Why Study School Counseling?

Graduate | Education | CEBAH

UWRF's graduate-level counseling program prepares students to work as professional counselors in diverse PK-16 school settings. Upon graduation, students will have a Master of Science in Education, a wide breadth of hands-on experience and an array of skills and tools needed to succeed in their careers. The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). 

Application Deadlines: October 1 (spring semester start) or February 1 (fall semester start)

Who is this program designed for?

  • Individuals from all professional backgrounds interested in preparing for employment as a counselor in a school setting
  • Working adults

Follow us on social media! 


Interested in becoming a school counselor? Please join us for one of the upcoming events:

  • On-Campus Open House - Wednesday, Nov. 15, 5:30-7 p.m., No RSVP required, just drop in!
    • Who: For anyone considering an educational profession in school counseling or school psychology.
    • What: This casual, in-person open house opportunity is a great opportunity to learn more about our programs and meet faculty and current students!
    • Where: On the beautiful campus of UWRF, just 35 minutes east of St. Paul. The open house will be held in the Wyman Education Building (WEB), room 119/120.
    • Parking: Free parking is available in local neighbors or park in metered pay lots close by on campus.


Program Details

  • Accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
  • Prepares students to work as school counselors at all levels (PK-16).
  • Flexible degree plans based on diverse graduate student needs.
  • Evening courses offered fall and spring with electives in summer and winter terms.
  • Approachable and available faculty members.
  • Field placement opportunities in urban, suburban, rural, charter, private and online school settings

Check out our 2022-2023 program highlights, featured in Accomplishments Magazine, the official publication of UWRF's school counseling program.

Application Material Required

Submission Method Required

START HERE: Online application form (and $56 application fee)

Complete the UW System online application to access your applicant portal where you will submit your application materials.

You do not need to complete the campus statement on the UW System application.


Upload your resume to your student portal.

The Counseling Letter of Interest

The Counseling Letter of Interest can be found in your applicant portal. Complete and submit the form directly in the portal.

  • Be specific. Focus your response to the question at hand.
  • Proofread or have someone you know proofread for errors and clarity.
  • Focus on why you want to become a school counselor and why you hope to study at UWRF.

Three letters of recommendation

References can be added in your applicant portal. Once you submit the names of your references in your applicant portal, they will be emailed directly with a request to submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf.

  • NO official ranking form, checklist or waiver for letters of recommendation.
  • Good letter writers are those who can speak objectively to your potential - professors, work supervisors or colleagues.
  • Speak with letter writers ahead of time about why you want to become a school counselor and why you want to study at UWRF.
  • We look for evidence of academic skills and/or skills in working with people.
  • We want to read about specific reasons you would be a good fit for this profession and this program.

If you choose not to use the letters of recommendation system, please contact Graduate Admissions at graduateadmissions@uwrf.edu or 715-425-3500.

Official transcripts from your undergraduate degree granting institution (required) and any graduate schools attended (if applicable)

Please send electronic transcripts. Most universities use either Parchment or the National Student Clearinghouse services. Visit your college's website to see which one they use. When ordering a transcript, select the University of Wisconsin-River Falls as the recipient.

OPTIONAL: Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are not required but will be considered if official results are submitted.

GRE scores (optional) can be submitted electronically or mailed to:

University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Graduate Admissions
410 S. 3rd St.
103 Rodli Hall
River Falls, WI 54022

To check the status of your application, call Graduate Admissions at 715-425-3500.

The counseling program meets state standards for certification. It also adheres to the profession's accepted and established practices for training school counselors. Visit the Counseling and School Psychology Department webpage for more information.

Required Courses, 60 credits:

Core courses, 28 credits:
COUN 610 Introduction to School Counseling, 3 cr.
COUN 612 Lifespan Human Development, 3 cr.
COUN 614 Counseling Practicum, 4 cr.
COUN 615 Cultural and Ethical Foundations of Counseling, 3 cr.
COUN 620 Career Counseling, 3 cr.
SPSY 622 Behavioral Assessment and Intervention, 3 cr.
COUN 732 Group Counseling, 3 cr.
COUN 753 Counseling Theory and Skills, 3 cr.
COUN 770 Comprehensive School Counseling Programming, 3 cr.

Required classes, 20 credits:
SPSY 795 Research and Program Evaluation, 3 cr. 
COUN 798 Independent Study, 2 cr.
SPED 530 Exceptional Child, 3 cr.
COUN 771 Internship: Elementary School Counseling, 4 cr.
COUN 772 Internship: Middle School Counseling, 4 cr.
COUN 773 Internship: High School Counseling, 4 cr.

Before finalizing Internship plans, the student must pass a written examination based upon the content of all of the core course.

Directed elective courses, 12 credits:
Track A: Substance Use Disorder, 6 credits
Track B: Higher Education Administration, 6 credits
Additional electives to be selected in consultation with an adviser.

Students will also present a portfolio indicating knowledge and application of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Standards for Professional School Counselors. Completion of the internship and of the master's program is dependent upon approval of the portfolio by the program faculty and the practicum supervisors in the field.

The 2022 CACREP Outcomes Report for our school counseling program shows that (A) 26 students graduated from the program during the 2021-2022 academic year. Overall, 88% of students since 2015 have completed the program within the maximum time period of seven years. (B) Of the students who chose to take the exam in the past year, 100% passed the Praxis Exam (Praxis II exam is not required for licensure in Wisconsin or Minnesota). (C) Data from 2021-2022 reveals that of our graduates seeking school counseling employment, 100% obtained positions as school counselors. (D) Over the last five years, 96.6% of our graduates have obtained school counseling positions when seeking such positions.

Learn more about our programs and outcomes here

CACREP accreditation blurb

You've got questions, we've got answers! We've compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help guide you. If you've got additional questions, don't hesitate to reach out via email or by phone at 715-425-3237.

Frequently Asked Questions

Photo of Hsakushee Zan, a woman wearing a red sweater with a white shirt. She has black hair in a bun on top of her head and is wearing black framed glasses.
River Falls has a great program for future school counselors. The program prepares many educators to become K-12 licensed school counselors and trains them very well in all academic levels. The courses are flexible for a working adult like myself. I have learned to work with clients and gained counseling skills. The school counseling program at UWRF has allowed me to be licensed in different areas, especially in Minnesota schools.
Hsakushee Zan

School Counseling

caroline.baker@uwrf.edu // 715-425-3237

Your Degree:


Area of Study:


School Counseling Graduate

Skills and Learning Outcomes

  • Identify as professional school counselors through language and behaviors.
  • Implement and advocate for comprehensive school counseling programs.
  • Support student success by incorporating best practices through research, scholarly literature and technology.
  • Consultcollaborate and establish partnerships with stakeholders.
  • Apply ethical, developmental and cultural practices in school counseling.

Types of Courses

  • Behavioral Assessment and Intervention
  • Career Counseling
  • Comprehensive School Counseling Programming
  • Counseling Theory and Skills
  • Cultural and Ethical Foundations of Counseling
  • Exceptional Child
  • Group Counseling
  • Higher Education Administration
  • Lifespan Human Development
Group of Counseling graduate students sit at a round table putting together a puzzle