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On this page, you will find: admissions criteria for the School Counseling program, information about the application process including fingerprinting/criminal record checking, special education course requirement, and our most frequently asked questions.

Admissions Criteria

To obtain information/application packets, applicants should download the forms below or contact the Counseling and School Psychology Department office at (203) 392-5910 or send an email to the School Counseling Program Coordinator, Dr. Jennifer Parzych at

Candidates for the program are evaluated on the following criteria:

    1. Academic background: students must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
    2. Although no particular undergraduate major is required, students should take the following prerequisites: Introduction to Psychology, Psychological Statistics or Research Methods, Abnormal Psychology or Psychopathology & Teaching Exceptional Children (needs to be a state-approved course). See more information below.
    3. Submit scores from the PRAXIS Core exam, Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), Graduate Record Exam (GRE), American College Testing (ACT) to satisfy the State Board of Education competency examination requirement. Note that applicants holding an educator's certificate in the state of Connecticut need only submit evidence of their certification.
    4. Evidence of a desire to enter the profession and knowledge of the school counseling field.
    5. Evidence of strong interpersonal skills and openness to diversity evidenced through a program interview and letters of recommendation.
    6. Strong recommendations from at least three individuals who know the candidate in a professional and/or academic setting, with at least one form written by someone who can speak to the candidate's academic skills. At least 1 recommendation must be from an academic reference (e.g., professor).
    7. A 500-word essay describing the basis of their interest in the School Counseling program at SCSU and their desire to enter the profession.
    8. Resume.
    9. Meeting with the School Counseling Faculty members for an admissions interview, if invited.


Application Process

Last Updated: February 13, 2017

 In order to be considered for admission to the program the following fall, all admissions materials must be received by January 15th. In order to apply to the program, please follow the steps below:

    • Make a formal application to Southern Connecticut State University’s Graduate School. The application can be found and completed online. A non-refundable fee of $50 must be paid at the time of submission with a credit card.
    • Send official transcripts to:
                                         Southern Connecticut State University

      School of Graduate Studies
      Application Processing Center
      PO Box 8057
      Portsmouth, NH 03802

    • Upload your test scores (see number 3 above) to the same portal to which you logged in to apply.
    • Upload personal essay to the same portal to which you logged in to apply. Explain your reasons for wanting to enter the field of school counseling and the SCSU School Counseling program in particular. This typed essay should be approximately 500 words in length.
    • Upload Current Resume or Vita to the same portal to which you logged in to apply.
      • When you fill out your application, you will fill in contact information for your recommenders, an automated email will be sent to them providing them with a link to use to upload your recommendation(s). No letters of recommendation are to be mailed/emailed in to us, they will not be accepted in hard copy. You may change/remind your recommenders through the Graduate Admissions Portal.

Criminal Record Check/Fingerprinting

Applicants considering either the School Counseling or School Psychology programs must be aware that, upon program completion, they must apply for certification from the State Department of Education. Part of that process involves a check to insure that the person does not have a criminal record:

  1. "Connecticut requires that any person (teachers, administrators, special service staff members, teachers aides, custodians, cafeteria employees, etc.) who is hired by a local or regional board of education submit to a state and national criminal history record check within the first 30 days of the date of employment. The process includes the checking of fingerprints by the State Police Bureau of Identification and the F.B.I. The results of the criminal history record checks (both state and federal) are reported to the employing school district. If the district receives notice of a conviction of a crime by a person holding a certificate, authorization or permit issued by the State Board of Education, the district shall notify the Bureau of Certification and Professional Development."

    Students in the program can anticipate that they must be finger-printed at the time that they begin their practicum or internship in school counseling or school psychology. For additional questions regarding background checks, please visit 

Special Education Course Requirement

Connecticut state regulations require the completion of a course in special education for all applicants seeking certification (i.e., students enrolled in our School Counseling and School Psychology programs). The regulations mandate this course be comprised of not fewer than 36 clock hours, which shall include study in understanding the growth and development of exceptional children, including handicapped and gifted and talented children and children who may require special education, and methods of identifying, planning for, and working effectively with special-needs children in the regular classroom.

Almost every university and community college in Connecticut offers a course that satisfies this requirement. Students may take this course at Southern (SED 481 or SED 482) or at another institution. The full list of courses in Connecticut that meet the criteria for this requirement are posted on the CT State Department of Education's Web site. Online courses are listed toward the bottom of the full list of colleges and course titles/numbers.

Numerous students who attended college out of state have taken similar courses as part of their undergraduate training. It is possible to have an equivalent course used to waive this requirement. To do so, you must have the syllabus for the course. That syllabus will be submitted to the person at Southern with the authority to review your course and determine if it complies with every aspect of this state requirement.

Students who graduated from colleges out of state, and who, through reciprocity, received certification in CT as a teacher MUST TAKE THE SPECIAL EDUCATION COURSE in order to add the school counselor or school psychologist certification.


Q: My undergraduate major wasn't psychology. Will I need to take the prerequisite psychology courses?
A: Yes. You must complete the following courses or their equivalent: Introduction to Psychology, Abnormal Psychology or Psychopathology, and Statistics. Note: A completed prerequisite course is not a guarantee of admission to the program.

Q: May I register for graduate courses prior to formal admission?
A: Yes. You are allowed to take up to three courses (9 credits) as a non-matriculated graduate student. It is strongly recommended that the first courses you take are the prerequisite courses, if you have not completed them all. Note: Enrolling in graduate classes is not a guarantee of later admission into the program.

Q: I've completed all of the prerequisite courses. What would be the appropriate first courses (up to the 9 credits allowed) to take in the program as a non-matriculated student? Taking these courses does not guarantee acceptance into one of our programs.
A: Choose from any of these: CSP 540, 568, 569, 578, 691

Q: When will I know if I am admitted?
A: When all of the application materials have been received, the admissions committee will screen your application. The committee will then select the strongest candidates for a personal interview. All candidates whose applications are complete will receive written notification of the decision by the admissions committee.