Counseling FAQs | Psychology | SIU

Southern Illinois University



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What are my chances of admission?  What does it take to get in?

We typically admit five to seven new students in the Counseling program each year. The number of students accepted is determined by the number who graduate or leave for internship and the number for whom funding is available. In recent years, we've received 75-125 applications so admission is quite competitive. Applicants are evaluated for admission based on their transcripts, GPA, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, research experience, and personal statement. Your chances for admission are good if your GPAs exceed 3.75, your GRE scores exceed 600, and you have experience in service and research. Your chances are seriously weakened if your overall GPA is below 3.25, or if you have almost no research or clinical service experience. Entering class averages are shown here.

Another important factor is interest in and ability to develop multicultural competence.

Do you accept students who have an M.A.?

Applications are accepted from students who have either a B.A. or M.A. However, our program is geared toward B.A.-level admissions, so we take fewer students with an M.A.

What if I'm interested in pursuing only a Master's degree?  And may I attend part-time?

The graduate program in Counseling Psychology is a doctoral program. Although students earn a master's degree in the course of earning the Ph.D., only students desiring the doctorate are admitted. Thus, we discourage applications from those seeking just a master's degree. The involvement needed to pursue the Ph.D. requires full-time status.

I'm not really interested in research--do you prepare students for private practice?

Although some of our graduates do eventually pursue careers in private practice, our program would NOT be a good fit for the student who dislikes research and only wants a private practice career.

What about financial assistance?

The Psychology Department has a long record of student support.  We traditionally provide 9-month stipends and tuition waivers for all graduate students for four years in which they are enrolled in the program. Support during the summer session is less predictable, but the department tries where possible to provide at least one month of support beyond the nine months of Spring and Fall terms. 

Will I have an opportunity to gain teaching experience?

For those students who plan a career in teaching, a number of opportunities are available. The first experience might be as a TA/discussion leader in sections of the Introductory Psychology course, as a TA in undergraduate research methods, or some other course. A student who has demonstrated skill and interest may ultimately have full responsibility for teaching an undergraduate course such as Personality or Psychopathology.

What if I want an application or have other questions?

Visit our Admissions page.  Or, you may send e-mail for more information to or contact the Graduate Admissions Coordinator at 618-453-3564.

Graduate Admissions Coordinator
Department of Psychology, Mailcode 6502
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, Illinois, 62901-6502

What else should an applicant know about atmosphere and expectations for students?

We expect all students, faculty, and training staff to be committed to a positive process of enhancing their professional and personal development. As with most growth experiences, this process may be challenging and sometimes even uncomfortable. Especially during discussions involving personal and cultural values, we encourage students to stay engaged and to embrace the opportunities for growth and self-reflection.

For more details, please read the SIU Counseling Psychology Program Statement on Diversity, Values, and Self-Reflection.  Here is an excerpt: "Trainees and trainers are expected to be committed to the social values of respect for diversity, inclusion, and equity, as well as to the processes of critical thinking and self-examination so that such prejudices, biases, and assumptions may be evaluated in the light of available scientific data, standards of the profession, and traditions of cooperation and mutual respect."

Additional information on our values and the kind of learning climate we hope to create and maintain can be found here.