M.A. in Counseling with School Counseling Specialization – CACREP-Accredited

The M.A. in Counseling with School Counseling Specialization prepares qualified individuals who wish to pursue the profession of Counselor in School settings. Upon completion of the program, students will have met the N.J. Department of Education (DOE) requirements for the credential, School Counselor.

The program is designed to prepare students to work within the guidelines of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA)’s “National Model: A Framework for School Counseling Programs.” Graduates of this master’s program may also take an additional 12 credits to satisfy the educational requirements for the credential of New Jersey Licensed Professional Counselor. They are also eligible to take the additional 12 credits to meet the educational requirements for the New Jersey Department of Education Certification for the Director of School Counseling Services.

Admission Requirements Program Requirements (48 credits)
  • A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.2
  • Bachelor’s-level coursework in psychology, education, or a closely related field and successful completion of a course in psychological statistics, having earned a grade of B or better.
  • Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • Writing sample: submit a research-based paper of 5-10 pages that was previously submitted in an undergraduate or graduate course. APA style preferred. At the discretion of the Program Coordinator, other subject matter and/or formatting may be considered if the candidate has limited access to coursework.
  • Two letters of recommendation for graduate study, preferably from former professors or current employer
  • Personal interview with the Program Coordinator and/or participation in a group interview

School Counseling Specialization
(Prerequisites are in italics to the right of course’s name)

Required Core Courses (24 credits)
CPS 505 College and Career Counseling for School Counselors
CPS 510 Research Methods and Statistics
CPS 545 Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling
CPS 557 Counseling Theory and Practice
CPS 613 Techniques of Individual Counseling (557)
CPS 653 Multicultural Counseling
CPS 663 Group Counseling: Dynamics and Practice
CPS 667 Lifespan Development

School Counseling Specialization Requirement (9 credits)

  • Professional Identity (3 credits)
    CPS 500 Introduction to School Counseling
  • Testing and Evaluation (3 credits)
    CPS 560 Assessment Measures and Practices in Schools
  • Psychology Courses (3 credits)
    ED 522 Application of Special Education Law for Students with Disabilities

Sociological Foundations (3 credits)
CPS 570 The School Counselor and Community Resources

Required Practicum/Internship Experiences (9 credits)
CPS 590 Counseling Practicum – 3 credits (Indicated on Practicum Application)
CPS 688a Counseling Internship I – 3 credits (590)
CPS 688b Counseling Internship II – 3 credits (688a)
CPS 690a Counseling Internship I – 2 credits (590)
CPS 690b Counseling Internship II – 2 credits (690a)
CPS 690c Counseling Internship III – 2 credits (690b)

Electives (3 credits with advisement)
CPS 575 Psychopathology and Assessment I
CPS 621 Crisis Interventions in Counseling
CPS 623 Marriage and Family Counseling
CPS 637 Substance Abuse Counseling
CPS 643 Counseling Children and Adolescents
CPS 647 Counseling and Spirituality
CPS 657 Issues of Grief in Counseling
CPS 673 Foundations of Brief Counseling
CPS 689 Advanced Seminar in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy
CPS 699 Special Topics in Counseling

Practicum Screening Requirements
Practica and internships are the culminating experience in counseling education, preparing students to apply classroom learning to real world concerns. Success in these courses is a requirement for graduation. The Program Coordinator or Clinical Coordinator can assist in identifying practicum/internship sites. Some placement sites require health or drug screenings and/or criminal background checks. All screenings are the student’s responsibility.

Transfer of Graduate Credit
Caldwell University may accept the transfer of six credits of graduate work in counseling, or a closely related field, provided the credits were completed within five years of the student’s graduate registration at Caldwell University. Official transcripts of previous graduate work as well as the catalog description of each course must be submitted for review at the time of application. Approval of transfer credit is based on course content and the grade earned in the course. Each request for transfer credit will be reviewed by the Program Coordinator.


Students who complete this M.A. in Counseling with School Counseling Specialization must demonstrate professional aptitude and an ability to integrate theory and practice by completing a nine-credit supervised counseling practicum and internship experience, working in a school setting. The academic capstone of the program is a two-part comprehensive exam in the form of a case study. A written treatment plan for an assigned counseling case is submitted to two readers. If the case study is found acceptable, the student is invited to an oral defense with a committee of faculty members. In general, students should be able to demonstrate the following in the comprehensive exam:

  • An understanding of the fundamental principles of school counseling, including counseling approaches, learning, individual behavior, personality, group processes, human development, psychopathology (abnormal behavior), the role of culture, gender, and spirituality, among other areas.
  • An understanding of counseling research, including experimental, quasi- experimental, and non-experimental designs, particularly as they pertain to counseling outcomes.
  • Ability to read and evaluate reports of counseling and psychological research.
  • Ability to write clearly about case content and to be able to communicate it effectively.
  • Ability to articulate the school counselor’s role in the context of the case.
  • An understanding of the selection and implementation of appropriate methods of assessment and evaluation.