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School Counseling, MAEd

Seattle University’s School Counseling degree prepares ethical, reflective and multiculturally competent leaders to work in K-12 schools.

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About this Program

Educating School Counselors for Social Justice

As a premier program in the Pacific Northwest for the past four decades, our graduate school counseling program prepares diverse, ethical, reflective, clinically skilled and multiculturally competent counselors. 

Even more, our school counselor degree graduates become leaders and advocates who confront injustice and provide quality service in diverse communities. 

Seattle University’s School Counseling program is a national leader in preparing graduates to be professional school counselors in both private and public school settings. 

Our program is ranked as the top graduate counseling program in Seattle by Top Counseling Schools. The ranking is based on program completion rate, job placement rate, licensing exam pass rates, accreditation length, research productivity of faculty and cost of tuition and fees

Skilled School Counselors, Committed to Justice

The mission of the counselor degree program at Seattle University is to prepare you as a professional school counselors and change agent to work in public and private K-12 schools. 

After you graduate from the program, you’ll leave with a deep understanding of the academic, career and social/emotional issues impacting K-12 youth. You’ll also possess the knowledge and skills to create a comprehensive school counseling program that’s built to have a deep commitment to social justice.

Master's in School Counseling Degree at a Glance

Learn how Master's in School Counseling will contribute to your career goals. Then, explore course requirements and see how impactful a Seattle University master's can be.

The master’s degree program in School Counseling (SC) prepares you to work in public and private K-12 schools as a certified school counselor. It prepares school counselors for Educational Staff Associate (ESA) certification, too. The school counseling program concludes with you completing a program-approved practicum and internship in a K-12 school setting. Whenever possible, internships are done at schools that you choose to enable you to continue working while completing the internship.

In addition to the Residency level Educational Staff Associate (ESA) Certification, students in our program can pursue preparation for:

  1. Licensure in the state of Washington as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), as well as other approved states.
  2. Washington State Substance Use Disorder Certification.

This is the only program in the nation where graduates are eligible to pursue Washington State Substance Use Disorder Certification upon graduation. This distinction positions our  graduates to provide integrated care.

  1. Integrate critical knowledge essential for professional counselors in a diverse society.  
  2. Demonstrate foundational skills with self-awareness in practice settings.  
  3. Prepare strategies for social justice within and beyond practice settings.  
  4. Engage in relationships which demonstrate our professional dispositions. 

What You’ll Learn

Learn about the classes you’ll take as a student here.


Best Program in the U.S.

Master's in School Counseling Program —College Factual, 2024


Placement Rate

For graduates of Master's in School Counseling Program

Designed to Make a Difference

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Prepared to Lead the Change

What does it take to become a social change agent? Meet the faculty and students in the School Counseling program at Seattle University who are making positive changes in their communities through advocacy and concern for justice.

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Evening Classes for Working Professionals

Courses are held near the end of the day and in the evenings so you can accommodate your other professional and family commitments.

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In-Depth Experiences, Diverse Clients

Our school counseling program seeks sites with quality supervision that help you integrate theory to practice in the classroom. In keeping with our mission, your practicum and internship will be in schools with a range of needs and include diverse populations.

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$3.5 Million Grant for Tuition Funding

In exchange for a commitment to work in high-need schools after graduation, the Puget Sound Partnership will provide need-based partial tuition and stipends to eight students in each cohort.

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Prestigious Fellowships

Seattle University Counseling students have received prestigious national fellowships through the National Board for Certified Counselors Foundation (NBCCF). Their awards range from $10,000 to $20,000.

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is fully accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). CACREP is the premiere accrediting body for graduate counseling programs.

As a leader in counselor preparation, we hold the distinction of being the first CACREP-accredited institution in Seattle and one of the first accredited institutions in Washington state. There are over 600 CACREP-accredited programs in the United States.

Benefits of Accreditation

Accreditation provides recognition that the content and quality of a program has been evaluated and meets standards set by the profession. The benefits of graduating from an accredited program include:

For students:

  • Provides assurance that appropriate knowledge and skills are included in the program
  • Increases marketability for employment
  • Prepares students to sit for state licensure
  • Ensures fluidity in the licensure process
  • Eases the licensure process between states
  • Provides a foundation for future doctoral studies

For employers:

  • Indicates that candidates for employment graduated from a rigorous program
  • Signifies that graduates achieved high quality standards and competencies
  • Ensures that graduates possess minimal knowledge and skills for success
  • Denotes that graduates are knowledgeable of current trends and best practices
  • Ensures that candidates for employment have potential for achieving success

See CACREP reports to learn more.

The Seattle University Counseling Department is committed to preparing ethical, self-aware counselors devoted to social justice, equity, and anti-racism. We develop students’ multicultural and social justice competence to ensure an understanding of systemic oppression that will help them advocate with and for marginalized communities. Our graduates are change agents that promote justice and foster individual and collective wellbeing through their integrity, reflective practice, and sustained efforts addressing inequities in their counseling.

Graduates of our program are in high demand. You could work in a variety of organizations, from K-12 schools to youth service agencies or private practice. You can also support youth in mental health centers, psychiatric hospitals and correctional facilities. 

With the high-quality education and experience you receive in our program, after graduation you can go on to become a highly respected:

  • K-12 school counselor
  • Clinical mental health counselor
  • Substance abuse counselor
  • Agency counselor
  • School-based mental health professional
  • College counselor
  • Consultant
  • Mental health advocate

Hear From Our Alumni

Alfreida McKinney

"The community that was cultivated within both, my program peers and faculty helped guide me through and reminded me of my strength and gifts."


Get In Touch

If you have any questions about the program or application, we’re here to help!

Diana Calderon

Admissions Counselor

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