see below), this knowledge may be supplemented by other relevant undergraduate coursework,  volunteer/work experience in the human services field, and by undertaking thoughtful reading on these topics.
  • Three letters of recommendation are required. These must be submitted through the Cal State Apply website.
  • Individual and group interviews are required for applicants considered for final review. In these interviews, questions may involve personal disclosure deemed relevant by the faculty for determining the applicant’s readiness for beginning training for a career in counseling. All disclosures are held in strict confidence.
  • Please note that the GRE is not required.
  • The departmental admission committees have found the following criteria helpful for applicants:
    • The ability to handle academic work of graduate-level rigor, generally as evidenced by previous academic performance.
    • Paid or volunteer counseling-relevant work experience.
    • Suitability for a career in a helping profession, as evidenced by quality of interview, personal data, autobiography, and letters of recommendation.

CMHC Admission Requirements

The following are required for admission to the CMHC program:

  • A course in personality theory.
  • A course in abnormal psychology.

School Counseling Requirements

The following are required for admission to the School Counseling program:

  • A course in personality theory.
  • A course in child development.
  • As part of the application process, prospective students will need to demonstrate that they have met the CA credential requirements for demonstrating basic skills along with their application submissions.
  • Students admitted to the School Counseling program will need to provide evidence of a current and valid Certificate of Clearance prior to the start of classes. 

Prerequisite Coursework Information

  • Prerequisite coursework may be in progress at the time of application.
  • Students admitted to the program are encouraged to complete all prerequisite courses before entering the program.
  • Students may enter the program without having completed prerequisite courses, but it is strongly discouraged because it may delay their course of studies.
  • All prerequisite courses must be completed by the end of the fall semester of the student’s entry year. Students who have not completed all prerequisite courses by this time will not be permitted to enroll in spring semester classes.

Prerequisite Course Options

Prerequisites may be completed by taking the following courses:

Prerequisite Courses







College of Marin PSYC 116PSYC 204ECE 110 / PSYC 112 
Napa Valley CollegePSYC 175PSYC 126CFS 120 / CFS 135 / PSYC 185
Santa Rosa Junior CollegePSYC 7PSYC 5CHLD 10 / PSYC 4
Sonoma State UniversityPSYC 461PSYC 425PSYC 410 / EDEC110/EDEC250


Transfer Units

Upon review of the counseling department faculty after an applicant has been admitted, up to 8 units may be transferred into the CMHC or School Counseling master's degree program.