Master of Science in Education - Professional School Counseling
Graduate Program | 37 credit hours

  • Ottumwa
  • Storm Lake
  • Want to help students discover their future? Ready to move up the pay scale? Looking for a new challenge? These are just a few of the reasons BVU's current students have entered the Professional School Counseling program. 

    You will find BVU Master of Science in Education graduates making a difference as professional school guidance counselors in elementary, middle and high schools across the Midwest.   Anyone graduating with a baccalaureate degree can become a professional school counselor. Specifically, interest from those in the human services fields has increased. 

    You will also find these program features helpful:

    • Empowers you, with its strong focus on application, to “hit the ground running” upon completion of the 37 hour program
    • Equips you with a solid and secure foundation for a career as a professional counselor; supported and accredited by the North Central Association for colleges and the Iowa Department of Education
    • Connects you to mentors, colleagues, and resources to ensure your growth and success as a professional school counselor
    • Hybrid delivery (combination online and face-to-face) courses convenient for working adults


    Year One

    • GEDU 519 Professional & Ethical Orientation to School Counseling
    • GEDU 546 Methods of Professional School Counseling
    • GEDU 544 Social & Cultural Foundations of School
    • GEDU 543 Administration of Comprehensive School Counseling Programs in the Schools

    Year Two

    • GEDU 527 Developmental Assessment & School Counseling Core Curriculum
    • GEDU 548 Group Counseling in Schools
    • GEDU 528 Action Research, Data Analysis & Informational Resources
    • GEDU 529 Human Development and Learning in Schools and Family

    Year Three

    • GEDU 549 Career Development & Assessment in the Schools
    • GEDU 538 Consultation, Leadership & Advocacy Roles in School Counseling
    • GEDU 551 Supervised Pre-Practicum in Professional School Counseling
    • GEDU 547 Elementary Field Practicum
    • GEDU 550 Secondary Field Practicum
    • GEDU 555 Capstone Professional Portfolio

    Tuition & Fees

    2013-14 Tuition:
    $464 per credit hour
    2014-15 Tuition:
    $479 per credit hour

    Additional Fees

    • Additional costs include textbooks each term and a graduation fee in the final term of enrollment. 
    • Summer housing for Master of Science - Professional School Counseling program. Dormitory rooms complete with central kitchen facilities are available at a modest rate during the four week summer session on the BVU campus.

    How to Apply

    Admissions Requirements

    • Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited institution
    • If not teacher certified, an additional Exceptional Learner and Classroom Management course is required for Iowa licensure.  
    • A minimum undergraduate college GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale
    • Submission of the online application form, including autobiographical essay
    • Three letters of recommendation – one from your principal, one from a colleague and one form a reference of your choosing
    • Official transcripts from all previously attended institutions(s) including graduate transcripts
    • BVU Analytical Writing Assessment

    Application Process

    Applicants are encouraged to submit materials as early as possible and no later than April 15th preceding the first summer course. The Admissions Committee will review all applications and mail letters of acceptance by April 25.

    To apply: 

    1.Complete the Online Application Apply

    2. Answer Auto-Biographical Questions

    You may compose your answers in a word processor and send as an email attachment to If any questions, please call 712.749.2162.

    1. What significant personal experiences influenced you to pursue the counseling profession?
    2. What significant professional experiences influenced you to pursue the counseling profession?
    3. Discuss how you would make a contribution as a school counselor to the counseling profession, both within a local school district and the profession at large.

    3. Provide Letters of Recommendation

    Three letters of recommendation from supervisors, colleagues or former university instructors are required to complete your application package. Please print this form and submit to the Graduate Program Office after completion. Letters of recommendation are due prior to April 15 to be eligible for consideration.

    Download the letter of recommendation form.

    4. Complete the BVU Writing Assessment, an analytical writing assignment (arranged by graduate office).

    Your application will be considered complete when we have received the autobiographical answers, transcripts and all three letters of recommendation. Thank you!

    Financial Aid

    Available Loans

    • Federal Direct Loans are available to students who complete a Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and enroll at least half-time in college. The Budget Control Act eliminated the availability of Federal Direct Subsidized Loans to graduate and professional students effective for loans made for periods of enrollment (loan periods) on or after July 1, 2012 and the availability of certain repayment incentives for loans made on or after July 1, 2012. The annual loan limit for graduate and professional students remains unchanged at $20,500, but this amount will now be limited to Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans. With a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, students are responsible for all interest charges upon receipt of the loan. The interest rate for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is 5.41%. The aggregate maximum a graduate or professional student may borrow is $138,500. No more that $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. The graduate debt limit includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study.
    • Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loans are available to graduate or professional degree students enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school in a program leading to a degree or certificate.  A credit check will be performed during the application process.  If you are eligible for the Direct Grad PLUS Loan, you will be required to sign a Master Promissory Note, agreeing to the terms of the loan.  Graduate and professional students will also be required to complete entrance counseling before receiving a Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan.  The maximum PLUS loan amount graduate students can borrow is the cost of attendance minus any other financial assistance received.  The fixed interest rate for a Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan is 6.41%.  There is also an origination fee of 4.204%.  As a graduate & professional student, your loan will be placed into deferment while you are enrolled at least half-time and for an additional six months after you cease to be enrolled at least half-time.
    • Alternative Loans (private education loans) are also an option for graduate students.  To see your options and to apply, go to and click on the alternative loan tab.  This will take you to the FASTCHOICE web site where you can compare different lender loans and see what option works best for you.
    • Enrollment - Federal loan eligibility is restricted to students who are enrolled in a  program as a half-time student. Half-time status in the M.S.Ed. program is defined as three credit hours per semester. To qualify for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, fill out the online FAFSA, Free Application for Federal Student Aid - after January 1.

    Please contact the Office of Financial Assistance at Buena Vista University, 800.383.2821, ext. 2164, for more information or visit BVU's Financial Assistance website.

    For more information, visit the Iowa College Student Aid Commission web site.


    After all financial assistance is applied to the student account, students will be expected to pay the balance prior to the first class meeting. Students may pay:

    • by mailing a check covering the tuition for the course (be sure to indicate the course number and title) to:
      Business Office 
      Buena Vista University 
      610 W. Fourth St.
      Storm Lake, IA 50588
    • by phoning the Business Office at 800.383.2821, ext. 2041 to make payments by credit card.
    • in person at the Business Office. Cash, checks and the following credit cards are accepted: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa.

    Contact Us

    Buena Vista University
    610 West Fourth Street
    Storm Lake, IA 50588

    Main Phone 800.383.2821
    Graduate Admissions 866.449.7059
    Fax 712.749.1470