FWoo Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling

Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling Student Handbook

Table of Contents


Mission Statement




Master of Science in Counseling

Career Counseling

College Counseling and Student Services

Marriage and Family Therapy

School Counseling

School Psychology

Master of Arts in Education, Educational Psychology

Development, Learning, and Instruction

Early Childhood Education

Certificate Program

Career Counseling

College Counseling and Student Services

Parent/Child Specialization/Consultation



State Licensure

National Certification

Registered Professional Counselors


Academic Advisement

Student Advisement


EPC Admission Requirements for all MS/MA Programs


Advancement to Candidacy

Classified Status

Conditionally Classified Status

Post-Baccalaureate Status

List of things to do in earning your degree

The Graduate Process

Financial Aid

Schedule of Classes

Enrollment Procedure and Fee for Registration and Parking

Registering for Practica, Fieldwork, and other classes

Cohort Grouping for Master's Degrees

Videotaping of Practica

Clock Hours Required for 659 A/B Practicum

Six hours of individual counseling

End of first year evaluation


Proof of Health

Rules and Regulation

Time limit for completion of degree

Transferred Work

Change of address or telephone number

Moving out of state

Internet access

Mail and phone communication

Maintaining personal records

Professional Information File

Tips for Paperwork

Policy on sexual assault and acquaintance rape

Sexual harassment complaints

Discrimination grievance procedure

APA Writing Style

Academic Dishonesty

Student Ethical Behavior

Student Discipline

Grading System

Disputing a Grade

Academic Grievances and Grade Appeals

Probation and Disqualification

Departmental Procedure for Student Delay/Withdrawal

Repeat of Courses

Academic Leave of Absence

Associated Students

Clubs and Organizations

Student Health


Graduation Information

Transcripts and Grades

The Culminating Master's Degree Activity


Comprehensive Questions / Comprehensive Examination

Graduate Studies, Research, and International Programs

Change of Objective

Graduation with Distinction/Academic Honors

Graduation/Application for Master's Degree/Diploma

Job Opportunities/Career

University Resources

Career Center

Professional Organizations

Liability and Liability Insurance

Benefits of Joining a Professional Organization


Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling


The Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling is one of six departments in the College of Education at California State University, Northridge. It has the largest graduate enrollment in the university and is one of the largest academic departments. The M.S. degree in Counseling is the largest graduate program at CSUN. In fall 1999, the 332 students in counseling comprised 10% of the graduate population. Of the 834 graduate degrees conferred in 1998/99, 87 students were granted a M. S. degree in counseling, 10.4% of students receiving graduate degrees at CSU, Northridge.


Since 1979, programs in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling have been granted specialized accreditation by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP). Current accredited programs are: Career Counseling, College Counseling and Student Services, Marriage and Family Therapy, and School Counseling. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), which includes programs in school counseling and school psychology, accredits the College of Education. In 1997, the department received the Innovative Program Award from the Western Association of Counselor Education and Supervision (WACES) in recognition of its program that pairs graduate student mentors with at‑risk CSUN freshmen.


Programs within the department that lead to a master's degree are:

*  Master of Arts in Education‑Educational Psychology with emphasis in Early Childhood Education or Development, Learning, and Instruction;

*  Master of Science in Counseling with specializations in Career Counseling, College Counseling and Student Services, Marriage and Family Therapy, School Counseling, or School Psychology;

*  Master of Science in Genetic Counseling, offered in conjunction with the Department of Biology and the Department of Special Education.

The department also offers post‑master's certificate programs in Career Counseling, College Counseling and Student Services, and Parent‑Child Consultation. Programs in School Counseling and School Psychology lead to State of California credentials in Pupil Personnel Services (PPS). The master's program in Marriage and Family Therapy leads to licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT), and the PPS credential in School Psychology leads to licensure as a Licensed Educational Psychologist (LEP).

Department faculty are committed to teacher education, including the design, teaching, and evaluation of Psychological Foundations of Education (EPC 314), a foundations course for all K‑12 teaching‑credential candidates. A special section of this course is taught in Spanish for students interested in fulfilling the requirements for the Single and Multiple Subjects‑Bilingual Emphasis Credential. In addition, faculty are actively involved in the planning, development, and teaching of specialized teacher‑training programs, including Delta, internship programs, CLAD and BCLAD programs. The master's degree programs in Educational Psychology and Counseling (cited above) also provide advanced study for teachers working with students from early childhood through college level.

Innovative, community‑based programs have become the hallmark of the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling. These programs include:

*   Transforming Leadership in Counseling for Student Success, one of six national training centers, endeavoring to transform school counseling through partnerships in the Grant-Van Nuys Cluster of Los Angeles Unified School District, sponsored by the Reader's Digest DeWitt Wallace Grant.

*   The Community Counseling Resource Institute (CCRI), offering low‑cost counseling services, outreach to schools and the community, and training for graduate students in counseling.

*   Strength United , specializing in training, prevention education, and quality crisis intervention and counseling services for victims of sexual and interpersonal violence.

*   Centers in Educational Psychology Workshops Program, providing affordable quality continuing education and training for the professional community of licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT), Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW), teachers, interns, trainees, and other mental health professionals, as an approved provider for mandatory continuing education by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.

*   The Early Childhood Education Consulting Service, matching community consultants with graduate students, to provide services that improve the quality of early childhood programs.

*   EOP‑EPC Mentoring Project, pairing graduate student mentors with at‑risk CSUN freshmen.

EPC Department Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling is to prepare students for highly effective, ethical and satisfying careers as professional educators and counselors working with individuals, families, and groups in educational, organization and community settings. The aim of our programs is to reflect a heuristic and developmental life-span approach to theory, research and practice centered on the study and application of major concepts from counseling, early childhood education, educational psychology. The department is committed to continuous evaluation and improvement of our courses and programs.


To fulfill this mission, department faculty engage in university and professional activities to develop and provide undergraduate and graduate programs for the preparation of students to:

1.    Develop and apply expertise in their fields of study.

2.    Think critically and engage in reflective, ethical, and legal practice throughout their education and professional lives.

3.    Develop empathic, respectful, and congruent interpersonal skills and abilities to work successfully with groups and individuals from diverse backgrounds in educational, community, and mental health settings.

4.    Communicate effectively using oral, written, listening, and non-verbal attending and observational skills.

5.    Become competent scholars and researchers through engaging in and disseminating creative, empirical, and applied studies and program evaluations.

6.    Collaborate skillfully and respectfully as leaders, consultants, and team members in a variety of settings.

7.    Develop skills necessary to assess and evaluate individuals and groups, and to utilize current technology in work environments.

8.    Maintain a multicultural and global perspective, emphasizing social justice and educational equity, access, and support.

9.    View their roles as preventive, educative, and therapeutic in promoting well-being, healthy relationships, academic success, and career mastery.

10.  Provide service through a wide variety of field-based partnerships informed by theory and practice.

11.  Act as advocates with initiative, perception, and vision to lead and transform the practices and policies of those who provide services to individuals, families, schools, organizations, community, and policymakers.

12.  Pursue lifelong professional and personal development through such mediums as continuing education, psychological counseling, active participation and leadership in professional organizations and doctoral training.


Faculty in Educational Psychology and Counseling

A list of faculty members in the Department of Educational Psychology can be found online at http://www.csun.edu/eisner-education/educational-psychology-counseling/directory. Students will find important contact information about specific professors in the department, as well as their teaching and research interests. This information might be used in order to select committee members for thesis and comps.


List of Programs in the Department of EPC


Programs within the department that lead to a master's degree are: Masters of Science in Counseling with specializations in Career Counseling, College Counseling and Student Services, Marriage and Family Therapy, School Counseling, and School Psychology.



Master of Science in Counseling


The Master of Science (M.S.) in Counseling is a 60-unit (5-semester) degree program in which the student completes 24 units of basic requirements and 36 units in one of five specializations. These specializations are as follows:


Career Counseling

(Dr. Greg Jackson, 677-4977)

This specialization offers two formal graduate programs in Career Counseling: a M.S. degree program and a graduate certificate program. Both programs are based on the career development competencies identified by the National Career Development Association (NCDA) as essential for career counselors as well as qualify for the national certification as a Master Career Counselor (MCC) or a Master Career Development Professional (MCDP). Program graduates are prepared for employment as career counselors in educational settings; business, industry and government; community-based agencies and organizations; and career counseling and/or consulting firms. Master's graduates qualify to take the NBCC examination for National Certified Counselor (NCC) and may become eligible (with NCDA membership) for the Master Career Counselor (MCC) certification.  Depending on their academic background, Career Certificate students may be eligible for the MCC or MCDP as well.  Both Master's and certificate graduates qualify to take the examination for Registered Professional Career Counselor (RPCC) status from the California Registry of Professional Counselors and Paraprofessionals with the appropriate post-graduate experience.

The master's degree program includes 24 units of core counseling courses and 36 units of career counseling specialization courses. Within the specialization, students can further focus their interests by selecting elective sequences in career counseling in higher education, career counseling in secondary education, and career counseling in private practice. Additional electives relate career development to such areas as volunteerism, recreation and leisure, special education program development, human resources management, and organizational dynamics.


College Counseling and Student Services

(Dr. Merril Simon, 677-2558 or Dr. Rie Rogers Mitchell, 677-4976)

This degree specialization program is designed to prepare students for career opportunities in higher education with particular emphasis upon those positions that serve university and community college students on urban campuses. Special attention is given to working with diverse student populations including returning, minority, and disabled students. This program is designed for two types of students: (1) for those individuals who desire training for entry level positions in student affairs, and (2) for those who are already experienced in student affairs and wish to increase their theoretical background and range of experience. Graduates of the program are qualified for professional positions in such areas as: academic advisement, outreach and retention, student activities, financial aid, residential life, program design and implementation, and administration of student affairs programs.


Marriage and Family Therapy

(Dr. Stanley Charnofsky, 677-2548)

This specialization within the M.S. degree in Counseling provides students with competency in the eleven content areas required by the State Board of Behavioral Science. These include (1) human biological, psychological and social development; (2) human sexuality; (3) psychopathology; (4) cross-cultural mores and values; (5) theories of marriage, family and child counseling; (6) professional ethics and law; (7) human communication; (8) research methodology; (9) theories and applications of psychological testing; (10) supervised fieldwork experience; (11) chemical dependence and substance abuse. Upon completion of coursework and being awarded the degree, students are eligible to apply to the State Board for internship registration when endorsed by an officer of the University. Following completion of 3,000 hours of supervised field experience (1,500 in internship status) and successful passage of a written and oral examination administered by the State Board, candidates are awarded the Marriage and Family Therapy license by the State.


School Counseling

(Dr. Charles Hanson, 677-4013, Dr. Shari Tarver-Behring, 677-2545, or Dr. Tovah Sands, 677-3197)

The CSUN School Counseling and Guidance Program is a multi-disciplinary team effort designed to ensure that participating students are driven by a vision for educational equity and excellence to achieve high academic performance and professional competencies to plan, organize and implement comprehensive, results-based school guidance programs that promote high academic achievement and preparation for success in a 4-year college or university among pre-K through 12th grade public school students.

School Psychology

(Dr. Wilda Laija-Rodriguez, 677-7889)

The mission of the School Psychology program at CSUN is to prepare psychologists for careers within school-based teams to help all children, including those of linguistically and cultural diverse backgrounds, attain academic and social success. To achieve this objective, students practice the practitioner-scientist model from an ecological perspective to devote themselves to excellence in practice and research. Students attain skills in consultation, assessment, and intervention, including counseling. Working at both the individual and systems level of service delivery, students develop the skills to facilitate collaboration among families, schools, and communities. They creatively use evaluation methods and culturally compatible solutions to dissolve barriers that impede the learning process. Through personal and educational development in the program, graduates become competent professionals, life-long learners, innovators, and leaders in the field.


Masters of Art in Education

The Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling offers two 30-units Master's of Arts programs. Both are Master's of Arts in Education:


Educational Psychology: Development, Learning and Instruction


The specific objectives of the M.A. in Education Degree Program with specialization in Educational Psychology- Development, Learning and Instruction are stated as follows:

To prepare students according to current academic demands for entry into doctoral programs in educational psychology and education. Students who complete an Educational Psychology masters degree from CSUN have opportunities to enter doctoral programs in Educational Psychology and most other fields in education. Advanced study of theory and research on motivation, learning, development, affective processes, individual and group differences, interpersonal relationships, instruction and evaluation with special emphasis on education and educational processes is most appropriate for entry into doctoral programs in Education Psychology and other fields of education.

This program is appropriate for students preparing for basic teaching credentials and for teachers who wish to study and improve their teaching and supervision, experience the opportunity to study extensively and in-depth as well as learn how to do research about student, family, teacher, school, community, teaching-instruction variables. Students who complete the Educational Psychology degree from CSUN, study and learn how to do research, whether an individual case study for themselves about their own teaching or research concerning the educational processes and outcomes of others. They learn the intricate relationships of effective teaching variables and others in terms of how individuals and groups develop and change and how this specifically relates to concerns about self and others.

Educational Psychology: Early Childhood Education

(Dr. Jan Fish, 677-7891)

The specific objectives of the M.A. in Education Degree Program with specialization in Educational Psychology-Early Childhood Education are as follows:

1.    To prepare students to assume leadership positions in early childhood education in a variety of public or private institutions concerned with education and/or child care. The academic or career choice of students selecting the early child development in community colleges, parent educators in public adult education or in a variety of private and religious related groups from infancy through childhood, lead teachers or supervisors or directors of programs, child advocates working in various social policy agencies, or researchers in doctoral programs.

2.    To prepare students through advanced study to enter a doctoral program, with a view to understanding research or program planning and administration in early childhood education.

3.    To provide information about skills and understanding of current development in early childhood education in such areas as child advocacy, new designs in child care, public education for four-year-olds and other developments reflecting changes in society and the education and care of young children.


Certificate Programs

The department also offers post-master's certificate programs in Career Counseling, College Counseling and Student Services, and Parent-Child Consultation.


Graduate Certificate Program in Career Counseling

The purpose of this certificate is to provide students, who have previously completed a master's degree in counseling (or the equivalent) or are concurrently enrolled in a master's degree or PPS credential program in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling, with knowledge and professional skills in career counseling theory, applications, and program development; organizational theory; career and educational information; individual and group vocational assessment; and career counseling for special populations. The National Career Development Association has identified these areas as essential competency areas for Master Career Counselor (MCC) and Master Career Development Professional (MCDP).

Students earning or possessing counseling related degree qualify to earn a Certificate in Career Education and Counseling, and will be prepared for employment as career counselors in educational settings, including schools; business, industry and government; community-based agencies and organizations; and career counseling/consulting firms.  Students completing the program, but not possessing or earning a counseling related degree, will be awarded a Graduate Certificate in Career Development.

Graduate Certificate Program in College Counseling and Student Services

The Specialist Certificate program in College Counseling and Student Services is designed to prepare students for career opportunities and advancement in higher education with particular emphasis upon those positions that serve university and community college students on urban campuses. Special attention is given to working within diverse student populations including retuning, minority and disabled students. The College Counseling and Student Services program is designed for two types of student: for those individuals who desire training for entry level positions in students affairs; and for those who are already experienced professionals in student affairs and wish to increase their experience.


Graduate Certificate Program in Parent-Child Specialization/Consultation


The Parent-Child Specialist/Consultant Certificate Program is designed for educators and human services professionals who want to (1) expand their knowledge of child development and parent-child interaction, and (2) gain skills in intervention and consultation with parents, teachers, and child care providers to enhance the quality of adult-child interaction and prevent serious problems from developing in children. The certificated parent-child specialist will be qualified to assistant support parents (inducing adoptive and foster parents) in effectively applying problem-solving strategies to reduce stress on child and sibling relationships.


Credential Information

Programs in School Counseling and School Psychology lead to State of California credentials in Pupil Personnel Services (PPS). The master's program in Marriage and Family Therapy leads to licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT), and the PPS credential in School Psychology leads to licensure as a Licensed Educational Psychologist (LEP). For additional information on Educational Psychology Certificate Programs, consult the program coordinators.


The Educational Psychology and Counseling Department has programs leading to two credentials in pupil personnel services in the State of California:

* School Counseling - Dr. Charles Hanson, Dr. Shari Tarver-Behring, and Dr. Tovah Sands

* School Psychology - Dr. Wilda Laija-Rodriguez



The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Education (CORPA), has conferred accreditation upon the following program areas in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling: Career Counseling (M.S.); College Counseling and Student Services (M.S.); Marriage and Family Therapy (M.S.); and School Counseling (M.S.).


State Licensure

Students seeking the state licensure in Marriage and Family Therapy must complete the 60 units M.S. in Counseling (specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy) and 3,000 hours of fieldwork and internship prior to applying for the State examination. Students seeking licensure, as educational psychologists must complete all of the requirements for the School Psychology credential, and subsequently gain additional fieldwork requirements. See School Psychology program advisor. For other information regarding regards to licensure please consult your coordinator/advisor.


National Certification

Students graduating from the M.S. in Counseling programs are eligible to become Nationally Certified Counselors. As described at their website,

The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) developed the first general practice counseling credential that was national in scope. NBCC began credentialing National Certified Counselors (NCCs) in 1983. Currently, more than 31,000 mental health professionals throughout the United States and in over 40 other countries hold this voluntary professional credential."  Although the NCC credential isn't required for independent practice and is not a substitute for the legislated state credentials, those who hold the credential appreciate the opportunity to demonstrate that they have met national standards developed by counselors, not legislators. (As of 1/1/02 at http://www.nbcc.org)

The requirements of CACREP accreditation (met by the Career, College Counseling/Student Services, School, and MFT programs) also satisfy the academic requirements for the National Certified Counseling requirements.


In California, currently the only counselors who may hold a counseling license are MFTs.  California is one of only four remaining states in the country that does not have a general counseling license attainable with a master's degree in counseling (and related experience). The National Counselor Exam is the written exam given for many state's licensure exam—often in addition to a legal/ethics portion specifically related to the state in which the exam is given.  Students who are considering moving to another state and wish to become licensed as well as those who wish to be prepared for general counseling licensure when it is an option in California, may wish to become Nationally Certified Counselors. 

The National Counselor Exam (NCE) is administered in California at least once per year.  If there are sufficient number of students who wish to take this exam at one time, it is possible that CSUN may become a site for administration of the NCE.  Speak to your program coordinator or the graduate coordinator if you wish further information about this voluntary nationally-recognized certification.


Registered Professional Counselors

California also has developed a voluntary Registry of Professional Counselors under the auspices of the California Association of Counseling and Development Education Foundation.  According to their webpage,

The purpose of The Registry is to promote the advancement of quality counseling and service delivery practice by identifying professional and paraprofessional practitioners who meet certain defined standards and have voluntarily sought and obtained Registry status.


The Registry establishes and maintains statewide standards of preparation, ethics and practice; it promotes accountability and visibility; it identifies its members to colleagues, employers and to legislators; it protects consumers through publicity and education. (http://www.ccdaweb.org/clubportal/ClubStatic.cfm?clubID=1631&pubmenuOptID=30818)

Eligibility for the Registry requires a graduate degree in counselor or related field of a minimum of 48 semester units including at least one course in each of the following area: Human Growth and Development, Social and Cultural Foundations, Helping Relationships, Group Work, Career and Lifestyle Development, Appraisal, Research and Program Evaluation, and Professional Orientation and Ethics. Complete two academic terms of supervised field experience in a counseling setting. Our M.S. programs satisfy these requirements. 

Applicants must also pass the National Counselor Exam of the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) and be able to document two years post-masters counseling experience with 3,000 hours of work as a counselor and 100 hours of face-to-face supervision over the two year period. In addition, they must agree to abide by the Code of Ethics of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and be willing to document 100 hours of continuing education each five years or re-take and pass the exam. 

There are specialty fields within the registry.  Currently, these consist of Career Counseling and Rehabilitation Counseling.  Additional requirements are described at the Registry website for attaining these certifications. 


Earning Two Master's Simultaneously in the EPC Department

Students may not join two programs simultaneously, only MFT master's degree and School Psychology credential program, or MFT master's degree and School Counseling credential program allow for students to join their programs simultaneously. Application for additional credentials should be made to the Program Coordinator of the respective program.



Questions regarding alumni should be addressed to department or specific program coordinators/advisors.  Additionally, there is an alumni group particularly affiliated with the MFT program.

Academic Advisement

For prospective students interested in department programs, information packets are available from the Department Office, ED 1218, (818) 677-2599, epc@csun.edu Advisement meetings are scheduled each semester for applicants to programs. Follow-up questions should be addressed to the Graduate Advisor, Shannon Sexton, (818) 677-5719, epcdept@csun.edu. Program Coordinators serve on department admissions committee, conduct orientation meetings for new students, and advise and mentor students in their option. For students admitted to counseling programs, instructors teaching the EPC 659 A & B Practicum serve as their advisors throughout the program.


Student Advisement

For each graduate program, there is/are Program Coordinator(s) who deals with issues specific to each program.

Career Counseling




 Dr. Greg Jackson


College Counseling & Student Services



Dr. Merril Simon & Dr. Rie Rogers Mitchell



Development, Learning and Instruction




Dr. Carolyn Jeffries


Early Childhood Education



 Dr. Carrie Rothstein-Fisch


Marriage and Family Therapy



 Dr. Stan Charnofsky


School Counseling


Dr. Charles Hanson, Dr. Tovah Sands, &

Dr. Shari Tarver-Behring



School Psychology



 Dr. Doris Jones-Nicol &

Dr. Wilda Laija-Rodriguez



The Graduate Advisor, Shannon Sexton, advises students in the petition process for score waiver of the GRE and MAT and discusses personal/professional issues within the department.

The Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Merril Simon, is Chair of the Student Affairs Committee (SAC), which discusses policy, initiates delay withdrawal procedures, hears appeals and grievances, and deliberates on student petitions. The Graduate Coordinator also oversees graduate admissions and advisement.

The Culminating Experience Coordinator for Thesis/Project or Comprehensive Examination, Dr. Adele Gottfried, refers students who have been unable to select a chair or committee member(s) to appropriate faculty members, and responds to student questions regarding the culminating experience.


Admission to the Department


The applications of students meeting University requirements for admission and desiring admission to a master's program will be reviewed in the appropriate department. The department of Educational Psychology and Counseling requires a separate application. Departmental Faculty will determine whether or not the student meets requirements for admission to its program using multiple measures.  Those students who meet University requirements may potentially be admitted as Conditionally Classified students.

Please check the current application booklet for application, document, and other details.


EPC Admission Requirements for

Classified Standing Students in all M.A./M.S. Degrees

(1) Completion of the following applications:

A.   The Application for Admission to the University; and

B.   The Application for Admission to the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling.

(2) Acceptable score on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) (contact 677-2369 for test administration information) if undergraduate GPA is below 3.0 or if you are applying to the School Psychology Program (regardless of GPA)+.

(3) Successfully passing of the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE)

A. Logistics

1. Detailed information is given on the UDWPE Web Page at http://www.csun.edu/~udwpe1/. 

2. The test administration fee is $20.

3. Upcoming Test Dates are posted both on the UDWPE Web Page at http://www.csun.edu/~udwpe1/.

4. Registration is available at the Cashier's office in the Student Services Building.  Registration is in person only. The deadline to register is one week before the test date.

5. Check with the office for future dates, or go online to the Testing Center

B. If you are a student who passed the UDWPE at a different CSU campus, you must show proof of satisfactory completion if they would like to fulfill this requirement using that test unless you graduated after 1996. In that case, the UDWPE is considered fulfilled for any student graduating from a California State University.

(4) A Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.

(5) Two letters of recommendation or the EPC department forms (some programs require a letter and not a form, check first with your program requirements).

(6) An admissions interview.

(7) Approval by the Department Student Affairs Committee.

(8) Satisfactory completion of prerequisite courses pertinent to the specialization selected.  Click here for a detailed listing of specific prerequisites by program.

A. Courses must be completed with a grade of B- or better.

B. Courses must be completed within seven (7) years of entering the graduate program.

C. Pre-requisites satisfied by courses other than those listed (at CSUN or elsewhere) must be indicated on the EPC Department Application form at the bottom or page 1 and include a Course Pre-requisite Substitution/Waiver form for each substituted course requested.

D. Some courses equivalent to the pre-requisites may be found at here.

1. This list is not exhaustive and is to be used for advisement purposes. 

2. You will be notified if your course substitution request is not accepted within one month of filing your application with the department.


GRE/MAT Score Waiver

If the student's cumulative Undergraduate GPA is less than 3.00, then the GRE or MAT examination must be taken. A score of at least the 50th percentile on one of the scales of the GRE or on the MAT is considered satisfactory or passing. It is possible to be admitted if they do not have a passing score on the test.

The GRE/MAT requirement can be waived, but one of the two tests must be taken before a score waiver can be requested. To waive the GRE/MAT requirement, complete the form for this waiver and submit it to the department Graduate Coordinator or the office secretary. The form can be obtained in the department office (ED 1218). In addition, written support for the waiver must be obtained from at least one department faculty member.


Instructions For The GRE/MAT Score Requirement Petition

In order to waive the GRE/MAT score requirement for classification students should follow three steps as soon as possible:


Step 1.

Petition Form. Complete the top section; do not worry about obtaining the signature of the coordinator. Under justification write "see attached."


Step 2.

Write a one to two page-typewritten letter and follow these guidelines:

a.  Address the letter to: Student Affairs Committee

b.  First paragraph: State what you are requesting and why you feel you did not get the score you needed.

c.  Second paragraph: Discuss your success as a student. State what graduate classes you have taken and the grades you received (including program pre-requisites). Discuss your motivation and commitment to the program.

d.  Third paragraph: Discuss related field experience. What have you done in your chosen field? Include volunteer work and/or personal experience. Why have you chosen this field?

Sign your letter and submit it, with the petition form, to Todd Wolfe as soon as possible. Mailing address is:

Todd Wolfe

Graduate Advisor,

Educational Psychology & Counseling

California State University, Northridge

18111 Nordhoff Street

Northridge, CA 91330-8265


COMPLETE STEPS 1 & 2 during the first semester of graduate work.


Step 3.

Ask at least one professor in the EPC Department to complete out the  ŒWaiver of GRE/MAT Scores Recommendation' form. Have the faculty member submit the form directly to Todd Wolfe. Let Todd Wolfe know who will be submitting the form(s) on your behalf. Professors will probably not be able to complete forms until some point during or after your first semester so that they have a basis for evaluating your work in the program. However, the petition process needs to be completed no later than March 1st of the your first year in the graduate program.

Questions should be directed to Todd Wolfe at (818) 677-5719.


Advancement to Candidacy

The student and the EPC 659A Practicum instructor or the program coordinator will prepare the students formal program at the time of classification. When the student's program is approved by the Graduate Coordinator and filed with the Graduate Evaluation Services, the student is advanced to Approved Candidacy.


Classified Status

To be granted Classified Status, students must have a 3.0 grade point average for all work taken as a Conditionally Classified student and in any courses required by the department for admission to its program.


Conditionally Classified Status

It is important to achieve full-classified standing prior to completing 12-units of graduate coursework. No more than 12-units of work taken prior to attaining fully Classified Status will be applied to a master's program.


Post-baccalaureate Classified

A post-baccalaureate classified student is one who has been accepted to a credential program in the School of Education. All credential students are advised to contact the Credentials Preparation Office.


Post-baccalaureate Unclassified (PBU)

If you are admitted as a post-baccalaureate unclassified (PBU) student, you have been admitted without a degree or credential objective and may enroll in prerequisite courses or courses for personal or professional enrichment. If you are admitted in this status and wish to seek admittance to a graduate program, you must file the Change of Objective for Graduate Students form with the Office of Admissions and Records. This involves obtaining a signature from the Graduate Coordinator.

List of Things to Do in the Process of Earning

Your Master's Degree

To Be Admitted

Conditions to be met for Classification and Advancement to Candidacy:

1. If a student's GPA is below 3.0, the GRE or MAT must be taken when applying to the department and before the application deadline of Fed 11th . The applicant must submit a copy of the score(s) to the Department Office.

2. Complete the Upper Division Writing Exam with a passing score by Fed 11th  of your application year. The Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam Office sends the score to the students and to the department.


First Semester (Fall)

1.    1.For students who score below the 50th percentile on all scales of the GRE or on the MAT, start Petition process to accept the GRE or MAT scores. Contact Shannon Sexton, Graduate advisor, epcdept@csun.edu or (818) 677-5719;

2.    Sign Formal Program during EPC 659A practicum to Advance to Candidacy;

3.    Complete EPC 659A and EPC 655 with grade of B or better to meet classification conditions.


Second Semester (Spring)

1.    Complete petition to accept the GRE or MAT scores (if applicable);

2.    Verify that your letter of recommendation by the requested faculty member has been received by the Graduate Advisor;

3.    Faculty evaluation of EPC 659B students [Three (3) evaluations per student] to determine readiness for fieldwork or EPC 659C;

4.    Restricted registration for EPC 659C, EPC 659E, and EPC 659J administered in EPC 659B or in Department Office in May;

5.    Select courses for electives at the end of EPC 659B, if a student decides to take a different course at a later time, then the student must fill out a Request For Course Substitution On Master's Formal Program at the department of EPC. This Course Substitution form must be signed by your Program Coordinator before submission to the EPC Graduate Secretary, Isabel Garetson.

6.    Research Fieldwork sites in preparation for second year field placement. 


Third Semester (Fall)

 1.   Obtain form(s) for culminating activity (i.e., Comprehensive Exam or Thesis/Project Planning Form) in Department Office. Secure committee signatures and return to Department office during semester. If enrolling in EPC 698C then form must be submitted by the third week of the semester for credit that semester.


Fourth Semester (Spring)

a.    Initiate Graduate Evaluation process by completing the "Master's Degree and Diploma Application" form and submitting it to the Cashier in the Student Services building lobby (with a $30) check.  This will initiate a review of your graduation requirement status in Graduate Studies and will notify Admissions and Records of your planned graduation date.


Fifth (or subsequent as applicable) Semester (Fall-Spring)

1.    Continue with Thesis/Project and or Comprehensive Examination. Ongoing enrollment as a student is required for thesis or comprehensive exam advisement.

2.    Make an appointment to see a Graduate Evaluator.

3.    Submit Thesis/Project or Comprehensive Examination questions two (2) weeks before binding date for the Thesis/Project or test date for the Comprehensive Exam.

4.    Enroll in last semester of attendance in order to graduate.


The Graduate Process

The steps to progress through to meet requirements for requirements for graduation are diagrammed below starting at the bottom and moving to the top of the diagram.

If your GRE/MAT and or UDWPE scores are not submitted by Feb 11th, you may submit them at a later point, but your file will be considered as "incomplete" and will be given a lower priority for admissions consideration.

Financial Aid

The university has a variety of grants, loan funds, scholarships, fellowships and part-time employment opportunities designed to financially assist students. Check with the Financial Aid Office (818) 677-3000, located on the first floor of the Student Services Building. Its website address is: www.csun.edu/finaid/ In addition, Oviatt Library has a section of publications on financial aid as does the software program EUREKA located in the Career Center, as well as other libraries and bookstores.

Useful brochures can be found in the lobby area of the Student Services building with regard to financial aid. Award of financial aid amount is often need- based and students are required to show family income tax return papers from the previous year. Students may be considered to be independent if they are over the age of 24. For specific details, contact the Financial Aid Office.


Scholarship and Fellowship Opportunities

There are a limited number of awards available for graduate students. To apply for financial assistance in the form of state or federal grants or loans, contact the Financial Aid Office. Teaching and Graduate Assistantships are available in some departments. Inquiries should be directed to department chairs.

President's Associates' Outstanding Master's Award

This is a cash award for those academically outstanding graduate students who have graduated the previous fall or who will be graduating in spring or summer of the academic year. Faculty members submit nominations for this award.

Robert H. Schiffman Memorial Scholarship Award

This is an award for classified graduate students who have attended at least one previous semester as a graduate student. There is no application process as Graduate Coordinators submit names of eligible students (3.25 undergraduate GPA and 3.5 graduate GPA).

Graduate Equity Fellowship Program

This annual program supports eligible minority graduate students, students with disabilities, and women enrolled in graduate programs where they are underrepresented. Awards range from $500 to $4,500. Inquires should be directed to the Graduate Studies Office (818) 677-2138.

California State University Pre-Doctoral Program

The Pre-doctoral Program grants funds to juniors, seniors and graduate students who are underrepresented in their respective academic disciplines and who show potential for success in doctoral study. Pre-doctoral fellows receive travel money for visits to doctoral granting institutions and money to support summer research projects, journal subscriptions, organization memberships and general supplies.

Student Research Competition

This is both an undergraduate and graduate competition to select a number of students to present at an annual CSU research competition held in the spring semester. First and second place winners in each discipline receive recognition and cash awards. Please contact your Graduate Coordinator or the Graduate Studies Office.

Note: Students may download applications for some of the scholarships through the Financial Aid website: http://www.csun.edu/financialaid/scholarships/

Schedule of Classes

Each semester the university publishes the Schedule of Classes and Catalog Supplement. This is a listing of courses including university course titles and numbers, ticket numbers used for registration, days and times for class sessions, and faculty assigned to teaching the course. The department office also publishes a Schedule of Classes identifying department courses for the coming term. The department publication includes updates, changes and cancellations in classes which occur after the university publication is made available. Check the bulletin board just outside the department office (ED 1218) or the university web site for updates of the Schedule of Classes. There may be several changes to the Schedule of Classes, so students are advised to check the schedule posted on the bulletin board before registering for classes as well as for updates of classroom changes immediately before classes begin for the term. 


Enrollment Procedure and Fee for Registration and Parking

Each semester students should receive a letter that indicates the time and date for their registration. This letter is often referred to as "your registration packet". It also includes your student ID and PIN code that you will need in order to register for your courses via the campus web portal at https://www.csun.edu/portal


Fees and tuition are set by the California State Legislature; specifics are given at http://www-admn.csun.edu/ucs/docs/tuition-fees.pdf


Information on obtaining a parking permit is given at http://www-admn.csun.edu/parking/


Additional information is available from University Cash Services at http://www-admn.csun.edu/ucs/


Students are also expected to pay for their registration prior to enrolling for classes. Students will be charged with a late fee if they do not pay their tuition in advance.

Students are also charged for lab fees if they enroll in certain courses.


Unit Load

To be classified as a full-time graduate student, a minimum of nine-unit course load is required.


Maximum Units Load

Fifteen units are considered to be a maximum course load in any one semester, but in exceptional cases a graduate student may take more units with the approval of the major department.


Minimum Unit Load

Students may not enroll in fewer than 6 units per semester in the first year of study.


Independent Study

Students are allowed a maximum of six (6) units of Independent Study coursework. An Independent Study Enrollment Sheet is required to be submitted to the department with faculty signature to properly enroll. Click here to get a copy of the form "Application for Enrollment in an Independent Study course."

An independent study is a contract between the student and faculty member who will be the sponsor. Examples of independent study are: fieldwork activity that is continued after Practicum D for MFT licensure, a research paper prior to thesis or comprehensive examination, or specific study on a topic to be used as an elective. Hours are arranged by faculty member and student agreement.

Registering for Practica, Fieldwork, and Other Classes

Students must sign up for practica and fieldwork courses in the EPC Department Office during a specified time period. Beginning first year, students will receive information about this required sign-up by mail. Second and third semester students will be notified by the practicum and fieldwork course instructors about the time period for specific sections of EPC 659 A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, and K (as applicable) which are designated for each of the programs. Registration ticket numbers for these practica and fieldwork classes are not published in the Schedule of Classes, but can be found on the department web site or at your program's New Student Orientation.


Cohort Grouping for the Masters Programs

Students in masters' degree in counseling programs are organized as a cohort group for all program courses. Special sections of core courses are established for each of the programs. When taking core courses, students should enroll in those sections designated by course ticket number and instructor for the specific program of study. While these courses cover core areas of counseling, much of the course content and application is oriented towards the specific program of study (e.g., School Counseling). Most of the cohorts either meet on Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-7 p.m. and 7-10 p.m. Course instructors are required to provide a 10 minute break for every class hour, although some may contract with students regarding break periods and class ending time.


The following departmental requirements must be completed before the end of the first year of graduate school (END OF PRACTICUM A/B):

Videotaping for Practica

All practica classes require videotaping. The student can do this in a professional facility on campus at no charge. At this time, students need to call about one week in advance to arrange an appointment:

The Media Center: Classroom Video Studio

Tony Hillbruner

Basement of Oviatt Library, Room 32

Telephone: (818) 677-3592

Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday

The Studio is sometimes open Monday through Thursday until 8 p.m.; check about the possibility of evening hours when arranging your videotaping appointment.

A trained operator does the filming. Students should allow about an hour to an hour and one-half for this exercise. Each of the sessions is twenty minutes long, and the students alternate as counselor/counselee if in dyads and counselor/counselee/observer if assigned to triads. Each student must bring his/her own blank videotape; the tape in which you are the counselor should be shared with your supervisor for support and feedback. The supervisors are assigned by your practicum A/B instructor. Students are advised to consult the supervisor, but it is suggested that the supervisor be given one video session at a time. It is suggested that the students keep the same counselee for all sessions in order to experience how the counseling process unfolds.


Clock Hours Required for 659 A/B Practicum


Students enrolled in the M.S. in Counseling programs are required to complete and document a minimum of 100 clock hours outside of class for the 659A/B practicum. Included in the required 100 hours is:

             1.         A minimum of 40 hours of direct service work with clients (individual and group). Make sure you keep track of your hours and ask your practicum instructor about how often you should submit a copy of your hours for approval.

             2.         A minimum of one hour per week of individual supervision sessions is required.

             3.         One and one-half (1½) hours per week of group supervision (which is met by the practicum course).

             4.         Because of the highly individualized nature of the weekly supervision sessions, it is highly recommended that students register for one unit of independent study (EPC 699 A) during each of your A and B practicum semesters or for two units of independent study (EPC 699B) during either the A or B practicum semesters (whichever is financially beneficial). Registration in an independent study course is not required.

Eight Hours of Individual Counseling

Participate in at least eight hours of individual counseling with either an advanced trainee/intern or with a state licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, psychologist, social worker, or psychiatrist. Counseling with an advanced trainee/intern can be arranged through your practicum instructor. A list of reduced fee licensed therapists is also available (consult the department or practica instructor). Currently, the CSUN Counseling Center is not a possible site for fulfilling this requirement.

If you are a MFT student, a licensed therapist is particularly suggested as those hours may then be used toward licensure. When you have finished this requirement, complete the "Verification of Six Hours of Counseling" form and give it to your practicum instructor. The form will be placed in your departmental file.  For MFT licensure hours, you must also complete the BBS form and keep it until you apply for internship status.


Four Professional Workshops Attendance

Attend four professional workshops of at least four hours in length. It is recommended that students attend one such workshop per practicum/fieldwork starting with Practicum A. One of these workshops should cover child abuse/neglect and include information on the reporting law. After attending each workshop, complete the "Professional Workshop Attendance Verification" form and give it to your practicum or fieldwork instructor for inclusion in your departmental file. For each program of study, students should consult their program coordinators for various ways this may apply towards your professional development. (MFT students should consult the MFT handbook pages 33-34, for specific instructions for counting the hours towards BBS requirements.)

The Department's "Centers in Educational Psychology for Research, Development and Services" provides workshops with reduced student fees. A pamphlet of Center workshops is distributed in EPC classes early in each semester. You may also find those pamphlets on the department office bulletin board.

Contact Diana Castle, M.S. or Heidi Kwok, M.S. at (818) 677-2549, or visit the website:  http://www.csun.edu/~epcwkshp

Students are also advised to consult their practicum and fieldwork professors for other professional workshop opportunities at reduced costs. Often the various professional organizations offer annual conferences and workshops that students may attend at reduced cost for either being a student or a member.


End of First Year Evaluation

The EPC 659B instructors and two additional instructors chosen by the student who are familiar with the student's academic performance evaluate every student. Each instructor completes an evaluation of the student near the end of the second semester in the program using the Evaluation Checklist. The department Student Affairs Committee, in consultation with the EPC 659B instructor, reviews students' evaluations. No student may proceed into a second year fieldwork course without the completion of this evaluation.

Prior to enrolling in EPC 659C, EPC 659E, or EPC 659J (Fieldwork in Counseling), a student must have an acceptable end of year evaluation, and completed all program prerequisites as well as completed the following courses: EPC 659A (Practicum in Counseling-Communication), EPC 659B (Practicum in Counseling-Skills), EPC 655 (Seminar in Counseling Theory and Practice), and EPC 643 (Counseling in Cross-Cultural Settings).



At the end of Practicum A and B, and the end of first year evaluation, the students may or may not be able to move on with their program of study. Part of second year activities will be for students to register for their Fieldwork course (the specific letter of the 659 course varies based upon the specific program enrolled (i.e., EPC 659C & D is the fieldwork designation for MFT, School Counseling, and Career students; EPC 659E & F are for School Psychology students; and EPC 659 J & K are for College Counseling /Student Services students.)

During EPC 659B students should be researching their fieldwork options so that they may be prepared to begin accruing field hours at the start of the following fall semester. (Some of the programs may have a different name for this experience. This handbook will not provide any more detail about fieldwork experience and requirements since each program has developed/is developing their own specific handbooks which includes/will include more specific information, such as forms and specific facts in regards to each of the specialty areas.  See the specific web page of each program for further details. 

The only topics that may be of relevance to fieldwork that are included in this handbook are the professional organizations and liability insurance information, and proof of health, which follow.


Proof of Health

Schools and community colleges typically require proof of current negative tuberculosis (T.B.) skin test and/or a letter from a physician attesting that the trainee is in good health and has no communicable diseases. These requirements can be met at the CSUN Student Health Center. All students enrolled in university courses may use the services of the Health Center—you provide support through the student fees that you pay each semester to (partially) support its existence. Many additional health services are also available at no additional charge beyond your student fee, although there may be charges during summer sessions. Call (818) 677-3666 for the Student Health Center or (818) 677-3493 for appointments.

CSUN clinic walk-in hours are:

                  8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday and Friday

                  8 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday

                  9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday

Sometimes the schools may have a list of community clinics that do these tests for a very low cost. Some community colleges provide this service at no cost to prospective interns and employers. Check with the specific site for details.



Rules and Regulations

Full explanation of the following rules and regulations can be found in the current University Catalog. As a graduate student, it is your responsibility to know the rules and regulations governing your graduate program.

·       No more than 12 units of course work approved for your program are to be completed prior to classification.

·       The Upper Division Writing Proficiency Examination is a classification criterion.

·       Courses completed more than seven years prior to the date on which all requirements for the degree are met cannot be counted to meet unit requirements unless the student can show competency in the content of the outdated courses. Course validation requires departmental approval. A maximum of nine units taken in residency at CSUN may be validated in this manner.

·       Graduate students are allowed to repeat up to 6 units for the purpose of improving their grade point average. Students must file the Course release form, obtainable in Graduate Studies, with departmental approval, to have the original grade replaced on the transcript.

·       An incomplete grade  "I" is converted to a fail "F" if no other grade is submitted within two semesters (one calendar year) immediately following the end of the semester in which the incomplete grade was assigned. An unauthorized withdrawal "U" has the immediate effect of an "F" grade in GPA computation. Incompletes must be initiated by students before the end of the semester and approved by the course instructor. Requirements for assigning incomplete grades are discussed in the current CSUN catalog. Students are encouraged to complete incomplete courses as soon as possible and not to undertake new work until that/those course(s) is/are completed. 

·       Extension of Incomplete may be given with the same regulations as the first incomplete grade.  Click here to get the form "REQUEST for an EXTENSION of TIME to REMOVE INCOMPLETE."


·       If a student is Academically Disqualified, the student must formally petition to be reinstated as a graduate student. If the student's overall GPA is below the minimum of 2.5, the student will not be allowed to enroll except under special circumstances requiring the approval of the Associate Vice President of Graduate Studies. Additional information regarding the reinstatement process is available from the Graduate Studies Office.

·       Your Program of Studies requirements are based upon the catalog year in which you enter your graduate program. If there are curricula changes subsequently, you may potentially use the new Program of Studies. You are not, however, required to change curricula unless the department no longer offers a specific course, in which case a substitute course (agreed upon with your program advisor) may be petitioned for and used in its place. The Course Substitution form (OGS 8) is available in the department office and in the Graduate Studies office and must be filed before the Graduate Evaluation.

Further information concerning the above rules and regulations can be obtained from the current University Catalog, the EPC Graduate Coordinator, or the Office of Graduate Studies, Research and International Programs, University Hall 265; (818) 677-2138 or (818) 677-4800.


Time Limit for Completion of Degree

Students must complete requirements for the degree within seven calendar years from the date they were admitted to a program, unless the department or program committee specifies a lesser time. The EPC department allows up to seven calendar years for degree completion.

Courses that were completed more than seven years prior to the date on which all requirements for the degree are completed cannot be counted to meet unit requirements unless the student can show current knowledge in the content of the outdated courses by written examination for each course in question. A maximum of nine units taken in residency at CSUN may be validated in this manner. The Departmental Graduate Coordinator must certify this competency by way of a memorandum to the Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies, research and International Program. Outdated courses taken at another residency at CSUN may be validated in this manner. In addition, conversion of the assigned "SP" for a thesis/project or abstract, signifying completion of culminating experience must be finalized within two years of the first enrollment in 698

A petition requesting Extension of the Incomplete must be filed in the department office in a timely manner to maintain current status for 697 or 698 if it is not completed within two years of the first enrollment.

(Additionally, students must be enrolled in one or more units in the term they actually graduate—even if they have completed all other requirements.)


Transferred Work

Credit for work performed in extension or at another accredited institution is subject to the following limitations:

1.    No more than 9 units of transfer work or extension work may appear in the program.

2.    Transfer of work is subject to the approval of the Graduate Advisor of the major department and the Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies, Research and International Programs. An official transcript must be submitted to the graduate evaluator in the Office of Graduate Studies for approval of the specific coursework.

3.    Only grades of B or better work may be transferred.

4.    Work unacceptable for graduate credit in the school where it was taken is not acceptable for graduate credit at CSUN.

5.    Transfer courses may not have been taken more than 7 years prior to the time of graduation. Some departments may, at their discretion, shorten this time interval.


Change of Address or Telephone Contact Number

Students who move or change their phone number(s) or electronic mail address, should notify the department office as well as the Office of Admissions and Records and the Credentials Office (if relevant) as soon as possible in order to continue to receive important information.


Moving out of State

Students who move out of California to reside in another state will need to apply for relevant credentials in that state. Since the CSUN's Career Counseling, College Counseling Student Services, Marriage and Family Therapy, and School Counseling Program hold national accreditation (CACREP), other states should accept the CSUN program of courses, practicum and fieldwork experience for the relevant credential or license. CSUN's Counseling Programs are known throughout the United States. Some states may require a course in their specific relevant state laws and ethical guidelines pertaining to the population that you will be working with, for example children and schools for school counseling. Other requirements will apply. If you are considering practice in another state, check with that state's licensure requirements now so that you can prepare to be in compliance.


Internet Access

Students are expected to have access to e-mail and regularly access those accounts to the internet. Instructors for each course in the program and program advisors will set up electronic lists for the purpose of posting course related information, guidance regarding scheduling of courses, course syllabi, articles and information pertinent to the field of counseling, job information, etc.

All students have an opportunity to acquire accounts through the university computer system and obtain and computer access through the College of Education. For information on obtaining an e-mail account, go to the Information Desk in the library or download the form at: http://www.csun.edu/itr/guides/account.html. Computers for student use are in rooms along the southeast corridor on the second floor of the Education building. Code numbers to access these rooms can be obtained from the department secretary in the EPC department office.  Computers are also available in other areas on campus as well including the Oviatt Library.

If students choose to use an e-mail account different than their CSUN account they should notify their instructors immediately or they may miss out on important information. Information transmitted via electronic mail is critical to the course. Regular accessing of those messages is necessary for success in most graduate courses.


Mail and Phone Communication

Messages for full-time faculty can be left on their office answering machine. The part-time program faculty and the Department Chairperson can also be contacted through the department office at (818) 677-2599 or at (818) 677-2601. Part-time faculty can be contacted by using the phone numbers or email addresses furnished on their syllabi.  As a third alternative, messages for part-time faculty can be given to department staff; however,  because part-time faculty members are not regularly on campus, it may take awhile for the messages to reach them.


Mail, papers and other written communication can be delivered directly to the faculty mailboxes in ED 1116, whenever the building is open. If necessary, you may mail paperwork directly to a faculty member or to the department via this address: 

Faculty name

Department of Educational Psychology & Counseling

California State University, Northridge

18111 Nordhoff Street

Northridge, CA 91330-8265

Faculty office hours are posted on the bulletin boards outside their offices, as well as included in each course syllabus. A bulletin of faculty office hours is also published each semester and is available in the department office. Messages for faculty can be left via their office phone numbers or call the department office (818) 677-2599.



Maintaining Personal Records

Students are advised to retain personal copies of all practicum and fieldwork material. A large three-ring notebook is useful for holding CACREP and your program fieldwork logs, fieldwork notes, copies of workshop attendance forms, a copy of the personal counseling form, curriculum material, course syllabi, course papers and records of other assignments, practicum and fieldwork evaluations, etc. The notebook serves as a Professional Information File that will be useful when applying for jobs and certification or licensure.


Professional Information File

Students should maintain their own Professional Information File during the course of their graduate studies and professional preparation. The file should include a resume, copies of practicum and fieldwork logs and evaluations, documentation on courses and workshops completed, membership in professional organization, significant leadership experience in their field sites or job, and letters of recommendation.


Tips for Paperwork

    a.         It is important to keep originals of forms that are submitted (if possible). If not, be sure to make a copy first, before turning in your documents. Examples:

*      Six hour verification for personal counseling

*      Workshop attendance form recorded

*      Practicum A and B hours

*      Fieldwork log hours 

*      And other departmental or university forms.

b.    Give yourself plenty of time to submit forms

c.    Keep a journal or calendar of events

d.    Make sure that you record all professional and academic appointments on a calendar that you keep in your Professional Information File; sometimes you may need to refer back to such dates.

e.    Maintain a professional portfolio with such copies.

f.     Update your resume, and customize it to each position you apply for.  The Career Center (located in Univ. Hall 105) provides many resources for reviewing resumes and for job search strategizing support as well as individual career counseling.

g.    Always include a cover letter and a resume with your job/internship applications unless specified not to do so.

h.    Secure letters of recommendations from professors, advisors, former supervisors, and/or employers as you complete courses and field experiences, if possible.


Policy on Sexual Assault and Acquaintance Rape

California State University, Northridge does not tolerate sexual assault in any form, including date/acquaintance rape. Every allegation of sexual assault will be taken seriously. Where there is reason to believe that the University's regulations prohibiting sexual assault have been violated, the University will pursue strong disciplinary action. This discipline includes the possibility of suspension and dismissal or termination from the University.

Any employee, student or other person at CSUN who commits a rape or other crime of a sexual nature specified in the California Penal Code can be criminally prosecuted. In addition, employees and students can be disciplined under the California Education Code even if the criminal justice authorities or the person assaulted choose not to pursue criminal prosecution. Please contact Carole Baxter at (818) 677-4779 for further information.


Sexual Harassment Complaints

In accordance with Executive Orders 345 and 419, the University Procedures for Addressing Allegations of Sexual Harassment, the Committee to Receive Allegations of Sexual Harassment (CRASH) was established.  In addition, the Committee to Receive Allegations of Discrimination and Harassment (CRADH) was formed.

All Students are urged to refer any complaints of sexual harassment to one of these members of the Committee, each of whom has assumed responsibility for handling such complaints in sensitive and professional manner. The committee members are listed on the CRASH and CRADH webpage.  Copies of procedures can be obtained in the Student Services Building on the fifth floor, Room 520. Sexual harassment violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, California law, and the Executive Orders of the Board of Trustees of California State University. If the complaint cannot be resolved informally, students may file a formal complaint through the discrimination grievance procedures below.

This process is overseen by Dr. Gordon Nakagawa, Interim Special Assistant To the President for Equity & Diversity (677-2077; 677-4737) for both CRASH and CRADH issues.

Discrimination Grievance Procedures

Procedures have been established by the University President for use by students who feel discriminated against on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, color, national origin, or age are advised to obtain written instructions on the filing of grievances form the Office of Equity and Diversity (Student Services Building on the fifth floor Room 520). S

For further information on discrimination and other forms of harassment please read the current CSUN catalog, pages 549-551.


Information on American Psychological Association (APA) Style of Writing

All written documents and reports that are submitted by students in all programs in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling are expected to be in APA format, unless stated otherwise by the instructor. It is highly recommended that all students possess a soft/paper back or hardbound copy of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. The hard copy is a little more expensive, but is more durable than the (approximately $25) version.

Students may also purchase this manual directly from the APA web site at:

http://www.apa.org/books/4200041.html Currently, the latest edition is the fifth edition; the ISBN # for the manual is 1-55798-810-2.

You may also find the APA Publication Manual either at the CSUN Matador bookstore or at an on-line bookstore. Other major bookstores also may carry it in their stock. The CSUN library has a copy on Reserve, but students are not allowed to check it out of the library; student may use it only while studying in the library. There are also many websites that list the guideline for a quick reference such as

*      http://www.cws.illinois.edu/workshop/writers/citation/apa/

*      Here is an APA Publication Manual Crib Sheet

*      Here is the web extension to the APA Publication Manual

Note that not all citation and formatting situations are covered in available electronic references.


Academic Dishonesty

The maintenance of academic integrity and quality education is the responsibility of each student within this university and the CSU system. Cheating or plagiarism in connection with an academic program at a campus is listed in Section 41301, Title 5, California Code of Regulations as an offense for which a student may be expelled, suspended, or given a less severe disciplinary sanction.

Academic dishonesty is an especially serious offense and diminishes the quality of scholarship and defrauds those who depend upon the integrity of the campus programs.

Such dishonesty includes:

*      Cheating - Intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized material, information, or study aids in any academic exercise.

*      Fabrication - Intentional falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.

*      Facilitating Academic Dishonesty - Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to commit an act of academic dishonesty.

*      Plagiarism - Intentionally or knowingly representing the words, ideas, or work of another as one's own in any academic exercise.

For more information on such forms of academic dishonesty and disciplinary action in regards to academic dishonesty refer to the current CSUN catalog 2000-2002, pages 551-554.


Student Ethical Behavior

The personal behavior and ethical conduct of each student at CSUN impacts, positively or negatively, on the climate and reputation of the entire institution. Thus, it is imperative that each student act at all times with integrity and with respect toward all members of the campus community. The University assumes that all students will conduct themselves as mature, responsible, and law-abiding citizens who will comply with University policies and regulation.

Many of the counseling-related professional organizations have their own list of ethical guidelines; they often post their codes of ethics on their web site. (See for example, http://www.counseling.org/ resources/codeofethics.htm#ce  for the American Counseling Association's Ethical Guidelines and http://www.apa.org/ethics/code.html  for the American Psychological Association. Please refer to them as well as consult with your fieldwork faculty when in doubt on how to handle a certain situation.


Student Discipline

Inappropriate conduct by students or by applicants for admission is subject to discipline as provided in Sections 41301 through 41304 of Title 5, California Code of Regulations. Refer to page 551 of the CSUN catalog for a list of reasons why students might be expelled, suspended, or put on probation at CSUN.


Grading System

In general, Post-baccalaureate and Graduate students use the traditional A to F grading system and a non-traditional system of Credit, No Credit (CR/NC) as explained in the Regulations section of this catalog, except that:

1.    Normal Grading: Credit (CR) is given for A, A-, B+, or B level scholastic performance and No Credit (NC) is given for the equivalent of B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, or F work. Since 1987, plus/minus grading may be elected for use by CSUN instructors.  The EPC department faculty generally use this grading practice.

Most graduate program courses may not be taken on a Credit/No Credit basis. Exceptions to this rule are Thesis/Graduate Project (698) or Comprehensive Examination (697) and certain courses in which the evaluation responsibility is shared by agencies in conjunction with faculty (e.g., field study, internship).

The student is advised to request Credit/No Credit grading for courses taken for personal interest or enrichment, which are unrelated to the degree objective outside the department or discipline of the major.

A.   Incomplete Course Grade: An incomplete (I) must be changed to a grade within one calendar year immediately following the end of the semester in which it was assigned. This limitation exists whether or not students maintain continuous enrollment in the University.

If the assigned work that is required to remove the incomplete is not completed by this time, the incomplete will be computed as an "F" in all subsequent grade point average determinations.

B.   Satisfactory Progress: The grade of Satisfactory Progress "SP" is assigned for Thesis/Graduate Project and similar courses where assigned work frequently remains to be completed at the end of the semester in which the grade is given. The SP grade must be converted to a traditional letter grade within two years. Any extension of the time limit must receive prior authorization by submitting a Graduate Petition Form (OGS 1) to the Associate Vice President of Graduate Studies, Research and International Programs for approval.


Disputing a Grade

Students who disagree with the grade assigned to them in any course are encouraged to discuss their views with the instructor of the course. A student may request another faculty member to participate in such a discussion of the grade. If discussion with course instructor is deemed insufficient, the student can appeal to the Chair of the department or to the department's Student Affairs Committee.


Academic Grievances and Grade Appeals

The University provides procedures for the orderly processing of grievances by students against members of the faculty, and for the appeal of assigned grades. Established by the Faculty Senate, the procedures are contained in the Academic Grievance and Grade Appeals Board Bylaws. The Board is empowered to act upon grievances and appeals, which are properly filed.

Academic grievances may be filed when a student feels aggrieved in (non-grade) matters concerning an academic decision, action or judgment by a faculty member. A grade based on error, violation of University rule or policy, refusal by the instructor to report a grade, discrimination or other improper conduct towards the students are examples of situation that may be petitioned. The Board will not consider grade appeals based wholly or in part on a subjective or qualitative judgment of an instructor.

Students should attempt to resolve matters informally with the faculty member prior to filing an academic grievance or grade appeal. Students should also seek the review of the appropriate department chair and school dean or designee. If the matter cannot be resolved in this manner, the student may file a formal grievance or grade appeal. The grievance or appeal must be presented in writing before the end of the semester following the semester in which the matter occurred or the grade was assigned to be considered for investigation.

Information and forms for filling an academic grievance or grade appeal may be obtained from the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs (Univ. Hall 310 or by calling (818) 677-2391.


Probation and Disqualification

A minimum GPA for an undecided (PBU) graduate student is 2.5; credential students must maintain a 2.75 GPA. Graduate students admitted conditionally or classified in a degree program must maintain a 3.0 GPA. Students enrolled in a degree program will be placed on academic probation at the end of any semester that their grade point average (GPA) falls below 3.0 in all units attempted since admission to the program. (This does not include prerequisites.) To be removed from probation, students must earn sufficient grade points in the following semester of enrollment to raise their GPA to 3.0 or above. Failure to do so will result in disqualification.

If a disqualified graduate student wishes to be considered for readmission to a master's program, disqualification forms must be submitted for the semester immediately following disqualification notification. Disqualification materials are mailed to students after final grades are posted. The materials are submitted through the departmental Graduate Coordinator to the Associate Vice President of Graduate Studies, Research and International Programs. Students who choose not to file readmission forms for the semester following disqualification will be required to submit both the disqualification materials and a new University application and fee in order to enroll in any future semester.

Students are subject to dismissal from their program if they fail any part of the comprehensive examination twice or if they fail to have their thesis, graduate project, or artistic performance accepted by their committee. Having attempted and failed one type of culminating experience, a student is not allowed to change to an alternate type of culminating experience requirement.



1.      Preliminary Steps:

A.   It is understood that faculty will routinely discuss, with other concerned faculty, students whose continued participation in the program of the department may be in question.

B.   If one or more faculty has a serious concern about a student, he/she will place a copy of a Statement of Concern (FORM A) in the student file in the department office, with a copy to the student in which the faculty member describes the behavior or performance in question.

C.   Faculty, including the Student Affairs Chairperson, who knows the student, will confer about any student about whom such a statement is filed and make suggestions to the student if appropriate.

D.   If the behavior or performance in question continues, a faculty member may initiate a delay/withdrawal procedure.

E.    A faculty member will initiate student delay/withdrawal by completing FORM B (Faculty Initiated Recommendation for Delay/Withdrawal From Program) and will submit this form to the Department Chair.

F.    The faculty member will orally notify the student of this recommendation and will, as soon as feasible thereafter, submit a copy of FORM B to the student; the student will have from the date of receipt of FORM B, ten (10) school/working days to file an appeal of the recommendation (FORM B1).

G.   If there is no appeal, the recommendation is acted upon and placed in the student's file.

2.      If student appeals

     (Ordinarily the steps in the appeal process, sections, 2, 3, and 4 of this memo, shall be conducted within one month of the filing of FORM B1):

A.   He/She will file a petition (FORM Bl) with the Department Chair, requesting that further consideration be given to his/her continuing the program.

B.   The Department Chair will distribute blank copies of FORM C (Information Form for Faculty Initiated Delay/Withdrawal from Program) to faculty members who have had the student in class or in an advisor capacity. These faculty members will be asked to complete FORM C and return it— to the Department Chair by a specified date (usually a one week period).

C.   After the specified date, the Department Chair will forward copies of FORMs B, B1, and C to the Student Affairs Committee, who then may support the appeal or establish an Ad Hoc Examining Committee of two faculty members and one student (Alumnus), the latter to be taken from an established pool and to be someone unacquainted with the challenged student.

D.   The Examining Committee will meet with the student and the involved faculty member(s); the student may bring an advocate or fellow student along to this meeting.

3.  After meeting with the student and faculty members and reading any pertinent materials (including FORMs A, B, B1, and C):

A.   The Ad Hoc Committee will make a recommendation in writing to the Student Affairs Committee concerning the student's Delay/Withdrawal from the Program.

B.   The Committee can recommend that the student:

a.    Continue in the program without delay.

b.    Continue in the program, but with certain stipulations, such as participating in a special program.

c.    Is delayed from continuing in the program until the student meets certain stipulations such as gaining more experience, participating in special programs, etc., to the extent that the student is able to meet the conditions established by the Ad Hoc Committee.

d.    Delay/Withdraw from the Program.

4.      The recommendation of the Ad Hoc Committee:

1)   Is received by the Student Affairs Committee, and is forwarded to the Department Chair, along with a written recommendation by the Student Affairs Committee to accept or reject the recommendation of the Ad Hoc Committee.

2)   Is received by the Department Chair along with the recommendation for the Student Affairs Committee, and the Department Chair will then make the final decision concerning the student's delay/withdrawal from the program.

5.    Final Dispensation:

A.   The student will be notified in writing of the department Chair's decisions, including any stipulations regarding continuing in the program or re-admittance to the program.

B.   A copy of this letter will be placed in the student's file.

C.   Notice (FORM D) of the action will be sent to department faculty members.


Repeat of courses

With prior permission of the Graduate Coordinator and/or Department Chair and Associate Vice President of Graduate Studies, Research and International Programs, a graduate student may repeat, for the purpose of improving the grade, up to 6-units of credit in which a grade of "B-" or below, or a grade of "U," was achieved. In these cases only the most recent grade will count. Students must submit a Course Repeat Form (OGS 25) for approval by the third week of the semester in which the course is being repeated and show proof of enrollment at that time.


Academic Leave of Absence Policy

Graduate students in good standing may take up to a two-semester leave of absence. Though no formal approval is required, it is suggested that students write a letter to their major department and to the Graduate Studies, Research International Programs Office, which would include reason(s) for leave and date of return. This will keep a student's file in active status for up to one academic year. Leaves of absence for more than one academic year are generally not accepted.  Students must, instead, re-apply to the university and to the department and are not automatically re-accepted.


Associated Students

Graduate students are members of the Associated Students and may receive information about services provided through the Associated Students Office in the Student Union. A graduate student is appointed by the Associated Students to serve on the University Graduate Studies Committee each academic year. The Graduate Studies Committee formulates and reviews policies and procedures relevant to graduate studies. Graduate students are encouraged to participate.


Clubs and Organizations

Graduate students, as with all students at CSUN, may establish a club or organization related to their interests or academic field of study as well as join existing ones.  The procedure for chartering an organization may be obtained from the Student Development office at 677-2393.  Official student clubs and organizations have access to financial resources and the ability to reserve rooms on campus for meetings.


Student Health

Your educational experience is impacted by both your physical and emotional health.  Resources exist on campus to provide support in maintaining each of these.  The Klaus Student Health Center provides both preventive and acute illness care (including pharmacy and optometric services) at a range of no additional (to the fees you pay each semester) to low cost. 

The University Counseling Services, located on the fifth floor of the Student Services building, has both individual and group counseling services available to students.  There is no cost for these services.  Both resources maintain complete confidentiality regarding student information.

Currently, the University Counseling Services is not equipped to provide the documented six-hours of counseling required for the various M.S. Counseling EPC 659A/B requirement.  [Note: As the EPC department admits over 100 counseling students each year, providing that service would necessitate two dedicated full-time-equivalent counselors/psychologists just to provide that service.]


Library Information

Library materials (books and videotapes) may be checked-out after in-person activation of your student identification card.  To checkout materials, you must have current student status.

Students needing extended assistance using the library resources for research purposes may make an appointment with the librarian designated to the College of Education or any other librarian for other fields of study for assistance. The Subject-Specialist librarian will be able to teach you how to effectively use the computers and library resources to find material for your research papers or thesis and comprehensive exams.

Often, your instructor for Research Methods (EPC 602) will schedule for a class trip to the library.  At that time, the librarian will present an overview of, and demonstrate, available library resources to your entire class. This is a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of, and will provide useful support for both class assignments and culminating activity research as well. This service is also available for individual students by appointment. The librarians currently assigned to EPC are Mara Houdyshell, (818) 677-2277 & Karin Duran, (818) 677-2501. Or, for assistance by librarian assigned to a specific college other than Education visit online: http://library.csun.edu/About/SubjectSpecialists

You may also do your research directly from home by visiting: http://library.csun.edu/  Access to on-line databases which include a number of full-text databases are available off-site as well as on campus.

As a graduate student, you are entitled to request up to 24-articles per academic year to be faxed directly to your home by using "Ingenta" (formerly CARL UnCover).  In order to do so, students must register for this service first by completing a form in the library or online at http://library.csun.edu/Services/Forms. Ask an on-duty reference librarian for further assistance.

If some of the material that you may be looking for is not available through the CSUN library, students may request it through Inter-Library Loan (ILL).  Be aware that this process may take two weeks or more depending on the library traffic. Ask a librarian at the library's reference desk for further assistance as needed.


Graduation Information

Graduate students are required to be enrolled during the semester of graduation. Students graduating during the summer must be enrolled for at least one semester unit. Most faculty members are not available during the summer session to supervise thesis work. If the thesis were in its final completion stages, some faculty would be able to review the last draft during the summer. The student should also make certain that their committee members would be available to give final approval to their culminating experience.

Students planning to graduate in the spring and fall semester, having fulfilled all other requirements, must enroll in a minimum of one unit of Independent Study (EPC 699A, B, or C) at the EPC department office. The ticket number for the course will be given after filing a request for enrollment in an Independent Study form under the supervision of your culminating activity chairperson.

When a thesis is involved, the student must file the Thesis/Graduate Project Planning Form with Graduate Evaluation Services. Format guidelines for the preparation of theses or projects are available in the Graduate Studies Office, University Hall 265.


Transcripts and Grades

Official transcripts may be acquired electronically.  Official transcripts are available for a fee and may be acquired by mailing the completed form with a check for the desired number of copies or in person at the A & R office in the first floor of the Student Services Building lobby. 

Unofficial transcripts may be obtained at any time by students who have internet access and their student ID number and their PIN access code (the one used to register through Touch Tone or Web-Based Registration).  Go to http://my.csun.edu

Because this access is available to all, grades are no longer mailed to students.  Grades are posted as they arrive to Admissions and Records—generally within ten days of your final examination date.


The Culminating Master's Degree Activities

The student must satisfactorily complete one of the following:

1)   Thesis/Project or

2)   Develop, research, and write comprehensive questions and complete the comprehensive written examination

This requirement is to be completed during the final two semesters as a culminating activity for the master's program.


1) Thesis/Project

Students need to select a three-member committee to serve in an advisory capacity. Students are expected to work closely with their committee members and to be aware that this requirement will not be accepted as completed until all three members of the committee have signed their approval and acceptance of the work by their signatures on the final document. Students should begin considering this work during their first year. Students should select a committee after attaining classified graduate status. Two bulletins on this master's requirement are available in the EPC Office.

Page one of Culminating Activities covers the Comprehensive Examination Guideline, and page two covers Thesis/Graduate Project Guidelines. This bulletin is updated each semester. The Thesis Guidelines are also available at the Office of Graduate Studies or you may download them directly from the Graduate Studies website or here. Ask for handbook entitled: "Guidelines for Preparation: Theses, Graduate Project, and Artistic Abstracts"  The Thesis, Graduate Project, and Artistic Performance options are subject to the following provisions:

*      At the time that a thesis committee is formed and a topic selected, students are required to obtain signatures on the Thesis/Graduate Project Planning Form (OGS 9) of those faculty members agreeing to be on the student's committee and to submit this form to:

§       Graduate Evaluators

§       Graduate Studies, Research and International Programs,

§       University Hall 265, mail code 8239

o      This must be completed before the third week of the semester in which the first enrollment of EPC 698C has occurred, and can be completed any time after achieving Classified status.  

*      Students may not register in more units of EPC 698 than appear on the formal master's program.

*      Students must be registered in the semester in which they expect to submit completed work, and in the case of students who plan to complete the thesis or graduate project, they must be registered in at least one unit in either summer session.

*      Students may not enroll in more than three units of Thesis or Graduate Project (EPC 698) in their first semester of such enrollment. If, at the end of that semester the advisory committee agrees that the chosen subject was unsatisfactory for a valid thesis, graduate project, or artistic performance, but that the effort was at least at a "B" level, the student will be given a grade of "SP". Only under these conditions may the student then elect the Comprehensive Exam. The change to Comprehensive Exam requires a Course Substitution Form (OGS 18) to the student's program along with a Graduate Petition Form (OGS 1) indicating justification for the change signed by the Graduate Coordinator in the student's department and submitted to the Graduate Evaluators, for approval of the Vice President of Graduate Studies, Research and International Program. This justification should reflect the fact that the thesis subject was approved at the time the formal master's program was signed.

*      This change in program may necessitate the enrollment and completion of additional elective units as only three (3) units of Comprehensive Exam (EPC 697) are allowed versus six (6) units from thesis/project (EPC 698).  See your program advisor if you wish to make this change as early in your program as possible.

*      Should students fail in the entire thesis, graduate project, or artistic performance, or in any part of it, they will be disqualified from the master's program in the department and not be allowed the comprehensive examination option.

*      The thesis or graduate project should be prepared according to "Guidelines for the Preparation of Theses, and Graduate Projects" available here and in the Graduate Studies, Research and International Programs. A student planning to do a thesis as part of the program should become familiar with the contents of this document in the early stages of the thesis work.

*      The theses/project/abstracts must be completed within two years from the first enrollment in EPC 698. Students are generally assigned a "SP" (Satisfactory Progress) grade for work in progress for each enrollment of EPC 698.  Upon completion of the thesis/project, a grade is then assigned for all EPC 698 units enrolled.


2) Comprehensive Questions and Comprehensive Examination

Students electing to do this master's activity need to select a two-member committee. An information sheet is available in the EPC department office; read the preceding section entitled Thesis/Project.

*      Students become eligible to attempt the examination during the semester in which all other coursework on their Formal Program and other requirements for the degree have been completed.

*      In addition a Graduate Evaluation (OGS 14) must be on file in Graduate Evaluation Services of the Graduate Studies Office.

*      Ordinarily, the examination is given about one month before the end of the semester. Arrangements to enroll and take the examination should be made with the department and Culminating Experience Coordinator (currently Dr. Adele Gottfried.)

*      If examination is not taken or completed in the originally planned final semester, students must register again (for EPC 699 or 697) in the semester in which they plan to complete their degree. These additional units may not be counted as units toward the master's degree.

*      Students may not take an entire comprehensive examination more than twice.

1)   Students who fail the examination at the first attempt may be required to take some prescribed courses. If no such work is prescribed, students are required to register for the semester or summer session in which the second attempt is offered.

2)   Failure of the second attempt at the comprehensive examination disqualifies one from the master's program in that department.

3)   For purposes of this regulation, the first attempt is defined as consisting of the complete comprehensive examination as prescribed by the department. The second attempt is defined as consisting of not more than a second examination on the entire program, or, at the discretion of the department, one supplementary examination on any part or parts of the first examination on which the student failed.

4)   Departments shall file the result of each examination with the Graduate Evaluation in Graduation Evaluation Services, Graduate Studies, Research and International programs office.

5)   Once students have enrolled in, and/or attempted the comprehensive examination, and failed it or any part of it, they may not change to the Thesis or Graduate Project option.

6)   For details with regards to the number of questions and the formatting of the essays student should consult the committee chair for their comps.

Note: Students must acquire information and respond in a timely manner in regards research with human subjects, as well as determine if professors will be available to serve as committee members. It is sometimes allowed for one or more of the committee members to be other departmental professors or professionals in the field. Please ask your Program's Coordinator or the Graduate Coordinator for more information.


Graduate Studies, Research and International Programs

Graduate Studies is located in the University Hall 265, their e-mail address is: graduate.studies@csun.edu, and their phone number is (818) 677-2138. The phone number for making an appointment with a Graduate Evaluator is (818) 677-4800. Students whose last name begins with A to K should make an appointment with JoAnn Nesti (joann.nesti@csun.edu) and students whose last name begins with L to Z should make an appointment to see Jan Dee Vardaman (jandee.vardaman@csun.edu).



Monday, Thursday, and Friday

8:00 am to 5:00 pm


Tuesday and Wednesday  

8:00 am to 7:00 pm


Thesis Binding Deadlines:


Spring 2002

May 17th


Summer 2002

August 2nd


Check online for future semesters or contact the EPC department.

Students are required to make appointments to review formatting on theses. Students must call Graduate Evaluation Services at (818) 677-4800 to make an appointment. Theses should be packaged separately in manila envelopes, labeled with the title of the thesis, students, student's name and semester submitting for (e.g., Spring 2002). The original (100%) cotton paper) thesis needs to be noted on the outside of the envelope also.

Change of Objective

Continuing students in either Post-baccalaureate or Graduate status may change their objective and seek admission to a new degree program by completing a two forms: 

(1) The "EPC Change Program Petition" to change from one master's program to another within the department.  This includes within the M.S. in Counseling specialty areas (e.g., MFT to School Counseling or vice versa).  Transfer between programs requires formal request (by March of the year previous to the fall transferring) and may require participation in the formal interview process for the desired new program.  Program change within the department is not guaranteed.

(2) The "Change of Objective Form" that can also be obtained from the Office of Admissions and Records. A "Change of Program Form" is required with appropriate signatures from the previous program coordinator and current program coordinator to be placed in student file. The form is available on line at /anr/forms/

Transfer of previously earned units to the new program must have the approval of the department to which the student applies.

A request for a change of objective for a student on academic probation is also subject to the approval of the Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies, Research and International Programs.

In cases where a student may want to add a credential, a Change of Program form also needs to be completed. As in (1) above, students will then be placed in the applicant pool for next application period. Acceptance into a new graduate program is not guaranteed even if the student had been previously enrolled in another graduate program at the university.


Graduation with Distinction/Academic Honors

A student may receive the master's degree with distinction by maintaining a 3.885 or higher GPA (on a 4 point maximum scale) on all formal Master's Degree Program course work, and satisfying any additional criteria established by the graduate committee of the department or program offering the degree. The notation "with distinction" is posted with the degree on the transcript and will also appear on the diploma.


Graduation/Application for the Master's Degree and Diploma

Students must apply for graduation during the semester immediately proceeding the semester in which they wish to have the degree conferred. Application is required of all candidates for the degree. Students may obtain an Application for Master's Degree and Diploma (AR 9090) for graduation from the Office of Admissions and Records or Graduate Studies, Research and International programs. There is a filing fee of $30 for this application. In the event that a student changes their completion date to a later time, a Master's Graduation and Diploma Date Change Form (OGS 6) and a processing fee will be assessed. Students should also notify the Graduate Studies Office regarding the month they expect to complete requirements for the Masters degree. 

Graduate students are required to be enrolled during the semester of graduation. Students graduating during the summer must be enrolled for at least one semester unit. The course for the Thesis/Project (EPC 698) should generally be taken in the last semester. Students can enroll in this course for two semesters. Should more time be required to complete the Thesis/Project, students would enroll in 1-3 units of Independent Study (EPC 699A, 699B, or 699C) signed by the Chair of the committee. Students should be certain that members of the project/thesis committee would be available to give final approval to the culminating experience.


Job Opportunities/Careers

Persons completing the degree may qualify for private practice or positions in public schools; social agencies; community colleges and universities; business and industry; career development; marriage and family therapy and related areas. Students can receive a license as a marriage and family therapist or the pupil personnel services credentials in school counseling or school psychology to work in public schools.

Students should ask their coordinators/advisor for tips for job search. Generally, fieldwork instructors know of Internet or other sources such as a registry service, which will send you information on a specific field of interest. Also keep in mind that some of the professional organizations have useful information about employment opportunities; some even have advertisements for employment. Also keep in mind that one of the advantages of joining a professional organization is that you get to meet other new and experienced professionals in your field who may have useful suggestions and leads for employment. So, remember: "network"!!!

Also, if you have interest in working for a specific employer, remember that almost every agency, school district, and college/university are online. Check the "Employment Opportunities" list online for each organization of interest. Avoid focusing your job search too narrowly, such as gearing your job search to only one employer. Use the CSUN Career Center as a job search resource as well. Career Counselors can provide both exploration and job search strategy (including resume writing and internship expertise.)


University Resources

For a list of university services visit: http://www.csun.edu/studentaffairs/  Student who wish to obtain forms from the Admissions and Records office may do so online: http://www.csun.edu/anr/


Career Center

Located in University Hall, Suite 105, The Career Center is a valuable resource for graduate students as well as undergraduate students.  A variety of workshops are available that address both career counseling and job search needs of students—including the ability to videotape and critique practice interviews. In addition, there are career counselors who are available to support students in preparing their resumes and cover letters as well as discuss job search strategies. 


Mon-Thurs. 8 am - 5 pm, Friday 8 am - 4 pm
18111 Nordhoff Street
University Hall, Suite 105
Northridge, CA 91330-8241

Telephone: (818) 677-2878 Fax: (818) 677-4593   

Website address: http://www.csun.edu/career/

Professional Organizations

It is highly suggested that students join at least one professional organization and participate in the benefits they provide. Professional organizations support legislative efforts at the state and national level that are in the interest to your program of study. Professional organizations offer different types of reasonably priced insurance through their ability to secure group rates and keep members informed on important issues. Counseling professional organizations organize professional development workshops, conferences and institutes. Publications keep members abreast of current issues and trends in the field. Click here for a list of professional associations.



Under the laws of the State of California, a M.S. student/trainee or interns working in the counseling profession are held to the same standards as other professionals working in the field. This includes the same legal and ethical standards and obligations as well as knowledge of all pertinent laws. Students are expected know the laws and ethical guidelines of their specific profession (e.g. MFT, School Counseling) Many of the professional organizations including the APA or ACA that you might join have their own Code of Ethics that pertain to your profession which you should follow.

Students should not expect their practicum or fieldwork sites to provide them with legal protection. The sites have liability insurance to cover themselves, but students are advised to have professional liability insurance coverage as well.

Liability Insurance

It is a CACREP requirement that you provide liability insurance before commencing your fieldwork. The following are some of the organizations that provide liability insurance.  Please note that organization membership is generally a requirement for purchasing liability insurance.


National Professional Group (NPG)

Suite 1900

875 North Michigan Avenue

Chicago, Illinois 60611-9814

Telephone: (888) 972-2638 or (800) 253-5486

Website address: http://www.camft.org/

$15 student rate per year.


American Counseling Association (ACA)

ACA Trust Insurance Trust, Inc.

5999 Stevenson Avenue

Alexandria, VA 22304-3300

Telephone: (800) 347-6647 x 222

Fax: (800) 473-2329

Website address: www.counseling.org

$15 to $27 for annual liability insurance premiums depending on the amount of coverage selected.


American Psychological Association (APA)

American Psychological Association Insurance Trust

Professional Liability Insurance Program

P.O. Box 9234

Des Moines, Iowa 50306-9928

Telephone for The TRUST Student Liability Program, which is administered by Kirke-Van Orsdel, Inc.: (800) 852-9987

Telephone for the TRUST office: (800) 477-1200

Website address: www.apait.org

$17 to $35 for annual liability insurance premiums depending on the amount of coverage selected.

Students are advised to check other insurance sources for liability coverage. Listing of these organizations in this handbook implies no endorsement or recommendation of their insurance liability policies. Student professional liability insurance policies generally cover only those activities that are part of and a requirement of the curriculum as a counseling student. They do not cover any work setting that is not part of curricula requirements.

As soon as you graduate, you are no longer eligible for coverage under student-discounted rates, and you will pay regular professional liability insurance rates. Always read the insurance policies carefully. Sometimes they may have a discounted rate for New Professionals, those who have just graduated with their Masters degree. It is usually applied during the first year of employment.


Benefits of Joining a Professional Organization

*      One of the criteria for a professional is involvement within a profession. Attending conferences and reading the affiliate journals and newsletters provide an opportunity to keep up with new knowledge in the field. Include this membership on your resume as well.

*      The prices for workshops or conferences are often reduced for members, so you could attend those conferences or workshops and get credit for your workshop requirement (four workshops required).

*      Professional associations provide an excellent source for networking.

*      Often members of professional organizations receive journals and newsletter and other material. Students may use this written material to further their knowledge about various topics. The journals are often helpful in doing class assignments. For example, students are often asked to write or present on a current topic in the field of study. (Most of the literature is free once a student joins an organization, they are typically mailed to you every month, every season, or annually, depending on how often they publish that material).

*      As described above students may purchase liability insurance through many of the professional organizations. Often they have particularly low cost options for students.

*      You could also search for jobs through their online resources or through their print newspapers. Sometimes you may not access those sites if you are not a member.

*      Each professional organization has their own philosophy and ethical guidelines; these guidelines provide a framework for appropriate counseling practice and are a useful reminder of that which you learned in your graduate education—even after it is over.

*      Some professional organizations that offer liability insurance also provide a toll-free hot line, which allows you to call an attorney with questions regarding potential situations that could lead to allegations against you. This is a free service, a benefit of membership, in certain organizations.


By going to the Admissions and Records site many forms may be download, the forms are available at: http://www.csun.edu/~hfanr055/forms/formslst2.htm. Students may obtain the other forms from the department or the Graduate Evaluation office.