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.
- Official GRE general test scores – Taken within the last five years and scores should be at the 50th percentile or higher. For Counseling Psychology PhD applicants, the Psychology Subject test is also encouraged.
- English proficiency requirement verified via: 1) Graduation with a baccalaureate degree (or higher) earned in residence from an accredited English-medium U.S. college or university or a college or university in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, English-speaking province of Canada, or an English-speaking Caribbean country, with instruction conducted in English; or 2) Official scores from the TOEFL (25 on all part scores), IELTS-Academic (6.0 total score with no part score below 5.5), or PTE (55 overall score with no part score below 50). Scores must be less than two years old from the semester of admission.
- 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.
Our admission criteria are spelled out on the Graduate Application Checklist & Criteria (pdf) and 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.
Once you’ve decided to apply, please note that KU does not accept paper applications for admission. The online application is designed to give you the ability to submit all supporting documents in one form. Not sure of how to proceed? We’ve created a Graduate Admission Checklist & Criteria (pdf), just for you!
Application Deadline for Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology
Domestic & International Applicants:
Apply before December 1 to begin in the following summer or fall semester
(Admission decision notifications are shared no later than April 1)
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.