Program Requirements

Eligibility By State:
Due to regulations from the Department of Education, the University of San Diego is unable to enroll students in its online degree programs who reside in Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Wisconsin. The restriction does not apply to applicants interested in a campus-based program. 

Online Application:


An official transcript from the university where you earned your bachelor’s degree is required at the time of application.


  • Official E-Transcripts are acceptable only if emailed to
  • Transcripts from study abroad courses and transfer credits are not required.

Degrees Earned Outside of the United States:


Current resumeé or curriculum vitae

Statement of Purpose:

A 500-word maximum statement of purpose.

Please include a brief narrative describing yourself, your career goals, and the importance of obtaining a certificate in International School Counseling at this point in your life. You may discuss influences on your intellectual development, educational and cultural opportunities (or lack of them) which have been available to you, and the ways in which these experiences have affected you. This should not be a recording of facts already listed on the application; it should give the Admissions Committee a better sense of who you are and why you are applying to the certificate program at the University of San Diego and have an interest in providing school counseling in international schools.

English Proficiency Exam for International Applicants

Education Requirements

  • Applicants must complete a bachelor’s degree prior to beginning the program. Applicants may apply prior to completing their bachelor's degree. In this case, please submit your most up-to-date transcripts, and if admitted, submit a second set of official transcripts after your degree is conferred.
  • The minimum cumulative grade point average is 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) in all undergraduate coursework.

Experience Requirements

Experience in a related field is recommended, but not required for admission.

Students entering the University of San Diego and/or declaring a major during 2020-2021, should follow information contained in the printed course catalog (also known as the "catalog of record") published on April 1, 2020. Access the catalog of record at

The Certificate in International School Counseling is comprised of 10 units of graduate level coursework designed to provide candidates with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to effectively provide counseling and develop school counseling programs in International Schools. Certificate candidates will acquire a working knowledge of career, academic, and social-emotional counseling specifically focused for educators and counselors wanting to and working in international schools. 

COUN 563 Multicultural Counseling Skills for International School Counselors (3 Units)

To be a counselor in an international school requires culturally focused skills and sensitivities. This course explores the skills necessary to be a culturally competent counselor and provides a practical approach to running an effective School Counseling program for an international school community and working with Third Culture Kids.  Through collaborative activities, simulations, and other active participation strategies, participants will explore and practices skill related to:

  • The ideal and real role of the International School Counselor
  • Third Culture Kids: Understanding and supporting students, parents and teachers cope with transient population.
  • Identifying the culture of a school and effective programs that can either support or change the culture
  • Increasing your personal self-awareness of multicultural issues;
  • Increasing your flexibility in responding to a variety of behavioral and verbal stimuli of culturally different clients

COUN 565 Crisis & Trauma Prevention and Intervention in International School Counseling (3 Units)

It is inevitable that school crises will occur. In international schools, school counselors are the first responders or members of the school’s crisis team. The purpose of this course is to prepare students for dealing with crisis situations they will encounter as an International School Counselor.   Students will spend time reflecting on how people deal with crises, exploring their own crisis experiences, and begin to develop skills for crisis intervention.  Students will also examine some of the relevant research on crises, resolution, and resilience for International Populations.  However, the major focus throughout the course will be on learning the practical skills of helping people in crisis and constructing prevention programs for children and adolescents that include: Grief and Bereavement, Bullying, Violence Prevention, Cultural Adjustment and Transition, Suicide and Suicidal Ideation, and Family Conflict and Violence.

COUN 566 International Career and College Readiness (3 Units)

Virtually every international school, through the school’s mission, holds the promise of a university education for every student.  Parents often select an international school over other systems based on their perception that they will be providing their children with a significantly increased opportunity to both have access to and succeed at highly competitive universities worldwide. Through a series of case studies, collaborative learning strategies, and interactive simulations, participants will:

  • Examine the career development process and interventions for children, and adolescents within a culture-centered perspective.
  • Study of theorists, vocational assessment process, and occupational and psychological information systems.
  • Gain valuable insight into the inner-workings of university admission offices, with a focus on the multiple factors impacting each decision to admit or deny a student
  • Understand the offerings and requirements of university systems in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK
  • Develop the tools needed to help families and students form an effective university application list
  • Fully understand the factors that make for a successful teacher and counselor recommendation
  • Gain a thorough understanding of the common application, with a particular emphasis on writing effective personal statements for admission to highly competitive universities.
  • Increase knowledge of the financial aid and scholarship process in the United States

COUN 567 Applied Theories and Techniques in International School Counseling (1 Unit)

International schools are filled with kids and adults experiencing change of all types; and change comes with individual responses and needs. School counseling involves the counselor working with students, families and teachers one to one to obtain positive solutions for the individual. With limited time and resources available, international school counselors need special skills and approaches to intervention that allow them to utilize trusting relationships to help students find solutions to their problems. The course will bring together best practices in a live course format held either in San Diego or a regional foreign country.  Students will have the opportunity to learn various school-based interventions. Utilizing a variety of instructional techniques including (e.g. Fishbowl techniques; Pair sharing practice and role­play; Triad sharing and observations; Video demonstrations; Case study debriefing; Readings and reflections; and Small group and class discussions) students will learn:

  • How and when to use the six key questions of Solution Focused Counseling
  • How to identify and utilize a student’s strengths in navigating troubling times
  • How to utilize the role of empathy and relationships in a counseling setting
  • How to reframe problems in a way that provides student with more options
  • When to refer a student and family for outside counseling
  • The role of the counselor in student support meetings (response to intervention)


All application materials must be received by the Office of Graduate Admissions by the final deadline in order for your application to be considered for admission.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Review tuition rates, fees, and financial aid opportunities to start investing in yourself. 

Status and Decisions

To confirm that application materials have been received, please log into the MySanDiego portal or contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at (619) 260-4524. Admissions decision letters are sent via US Mail.

Submit all supplemental materials to:

Office of Graduate Admissions 
University of San Diego, Manchester Hall 105
5998 Alcalá Park, San Diego, CA 92110-2492

For questions about the admissions contact:

SOLES Office of Admissions and Outreach 
Mother Rosalie Hill Hall 143
(619) 260-7988
Advising Appointments