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Lynch School of Education


lynch school of education counseling psychology

Two Options for Admission: MA and Direct Admit 

  • Doctoral applicants may hold a master's degree in counseling or a related field; however, this is not required for admission into our program. Students with bachelor's degrees may apply directly to the program. We should note that current needs in the doctoral program tend to favor students with a MA degree. However, applicants to the doctoral program who the faculty believe may be better served by the Master's program will have their application considered for admission into the Master's program at the time of review. Please refer to the following links for the course requirements for the MA and Direct Admit option

Admissions Criteria The Counseling Psychology doctoral program welcomes and embraces diversity through its choice of faculty, students, research interests, and commitment to the community. The doctoral program is also interested in applicants who are dedicated to the mission of our program, in particular its social justice commitment.

In making decisions about applicants, the faculty considers the following attributes:

  • Grades (graduate and undergraduate)
  • Research experience
  • Experience in clinical work or counseling-types of roles
  • GRE scores (verbal, quantitative; the Psychology test is not required)
  • Personal statement
  • Resume or CV
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Writing sample

Successful applicants typically demonstrate evidence of their preparation for doctoral study, commitment to the scientist-practitioner training model, and commitment to the social justice mission of the program via their academic work, curricular and extra-curricular activities, and research experience. Students who are hoping to obtain admission without a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology generally have substantive post-undergraduate experience and relevant work experience that conveys commitment to and skills in scholarship and direct services to client populations.

Prerequisite Courses Ideally, successful applicants to the doctoral program should have completed as undergraduates or as graduate students the following courses:

MA Admits: In order to be considered an MA admit, an applicant must have a Master's degree in Counseling or a related field that includes a 400-hour supervised counseling practicum. The master's level prerequisite courses for the doctoral program include the classes listed below; however, students without these specific prerequisites should still apply as some of our admitted students have not completed all of these master's level courses. (Students who have not completed these prerequisites need to complete prior to or during their doctoral studies in our program at their own expense.) 

Principles and Techniques of Counseling
Introductory Statistics
Psychological Testing
Group Counseling or Family Therapy 

Direct Admits: As indicated earlier, the successful direct admit candidate presents with outstanding credentials and clear evidence of preparation for doctoral study, a commitment to the scientist-practitioner model, and a focus on social justice. Successful direct admit applicants also convey a level of maturity and commitment to excellence that is hard to quantify. Our advice for talented students without a master's degree is that it is worthwhile to apply for a doctoral degree if that is your clear, long-term goal. We often offer the option of enrolling in our Master's degree to those qualified applicants who are not admitted to the doctoral program. It is important to note, however, that all of our MA students if interested in our doctoral program when completing their MA at Boston College need to re-apply for the doctoral program. There is no guaranteed admission to the doctoral program from the MA program although approximately half of our doctoral admits usually come from our MA students. 

Prerequisite Undergraduate Courses 

  • Introductory Psychology
  • Developmental or Life-Span Psychology
  • Statistics
  • Personality Theory 

Application Requirements For admission into the Counseling Psychology doctoral program in the Lynch School of Education, all applicants must submit the following materials: 

  1. The Lynch School of Education graduate school application
  2. Three letters of recommendation
  3. An official copy of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), with scores being no more than five years old (GRE code: 3218).
  4. An official transcript of all previous coursework, both graduate and undergraduate.
  5. Writing sample.
  6. Resume or CV
  7. A 2-3 page statement of purpose discussing your personal and professional reasons for pursuing a doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology.
  8. A non-refundable application fee 

Click here for more information about application requirements and mailing instructions.

Note: All applicants must carefully review the information on the linked pages.

NOTE: All Application materials must be received on or before December 1.

Doctoral applications are reviewed by faculty in January, and a small number of applicants are selected to attend a one-day interview in mid February. A final cohort of between 6 and 8 students are offered acceptance to the program.