Quick Facts

graduation cap

Duration: 2.5 years


Starts: One start in fall each year


Format: On campus, cohort


Campus locations: Thousand Oaks

Put your passion into practice with the Master of Science in Counseling and College Student Personnel (CSP) program. This program, aimed at education professionals who work with or aspire to work with college students, provides essential research, in-depth knowledge and practical experience to students. Graduates of the MS in Counseling (CSP) will have everything they need to become influential leaders who can empower their students to succeed.

The higher education system needs skilled, dedicated counselors who don’t shy away from sensitive topics, which is why the MS in Counseling (CSP) curriculum is centered on social justice, diversity, equity, inclusion and access to education. Our curriculum is heavily informed by the cultural proficiency model, an inside-out approach that recognizes and values the ways in which your identity and background inform your approach to counseling.

We strive to prepare our students to enact real change, so our coursework is aligned with the professional competency areas of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). This level of preparation means that you’ll graduate from the master’s in college counseling with in-demand skills and an eagerness to start making a difference.

See the MS in Counseling (CSP) curriculum page for more information on the coursework.

MS in Counseling Program Features

  • Evening courses that fit busy schedules: Courses meet in the evenings, once per week in the fall and spring terms and twice per week in the summer. To optimize your time and travel, we schedule two courses back-to-back when you’re on campus. You can complete your degree at our Thousand Oaks campus.
  • Standards-backed skills: Get the qualifications employers seek by developing your cultural proficiency, adding important microskills and developing your professional competencies as defined by the ACPA and NASPA.
  • On-site practicums that turn theory into practice: You’ll gain a firm understanding of theoretical aspects of counseling and learn to apply them in projects and other assignments. On-site experiences through multiple internships at colleges and universities allow you to harness what you’ve learned and apply it in real educational settings.
  • Student-centered learning: Our small class sizes and cohort model encourage you to have meaningful engagement with faculty and classmates. You’ll also have access to personalized support through one-on-one advising.

“An MS in Counseling degree elevated me as a professional because it taught me cultural proficiency, which helps me serve students in a more equitable way. It also gave me exposure to the different components of student affairs, such as law and ethics, which help me navigate day-to-day situations that arise in the field.”

Mabel Perez, ‘MS in Counseling and College Student Personnel

How We Empower Our Students To Succeed

We believe that anyone seeking graduate education should have that opportunity, and we’re here to help you make your goals a reality. In addition to support from faculty, advisors and peers, students in our master’s in college counseling have access to financial solutions and valuable academic resources.

Financial aid and scholarships

We provide a diverse range of financial support opportunities, including internal and external funding sources and funding for current and future educators. Explore your options on our financial aid page.

Veteran resources

Cal Lutheran is committed to honoring those who serve and have served our country by offering an accessible, high-quality education to veterans, military members and their families.

With small class sizes and a personal approach to earning your degree, Cal Lutheran helps veterans to obtain their academic goals, as well as assist with the transition into civilian and college life. Learn more about veteran resources at Cal Lutheran.


We stand with undocumented students by assisting them with the admission and financial aid process. With a team of trained allies and cross-campus resources, we continue to support our DREAMers as they transition into the college lifestyle and become graduates of Cal Lutheran. Learn about the DREAM Act.

First generation students

We aim to assist our first-generation students by offering resources and scholarships tailored to their needs. Learn more.

What Can You Do With a Counseling and College Student Personnel Degree?

Cal Lutheran MS in Counseling (CSP) graduates are prepared to work as effective counselors in college settings. Alumni have gone on to make a difference at many colleges and universities, including:

  • California Lutheran University
  • California State University, Channel Islands
  • Coastline Community College
  • College of the Canyons
  • Colorado State University
  • Glendale Community College
  • Johnson & Wales University
  • Los Angeles City College
  • Los Angeles Pierce College
  • Moorpark College
  • Mt. San Jacinto College
  • Orange Coast College
  • Oxnard College
  • Pepperdine University
  • Santa Barbara City College
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • University of San Francisco
  • University of Southern California
  • Ventura College
  • Yavapai College

Potential career paths for master’s in higher education counseling graduates include:

  • Academic advisor
  • Admissions counselor
  • Adjunct counselor
  • Assistant dean/dean of students
  • Assistant director/director of a variety of student support services
  • Career counselor
  • EOPS counselor
  • Financial aid counselor
  • Retention specialist/counselor
  • Sexual violence prevention & response counselor
  • Student athlete counselor
  • Student success counselor
  • Title IX officer
  • Transfer counselor

Ready to learn more? Download our brochure, and explore our curriculum, admission, and FAQ pages.

Request Information

To learn more about the Graduate Degree Programs offered by the Cal Lutheran Graduate School of Education and download a brochure, please fill out the form. You can also get in touch with an admission counselor directly by calling us at 805-493-3325.

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