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New Student Orientation and First Quarter Requirements

Please review the current Student Handbook prior to orientation. The Department of Counselor Education uses an electronic handbook which will be your basic guide to all aspects of the program.

New student orientation is normally held one week prior to the start of fall quarter and is a requirement of all new, incoming students.

To do before/during your first quarter in the Counselor Education Program:

  • Prerequisites
    • Qualified applications must be a graduate of an accredited college or university (BA, BS or BSW degree).
    • Prerequisite courses include:
      • One upper division undergraduate or graduate level psychopathology course, such as COUN 430/530: Introduction to Psychiatric Diagnoses, or PSY 434: Introduction to Psychopathology
      • A graduate level introduction to counseling course, such as COUN 541: Introduction to Counseling
    • We recommend that students complete the prerequisite courses prior to the program starting in fall term. The courses do not need to be completed to submit an application but many applicants find that these courses are helpful to understanding the field of professional counseling.
    • Admitted students who have not completed the prerequisites prior to admission notification will be required to complete both prerequisites at the graduate (500) level. COUN 541: Introduction to Counseling must be completed by fall quarter of their first year. COUN 530: Introduction to Psychiatric Diagnoses must be completed by winter quarter of their first year.
    • COUN 541 is offered fall, winter, spring, and summer terms, COUN 530 is offered winter and summer terms, and PSY 434 is offered at the discretion of the Psychology Department but typically offered every term. If you have taken a similar course at another university and would like to have counseling faculty review it as a possible substitution, please download and submit the Course Substitution Form
    • Background Check
      • All students will be required to undergo a criminal background check prior to beginning the program. More detailed information will be furnished after admission.
  • Create your Odin account, and set up yourPSU email account, through the Office of Information Technologies (OIT) User Support Services, before enrollment in your first term of classes. For further assistance you may contact them in any of the following ways:
    • By emailing
    • By phone 5-HELP (503-725-4357)
    • On a walk-in basis at Smith Memorial Student Union room 18
  • Please note: Use of your PSU email account is required for most correspondence with the university and program.
    • It is important to regularly check your account for notices that may only be communicated via your PSU email.
    • PSU email messages MUST be viewed through the webpage, as messages that are forwarded to another account often get lost.
  • Meet with your assigned advisor during fall term.
    • Clinical Mental Health; Rehabilitation; Marital, Couple and Family tracks: Discuss your program, goals and your choice of culminating activity: either written comprehensive examination, thesis, or project.
    • For School Counseling track: Discuss program and verify license requirements if you are combining a TSPC license with your degree. It may be advisable to draw up tentative degree and license programs at this time and your choice of culminating activity: either written comprehensive examination, thesis, or project.

Transferring Credits, MA vs. MS

  • If you have taken coursework at any other university and want to count it toward your PSU degree, including prerequisite coursework, ask your advisor for assistance in completing a GO-21 (Transfer of Credit) form. Upon completion of the GO-21 form, obtain your advisor's approval and then take it to the department in 204 GSE. NOTE: Courses graded P/NP may not be transferred.
    • You may request transfer of up to 24 graduate credits, providing a grade of B or better was earned, subject to approval by the Graduate School of Education and the Office of Graduate Studies.
  • Courses taken at PSU prior to admission count as transfer credits but need not be indicated on a GO-21. Please remember that no coursework more than seven years old at the time of graduation may be counted toward a master's degree.
  • You have been admitted to the MS degree in Counselor Education (the word education is because the program is in the Graduate School of Education). Demonstration of foreign language competency is the only difference between the MA and an MS degree.