San Francisco State University

Updated November 30, 2022 · 3 Min Read

Learn more about the various counseling degree programs available at San Francisco State University. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Counseling and Psychology Degrees at San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University appears in our ranking of the Top 25 Most Affordable Master’s Degrees in Counseling in the West.

There are a number of counseling and psychology degrees offered at San Francisco State University (SF State) through the College of Science & Engineering and the College of Health & Social Sciences, respectively. Students may choose from a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a Master of Arts in Psychology or a Master of Science in Psychology. Counseling options include a Master of Science in Counseling, a Master of Science in Counseling with a concentration in marriage, family, and child counseling, or a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling.

The undergraduate degree in psychology includes 41 credit hours of major course requirements as well as general education requirements. Students will study topics such as psychological statistics, contemporary issues in psychology, and general psychology. Elective offerings cover areas, including cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, behavior problems of children, and adolescent psychology as well as cross-cultural psychology, family psychology, legal psychology, and an introduction to industrial/organizational psychology. Students may earn their bachelor’s degree in psychology within four years.

The Psychology Department offers two master’s degree programs, each with unique concentrations. The Master of Science in Psychology has concentrations in industrial/organizational, school, and clinical psychology, while the Master of Arts in Psychology has concentrations in social, developmental, and mind, brain, and behavioral psychology. Each program accepts eight to 12 applicants per year, and both programs are considered full-time programs. The School, I/O, and clinical concentrations require students to do internships or practicums which require time commitments that may prevent students from holding a part-time job.

All graduates pursuing an M.S. in Counseling, an M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling, or an M.S. in Counseling with a concentration in marriage, family, and child counseling are eligible to take the National Counselor Examination. There are four different specializations within the basic M.S. in Counseling degree: school, gerontological, college, and career. Although specific degree and coursework requirements will vary according to the individual specialization, all programs train students to become the next generation of counselor leaders. Graduate recognize that the liberation of all communities is only possible when a community-driven, participatory, intersectional approach to counseling is practiced.

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Students who wish to earn their license in marriage and family therapy will follow the curriculum for the M.S. in Counseling: Concentration in MFCC degree. In addition, students may also be eligible to take an emphasis in another area of counseling such as rehabilitation, gerontological, college, career, or school counseling. If accepted, additional fieldwork and courses will be required.

The counseling programs are grounded in the belief that counseling, as a field of practice, gives professionals the skills and knowledge they need to carry out social justice work via action-oriented research and scholarship, critical consciousness development, advocacy, and strengths-based wellness and healing. Students may not earn more than one specialization in a master’s degree in counseling. However, students may pursue one specialization and one area of emphasis. The Department of Counseling prepares CRMH, School, and MFT counseling students for three credentials respectively: CRC Credentialing (rehabilitation program), PPS Credentialing (school counseling program), and MFT license eligibility (marriage and family therapy program).

About San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University, also known as SFSU, San Francisco State, and SF State, is a public research university located in San Francisco, California. It is one of 23 institutions that belong to the California State University System, and the school offers more than 90 master’s degrees, 118 bachelor’s degrees, five doctoral degrees, and 26 teaching credentials throughout six academic colleges. Originally established in 1899 as a state-run normal school for training teachers, SF State became a state college in 1921 and a state university in 1972. The 141-acre campus is located in the southwest region of San Francisco, less than two miles from the Pacific coast. Notable alumni include actress Alex Borstein, actor and comedian Dana Carvey, actor Danny Glover, Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett, singer Johnny Mathis, and author Anne Rice.

San Francisco State University Accreditation Details

San Francisco State University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). In addition to institutional accreditation by the WASC, SF State also maintains specialized accreditation for 28 separate degree programs. The Master of Science in Counseling and the Master of Science in Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling degrees are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Both regional and specialized accreditation designations are important as they provide the public, current, and prospective students with a reassurance that the school has undergone and passed a rigorous peer-review process. By submitting to these evaluations, the university has affirmed that it has met, and is expected to continue to meet, the accrediting agency’s standards for high-quality programs, teaching methods, and student learning outcomes.

San Francisco State University Application Requirements

Students pursuing an undergraduate degree in psychology must complete an application, pay an application fee, and submit official transcripts from all previously attended institutions, including high school. Those seeking to earn a master’s degree in psychology must also complete an application, sign releases of information, and submit personal information such as academic history, a current resume, unofficial transcripts, a personal statement, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores, relevant experiences, and three letters of recommendation. The admission procedure for the Department of Counseling consists of completing two separate applications: a Department of Counseling application and a San Francisco State University Graduate Studies online application. Students must also pay a $25 application processing fee and hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited undergraduate institution. Applicants must provide their Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Analytical Writing Score and show evidence of a minimum 3.0 grade-point average for the last 60 units of coursework completed.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Undergraduate students will pay $2,423 per semester if they are taking six units or fewer, while those taking 6.1 units or more will pay $3,629 per semester for their tuition. Graduate students will pay $2,840 per semester if they are taking six units or fewer, while those taking 6.1 units or more will pay $4,346 for their tuition. Students seeking financial assistance to help them cover the cost of their degree must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). San Francisco State University offers a number of forms of financial aid to eligible students, including loans, grants, scholarships, graduate assistantships, work-study programs, and more.

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