Master's FAQs


FAQ's for Prospective Master's Students

Students can earn an MA in Counseling or Human Development and Social Intervention.  

Counseling This degree has two programs: Mental Health and Wellness and Counseling and Guidance (School and Bilingual School Counseling) The counseling programs focus on education and training to prepare students to become practicing counselors working in schools, colleges, and community agencies. Each program prepares students to sit for the NCC (National Certified Counselor)exam.

Counseling and Guidance Focus on fostering healthy development in school-age children and their families, with an option for special attention paid to issues relevant to a bilingual student population.

Mental Health and Wellness Community agencies, university counseling programs, mental health centers, hospitals, HIV and AIDS outreach programs, substance abuse treatment centers, and private practice.

Human Development and Social Intervention This program is focused on designing interventions, conducting, and evaluating research. The degree prepares students to pursue careers as research project directors, research coordinators, grant writers, research scientists, and program evaluators in university-based research centers, community agencies, hospitals, school systems, and private industry, including evaluation research firms. In addition, the program prepares students to pursue doctoral study in the social sciences, such as human development, public policy, or social and community psychology. Students pursue one of three areas:

Developmental Psychology: Examining classical as well as contemporary literature on developmental changes in emotional, social, and cognitive areas, with specific attention to the roles of culture and context.

Health: Exploring the individual level, socioecological, and sociopolitical factors that shape physical and mental health outcomes for individuals, families, and communities.

Methodology: Gaining expertise in research design and in the use of various methods of quantitative and qualitative reasoning and analysis of data.

The average GPA of accepted students is 3.4. The admissions committee considers the whole application, not only the GPA. The GRE is no longer required, but scores will still be accepted as additional application materials.  

Although we do not have a required TOEFL score, successful applicants score 100 or above on the Internet-based test or 600 or above on the paper-based test.

A good candidate often has a strong background in psychology (or related field) and has great letters of recommendation, a demonstrated understanding of the field and program, and relevant work/volunteer experience.

January 15 for MA Programs in Counseling

February 1 for MA Program in Human Development & Social Intervention

December 1 for PhD programs

Human Growth and Development (APSY-GE 2138)

Counseling Theory and Process (APSY-GE 2657)

Abnormal Psychology(APSY-GE 2038)

Vocational Development(APSY-GE 2634)

Reminder: taking classes as a non matriculated student does NOT guarantee acceptance to the program.Students usually take 2-3 classes while non-matriculated, with an 18 credit limit 18 credit limit.  

Students must fill out a form with the MA academic adviser AND submit the application for non-matriculation at grad admissions. They also must an submit official transcript and can't register until 2 weeks before the semester starts.

Students must have completed their school counseling MA with 60 credits and within 5 years in order to be eligible for the bridge program.   Students who are not eligible should look at CW Post or LIU.  

Social work is more focused on advocacy and is based on how the individual relates to the community.  While there is some therapy work as a social worker, MHW Counselors provide assessment and diagnosis, intervention, etc.  CMHW is based on psychology and development.  

Those who are in the psychology MA tend to go on to their PhD, are less likely to do treatment.  Applied Psych programs are not focused on disorders, they are focused on counseling.  A Clinical Psychologist has a counseling or clinical psych PhD and has done independent research and possibly has an area of expertise. They are prepared and qualified to perform a battery of tests and may have more training.  CMHW allows for more latitude.  A PsyD allows for the development of more clinical skills, does not write a dissertation, and can be licensed.  

If your goal is to become a counselor, the MA program is appropriate.  Students who are interested in research and teaching  and publishing apply for the PhD.  Anecdotally, about 15-20% of our MA students go on for their PhD;  we rarely take our MA students into the PhD program.  

Read through the program descriptions thoroughly. Look at job descriptions relevant to your fields of interest, and use resources such as, AMHCA, and psychology journals at your nearest library.  Go to your state website and find a licensed social worker or counselor or psychologist whom you can contact and arrange an informational interview.   If you are still unsure, attend one of our information sessions.

Useful websites:

Steinhardt Graduate Admissions

Counseling and Guidance 

Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness

Human Development and Social Intervention

NYS Mental Health Practitioners

American Mental Health Counselors Association