Counseling and Special Education


Admission to all of our counselor education graduate programs is competitive. Below you will find more information regarding the admission requirements for our programs. Additional details may be found in the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School.

For general information about applying for graduate study, or to check on the status of an application, contact the Student Services Center at 804-827-2670.

Previous webinars

Missed out on our last graduate programs webinar? You can still get all the information from the webinar's PowerPoint slideshow.

M.Ed. in counselor education (school counseling or college counseling and student affairs

Admission requirements and procedures

The following criteria summarize the minimum acceptable standards for admission into either of the M.Ed. in counselor education concentrations.

Applications should be submitted to the Graduate School by December 1 (preferred)/January 15 (final) for summer or fall admission.

  1. Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or its equivalent.
  2. Official transcripts of all previous college work.
  3. Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or cumulative GPA of 3.0 on the most recent 60 credits of coursework.
  4. Satisfactory scores on GRE or MAT. Applicants are expected to score 386 or higher on the MAT, or 290 or higher (Verbal + Quantitative) on the GRE for admission. Scores may be no more than 5 years old. Prospective students who have earned a master’s degree in the last 5 years may include a letter in their application requesting that the MAT/GRE requirement be waived based on previous success in graduate school. The VCU Code for admission testing is 5570. Department codes are not necessary.
  5. Three letters of recommendation from instructors or professional references addressing the student’s potential for graduate study in education.
  6. Personal Statement. Your personal statement should include a description of the experiences that led you to pursue this degree as well as your career goals. The statement should also include your perceived aptitude for forming effective and culturally relevant interpersonal relationships with clients. Culture is defined broadly and includes ability/disability status, ethnicity, race, religion/spirituality, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital/partnership status, and socioeconomic status. Please comment on your experience with diverse populations in your personal statement. Also comment on how you exhibit the Professional Performance Standards upon which you will be evaluated in the program (as listed in the program handbook on our website).
  7. Personal interview is required. Once all applications are reviewed by the Counselor Education Program faculty, selected applicants may be invited to interview during the Spring semester.

Ph.D. in education (concentration in counselor education and supervision)

Admission requirements and procedures

The following is specific admissions requirements for acceptance into the doctoral program in counselor education.

  1. Completion of a master’s degree from a CACREP-accredited counseling program or a master’s degree in a related field and coursework that meets the CACREP curricular and clinical experiences for entry-level programs is required.
  2. Satisfactory scores on GRE. Applicants are expected to score 290 or higher (Verbal + Quantitative) on the GRE for admission. Scores may be no more than 5 years old. The VCU Code for admission testing is 5570. Department codes are not necessary.
  3. At least two years of professional counseling experience is preferred.
  4. Three letters of recommendation, including at least one letter from a former professor and one letter from a professional colleague are required.
  5. The department also requires a writing sample. Applicants should submit a letter of intent that includes personal and professional short-term and long-term goals; an anticipated time frame for completing the degree; anticipated possible challenges in achievement of degree and goals; the knowledge, skills and experience that has prepared the candidate to seek degree at this time; and current research interests.
  6. Current resume/vita.

For more details, watch the video from our doctoral program webinar.

Application info

How to apply: Graduate application
Please note: a $65 nonrefundable application fee must accompany each application. This fee will not be credited toward tuition payment. Applicants are strongly encouraged to pay by credit card when submitting the online application.

Semester of entry: Our counseling programs currently only accept applications for fall admission.

M.Ed. admission deadlines: The preferred deadline for our master's degree program is Dec. 1, with the final deadline being Jan. 15.

Ph.D. admission deadlines: For the doctoral program, the preferred deadline is Nov. 15 and final deadline is Dec. 15.

Admission interviews: The following dates have been scheduled for invited interviews, so please save the date:

  • M.Ed. in counselor education — Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018
  • Ph.D. in education (counselor education and supervision track) — Friday, Jan. 19, 2018