Admission - Graduate Counseling Program

Application Deadline: March 1st

All of the following must be completed by the application deadline:

  1. Complete the Graduate Counseling Programs online application, which will ask for 

    1. letters of reference. Please supply the names and information of at least three references on the online application. At least two must be academic references.  The Graduate Counseling Program will contact the references directly.

    2. a non-refundable application fee of $50.00. 

  2. Arrange for official transcripts to be mailed to Graduate Counseling Programs, 1200 Park Road, Harrisonburg, VA 22802 or sent electronically directly to

    1. Foreign Degree Translation: If you have a degree from a college or university outside of the United States, you must have your coursework evaluated by a professional association.  The evaluation must be a detailed report that includes course designations (lower and upper division).  This detailed report should meet most transcript requirements for employment purposes.  Here is a list of transcript/translation evaluation services. Please note that there is a fee for the evaluation service, and this list is for your information only.

  3. Submit a Statement of Purpose by writing a 1-3 page narrative that describes your (a) academic/research interest and professional goals, (b) volunteer and professional experiences, (c) life experiences that have influenced your desire to become a counselor, and (d) view of compassionate service and social justice.

  4. Indicate nationality and country of birth: International applicants currently residing in the United States must indicate status with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  In addition, international applicants must submit a completed International Student Sponsor Agreement if accepted to the MA in Counseling program.

  5. For applicants whose native language is not English: We require that applicants receive at least a 79 on the internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). This score is comparable to a 550 on the paper-based test and a score of 213 for the computer-based test. EMU’s institutional code is 5181. Applicants who have studied and received a degree from a college or university where all instruction is in English are not required to submit TOEFL scores.

Admission Timeline

Application due: March 1st
Notification of interview: TBA
Interview day: TBA

2-Year vs. 3-Year Track

EMU offers a graduate counseling program of MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC). Students are recommended to complete this degree following a 3-year curriculum track, however an intensive 2-year curriculum track is available. Students interested in the intensive 2-year track must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.5 and will submit a supplementary letter of intent specifying why the intensive 2-year track is the best fit for them. The supplementary letter of intent may highlight previous academic success, professional experience, personal development experiences, and additional information the applicant believes to be relevant.  

Admission Interview Process
To help both the candidate and the program discern fit and readiness, we have developed an admissions interview procedure that involves applicants, faculty members, and current students in an intensive sample experience of the training program. We invite current students to participate in this process each year by volunteering to provide applicants with helpful information and support.

How We Notify You of the Decision
All applicants are notified of admission decision within one week after the interview day.  An official decision letter will be mailed to your address.

If You Are Accepted
If you are offered admission, you must notify our administrative assistant of your enrollment decision by email or mail within 15 days of your receipt of the acceptance letter.  If we do not hear back from you by then, we will assume that you have declined the offer of admission, and your application record will be withdrawn.

Deferral of Admission
Applicants who are notified of admission have the option to defer their enrollment for one year.  Those considering deferment are asked to counsel with the program director and complete an application for deferment form.

Conditional Admission
Conditional admission is granted to a limited number of students each fall semester who fall just below the requirements for unconditional admission but who otherwise demonstrate the ability and motivation to adequately perform graduate level work. At the end of the fall semester, their admission status is reviewed by the faculty, and a decision is made to either lift the conditional status or deny continuing enrollment.

Expectations include an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.00, references indicating clear support for graduate work, a clear and relevant essay, and the ability to present oneself clearly and effectively in the interview. Additional factors considered in the admission decision include undergraduate field of study, performance in previous graduate level study, related counseling work experience, and other evidence of success in academic and professional endeavors. The admissions committee may make exceptions to admission requirements in special cases.

Enrollment and class size
Program enrollment is limited to the equivalent of 15 full-time students per class. Part-time students are encouraged to apply. Part-time status is defined as taking less than nine semester hours in a semester.

New students are admitted for the fall semester. After the deadline of March 1, the admissions committee will continue to review applications if space remains available.

Transfer Credit
Transfer credits may be considered for inclusion in the program of study upon the approval of the director of the program. A grade of “B” or better must be earned in courses requested for transfer credit. Courses considered for transfer credit must be applicable toward a comparable degree at the institution offering the course. Application for consideration of transfer credit taken more than five years before the date at which the student is admitted must be accompanied by substantial documentation of prior work and evidence of continued and current competence. Transfer credit taken more than ten years before the date at which the student is admitted may not be used to satisfy degree requirements. No practicum or internship credits are eligible for transfer credit. Decisions with respect to number of transfer hours accepted will be handled by the Admissions Committee on a case-by-case basis, but normally a maximum of 12 hours of credit obtained from an accredited college or university may be applied to the degree.