Admission FAQ

Counseling Psychology PhD Program Frequently Asked Questions

How many students does the program generally accept?

Upon review of written materials, approximately 24 applicants are invited to attend a half-day pre-admission interview with the faculty and the student body in February or March.  Of the students interviewed, approximately 9 applicants will be offered admission for the upcoming academic year.  

When will applicants receive notification about selection decisions?

Approximately one (1) week after the pre-admission interviews, applicants will be notified of the Admission Committee’s recommendation.  Official letters of admission come from the School of Graduate Studies and Research and are generally mailed several weeks later.  The School of Graduate Studies and Research generally follows the Admission Committee’s recommendation regarding admission.

Can the program be completed on a part time basis?

Generally, the program cannot be completed on a part-time basis.  Full-time enrollment is strongly supported by the faculty and students are encouraged to consider the demands of the program and their external commitments prior to enrolling.

How long does it take to complete the program?

Since the American Psychological Association accredited the Counseling Psychology Concentration in 2000, the mean time to graduation has been 4.25 years, and the median has been 5. 

When are classes generally scheduled?

Classes are scheduled throughout the day.  However, most classes for doctoral students are scheduled in the evening with an occasional class in the afternoon.  Students are required to meet with their advisers each semester prior to enrolling for courses

Can I transfer courses from another school?

Six (6) semester hours of equivalent coursework may be transferred into the PhD program. The student’s advisor, the program coordinator, the dean of the College of Education, as well as the dean of the Graduate School must evaluate the coursework being considered for transfer.  Generally, courses accepted for transfer are in the research core and elective areas. Courses in the substantive or practice core are not generally accepted for transfer.  To be considered for transfer, the student must have earned a grade of “B’ or better from a regionally accredited college or university in the course.  Courses used in partial fulfillment of a previous degree will not be considered for transfer. 

How and when are funding decisions and assistantship assignments made?

Applications for graduate assistantships are available on the Graduate School web page and should be filed with the Program Coordinator in the spring for the following academic year. For applicants, it is recommended that you complete your graduate assistantship application when you submit your application materials for program admission.  In order to be eligible for a graduate assistantship, the doctoral student must have the appropriate expertise, ability to devote ten-twenty hours of service per week to the duties assigned, evidence of high academic achievement, and pursue studies on a full-time basis.   

What types of assistantships are available?

Students may be involved in teaching classes under supervision, working on research with faculty, and assisting the department and program with the development, maintenance and ongoing operations of the department programs. 

What type of financial support do assistantships generally cover?

These appointments provide an out-of-state tuition waiver, a maintenance/tuition fee waiver (dependent upon hours of service), and a basic stipend for 10-20 hours of work each week.  Waiver of maintenance/tuition is provided at 50% of tuition fees for a 10-hour/week graduate assistantship and 100% for a 20-hour/week graduate assistantship.     

Are fellowships available?

The counseling psychology program does not offer fellowships. However students have been successful in obtaining fellowships from outside agencies.

Are graduates of this program License Eligible?

Yes, graduates who have successfully completed the doctoral program have met the academic requirements to be licensed as psychologists in Tennessee (and generally throughout the United States).  Most states, including Tennessee, require additional post graduation experience before being licensed to practice as an independent practitioner.  In some states, specific coursework is needed in addition to the required courses for the program.  Applicants should review the information available on the psychology licensure board for the state in which they are interested for more specific information.

Are students allowed to work while in the program?

While we cannot say as a program that you may not have employment beyond the assistantship, the current Graduate School   handbook , states "students may not hold other positions on campus."   Thus, you can only maintain 1 source of University funding. It is also expected that any outside employment would not interfere with the Assistantship position. 

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