Jun 16, 2024  
2020-2021 Cal State East Bay Catalog 
2020-2021 Cal State East Bay Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Counseling, M.S.: Marriage and Family Therapy Concentration

Counseling, M.S. Program

Program Description

The Master of Science in Counseling degree requires 60 units organized according to university and degree program requirements. Requirements are established to ensure that each degree candidate obtains adequate breadth in subject matter, field experiences, and research. 

Students interested in the Pupil Personnel Service Credential in School Counseling or School Psychology, please refer to their individual program pages. The PPS Credential can be completed at the same time as the M.S. in Counseling, School Counseling or School Psychology concentrations.

CSU East Bay offers three concentrations within the M.S in Counseling. Courses are offered in-person with some courses offered online or hybrid. Individuals interested in a M.S. in Counseling degree must enroll in one of the following:

Marriage and Family Therapy Concentration

The primary focus of the concentration is to train psychotherapists who eventually plan to obtain a California Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) and/or a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) internship license. Additional units may be taken to meet the requirements for the LPCC and the MFT internship. (See BBS Sections 4980.37, 4980.41 (a)(4)&(5) for MFT and 4999.33 for LPCC.).   These additional LPCC courses lead to completion of the required hours of clinical experience for the license application. The LPCC units may be completed at the same time as the M.S. in Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy concentration.

The  MFT course work is geared towards a relational approach to counseling that focuses on  multicultural diversity, collaborative treatment, wellness, resiliency, and recovery. Faculty orient students to promote resilience and practice strength-based interventions. Course work combined with clinical practicum training in the field prepares graduates to work from a relational perspective.

School Counseling Concentration

The School Counseling concentration is a full-time, two-year course of study. Courses are offered during the day, in the evening, and on weekends. 

School Counseling reflects an integration of local program needs, the campus mission, and the direction provided by the National Standards and National Model of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) and the National Career Development Guidelines (NOICC). 

Students acquire the skills to develop curriculum for small-group guidance, conduct individual and group therapy, and provide consultation and leadership in the creation and evaluation of integrated, comprehensive prevention and intervention programs.

School Psychology Concentration

The School Psychology concentration is nationally accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

The philosophy of the School Psychology concentration is to train graduate students in evidenced-based practice to promote social justice and equity to diverse school communities.  Social justice is the call to provide all pupils with the support, skills, and services they need to reach their full potential in spite of poverty and other significant challenges.  The School Psychology concentration is committed to the academic and social-emotional development of children, families and communities. Thus, we strive to promote a strong professional identity in School Psychology while providing a core of shared learning experiences. 

The goals of the concentration are to provide clinical training, instruction, field-based placements, and cohort learning opportunities to promote four levels of trainee development; 1) Foundation for Clinical Practice, 2) Professional Skills and Knowledge, 3) Demonstration of Competency, and 4) Professional Identity.  Although each area is introduced at different points of the program, levels of development and knowledge based content are continuously revisited and integrated into group and individual discussion and reflection. In addition, coursework continues to build as trainees demonstrate competence in service delivery.

Career Opportunities

Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT)

The MFT concentration prepares graduate students for clinical work in a wide variety of settings, such as community mental health based and county agencies, schools and universities, hospitals, business and industry, and private practice.

Graduates have been hired in a wide range of agencies and businesses. Some are counselors in junior colleges and college counseling settings, Others are drug and alcohol abuse counselors in hospitals, family therapists on-site in schools, advocates for the mentally ill, therapists working with chronically ill and they elderly, child therapists in therapeutic nursery schools, assessment counselors, information and referral clinicians in employment assistance programs, individual and family therapists for police departments, grief counselors, organizational development specialists, and human resource professionals in business and industry. 

School Counseling

Graduates of the MS in Counseling with a concentration in School Counseling often work in community agencies. Other graduates have been hired in agencies and businesses and other diverse settings, such as counselors in junior colleges, colleges, drug and alcohol abuse counselors in hospitals, and as advocates for mentally ill persons.  Additional courses taken for the Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential required by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) and coursework required by the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) may lead to positions providing mental health services and guidance support for students in K-12 schools, careers as child therapists in therapeutic nursery schools, assessment counselors, information and referral clinicians in employee assistance programs, individual and family therapists for police departments, organizational development specialists, and human resource professionals. Some graduates have pursued doctoral-level work in clinical and counseling psychology or education after completing their master’s degree in this program.

School Psychology

The M.S. Counseling, School Psychology concentration prepares graduates for careers as School Psychologists, educational interventionists, and counselors in schools, hospitals, and mental health organizations. According to the US News and World Report’s on-line career review, it is a top social service prospect for the future.  Successful completion of program courses lead to a recommendation for the California Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential to practice School Psychology.   Additionally, clinical coursework and training allow graduates to apply to be  a Marriage and Family Therapy Associate, which enables graduates to acquire hours toward the Marriage and Family Therapy license- Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS).  The specialization courses prepare graduates to make a difference in their communities through providing mental health services and advocacy.

M.S. in Counseling Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
  • Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • University application (submitted via CSU online application)
  • Department application
  • Personal Statement
  • Writing sample
  • Three letters of reference
  • Graduate  Record Examination (GRE) 
  • Prerequisites (see curriculum requirements below) are not required for admission, but must be completed prior to start of graduate coursework in the Fall term of admission to the program.

Student Standing and Progress

The MS in Counseling requires demonstration of the following:

Advancement to Candidacy

  • Satisfactory evaluations from field and University supervisors/professors
  • Demonstration of ethical and professional program expectations and dispositions program requirements
  • Completion of required field-based practicum hours.
  • A passing grade on the Praxis test for the School Counseling and School Psychology concentrations.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Cal State East Bay Master of Counseling, graduates will be able to:

  1. demonstrate a knowledge of systems theories and be able to successfully apply theories in clinical practice.
  2. demonstrate an awareness of diversity and social justice issues, as well as demonstrate competence in working with diverse populations.
  3. demonstrate ethical and legal professional practice by identifying and applying ethical and legal standards applied to counseling, assessment, intervention, and consultation.
  4. effectively and clearly communicate with all stakeholders.

Counseling Degree Requirements (60 units)

Notice To Students re: Professional Licensure and Certification.  See Errata Non-curricular  page for more information.

Prerequisites or Foundation Requirements

The prerequistes or foundation coursework below (or their equivalents) are required for all students in the M.S. in Counseling program.  Please check concentration requirements for additional prerequisites. Prerequisites must be completed before beginning graduate-level coursework.  This area may require 0-11 units that are not included in the major units:


Choose one (1) of the M.S. in Counseling concentrations to complete the degree:

Marriage and Family Therapy Concentration

Required Courses

The following 19 units are required for the Marriage and Family Therapy concentration:

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (Optional)

The following 12 units are not required for the MS in Counseling degree. However, students will be able to apply for the Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor license with the Board of Behavioral Sciences upon completion of these courses:

Counseling, M.S. Capstone Requirement

Choose one (1) of the capstone courses below for 3-4 units according to your concentration.

Other Graduate & Post-Baccalaureate Degree Requirements

In addition to departmental requirements, every student must also satisfy the University requirements for graduation as described throughout this catalog. These include the 70% unit residence requirement; the five-year rule on currency of subject matter; the minimum number of units in 600-level courses; the “C” minimum grade for each graduate course; the 3.00 cumulative grade point average; and the University Writing Skills Requirement.

Note: For information on meeting the University Writing Skills Requirement, see Graduate Degree Requirements & Policies  or call the Testing Office at (510) 885-3661.

Department Courses Listed by Course Type

Educational Psychology Courses

Department of Educational Psychology

Go to information for this department.


Educational Psychology

Educational Psychology: Graduate

Special Education