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Counseling & student personnel psychology

Keep dancing

Kirsten Lind Seal in her office

After 25 years of performing everything from modern dance to stand-up comedy, Kirsten Lind Seal began teaching ballet to teenage girls. "These girls needed women in their lives—women who weren't their moms," she says. It was then that Lind Seal decided to go back to school. Read more.

Help others grow academically and professionally

With a Masters of Arts in counseling and student personnel psychology (CSPP), you’ll be qualified to counsel others throughout the lifespan. Become a school counselor and help students develop academically, personally/socially, and in their careers. Study to be a college and student personnel counselor and work in a higher education setting. Or become a mental health professional and work in a community setting. Whatever you decide, a master's in CSPP leads to a fulfilling career that allows you to do well by doing good.


  • Licensed K-12 school counselor
  • College and student personnel counselor
  • Mental health professional in a community agency

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Dates & deadlines


Coursework & related licensures


The CSPP M.A. is a two-year, full-time program. You’ll study individual, group, and family counseling, research and evaluation, counseling theory, human growth and development, diagnostic assessment, social and cultural foundations, ethics, and career development.

Area of emphasis

Your curriculum requirements will depend on the area of emphasis you choose:

  • Community counseling
  • Higher education / student personnel
  • School counseling

M.A. curriculum (48-53 credits)

Practicum / internship

During your second year, you’ll spend two to three full days per week at a practicum site practicing your counseling skills under the supervision of an appropriately licensed counselor.

Related licensures

Successful completion of the CSPP M.A. program prepares you to pursue the following Minnesota licensures:

How to apply

"I am energized by the amount of learning that takes place within the CSPP program. The pairing of academic instruction from committed and knowledgeable professors with the sharing of varied experiences only a cohort model can provide, has made for a uniquely positive and engaging environment."

Cristina Silva Gleason headshot

Cristina Silva GleasonM.A. student |

Interests: Working with students in alternative learning sites (particulartly students who are pregnant and/or parenting, as well as immigrant students)

Work: Cristina is part of the data collection team for the Spanish Individual Growth and Development Indicators Project, which assesses early literacy and language skills for Spanish-speaking preschool-aged children. Next year, her practicum will be at a Spanish immersion school in Wayzata, as well as a high school in Minneapolis that offers International Baccalaureate programming.

Faculty & staff

Carolyn Berger headshot

Carolyn Berger

  • College and career readiness
  • Evidence-based practices
  • Counseling underserved populations
  • Ethics in counseling
Kelli Howard headshot


  • Counseling process and outcome
  • Student development
  • Mental health prevention
  • Teaching and learning
Scott McConnell headshot

Scott McConnell Program coordinator & clinical training director | Lab

  • Development of preschool-aged children, including the role of parent-child interactions
  • Evidence-based practices in schools, counseling, and mental health settings
Marguerite Ohrtman headshot


    • Working with at-risk students and their families
    • Multicultural counseling education
    • Training of school counselors
    • The achievement gap
Thomas Skovholt headshot


  • Resiliency development and burnout prevention
  • Struggles of the novice practitioner, clinical supervision
  • The counseling process and helping skills
Sherri Turner headshot


  • Methods and factors that facilitate the career development
  • Transition to work of minorities and adolescents
  • Career and guidance program evaluation in urban and rural schools and Native American tribes
  • Counseling and assessment applications