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 prepare 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.

Student Stories

"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

Program Data 2018-19

Retention rate: 99%

Average time to complete the program: 2 years (5 semesters)

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​

Fall Enrollment: 39​

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.


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 following requirements must be fulfilled: 60 credits, including 54 credits in required courses and 6 credits in elective courses:

Core Courses

6 credits in electives selected in consultation with advisor

Associate Professor
(703) 549-6935
Assistant Professor
(202) 994-8108
Career Outlook


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 career changers 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.

Learn more about our program

Survey Data


    Program Entry: Summer
    Prerequisites: Bachelors Degree
    Campus: Alexandria

Application Requirements

  • Online Application
  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
  • GRE or MAT
  • Interview
  • Transcripts (unofficial)
  • Application Fee
  • Information Session Attendance Strongly Encouraged

*Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants

For more information on any of these requirements, please visit our Admissions FAQ page.

Student Resources
Transformation Begins Here

Learn more about the Master's in School Counseling program located at Alexandria, VA (202-994-9283)

In the News

Congratulations to Dr. Sylvia Marotta-Walters. The George Washington University leadership put forward a resolution to honor her as she completed her time as Chair of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee. We appreciate your service, Dr. Marotta-Walters.

GSEHD alumnus and adjunct faculty Paul Tschudi (EdS, Counseling) and Dr. Ken Hergenrather provided a well-attended 90-minute live streaming webinar on April 9 via Webex entitled, “Grief and Loss theory: Applications to COVID 19” to invited Department of Counseling faculty and students enrolled in practicum and internship on the Foggy Bottom campus, the Alexandria campus, and the online rehabilitation counseling program.  

Dr. Sylvia Marotta-Walters has finished her term as Faculty Senate Executive Committee Chair. President LeBlanc thanked her at the faculty senate meeting, saying, “We all owe her a debt of gratitude for her selfless service to the senate and the university." Dr.

Dr. Maggie Parker was named President-Elect of the Virginia Association of Play Therapy, and her term starts in March 2020. In addition, Dr.