About Student Development in Higher Education

Develops community college and university professionals who understand the needs of college students from diverse backgrounds, and collaborate with faculty and campus stakeholders to promote holistic development of students

SDHE is a Master's of Science in Counseling degree offered by the CSULB College of Education. By earning a degree in counseling, our graduates are eligible for employment as counselors in California community colleges.

Admission to the SDHE program is highly competitive. The acceptance rate is approximately 10-15% of the total number of applicants. It is essential for applicants to adhere to application guidelines. Please visit the Application Process website for additional information.

Yes. Each fall we admit a cohort of students, most of whom intend to study full-time. In order to sustain the cohort learning community and to complete the program in a timely fashion, full-time status is strongly encouraged after admission; however, based on individual circumstances, students may take less than a full-time load. Students are encouraged to work with their advisor to ensure that all program requirements are being met to ensure timely graduation.

The Johnson Fellows Program offers one or more SDHE students an opportunity to earn an annual stipend for their work in University departments with direct student contact, participate in faculty research, receive mentoring from experienced practitioners, and lead the planning and implementation of the annual Cynthia S. Johnson Student Development Forum. Learn more about the Johnson Fellows Program. Also, many positions are available at CSULB and at colleges and universities in the area. Nearly all students who seek employment find it within the first semester of enrollment. There are also College of Education scholarships available. 


Please visit the Application Process page

Visit the GSO Tips & Tutorials for Applying page for an application flow chart, advice on how to be a competitive applicant, and free resources and tips on the statement of purpose, letters of recommendations, and resume.

Minimum 2.85 overall grade point average in last degree (not credential or certificate) earned from an accredited institution of higher education.

Applicants whose overall GPA is less than 2.85 but meet the University minimum GPA requirement (2.50 for a completed baccalaureate degree or 2.70 for a baccalaureate degree in progress) and who present compelling evidence of academic and professional potential either through recent academic performance and/or experiential background, may be considered for admission at the discretion of the program admission committee. Please see the Eligibility Requirements. 

The admission committee uses a holistic evaluation process. Each applicant's documents are carefully considered. Thus, the committee looks for outstanding letters of recommendation, previous experience in the field, and written statements of exceptional quality.

No. There are no examinations required for admission to the SDHE program.

No. All of our programs do not have rolling admissions, and all applications are reviewed after the application deadline.

Two. For additional information on recommendations, please visit the Online Application Submission website.

The application deadline is also the deadline for the letters of recommendation. Please note there is a short buffer period in which recommender(s) may submit evaluations after the application deadline. Please make sure your recommender submits the recommendation as close to the deadline as possible for full consideration. For additional information on recommendations, please visit the Online Application Submission website.

Graduate school fees are set by the CSU Board of Trustees each academic year. The current fee structure may be found on the Enrollment Services website. The approximate cost as of Fall 2023 is $23,760-$25,266 for the entire SDHE program for California residents (5 semesters at "7 units or more" + 1 semesters of "6 units or less" or 6 semesters at "7 units or more" if also pursuing the Community College Certificate).

Degree Requirements

Classes are designed for working professionals and are offered in the evening. Most SDHE students are employed at local colleges and universities. Course scheduling varies by semester; however, classes do not begin prior to 4:00pm. 

Students are admitted in a group (or "cohort") each fall and take their courses together throughout the program to enhance the learning experience. The ultimate decision to accept a transfer course rests with the faculty who teach the equivalent course(s) at CSULB. With the volume of applications received each year we are unable to review transcripts of prospective students. However, once admitted, our students receive guidance from their advisor on seeking course equivalencies. 

Other Inquires