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 includes a minimum undergraduate grade point average for consideration. For consideration, all applicants for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program must have a minimum of a 2.8, and for the School Counseling program, the minimum is a 3.0. Applicants must possess two strong letters of recommendation and provide a clearly written goal statement regarding their chosen course of study.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling 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.

School Counseling applicants who do not meet the 3.0 UGPA standards, but fall within the 2.8-3.0 range, will be considered for admissions under the 10 percent Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) provision for exceptions (10 percent of admitted students can be below the 3.0 criteria).

Applicants who do not meet the stated UGPA requirements may be considered for admissions only if a strong case for a waiver is presented. Candidates in this position should contact Dr. Dandeneau for the UGPA waiver process.

In order to obtain certification in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Department of Education requires school counseling applicants to pass certain Praxis examinations. All certification applicants must take the Professional School Counselor Praxis. In addition, those not holding a Pennsylvania teaching 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. Students may take the Praxis PPST any time during their program. Most students, however, usually take the Counseling and Guidance Subject Praxis exam during their field experience, but may also choose to take this exam after graduation.

As stipulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education in Chapter 49, on or before January 1, 2011, approved teacher education programs (including school counseling) must require students to complete at least nine credits (or 270 hours) regarding accommodations and adaptations for students with disabilities in an inclusive setting. Additionally, at least three credits (or 90 hours) must address the instructional needs of students who are English language learners (ELL). Some students will enter the M.Ed. School Counseling program having completed these requirements in their undergraduate programs. Others will need to complete some or all of these requirements in order to be eligible to apply for school counseling certification through PDE. IUP School Counseling students will meet these requirements as follows:

Special Education/Students with Disabilities

  • Three credits will be required of all M.Ed. students in the Counseling Department focusing on counseling issues of diverse learners.
  • Six credits will be required as co-requisites for those students entering the program without these special education requirements in their undergraduate program. Opportunities to obtain these six credits at IUP exist in related disciplines, including Education of Exceptional Persons and Education and School Psychology. You can choose to use your free three-credit elective to meet three credits of this six-credit requirement.

English Language Learners

  • Three credits will be required as co-requisites for those students entering the program without these ELL requirements in their undergraduate program. Opportunities exist to obtain these credits at IUP via a two-credit undergraduate ELL course. The remaining content can be accounted for in counseling-related coursework, including COUN 615, COUN 618, COUN 624, practica, and field experiences.