Frequently Asked Questions
Is the program accredited by the American Psychological Association?
Yes, the program is accredited by the American Psychological Association.
What is the program’s philosophy for training students?
The Counseling Psychology program offers doctoral education and training that prepares students for professional work in health service psychology (HSP) as defined by the American Psychological Association (APA)’s Commission on Accreditation (CoA; February 2015):
“Health service psychology is defined as the integration of psychological science and practice in order to facilitate human development and functioning. Health service psychology includes the generation and provision of knowledge and practices that encompass a wide range of professional activities relevant to health promotion, prevention, consultation, assessment, and treatment for psychological and other health-related disorders.”
In keeping with APA standards for such programs, the Program therefore is composed of training in:
- Integration of empirical evidence and practice: The Program values practice that is evidence-based as well as evidence that is practice-informed.
- The Program’s training is sequential, cumulative, graded in complexity, and designed to prepare students for practice and/or for further organized training.
- The Program infuses attention to cultural and individual differences and diversity throughout its curriculum.
The Program’s aims reflect central values of counseling psychology including:
- The optimal development and functioning of individuals, groups, and other systems (e.g., institutions, communities),
- An appreciation of the strengths and uniqueness of individuals,
- A belief in the unbounded potential of human beings, and
- A respect for the integrity of all people.
Our training philosophy strongly encourages students to adopt approaches to client treatment that consider the various contexts in which clients develop and operate. The program also stresses the critical roles of self-exploration and personal reflection as components of professional development. For more details about the program’s profession-wide competencies, please see the Program Details page.
What is the application deadline for admission for the fall semester?
When will I hear about my application?
We begin to contact students about interviews in mid to late December. Interviews for invited students are held in the first half of February. You will be able to check the status of your application online anytime by visiting the Admission Application Status website.
What are the most important things that are considered for admissions?
Selection is based on multiple factors including
- the match between an applicant’s interests and faculty interests,
- the quality of the applicant’s personal statement,
- GRE scores and GPA, and
- letters of recommendation.
How competitive is the application process?
There are usually between 160 and 200 applicants per year. Of these applicants, 20 – 25 are usually invited to interview and 5 – 6 students are usually accepted into the program.
Does the program work on a mentorship model?
Yes. You should identify a specific faculty member in the Counseling Psychology program with whom you would like to work during your graduate studies. You should also make it clear in your personal statement how your interests fit the interests of that faculty member.
Can I list more than one potential faculty advisor?
Yes. Applicants who list more than one advisor should make it clear how their interests are related to the interests of both of the faculty members they have specified.
Is there an interview day? What is involved?
Yes. Interview day is typically held in the first half of February on a Monday or Friday. Interview day consists of introductions the program and faculty, 2-4 interviews with different faculty members, and informal interaction with current students, including a campus tour. All of the activities are designed to help both the program and the applicant determine if there is a good match between UT and the student.
Can I visit the program prior to applying?
Potential applicants are welcome to visit. However, because we receive such a large number of applications, faculty usually will not be able to meet with individual applicants prior to the interview day. Potential applicants may e-mail the faculty if they have questions; however, we strongly encourage you to look for information on the website and in the student handbook to answer most questions about the program before contacting faculty.
What are common internship sites?
Students will complete two semesters of internship in the second year of the program (for those enrolled full-time). The Counselor Education program is located in a large city that has many mental health programs. School counseling students may complete their practicum at any AISD school or in any other Austin-area school district. Students in the Counselor Education program are commonly placed in higher education settings such as the UT Career Counseling centers, the UT Disability and Access Center, Texas State Career Counseling and Austin Community College
s. During the second year’s internship, some students are able to obtain internship placements in community mental health agencies. While at least one internship semester is required in an educational setting, some students choose to do their second internship in a community mental health setting.
Are there opportunities to work with diverse client populations?
Yes. Many of the practicum settings listed above draw clients from diverse backgrounds with respect to gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, ability, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.
Is funding available for students in this program?
The program makes an effort to extend fellowship offers to students accepted in the program for their first year, and students are encouraged to apply for additional fellowships in subsequent years. Many fellowships include a waiver of out of state tuition. A number of students beyond the first year in the program receive some aid in the form of fellowships, teaching assistantships, graduate research assistantships, and assistant instructorships in and outside of the department. Some positions can come with partial tuition waivers, health insurance, and parking permits in addition to a stipend.
What kinds of professional training does the program offer?
The program offers a diverse range of off-site practica. Most students complete three years of practica in at least three different sites. These practica along with the professional interest classes offered by the department offer a wide range of clinical training opportunities.
The program also offers training in many statistical and research methods through the Quantitative Methods area of the Educational Psychology Department. Those wishing to pursue a career in research will find many opportunities to improve their research skills.
Can I transfer credits for relevant graduate coursework?
Students who enter the program with a master’s in a counseling related field may be allowed to waive a limited number of courses. For a past course to be considered for a waiver, the student must complete a course waiver form and submit it to the Graduate Advisor. In the case of program courses, the instructor who teaches that class must approve the waiver. Any past coursework that is to be considered must have been completed in the last six years with a grade of “B” or above. No student may waive more than four program courses, or eight courses total, without review by the Counseling Psychology leadership committee.
How long will it take me to complete the Ph.D. program?
Most students complete the program within 5-7 years, with the vast majority finishing in 6.
How do I get involved in research?
Many opportunities exist for research involvement in the program and in the department as a whole. Most students will begin working with their advisor in their first year on some current project or they might work with another student on research that student is conducting. As students develop more expertise in research methods they will begin to take on their own projects. During the second year students are expected to complete and present a collaborative research project that they have conducted with their advisor.
What types of employment settings are common for graduates of the program?
Program graduates work in a wide variety of settings, including academia, counseling centers, health centers, hospitals, Veterans Administration hospitals, and private practice.
I am a program alumnus and need to verify degree or practicum/licensure. How do I do so?
For degree verification and licensure paperwork, contact the Director of Clinical Training (DCT).
- Verifications that are entirely electronic (e.g. Credentials Banking) can be routed directly to the DCT. Please allow up to 1 week for processing and contact the DCT to confirm receipt.
- Verification and licensure information which requires an email or mailed form, or that requires verification of practicum training, internship, or other elements of training, should be pre-filled and/or with detailed information in the email, including instructions about the method of delivery and delivery address, to make the process as easy and efficient as possible. Please allow up to 2 weeks for processing. It is a good idea to assign a peer to courier any paper forms that need to be delivered.