Admission Requirements

Apply: USF Graduate application form
Application deadline: January 7th

  1. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores of at least 280 (combination of verbal and quantitative scores) plus a GPA of at least 3.0 are required. If the combined GRE score is less than 280, the GPA must be greater than 3.3. The GRE must be taken within the past five years of submitting an application unless it appears on your official transcript.
  2. Three letters of recommendation. These should be sent from current and former employers, professional acquaintances and colleagues, professors with whom you have worked closely, and any credible source who can attest to your potential skills as a counselor. These should be written on appropriate letterhead. Each reference should complete the program applications form and mail with the letter of recommendation.
  3. A personal statement of professional background, experiences, and goals, including the applicant’s reasons for seeking admission to the Counselor Education Program.
  4. A current vita or resume.
  5. A group interview (scheduled for a two-hour period) with Counselor Education Program faculty members. Special arrangements will be made for out-of-state applicants to satisfy this requirement.
  6. Applicants must pass all portions of the General Knowledge Exam by the end of their first semester. Certification requirements in the State of Florida change regularly.  Please check, regularly and often, the General Knowledge Test page for updated information.
  7. Application deadline:  January 7th
  8. International students: Fall Semester Applicants must have application materials in by January 2. The USF Office of Graduate Studies has additional requirements that international students must meet prior to consideration for admission. For example, an applicant whose native language is not English must have a minimum score of 550 on the TOEFL. In addition, international students must provide a certificate of financial ability. This certificate should indicate proof of financial resources sufficient to cover tuition, fees, room and board and other expenses for the full academic year, including the cost of travel. In addition, we routinely require international students for whom English is not their native language to enroll in only one course, MHS 6006: Trends and Principles of Counseling, and take a conversational English class. The ability to proceed in the program is dependent upon successful completion of both of these courses.
  9. Applicants should be aware that background checks are conducted by the State of Florida on all potential employees.

Admissions Selection and Retention Procedures

Once the Counselor Education Program faculty receive the application materials, the prospective student will be sent acknowledgement that the materials were received. The application file will then be reviewed by the Admissions Coordinator who makes initial recommendations for interviews. A minimum of two program faculty members will be present at these interviews. Those invited to an interview will be asked a series of standard questions and will have the opportunity to ask questions to the interviewers. 

After the interview, admissions decisions will be made by the Admissions Coordinator and the faculty members who interviewed that applicant. It will also be based on the individual’s application, as well as his/her:

Admissions Decisions and Follow-Up Process

Recommendation to Accept

Once a decision has been made to accept an applicant, the Counselor Education Program sends a letter recommending acceptance to the program to the student and to the USF Office of Graduate Studies.

Letter from Graduate Admissions

The USF Office of Graduate Studies sends the official letter to each applicant following the decision by the Counselor Education Program to accept or deny.


The Counselor Education Program is a limited enrollment program. Acceptance into the program is competitive. Denials are made when an applicant does not meet minimum admissions criteria, when the applicant's goals do not appear to be in line with the program, or if an applicant does not demonstrate adequate interpersonal skills and professional demeanor during the interview. 


Students who were denied admission and who meet the minimum standards (3.0 GPA or 800+ GRE) may appeal this decision. The student should write to the Program Coordinator of the Counselor Education Program within 30 days of denial to request reconsideration. In this letter, the student should explain why reconsideration is warranted. The student can contact the Program Assistant for the appeals form.


Students must earn no less than a “B” in their primary class, MHS 6006: Trends and Principles of Counseling. In addition, no grade less than a “B” will be acceptable for any of the MHS courses. Students who earn a “B-” or less, must re-take the course in order to graduate. Each semester a retention meeting is held among faculty to discuss any students who may be having difficulty in the program. Appropriate interventions are also held, which may include a letter to the student, a meeting with the student, or other steps that seem appropriate.

Transferring Credit

A maximum of eight semester hours (twelve quarter hours) or three courses MAY be transferred from a recognized graduate school providing that: (a) such credit is applicable to the student’s program; and (b) the course was completed with a grade of "B" or higher. Decisions regarding the transfer of credit will be made by the student’s advisor after admission.