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A school counselor places her hand on the should of teen

School Counseling Master's

Applications open September 1, 2023

Guaranteed 40% tuition scholarships

Start any semester

Part-time and full-time options

Program overview

The effective school counselor of the 21st century needs to be a dynamic professional well prepared to address the range of social-emotional, academic, career, and developmental needs of an increasingly complex and diverse student population.

Our Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs-accredited school counseling programs prepare individuals to pursue leadership roles in schools as facilitators of healthy human development and advocates for change, positively impacting the success of individual students and school systems at large.

Most states in the United States require state certification to hold school counseling positions in K-12 public schools.  New York State has two levels of certification for school counseling, which are recognized in many other states and across the United States:

  • Initial Certification
  • Professional Certification

Key program features

  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs accredited: Rigorous curriculum meeting all requirements set by the world-recognized accrediting body for the field of counseling.
  • Unique internship opportunities: The required practicum and two internship experiences can be pursued in elementary, middle, or secondary schools, depending on interest. Special internship opportunities at East High School, an urban school overseen by the University of Rochester’s Educational Partnership Organization (EPO).
  • Flexible: Program can be started in any semester and can be completed in just two years of full-time study, if starting in fall, or three to four years of part-time study.
  • Option to add specializations: By strategically choosing electives, you can add an Advanced Certificate in Urban Teaching and Leadership or take courses that can count toward a New York State license in Applied Behavior Analysis or Board Certified Behavior Analyst credential.


  • A bachelor’s degree in an area related to school counseling (e.g., psychology, education, human development, sociology, brain and cognitive science). 
  • Interests and dispositions consistent with successful practice as a school counselor.
  • Preference is given to applicants with a grade point average of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale. 
  • A general understanding of the nature of school counseling practice.
  • A demonstrated interest, based on previous paid or volunteer experience, of work in the helping professions.
  • Evidence, based on past volunteer or paid activity, of leadership potential.
  • Applicants must display dispositions of health and fitness that will foster healing, growth and change in their clients, such as:
    • Capacity for sound clinical and interpersonal judgment.
    • Ability to deal with critique and conflict in a healthy and productive manner.
    • Reliable completion, even under conditions of stress and emotional challenge, of expected clinical and academic responsibilities.
    • Respect for diversity of beliefs, practices, appearances and orientations, and a commitment to, and capacity for self-reflection regarding diversity issues.
    • Ability, even in times of extreme stress, to convey empathy and compassion.
    • Display of sound moral and ethical judgment.

Scholarships, Tuition, & Financial Aid

Guaranteed 40% scholarship


Master's leading to Initial/Professional Certifications

Most of the United States require state certification to hold school counseling positions in K-12 public schools.  Any newly admitted students to our Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs and New York State approved program must be enrolled in our 60-credit hour certification program for school counseling.

The master’s degree program prepares candidates for initial and professional certification in School Counseling and are offered at the graduate level only. 

The master’s degree program is 60 credits.

Choose a specialization

  • Community - This concentration appeals to students who would like to have extra training in behavioral health for youth.  Emphasis is placed on collaborating with community agencies. 
  • Diversity - Students interested in this concentration are motivated to learn more about the diversities of learners.  Emphasis is placed on making the educational system serve learners better than traditionally possible.  
  • Disability - This concentration involves learning systems of support for students and families, in order to better serve youth through an integrated care model.  
  • Leadership - This concentration emphasizes leadership as a mindset and improving systems to better serve students.  
Add mental health counseling with minimal credits

Considering a NYS license as a mental health counselor? Credits can count toward our Bridge Program from School to Mental Health.

Already completed a master’s degree leading to NYS licensure in mental health counseling? Our 12-credit Advanced Certificate Bridge from Mental Health to School Counseling program requires only two school counseling courses and two internships.

Customize your degree

Our degrees are designed to meet your interests and career aspirations. Whether you want to add an advanced certificate or specialize in a distinct area of emphasis, we can help craft the best option for you.


Applications open September 1, 2023

Career opportunities

Graduates will have the credentials needed to hold school counseling positions at the elementary, middle school or high school level in public schools in New York State and other states recognizing that certification.

Beyond K-12 schools, our graduates will also be prepared to succeed in other educational roles and careers, including:

  • Acting as school counselors in other school settings.
  • Working in advising and career development centers in higher education.
  • Working with children and youth in community programs.

International students have found the Warner School’s programs in school counseling beneficial in helping them introduce the benefits of the school counseling profession to international educational settings.

School counselor talking to student

Program Director

Bonnie Rubenstein

Professor (Clinical), Chair Counseling & Human Development & Director Urban Teaching & Leadership Program

Contact admissions

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Receive a $70 application fee waiver when you complete the form below.


Take a course before you apply

Take a course before you apply to one of our programs for a highly discounted price. Some credits also apply toward degree requirements.

Related certificates and degrees

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