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Graduate Counseling Programs

Counseling Programs Frequently Asked Questions

Admission

How is admission to the programs determined?
The Graduate Programs in Counseling at Hofstra University consider the whole person in making admission decisions. No one factor determines a student's admission. Program faculty look for individuals who are well-rounded students with strong undergraduate grades in the behavioral sciences, good performance on the GRE (when required), strong letters of support from relevant references, and a strong writing sample at the time of the personal interview. The personal interview is also considered a significant determinant in program admission. For admission requirements please refer back to the specified degree program of interest.
What can students do if they do not meet the academic requirements?
All cases are individually considered, therefore applicants in this situation should contact the program director for further advisement/consultation.
Which undergraduate courses will best prepare students for these programs?
Psychology and behavioral sciences courses are strongly recommended in order to best prepare students for the programs. The Counseling, MSED program requires 9 credits of prerequisites, while the Mental Health Counseling, MA requires 18 credits of prerequisites. All prerequisite courses should be completed before beginning the programs.
Are all prerequisite courses expected to be completed before applying to the programs?
Students may apply while in the process of finishing up the prerequisite courses. All prerequisite courses should be completed before beginning the programs. It is expected that all prerequisite course work will demonstrate competency on the part of the student; therefore, grades below B- will require review.
Can students transfer credits from another university?
Up to 12 s.h. of equivalent coursework can be transferred toward program coursework upon discretion of the program director.
Is prior teaching experience required for admission into the program for the school counseling track?
Teaching experience is not a requirement for admission into the program but of course such experience (even on volunteer or parallel basis) is considered relevant/helpful when applying for school counseling positions.

Program

How long does it typically take to complete the programs?
Full-time students can complete the Counseling, MSED program in two years; there are five sequence courses that anchor the curriculum, which means that each sequence course must be completed before beginning the next course. Full-time students can complete the Mental Health Counseling, MA program in 2.5 to 3 years (including internships); there is a more flexible curriculum course sequence that is guided by established course prerequisites.
How many credits are required for full-time status?
A total of nine (9) credits per semester is considered full-time graduate study at Hofstra.
Is it possible to fulfill the program requirements part-time?
Yes, many of our working students pursue their graduate studies part-time under advisement. The only stipulation is that the program requirements must be completed within five years.
Can students begin the programs in the summer session?
No, students in the Counseling, MSED and Mental Health Counseling, MA can only begin the programs in the fall and spring semesters.
When are classes usually scheduled?
Classes are typically scheduled in the evenings. Almost all Counseling Program courses are offered after 4:30 p.m.; with a majority scheduled after 6:30 p.m. Summer and Winter class schedules may vary and can include weekend hours as well.
What is the procedure for becoming NYS provisionally certified as a school counselor?
Students must master competency in the graduate curriculum as determined by program faculty and field supervisors at the completion of their field internship in order to provide evidence that they are ready to assume the responsibilities of a school counselor. At this point, students are qualified to file for provisional certification through the Hofstra University Certification Office. After working as a full-time school counselor for two years, graduates qualify for permanent certification but must apply through Hofstra's Certification Office. It is important to note that as graduates of one of the few programs in New York State holding approved status, MSED in Counseling graduates qualify for permanent certification in school counseling without having to take additional graduate course work beyond the 42 credit master's program. Two years of experience in school counseling is the only post-graduate requisite.  The Hofstra University Certification Office is located in Hagedorn Hall, Room 223, and can be contacted at (516) 463-5747.
Is there a Thesis or a Comprehensive Exam that must be taken to qualify for graduation?
There is no thesis requirement for graduation for both programs. However, passing a comprehensive exam is required for graduation. The comprehensive exam assesses students' mastery of the knowledge-base. The exam is taken in the students' last semester and is offered in the fall and spring semesters. If a student fails this exam, he/she may take the exam again at its next offering.
Can students work full time while in the program?
The class schedules permit students to work full or part-time during the day hours, as courses are primarily offered in the evening. Most internships, however, will require a day schedule.
What is the cost per credit at Hofstra for graduate courses?
The rates for graduate courses per credit may change on a yearly basis. Visit the Bursar site for up to date information.
Are there scholarships that students can apply for?
Graduate applications are automatically reviewed for merit-based scholarships by the program director. Those students interested in applying for other forms of financial aid, such as loans and work-study, should contact Student Financial Services at 516-463-8000.
Are there graduate assistant opportunities at Hofstra?
The Office of Student Employment provides on-campus employment programs for matriculated students throughout their years at the University. Assistantships usually require a commitment of 20 hours per week on an academic year contract. Compensation takes the form of tuition remission and, in some cases, a cash stipend varying from department to department.

Internship

What kind of field internship is required?
Counseling, MSED placements are determined by the student’s specialization track. Those students in the school counseling tack must complete a supervised full experience in an approved K-12 school setting. College student development counseling students are assisted in finding internship placements in various college student affair/university settings. Mental Health Counseling, MA internships take place in an approved mental health setting. Interns are expected to perform the duties and responsibilities of a counseling practitioner as carried out in that site. Students pursuing the CASAC in either program must complete their internship in an OASAS-affiliated internship site.
How many internship hours are required?
Counseling, MSED students are required to complete a minimum of 200 internship hours in an approved supervised internship setting. This typically entails two full days per week in a field placement, if completed in one semester. Internships may also be conducted over two (2) semesters. Mental Health Counseling, MA students are required to complete a minimum of 600 internship hours over the course of two semesters in a mental health setting. The opportunity for a third semester of clinical internship (another 300 hours) can be taken by mental health counseling students in lieu of an elective under advisement. Students who complete the additional certification option in CASAC (Certificate in Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling) as part of their graduate degree program of study will be credited with 4,000 of the 6,000 total hours required for full CASAC certification.
Does Hofstra help with placement for internships?
Counseling, MSED students receive guidance from their adviser on appropriate placement sites. However, students can suggest a site to the program director for potential placement upon evaluation of that site. Mental Health Counseling, MA students are advised into one of the pre-approved internship placements. New placement sites can be identified and suggested by students for potential contract review.