Fall 2024 Admission has ended (the deadline: January 15th). Fall 2025 admission will start on October 1st, 2024

This page provides specific information regarding applying to the Department of Counseling Graduate Programs. For general assistance in the application process or in deciding between the Department of Counseling programs and other programs at San Francisco State University, please visit Graduate Studies Admissions Page. They offer workshop recordings on admissions topics and other great information (see Advising).

Want Specific Information about Applying to the Department of Counseling Graduate Programs? Follow these Steps!

Step 1: 

Carefully review the information on the Department of Counseling website including the Academics page where you will find detailed information about our Specializations and this Admissions page.

Step 2:

Sign up to attend one of our Information Sessions.

  • Information Sessions for Fall 2025 Admissions:

    • September Session: TBA
    • October Session: TBA
    • November Session: TBA

For parking and Transportation information:

The Information Session present an overview of the program and the admissions process as well as answers to the most frequently asked questions. Questions are taken from prospective students who submit questions to be answered by our department chair. (Questions from previous sessions are included). The FAQ page has been updates to include these questions and answers.

Department of Counseling, Information Session welcomes persons with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodations upon request. If you would like reasonable accommodations for this event, please contact as soon as possible so your request may be reviewed.

A video and powerpoint slides from the September information session is posted here. At the bottom of this page, you will also find short videos from each Specialization. 

During Grad Preview week (October 23-26), we also held a Student Panel and Alumni Panel (see recordings on this page) and a Village Conversation  BIPOC prospective graduate students (not recorded). 


Slides from October 23, 2023, Information session for prospective applicants to the DoC graduate programs and recording of the September 2023 Information Session. Additionally, recording of the Graduate Counseling Student Panel and Graduate Counseling Alumni panel held during Grad Preview week October, 2023.

Step 3:

Carefully read the Application Instructions and requirements:

Every year the Department of Counseling Admissions Coordinator creates detailed application instructions for that admissions year. The instructions include the following:

  • Navigating Cal State Apply (with Images)
  • Applying for the correct specialization and/or emphasis
  • Specific program application materials required
  • Personal Statement prompt and length as well as Affidavit of Authorship form
  • Experience Summary form
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Fee Payment instructions


Fall 2025 Admission Instruction and Requirements will be available on September, 2024


  • MSC admission Instruction
  • Affidavit of Authorship form
  • Summary of Experience form
  • Sample recommendation form (recommenders may use this form or their own letterhead)


  • PPSC (post-master program) admission instruction and requirements will be available on September, 2024


Department of Counseling Application Processing Fee of $25 (This is a separate fee from Cal State Apply Fee of $70).

  • Payment of Department of Counseling Application Processing Fee must be made through the link provided in the Fall 2024 Admission Instruction site. No checks or cash will be accepted (please visit Department of Counseling Admission Instruction site).

Specialization Videos

Career Counseling

Career Counselors work in high school, college and university career centers, student support services and advising offices. Some graduates use this training to establish private career counseling and consultation practices while others enter career development centers in private industry and public agencies. Many students combine this training with another area of counseling.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Clinical Mental Health Counselors work in an array of community-based behavioral health agencies, hospital-based inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, school and college settings, rehabilitation programs, youth wellness centers and programs/services for at risk and marginalized communities. Graduates obtain their LPCC and may choose to work in private practice.

College Counseling

College Counselors may work in two- and four-year colleges and universities providing academic counseling in a range of college student personnel positions in programs such as student retention, EOP or EOPS, financial aid, CalWorks, multicultural student services, residential life, college outreach, transfer services, general counseling and other student services.

Gerontological Counseling

Gerontological Counselors work with older adults and their families performing case management and counseling in consultation with family members. Settings may include senior centers, residential homes, social service agencies, and hospices. Gerontological counselors benefit from having an emphasis in Mental Health Counseling.

Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling

MFCC specialization prepares graduates for LMFT licensure in California. MFTs provide assessment, diagnosis, and intervention for individuals, couples, families, children, and groups in family, youth, and child agencies, hospitals, schools, universities, forensic settings, private practice, and a variety of community counseling services. The curriculum emphasizes a culturally-informed and systemic-familial-relational orientation to prevention, intervention, consultation, and advocacy.

School Counseling & Pupil Personnel Services Credential

School Counselors upon graduation and after passing the California CBEST examination receive their State of California Pupil Personnel Services Credential with a specialization in School Counseling (PK–12) and work in public and private school settings. They do personal and academic counseling and work in an integrated services team approach with other mental health and education professionals.


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