Educational Psychology & Counseling

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    Educational Psychology & Counseling

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Frequently Asked Questions

Question List

Electronic Application Submission/Early Bird Deadline

  1. Do I have to submit both a paper and electronic application?
  2. Do I need to submit both electronic and paper applications by January 10, 2014?
  3. Can I submit more than one electronic application?
  4. Who can I contact if I have questions about the electronic application?
  5. What is the Early Bird Deadline?
  6. Can I still have my file reviewed with an EPC department staff member after December 20, 2013?

Prerequisites

  1. Do I have to complete all of my prerequisites before applying to your program?
  2. Do I have to complete all of my prerequisites to be admitted to the program?
  3. What are the prerequisite courses required?
  4. How can I take prerequisite classes at CSUN before I'm admitted to the graduate program if I am not a current CSUN student?
  5. May I substitute courses I took elsewhere for the prerequisites courses?
  6. Is it enough simply to have completed the pre-requisites for the program?
  7. May I take my prerequisites concurrently with the first term of my Masters' program?
  8. Must I have a Psychology degree to apply to a Masters Program in this department?

Recommendations

  1. Do the recommendation forms have to be completed by professors?
  2. May I just submit letters of recommendation without the form included in the department application?
  3. My undergraduate university has a service for submitting recommendations; I won’t be communicating directly with my former professor. What should I do?
  4. May recommendations be sent directly to the department by the person writing the recommendation?
  5. May I include more than two recommendations with my application?
  6. Are there any differences between programs for this requirement?

Testing Requirements

  1. Do I have to take the GRE? Can I still be admitted if I don't “pass” it?
  2. Do I have to take the CBEST?
  3. Do I have to submit my test scores with my application or can I turn them in later?

Transcripts

  1. I already submitted transcripts with my University application; do I need to submit them again with my department application?
  2. If I received my bachelor's degree from CSUN, do I have to include transcripts with my department application?

Accreditation

  1. What accreditations do your master’s programs hold?

Other Application Questions

  1. How can I obtain a copy of the departmental application?
  2. Can I apply to more than one of your Master's programs at the same time?
  3. May I apply for a Certificate program when I am applying for a different Master's program in counseling from this department?
  4. Is the application process different for the joint MFT Master’s/ School Counseling Credential program?
  5. Can I submit transcripts, test scores, or recommendations separately from my department application or after the application deadline?
  6. Can I submit my department application in person?
  7. What’s the mailing address for the applications?
  8. What's the application deadline?
  9. Are there any exceptions to the deadline?
  10. If my application package is postmarked by the application deadline but arrives later, will it be accepted?
  11. What happens after I apply?
  12. If I already have a Master's degree in Counseling, may I take courses to obtain a School Counseling or School Psychology Credential without completing the entire program?
  13. How long should my personal statement be and what format is required?
  14. Do you admit students for the Spring Semester?
  15. If I am admitted, when will I start taking classes?
  16. May I attend as a part-time student?

Questions About Interviews

  1. Do all of the graduate programs in the department interview their applicants?
  2. Are all applicants interviewed?
  3. When are the interviews?
  4. What if I am invited to interview, but have a schedule conflict or chose not to come for some other reason?
  5. What will I be asked in the interview and what should I expect?

Program/Post Admission Questions

  1. Can I take fewer than 12.0 units in any given semester?
  2. Is it possible to keep working while I’m in one of the programs?
  3. How long will the program take?
  4. Who can I speak with if I have further questions?

Answers

Electronic Application Submission/Early Bird Deadline

  1. Q: Do I have to submit both a paper and electronic application?

    A: Yes, you do have to submit both applications.

    The portions submitted online are: Basic information, Pre-Requisite Information, and Test Score(s) Information. The portions submitted in paper form are: Application checklist, Paper submission of electronic responses, Personal Statement, Resume, Pre-Requisite course substitutions and information, Copy of confirmation page for university application, Transcripts, Two (2) letters of recommendation and/or recommendation forms, and Photocopies of any applicable test scores.

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  2. Q: Do I need to submit both electronic and paper applications by January 10, 2014?

    A: Yes, you must submit all application materials - electronic and paper - by January 10, 2014.

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  3. Q: Can I submit more than one electronic application?

    A: No, do not submit more than one electronic application.

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  4. Q: Who can I contact if I have questions about the electronic application?

    A: You may contact the EPC Department at (818) 677-2599 or our Graduate Advisor, Shannon Sexton, via email at epcdept@csun.edu.

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  5. Q: What is the Early Bird Deadline?

    A: The Early Bird Deadline *December 2, 2013 - December 20, 2013* is for those students who wish to submit their application early. If the application is submitted during the Early Bird Deadline, a member of the EPC Department Staff will be able to go through your application with you to verify it is complete.

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  6. Q: Can I still have my file reviewed with an EPC department staff member after December 20, 2013?

    A: No, you may not. To have your application materials checked with a staff member your application needs to be submitted before December 20, 2013.

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Prerequisites

  1. Q: Do I have to complete all of my prerequisites before applying to your program?

    A: No, but it is to your advantage to do so since admission to our programs is very competitive. Remember that you will be competing against other applicants who may have all of the prerequisites completed, so it behooves you to have as many completed or in-progress at the time of application as possible. If admitted, you must complete all pre-requisite courses before beginning the program.

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  2. Q: Do I have to complete all of my prerequisites to be admitted to the program?

    A: Prerequisite courses must be completed before beginning a graduate program in a Fall semester; however, they can be in-progress at the time you submit your application.

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  3. Q: What are the prerequisite courses required?

    A: Each of our programs has its own prerequisite courses. The prerequisites for each program are:

    Career CounselingEPC 430, EPC 451, & EPC 600 PSY; 310 recommended
    College Counseling/ Student ServicesEPC 430, EPC 451, & EPC 600 PSY; 310 recommended
    Marriage & Family TherapyEPC 430, 451, 600, & PSY 310
    School CounselingEPC 451, EPC 600 & EPC 430 or 314
    School PsychologyEPC 314, EPC 430 EPC 451, & EPC 600
    Development, Learning & InstructionEPC 314 & EPC 600
    Early Childhood EducationEPC 600 & EPC 430 or 314

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  4. Q: How can I take prerequisite classes at CSUN before I'm admitted to the graduate program if I am not a current CSUN student?

    A: Non-CSUN students may take prerequisite courses by applying to the university as a Pre-Major in EPC. To do this, (1) submit a Pre-Major Application Form to the EPC department office, then (2) submit a paper application for graduate admission to Admissions & Records at least two months before the semester in which you wish to take courses. Be sure that your transcripts from past institutions and the required application fee are submitted to Admissions & Records as early as possible for appropriate review.

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  5. Q: May I substitute courses I took elsewhere for the prerequisites courses?

    A: Possibly. First, review our list of pre-approved prerequisite course substitutions. If you believe that you have taken equivalent courses that are not on the pre-approved list, complete the Request for Prerequisite Course Substitution form and submit with your department application packet. It is recommended that you check with our Graduate Advisor, Shannon Sexton, for approval of substitutions before the application period. Courses used as substitutions for a prerequisite must have been completed within the last 7 years and with a grade of 'B-' or better.

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  6. Q: Is it enough simply to have completed the pre- requisites for the program?

    A: No. Prerequisites must be completed with a grade of 'B-' or better within 7 years of beginning the program.

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  7. Q: May I take my prerequisites concurrently with the first term of my Masters' program?

    A: No. All prerequisites must be completed prior to beginning the program.

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  8. Q: Must I have a Psychology degree to apply to a Masters Program in this department?

    A: No. All undergraduate degrees will be considered. However, if you have a psychology or social science degree, you are more likely to have completed some of the prerequisites as a part of your undergraduate program.

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Recommendations

  1. Q: Do the recommendation forms have to be completed by professors?

    A: Not necessarily. A suitable person would be someone who can meaningfully address the questions on the recommendation form.

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  2. Q: May I just submit letters of recommendation without the form included in the department application?

    A: No. With the exception of the School Psychology program, the included forms should be used in addition to letters if the recommender wishes to write a separate letter. Applicants to the School Psychology program must submit a letter of recommendation.

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  3. Q: My undergraduate university has a service for submitting recommendations; I won’t be communicating directly with my former professor. What should I do?

    A: If the service allows you to submit information for use in writing recommendations, submit either our form or the information contained in our form. If not, have the letters from the service sent directly to our Department Office: EPC Department, 18111 Nordhoff Street Northridge, CA 91330-8265

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  4. Q: May recommendations be sent directly to the department by the person writing the recommendation?

    A: No, unless being sent by a recommendation service (see previous answer) recommendations should be included in the same envelope with your department application. If the person writing a recommendation wishes for it to be confidential, ask him/her to place it in a sealed envelope with his/her signature across the flap, and then give it to you for inclusion with your department application.

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  5. Q: May I include more than two recommendations with my application?

    A: Yes, however, no more than 3 letters of recommendation may be submitted.

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  6. Q: Are there any differences between programs for this requirement?

    A: The School Psychology program prefers recommendations to be in letter format, rather than on our department form. All other programs will accept both; however, if a letter is submitted, it is preferred that the recommendation form also be completed and submitted.

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Testing Requirements

  1. Q: Do I have to take the GRE? Can I still be admitted if I don't “pass” it?

    A: If you are applying for the School Psychology program, you must take the GRE. For applicants to all other programs, if your Cumulative Undergraduate GPA is less than 3.0, you must take the exam. It is possible to be admitted if your score is below the 50th percentile on the test.

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  2. Q: Do I have to take the CBEST?

    A: If you are applying to either School Counseling or School Psychology, you must take the CBEST. For School Counseling the test should be taken prior to applying; for School Psychology, the test may be taken before or during the first year in the program.

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  3. Q: Do I have to submit my test scores with my application or can I turn them in later?

    A: Any required test scores must be submitted with your department application by the application deadline.

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Transcripts

  1. Q: I already submitted transcripts with my University application; do I need to submit them again with my department application?

    A: Yes, the department also needs a copy of transcripts from all colleges and universities attended including CSUN. The dept. will accept either official or unofficial transcripts. Degree progress Reports will not be accepted.

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  2. Q: If I received my bachelor's degree from CSUN, do I have to include transcripts with my department application?

    A: Yes. The department will need transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, including CSUN.

    However, you would not need to submit official transcripts to CSUN if you graduated from CSUN. As well, if you already submitted transcripts to CSUN as an undergraduate, you do not need to re-submit them to the university.

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Accreditation

  1. Q: What accreditations do your master’s programs hold?

    A: All programs are regionally accredited through the Western Association of Colleges and Schools (WASC) – along with the rest of the university.

    The four M.S. in Counseling programs (Career, College, School, and MFT) are also accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

    The M.S. in Counseling in School Psychology is accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

    The DLI&E and ECE programs are also accredited by NCATE.

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Other Application Questions

  1. Q: How can I obtain a copy of the departmental application?

    A: The departmental application is available through the EPC department website.

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  2. Q: Can I apply to more than one of your Master's programs at the same time?

    A: No, unless you are interested in the joint program for MFT & School Counseling.

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  3. Q: May I apply for a Certificate program when I am applying for a different Master's program in counseling from this department?

    A: No. However, EPC students enrolled in a counseling master's degree in another specialization may apply for the Career Counseling or College Counseling/Student Services certificate program during their first year.

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  4. Q: Is the application process different for the joint MFT Master’s/ School Counseling Credential program?

    A: No, all aspects of the application process are the same as our other programs.

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  5. Q: Can I submit transcripts, test scores, or recommendations separately from my department application or after the application deadline?

    A: No. Due to the volume of applications we receive and the short period of time between the application deadline and admission interviews, we require that all materials listed on the Application Checklist be submitted together in one envelope, and must arrive by the application deadline.

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  6. Q: Can I submit my department application in person?

    A: Yes, applications may be submitted directly to our Department Office in the Education building, Room 1218.

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  7. Q: What’s the mailing address for the applications?

    A: CSUN – EPC Department
    18111 Nordhoff Street
    Northridge, CA 91330-8265

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  8. Q: What's the application deadline?

    A: The application deadline is subject to change from year to year. The deadline for the current application period can be found on the Prospective Students page.

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  9. Q: Are there any exceptions to the deadline?

    A: No, there are no exceptions to the deadline. Applications must arrive in the department office by the application deadline.

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  10. Q: If my application package is postmarked by the application deadline but arrives later, will it be accepted?

    A: No. Applicants must ensure that the package is mailed early enough to arrive in the EPC office by the application deadline. Applications may also be submitted to our department office in the Education Building, Room 1218.

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  11. Q: What happens after I apply?

    A: Interviews of selected applicants will be conducted in February and early March. Admission notifications will be sent approximately four to six weeks after the interview date.

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  12. Q: If I already have a Master's degree in Counseling, may I take courses to obtain a School Counseling or School Psychology Credential without completing the entire program?

    A: We do offer this possibility for the School Counseling credential but not for School Psychology. This program is called the 'Advanced School Counseling' Program. You must still apply through the regular department application procedure. The Advanced program requires at least one year of full-time evening coursework as well as fieldwork and internship during daytime hours in a school setting.

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  13. Q: How long should my personal statement be and what format is required?

    A: Your personal statement should be no longer than two sides of single or double spaced typing. There is no required format; it should be clear and easy to read. There is an outline of the information we would like addressed on the Department Application form.

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  14. Q: Do you admit students for the Spring Semester?

    A: We admit students in the fall and spring semesters for ECE and DLI&E only. All other programs admit for the Summer (CCSS and SC) or Fall (CC, MFT, SP) only.

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  15. Q: If I am admitted, when will I start taking classes?

    A: The School Counseling and College Counseling/Student Services programs each have required course(s) in the summer term. For that reason, it is particularly important for to complete prerequisites by the spring term or sooner to be prepared for the summer courses if accepted to School Counseling or the CC/SS master's program. For all other programs, coursework begins in the fall term unless you have been admitted to the ECE or DLI&E programs for the spring term.

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  16. Q: May I attend as a part-time student?

    A: Most of our Masters in Counseling degree programs only admit students on a full-time basis. However, the MFT and Career Counseling programs will sometimes admit part-time students. Students typically attend the M.A. (either DLI&E or ECE) programs part-time.

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Questions About Interviews

  1. Q: Do all of the graduate programs in the department interview their applicants?

    A: Yes. Specific dates for these are listed on the Interview Schedule page.

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  2. Q: Are all applicants interviewed?

    A: No. Depending on the size and characteristics of the applicant pool, not all those who apply will be invited to interview. This may vary by graduate program and by year. You will be notified in writing if you are to be interviewed or not.

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  3. Q: When are the interviews?

    A: Dates of interviews for each program are listed on the Interview Schedule page. No alternative interview dates will be scheduled.

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  4. Q: What if I am invited to interview, but have a schedule conflict or chose not to come for some other reason?

    A: Your application will be evaluated on the basis of the documentation you have submitted. It is unusual to be admitted to one of the counseling programs without an interview given the applicant pool size.

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  5. Q: What will I be asked in the interview and what should I expect?

    A: Although each program structures their interviews differently, in general you can expect the following: most interviews are conducted with groups of applicants; you will be asked to share something about your background, and why you want to enter the graduate program; you might be asked to provide a short writing sample; you might be asked to participate in a mock counseling session with another applicant; you might be asked to perform a group activity with other applicants, and you might be asked to discuss your knowledge about the field that you are interested in.

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Program/Post Admission Questions

  1. Q: Can I take fewer than 12.0 units in any given semester?

    A: Yes, although, you must take at least 6.0 units in your first two semesters of any of the counseling programs. This would require you to attend classes a minimum of one evening a week from 4-7 and 7-10 p.m. Counseling students in their first year would minimally attend on Monday or Tuesday evening, depending on your graduate program specialization. However, most of our Masters in Counseling degree programs admit students on a full-time basis only. Note: Students in the CC/SS program are required to attend full-time (12 units/semester minimally the first year.)

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  2. Q: Is it possible to keep working while I’m in one of the programs?

    A: While our classes are scheduled from 4-7 p.m. or 7-10 p.m., an important consideration to keep in mind is that the counseling programs will require fieldwork and/or internship outside of the class hours, and generally during daytime hours (other than the MFT program which may have more flexibility.) It is also important to consider that attending graduate school is more time-consuming than most undergraduate programs. Counseling students will be required to complete group projects, individual supervision, videotaping, and other activities as a part of the first year experience.

    Depending on the program you are applying to, the general recommendation is that if you are employed thirty or more hours per week, you should plan on taking our maximum load of six units, at least in the first semester. If you are employed between 20-30 hours per week, you might be comfortable with nine units. Generally, we recommend that those with 20 or fewer hours are the most likely to succeed with 12 units. While you may be able to enroll in more units than recommended above, graduate school is not a race, but, instead, an opportunity to develop into a professional. For that to optimally occur, you need time to reflect and consider.

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  3. Q: How long will the program take?

    A: Most of the M.S. programs take about two and a half years to complete. It is possible to complete the School Counseling & College Counseling programs in two calendar years, though that includes summer session(s). School Psychology is a three-year, year- round (fall, spring, summer) program. MFT and Career Counseling are three year programs that do not require summer courses (other than continuing fieldwork if accruing hours post-fieldwork).

    The M.A. programs require one and a half to two years minimally to complete.

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  4. Q: Who can I speak with if I have further questions?

    A: Shannon Sexton is our graduate advisor. Call (818) 677-5719 for her current office hours or e-mail her at epcdept@csun.edu

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