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Counseling and Student Affairs

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Information For

Admission to the Master’s Degree Programs

Graduate studentThe Department of Counseling and Student Affairs offers Master of Arts in Education (MAE) degree programs in:

*The Department also provides certificate, certification, Rank I, and an Educational Specialist degree in Counselor Education designed for those with a master’s degree in School Counseling.

Application Deadlines

  • March 15 for fall admission
  • October 15 for spring admission

Visit our Information sessions on February 10th or 18th to learn more.

Overview of the Application Process

Review of completed applications begins October 16th and March 16th for spring and fall respectively. Reviews employ a holistic approach to evaluate each applicant’s potential to be successful as students and, upon graduation, counseling or student affairs professionals. This approach involves the submission of materials that allows department faculty members to develop a more complete picture of applicants in terms of academic aptitude for graduate-level study, potential success in forming effective counseling relationships, respect for cultural differences, and relevance of career goals to their prospective programs of interest. Faculty rate application materials and rank the applications according to these categories. Highly ranked applicants are invited to interview with faculty and current students in an individual or group setting.

After the completion of the interview, admissions decisions are made based on application ratings and interview evaluations collectively. The application process is competitive with a limited number of openings.

STEP ONE: Complete the Admissions Application Process

Completed applications include a various application materials that must be completed by the application deadlines.

Application portfolios should reflect thought, attention to detail, and appropriate effort. You are applying to a competitive graduate program; it is important that your portfolio represents you in a positive yet realistic manner. Please allow yourself at least a few weeks to complete the entire process.

All of the following materials should be submitted directly through the Graduate School application. Once the entire application has been completed, the Program Coordinators will be notified.

  1. Graduate School Application Form (http://www.wku.edu/graduate) Requirements include a non-refundable application processing fee and official transcripts.
  2. A statement of interest of no more than 6 pages in length (including a cover page, and page with references listed) that includes the content noted below. This statement should be in APA format, include correct spelling and grammar, and organized according to the prompts below.
    • Present your career objectives and discuss how a degree in counseling or student affairs (depending on which program is your focus) will prepare you to meet these objectives. Provide support for why you believe your interests and traits (i.e., personal dispositions, interpersonal skills and experiences) match this profession. Be specific and provide examples from your life experiences.
    • Describe your experiences with and respect for cultural diversity. More specifically, discuss how you have formed and maintained relationships with persons from different backgrounds and cultures from your own (i.e., gender, race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, etc.) in both individual and group contexts. How do you maintain respect for these differences? Use specific examples.
    • Briefly discuss how you deal with stressful events. Discuss how you deal with your emotional reactions to events in your life.
    • Three References (listed on the last page of the statement) who can speak to your academic and/or professional dispositions. Include their full names, job titles, organizations, email addresses, phone numbers, and your relationship to them.

      The statement of interest will be reviewed according to the following: careful reflection, insight, and openness to self-examination in addition to evidence of knowledge, skills, and awareness of interpersonal relationships. Further, the applicant’s career objectives and goals will be considered according to whether they are consistent with the program objectives. Finally, the statement of interest will be reviewed according to proper grammar, writing style, flow of ideas and writing structure, as well as use of APA format.
  3. KSP background check (PDF  | Word) and signed statement (PDF | Word)
  4. An updated resume

In addition to the Graduate School application process, students entering the Student Affairs program may be asked to submit a Case Study Writing Sample. Once the completed application is received, separate instructions will be sent for completing this process.

STEP TWO: Selected Applicants Invited to Participate in Interview

Based on the review of the application portfolio, highly ranked applicants will receive notification of their eligibility for an individual or group interview. Applicants who completed Step 1 with moderate rankings may be placed on a waiting list depending on the number of students admitted each term.

Eligible applicants will be scheduled for interviews on campus with faculty, current students, alumni and/or experienced professionals. Participation in the interview process does not guarantee admission but is a prerequisite for admission. Interviewees who are unable to travel to campus interviews may arrange an online interview with the Program Coordinator. Based on the interview assessment, faculty will make offers for admission to the most highly rated candidates.

Applicants with moderate or lower rankings from the interviewers may receive letters indicating that they will be placed on a waiting list or are not eligible for admission based upon the review. If you are on a waiting list, the average time to be notified of your eligibility may be up to 6 weeks.

Save These Dates: Anticipated group interviews for counseling program applicants are scheduled for March 30th and April 6th (alternate). If invited, you will receive a more specific time schedule but it may be helpful to set aside the time between 8:30am - 1:00pm.

Visit our funding opportunities webpage If you wish to apply for a Graduate Assistantship in the department and/or other opportunities around campus or the community.

Program Coordinators

The Program Coordinators who will oversee the application process are as follows:

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Dr. Andrea Jenkins
Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling    Dr. Fred Stickle
School Counseling Dr. Lacretia Dye
Student Affairs Dr. Aaron Hughey

Please refer to the admission section of the Graduate School catalog for admission requirements (these updated requirements will be included in the 2016-2017 catalog).

General Information about Admission to the Counseling and Student Affairs Master's Degree Programs

Admissions update posted January 21, 2016

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 Last Modified 3/11/16