Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What undergraduate major is required?

Answer: Any undergraduate major is acceptable. It helps to have volunteer, work, or internship experience working with children and adolescents, or in the schools.

Question: What GRE scores are needed?

Answer: Applicants must take the general GREs. Typically, students who are accepted into the program have scores close to (if not exceeding) the 50th percentile rank for each score.

Question: Where do I take the GRE's?

Answer: UB Career Services testing center offers a variety of testing services to UB students and the public. Testing is conducted on various days each week including Saturdays throughout the year. The testing center will also make necessary arrangements for students with a learning or physical disability that prevents them from taking an exam under certain conditions, but the student must contact the center beforehand.

Information about the center, registration and payment may be found at: https://www.buffalo.edu/career/Students/Testing.html.

Question: What if I have a learning disability? How do I document the impact on GRE scores?

Answer: Students with a learning disability should contact the administrators of the GREs to document their learning disability and receive accommodations when they take the GREs.

Question: What undergraduate GPA is needed?

Answer: Many accepted students in our program have a GPA above a 3.0.

Question: What is involved in the school placements?

Answer: Full-time students begin their placements in the school in the fall semester with a course called fieldwork (CEP 596). They spend 150 hours over the course of the semester working with a cooperating counselor learning the school environment and observing typical school counseling activities. During the spring semester, they spend an additional 150 hours in the same school concentrating on providing individual counseling to students on personal, academic, and career topics as well as leading psycho educational groups and classroom guidance activities. Students indicate which level (elementary, middle, or high school) they would like to work in during their placement for the master's degree. Our placement coordinator, in conjunction with the program director, determine the actual school placement and cooperating counselor. All cooperating counselors are tenured in their school district and permanently certified in New York State as school counselors.

During the CAS program, an additional school placement is required. This placement is done at a different level than the initial placement during the master's degree and also includes 150 hours in the schools as part of an internship course (CEP 600). Students who secure jobs after their master's degree may use their job as their internship placement.

Question: What if I want to work outside of New York State as a school counselor?

Answer: The Ed. M. program at the University at Buffalo meets New York State requirements for provisional certification as a school counselor. Completion of the CAS certificate meets the educational requirements for permanent certification in New York State (New York State also requires two years of work experience as a school counselor). Typically, the 60 credits combined from the Ed. M. program and the CAS program meet most other states' educational requirements. However, requirements do vary from state to state with regard to specific course requirements, hours of practicum, and sometimes a requirement of teaching experience. All students should consult the Department of Education in the state that they intend to work about specific requirements prior to starting the program at the University at Buffalo.

Question: What is a non-matriculated student?

Answer: A non-matriculated student is someone who is not yet been accepted into the master's (or any other) program in School Counseling. Non-matriculated students may take up to six credits a semester up to a total of twelve credits total( this is over their lifetime as a UB student including both undergraduate and graduate credits).

Question: How do I take classes as a non-matriculated student?

Answer: To become a non-matriculated student, information is found on the website at: http://gse.buffalo.edu/csep on the bottom of the page and there is also a link to the application.

Question: I cannot take my GRE's until January 27th or Feb. 5th. Will you accept the scores and will my application be considered?

Answer: When you take your GREs on campus, you will receive your scores on screen at the end of the exam. Make a notation of your scores when they appear on the screen.

Application review begins February 1, so if a student takes their GREs later than January 10th, it will be important for them to FAX or physically bring a copy of the GRE scores to the GSE Admissions office in 366 Baldy Hall. It is also important to indicate on the online application form the date when GREs are taken. Scores for the written section of the GREs are not typically available for at least two weeks after the test administration. Thus, it is important to take the GREs no later than January so that the written scores are also available.

Your application materials will not be reviewed until your folder is complete. It is recommended that you take your GRE's prior to January to avoid any delays in your application being reviewed.

Question: How competitive is admission to the School Counseling Program?

Answer: Typically, the program accepts 15 to 20 students for matriculation into the master's program and 20 to 25 students in the CAS certificate program in the Fall only. Students who are accepted typically have GRE scores close to (if not exceeding) the 50th percentile rank for each score, and an undergraduate GPA above 3.0, as well as some work experience with children and adolescents or in the schools.

Question: Can I transfer in credits from other institutions?

Answer: Six graduate credits may be transferred from another university towards the Ed.M. degree. An additional two credits from another university may be transferred towards the CAS. All decisions about transfer credits are made after acceptance into the program and based on a syllabus from each course.

Question: How soon can I expect to find a job after I graduate?

Answer: Typically, 30-40% of students find jobs as a school counselor immediately after receiving their master's degree. Typically, all students find jobs in their fields within five years.

Question: How long will it take me to earn my Ed.M. degree? My C.A.S.?

Answer: Full-time students are usually able to complete the master's degree within a year: a Fall and Spring semester, with the Summer semester either before or afterwards. Part-time students typically take two to three years to finish, and must take at least six credits per semester.

Question: Will I need a car?

Answer: Our placement coordinator tries to take into consideration where students live when arranging their school placement. However, most school placements are not on the bus lines or within walking distance of the university. It is almost essential to have reliable transportation. Students may have to drive up to a half an hour to their placement; elementary placements (because there are less of them) may even be a little farther away.

Question: How much do graduate courses cost?

Answer: To see the most up-to-date tuition costs go to http://studentaccounts.buffalo.edu/tuition/index.php. Be sure to view the "graduate" tuition and either full-time or part-time.

Question: What is considered part-time?

Answer: Part-time students must take at least six credits a semester, not including summers.

Question: Should I take summer courses?

Answer: Required courses and electives are available during the summer; however, one could complete the master's in School Counseling without taking a summer course.

Question: What classes can I take as an undergrad?

Answer: CEP 401, Introduction to Counseling, is a good introductory course and provides information about careers in the area of counseling and psychology. As a senior, students may take graduate courses that are available to non-matriculated students. However, it is important that the student complete a form that allows them to take courses for graduate credit (available from their undergraduate academic advisor). Students may also not count courses towards more than one degree so if they take a course that they would like to use towards a graduate degree it must be one that is in excess of the credits that they need for their undergraduate degree.

Question: Who should my letters of reference be from?

Answer: Typically, three letters of recommendation are needed. At least one should be from an academic faculty member who can talk about your ability to complete graduate level work, to think critically and integrate new information. At least one letter should be from someone who can attest to your interpersonal abilities, preferably within a school or with children or adolescents.

Question: How do I get to the North campus?

Answer:

  • If you are travelling west on the I-290 (Youngmann Expressway) take exit 5A, Millersport Highway north. When you exit onto Millersport Highway, proceed through one traffic light, pass the Maple Road exit and continue to the next exit, Flint Road, to UB's North Campus.
  • If you are traveling east on the I-290 (Youngmann Expressway) and wish to access UB's North Campus, be sure to exit onto the 990, which is just after the Niagara Falls Boulevard exit. Once on the 990, keep right and take Exit 1, the UB exit.
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Question: If selected, who will I interview with?

Answer: Interview typically occur in late February or early March, on a Saturday morning. Those to be interviewed will be contacted via phone or e-mail at least two weeks ahead of time to schedule the interview.

Interviews are conducted separately with two practicing school counselors, and current students are also available to answer questions about the program. A tour of UB's North Campus is also available for those who may not be familiar with campus.

Question: How should I dress for the interview?

Answer: Dress as if you were going on a job interview, very professionally.

Question: When will I hear anything about my application? About an interview? About an offer?

Answer: Complete application folders will begin being reviewed on February 1st. Applicants chosen for an interview will receive a phone call or e-mail notification to schedule an interview within the next 3-4 weeks (Feb.1-Mar 1). Offers are generally extended within two weeks following the interview process.