Program Advisor: Dr. Diana Gruman 

Graduate study in the M.Ed. School Counselor Program at Western Washington University prepares students to provide professional counseling services in educational settings.  The program requires two years of full-time graduate study (83 quarter credit hours) and is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).  Upon completion of the program, students are recommended for certification as K-12 public school counselors in the State of Washington.  Admission to the program is based upon a profile of characteristics including graduate aptitude test scores, grades, academic preparation, compatibility of applicant goals with program goals, letters of reference, and previous professional and volunteer experience.  It is not necessary to hold a valid teaching certificate in order to be recommended for certification as a school counselor or to be considered for admission to the program.  It is the policy of the Department of Psychology that School Counselor program graduates will be endorsed only for those licenses or certificates appropriate to the emphasis of their training.  It is further understood that this endorsement will be made only upon successful completion of practicum and internship experiences. 

The department also offers M.S. degrees in Mental Health Counseling and Experimental Psychology and houses the Center for Cross-Cultural Research. Coordination with these programs greatly enhances the experience of students in the School Counseling Program.


The program conforms to the Washington State school counselor certification standards and requires a minimum of 83 quarter hours of graduate study.  Most students complete the program by attending full-time for two academic years, excluding summers.  A thesis option is also available for students who are interested in completing a research project.  Laboratory and field experiences comprise a significant part of the academic program, providing students the opportunity to obtain supervised experiences in individual, group and family counseling in a work setting consistent with the student's career objectives. An important component of the School Counselor curriculum is exposure to multi-cultural counseling, which involves participation in a variety of in-depth seminars and group or individual training projects to develop cultural sensitivity and awareness.  Training in multi-cultural interviewing and counseling is included. 

Psychology courses taken during the program include Developmental School Counseling; The Role of the School Counselor; Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy; Individual Counseling Techniques; Group Processes in Counseling; Standardized Tests; Testing and Appraisal in Counseling; Psychology of Occupations and Career Development; Personality and Psychopathology; Research Methods in Counseling; Developmental Psychopathology; Lifespan & Psychological Development; Seminar in Cross-Cultural Counseling; Family & Couple Counseling; Laboratory in Family Counseling; Professional, Legal, and Cultural Issues; Counseling Practicum; and School Counseling Internship.  Other course requirements include electives under advisement.


The following specific coursework is required for those who do not have a degree in psychology: introductory psychology, inferential statistics, psychology of learning, and child development.  Deficiencies in prerequisites may be completed after program admission, but must be completed prior to first enrollment.

Graduate Student Handbook, Department of Psychology

The Department of Psychology Graduate Student handbook presents comprehensive information about each of the three graduate programs. The Handbook includes information about academic requirements, goals and objectives of the programs, teaching assistantships, scholarship standards, thesis requirements, comprehensive examinations, registration and enrollment, internships, diversity recruitment policy, National Counselor Examination, Academic Grievance Policy and Procedures, and other important information.

Download the Graduate Counseling Programs Student Handbook

Application and Admission

Applicants must apply to the Graduate School.  Once a student has been determined to be eligible for admission to the Graduate School, a special committee within the Psychology Department will select students for admission to the M.Ed. School Counselor Program. 

Application materials may be obtained at Western Washington University’s Graduate School website. Online submission of some application materials is now an option at the Graduate School’s website. If you have any questions or difficulties with the application materials at the website, please contact the Graduate School at gradschl@wwu.edu or call 360-650-3170. 

Applicants must submit scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Information concerning the GRE is available at the GRE website.Your answers to the attached questionnaire will serve as your statement of purpose, and must be completed and returned along with the other application materials. Interested applicants are encouraged to submit all materials prior to February 1 for admission to the program beginning in the fall. Final admission decisions for the next academic year are usually made during late February or early March. Admission to the program is very competitive and applicants are encouraged to submit all materials as early as possible.

Required application materials (to be sent directly to the Graduate School; not to the Psychology department):

  • Graduate School application form and application fee

  • 3 letters of reference, no more than 1 year old

  • 1 official transcript from each university/college attended, no more than 2 years old

  • Completed School Counselor Program Questionnaire

  • General GRE (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections) required; the subject test is recommended but not required.  GRE scores must be sent directly to the Graduate School from the Educational Testing Service.

If you would like to be considered for a Graduate School Assistantship, follow the instructions online at the Graduate School website. Currently, teaching assistants in the Department of Psychology are assigned to the undergraduate experimental psychology and statistics courses, and occasionally the introduction to psychology course.  Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following: teaching laboratory classes where relevant, helping students understand the conceptual and computational components of statistics, helping students understand research methodology and design, and helping students become more competent scientific writers.

After an initial screening of applications, the faculty will select individuals to invite for personal interviews.  To obtain additional information concerning the School Counselor Program, write Dr. Diana Gruman, Director, School Counselor Curriculum, Department of Psychology, MS 9172, WWU, 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225-9172, call 360-650-2221, or e-mail Diana.Gruman@wwu.edu.

Tuition and Fees, Financial Aid, and Stipends

The current amounts for graduate tuition and fees for residents and non-residents can be obtained at the Graduate School website.

Teaching and research assistantships are available on a limited basis. Teaching assistantships include a substantial tuition waiver. To be considered for a graduate assistantship, please see instructions at the Graduate School website.

Students interested in applying for federal and state loans, grants or work/study should consult the Student Financial Aid Services Center, phone 360-650-3470. If you would like more information about Western Washington University, visit the Western Washington University website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for answers to frequently asked questions about the school counseling program. 

Program Outcomes and Program Evaluation Report

- School Counseling Program Outcomes
- School Counseling Program Evaluation Report

Supervision Resources

Resources for Supervisors


The Department of Psychology consists of approximately 28 full-time faculty members, all of whom hold a doctoral degree.  Faculty interests and specializations cover a wide range of areas within psychology. Individuals most involved with the counseling program include:

Faculty Areas of Specialization
Bedi, Rob, Ph.D. Counseling relationship/alliance, counseling process and outcome, counseling psychology, alcohol and other drug use, career/vocational issues, and depression
Byrne, Christina, Ph.D. 

Clinical psychology, psychological trauma, intimate partner violence

Du Rocher Schudlich, Tina, Ph.D. 

Developmental psychopathology, parent-child relationship, marital conflict, parental psychopathology and their interactions with children’s adjustment, parent-child emotion regulation

Forgays, Deborah, Ph.D. Adolescent development, women’s health issues, women and anger across developmental stages
Graham, James, Ph.D.

Adaptive processes in romantic relationships, same-sex couples, romantic love, measurement, multivariate statistics

Gruman, Diana H., Ph.D. School counseling, child and adolescent development, educational psychology
Lewis, Lucy, Ph.D.

School counseling

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