M.Ed. in School Counseling

Students and Bell Tower

M.Ed. Program in School Counseling 

The 48 credit-hour program combines coursework from both the Department of Education and Psychology. Students completing this program will acquire knowledge, dispositions, and professional skills to function in school settings as licensed School Counselors, and will be trained within the Pragmatic Model. It is the goal of the Valparaiso University School Counseling Program to provide school counseling training in accordance with standards established by CACREP and the Indiana Department of Education's Division of Professional Standards.

Upon completion of all requirements within the 48-credit program, including coursework, program assessments, required professional tests, and standards-based portfolio (TaskStream), graduates will be eligible for apply for licensure as School Counselors in the State of Indiana.

The School Counseling program is designed for completion in two years and one summer. Practicum and internship field-training are essential components of the training sequence.  Courses are typically held during the evening hours, but field-training requirements must typically be met during hours in which elementary and secondary schools are in session.

To ensure that individual candidates are meeting programmatic goals, data will be collected at periodic checkpoints and reviewed by a designated committee.  All students admitted to the School Counseling program are responsible for obtaining a 2-year subscription to TaskStream and maintaining personal assessment data within the electronic portfolio.  The portfolio must be purchased by November 1 of the student's first year in the program.

Checkpoints are as follows:

  1. Admission (prior to admission to the program);
  2. Pre-practicum Review;
  3. Pre-internship Review;
  4. Pre-graduation/Pre-licensing Review.

Follow-up employment surveys will be completed within one year of graduation.

Evaluation of candidates' knowledge, skills, and dispositions will occur 1) through multiple methods of assessment (e.g., portfolios, scoring rubrics, field training, norm-referenced testing), 2) across settings (e.g., university classrooms and school site settings), and finally, 3) from perceptions of different raters/evaluators.

Individuals who have already completed graduate work within the past five years may transfer up to 21 credit hours of applicable coursework toward meeting the degree requirements. No more than nine of the 21 credits to be transferred can be at the 600-level. Transfer of credits is approved on a course-by-course basis by appropriate faculty in the Education or Psychology Department. Transfer credits must be congruent with the Valparaiso University degree requirements.

Early Entry Option for VU Undergraduate Students:

Early entry is an option for VU undergraduate students in any major who are willing to commit to the MEd/Ed.S. School Counseling program upon completion of their Bachelor’s degree. Benefits of the program include an early admission decision for graduate status and the opportunity to save credits and tuition by allowing graduate course work during the student’s senior undergraduate year.  

Students should have completed the necessary undergraduate hours in their major to graduate at completion of their senior year, must demonstrate a 3.3 cumulative grade point average, and have earned at least a B in introductory psychology, human development and statistics course work by conclusion of their Junior Fall semester. Students must submit the Early Entry application no later than March 1 of their Junior year.  For application information, please contact the Graduate School.

Adding School Counseling Licensure to CMHC or School Psychology:

Students who have completed degrees in CMHC or School Psychology may wish to continue their academic endeavors to include licensure in School Counseling.  These students will meet with the School Counseling Program Director for a review of transcript and apply as a non-degree seeking student in the Graduate School.  Those courses that are duplicated (with a B- or better) in either CMHC or School Psychology may be counted toward the non-degree program leading to potential licensure in Indiana.  All courses not duplicated must be taken for full credit in order to satisfy the Indiana Educator Content Standards for School Counselors.  Students moving toward licensure shall follow the same program stipulations for checkpoints and GPA.  In addition, all field work, content tests mandated by Indiana with passing scores, and any other State requirement must be completed before application for licensure.


Semester Course Title Credits    Total   

Fall Semester

Year 1

SCOUN 600 Intro to Student Services & Educational Systems 3
SCOUN 620 Human Development 3
SCOUN 660 Helping Relationships: Counseling Theories 3
SCOUN 540 Learning Exceptionalities 3 12

Spring Semester    

Year 1

SCOUN 662 Counseling Processes 3
SCOUN 682 Practicum in School Counseling 3
SCOUN 640 Professional Issues, Ethics & Law 3
SCOUN 610 Comprehensive/Evidence-Based School Counseling    3 12

Summer Session

Year 1

SCOUN 664 Career Counseling 3
SCOUN 671 Cultural Leadership in a Multicultural Society 3 6

Fall Semester

Year 2

SCOUN 570 Assessment in Counseling: Testing & Appraisal 3
SCOUN 650 Socialization and Development 3
SCOUN 683 School Counseling Internship 1 3 9

Spring Semester

Year 2

SCOUN 612 Decision Making in Education 3
SCOUN 668 Group Counseling 3
SCOUN 684 School Counseling Internship 2 3 9
Total Credits: 48


Criteria For Admission:

In addition to meeting the requirements for admission to The Graduate School, applicants should note the following requirements for both the M.Ed. and Ed.S. components of the program: 

  • Applicants are expected to have a background in psychology which includes one course in introductory psychology, one course in human growth and development, and one course on basic statistics. Applicants who do not meet these requirements may be admitted to the program on the condition that they complete these courses prior to their first semester at Valparaiso University.
  • Applicants' 250-350 word essay should relate graduate study to professional goals. The essay should include a self-assessment of experience and education that would qualify one for undertaking work in school counseling. This essay substitutes for the general essay required for admission to the Graduate School. 

Admission is offered only for the fall semester, with priority given to applications submitted by March 1. Preference is given to applicants who plan to complete the program through full-time coursework.

As part of the application process, students must provide:

  • Valparaiso University Graduate Application Application;
  • Official transcripts of all prior undergraduate and graduate coursework. If you have received an undergraduate or graduate degree from Valparaiso University, you are not required to submit an official transcript from Valparaiso University; 
  • Two letters of recommendation; 
  • Essay relating graduate study to professional goals. Two to four page reflective essay relating graduate study to professional goals and including a self-assessment of experience and education that qualifies the student for undertaking the School Counseling program;  
  • Application Fee: $30.

"The school counseling program here at VU offers comprehensive courses to enable the professional school counseling candidate an opportunity to see all aspects of the profession. These courses also allow one to understand the position and to be able to handle all of the situations thrown at them while in the field. The fieldwork was appropriate and applicable to every setting as we were placed in a rural, suburban, and urban setting at one point during the program. These things have helped the program develop into what it is today and have helped me develop into a professional school counseling candidate." - Ashley Busiel, current student

Financial Considerations:

Students may be surprised to discover the affordable tuition rate at Valparaiso University.  Please visit the Student Financial Services website for current tuition rates. Financial aid may be available for students taking 6 credits or more during fall and spring semesters.

Are you interested in learning more? 
Request more information from the Office of the Graduate School. 

Click here to apply online!