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MS in Counseling College of Education

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Career Opportunities

The Master of Science in Counseling program is a clinically focused three year full-time academic program that meets the educational requirements for becoming a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) in the State of California. The program is clinically oriented with didactic and experiential courses, a 100-hour clinical practicum, and 600 hours of field experience. The MS Counseling program is evaluated by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences and each of our concentration/specialization areas are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The program offers 4 concentrations: Career, Marriage Couple and Family, Rehabilitation, and School Counseling.

Cohort Sequence

A Day in the World Of…


The Career Counseling Specialization provides students with the knowledge, theory, and skills to work as effective counselors/career development specialists, and consultants in a variety of settings: community-based agencies, schools (K-12), colleges and universities, private practice, business, industry, and government. Students are trained to facilitate a holistic career development/career decision making/planning process with groups and individuals that Integrates personal, social, and career needs. Students develop the skills to address current issues such as career self-reliance, work/family/life balance, multiculturalism, diversity, and lifelong learning.

Top Five Things to Know

  1. There are less than 10 Career Counseling specialized programs in the nation.
  2. Career Counselors work with advocacy, grant writing, community system development, curriculum developing, and individual/group counseling.
  3. Career Counselors empower individuals to achieve their career and life goals.
  4. Career Counselors gain experience for the Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) in the State of California.
  5. Career Counselors have the option to obtain the Certified Career Counseling Credential (CCC) from the National Association of Career Development upon graduation.

Marriage, Couple & Family

The Marriage, Couple, Family, Counseling Specialization is designed to provide students with all the educational competencies required by the California State Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). The program trains professionals to work in a variety of settings: community based mental health, county, and state agencies, hospitals and private practice. The program also prepares students to provide consulting to businesses and agencies. Emphasis is placed on developmental and preventative concerns, social justice, and cultural responsiveness.

The Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling concentration is a dual licensure program blending both clinical mental health skills with a systems perspective to work with individuals, couples, and families. Students will be dually eligible for both their Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) license. With training and clinical rotations in both the community and the Center for Counseling and Diagnostic Services (CCDS) on campus, students are prepared to diagnose, develop both symptom based and theory based treatment plans, perform intake and screening of mental health diagnosis but also identify issues within the couples and families with an emphasis on wellness and prevention. Students will acquire 700 hours of experience as part of the program requirements, under direct supervision, and will continue to acquire post-graduate hours towards licensure upon graduation seeking their Associate status with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS).


  • To prepare counselors to work effectively in integrated care settings, in-patient and out-patient centers, community agencies, substance use centers, clinical mental health centers, and integrated work with adolescents and partners in K-12 settings providing mental health services.
  • To prepare counselors to work in collaboration with community agencies that serve children, youth, individuals, couples, and families.


With the growing need for addiction and rehabilitative services, the Rehabilitation Counseling concentration is ready to train professionals to work with addiction, disability, and clinical mental health. Sac State’s program is nationally accredited and state approved, therefore students are eligible for their Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor License (LPCC) in the state of California as well as their national Certified Rehabilitation Counseling (CRC) Credential. Due to our national accreditation, students are also eligible for licensing in other states within the United States. The Rehabilitation Counseling concentration provides students the opportunity to gain several specialized skills for working with individuals with disabilities, addiction, and co-occurring disorders. Students will apply advanced skills within Rehabilitation including integration of services, including trauma informed care, diagnostic interviews, mental status examinations, symptom inventories, psychoeducational and personality assessments, biopsychosocial histories, assessments for treatment planning, and assessments for assistive technology needs. Graduates of this program work in a wide variety of settings, including private practice, community agencies, private organizations, residential in-patient centers, intensive out-patient centers, college campuses, and state departments. Students develop skills to understand medical and psychosocial aspects of disability and its impact on co-occurring disorders including substance abuse and clinical mental health.

The skills our graduates develop, including experiential courses and practicum and internship working with clients and patients, allows them to be eligible for many settings including addiction treatment facilities, residential centers, hospital settings, private practice, Veterans Affairs, College and University disability centers, as well as the Department of Rehabilitation. Upon graduation, students work on their clinical license which offers advancement in all settings based on these specialized skills and corresponding state license and national certifications.

What is the difference between an LPCC and LMFT? Both work with individuals, families, and groups. LPCC specializes in individual services, such as trauma, disability, work integration, substance abuse, and clinical mental health. LMFT specializes in couples, children, and families. Both diagnose, assess, and perform psychotherapy services with a wider array of clients/patients.

Salary Ranges

$50,000-75,000 beginning salary based on graduates working in clinical agency or Department of Rehabilitation settings. This salary range is based on a post-graduate, pre-licensed ‘associate’ status and increases once licensed which is typically two years post-graduate and based on licensing board requirements.

O*Net has this position listed around 45000, this is based on baccalaureate work, not master’s or licensed positions, and national averages the pay in our state is typically higher based on cost of living.

The need for co-occurring services, meaning working with mental health, substance, and disability, is growing due to the rate of addiction and increases in mental health needs post-pandemic. The state of California is looking at integrated services and integrating billing systems in the next 4-5 years which will increase the need for professional counselor that can provide therapeutic services for clients across several needs in an integrated fashion. This trend is on the rise nationally, and as all states respond to addiction and mental health needs, the workforce will need to be trained in co-occurring interventions and services.

Will this degree help you do what you love? Help people/be a hero, advocate, etc? Want to work with people, advocate, and support their mental health? Do people naturally tell you their stories? Are you a natural listener and helper? Want to build a professional network of others that want to do the same good work? Want to build your professional support network? Our cohort model provides the relationships with peers and faculty! What is more versatile than working with individuals with disabilities, addiction, and clinical mental health- our Rehabilitation Counseling is right for you!


The School Counseling Specialization is designed for individuals who seek to become elementary, middle, or secondary school counselors. This program meets the requirements for the K-12 California Pupil Personnel Services- School Counseling (PPS-SC) Credential. Students in this program are prepared to function as key members of an educational team seeking to optimize children’s academic, socio-emotional, and career development. Students obtain the expertise necessary to lead the educational team in working collaboratively with a broad range of education and human service professionals, paraprofessionals and community representatives to identify, develop, implement and evaluate programs that provide key services to both the individual child as well as the systems and subsystems in which the child interacts. The School Counseling Specialization is also designed to provide students with all the educational competencies required by the California State Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) for licensure as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC).

Graduates are eligible to receive the Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential for School Counseling, awarded by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC). (CCTC). The PPS Credential allows individuals to work in k-12 public school settings as a school counselor. School counselors provide personal, social, academic, and career counseling to children and adolescents, as well as consult with teachers and parents/guardians. School counselors provide individual, small group, and large group counseling services to students; classroom guidance instruction; trainings and consultations for teachers and staff; and consultation services for parents/guardians. Graduates of this program are also eligible to become Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC) after earning 3,000 post-degree hours of supervised counseling experience. Students who graduate from this program are also prepared to work in community college and university academic advising centers.


  • To prepare counselors to work effectively with teachers, administrators, school staff, parents and community members.
  • To prepare counselors to work in collaboration with community agencies that serve children, youth, and families.