College Counseling and Student Development

Other Information

Graduate Catalog: CPCFT

  • Admission requirements
  • Program details
  • Course descriptions

Application Deadlines

Department: Community Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy

Graduate Director:
Dr. Dan Macari

Program Overview

The Master of Science in College Counseling and Student Development (CCSD) at St. Cloud State University is committed to the preparation of counseling and student services professionals for work within the university setting. The purpose of the program is to provide a comprehensive view of college student services and to facilitate the development of skills essential for a student services professional within the world of higher education. The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP) with a student affairs concentration.  In addition, concepts and standards from the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) are woven into the CCSD program to offer students a unique opportunity to integrate counseling skills, student development theory, current research findings, and practical application to assist with the social, cognitive, and personal development of college students. Our faculty and student development staff bring a broad diversity of educational and experiential backgrounds to help our students gain an understanding of the nature of working as a counselor and student services professional.

Accreditation Specific to the Program

  • Council for Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) 


The graduate program in college counseling and student development prepares students for a variety of professions within higher education settings such as admissions, advising, residential life, career counseling and placement, financial aid, records and registration, international student services, multicultural and minority student services, student programming and activities, student leadership development, remedial and honors services, veteran's affairs, and other support services.

Employers include two-year and four-year colleges and universities. Graduates can choose between technical colleges, community colleges, private liberal arts colleges, comprehensive universities, land grant institutions and proprietary institutions.

Admission Information

  • Admission is competitive and selection is based on an evaluation of all factors.
  • For the best sequence of courses the program prefers students to start fall semester.  Apply by the March 1 priority deadline.
  • The program will also consider applicants for spring semester.
  • Strong candidates will be invited to interview.
  • Applicants will typically interview with two to three faculty members and students as well as other applicants in a group format.  Interviews are held in late February or early March for fall admission.
  • For specific interview dates and an appointment, contact the departmental secretary. If attendance at an interview is totally impractical, the graduate director may designate an alternate method. 
  • Applicants can enhance their chance for an admission offer by having all application materials in by the deadline and then demonstrating clear and compelling responses to the interview questions in the group interviews.
  • When considering applicants, careful attention is paid to academic background, scholarship, emotional maturity, interpersonal skills and commitment to the profession as demonstrated through application materials and interview responses.  Prior experience within student services is also a benefit.
  • Admission decisions are made after review of applications and the group interviews are completed. 
  • The majority of decisions are made following spring interviews, however, the program accepts applications continuously and will consider the candidate if space remains. 
  • Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Length of Program — Measured by Semesters

  • Part-time Student: eight semesters taking six credits per semester.
  • Full-time Student: four semesters taking 12 credits per semester.
  • Course work includes both day and evening classes.

Graduate Assistantship Overview

  • The number of graduate assistantship positions vary each year, and are available both fall and spring semesters.
  • Assistants will have the opportunity to work in a challenging environment within the CEEP department as well as within SCSU's Student Life and Development.

Thesis Versus Non-thesis Option (Plan A versus Plan B)

Before completing Proposed Program of Graduate Study blue forms for candidacy, students need to decide whether to follow Plan A or Plan B, thesis or non-thesis option, respectively. For those planning to pursue a doctoral degree in the future, conducting research and publishing a work should strongly be considered. Research can be done with either Plan A or Plan B. In addition, the number of credits outlined below represents minimum requirements. Requirements are subject to change.

Supervised Counseling Practicum

This four-credit practicum experience (CEEP 669) follows the pre-practicum core courses and will provide for the application of theories and techniques to counseling experience.

  • All full-time students are automatically placed in a counseling practicum.
  • Part-time student must apply in writing to the coordinator of CCSD for placement in a counseling practicum a minimum of seven months before beginning the practicum. Most part-time students apply one year in advance.
  • Late applicants might not be admitted. This may result in delayed internship and graduation.
  • Required liability insurance is included as part of the registration fee for the practicum.
  • Courses related to the graduate program in College Counseling and Student Development may be taken concurrently with the practicum or internship.

Supervised Internship

An internship handbook is distributed to students during the spring semester prior to their beginning their internship. The handbook provides the details of securing an internship site, and no student should proceed to set up an internship without first attending the internship orientation meeting held early in spring semester. The supervised internship will provide practical experience in a university setting (student life and development, academic advising, and University Program Board). Students should determine and investigate at least three possible internship sites. The selected sites must have final approval of the CCSD faculty. All CCSD students must complete a 600-hour internship. This is normally completed as a 20 hour per week experience for one academic year. CEEP 658, Multicultural Counseling should be completed prior to an internship.

All students must complete the following internship application requirements:

  1. Attend an internship orientation meeting usually scheduled for the end of January.
  2. Complete by February of the year prior to the internship, one copy of the Internship Application form. (See the department secretary in A253 Education Building, or call 320.308.3131.)
  3. Complete one copy of Proposed Program of Graduate Study (blue form) and have it signed by the advisor and the graduate dean. (See process for admission to candidacy below.)
  4. Submit a resume with application.
  5. Attach a list of learning objectives that may be translated into a formal contract at the beginning of the internship.
  6. All of the above materials are to be submitted to the coordinator of the CCSD program.

Internship sites are normally finalized during spring semester prior to beginning the internship the following fall semester. Required liability insurance is included as part of the registration fee for internship.

Students with full-time experience in a college student development setting may substitute some courses with consent of advisor. Departmental approval is given only for those courses in which the experienced student demonstrates the competencies encompassed in the courses for which substitution is requested.