Admission to the JMU Counseling & Supervision Ph.D. Program

Ph.D. in Counseling and Supervision

Admission to Program

Successful candidates for admission to the Counseling and Supervision Program must possess the following: exceptional academic aptitude for doctoral study; previous professional experience in the counseling field; self-awareness and openness to feedback; potential to become a productive scholar, leader, educator, supervisor, and advocate of counseling; and ability to develop greater expertise in applying technology to the profession. Our hybrid/low residency program allows experienced counselors currently working in the field to further their education and grow professionally.

The specific criteria for admission include the following:

  • Completion of an advanced degree (M.A., M.S. or Ed.S) from an entry-level graduate counseling program with preference given to CACREP-accredited programs. Transcripts should reflect the academic program and credits earned. If transcripts do not reflect CACREP accreditation status, please include that in your cover letter.
  • Completion of 60 credit hours of graduate counseling coursework necessary for licensure as a professional counselor or school counselor. If the advanced degree program involved only 48 credit hours, applicants need to complete 12 additional credit hours to meet licensure requirements. Candidates must submit official transcripts documenting the completion of both undergraduate and graduate degrees, including any supplementary courses to become an LPC.
  • A history of academic success. The graduate transcripts must demonstrate readiness to succeed in doctoral level coursework.
  • Resume.  Candidates should submit a resume detailing their counseling-related training, work experiences, and scholarship.
  • Supportive references.  Three individuals must complete and submit reference forms.  At least one individual should be well acquainted with the candidate's academic potential.  At least one person should be a supervisor or trainer who can discuss in detail the applicant's counseling skills.
  • Professional writing sample.  Application materials must include an academic term paper, published article, conference paper, or manuscript related to the field of counseling.  The sample should be at least 10 pages and written in APA format.
  • Personal statement. Candidates must offer a personal statement of at least 2,000 words describing themselves and their specific interests in counseling. They are encouraged to go beyond the grades, honors, and work record that they have already provided on the resume. Instead, they are invited to share the personal qualities and life experiences that have contributed to their potential to become successful doctoral students in counseling. Finally, they should describe the professional goals and scholarly interests they plan to pursue by completing doctoral training.

The application must be complete in order for a candidate to be considered for the program. The initial screening is based on a comprehensive and integrated review of all the material that applicants have submitted. Top applicants are invited to participate in an interview during the end of January or beginning of February. Please be prepared to reserve these dates in your schedule so that you can attend if invited.

Background Checks: While we do not require background checks as part of our admissions process, it is imperative for prospective students to understand that clinical placement sites may require a background check. Depending on the information appearing on the criminal history record, it is possible that the student may not be able to participate in a clinical site practicum or internship, which could prevent progression in the program. Students are welcome to seek placement at alternative sites; however, it is possible that the program completion would be in jeopardy if all fieldwork cannot be completed.

International Applicants: The Ph.D. in Counseling and Supervision is a low residency/hybrid program. The program currently does not meet the in-person requirements needed for an international student visa.

Application Instructions Website:

Application Timeline: 

  • The application will open September 1.
  • January 5 is the deadline to be guaranteed consideration with interviews the first week of February.

Program Begins: Summer