Master's in Counseling Admissions
Minimum Requirements: Applicant must have a Bachelor’s degree and have earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) in a baccalaureate degree program; Applicants who do not have a 2.5 overall GPA must enclose a letter asking for special consideration, in which they provide evidence of an ability to complete graduate studies successfully. Without such a letter, applicants who fail to meet eligibility requirements may be automatically denied.
Application Deadline: November 15.
APPLICATION MATERIALS – Send in your application and fee as soon as possible! Candidates should submit all other application materials to the USM Office of Graduate Admissions, PO Box 9300, Portland, ME 04104-9300 by the application deadline.
A complete application consists of:
- a submitted online graduate admission application
- the application fee of $65.00 made payable to USM
- two sets of official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, including USM
- standardized test scores (GRE or MAT) This requirement is waived for applicants already holding a master’s degree.
- three recommendations (pdf)
- essay (see below for specific essay questions)
- current resume
- certification of finances (international students only)
- TOEFL scores (international students whose first language is not English)
Special Essay: In addition to the general requirements of the program, candidates to the counseling master’s program should provide a narrative, preferably typed, in the form of a brief autobiography that relates the applicant’s experiences that have led to an interest in counseling and application to the counselor education program. Candidates are also asked to address the following statement: “As counseling professionals, we are constantly seeking areas in ourselves that bear examination and change. As future practitioners, you will be witness to a wide variety of client experiences.” Please discuss areas in yourself that may block your ability to empathically listen to client experiences that are different than your own. The entire narrative, including the autobiography and the statement, should be limited to three typewritten, double-spaced pages which will be evaluated in terms of clarity of expression, grammatical construction, and other facets of English composition, as well as the quality of responses.
The admissions process requires a formal interview. Candidates to be interviewed will be rated on three areas of personal criteria: a) understanding of and commitment to the counseling field; b) self-awareness; and c) thinking skills/decision making ability. As part of the interview, applicants will be required to provide a brief, spontaneous writing sample.
Applicants to the counseling program must take the MAT or GRE. One of the tests must be taken within five years of application. For those taking the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) you must have earned a score of 390 or above. For the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) you must have earned a score of 285 or above combined verbal and quantitative scores (this requirement is waived for applicants already holding a graduate degree). Please note: Starting August 1, 2011, the GRE® revised General Test will replace the current GRE General Test. Please consult the program or Graduate Admissions website to current scoring information.For the TOEFL you must have earned a score of at least 550 on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), 79 or higher on the Internet-based test, or 213 on the computer-based test for students whose native language is not English.
Applicants who did not score 390 or equivalent, on the MAT or 285 combined on the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE must enclose a letter asking for special consideration, in which they provide evidence of an ability to complete graduate studies successfully. Without such a letter, applicants who fail to meet eligibility requirements may be automatically denied.
Transfer Credit: A maximum of six credit hours may be approved as transfer credit, provided these credits were earned no more than three years prior to matriculation and grades of B or better were received. Additional transfer credit may be approved by the program chair in exceptional circumstances, including certificates of graduate study program courses.
Graduate students in master’s level counseling programs at other accredited universities may transfer into the program if they take their final 21 hours, including the internship requirement, in USM’s counselor education program.
Professional Licensure and Certification Notice Students with a criminal record who are pursuing degrees leading to application for professional licensure or certification should contact the appropriate licensure or certification body prior to matriculation to ensure eligibility.