Master of Science in School Counseling

Graduate students are invited to become an integral part of a diverse, learning community committed to life-long learning and counselor/education leadership. Program faculty encourages opportunities for professionalization including collaborative research, presentations, and university intellectual life offerings. A comprehensive developmental guidance model provides a framework for the provision of professional and compassionate school guidance services. The curriculum combines courses in theory, practice, and specific areas of specialization Forty-five (45) semester hour credits are required for the MS in School Counseling program. The courses in the curriculum have been approved by the State of Florida Department of Education. Certification is an individual responsibility; therefore, all students are advised to contact the Department of Education Certification Office for specific information prior to enrollment in the Program.


  • Join a learning community where the life of the mind and heart is intensely lived, where learners may imagine themselves and grow as human beings so that they may work within school settings where they engage all students and families in an effective, equitable and caring manner.
  • Prepare yourself for a professional counseling position in public and private elementary, middle, and secondary schools.
  • Participate in unique community engaged university partnerships and practice a trauma informed approach that benefits all students.
  • Experience opportunities for professionalization including collaborative research, social justice and advocacy interventions based on Catholic intellectual tradition and social teaching.
  • Learn how to be the heart of your school by implementing a comprehensive developmental counseling model incorporating a trauma informed lens.
  • Learn from experienced full-time and adjunct faculty members with degrees in counseling and allied professions, currently working as practitioners in the schools and in other community settings.



“What good is academic learning if young people don’t learn to become contributing members of society?”

Jane Nelson

School Counselors are the heart of the school community. They are the consummate jugglers of the many educational needs of children. In one day a counselor may juggle hall duty, a suicidal crisis, teacher parent conferences, conflict mediation training, and developmental guidance lessons in classrooms. The goal of counseling is to help children at all levels to develop to their full potential. If you have tremendous energy, a true love of children, and a big heart, school counseling is the profession for you.

The American Counseling Association reports that school counseling increases the student’s ability to concentrate, study, and learn. Students who attend schools with counseling programs make better grades. Research consistently illustrates that children with prosocial skills do better academically, and that is why ASCA has developed a proactive developmental focus. Implemented at St. Thomas, including a traumatic informed approach, St. Thomas Guidance candidates will not only have the skills to provide individual and group counseling, but they are equipped to develop comprehensive school based programs that address essential academic, personal/social and career and occupational skills. Our graduates strive for cultural competence, create, and advocate for trauma sensitive schools.


The M.S. in School Counseling program is designed to prepare students for school counseling positions in public and private elementary, middle, and secondary schools. Candidates apply for Certification exams delivered by the Florida State Department of Education and upon successful completion of all requirements, are employable in k-12 public and private schools in the State of Florida.



Counseling Curriculum


CPS 503 Applied Research Methods

CPS 730 Theories of Personality and Therapy

This course is an overview of the theoretical models of personality development and their associated clinical approaches. Theories in this course include: Primary theoretical orientations of psychotherapeutic orientations of psychotherapists and will explore emerging models. Students read, apply and demonstrate the various approaches to client issues.

*CPS 733 Introduction to Counseling



*CPS 735 Group Therapy

A trauma informed group-process and a group-leader experience in community-based settings will provide in vivo experience. A variety of group techniques based on the neuroscience related to the fostering of resilience using strength-based approaches is studied and modeled based on an organized body of scientific knowledge. Prerequisite: CPS 730

CPS 736 Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling

This course is designed to examine the ethical and legal issues that arise in the profession of counseling. Areas of study include legal responsibilities and liabilities, licensure and certification legislation, confidentiality and ethical standards of practice in the State of Florida, and codes of ethics developed by relevant professional organizations including the American Counseling Association and the American School Counselor Association.

CPS 745 Abnormal Psychology

Basic concepts of abnormal psychology are examined with attention to scientific evidence as criteria for diagnosis. The DSM is studied in relation to clinical psychopathology. Recognition of major mental disorders are emphasized, including methods of working with such clients and techniques of referral for psychiatric treatment.

*CPS 749 Intermediate Counseling

CPS 750 Introduction to Community Consultation

CPS 662 Principles and Procedures of Psychological Testing

CPS 663 Occupational and Educational Principles of Guidance

CPS 664 Principles, Phi., and Org. of Guidance and Counseling

CPS 665 Org. and Development of School Guidance Programs

CPS 667 Counseling Special and Diverse Populations



Select one elective in consultation with program advisor

*CPS 669 Supervised Counseling Practices

*Prerequisite Courses

  • CPS 733 Introduction to Counseling is a prerequisite for CPS 735 Group therapy
  • CPS 735 Group Therapy is a prerequisite for CPS 749 Intermediate Counseling
  • CPS 669 Supervised Counseling Practices (Internship/Practicum) is usually taken during the last semester.


For questions, contact Judith Bachay, Program Director, at 305-628-6583 or the Executive Coordinator for Graduate Recruitment at 305-474 -6073

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“Please note that STU is unable to confirm the licensure and certification requirements of your state of residence. If you intend to pursue such credentialing in your state or elsewhere, we advise you to contact the applicable state credentialing authority to familiarize yourself with its specific requirements and determine if our program meets its eligibility criteria.
For additional information regarding other states’ recognition of the St. Thomas University online School Counseling degree for licensing or certification purposes, please visit the <> State-by-State Database of licensing or certification requirements.”