Counseling - Graduate

The admissions selection process is designed to identify students who have potential for completing the counseling program and achieving licensure as a professional counselor. Due to the sensitive nature of work in the area of professional counseling, students are admitted on the basis of many different expressions of their qualities and abilities: academic preparation, work experience, and factors relating to character and personality.

Academic Preparation

Admission requirements include an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. The program prerequisite courses are abnormal psychology, developmental psychology/human development, theories of personality, or equivalents. It is strongly recommended that the applicant has taken an undergraduate statistics course in addition to the courses named above; if not, those admitted to the program will be required to complete the prerequisite courses at a regionally accredited university of their choice or a graduate clinical foundations course. A minimum GPA of 3.0 (on 4.0 scale) in field-related coursework is expected. Similar proficiency is expected in upper-level work (final 60 hours of bachelor degree work) in the humanities and related science courses. Performance in coursework in areas such as computer technology, media design, engineering, and others not as directly relevant to preparation in behavioral health is given less weight in evaluating academic preparation. Applicants must provide official transcripts for all undergraduate and post-graduate work.

Work Experience

Students who have volunteer and/or related work experience in counseling environments bring an added level of preparation. This type of experience may be considered when academic coursework has not been in the psychology/health services/social sciences area. A current resume, outlining all work and volunteer experiences, and noting reasons for leaving positions, is required of all applicants.

Non-Academic Preparation

Personal preparation for graduate-level study in counseling assumes that the individual demonstrates sustained personal, emotional, relationship, and lifestyle stability. It is strongly encouraged that applicants have engaged in their own therapy.

Reference Forms

Applicants must submit three completed reference forms from former professors, professionals within the mental health field, or work supervisors qualified to comment on the applicant’s potential for successful graduate study in counseling. These questionnaires require comments on the applicant’s intellectual, academic, personal, social, and emotional qualities that may pertain to graduate study and to success in the field of counseling psychology. Reference forms are sent to identified references using an online survey platform. Forms may be requested for others.

Personal Statement on Career Development

Applicants must submit a two-page essay. The topic of the essay should center on professional career development. The applicant should address how past experiences have influenced their current decision to pursue higher education. Ultimately, the essay should illustrate to the reader why the applicant wishes to be in the counseling profession. The essay should demonstrate the ability to organize thoughts in writing and present them in a clear manner.


An interview may be requested of some applicants.