School of Education

Department of School Psychology and Counseling

Masters of Arts, Counseling.

(School Psychology PPS Credential Program - First Year)

This is an elective program, which may be designed to contain half of the required coursework for the California Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential in School Psychology. (Our Specialist in Education degree contains the other half.)

What kind of a career can such a degree offer?

Under appropriate licensed supervision, counselors can work in a variety of settings to include mental health centers/clinics, psychiatric hospitals, social service agencies, government bodies/agencies, and private practice settings. Counselors are often involved in such areas as intake assessment evaluations, crisis intervention, individual and/or group counseling, individual/group testing, and/or research. Such a degree, however, may be of interest to higher education counselors, residence hall supervisors, classroom teachers, administrators, and youth workers.

The requirements below, along with the requirements listed for the Educational Specialist, School Psychology (Ed.S.) degree, are the requirements for the State PPS Credential in School Psychology. A student does not need to pursue a State PPS Credential in School Psychology to earn a Master of Arts, Counseling degree.


A minimum of 9 quarter units in psychology or behavioral studies on the upper-division or graduate level must have been completed within the past seven years, with no grade less than C (2.00). The following course or its equivalent must be included in these 9 units:

EDFO 305 Psychological Foundations of Education (4 units)


The absence of any conviction for a felony or any communicable or contagious disease, which would prevent the student from teaching or performing other certified services, must be attested to. Students should apply for state criminal clearance immediately following admission to any of the state credentialing programs.

EDPC 524 Lifespan Development 3
EDPC 460/560 The Exceptional Child 3

NOTE: Applicants who are lacking any of the above prerequisite coursework may be admitted to the program with the understanding that the deficiencies must be removed at the earliest possible date prior to entry to advanced practicum or fieldwork. If taken at the graduate level, credit thus earned may be used for degree purposes if all other program requirements are met. Undergraduate-level units are not applicable to the Master of Arts degree.

The Program

The program includes all of the coursework and fieldwork listed below. Some individuals may require more than the minimum 45 units because of particular interests or the need to remove prerequisite deficiencies as listed above and below. For course descriptions click here.


Core Requirements

EDAD 524 Educational Organization and Leadership 3
EDCI 514 Curriculum Planning 3
EDRS 504 Methods and Materials of Research 3
EDPC 561 Counseling Theories and Techniques 3
EDCI 512* Faith and Learning 3


Content Specialization

EDPC 554 Education and Career Planning 3
EDPC 562 Counseling Practicum 3
EDPC 564 Group Theory and Procedures 3
EDPC 568* Community Agency Counseling 3
EDPC 650 Mental Exceptionality 3
EDPC 665 Advanced Counseling Theories 3
EDPC 573 School Psychology and Counseling Ethics 3
EDPC 666 Intervention Methods and Consultation 3
EDPC 694A Seminar: Individual and Cultural Differences 3
EDPC 631 Psychopathology 3

*Units not applicable to credential


Additional Requirements

  1. California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST). Out-of-state applicants must take this test no later than the second available administration date following their enrollment in the program.
  2. Application for field practice six seeks prior to placement.
  3. The Professional Assessments for Beginning Teachers (PRAXIS)-Specialty Area Tests in School Guidance and Counseling may be required in place of the departmental comprehensive examination. A satisfactory score report must be received by the University at least four weeks prior to graduation or the issuance of a diploma. Early registration for the test is essential.
  4. Application to the School of Education Credential Office for a denomination credential, if eligible.
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