• students taking notes during lecture

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.


  • Small class sizes
  • Experienced university and adjunct faculty
  • Blended schedule with courses in class and online
  • 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
  • 3 units of the BCBA program are embedded in coursework

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.

Program director

Dena Fiori, Ed.D.

Dena Fiori, Ed.D.

Clinical Assistant Professor, Program Director, School Counseling


Jonathan Gage, Ed.D.

Jonathan Gage, Ed.D.

Pupil Personnel Services Program Director, Bakersfield, Clinical Assistant, School of Education

Human silhouette

Eileen M. Whelan, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Associate Professor, Education, Program Director, School Psychology

Admission requirements

  • Application form and fee
  • Three reference forms
  • Official transcripts verifying BA/BS degree** (all other institutions attended)
  • 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
  • Introduction to Counseling Theories

Course listing

Required Courses

PPC 730Foundations of the School Counseling Profession3
PPC 731Social Emotional Development3
PPC 732Professionalism, Ethics, and Legal Mandates in School Counseling3
PPC 733Program Development and Core Curriculum3
PPC 734Prevention and Intervention3
PPC 735Academic Development3
PPC 736College and Career Development3
PPC 737Social Justice: Equity and Access3
PPC 738Mental Health Counseling3
PPC 739Student Supports3
PPC 740Field Experience in School Counseling I2
PPC 741Field Experience in School Counseling II3
PPC 742Field Experience in School Counseling III3
PPP 771Experimental Design and Behavioral Research3

Master of Arts Core

PPC 743Qualitative Research I3
PPC 744Qualitative Research II1
PPC 745Qualitative Research III2
PPS 772Issues in pk-12 Schools and Society3

View our State Professional Licensing and Certificate Disclosure.