Admission Procedures and Criteria


Admission Procedures and Criteria

Andrews University’s PhD in Counseling Psychology seeks to recruit applicants that will enter the program with strong academic backgrounds, and a desire to learn both clinical  skills and participate in scientific research.  Applicants must also demonstrate an emotional maturity consistent with the role of a doctoral student entering a rigorous program requiring commitment not only to coursework, but also clinical training, participating in research, and a timely completion of a dissertation.  

Though the program typically reviews around 15-18 applications each year, the core faculty’s goal is to keep each incoming cohort size between 5-8 new students.  

Notice of Non-Discrimination, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action

Andrews University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation in its programs and activities as required by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other applicable statutes and University policies.

Reports of discrimination or harassment based on any of the above mentioned categories should be directed to the Office of Diversity.  Contact information can be found here

Application Deadlines and Starting Semester

The Counseling Psychology program conducts interview days during the months of January – May for entrance into the upcoming fall semester.  In order to be considered for admission into the next cohort, applicants must have their files complete and be invited to participate in one of the scheduled interview days.  Please contact the department directly for these dates.  Applications received after the final interview day will be considered for the following academic year. 

Each application received by the program goes through an initial review by the core faculty to see whether basic requirements are met.  Applicants should have a master's degree in counseling or a related field.  In order for an applicant without a master's degree to be eligible for consideration of admission, they must have the following: undergraduate major in psychology or related field; outstanding academic record with satisfactory GPA; and satisfactory scores on both the GRE General Test and Advanced Test in Psychology.  

Minimum admission requirements are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Official transcripts: From institutions where all post-secondary coursework was taken.
  • Recommendations: Three recommendations are required from professionals—such as advisors, major professors, and employers—excluding relatives. At least two recommendations should be academic.
  • Professional Curriculum Vita: Information about employment, research, or special projects.
  • GRE score: The exam must be less than 5 years old at time of admission.   The minimum GRE scores this program will accept are based off the university standards of: Verbal-142, Quantitative-142, and Analytical-3.0.  Applicants coming directly from undergrad must also have completed the GRE Psychology Subject Test.  
  • Statement of Purpose: A 500-word essay explaining objectives in seeking a graduate degree at Andrews University. Include a description of personal, professional, and academic goals; philosophical perspective; and what applicant hopes to accomplish professionally in ten years following the completion of degree.
  • Research Paper: Such as graded papers, reports or case studies (with identifying information removed) or thesis.

The required GRE score of 142 Verbal ensures that incoming students have the necessary verbal skills to understand the scholarly material presented in doctoral course readings, the course lectures, to review the existing literature for their dissertation, and to express themselves at the advanced level expected in course papers, discussions, and research.  Similarly, the required GRE score of 142 Quantitative ensures that incoming students have the requisite skills necessary to understand statistical analyses described in current research and to master the statistical and data analytical skills needed to engage in scholarly research of their own.  The required GRE score of 3.0 required for Analytical Writing is meant to ensure skills needed for writing papers for doctoral courses, developing research presentations (e.g., posters), and writing the dissertation and other research manuscripts is in place.

The 3.3 GPA requirement is a measure of the student’s ability to manage a structured course of study. 

The GRE Psychology subject test requirement is for applicants with only a baccalaureate degree which ensures a minimum understanding of foundational psychological concepts.

The curriculum for students is graduated throughout their program.  If students are missing prerequisite knowledge or skills, students are required to pass those courses before moving on to the introductory doctoral courses.  Subsequent to mastering the introductory courses, students enroll in progressively more advanced courses and fieldwork which builds on the prerequisite and foundational courses they have already mastered.  Thus, students are supported through a graduated curriculum to nurture growth from their initial knowledge and skill bases.

Transfer Credit Policy

Andrews University may grant credit for courses completed at a university that is either regionally accredited or a recognized candidate for accreditation according to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). In addition, credits from a foreign post-secondary institution that is recognized and approved by the local Ministry of Education as a degree-granting institution may be accepted.

Transfer courses will be accepted only after evaluation by the Registrar, the Department of Graduate Psychology and Counseling, and the School of Graduate Studies. Courses considered for transfer are subject to the following conditions: 1) Evaluation of proposed transfer credits is completed on a course-by-course basis; 2) Transfer credits are evaluated only from an official transcript and official course syllabus from the semester the course was taken. The awarding of transfer credits for international students may require the submission of the course syllabus and/or course-by-course evaluation by an approved international credential evaluation service; 3) Transfer credit can only be awarded for courses with final grades posted on an official transcript; 4) All information on the official transcript must match the Transfer Credit Petition Form; 5) Any course considered for transfer must have a grade of ‘B’ or above (3.0 on a 4.0 scale); 6) Courses listed with a ‘P’ or “Pass” grade are not eligible for transfer, 7) Practicum and internship credits are not eligible for transfer.  All fieldwork (practicum and internship) must be completed at Andrews University; 8) The course grade for a transferred course is not calculated into a student’s Andrews University Grade Point Average; and, 9) There must be an 80% overlap in course content between the proposed transfer course and the Andrews course.

Students must follow the procedure outlined below. Once accepted into the Counseling Psychology Program, students may begin the process of submitting documentation for review.  It is recommended that the student meet with their academic advisor and do a preliminary review of any prior graduate level coursework.  If it is determined that prior coursework should be reviewed for equivalency, the student should ask the department for a School of Education Transfer of Credits Petition Form.  The petition form must be submitted with the official course syllabus of the course the student wishes to transfer.  The Andrews’ professor who teaches the course will review the syllabus.  The professor considers whether the transfer course aligns with their course syllabus relative to course content. There must be at least 80% course content overlap between the proposed transfer course and the Andrews’ course.
In order for the Registrar's Office to be able to conduct a thorough evaluation of transfer credits, information about institutional accreditation, level of course work, grading scales, and the institution's credit system (quarter, ECTS, semester) must be available. Generally, this information is included on the transcript key of an official transcript. However, in the event that some or all of this information is not printed on the transcript, students may be contacted for additional clarification or documentation. 

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