Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Questions:

Admission requirements and application deadlines

When do I apply for admission into the graduate program?

Do you have spring admissions?

I want to apply to the department of counseling. How do I accomplish this?

What are your general admissions requirements?

Is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) required?

When should I take the GRE?

Do I have to take the entire GRE test if you only require the Analytical Writing score? Do you offer GRE preparatory classes?

I took the GMAT... Or... I have the following qualifications (already have a Masters in English, have work published, etc), do I still need to take the GRE?

How do you rate an applicant? Here are my academic, professional, and other qualification, etc, but I don't know if I qualify for your program?

Prerequisite course requirements

Are there prerequisite courses required for the Department of Counseling programs?

What are the course prerequisites?

Do I have to take the prerequisites at SFSU or can I take them elsewhere?

Do I have to complete all of the prerequisite courses prior to applying to the Counseling program?

How to apply? Obtaining the program application

How do I obtain an application to the Department of Counseling program?

Can you mail me a Department of Counseling program application?

Differences between the Counseling and Psychology programs at SFSU

What is the difference between your MFT program in Counseling and the MFT program in Psychology?

Advising related

Is it possible for me to talk with an individual faculty member at this time regarding the program? 

Is it possible to earn more than one specialization with the M.S. degree? 

I want to get my Master's in Counseling but I work full time. Is it possible to do this? 

Do you offer online courses?

Tuition, scholarships, awards

What is the cost of tuition at San Francisco State?

Do you offer awards or scholarships in your program? 

Taking COUN courses as a non-matriculated SFSU Counseling program student

I would like to apply for the fall 2016 academic year and take classes in your program prior to being admitted into the department. Is this possible?

Similar to the prior FAQ, I would like to take classes in your program without being enrolled as a student in your department. Is this possible? OR, I am currently a student of another program/at another school, can I take classes in your department? 

I am currently enrolled in another Masters in Counseling Program. Is it possible for me to transfer into your program?

How do I take classes through Open University (aka the College of Extended Learning)?

Other Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between an official and unofficial transcript? 

Where is your department located? How do I get to campus/your office? Where can I park? How much does parking cost? What are your hours of operation? What is your department's contact information?

Other application related questions not answered here?

 

Answers:

Admission requirements and application deadlines

When do I apply for admission into the graduate program?

Department applications are available late summer for the fall semester the following year. There are no spring admissions. All students must apply online to the university, and both applications must be RECEIVED by January 15th – NO EXCEPTIONS. Prospective candidates are notified of their status by the department no later than May 1st. The university makes the final admissions decision after we submit our department recommendations to the Graduate Division. International students should apply to the university as soon as possible. Full and complete instructions for both applications are contained in the Counseling Department application.

 

Do you have spring admissions?

We do not have spring admissions. We are a fall admission program only.

 

I want to apply to the department of counseling. How do I accomplish this?

To obtain a department application, see the "How do I obtain an application to the Department of Counseling" FAQ question. The department will hold one or two prospective student information meetings, click here for more info on orientation. This meeting will describe the program, specialized counseling areas, requirements, and the department selection procedure. Due to the large number of department applications, this session will be the only formal opportunity for applicants to secure information and to ask questions. There is a $25 nonrefundable application fee.

 

What are your general admissions requirements?

  1. Optional Attendance at an orientation.
  2. Bachelor's degree from an accredited undergraduate institution.
  3. Minimum 3.0 grade point average for the last 60 units completed.
  4. GRE Analytical Writing Score.
  5. Complete program application. Incomplete and late applications will not be considered.
  6. Complete online application to the university, also known as the Cal State Apply application or SFSU university application (in an entirely separate process).
  7. In-person interview (if required by program of interest).

For international students, please contact the Office of International Programs ( 1.415.338.1293) for additional deadlines, information, and procedures. Further, the University's requirements can be found at the Division of Graduate Studies webpage.

All of the above requirements will be explained in great detail at an orientation session or within the contents of the program application packet.

 

Is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) required?

Yes, the GRE is required. All applicants are required to include a copy of their GRE scores along with their program application. Please Note: Your GRE scores will not determine our recommendation to either admit or deny you admission to our program. We only use this score chiefly as a measure of writing proficiency and not necessarily for admission. We will review the Analytical Writing score so that we may determine your writing needs before you enter the program. We will not automatically disqualify applicants for admission because of their GRE Analytical Writing score. However, our department expects our students to write at the graduate level. Those who do not meet the minimum writing expectation, that is a 4.0 on the Analytical Writing Section of the GRE General Test, upon admission will be required to take a writing course, usually at an additional cost. Sign up for the GRE General Test, which is administered either via computer or via pencil and paper. Information regarding this exam can be found on the GRE website or you may call them at 1.800.GRE.CALL. Again, official documentation of scores (copy or original) MUST BE submitted along with the application packet. Further information will be provided in the program application.

 

When should I take the GRE?

Applicants must take the GRE no later than the 1st week of December in order to have the official score mailed to their home address. Again, documentation of your official score must be included in your application packet by application deadline.

 

Do I have to take the entire GRE test if you only require the Analytical Writing score? Do you offer GRE preparatory classes?

Sign up for the GRE General Test, which is administered either via computer or via pencil and paper. There is a plethora of information regarding this exam on the GRE website at www.GRE.org. You are not required to take any of the GRE Subject Tests. Sign up for the GRE General Test only (now called the GRE revised General Test). If you have questions about any of the components of the GRE or have GRE test related questions, including test dates, fees, accommodations requests, or whether you have to take the entire test, please contact the GRE Test administration. Visit the GRE website.

 

I took the GMAT... Or... I have the following qualifications (already have a Masters in English, have work published, etc), do I still need to take the GRE?

Yes. All applicants are required to take the GRE, exceptions will not be granted.

 

How do you rate an applicant? Here are my academic, professional, and other qualification, etc, but I don't know if I qualify for your program?

See how we rate applicants

 

Prerequisite course requirements

Are there prerequisite courses required for the Department of Counseling programs?

Yes.

 

What are the course prerequisites?

The prerequisites courses are:

A. Three undergraduate psychology courses. Prior to starting Fall semester classes, you must have completed three undergraduate psychology courses. These courses are: (1) Lifespan Development, (2) Theories of Personality, and (3) Abnormal Psychology (a.k.a. Psychopathology). Note: prerequiste courses have 10 years limitation. The courses that you took more than 10 years ago cannot be considered for admission.

The SFSU course descriptions are:

1) PSYC 431 – Lifespan Developmental Psychology. Fundamental principles of developmental psychology; origin and development of behavior. Must be a course that spans throughout the lifespan, i.e. from birth to death.

2) PSYC 451 – Theories of Personality. Survey of the major contemporary theories of personality. Theoretical positions are compared and critically examined along various significant dimensions, including their relationships to the total field of psychology. Methods of personality assessment as related in theory construction.

3) PSYC 452 – Abnormal Psychology, Minor Variants of Personality. The nature and development of emotional disturbances which result in a person's failure to adapt adequately in this society; contemporary theories of personality development as well as a clinical description of the neuroses. Note: Psychopathology, which is the science or study of mental disorders, is also known as Abnormal Psychology.

All undergraduate psychology prerequisite courses must be completed within ten years from the date of enrollment (i.e. Fall admission). In addition, classes taken for credit will not be accepted. You must receive a letter grade of C or better. A grade of C- will not be accepted.

If you would like to take the prerequisite courses at SFSU, but are not currently a student of SFSU, please contact the College of Extended Learning for registration, tuition, and fee information.

B. COUN 690 – Field of Counseling I, (this is a graduation requirement, not the admission prerquisite). Must be taken at SFSU only. Students need to successfully complete COUN 690 (exception: students with a degree objective of M.S in Clinical Mental Health Counseling) with a grade of "B" better either before entering the program or during your first semester in the program. If COUN 690 is taken prior to acceptance into the program, it must have been completed no longer than five years prior to enrollment in the program.

 

Do I have to take the prerequisites at SFSU or can I take them elsewhere?

COUN 690 can only be taken at SFSU.

The three undergraduate psychology courses can be taken elsewhere.

List of equivalent psychology related courses at other California colleges and universities  We have prepared this document as a courtesy to applicants. The Counseling Department staff will not respond to any requests for clarification on the approved courses listed.

Since these are undergraduate level courses, they are generally offered under similar titles across different Universities. If you are interested in taking the prerequisites at another school (not listed in the above PDF document), please check your school's Catalogue or Bulletin and match the appropriate courses to the psychology prerequisites at SFSU. To be able to use non-approved course for prerequistes, you must submit a course syllabus for evaluation. You may do so during the admission period (course description is not sufficient to evaluate a course). Note: prerequiste courses have 10 years limitation. The courses that you took more than 10 years ago cannot be considered for admission.

 

Do I have to complete all of the prerequisite courses prior to applying to the Counseling program?

No, the prerequisites do not have to be completed before applying to the program. However, you must have the prerequisites completed prior to enrolling in the program. See prior prerequisite FAQs for detailed information.

 

How to apply? Obtaining the program application

How do I obtain an application to the Department of Counseling program?

The Department of Counseling program application is only available for download.

Program Application

 

Can you mail me a Department of Counseling program application?

The program application is available online only. See prior FAQ to download the application.

 

Differences between the Counseling and Psychology programs at SFSU

What is the difference between your MFT program in Counseling and the MFT program in Psychology?

For a complete understanding of the differences between our two programs, please read over our Mission Statements. For the Counseling MFT program, click here. For the Clinical Psychology program, click here. We have also prepared a quick table to explain the differences.

 

Advising related

Is it possible for me to talk with an individual faculty member at this time regarding the program?

Our informatioin sessions are designed to answer all your questions. Due to the large number of applicants to the Department of Counseling, individual conferences are not readily available.

 

Is it possible to earn more than one specialization with the M.S. degree?

No. It is not possible to earn more than one specialization. Students can however, have one specialization and one area of emphasis.

 

I want to get my Master's in Counseling but I work full time. Is it possible to do this?

The Department of Counseling program is designed to take two years to complete on a full-time basis. However most students finish in three years. Many courses are offered in the late afternoon and several in the evening.

 

Do you offer online courses?

A few courses are offered online. The majority of our curriculum is not offered as online courses.

 

Tuition, scholarships, awards

What is the cost of tuition at San Francisco State?

For a breakdown of tuition and fees, please visit the Bursar'S Office webpage.

 

Do you offer awards or scholarships in your program?

Yes. Please click on the Awards & Scholarships link to view our available awards and scholarships.

 

Taking COUN courses as a non-matriculated SFSU Counseling program student

I would like to apply for the Counseling program and take classes in your program prior to being admitted into the department. Is this possible?

Yes. Prior to being admitted into the department, you may take the following classes (if you have completed the required prerequisite to each course and with the consent of the instructor) in the fall, spring, or summer semesters through Open University on a space available basis:

COUN 690 (open to undergraduates) COUN 700 (prerequisite: undergraduate course in psychology personality theories)

COUN 702 (prerequisite: undergraduate course in lifespan human developmental psychology)

COUN 703 (prerequisite: undergraduate course in abnormal behavior psychology)

 

Similar to the prior FAQ, I would like to take classes in your program without being enrolled as a student in your department. Is this possible? OR, I am currently a student of another program/at another school, can I take classes in your department?

You may only take the following classes (if you have completed the required prerequisite to each course and with the consent of the instructor) through Open University on a space available basis: COUN 690, COUN 700, COUN 702, and COUN 703 (see prior FAQ for prerequisite information). For any other course not designated in this answer, you will not receive permission to enroll for any of our courses prior to the first day of class.

Our top priority is our program students. Once our students have settled into their courses after the first two weeks of class, we will consider permitting non-program students into additional courses through the Open University system. Because we will not know final enrollments until the beginning of each semester, there is just no way to know if there is going to be space available. So, you will have to wait until classes start to first see if there is space available. Then, we will consider your needs and qualifications to enroll in our courses. Please note: we have no obligation to permit any non-program student into any of our graduate program courses.

 

I am currently enrolled in another Masters in Counseling Program. Is it possible for me to transfer into your program?

If so, how many units can I transfer into your program? As we do not transfer students from other programs into our own, you would have to apply to our program as a new student. Note: we are a fall admissions program only. For information on applying to our program, please refer to the first two FAQ. If you are admitted to our program, you may submit a transfer request up to 12 units from your previous coursework into our program provided that those units were not applied to another degree and if they apply to a particular counseling course. Further, we do not do transfer evaluations until you are admitted into the program.

 

How do I take classes through Open University (aka the College of Extended Learning)?

Please contact the College of Extended Learning for registration, and tuition and fee information.

 

Other frequently asked questions

What is the difference between an official and unofficial transcript?

An official transcript is one obtained from a registrar that arrives in a sealed, stamped envelope. An unofficial transcript may be a copy and may or may not have a registrar's seal.

 

Where is your department located? How do I get to campus/your office? Where can I park? How much does parking cost? What are your hours of operation? What is your department's contact information?

Please click on the Contact Us link for more information.

 

Other application related questions not answered here?

Please refer to the program application instructions and the application itself for complete details.