School Counseling Post-Master’s Certificate

The School Counseling Certificate program is provided for students who already possess a master’s degree and need to meet the course requirements for certification as a K-12 School Counselor, as listed below. Courses can be waived if equivalent courses have already been completed, as determined by consultation with an advisor. The requirements for this certification program meet the certification standards of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. For more information on the School Counseling: Initial Educator: K-12, five-year license, please see the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Website.

In order to be eligible to receive an initial educator license as a school counselor, students will need to:
  1. Complete the coursework and practica listed below
  2. Complete a portfolio assessment
  3. Pass the national Praxis II licensing examination
Other states have different licensing standards and if you are interested in being eligible for a different state you are strongly encouraged to contact that state’s Department of Public Instruction to ascertain whether additional requirements are necessary.

Eligibility and Admission

In order to successfully complete the certification sequence, a student must be accepted into the School Counseling Post-Master’s Certificate Program. To be considered, applicants must have a graduate GPA of 3.0 or better, and must complete the Panthera Admission Application.


  • All graduate certificate applicants—even those already enrolled in a UWM graduate program—must apply to the Graduate School through the Panthera Admission Application.
  • Applicants must submit the following to the Counseling Admissions Committee in the Department of Educational Psychology as part of the admissions process for the certification program:
    • Three letters of reference, which must address the applicant’s academic and interpersonal skills. These must be hard-copy, received in signed, sealed envelopes.
    • An official transcript showing the awarding of your master’s degree.
    • A completed “Career Statement” form.*
    • A completed “Personal Data” form.*

    Both are on the Department of Educational Psychology Website

    Counseling Admissions Committee address: Counseling Admissions Committee, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, WI 53201.

    The department must receive all materials by March 1. To ensure department receipt of materials on time, it is highly recommended that you submit the application to the Graduate School, and the supporting materials (three letters of recommendation, official transcript from your master’s degree, Personal Data Form, and Career Statement) to the Department of Educational Psychology by January 31.

    Shortly after the March 1 application deadline, the Counseling Area Admissions Committee will meet and review the applications. Applicants will be notified of the Committee’s decision generally within four weeks after the deadline. The Counseling Admissions Committee carefully reviews the following information as part of the decision making process for admitting students to graduate school: GPA, letters of recommendation, and the applicant’s statement on the “Career Statement” form. Applicants are urged to take special care in describing long range goals, how they see themselves fitting into UWM’s program, which has an urban and multicultural emphasis, and relating experiences which influenced their decision to pursue counseling.
  • Graduate degree and previously admitted graduate non-degree students who decide to pursue a certificate program must submit the Panthera application before completing 6 credits in the certificate sequence.
  • Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree and have a minimum 2.75 cumulative undergraduate grade point average to be admitted in to a certificate program.

Certificate Requirements

Credits and Courses
Students will need to complete the following sequence of courses from the Counseling Core and the School Core, or have equivalent previous coursework, as determined in consultation with an advisor.

Counseling Core (21 credits)
710 Counseling: Theories and Issues
711 Foundations of Career Development
714 Essentials of Counseling Practice
715 Multicultural Counseling
800 Group Counseling Theory
820 Counseling Appraisal and Clinical Decision Making
904 Family Systems Theory, Research, and Practice

School Core (15 credits)
602 Introduction to School Counseling
774 Supervised Practicum I in School Counseling
810 Counseling in the Schools
816 Counseling Children and Adolescents
968 Supervised Practicum II in School Counseling

Grade Point Average Requirement
A minimum cumulative 3.00 grade point average in certificate courses taken at UWM is required.

Transfer Credit
No more than 20% of the required credits may be taken at an institution other than UWM. These courses are subject to Graduate School transfer policy and must be approved by the director of the certificate program.

Articulation with Degree Programs

  1. Credits and courses required for a certificate may double count toward meeting UWM graduate degree requirements subject to the following restrictions:
    • Degree programs must approve the courses from certificates that can double count toward the degree.
    • All credits taken in completion of certificate requirements may count towards a UWM graduate degree as long as they do not contribute more than 90% of the total credits needed to obtain the degree. (Note: Students in Ph.D. programs must still complete the minimum residency requirements)
    • Certificate courses used toward meeting degree requirements must be completed within the time limit for transfer credit.
  2. Courses completed for a degree may be counted toward a subsequent certificate, subject to all certificate policy requirements.
  3. A course may count toward no more than one certificate and one degree.
  4. Students may not earn a certificate subsequent to a concentration in the same area.

Time Limit

Certificate program time limits shall be established as follows:

18 or fewer credits/Three years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.

19 or more credits/Four years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.

For certificates that are designed as add-ons to degree programs and are awarded concurrent with the degree, the time limit shall be the same as that of the degree program.