The School Counseling certificate is open only to currently enrolled Counseling and Family Sciences (CFS) department students who are in good standing or recent CFS graduates whose degree requirements were congruent with current state standards for school counseling. As with all certificates, applicants must first apply to the University and meet the School of Behavioral Health admissions requirements. Additional admission requirements for candidates currently enrolled in the department are listed below.

  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • All official college transcripts received by Loma Linda University (LLU)
  • Health clearance, including TB testing
  • Background check (Certificate of Clearance for the CTC — more details below)
  • Written personal statement as specified
  • Interview with department faculty
  • Applicants for whom English is not their first language must present a score for TOEFL as published in the University Catalog
  • Applicants who are not US citizens or permanent residents must provide a valid student visa
  • Demonstrate Basic Skills Requirement (BSR)

Basic Skills Requirement

Candidates must demonstrate competencies in the basic educational skills of mathematics, reading, and writing. There are multiple options for meeting BSR as established by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). Further information about meeting the BSR may be found on the CTC website, which maintains a BSR Calculator.

Candidates must demonstrate their ability to meet the BSR before the program can recommend them to the CTC for the Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) in School Counseling credential.


Applicants to the School Counseling certificate must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree to be considered for admission. LLU certificate candidates complete a 90-unit master's degree program in clinical counseling. Content relevant to school counseling as described in the certificate program is incorporated into the master's curriculum. Students graduate with the School Counseling certificate having completed a minimum of 94 quarter units to complete the academic requirements necessary to be recommended to the CTC for the PPS credential in School Counseling.

The CTC has identified nine performance expectations for school counselors (SCPEs) and their related elements. Students in the School Counseling certificate program meet the SCPE requirements through a combination of master's program classes and focused post-baccalaureate School Counseling certificate courses. PPS credential in School Counseling candidates must complete a minimum of 72 master's quarter units of study which address identified school counseling performance expectations (SCPEs). These SCPEs are addressed in the courses within the Counseling MS program. Students who successfully complete the curriculum demonstrate competency in the SCPEs.

Certificate of Clearance (COC)

All candidates must obtain a Certificate of Clearance (COC) from the CTC.

Fingerprint clearance through the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is required from every applicant prior to the Commission's issuance of any credential, permit, certificate, or waiver.

The COC is a document issued by the Commission to an individual who has completed the Commission's fingerprint character and identification process, whose moral and professional fitness has been shown to meet the standards as established by law. The COC is not the same as a clear teaching or services credential. The COC does not authorize the holder to provide any instruction or services in schools; its sole purpose is to provide verification that the holder has completed a professional fitness review.

You must obtain a COC if you are enrolled in a  California educator preparation program, prior to beginning your student teaching or practicum/field based experience.

For complete details, refer to the CTC's Certificate of Clearance (CL-900) webpage.

Applicants for the LLU School Counseling certificate with criminal backgrounds should consult with the program director prior to submitting their application for the certificate program.

Field Placement

All candidates must complete experience working as a school counselor trainee under supervision in public school settings. Candidates are required to complete 800 hours of experience in a minimum of two settings at two different grade levels (i.e., elementary, middle, senior high). Typically, candidates complete 300 hours in two placements. Two hundred hours from LLU student clinical hours are applied to meet the 800-hour requirement.

The program places candidates in appropriate placements in public school settings. Candidates work under the supervision of an onsite supervisor who is credentialed with the PPS in School Counseling. The candidate meets with their site supervisor on a weekly basis.

Candidates are in field placements a minimum of two quarters. Public schools in the area in session early August through May. No hours can be accrued during June and July.

School Counseling (Certificate)