Counseling Psychology Admissions
All applications to the Ph.D. program must be submitted via the VCU admissions portal.
Please note there is not a separate application for the program or department. General information about graduate study at VCU can be obtained from the VCU Graduate School website.
The counseling psychology doctoral program is a full-time program. We do not offer distance learning or part-time enrollment.
The deadline for applications is December 1.
To be admitted to the counseling psychology program, you will need 18 undergraduate credit hours in psychology, including courses in statistics, experimental and introductory psychology. If you are an exceptionally qualified student, however, some of these prerequisites may be waived.
Although a master’s degree is awarded in progress toward the doctoral degree, only students who are seeking the Ph.D. are considered for admission. Students with master's degrees are encouraged to apply. However, if you did not complete a research-based thesis as part of your master's (or if it is not comparable in quality to those produced by VCU students), you must complete another master's degree with thesis in progress toward your doctoral degree.
The counseling program is committed to the recruitment of students from underrepresented groups, including racial, ethnic and sexual minorities. Additional details about admission requirements are available in the VCU Bulletin.
Applications are evaluated by counseling program faculty members whose work is most closely aligned with the applicant's self-described research and clinical interests. A central consideration during the admissions process is the degree of fit between an applicant's research and clinical interests, and those of a particular faculty member.
Applicants should include the following in their statement of intent:
- Their career goals and how the program could them help meet those goals
- Names of faculty members with which their research and professional interests match well
- Prior academic and professional experiences related to their interest in and aptitude for the program
- The potential role of a social justice perspective in their work
- Information about academic honors or professional awards, including scholarships, fellowships, publications and other relevant professional experiences (applicants are encouraged to include a resume or CV)
Selected applicants will be invited for an interview day on campus where they will meet individually with faculty and students, and participate in structured group interviews. Interviews will be held virtually on Feb. 2 and Feb. 9, 2024. Only about four to five new students are admitted each year.
Offers of admission are usually made in early to mid-March. Applicants must explicitly state in writing (email is acceptable) whether they will accept or reject an offer of admission by no later than April 15.
Graduate Student Funding
One hundred percent of our students receive tuition waivers and assistantships or fellowships for at least the first four years of training. Though we cannot guarantee funding into the fifth year, most students are successful in procuring fifth year funding as needed. Learn more about financial support.
Additional Admissions Information
No, GRE scores are not required for admission. Please do not submit your GRE scores, as they will not be reviewed.
We offer fee waivers to individuals involved in any of the programs listed below. If you are in one of the listed programs, please email email@example.com with a request for an application fee waiver and documentation that you are involved in one of these programs:
- Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity
- Minority Access to Research Careers
- Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement
- Bridges to the Baccalaureate
- Bridges to the Doctorate
- Gates Millennium Scholar
- Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program
- Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation
- Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate
- McNair Scholars
- Teach for America
- Peace Corps
- VCU Department paying fee (requires pre-approval)
- VCU Honors College
- Fulbright Scholar
- VCU Baccalaureate Graduate Master’s Opportunity (obtained through the graduate school)
Because of the large numbers of applications we get each year, we are unable to accommodate all of the requests for interviews we receive. We urge you not to set up an interview with the hope of special consideration as an applicant. No one will be given special consideration for setting up a pre-application interview.
However, we do welcome you to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have.
Rather than choosing a graduate program based on previous academic success and/or likelihood of acceptance, you should think carefully about your career goals and interests. It cannot be emphasized enough how important it is to find a good match between your interests and training needs, and the faculty’s interests and training goals.
Remember that choosing a graduate program is much different than choosing an undergraduate program. You will be spending at least five years studying a specialized area, which requires patience and dedication. Working in an area of interest during this time makes it much easier to manage during these years!
Check out these resources to help inform your decision:
- Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Find info on the differences between counseling and clinical psychology, job prospects in the field, likely salary, etc.
- O*NET Resource Center: The O*NET program is the nation's primary source of occupational information.
In the counseling psychology program we have about 30 students currently enrolled. There are approximately 130 students total in all the graduate psychology programs at VCU (including counseling, clinical, health, social and developmental programs.).