The mission of the Department of Counseling at San Francisco State University is to train the next generation of counselor leaders who recognize that the liberation of all communities is only possible when an intersectional, participatory, community-driven approach to counseling is practiced. Our training program is grounded in the belief that counseling, as a field of practice, affords professionals the knowledge and skills needed to carry out social justice work via strengths-based healing and wellness, advocacy, critical consciousness development, and action-oriented scholarship and research.

About the Department

Culturally competent, psychologically-minded, and emotionally grounded Licensed (Marriage & Family Therapists), Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors, Credentialed School Counselors, Certified Rehabilitation Counselors, Career Counselors, College Counselors, and Gerontological Counselors are needed in the field of human services. The department’s six graduate programs, its undergraduate minor in counseling, and our partnerships with community agencies collaboratively prepare students who are well-grounded to help meet the growing demands in the field. Our department’s faculty and the curriculum we have designed aspire to achieve excellence in three core areas: Multicultural Competence, Community Partnerships, and Action Research.

Our faculty are locally, nationally, and internationally recognized in their scholarly contributions to multicultural competence in counseling, social justice, and health equity. Our faculty work to provide a solid learning environment for students with disabilities, students from diverse ethnic and sexual orientations, as well as students from a range of socioeconomic groups.

By the end of graduate studies, our more than 275 students should embody multicultural competence, have grown deep connections to the local community, and embrace best practices in counseling. Combined, our students provide thousands of hours per year of counseling services to San Francisco Bay Area communities. They are in schools, community mental health and rehabilitation agencies, colleges and universities, careers centers, nonprofits, and hospitals, to name a few. Our students reflect the diversity of California and especially the San Francisco bay area.

Graduates of our department will have the necessary preparation to be eligible to sit for the National Board of Certified Counselors examination, known as the National Counselor Examination® and the National Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Exam.

We prepare MFT, School, and Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) counseling students for the following licenses/credentials respectively: MFT license eligibility (Marriage & Family Therapy Program), Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (CMHC program), PPS Credentialing (School Counseling Program), and CRC Credentialing (Rehabilitation Program).

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), has granted accreditation to the following programs in the Department of Counseling at San Francisco State University: Career Counseling (M.S.); Clinical Mental Health Counseling (M.S.); College Counseling and Student Affairs (M.S.); Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling (M.S.) and School Counseling (M.S.). The Pupil Personnel Services Credential program in School Counseling is also accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). The Career Counseling specialization is one of only five programs in the United States to receive this accreditation.

The Department of Counseling is committed to excellence and professionalism, and the faculty strive to guide and to prepare students towards that end.