Background Checks

Who must complete a background check?

All Master of Arts in Counseling students or those hoping to enter the Master of Arts in Counseling program are required to complete a background check.

Why do I have to complete a background check?

Many health care professionals are required to complete a criminal history background check as a part of volunteer, paid, or internship clinical services rendered to the public. Safety is a primary concern in health care. In addition to completing necessary coursework and competencies, successfully passing a criminal background check is a significant step toward demonstrating fitness for clinical experience in internship.

When do I have to complete a background check?

You must complete a background check prior to or during your first semester of enrollment. Should you fail to complete a background check during that timeframe, you will be prohibited from registering for future semesters.

Please be aware that open registration occurs during the months of November, March, and July. Should you wish to avoid paying late registration fees, you must submit your background check at least two weeks before open registration begins.

What is the process for getting a background check?

Your background check must be from Safe Hiring Solutions.
Visit: and create an account. When you are asked about your position, please select "volunteer".

The cost for the background check varies depending on court access fees charged in specific counties an applicant has lived in. Should you be required to pay additional fees, you will be notified by a representative from Safe Hiring solutions. Please be aware that a few counties in New York have county fees as high as $65; however, most county fees charge only minimal fees or in many cases no fees at all. You can find a list of fees at . The results of the background check will be sent directly to Western Seminary.

What happens after Western Seminary has received my
background check?

A member of the Counseling Program will review the background check results and make sure there are no discrepancies between the background check and the information you provided in your application.

Should any discrepancies be found, you will be contacted by the Dean of Students to setup an interview time. After the interview the Dean of Students will make a recommendation of additional provisions being added to your admission, dismissal from the program,  or full admission to the program. You will be notified in writing about the Admission Committee's final decision.

If there are no discrepancies found, you will be notified via email about the background check provision being removed from your admission. 

Please be aware that it is in your best interest to request a background check as soon as possible because it will not only take 3-5 business days for Western Seminary to receive the background check results, but it will also take a number of days to review the background check and ensure this provision can be removed from your admission.