Department of
Counselor Education


School Counseling Program


Program Overview

Our curriculum is designed for individuals wanting to make a positive difference in the lives of children and adolescents. Since 1947, the university has prepared more school counselors than any other Kansas college or University.

Our program is designed to meet the needs of full-time students and working professionals with about half (22 of 48 hours) of these courses offered online. Candidates may complete the program through the ESU campus in Emporia or at ESU-KC in Overland Park, Kansas. (Find out more about the School Counseling program through ESU-KC.)


There are three ways to enter the school counseling program:

  1. People who hold a teaching certificate and have two years of teaching experience in order to meet school counselor licensure requirements in Kansas.
  2. People who have degrees in counseling related fields can enroll in the Alternative Route to Restricted Licensure program.
  3. Through Parallel Pathways, an initiative developed in 2009 by the Kansas State Department of Education to license additional School Counselors to serve in high need areas of Kansas. 



The School Counseling Program is regionally accredited by the North Central Association. In addition, it is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, the Kansas State Department of Education, and has been accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) since 1997.



To become eligible for licensure as a school counselor (PreK-12) in Kansas, candidates must complete a master of science degree in school counseling and have a Kansas professional teaching license.  To be issued an Initial School Specialist  license for school counseling by the Kansas State Department of Education candidates must achieve a Kansas passing score on the state required PRAXIS examination.  Application for the Kansas license is made through Emporia State University upon completion of the MS degree and passing the PRAXIS exam.  Although Kansas school counselor licensure is reciprocal with most states, it is highly recommended and very beneficial for prospective students and candidates to check on specific requirements for the state in which they plan to work.


Admission Requirements*

  1. Complete Graduate School Application.
  2. Complete Department of Counselor Education Graduate Student Application.
  3. Complete Confidentiality Form.
  4. Three department Reference Forms. If you are employed, a reference from your current or recent employer/supervisor is desired.
  5. Undergraduate (3.0) and/or graduate (3.0) grade-point averages.
  6. Personal interview with program faculty.

*The department reserves the right to waive some admission requirements for students with special needs.


Admission Deadlines

Completed admission materials must be received by the following deadlines and you need to be available for an interview within the specified date range.

To start courses in... Deadline for all admission materials Interview date
Summer February 10 End of February / Beginning of March
Fall July 1 End of July / Beginning of August
Spring September 15 End of September / Beginning of October


Degree Requirements

Degree Candidacy Requirements

Candidacy is the formal approval for pursuit of the master's degree after it is determined that all specified criteria have been met. Upon completion of six to twelve hours, students should make application for Degree Candidacy through their advisor. Requirements for degree candidacy are as follows:

  • Degree plan filed through student's advisor.
  • Maintain a B average with no grade lower than B in core courses.

In order to receive a master of science degree from this program the student must accomplish the following:

  1. Review the online orientation and satisfactorily complete the Orientation Quiz.
  2. Complete an approved program of study as developed and approved by your faculty advisor.
  3. Apply for degree candidacy.
  4. Pass a written comprehensive examination during the semester or summer in which on graduates, (Sign up in the department office during last enrollment before graduation.)
    Complete a masters level thesis.
  5. Complete an Intent to Graduate form.


Contact Us

For more information, please call 620-341-5220 or email