How do I know if I'm ready for Graduate School? Admission to the program is by application to the Oregon State University Graduate School. Admission requirements for the Oregon State University Graduate School may be found at the admissions website.

Prepare for Graduate School


Note: International Students are not eligible for participation in this program.  Due to the program's part-time status, international students are unable to obtain an appropriate educational visa.  International students are eligible to apply to the full-time Master in Counseling in School Counseling at OSU-Cascades.

Candidates will complete the following to apply for admission:

Application materials required:

  • Transcripts

  • Resume

  • Application questions 

  • 3 letters of reference:  It is recommended that these letters come from supervisors who have watched you work with children, adolescents, families and who can attest to your potential for working as a school counselor.



The minimal prerequisite is a baccalaureate degree. Academic background, personal and emotional suitability, volunteer or paid experience in the helping professions, and the educational and professional goals of each candidate are evaluated before admission is granted. Screening includes, but is not limited to, a cumulative minimum GPA of 3.0 at the undergraduate level (with 2.5-2.9 also considered), three letters of recommendation, and responses to the application questions. Face-to-face group interviews conducted via a virtual meeting platform are required for those applicants who meet the initial application criteria.  

See below for detailed guidelines regarding each required component:

Official transcripts:

Submit official transcripts (including school stamp/seal) from all post-secondary institutions attended, for example, community and undergraduate colleges, and graduate schools, if applicable.


For additional support writing a resume or CV, please visit OSU’s Career Education page on this topic.

Prepare a current curriculum vitae (CV) or résumé detailing your relevant experience, in the following order:

  • Educational experience

  • Work experience

  • Volunteer experience

  • Diversity/social justice experience (e.g., cross-cultural immersion, advocacy &/or direct action, language proficiencies)

Application Questions:

You will be asked to answer the following questions. Each question is limited to 1,000 characters.

  • Why you are pursuing a Master's degree in School Counseling (as opposed to related degrees like a PhD or PsyD in Clinical Psychology, Master's degree in Social Work or Clinical Mental Health Counseling)?

  • What prompted you to do so at this point in your life?

  • What personal qualities, values and experiences make graduate study in counseling appropriate for you?

  • What experiences have shaped your beliefs about diversity, multiculturalism, social justice, and people's capacity for change?

  • Describe your areas of professional growth as a student and as a counselor trainee.

Letters of Recommendation:

Letters of recommendation may come from any three (3) professional references who can attest to your personal and professional qualities and your readiness for graduate study.

Ideal references can speak to your:

  • Academic ability and/or potential for graduate study

  • Experience in the helping professions (volunteer/employment)

  • Characteristics and dispositions appropriate to the helping professional

  • Encounters with individuals whose background or cultures differed from yours

References may include, but are not limited to, the following:  current or former employers or internship/volunteer supervisors, current or former faculty, mentors, or community members (e.g., religious or community leaders). Individuals who are not considered professional references include:  family members, personal therapists/counselors, current or former supervisees or clients. 

You will need to provide a name and email address for each of your references. When your application is processed, an email is sent from OSU to each reference asking that individual to submit a confidential electronic letter on your behalf. 

Important Note:  Please allow yourself, your references, and your former institutions ample time to submit your materials, to prevent any delays in processing or consideration of your application. 

If your application is missing any required materials (i.e., official transcripts, letters of recommendation), it is not considered complete. Applications still missing items by the submission deadline, for any reason, will NOT be considered.

Criteria for Admission:

Candidates are assessed on the basis of their fitness with the vision and mission of the University, the Graduate School, College of Education, and the Counseling Academic Unit. Consistent with CACREP’s (2016) standards, “admission decision recommendations are made by the academic unit’s selection committee and include consideration of each applicant’s (1) relevance of career goals, (2) aptitude for graduate-level study, (3) potential success in forming effective counseling relationships, and (4) respect for cultural differences.”

Criteria include: 

  • academic background, as evidenced by undergraduate GPA and references, 

  • alignment of professional goals and personal qualities with the counseling profession, as evidenced by your responses to the application questions and references, 

  • applicability of educational background to the counseling profession, as evidenced by transcripts, 

  • relevance of work/volunteer experience to the counseling profession, as evidenced by résumé and references, 

  • presence of, and investment in, cross-cultural experiences and social justice, as evidenced by responses to the application questions and references. 

Applicants selected by the admissions committee on the basis of their application materials will be required to attend a face-to-face group interview conducted via a virtual meeting platform, typically held in February or March. Applicants with specific questions regarding application materials or previous coursework may contact the Counseling Head Advisor.

Other Recommendations:

  • Arrange a visit with one or more school counselors at the level at which you intend to work.  If invited for an interview, you will be expected to describe your understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a school counselor at that level. 

  • If possible, attend the Oregon School Counselor Association Conference held the second Friday in October every year.  This is an excellent opportunity for you to meet school counselors and attend workshops about issues of concern to the profession. 

  • Spend time on the web, learning about the school counseling profession and some of the issues of primary concern to the profession.  You will be expected in your application interview – if selected for one – to address your understanding of those issues and your desire to become an agent of change in addressing those issues. 

Be sure you understand that this program is a part-time program that takes three years to complete. Also, know that our student population tends to have more work experience and life experience.  As of September of 2019, we have admitted 106 students with 100% of students seeking a position finding one before or immediately after program completion.

Matriculation Requirements:

All admitted students to the OSU Ecampus Counseling program must (a) verify they accept the offer of admission, (b) sign a Memorandum of Agreement to secure their matriculation to the program. Any student with a GPA of less than 3.0 is admitted on a conditional basis per OSU Graduate School guidelines. These students must maintain a 3.0 GPA during their first 18 credits of study. (c) Newly admitted students must pay a $350 matriculation fee, (d) and attend a new student orientation. 



Contact Misty De Lei, Counseling Program Lead

[email protected]