Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

Degree requirements are established by the faculty on recommendation from the School of Education, the Director of Graduate Study, and the Academic Standards Committee. All counseling tracks require a minimum of eight (8) units of graduate credit with the standard course of study being twelve (12) units of graduate credit, which must be taken for letter grades. No P/F grades are permitted unless a course is mandatory P/F. Unless otherwise noted in the course description, courses are valued at 1 unit each. A unit of credit is equivalent to 4 semester hours or 6 quarter hours. Up to two (2) units of independent study may be applied toward the degree.

Up to three (3) units (totaling 18 quarter hours maximum) of transfer graduate credit may be accepted. A maximum of two (2) units of graduate credit, including all credit from Puget Sound and other institutions, may be applied toward a degree at the time candidacy is granted. Credit for any academic work taken prior to candidacy must be requested at the time of application. Transfer credits accepted toward the degree will be noted in the letter granting degree candidacy.

Graduate degrees are based on integrated programs of study and are earned by evidence of subject mastery, not by the accumulation of credits. Programs of study are planned in consultation with an advisor and may not be changed without approval from the School of Education. Graduate courses are labeled at the 600 level. Subject to the approval of the School of Education, up to two (2) units (totaling 12 quarter hours maximum) at the 500 level may be applied toward the graduate degree, except classes numbered 508.

Under normal circumstances, all graduate credit will be earned in residence. Credits may be accepted in transfer at the time of admission when those credits would have applied toward an advanced degree at the institution of original registration. Correspondence course credits will not be accepted.

Subject to School of Education approval, a degree candidate may take graduate courses outside the primary field of study and, on occasion, undergraduate courses numbered 300 or above may be included in the graduate program. No 100- or 200-level courses may be applied toward a graduate degree; however, such courses may be required as prerequisites for a graduate program.

Academic Standing

No more than two courses with C grades, or a maximum of two (2) units of C grades, may be counted toward a degree, subject to School approval. Grades of D and F are not used in meeting graduate degree requirements but are computed in the cumulative grade average.

A candidate falling below a 3.0 grade average or receiving a grade lower than C may be removed from candidacy or be placed on probation. When candidacy is removed for any reason, the student may not register for additional degree work without the prior approval of the Academic Standards Committee.

Students who violate the ethical standards observed by the academic and professional community may be removed from candidacy. Such standards are delineated in the codes of the American Counseling Association, and chapter 181-87 of the Washington Administrative Code.

Degree Completion

Once degree candidacy has been granted, a student is expected to complete all degree requirements within six (6) years. All courses to be counted in the degree, including graduate transfer credit, must be taken within the six-year period prior to granting the degree; hence, courses may go out of date even though candidacy is still valid.

The graduate program includes both foundational, or core, requirements as well as requirements that are particular to an area of study.


Program Goals: The intent of the program is to prepare counselors who can be successful in a variety of settings. Specifically the School seeks to prepare counselors who

  1. promote counselee growth and development by intervening in multiple contexts with individuals, groups, families, and organizations;
  2. understand and can apply multiple theories of counseling and human development to promote positive change
  3. use multiple sources of information, including data and other evidence, codes of ethics, and relevant laws and policies, to promote counselee growth, inform their own practice, and advance the profession;
  4. work effectively and collaboratively with all stakeholders.

Core requirements

  • 601 Program Evaluation and Assessment (1 unit)
  • 631 Developmental Counseling (0.5 unit)
  • 632 Introduction to Counseling and Interpersonal Communication (0.5 unit)
  • 633 Humanistic Therapies (1 unit)
  • 634 Cognitive Behavior Therapy (1 unit)
  • 636 Group Leadership and Practicum (1 unit)
  • 637 Tests and Measurements in Counseling (1 unit)
  • 645 Psychopathology (1 unit)
  • 647/648 Practicum/Internship in Counseling (2 units)
  • 650 Final Evaluation Seminar (0.5 unit)

School Counseling Track Area Requirements

  • 603 Leadership and School Transformation (0.5 unit)
  • 630 School Counseling (0.5 unit)
  • Electives (1.5 unit)

Mental Health Counseling Track Area Requirements

  • 635 Relationship and Family Counseling (1 unit)
  • Electives (1.5 unit)

Candidates for Certification Only

Candidates who already hold master's degrees and who are applying for counselor certification only are advised to seek admission and develop a program with an advisor as soon as possible. Under no circumstances should such students take more than one unit of coursework prior to being admitted to the certification program. Candidates for certification must meet all admission requirements for degree candidacy.