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Application Information

Once an applicant's complete file has been received by the Graduate School and meets their admission standards, it is forwarded to the Department of Counseling where the applicant's materials are reviewed independently by the counseling faculty.

Counseling Program evaluation criteria require that applicants attain a 2.8 or above undergraduate grade point average (UPGA), possess two strong letters of recommendation, and provide a clearly written goal statement regarding their chosen course of study. In addition, they must meet the Pennsylvania Department of Education's undergraduate prerequisite requirements.

In 2001, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) instituted undergraduate prerequisite requirements for admission to any school certification program.  All individuals applying to either our elementary or secondary school counseling program (and certificate only applicants) must, thus, have had 1 English Composition and 1 English Literature course in their undergraduate program.  In addition, the applicant must have 2 courses in mathematics at the undergraduate level.  PDE now also requires school counseling applicants to pass the PRAXIS subject examination for school counseling upon completion of their graduate program.  There are also 2 PRAXIS exams for those who do not yet hold a PA teaching certificate.  Everyone must take the Counseling & Guidance Subject exam.  Those not holding a PA certificate must also take the PRAXIS PPST exams, which include, Math, Reading, and Writing.  The PDE does not require the Listening Skills test to be taken.

Applicants with a 2.6 to 2.79 undergraduate grade point average will be considered for admission if they earned their undergraduate degree more than five years prior to making application to the counseling program. A limited number of students who earned their degree more than five years prior to applying and who possess an undergraduate grade point average between 2.4 and 2.59 may be accepted under "probationary status". These students will be expected to have a satisfactory performance at the Admissions Workshop and must attain a 3.0 or higher grade point average in the first 9 hours of specified course work to remain in the program. 

Admissions Workshop Evaluation Process

Applicants satisfying the credential screening process are notified by mail and invited to participate in an Admissions Workshop (Fall, Spring, or Summer) with other applicants who have applied for admission during the same semester. The purpose of the workshop is threefold: (1) for faculty and students to get acquainted, (2) to inform students about the counseling programs, and (3) to determine student interpersonal and writing skills which are assessed through group activities and a writing sample. Admissions recommendations are made by the counseling faculty after each workshop. These recommendations are then forwarded to the Graduate School which, in turn, contacts all applicants in writing, informing them of their status. Newly admitted students receive a "pre-candidacy" letter with the name of their advisor whom they should contact immediately to discuss program plans and course selection for the coming semester.

 International Student Applicants

Applicants from non-English speaking countries are considered for admissions using the following criteria: minimum undergraduate grade point average of 2.8 or its equivalent, acceptable TOEFL scores, letters of recommendation, a goal statement, and evidence that their command of the English language and the American culture are sufficient to meet counseling program demands. Applicants who meet these criteria may be accepted for admission without having to participate in the workshop portion of the admissions process if geographical distance precludes this activity.

Applicants from non-English speaking countries may be accepted into the M.Ed., school counseling program.  However, the Pennsylvania Department of education will not grant school certification to international students.  You must be a United States citizen to gain school certification through the state of Pennsylvania.

Students who are advanced to candidacy may, with advisor and counseling faculty approval, transfer to those counseling programs requiring practicum and field experience.

 Guidelines for Applicant Goal Statement

The faculty of the graduate counseling program at IUP is interested in learning more about you and your desire to pursue one of our degree or certification programs. The Goal Statement requested in the Graduate School's application materials is the vehicle by which you can provide the information we request. Please use the questions below to guide you in the development of your goal statement.

Why do you wish to pursue the particular counseling program you have chosen?

How do your personal life experiences (education, prior work experience, volunteer work, etc.) complement your career decision?

What personal qualities (e.g., interpersonal skills) do you possess that you believe will contribute to your success as a counselor.

If there are any inconsistencies or time gaps in your work or education history, please provide an explanation.


Feel free to add any additional information that you believe would be of assistance to the faculty in assessing your desire and qualifications for the field of counseling.

  • Department of Counseling
  • Stouffer Hall, Room 206B
    1175 Maple Street
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-2306
  • Fax: 724-357-7821
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.