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School Counseling, M.A. and PPS Credential

School of Graduate and Professional Studies

The Master of Arts in School Counseling with a California Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential authorizes you to work as a credentialed school counselor in a public-school setting. Our program requires a minimum of 50 units of coursework and 800 hours of field experience in a PK-12 setting. A sequence of courses is determined by the program director.

View our State Professional Licensing and Certificate Disclosure

Program Highlights

  • Small class sizes
  • Experienced university and adjunct faculty
  • Synchronous online classes keep students connected
  • Includes both academic classroom training and applied field experience
  • Graduates from this program are highly sought out by top districts
  • Accredited by the State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, 1900 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento, California 95814-4213


Program Director: Dena M. Fiori, Ed.D.


The Master of Arts in School Counseling degree with Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Counseling authorizes an individual to work as a credentialed School Counselor in a public-school setting. This graduate program requires a minimum of 50 units of coursework (listed below) and a minimum of 800 hours of clinical practice in pk-12 settings. A sequence of courses and educational plan is determined by the program director. In addition to the 50 units, there are three prerequisites required for admission (If you obtain a bachelors degree in psychology from FPU, UC, or a CSU all prerequisites will be waived). Up to 9 units of credit from an accredited graduate program in counseling, psychology, or a related area may be transferred into the School Counseling program. Course eligibility is determined by the School Counseling Program Director to be equivalent to those required in this graduate program. All other provisions of the general graduate policy on transfer of credit shall apply.

***Students will be required to obtain liability insurance through the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) during the first session of the program.  Proof of liability insurance must be obtained by the program director prior to school site-based observations and PK-12 field experience.

The following additional program requirements must be met to be recommended to the CTC for a Pupil Personnel Services Credential (PPS) in School Counseling:

1. A master's degree in School Counseling or a related area.

2. Passing the CBEST or meeting the Basic Skills Requirements (BSR)

3. Successful completion of the exit exam Interview and Portfolio Review process.

4. Once the practicum hours, clinical practice hours, exit exam, and master's degree requirements are completed, the individual may apply for the Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) credential in School Counseling through the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.


The accrediting body for the Pupil Personnel Services Credential is: 

Required Courses (50 Units)

  • PPC 730 - Foundations of the School Counseling Profession Credits 3
  • PPC 731 - Social Emotional Development Credits 3
  • PPC 732 - Professionalism, Ethics, and Legal Mandates in School Counseling Credits 3
  • PPC 733 - Program Development and Core Curriculum Credits 3
  • PPC 734 - Prevention and Intervention Credits 3
  • PPC 735 - Academic Development Credits 3
  • PPC 736 - College and Career Development Credits 3
  • PPC 737 - Social Justice: Equity and Access Credits 3
  • PPC 738 - Mental Health Counseling Credits 3
  • PPC 739 - Student Supports Credits 3
  • PPC 740 - Clinical Practice in School Counseling I Credits 2
  • PPC 741 - Clinical Practice in School Counseling II Credits 2
  • PPC 742 - Clinical Practice in School Counseling III Credits 2-4
  •     Must be taken for a total of 4 units

  • PPC 771 - Measurement, Experimental Design and Behavioral Research Credits 3

Master of Arts Core

  • PPC 743 - Qualitative Research I Credits 3
  • PPC 744 - Qualitative Research II Credits 2
  • PPC 745 - Qualitative Research III Credits 1
  • PPS 772 - Issues and Values in Schools and Society Credits 3

Possibilities Await
With an FPU Education

The decision to embark on graduate studies is a big one. Our 40+ graduate programs will equip you to succeed in your career and in your life. You’ll become part of a small community of learners, thrive in a flexible learning environment  and be challenged by a rigorous curriculum. Learn how much further you can go at FPU!  

For more information, contact the campus nearest you, attend an information meeting or ask about a program.

First Steps to Admission

  • Apply online
  • Submit 2 reference forms (Varies based on program of interest)
    These can be filled out by academic or professional acquaintances familiar with your ability to complete graduate-level work. Print the reference form.
  • Include statement of intent.
    You can also provide an addendum explaining your interest in the program, any long-term goals and your experience in the field.
  • Request official transcripts.
    Transcripts must be from accredited institutions to verify your bachelor’s degree. Send transcripts electronically to or mail sealed transcripts to the Registrar’s Office at 1717 S. Chestnut Ave. Fresno, CA 93702.
  • Complete program requirements.
    These requirements are specific to your program of choice. You will be contacted for an interview and additional requirements if applicable.
  • Apply for financial aid.
    You can apply for FAFSA.  Use FPU school code: 001253
  • Schedule an appointment.
    Meet with your Student Financial Services Advisor. You can contact them at 559-453-2041 |

Program Requirements

  • Two reference forms
  • Statement of intent*
  • Valid California credential or Certificate of Clearance
  • Verification of  current negative TB test (within last 12 months)
  • CBEST test results (a minimum score of 100 will be accepted for admissions, however, to begin the field experience course PPC 740, a passing score of 123 or higher is required)
  • Letter of explanation if GPA is under 3.00
  • Interview with program director**

*One to two typed pages providing a statement of career goals and a description of how participation in the graduate program will contribute to your growth and development of these goals.

**Program applicants will be required to submit an impromptu writing sample of approximately one page at the time they are scheduled to meet with the program director for an interview. The sample of written expression will be part of the documentation required to determine candidate competence. If the students is judged by the Graduate Admission Committee to have writing deficiencies, they may be required to take a professional writing class.

Please Note: Students are required to obtain liability insurance through the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) during the first session of the program. Proof of liability insurance must be obtained by the program director prior to school site-based observations and field experience.


  • Introduction to Statistics
  • General Psychology
  • Child Growth and Development
  • *BA in Sociology, Social Work, or Psychology from Fresno Pacific University, the UC or CSU system will waive these requirements.


Cost & Financial Aid

The below listed prices reflect the current and upcoming Fall and Spring semesters and do not include any financial aid. Paying for college can be an overwhelming step in your education journey. We can help you find all the opportunities to reduce your out of pocket costs.

Tuition & Fees


Tuition per UnitAmount
700 Level$750
Teacher Education$750
MSN and LEAD$775
Other CostsAmount
Student services fee (per semester)$70
* MBA Field Placement Fee (charged for both the international and regional trip semesters)$1,500


Tuition per Unit Amount
700 Level $730
Teacher Education $730
MBA $785
MSN and LEAD $750
KIN $590
Other Costs Amount
Student services fee (per semester) $60
* Field Placement Fee (charged for both the international and regional trip semesters) $1,500

* This is an estimate. Costs subject to change. Please refer to the Catalog for additional fees. Cost of attendance figures are used for budgeting purposes only and represent an estimate of projected tuition and fees for the coming academic year. Actual tuition rates are approved by the Board of Trustees and may vary.

Types of aid

Financial aid can refer to scholarships, grants and loans, which are available to you from the government, the university or outside sources. Aid types vary depending on the type of student you are.

Career Opportunities

The PPS credential provides eligibility to work as a school counselor in the California public school system grades PK-12. To be employed as a school counselor, a student must complete the following:

  • A master’s degree in School Counseling or a related area.
  • Successful completion of the exit exam interview and portfolio review process.
  • Complete practicum hours, field experience, exit exam, master’s degree and apply for the Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) credential in School Counseling.

Career Development Happens Here

The staff in our Career Development and Experiential Learning Center are here to help you prepare to enter the working world. Whether your a freshman or an FPU alum, there are a number of resources and trainings offered to help you find the internship and job you’re looking for.

  • Resume writing classes
  • Career assessments, exploration & planning
  • Job search and networking opportunities
  • and much more

Visit the Career Development Center