Master's in School Counseling
Schools are tasked with the responsibility to address not only the academic needs of our students, but also their social and emotional growth and development. School counselors, by providing professional counseling, assessment, consultation, and guidance services in a school setting are crucial players in student achievement.
GW's School Counseling program prepares students to successfully address the social responsibility and diverse critical concerns affecting the personal, academic, and career well-being of K-12 students. This program is CACREP-accredited and provides professional preparation for individuals to become certified as counselors in public and private schools. Rigorous course work explores effective school based theory, research, interventions and strategies is strengthened by practical lab experience in the Community Counseling Services Center working with children, teens and adults from the region and a year of immersion training in local K-12 public, private and charter schools. The experience of cohort members enhance the classroom learning experience while strengthening skills to assess, support and engage with students and their families as well as with school leaders and peers in both a community counseling or school counseling setting.
"I truly believe that our program is very special. I felt so supported and encouraged all throughout the program. My outlook and perspective has changed so drastically over the past two years. I’m so proud to be an alumni of our program and to have amazing professors!" -Frangca Paek, '18
Why a GW Master's in School Counseling?
ASCA Focused, Nationally Accredited: Building on the American School Counselor Association standards of excellence, GSEHD trained professional school counselors work with K-12 students in collaboration with their families, teachers, and school administrators to build student identity, self esteem, coping skills and to help manage stress, loss, and grief. This CACREP accredited program ensures that students are prepared to lead classrooms, groups and individual counseling sessions successfully addressing the critical concerns affecting the psycho-social, academic and career well being of K-12 students. Location: Unique to the DC, Maryland, Virginia (DMV) area, our location gives students in the Counseling & Human Development Department access to urban or suburban; public, charter, or private schools. This allows students to examine, compare, and contrast schools with widely different student populations, structures, and demographics.
The School Counseling program is dedicated to the preparation of knowledgeable and ethical counseling professionals for employment as school counselors in public and private schools and related educational settings for diverse populations. We endorse an approach that integrates school counseling with other school services. Our program contributes to learning, human development, adjustment, and change by encouraging our diverse faculty and student body to engage in reflective practice, innovative inquiry, and responsible social action.
The following requirements must be fulfilled: 60 credits, including 54 credits in required courses and 6 credits in elective courses:
- CNSL 6114 Introduction to Research and Evaluation in Counselor Education
- CNSL 6151 Professional and Ethical Orientation to Counseling
- CNSL 6153 Counseling Interview Skills
- CNSL 6154 Theories and Techniques of Counseling
- CNSL 6155 Career Counseling
- CNSL 6157 Individual Assessment in Counseling
- CNSL 6161 Group Counseling
- CNSL 6163 Social/Cultural Dimensions-Cns
- CNSL 6169 Counseling Substance Abusers
- CNSL 6171 Family Counseling
- CNSL 6173 Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
- CNSL 6174 Trauma and Crisis Intervention
- CNSL 6185 Internship in Counseling
- CNSL 6186 Advanced Internship in Counseling
- CNSL 6269 Practicum I in Counseling
- CNSL 6466 Foundations of School Counseling K–12
- CNSL 6467 Coordination of Comprehensive School Counseling Services
- CNSL 6477 Coordination of Comprehensive Guidance Programs
- HDEV 6108 Life Span Human Development
6 credits in electives selected in consultation with advisor
Our graduates are supporting students and leading school counseling teams across the nation in public, private and charter K-12 settings. They reach beyond traditional K-12 schools and serve as career counselors in post secondary settings, behavior specialists in private centers, and directors for training school counselors. With the addition of post-masters certification, our graduates are eligible for licensing for private practice.
“The School Counseling program offered me superb classroom instruction strengthened by practical training. I interned in DC Public Schools, improved my counseling skills in GSEHD’s Community Counseling Center and landed a great position working as a high school counselor for low-income, first-generation, college bound students.”
Dan Minot , School Counseling, Alexandria Program, M.A. '15, Counselor, KIPP DC
Motivated to address the personal, academic and career challenges of K-12 students, the Alexandria program is designed for students from diverse backgrounds. The experience of cohort members enhance classroom learning members while strengthening skills to assess, support and engage with students and their families as well as with school leaders and peers. Lawyers, military personnel, business and education professionals are drawn to the school counseling field seeking to make a difference - one student at a time.
The Alexandria cohort provides a structured, two year program designed for the professional seeking to change lives. Starting in the summer, first year of classes hones counseling skills both in the classroom and in the Alexandria Community Counseling Center which draws clients from the DC metro area. The second year experience includes internships in elementary, middle and high schools, preparing you to serve as a licensed professional upon graduation. Counselor interns support individuals and groups helping students manage issues ranging from self esteem, academic performance, family, stress, anxiety, grief and loss.
CACREP accredited, classes are conducted two nights a week and include psycho-social adaptation, substance abuse, group counseling, counseling interview skills, individual assessment, career counseling and social and cultural dimensions of counseling. A culminating action research project can lead to publishing, conference presentation or school curriculum improvements. Topics are your choice and have included Collaborating with Special Ed Teachers, Dating Violence in Middle Schoolers, College Counseling for Undocumented Teens, and Mediating Anxiety and Depression Experienced by Military Dependents .
Retention rate: 100%
Average time to complete the program: 2 years (6 semesters)
2019-1 Cost: $835 credit hour
Scholarships: Merit based
Employment settings: K-12 schools
Licensure eligibility: Students with a 60 hour degree are eligible for licensure as Professional Counselors (LPC). Requirements vary by state
NCE passing rates: 100% (National = 91%)
Accreditation status: CACREP accredited through 2022. Program has been accredited since 1984
Annual Fall Enrollment: 37
Predicted job outlook (2014-2024) 8% expected increase, compared to 7% expected increase in total US jobs. (Source: US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics)
NOTE: Costs are 2019-2020; enrollment is Fall 2019; retention is calculated over the past year.
- 2018/2019 Academic Program Assessment Report (PDF)
- Fall 2019 Doctoral Alumni Survey (PDF)
- Spring 2019 Alumni Survey (PDF)
- Spring 2018 Alumni Survey (PDF)
- Spring 2017 Alumni Survey (PDF)
- Spring 2019 Employer Survey (PDF)
- Fall 2018 Employer Survey (PDF)
- Fall 2017 Employer Survey (PDF)
- Program Entry: Summer
- Prerequisites: Bachelors Degree
- Campus: Alexandria
- Online Application
- Statement of Purpose
- 2 Letters of Recommendation
- GRE or MAT
- Transcripts (unofficial)
- Application Fee
- Information Session Attendance Strongly Encouraged
Applications are currently being accepted for the Summer 2022 start term on a rolling basis. The next priority deadline to apply is December 15th. If you have questions about submitting your application, please contact our Admission Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 202.994.9283.
- 2019-2020 Internship Handbook
- 2019-2020 Counseling Practicum Handbook
- 2019-2020 Counseling Student Handbook
Transformation Begins Here
Learn more about the Master's in School Counseling program located at Alexandria, VA (202-994-9283)