Master of Science in School Counseling Program

The Walden University Master of Science (MS) in School Counseling program is designed to prepare graduates to practice as a licensed school counselor in many states. However, the requirements for licensure as a school counselor vary greatly from state to state. Each state board that is responsible for regulating the practice of school counseling has its own academic requirements, and issues its own license to practice as a school counselor in that state.

States may require schools or programs maintain certain accreditations for licensing or certification as a school counselor. Walden University is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (“NCATE”). The Walden MS in School Counseling program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (“CACREP”), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (“CHEA”).

Walden MS in School Counseling graduates may apply for licensure as school counselors in most states, as the MS in School Counseling program is approved in both Minnesota and Ohio. Graduates in some states will be eligible for licensure based on completion of a state-approved program, where they can apply directly to their state educator board (“direct apply”). Other states have a separate application and process for someone completing an out-of-state approved preparation program (“license-in-hand pathway”), where in order for a graduate to be eligible for licensure or certification, he/she must first obtain a license in an approved state (Minnesota or Ohio) prior to applying for licensure in his/her state of residence.

Prospective students must research their current state licensure requirements to determine (1) if they are required to complete a state-approved licensure program to be eligible to apply directly to their state board, (2) if they need to obtain a license from the state where the program has been approved (Minnesota or Ohio) prior to applying in the state they reside, and (3) if there are any additional requirements the student will need to complete prior to their state granting the license. Students residing in Minnesota and Ohio are eligible to apply directly to their state board, as Walden’s MS in School Counseling is approved by both state boards. Additionally, some states require school counselors to hold an existing teaching license or certificate, and/or obtain teaching experience, in order to be eligible for a school counseling certificate or license.

Each state issues its own credential for an individual to be permitted to practice as a licensed school counselor in that state. While Walden can provide general information relating to the state-by-state educational requirements for school counseling licensure or certification, it remains the student’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all current requirements relating to field education experiences, licensing or certification, authorization or endorsement for the state in which she or he resides.

Walden makes no representations or guarantees that completion of its coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain state licensure, certification, authorization, endorsement, or other state credential. Licensure eligibility determinations are ultimately determined by the appropriate state board that issues the credential to practice.

Prospective students enrolling in licensure-leading programs are advised that relocation to another state may impact the student’s ability to complete field experiences and/or to obtain professional licensure, certification or other credential in the state to which they relocate. Prospective students are advised to carefully review, evaluate and understand the requirements of the applicable licensure board in the state in which they intend to relocate.

Please refer to the chart below for state professional licensure eligibility status for Walden’s MS in School Counseling program. Please remember that licensure eligibility determinations are ultimately determined by the appropriate state board that issues the credential to practice, and prospective students should visit their state board’s website for the most updated and accurate information.

State Academic Program Meets Licensure Requirements?
Alabama Yes, via the direct apply pathway, provided students complete additional coursework or other requirements*
Alaska Yes, via the direct apply pathway, provided students complete additional coursework or other requirements*
Arizona Yes, via the license-in-hand pathway
Arkansas Program not offered in this state
California Yes, via the direct apply pathway, provided students complete additional coursework or other requirements*
Colorado Yes, via the direct apply pathway, provided students complete additional coursework or other requirements*
Connecticut Yes, via the direct apply pathway, provided students complete additional coursework or other requirements*
Delaware Yes, via the direct apply pathway
District of Columbia Yes, via the direct apply pathway, provided students complete additional coursework or other requirements*
Florida Yes, via the direct apply pathway
Georgia Yes, via the direct apply pathway
Hawaii Yes, via the direct apply pathway
Idaho Yes, via the direct apply pathway, provided students complete additional coursework or other requirements*
Illinois Yes, via the direct apply pathway, provided students complete additional coursework or other requirements*
Indiana Yes, via the direct apply pathway, provided students complete additional coursework or other requirements*
Iowa Program not offered in this state
Kansas Yes, provided students complete additional coursework or other requirements AND apply via the license-in-hand pathway*
Kentucky Program not offered in this state
Louisiana Yes, via the direct apply pathway
Maine Yes, via the direct apply pathway
Maryland Yes, via the direct apply pathway, provided students complete additional coursework or other requirements*
Massachusetts Program not offered in this state
Michigan Yes, via the direct apply pathway
Minnesota Yes, via the direct apply pathway, provided students complete additional coursework or other requirements*
Mississippi Yes, via the direct apply pathway, provided students complete additional coursework or other requirements*
Missouri Yes, provided students complete additional coursework or other requirements AND apply via the license-in-hand pathway*
Montana Yes, via the direct apply pathway
Nebraska Yes, via the direct apply pathway, provided students complete additional coursework or other requirements*
Nevada Yes, via the direct apply pathway, provided students complete additional coursework or other requirements*
New Hampshire Yes, via the direct apply pathway, provided students complete additional coursework or other requirements*
New Jersey Yes, via the direct apply pathway
New Mexico Program not offered in this state
New York Program not offered in this state
North Carolina Yes, via the direct apply pathway
North Dakota Yes, via the direct apply pathway, provided students complete additional coursework or other requirements*
Ohio Yes, via the direct apply pathway
Oklahoma Yes, via the direct apply pathway
Oregon Yes, via the license-in-hand pathway
Pennsylvania Yes, via the direct apply pathway
Puerto Rico Program not offered in this state
Rhode Island Program not offered in this state
South Carolina Yes, via the license-in-hand pathway
South Dakota Yes, via the direct apply pathway
Tennessee Program not offered in this state
Texas Yes, provided students complete additional coursework or other requirements AND apply via the license-in-hand pathway*
Utah Yes, via the license-in-hand pathway
Vermont Yes, via the direct apply pathway, provided students complete additional coursework or other requirements*
Virginia Yes, via the direct apply pathway, provided students complete additional coursework or other requirements*
Washington Yes, via the direct apply pathway
West Virginia Yes, via the direct apply pathway, provided students complete additional coursework or other requirements*
Wisconsin Yes, via the direct apply pathway, provided students complete additional coursework or other requirements*
Wyoming Yes, via the direct apply pathway

*“Additional coursework or other requirements” can include additional courses, prior teaching experience and/or licensure, and field experiences that span across the P-12 spectrum required by the applicable state as part of professional licensure requirements, which are not included within the standard program of study. In some states, students have the option of adding a Walden University course that satisfies the additional coursework requirement, while in other states they are advised to complete the required course(s) outside of Walden University. Additionally, for those states requiring field experiences across the P-12 spectrum, students are advised to locate field sites at the required grade levels. Where applicable, students may add these additional courses or field experience hours to their Walden program of study at an additional cost. Costs for the additional courses may vary, depending on the requirements and may be covered by student financial aid. Students should always check with their state board to verify course and field experience requirements.

October 11, 2018

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