Admission for Ph.D. Program in Counseling Psychology


All doctoral applications to the Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology must originate with the Graduate School. New students enter the program in the fall semester of each year, and the application deadline is December 1 of the preceding year—all application materials must be postmarked or received electronically by this date, and materials not postmarked or received electronically by this date will not be considered. The vast majority of our doctoral students now enter the program already having a master’s degree in a mental health field. All applicants must have at least attained a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.

Prerequisites for Admission

The following courses are prerequisites for graduate study for all programs in the Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology: introduction to psychology, introduction to statistics, research methods in behavioral sciences, abnormal psychology, human development, multiculturalism/diversity, in addition to experience in human service (field work, service learning, volunteering, or employment). Applicants not meeting all prerequisites may still be considered for admission, but should contact the department to discuss alternate plans for meeting the requirements prior to starting the program. Students who have completed relevant graduate course work prior to entry into the program may apply to have some of their requirements waived if the previous course work is equivalent to the courses currently required by the program.

Course Waivers for Program Requirements

Students who have completed graduate coursework at other institutions or at other Marquette University departments that is equivalent to courses required in our Program may petition to have those course requirements recognized (substituted) by the Marquette University Graduate School as meeting specified program requirements.  A Petition for Course Waiver or substitution form must be completed for each course to be considered for a waiver.  Students will need to submit to their advisors the course syllabi from the original course taken.  Copies of course syllabi for our department that can be used for comparison purposes are available from the department assistant.  The advisor and department chair both need to sign the form indicating their approval for the waiver to be accepted.  In cases of disagreement between the advisor and chair, the petition will go to the full department faculty for a vote.  Courses taken longer than six years ago normally will not be waived because the materials that was covered is likely no longer current.  This procedure does not need to be followed for courses that a new student previously completed within the department with the previous six years.

Students should also use this procedure for elective courses not already preapproved or for courses that they wish to take as a substitute for required program courses.  Students need to obtain preapproval for substitute courses, however, because the faculty will not approve courses that may at first glance appear to be similar to our courses but which we judge as not meeting our standards.

The time to program completion will depend on the number of courses waived because prior graduate coursework meets current program requirements.  If no courses meet current program requirements, it is expected that students require six years to reach degree completion.  If courses are waived because prior completed graduate courses meet program requirements, then students can expect that it would take four to five years for degree completion.  Students will determine the specific program plan in collaboration with their academic advisors, and a completion date during the first semester of the program.

Admission applications that are incomplete or received after the deadline will not be reviewed. To ensure your file is complete and on time, please contact the Graduate School at 414-288-7137 or email at

  • Doctoral admission applications due to the Graduate School: December 1, 2023
  • Doctoral campus interviews: Friday, January 26, 2024

Materials to be Submitted for Application

All of the following materials must be submitted to the Graduate School by the appropriate deadline.

  • Graduate School application form and application fee.
  • Transcripts.
  • Test scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test and the Writing Test are optional.
  • A statement of purpose that addresses: 
    1. Your interested in our doctoral program in counseling psychology;
    2. How your research experiences and career goals are congruent with the scientist-practitioner model of our department;
    3. A ranking of up to three department faculty with whom you wish to work on research, as well as the reasons why you wish to work with these faculty (View a full list of faculty);
    4. How your experiences or interests would contribute to fostering diversity in the program.
  • Current resume or vita.
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can address the applicant's academic and professional potential.
  • International applicants must submit a TOEFL score or other acceptable proof of English proficiency.

The Counseling Psychology program strongly encourages applications from those who believe that their commitment to diversity in health service psychology and/ or their own personal identity (e.g., ethnic, national origin, sexual, or gender identity) will contribute to a positive climate for diversity in the program and department. We also encourage diverse applicants to request consideration for the Marquette University Graduate School Diversity Fellowship at the time of application.

For application information and forms, please contact the Graduate School at 414-288-7137, or email Coreen Bukowski, department academic coordinator.


After all completed applications are reviewed, the highest ranking applicants will be contacted for an interview that is required for admission. International applicants and others for whom an in-person interview would be prohibitively expensive are invited to interview over the phone. These interviews normally are held on the last Friday in January.

Applicant Evaluation by Departmental Faculty

The department faculty reviews applicant files comprehensively, emphasizing all aspects of applicants’ backgrounds. Academic transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, statements of purpose, writing samples, and professional backgrounds receive special attention in the first phase of the application process. Those applicants who are judged to show good potential for graduate study in our department, and who demonstrate a strong fit with at least one faculty member’s research interests, are then invited for an interview with the department faculty. Potential for graduate study and the fit between the applicant and the advisor/program are the focus of these interviews. After the interviews have been completed, the entire faculty again reviews each application and makes decisions about whom to offer admission. As noted earlier, students are admitted to work with a particular faculty member, and this match is based upon the advisor’s and the student’s shared research interests.

With regard to previous grades for our recent doctoral counseling psychology students, the median undergraduate GPA was 3.6. The faculty admits students with lower grades when there are significant compensating factors that are important for determining success in the field. If relevant, applicants should highlight these factors in their Statement of Purpose.

Tuition and Financial Aid Information

Tuition for a graduate education student can be found on the Graduate School tuition page. This level of tuition is often fairly competitive with other institutions. In recent years, new full-time doctoral students have been supported by part-time research assistantships through the department. Scholarships have helped some additional students, and a variety of fellowships and other options are available. For more information, see the Graduate School's financial aid page.

We will not know the number of assistantships available to next year's students until our admissions offers are sent out during the middle of the spring semester.

Visiting the department

You are welcome to visit the department to find out more about our programs. Department informational sessions are currently not held on campus, but you may schedule an online meeting or email the department.  We are located in room 146 of the Walter Schroeder Health and Education Complex, 560 N. 16th Street. Download a campus map. Please contact Coreen via e-mail or 414-288-5730 to let us know you are interested in visiting or would like someone to contact you. Contact the Graduate School to schedule a campus visit/tour.