MA, Counseling and Guidance

EDCO 267 Advising

Our Counseling and Guidance MA degree program prepares individuals to apply the theory and principles of guidance and counseling to the provision of support for the personal, social, educational, and vocational development of students, and the organizing of guidance services within elementary, middle, and secondary educational institutions. It includes instruction in legal and professional requirements, therapeutic counselor intervention, vocational counseling, and related sociological and psychological foundations.

Program Overview

  • Official Title: Master of Arts in Counseling and Guidance
  • Format: Full-time or part-time
  • Units: 48 (MA only), 60 (MA + PPS K-12 School Counseling Credential), 60 (MA + LPCC pre-licensure coursework)
  • Start date: Fall or Spring
  • Application window: October 1 - February 1 (Fall); August 1 - October 1 (Spring)

Initial Eligibility and Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in any major/discipline (verified via official transcripts submitted to the SJSU Graduate Admissions Office)
  • 3.0 GPA or higher preferred (applications with a GPA under 2.50 will be automatically denied by the SJSU Graduate Admissions Office)
  • Satisfactory English competency (evaluated through the Autobiographical and Professional Goals Statement)
  • Experience serving individuals from diverse backgrounds within K-12 and/or postsecondary education settings, and a strong commitment to equity and social justice (evaluated by recommendation letters and Autobiographical and Professional Goals Statement)
  • For international students, a TOEFL test score above 550 (paper-based) or 213 (computer-based) is required

Program Specializations

The MA in Counseling and Guidance will qualify a graduate of the program for the Community College Counseling requirements under SB 1725.

Curriculum and Roadmaps

The SJSU Catalog website provides more details about course requirements and options for the MA program and MA + PPS Credential program.

Fieldwork Requirement

Fieldwork creates an opportunity for students to gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their potential career field. Fieldwork experience is not required for MA-only candidates but is strongly recommended, particularly for those interested in community college counseling. Fieldwork is required for those interested in obtaining the PPS K-12 School Counseling Credential and/or Child Welfare Attendance (CWA) authorization. For more information about requirements, visit our Fieldwork Requirements web page.

Upcoming Information Sessions

These sessions are for individuals interested in information about the Counselor Education Department's graduate and credential programs and who may be interested in applying for admission to these programs.

RSVP to attend the info session

Steps to Apply

International students only: Take the TOEFL test and have ETS send your official TOEFL transcript to SJSU.

Step 1 | Begin your Cal State Apply application

Visit to create your application profile and pay the $70.00 application fee.

Step 2 | Write your statement

Upload your Autobiographical and Professional Goals Statement onto the Cal State Apply portal. Your statement should be three (3) pages typed and double-spaced maximum and address the following:

  • Your educational background
  • Experiences that demonstrate your concern and capacity to work with individuals from diverse backgrounds in addition to any paid or volunteer work directly related to the education and/or counseling fields
  • Your professional goals in pursuing the master's degree with or without a PPS K-12 School Counseling Credential, including any special areas of interest (e.g., middle or high school counseling, community college counseling, community-based mental health counseling, career counseling, etc.)
  • Any additional information that is relevant to your interest in pursuing a master’s degree with or without a PPS K-12 School Counseling Credential through SJSU’s Counselor Education Department 

Step 3 | Upload your resume to Cal State Apply

Your resume should include any degree(s) earned or in progress, employment, volunteer work, research experience, and honors/awards, if any.

Step 4 | Request recommendations

Your recommendations should meet the following requirements:

  • Three recommendations are required for new applicants. (PPS School Counseling Credential-only and re-applicants are only required to submit two recommendations.)
  • Recommenders can also include (in addition to, not in lieu of the recommendation form) their own recommendation letter, but letters of recommendation should be written in the semester applying. All materials from the same recommender need to be uploaded as one PDF file on the Cal State Apply portal.
  • Recommendations need to be submitted by the recommenders (not by the applicant). A notification will be sent by the Cal State Apply system to your selected recommenders prompting them to upload their recommendation materials. 

Step 5 | Submit your transcripts

A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in any major/discipline (verified via official transcripts submitted to San Jose State University) is required with a 3.0 GPA or higher preferred. (Please note, applications with a GPA under 2.50 will be automatically denied by the SJSU Graduate Admissions Office.)

Request one official transcript from each college/university where you studied. If the college/university provides official electronic transcripts, the institution can email the transcripts to or Questions pertaining to transcripts, GPA calculations, and application fees should be directed to

If electonic transcripts cannot be sent, then sealed official transcripts can mailed to the SJSU Graduate Admissions office at: 

Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations
San Jose State University 
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192-0017

Step 6 | Submit your application

Once you submit your application via Cal State Apply, check your application status online at Your ID and PINs are provided shortly by SJSU's Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations Office after you submit your application via Cal State Apply.

The total application processing time is between five to six weeks after all necessary documents have been received by the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations Office, so we recommend that you submit your application early in the processing cycle.

Complete the MA Requirements

Orientation and Registration

  • Attend a new student orientation
  • Register in the program’s foundational courses via
  • Add courses during the first week of classes if you miss your enrollment appointment

Additional Resources

For information about financial aid opportunities, internship and job opportunities, research opportunities, and more, visit our Student Resources web page.