Counseling, Education Specialist

Offered by Department of Counseling, School Psychology and Family Science

Program Information and Admission Requirements

Counseling and School Psychology Mission Statement

The Department of Counseling and School Psychology (CSP) promotes a field-based scientist/practitioner model in order to prepare culturally competent and compassionate professionals at the graduate level to provide service and leadership in school psychology, clinical mental health counseling, school counseling and student affairs. The focus of the scientist/practitioner model within the CSP department is to create practitioners who understand, critically evaluate and effectively use the research base within their profession in order to make decisions and guide practice. CSP is an interdisciplinary department committed to work towards equity and social justice within the College and University, our professions, and throughout the broader society.

Admission Requirements

The Educaton Specialist (Ed.S) degree in Counseling is designed to help students with a master's degree obtain the necessary coursework and requirements for an additional endorsement or speciality area (e.g., a LMHP who wants to become a School Counselor or a Higher Education Student Affairs professional who wants to become a Clinical Mental Health Counselor, etc.).  Those planning to obtain full admission to the Education Specialist Degree in Counseling should apply the semester prior to their enrollment by completing the following steps:

  1. Complete the UNK Graduate online application. All materials listed below are uploaded with the online application:
    1. $45 non-refundable application fee.
    2. Academic history-official transcripts of all previous academic work.  If your GPA falls below the UNK Graduate Studies minimum expectation of 2.75, please upload a Low GPA Statement with explanation for your past academic performance, how you be successful academically at the graduate level (minimum 3.0 GPA), and why you should be admitted as an exception to the GPA requirement.
    3. Resume with requested information (listed in the application).
    4. "Motivation for obtaining the Educational Specialist Degree in Counseling" essay.
    5. Three electronic professional references.  Forms are automatically sent to recommenders when application is submitted.
  2. When all materials have been received, the Office of Graduate Studies and Academic Outreach will conduct an initial evaluation. Applicants meeting admission requirements for graduate study will be forwarded to the Department for consideration and recommendation.
  3. Applicants must participate in the CSP Department admission interview/intake process which occurs each semester. When the application is complete, the CSP Department Office Associate will send the applicant a confirmation of this meeting via electronic mail to the preferred email address indicated on the application. Applicants to the Student Affairs program do not participate in the interview/intake process.
  4. Department recommendations for admissions are submitted to the Dean of Graduate Studies and Academic Outreach.
  5. Letters with admission decisions (i.e. an unconditional/full status, conditional/provisional status, or denial) are mailed from the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies and Academic Outreach.


All students are assigned an academic advisor within the department upon admission.

Application for Candidacy

To be eligible for candidacy (i.e. approval to continue coursework and "stand" as a candidate for the degree), the student must have fulfilled the following requirements:

  1. If you were conditionally admitted, this condition must have been met.
  2. Application for Candidacy must be made prior to completion of half of the required credit hours on the student's program of study.
  3. A grade of B or higher in CSP 855 with a B or higher.
  4. A cumulative GPA of at least 3.00.
  5. Demonstrate professional fitness and competencies.
  6. Adhere to ethical standards.

Failure to meet any of these conditions can result in denial of the Application for Candidacy.

Comprehensive Examinations

All students seeking degrees and/or endorsements are required to complete comprehensive examinations. The examinations may be written, oral or both. Additionally, in order to successfully complete a degree program, students must meet the expectations outlined in department academic progress and ethical conduct policies (see respective Program Handbook for more detailed information).

This program is offered on campus only.

The student and assigned advisor will create a Program of Study. This degree requires a minimum of 66 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree. Contact the Department for information related to this degree option.