The School Counseling Certificate program is provided for students who already possess a master’s degree and need to meet the course requirements for certification as a K-12 School Counselor, as listed below. Courses can be waived if equivalent courses have already been completed, as determined by consultation with an advisor. The requirements for this certification program meet the certification standards of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. For more information on the School Counseling: Initial Educator: K-12, five-year license, please see the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Website.

In order to be eligible to receive an initial educator license as a school counselor, students will need to:

  1. Complete the coursework and practica in the requirements
  2. Pass the national Praxis II licensing examination

Other states have different licensing standards and if you are interested in being eligible for a different state you are strongly encouraged to contact that state’s Department of Public Instruction to ascertain whether additional requirements are necessary.

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.


In order to successfully complete the certification sequence, a student must be accepted into the School Counseling Post-Master’s Certificate Program. To be considered, applicants must have a graduate GPA of 3.0 or better, and must complete the Panthera Admission Application.


  • Students wishing to obtain this certificate must declare their intention by applying to the program office or director.
  • All graduate certificate applicants—even those already enrolled in a UWM graduate program—must apply to the Graduate School through the Panthera Admission Application.
  • Graduate degree and previously admitted graduate non-degree students who decide to pursue a certificate program must submit the Panthera application before completing 6 credits in the certificate sequence.
  • Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree and have a minimum 2.75 cumulative undergraduate grade point average to be admitted into a certificate program.

Credits and Courses

Students will need to complete the following sequence of courses from the Counseling Core and the School Core, or have equivalent previous coursework, as determined in consultation with an advisor.

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 Core
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
Total Credits36

Additional Requirements

Transfer Credit

No more than 20% of the required credits may be taken at an institution other than UWM. These courses are subject to Graduate School transfer policy and must be approved by the director of the certificate program.

Grade Point Average Requirement

A minimum cumulative 3.00 grade point average in certificate courses taken at UWM is required.

Articulation with Degree Programs

  1. Credits and courses required for a certificate may double count toward meeting UWM graduate degree requirements subject to the following restrictions:
    • Degree programs must approve the courses from certificates that can double count toward the degree.
    • All credits taken in completion of certificate requirements may count towards a UWM graduate degree as long as they do not contribute more than 90% of the total credits needed to obtain the degree. (Note: Students in PhD programs must still complete the minimum residency requirements)
    • Certificate courses used toward meeting degree requirements must be completed within the time limit for transfer credit.
  2. Courses completed for a degree may be counted toward a subsequent certificate, subject to all certificate policy requirements.
  3. A course may count toward no more than one certificate and one degree.
  4. Students may not earn a certificate subsequent to a concentration in the same area.

Time Limit

Certificate program time limits shall be established as follows:

  • 18 or fewer credits/Three years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.
  • 19 or more credits/Four years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.

For certificates that are designed as add-ons to degree programs and are awarded concurrent with the degree, the time limit shall be the same as that of the degree program.