The counseling program in the Department of Educational Psychology offers two distinct concentration areas:

  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • School Counseling

Given UWM’s location in the largest urban area in Wisconsin, the counseling faculty is committed to training multiculturally competent community counselors and school counselors to serve clients in urban environments. Both concentrations share a core preparation in the areas of counseling and educational psychology. As students make progress in their program of studies, their focus will take on a more specialized training with content specific courses and field placements where they will refine their counseling skills in practical settings.

The concentrations train counselors to work with a diverse group of clients in urban settings and to deliver services in an ethical manner, as outlined by professional codes of conduct. They share in common courses comprising an Educational Psychology core of studies, a general Counseling core of studies, and a Concentration core. The Educational Psychology core provides knowledge for understanding research and professional scholarship, techniques of educational and psychological measurement, and typical human growth and development across the life-span. The Counseling core courses provide training in basic helping processes and relationships, career development, social and diversity issues in counseling, group work, appraisal of client issues, counseling theory, and the role of family systems. The Concentration core provides training in advanced strategies for helping clients change, and opportunities for increasing competency with specific populations through field placement. Supervised Practicum I and II in Counseling involve the refinement of more advanced and sophisticated counseling skills in placements in actual counseling settings. Students are required to spend 20 hours each week during the semester at their placement site. This concentration requires 48 credits.

The School Counseling concentration prepares students to work as school counselors. The program is approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Students are trained to apply the principles of learning, human development, counseling, and research and measurement within the schools. Preparation is designed to enable students to deliver school counseling programs and services to schools and the community. Students arrange their program of studies in consultation with their advisors so that the 48 credits earned toward a master’s degree also will satisfy Wisconsin State Certification requirements. Certification is available as a K-12 School Counselor.

The School Counseling Certification program is for students who already possess a master’s degree. Certification students are admitted to the school counseling certification and enroll as non-degree candidates. They need to meet the requirements for school counselor certification, which are generally fewer than the credits required for the MS. Final selection of courses is determined by consultation with an advisor. Certification is available as a K-12 School Counselor. The requirements for this certification program meet the certification standards of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Admission Requirements 

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary by program, please review the application deadline chart for specific programs. Other important dates and deadlines can be found by using the One Stop calendars.


Before applying please see the Educational Psychology Website for department-specific application requirements.


An applicant must meet Graduate School requirements plus these departmental requirements to be considered for admission to the program:

  1. An undergraduate GPA of 3.00.
  2. Applicants may be admitted with specific program-defined course deficiencies provided that the deficiencies amount to no more than two courses. The student is expected to satisfy deficiency requirements within three enrolled semesters. No course credits earned in making up deficiencies may be counted as program credits required for the degree.
  3. Initial advisor assignment will be made by the area chair of the concentration to which the applicant has applied.
  4. For the concentrations in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, and School Psychology: a resume or curriculum vitae.
  5. Completion of the reason statement in the application.

Admission - School Counseling Concentration

Admission to the master's concentrations in counseling takes place in the fall. The Department of Educational Psychology deadline for receipt of completed applications is February 15.

If you are interested in applying to one of the master’s concentrations in counseling, please see the Educational Psychology Website for more information. A student handbook containing detailed information on each program is available online; it can be accessed by clicking on the specific program of interest in the left-hand navigation bar. For further questions not addressed on the website, contact the Department of Educational Psychology at

Students who seek admission to the Clinical Mental Health or School Counseling concentrations within the counseling area must apply through the Graduate School for admission to the Department of Educational Psychology. Please note that Graduate School deadlines are earlier because they receive, evaluate, and send completed graduate school applications to the Department. Upon admission, the student is assigned to a faculty member of the Department of Educational Psychology-Counseling Area who shall serve as the student's advisor.

The Counseling Area follows the admissions requirements of the Graduate School and the Department of Educational Psychology.

  • 48 credits are required for the School Counseling concentration.
  • 60 credits are required for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling concentration.

Credits and Courses

Educational Psychology Core
ED PSY 624Educational Statistical Methods I3
ED PSY 640Human Development: Theory and Research3
ED PSY 720Techniques of Educational and Psychological Measurement3
Counseling Core
COUNS 710Counseling: Theory and Issues3
COUNS 711Foundations in Career Development3
COUNS 714Essentials of Counseling Practice3
COUNS 715Multicultural Counseling3
COUNS 774Trauma Counseling I: Theory and Research3
COUNS 800Group Counseling Theory3
COUNS 904Family Systems Theory, Research, and Practice3
School Counseling
COUNS 602Introduction to School Counseling3
COUNS 764Supervised Practicum 1 in School Counseling3
COUNS 810Counseling in the Schools3
COUNS 816Counseling Children and Adolescents3
COUNS 968Supervised Practicum 2 in School Counseling3
Select 3 elective credits 13
Total Credits48

EXCEDUC 600, is required for non-teachers in place of the elective.

In addition to the courses listed above, students must complete a comprehensive examination, a master’s paper, or a thesis (no more than three thesis credits to apply towards the degree).

Additional Requirements

Major Professor as Advisor

The student must have a major professor to advise and supervise the student’s studies as specified in Graduate School regulations. A student who is not assigned to an advisor at time of admission should immediately contact the Department Chair.


Optional. Up to 6 degree credits may be awarded for thesis research.

Comprehensive Examination

The student who writes a thesis must pass a final oral examination in defense of that thesis. The student who does not write a thesis must pass a final oral or written comprehensive examination.

Time Limit

The student must complete all degree requirements within five years of initial enrollment.