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Counseling Psychology

Admission to Ph.D. Program at KU

The University of Kansas is a great place to pursue a graduate degree, since graduate education is central to KU’s mission of learning, scholarship and creative activity.  We invite you to explore our graduate degree information, review our student resources, and learn more on our knowledgeable faculty and the vibrant community of Lawrence, Kansas.

Academic Preparation and Admission Requirements

There is an expectation that students entering either the doctoral or masters program will have at least 15 hours of undergraduate coursework in behavioral sciences, including measurement, statistics, research methods, social psychology, personality, etc. First level graduate coursework (e.g., EPSY 710 and EPSY 725) can be used to remediate areas not already covered.

  • Minimum Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and, if applicable, minimum Graduate GPA of 3.5. 
  • English proficiency (non-native English speakers): Due to high demand for English proficiency in this profession, our program requires an average TOEFL score of 24 or above, with no section score lower than 23, which is higher than the University’s requirement.
  • Completed bachelor's or master’s degree in counseling, psychology, or a related area. Applicants who do not have an undergraduate degree in education or psychology should have a minimum of 15 undergraduate credit hours in the behavioral sciences, such as Psychology, Human Development, Sociology, Education, etc.

We do admit students with either a Bachelor or a Master degree. Please know that each application is considered individually with a specific interest in finding a match between applicant and program. If you do not meet our criteria (i.e., the GPA or GRE minimums), your application will still be considered and reviewed.

Application Deadline for Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology

Domestic & International Applicants:
Apply before December 1 to begin in the following summer or fall semester

Interested in a Graduate Teaching Assistantship?

Cultural & Individual Diversity

We respect and value cultural and individual diversity, and do not discriminate against anyone on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, or other individual differences. We particularly encourage those from underrepresented groups/classes to apply. Applicants will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Academic merit and potential;
  • Evidence of potential for conducting research;
  • Specific research interests;
  • Personal and interpersonal characteristics;
  • Contribution and commitment to diversity and multiculturalism; and
  • Professional identity, goals, and interests.

Admissions Interview & Process

The Counseling Psychology doctoral program at KU admits approximately 6-8 students each fall. Both bachelor's level and master's level applicants are considered for admission. The admissions committee will select approximately 30 candidates to be interviewed.  All faculty members and current students will have opportunities to participate in the interviews. Both group and individual interview activities will be conducted by faculty and current students on the Interview Day. Candidates who are offered admission are required to “accept” or “decline” the offer no later than April 15th. If a candidate on the alternate list receives an admission offer (which is usually close to April 15th), he/she has 7 days to act on the offer. If the offer is made on or after April 15th, the candidate has 3 days to make a definite decision.

Alternative Admission Criteria

Applicants MAY be admitted under alternative criteria provided there is evidence that the regular criteria do not adequately reflect the student's potential to succeed in the program. The faculty will review and make decisions on such applications on a case-by-case basis. The faculty reserves the right to require those who are admitted under the alternative criteria to take some background core courses in psychology before or during the first year of their training in the areas of general psychology, theories of personality, tests and measurement, abnormal psychology, experimental psychology, and introductory statistics. This decision will be made by the admissions committee and the student’s assigned advisor, and communicated to the student before he/she accepts admission to the program.

Criminal Background Check

To matriculate and enroll as a student in good standing in the Counseling Psychology program at KU and to be placed in clinical practice sites (e.g., practicum, internship, field experience); students in the program must complete and satisfactorily clear a criminal background check with Validity Screening Solutions. Refusal to undergo the background check will result in denial of enrollments. There may be times when a specific practicum site requires an additional background check to be done before the practicum experience can start. Students are expected to follow the site’s requirements. The program faculty reserves the right to request additional background checks should issues arise and the faculty deems it necessary.


Graduate Application Checklist

Getting started

  • Begin the online application through the KU Graduate Admissions. Application fee: $65 for U.S. Residents, $85 for international applicants.
  • Complete the application in one setting or save your work on each page and finish it later.

Gather and upload supporting documents

  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from each institution of higher education from which you received or are earning a degree (official KU transcripts are not required; submit an academic summary or advising report instead). Minimum GPA: undergrad 3.0; graduate 3.5, if applicable.
  • Resume: A current copy of your professional resume or curriculum vita (CV).
  • Statement of intent: 1-2 page statement outlining your background and professional objectives.
  • Recommendations: 3 recommendation forms and letters from qualified individuals are collected via the online application system. Recommendations should speak specifically to the applicant's academic skills and potential to complete the program.
  • English proficiency (non-native English speakers): Due to high demand for English proficiency in this profession, our program requires an average TOEFL score of 24 or above, with no section score lower than 23, which is higher than the University’s requirement.
For International applicants
  • Financial document: Required by the U.S. Government to issue the DS-2019 or I-20.
  • Complete application in advance of the deadline to ensure adequate time for processing.
Additional information
  • Selecting your program: On page 4, select “Education” for the Academic Area of Interest and then find the right major in the Academic Program section. Then, select an entry term and click continue.
  • Submitting the form: Review your application and, when satisfied, click the “Finalize Application and Pay” button. This saves your application in final form and takes you to the payment page.
  • Application fee: You can pay the fee by debit/credit card or check (U.S. bank accounts only). Cash payments are not accepted.

After submitting your application

  • You will receive email verification that your application has been received.
  • The Department will follow up with your official application status via email, noting that the application is complete or that additional materials are necessary.
  • Admission decisions are communicated via an email with log-in information for the official decision portal. You can expect to be notified anytime between late January and April 15.

This program has an in-person interview component that will be extended to selected applicants; if needed, a phone or other online media interview can also be arranged.

Apply online today.


Admission & Faculty Advisors

The following faculty are taking new Ph.D. students:

Interview Day is January 31.

School of Education Resources


SOE Policies, forms, dissertation rubrics, handbooks and other information
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