Frequently Asked Questions

Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology (M.S.)


 What do I need to apply?

  1. A personal statement that clearly outlines
    • why you are interested in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMCH) program,
    • why you are interested in the program at Tennessee State University,
    • you experience/understanding in working with underserved populations and social justice issues, and
    • your research experiences and interests.
  2. Three (3) (3) letters of recommendations. Each letter should come from someone who is familiar with your work in either a professional or academic setting.
  3. Official copies of all transcripts of your undergraduate studies and any graduate courses taken.

 What is the required GPA?

While there is not a required or minimum GPA to gain admission into the M.S. Counseling Psychology Program, typically our students have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. The Graduate School does stipulate that students who are admitted with a 2.5 GPA or lower can be granted conditional admittance. These students enroll in the same program of study as other students, but we will pay particular attention to those students admitted on a conditional basis in their first semester to ensure that they are able to perform at the graduate level.

 Do I have to take the Graduate Records Examination or other standardized tests?

No. The program no longer requires standardized aptitude/admission exam and no longer uses any similar exam in our admission decisions.

 I don’t have a Psychology degree or a degree in a related field. Should I still apply?

Students with a background in Psychology or a similar field tend to transition into the program more smoothly as they are more familiar with the content than those with other degree backgrounds. However, we welcome students with all different academic backgrounds to apply to the program. The primary concern is whether an applicant has the behavioral health foundation or core that we build upon in our program. Applicants are required to have at least the following 1) a general psychology course, 2) a basic statistics course, 3) a research methods in the behavioral sciences, and one (1) other upper division psychological/counseling elective. 

 What are the requirements of the program?

The program is designed to be completed in two years including two Fall semesters, two Spring semesters and a Summer semester after your first year. Currently, the load is such that there a four night or on-line classes for each semester. The night courses (both on-campus and synchronous online) meet from about 5:30 p.m. to 8:20 p.m. During your second semester, and the entire second year of the program, in addition to the course load,  there is a practicum experience in which students are out “in the field” practicing within the community the skills they’ve learned. The second semester practicum experience is a 100 hour per semester commitment, while the second year internship experience is a 20 hour per week commitment.

 Is the program accredited?

Tennessee State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.  View accreditation details>>

 What is the application process?

The application process has two phases. In the first phase, you submit all your materials including letters of recommendation, personal statement, as well as undergraduate and graduate transcripts for our review. Beginning with the 2018-2019 application cycle, the CMCH program has been using the PsyCAS portal to accept applications.  Currently, we do not offer discount tickets for the PsyCAS portal. Once the deadline has passed (Feb. 1), a committee made up of the core Counseling Faculty members reviews all applications. Then selected individuals are invited to on-line or on-campus interviews. This selection is based on points earned during the application review process. During campus interviews, you will meet with our core faculty members, current students, and individuals that are part of practicum sites where we normally place students. Following the interview days, we will extend invitations for students to join the program in the following Fall Semester.

 What is the deadline?

The deadline to apply to the program is February 1st annually.

 Are there scholarships, assistantships or other forms of financial assistance?

Students who are admitted to the program are able to engage in the process of finding a graduate assistantship on Tennessee State University campus. These are competitive assistantships in which their application and those of other graduate students at the masters and doctoral level are considered. Consistent with other masters programs at the university, there are usually a small number of assistant available and awarded to CMCH students. Typically, our masters students tend to fund their education through, work, or private and federal loans.

 Does the program lead to licensure?

Graduates of our program are advised to take all courses necessary to qualify licensure in the state of Tennessee You will meet all content requirements for LPC licensure and following the required two years of post-graduate supervised experience and assuming you meet all other requirements, you will qualify for the LPC license in Tennessee.  Students interested in pursuing licensure in states other than Tennessee post-graduation are advised to review the licensure guidelines and education requirements for those states.

 What is the difference between the thesis and non-thesis option?

Those students who choose the thesis option will create a unique research project in which they design, implement, analyze and write a report about their study. The area of study is under the guidance and expertise of a core faculty member. Those students who chose the non-thesis option will take elective coursework (3 academic credit hours) and complete a comprehensive exam in their final semester.  The comprehensive exam will cover essential content areas covered throughout the program.

 How long is the program?

The program is designed to be two years in length of full-time status that includes a Fall, Spring, Summer, Fall and Spring enrollment.

 Are there online courses?

The program is not currently and on-line program. However, many, but not all, of our classes are offered in an on-line format. We have been approved to offer many of our course in either an asynchronous (fully online with no schedule class meeting time), synchronous (a regular class meeting time that is delivered via Zoom, MS Teams, or elearn with no on-campus component), or a hybrid delivery that includes both asynchronous and synchronous components. Currently, some of our courses require an on-campus component.


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