Counseling (MA), Student AffairsCounseling in Higher Ed Concentration at Montclair State University

Counseling, Student Affairs/Counseling in Higher Ed Concentration (MA)

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Counseling, Student Affairs/Counseling in Higher Ed Concentration (MA)

College and university campuses rely on master’s level professionals in several capacities. The Student Affairs/Higher Education concentration prepares professionals to work on college campuses in several student services capacities. Career services, student affairs, academic advising, student activities, international programs, and other student-focused offices employ our graduates. The program has a strong emphasis on a counseling foundation to prepare professionals who maintain a developmental approach to their work with students.

Hear from current students and alumni on their experiences in the Counseling (MA) programs at Montclair:

Please refer to our programs of study page for a comprehensive list of all of the graduate programs offered within the university.

Admission Requirements

The Office of Graduate Admissions requires the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible to apply for a graduate program. Applicants with non-U.S. degrees, please visit the International Applicants page to review the U.S. degree equivalency information.

Applicants with a GPA below 2.9 will not be considered for admission.
Application Checklist

In order to make applying for graduate school as seamless as possible for you, we have
created an application checklist. This checklist can be a reference point for you during the
application process to ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of the steps
needed to apply, as well as all of corresponding supplemental materials for your specific
program of interest.

  • Application Deadline: All required materials must be received by these deadlines
    • Final Date to Complete Applications for Fall is February 1st*
    • Final Date to Complete Applications for Spring is October 1st*

    *Any applications received after final deadlines or with missing information will be considered for the next semester. Please note: Upon offer of admission, you will be asked to submit an enrollment deposit of $200.

  • Submit Online Application: Please create your online account and submit your application by following the general application instructions and pay (or waive) the non-refundable $60 application fee. Once this step has been completed, the online portal will allow you to upload your supplemental materials.

The following is a list of the supplemental materials that will accompany your application for the Counseling, Student Affairs/Counseling in Higher Ed Concentration (MA) program:

  • Transcript: 1 (one) from each college attended.
  • Essay:
    • PREAMBLE: A central theme that guides the mission of the MA in Counseling program at Montclair State University is a strong commitment to train all students to work with and advocate for all marginalized and oppressed populations as professional counselors in an ethical and competent manner. In no more than two (2) double spaced pages, please respond to the prompt below based on your knowledge and aspirations as a professional counselor.
    • QUESTION: Clients who have marginalized identities (for example, based on their race/ethnicity, sex/gender, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, religion/spirituality, ability, geographic location, or intersections thereof) face health disparities linked to societal stigma, discrimination, and denial of their civil and human rights. How do you envision yourself taking an active role in your future career as an addictions counselor, clinical mental health counselor, school counselor, or student affairs professional in supporting mental health equity for one specific marginalized population (for example, African Americans; LGBTQ+ individuals; Muslims; individuals experiencing poverty)
    • OPTIONAL: In no more than one (1) double spaced page, please share anything else you think is important for our admissions committee to know that is not represented elsewhere in your application.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Two (It’s preferred to have at least one letter from a professor who taught you. If you graduated from any academic program in the past three years, one letter must be from a professor who taught you).
  • Resume: Required.
  • Applicants with non-U.S. degrees, please visit the International Applicants page to review the US degree equivalency information.

Coursework in the Counseling in Student Affairs/Higher Education program includes core courses in counseling as well as electives specific to the work of student affairs professionals. The program consists of 36 credit hours, including three semesters of fieldwork. Full-time and part-time study are available for students, with most courses offered in the evenings and other times to accommodate work schedules. Please note that students must have flexibility to complete the fieldwork experiences at an approved site during the latter portion of their time in the program. Full-time students can generally complete the 36 credit hour program within two calendar years.

For more information, please visit the Counseling, Student Affairs/Counseling in Higher Ed Concentration (MA) program listing in the University Catalog.


If you have any general questions regarding the application process and requirements, please email or call us:
Office of Graduate Admissions
Telephone: 973-655-5147
Fax: 973-655-7869

If you have specific inquiries regarding your program of interest, please contact us at

*During the summer months, there will be a rotating department chair available to answer your inquiry. Find the updated summer chair for this program.*