Frequently Asked Questions

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Christine Campbell, Senior Admissions Counselor for Online Programs

Christine Campbell

Senior Admissions Counselor


Mary Graham Headshot

Dr. Mary Graham ESA, RTC, NCC, LMHC

Program Director, Professor

(206) 296-5748

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Join Dr. Mary Graham in a recorded information session detailing the Online Master's in School Counseling program.

When can I start the program?

New Students begin the program every year in fall quarter. Return to top

Are there any prerequisites to the program?

There are no course or degree prerequisites, however we prefer that you have at least 3 years of experience working in schools or with school-age youth. 

What does asynchronous learning mean?

Asynchronous education provides the opportunity for students to access their education at their convenience. There are no required in-person, live classes. Instead, courses include previously recorded videos, readings, and other learning materials. As a student, you are required to meet the weekly deadlines for the course material. This often includes discussion boards, roundtable dialogues, presentations, written assignments, and other assignments. Return to top

What is the application deadline?

The priority deadline to apply for fall quarter is February 1 of that year. After February 1, as space is available, there will be rolling admission review until the program is filled. Return to top

How long does the Counseling Program take to complete?

The program takes 3 years to complete. The first two years includes online asynchronous courses, both content courses and skills courses. The final year includes practicum and internship. Return to top

Can I complete the program in less than 3 years?

Because of the sequence of classes and cohort system, it is not possible to complete our program in less than 3 years. Return to top

What is the course schedule like?

Students take 2-3 courses per quarter. All classes are online and asynchronous for the first two years. The third year is online and synchronous. Summer residency takes place in person in Seattle over one weekend after the first and second year in the program. Students take courses all four quarters each year (fall, winter, spring, and summer). Return to top

Is there a summer break?

Although students do take summer courses, there is a 6-week break between summer and fall quarters. Summer residency takes place in person over one weekend (usually late July) after the first and the second year in the program. There is also a 3-week break between fall and winter quarters. The summer before internship starts (the third year), students start their internship classes early. There is only a 1-2 week break before students are expected to be at their internship site and class. Return to top

Do I have to have a social services/human services degree to apply?

We do not require that applicants have an undergraduate degree in any particular field.  Applicants with any undergraduate degree are encouraged to apply. Return to top

Can I apply before the deadline?

We accept applications at any time; however, decisions are not made until after December 1st. Return to top

Can I apply to both the School and Clinical Mental Health programs?

No – not in the same year.  The applicant will need to choose which counseling program to apply to at the application stage. Return to top

What classes are part of the degree?

See our list of School Counseling courses hereReturn to top

Where can graduates work/practice?

School counseling graduates are employed in both private and public K-12 school settings as professional school counselors. Additionally, students can pursue work in other social service agencies and mental health clinics. Return to top

I already have a master's degree. Can I get my school counseling certificate without completing the entire degree?

We do not have a certificate-only option or a post-master's option. All students must complete the entire 90-credit program. Return to top

Do you require the GRE?

This program does not require the GRE. However, if your undergraduate degree was non-graded (i.e., you have no GPA), Seattle University requires that you take a standardized test in order to apply. You may choose either the GRE or the MAT (Miller Analogies Test). Return to top

What is the cost of the program?

Our program cost information can be found hereReturn to top

Do you offer scholarships or graduate assistantships?

The College of Education offers scholarships based on financial need, academic history, and fit with the College. Additionally, students may participate in the Puget Sound Partnership Program. Through the Puget Sound Partnership Program, funded by a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the College of Education will support school counseling and school psychology students with scholarships and financial aid options.

We occasionally have opportunities for graduate assistantships, which are posted for current students as they become available. Return to top

Is it important to graduate from an accredited program?

Yes. Graduating from a non-accredited program may impact your ability to obtain counselor licensure and certification. Graduating from a CACREP-accredited program also increases marketability for employment. Many states already require CACREP accredited programs for all counselors. The Online School Counseling program is CACREP-aligned and in the 3 year process of accreditation. We are working closely with CACREP and expect accreditation in 2026. Return to top

What are the disadvantages of graduating from a non-CACREP program?

It can impact your ability to be certified and/or licensed outside the state of Washington. Even if you are not intending to work outside of Washington state it is important to keep your options open should you decide to move in the future. 

Many states prefer that graduates are from CACREP programs. Those graduating from a CACREP program may find it more difficult to obtain school counselor certification and mental health licensure in other states. We encourage you to check your state’s certification and licensure laws for more information  Return to top

What are the advantages of graduating from SU’s program?

  • Portability of Certification/Licensure: Our students meet the highest standards for counselor training in the nation. This recognition makes it easier to obtain school counselor certification and mental health licensure in Washington and in other states. Other states may require such graduates to complete additional coursework or requirements to obtain certification or licensure in their states. We encourage you to contact the licensing and certification board of the state in which hope to be employed to learn more about their certification and licensure requirements. 
  • Higher Earning Potential: According to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), graduates of CACREP school counseling programs may be placed on a higher salary scale compared to those who graduate from a non-CACREP school counseling program.
  • Substance Use Disorder Certification: Graduates of our program are well-positioned to become a substance use disorder professional. This certification allows our school counselor graduates to better address substance and addictions issues impacting K-12 youth in schools and it allows our mental health counselors to be equipped to work with mental health and substance abuse issues.
  • Licensed Mental Health Counselor: Graduates of both the School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs are well-positioned to pursue mental health licensure in Washington state. This option is not available in most states for school counselor graduates.
  • The Online School Counseling program is CACREP-aligned and in the 3 year process of accreditation. We are working closely with CACREP and expect accreditation in 2026. Graduates from this program will be well-positioned for licensure in Mental Health Counseling and Substance Use Disorder certification. Return to top
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Learn more about the Puget Sound Partnership through an information session. You'll learn about the scholarship opportunity, partnership goals, and more!