Sonoma State University

| Staff Writers

Counseling and Psychology Degrees at SSU

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

Since 1960, the School of Social Sciences has conferred a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in Stevenson Hall for Sonoma State University undergrads to learn the roots of behavior from a humanistic standpoint. Chaired by Dr. Elisa Velasquez-Andrade, the 44-unit general major integrates courses like Persons in Society, Biofeedback, Gestalt Process, and Peak Performance with a 24:1 student-professor ratio. Around 80 students secure internship placements, such as Canyon Manor, Greenacre Homes, Positive Images, The Swain Center, and United Cerebral Palsy, yearly. Majors might also investigate in the Bengson Lab Group, study abroad in Tuscany, join Psi Chi, volunteer with Boys & Girls Club, and minor in Queer Studies. Some continue for the M.A. in Depth Psychology that centers its 36-unit, evening curriculum on Carl Jung’s influential theories with thesis research.

In Nichols Hall, Sonoma State University launched an accredited Master of Arts in Counseling in 2013 to train competent therapists who dismantle oppression by bolstering individual well-being. Coordinated by Dr. Adam Zagelbaum, the 60-unit, justice-oriented program takes 24 to 36 months in two distinct tracks. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling option fulfills California’s PCC licensure by advancing disorder diagnosis skills. The School Counseling option leads to the Pupil Personnel Services credential for ethical K-12 intervention plans. Rohnert Park courses from Lifespan Development to Substance Dependence are applied with 600 field hours. Possible placements include the Child Parent Institute, Clausen House, Lake County Behavioral Health, Flowery Elementary, and Valley of the Moon. The 36-credit M.A. in Organization Development also admits cohorts of 15-20 potentially for IOP careers.

About Sonoma State University

Sonoma State University was founded in 1960 by the Legislature and chartered by Governor Pat Brown for elementary teacher’s preparation. The next year, an inaugural class of 250 began the one Bachelor of Arts option in Rohnert Park. By 1969, Sonoma State had relocated to its current 215-acre Wine Country campus and started master’s teaching. Budgeting $118.6 million yearly, SSU now educates 9,408 Seawolves, including Psychology and Counseling majors, from 29 nations. The West Coast’s only public, coed COPLAC member serves the Santa Rosa Metro for the 23-campus California State University system. Linked to 42,340 LinkedIn alumni, Sonoma State University has trained Andrew McGuire, Kevin Danaher, Carole Migden, Nancy Silverton, Dave Smeds, and more.

The U.S. News & World Report ranked Sonoma State the 57th best West college and 14th top public school. On Niche, SSU has America’s 95th best dorms, 132nd most liberal education, and 329th best Greek life. Forbes placed Sonoma State University 410th overall with the 188th most valuable tuition. Times Higher Education featured Sonoma among the top 800 universities. College Factual honored SSU for the country’s 310th best psychology program with the 272nd highest paid grads. PayScale positioned Sonoma State University 370th nationally for a median mid-career salary of $92,600. The Social Mobility Index named SSU the 43rd best opportunity for low-income students. In Washington Monthly, Sonoma State also had the 120th best graduation and 281st highest Ph.D. rates.

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Sonoma State University Accreditation Details

In February 2018, Sonoma State University underwent a satisfactory evaluation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission to retain the Level III accreditation for 10 more years under its seventh president, Dr. Judy Sakaki. Located just 90 minutes south in Burlingame, this Pacific accreditor is authorized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) to check the quality of SSU’s 46 baccalaureate and 15 master’s degrees from Napa to Vallejo. The Master of Arts in Counseling is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) through October 2022. Sonoma State is approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) for school counselors too.

Sonoma State University Application Requirements

Getting into Sonoma State University is deemed “moderately difficult” by Peterson’s because 76 percent of the Fall 2016 applications were accepted. First-year Seawolves eyeing the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology must fulfill a 15-unit high school curriculum. The freshman eligibility index times GPA by 800 and adds just the SAT score or the ACT score times 10. Californians need index scores of 2950 or 694 respectively. Non-residents are held to a minimum 3502 or 842 score. Only upper-division transfers with 60 units graded “C-” or greater are considered. Either Master of Arts requires an accredited bachelor’s and cumulative GPA over 3.0. The Depth Psychology M.A. mandates nine prerequisite credits in psychology. CMHC majors need an Abnormal Psychology and Personality Theory course. Budding school counselors should also have at least one year of K-12 experience.

Sonoma State University has an undergrad Fall application period from October 1st to December 18th. The Master of Arts in Counseling enforces a January 5th deadline. Post-grads must apply by March 30th for the M.A. in Depth Psychology. Use the Cal State Apply website to file corresponding applications online. Hard copies could also be mailed to 1801 East Cotati Avenue in Rohnert Park, CA 94928. Please pose further inquiries to (707) 664-2880 or admissions@sonoma.edu. Interested human services majors generally need these:

  • $55 application fee (or NACAC waiver)
  • Official mid-year and final transcripts
  • Standardized testing score reports
  • Two or three letters of recommendation
  • Four-page narrative reflection essay
  • Resume or CV of accomplishments
  • Educator credentialing exams if applicable

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2018-19, Sonoma State University is billing B.A. in Psychology majors from California $3,899 full-time and $2,693 part-time each semester. Non-residents pay an extra $396 per unit. The Western Undergraduate Exchange is discounted to $5,335 per term though. These figures include the $124 Associated Students fee, $250 instruction fee, and $409 union fee. Living at the Rohnert Park campus’ dorms like Sauvignon Village adds $13,554 yearly. Annual bachelor’s attendance equals $26,034 in-state and $37,914 out-of-state. The Master of Arts programs charge Californians $4,616 full-time or $3,100 part-time each term. Non-resident graduates also add $396 per unit taken.

According to the NCES College Navigator, 55 percent of full-time SSU Seawolves cash in average financial aid packages worth $7,443 apiece for $35.28 million total. Institutional funds include the University Scholarship, CSU Future Scholars Award, Athletic Talent Award, Chicana/Latina Scholarship, Richard Rodriguez Social Justice Action Award, Alden Hanson Spirit of Our Times Award, and EXCEL for Youth Scholarship. The Barry Godolphin Student Research Assistantship pays B.A. in Psychology majors $10/hour. Completing the FAFSA form with code 001156 could qualify for Federal Work-Study. Financially needy undergrads receive up to $10,095 from the Federal Pell Grant and FSEOG Grant. Golden State natives may claim the Cal Grant, State University Grant, and Middle Class Scholarship. AB 540 students can file the Dream Act application for awards like the Board of Governors Fee Waiver. Money magazine also reports average Sonoma debt of $14,000 from Perkins, Stafford, Plus, and alternative loans.

Learn more about Sonoma State University on the Psychology Department website.

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