Admission to the Professional Counseling program is not automatic for students meeting minimum admission requirements. Admissions decisions for the School Counseling program will be made after reviewing all materials and determining the applicant’s capacity, suitability, and preparation for graduate study in this area.
Successful applicants typically have demonstrated the following:
- a 3.00 or higher undergraduate grade point average (If an applicant’s GPA is lower than 3.00 then Professional Counseling faculty will consider applicant’s academic performance during the last 60 hours of the undergraduate program);
- a score of 146 or higher on the verbal section of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or 385 or higher on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) for applicants whose overall undergraduate grade point averages are below 3.50. A graduate admissions test score is not required for applicants with overall undergraduate grade point averages of 3.50 or above (on a 4.00 scale).
- three positive recommendations. Endorsers should use the recommender link provided by the College of Graduate Studies.
- a written essay/statement of purpose on the supplemental application form in which the applicant’s reason for pursuing a graduate degree in Professional Counseling with a concentration in School Counseling is congruent with the focus/emphasis of the program;
- a resume/vita that includes name, address, and phone number of applicant; school applicant attended and applicant’s major, minor, and grade point average; honors and awards; and employment and volunteer experiences;
- if invited, participate in a half-day interview within the first six (6) hours of coursework (invitation based on how the applicant compares to other applicants in relation to the other requirements). The interview is conducted by Professional Counseling faculty, a practicing mental health counselor, and school counselor. The interview is conducted by Professional Counseling faculty, a practicing mental health professional, and school counselor. An invited applicant must review the Professional Counseling handbook and the most current version of the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics prior to the interview day and agree in writing to abide by the contents of those documents-should they be admitted into the program-on the day of the interview. Applicant must receive a positive recommendation from the faculty and counselors for program admission.
Note: Meeting minimum requirements for program admission does not guarantee admission, as applicants are selected on a competitive basis.
All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.
The deadlines for completed applications follow:
- February 10 for Summer/Fall admission
- September 10 for Spring admission.
- submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php). Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
- submit official transcripts of all previous college work (i.e., undergraduate and graduate transcripts);
- submit official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Only current test scores (i.e., taken within the past five years) will be accepted.
- submit a current resume/vita;
- complete and submit an online Supplemental Professional Counseling Program Application.
- arrange for three (3) professional recommendations using the MTSU College of Graduate Studies recommendation link provided. Two of the recommendations should come from faculty or other academic officials who can attest to the applicant’s academic abilities. The third can come from someone who has either supervised the applicant’s work, has been a colleague, or has known him/her for at least three years (other than family).
NOTE: The six steps above must be completed and the supportive materials described in these steps must be received by the College of Graduate Studies by the February 10 or September 10 deadline before any student will be considered for admission.
Professional Counseling faculty will review completed application files (all of the above), and if minimal requirements are met, will arrange with the applicant for participation in an admissions interview. For the Spring admission, interview will be held on the last Friday of September. For Fall admission, the interview will be held on the last Friday of February.
The admissions interview is a half-day endeavor that includes the following:
- orientation to the Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling concentrations;
- meeting with current students who are taking classes within the respective concentrations;
- individual interview;
- group exercises; and
- brief writing assignments.
Following the admissions interview, Professional Counseling faculty will make admissions decisions. The following are considered in the decision-making process:
- input from regular, adjunct, and affiliate program faculty (if the applicant has taken or is currently taking classes);
- input from practitioners who served on the admissions committee;
- each applicant’s potential success in forming effective interpersonal relationships in individual and small-group contexts;
- each applicant’s aptitude for graduate-level study, including technological competence and computer literacy;
- each applicant’s career goals and objectives and their relevance to the program;
- each applicant’s openness to self-examination and personal and professional self-development;
- each applicant’s openness to and respect for diversity in its many forms; and
- each applicant’s written acknowledgment that they reviewed the Professional Counseling handbook and the most current version of the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics prior to the interview day and agree to abide by the contents of those documents-should they be admitted into the program-on the day of the interview.
Applicants will be formally notified of the admission decision by the College of Graduate Studies within 30 days of the admissions interview. If accepted into the Professional Counseling program, the applicant must within two weeks notify the program coordinator of his/her intention to enter the program.
Internship Grade and Professional Dispositions Policy
Successful completion of School Counseling internship entails earning a grade of B- or higher and rubric ratings of “Acceptable” and/or “Target” in all six professional dispositions categories (i.e., Collaborative, Ethical, Professional, Reflective, Self-Directed and Critical Thinker).
If a student earns less than a B- in their first or second semester of internship and/or if they receive an “Unacceptable” rubric score in one or more of the six professional disposition categories then they will be required to repeat and successfully complete a semester of internship. Students will be given the opportunity to repeat a semester of internship, if necessary, only once during their program.
Remediation will be required if a student must repeat a semester of internship. Targets of remediation will vary from student to student and will be determined by the faculty. Remediation procedures will be employed in accordance with the Professional Counseling Program Continuous Evaluation policy.
The Specialist in Education in Professional Counseling with a concentration in School Counseling requires completion of 61 semester hours.
Candidates must successfully complete the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (may be taken no more than twice).
Curriculum: Professional Counseling, School Counseling
The following illustrates the coursework requirements.
- PSY 3230 - Abnormal Psychology (3 credit hours) with a minimum grade of B (or an equivalent undergraduate abnormal psychology course taken at another accredited educational institution)
Required Courses (61 hours)
Students are required to complete a 100-hour practicum and two 300-hour internships in elementary and high school settings. Coursework completion is not a guarantee of the recommendation for licensure.
School Counseling Candidates Seeking Tennessee School Counseling Licensure
All candidates seeking licensure as a school counselor in Tennessee must take and pass the Praxis Test: Instructional Support Personnel, Professional School Counselor (per State Department of Education criteria). This test is taken when the student is near the end of the master’s program.
Students who hold a graduate degree in an area other than school counseling who seek to take classes to obtain licensure as a school counselor in Tennessee must be accepted into the School Counseling program in order to do so. This admission is not automatic. Successful applicants will generally meet the same criteria as other School Counseling program applicants, as described above.
These applicants should take the following steps:
- consult with the School Counseling program coordinator regarding what additional coursework is needed for licensure;
- apply to the College of Graduate Studies under the category of “Addition of School Counseling License to Previous Master’s”;
- submit all application materials, as described in Application Procedures, to the College of Graduate Studies;
- attend the half-day interview if invited to do so.