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Frequently Asked Questions

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Please review our Frequently Asked Questions about Admissions and about the Program below:

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  • Yes. The general Graduate Record Examination (GRE) must be taken and results received by the Graduate College before your Graduate application is considered complete. Please allow time for the Graduate College to receive your scores and process and deliver your file to the Professional Counseling Program by the posted deadline.


    The GRE General Test is the only test you need to take. GRE Subject tests are not required. 

  • Only the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections of the GRE General Test are considered. The Analytical Writing section is not considered.

  • If you have an earned master’s degree or doctorate from a  U.S. accredited university, you may request that your GRE be waived by the Graduate College. If you have a graduate degree and wish for the GRE to be waived, contact the Graduate College to verify that the waiver has been recorded. Neither the Admissions Coordinator nor the Program Coordinator need to request the waiver for you.

    The Educational Testing Service, who administers the GRE, retains scores for five (5) years. Therefore, if they have retained a score within their system and it is recorded by the Graduate College, that score can be used in lieu of the “waiver” ranking used, which equates to approximately 291 (150 verbal and 141 quantitative).

    NOTE: For International master's or doctoral degrees, you must request that the Graduate College conduct an equivalency review to determine if the degree is equivalent to a U.S. master's degree in order to know if the GRE can be waived. 

  • No. The Graduate College in conjunction with the Program requires the GRE. Other tests, such as the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or the MCAT, cannot be substituted or considered in lieu of the GRE.

  • That depends. There are three major scenarios. First, if an application is submitted and a GRE score is waived, we have no way of knowing what the score might have been if taken previously or could be if taken again. Therefore, we insert a Verbal GRE score of 150 and a Quantitative GRE score of 141, totaling 291. Second, if the GRE is sent or contained within the current system, that score is used, whether it is lower or higher than the above-mentioned scores. Third, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) only maintains GRE scores for five years. Therefore, scores older than five years are not accessible. The applicant would have to consider whether retaking the GRE would benefit their overall ranking.

  • If you choose to apply with a low GRE score, your application portfolio will be reviewed and considered in its entirety. However, when making your decision whether to retake the GRE or not, please keep in mind the competitiveness of our Program and that only top ranking students are recommended for acceptance.

  • No, there will be no impact on the program's GRE requirements.  

    What will change: the time it takes to take the test is reduced (from nearly 4 hours to just under 2) by shortening each section and removing the unscored section. 

    For more information about the GRE:  


  • The Graduate College will automatically deny the application and it will not be sent to the Professional Counseling Program to be reviewed.

    For questions regarding GPA calculations, see the Graduate College's Application Policy Information

  • After a bachelor’s degree is conferred, you can only take graduate level courses to raise your GPA.  Since you are unable to take Professional Counseling Program courses prior to acceptance, if you wish to attend Texas State, you may choose to take other graduate level courses as a non-degree seeking student. To do this you will need to submit a new graduate college application, $10 application fee, and a non-degree seeking form with approval from the department you wish to take courses. You would need to contact the individual advisor for the other graduate program in which you are hoping to apply.  Again, you will be applying to some other graduate program in order to take their courses as a non-degree seeking student; you are not able to apply to the Professional Counseling program as a non-degree seeking student to take counseling courses before being accepted into the counseling program. 

    If you have not yet completed your undergraduate degree, speak with your major undergraduate advisors to determine how to raise your GPA before completing your undergraduate degree.  Professional Counseling Program faculty cannot calculate these GPA changes, and the Graduate College is restricted from calculating GPAs until they receive an official application for admission. 

  • Not necessarily. Our Program has become increasingly competitive and in order to accommodate our current students and meet our CACREP Accreditation faculty-to-student-ratio standards, we are only able to accept a limited number of applicants. Only those top-ranking students per the number of spaces will be recommended for admission each admission cycle.

  • Yes. In addition to the GRE and the GPA, we evaluate the qualitative parts of the application portfolio: the Statement of Purpose, your previous experience as evidenced by your Resume, and the information gleaned from the Recommendation Forms. All factors are taken into consideration when evaluating the admissions portfolio.

  • An undergraduate degree in psychology is not required to apply to the Professional Counseling Program. If your bachelor's degree is in another field, you would not need to take any additional or prerequisite classes to be accepted into the program. 

    The program does not specify what specific undergraduate degree an applicant must hold to apply to the counseling program. Certainly knowledge of and experience in a helping profession would be beneficial to an applicant pursuing a degree in counseling, but we have had students from all backgrounds be successful in the counseling program.   

  • Unless an international student has earned a degree from an accredited United States university, the Graduate College requires a passing score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) in addition to the GRE. See   International Admission Documents

    Questions about language proficiency tests and international degrees must be directed to the Graduate College.   

  • We begin reviewing applications immediately after the stated deadline and are not able to accommodate late submissions. Therefore, if you have a strong desire to enter the program in a specific semester, you must adhere to the application deadlines. Check the Graduate College website for the specific dates that applications are available for each admission cycle.


  • February 15 is the deadline for Summer/Fall semester admission. Applications can be submitted starting in August of the prior year.


    October 1 is the deadline for Spring semester admission. Applications can be submitted starting in January of the same year.

  • Applicants can select only one concentration when applying (CMHC, MCFC, or School). There is no need to submit multiple applications since we do not review applications according to concentrations. All program applications are reviewed together. 

    If a student is admitted to the counseling program under one concentration and then decides they want to change concentrations, they are easily able to make that change through their faculty advisor. Students are only able to be enrolled under one concentration at a time. A dual-concentration option does not exist. 

  • The average of the last four admissions cycles is 51%.  The number of students we are able to accept each cycle is based on available space in order to ensure faculty to student ratios established by CACREP accreditation standards are maintained.

  • Approximately 6 weeks after the application deadline closes (October 1, February 15), the Professional Counseling Program will provide the Graduate College with acceptance, rejection, and wait list decisions. The decisions will be entered into the Slate system, and applicants will be notified by the Grad College via email.  

    See this link for information regarding questions about the denial appeal process: Graduate College APPLICATION POLICY INFORMATION

  • That varies greatly! If a student attends on a full-time basis, the MA degree (Clinical Mental Health Counseling, 60 hours; Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling, 60 hours; School Counseling, 60 hours) generally takes about three years to progress through the course work, practicum, and internships. The final three courses are the clinical sequence which must be taken in consecutive semesters: COUN 5689, Clinical Practicum, and two semesters of COUN 5389 Site-based Internship (one semester of Internship for School Counseling). Therefore, this is one academic year, if enrolled in all three semesters (fall, spring and summer). We recommend that you use the sample degree plan to plot your own individual plan, and when you are accepted into the Program, must meet with your assigned faculty advisor in the first semester to come up with a course of study to complete the 19 courses required to complete the degree.   


    There are many factors that impact the time required to complete the degree. The number of courses taken any given semester can vary for each student. Some students take more classes during the summer than other students. Life events may occur that change or interrupt a student's plan. The Professional Counseling Program faculty members recognize that students are eager to graduate and work as professional counselors. However, please consider that people assimilate knowledge and skills at different rates. We suggest each student move through the program at a pace that makes it most likely that they will be knowledgeable, skillful, and ultimately successful, and not just as quickly as they can. Moving through quickly could impede your retention of knowledge, and could impact your ability to pass the comprehensive exam, which the university requires for the completion of a graduate degree. 

  • The degree should be completed within 6 years. As the six year mark approaches, previously taken coursework may be considered expired, and may need to be taken again. As you progress through the program and need to have a break in enrollment, speak to your assigned faculty advisor to establish a leave of absence. The Program Coordinator can also meet with you upon your return to determine a degree completion estimate, and any need to apply for an extension through the Graduate College. If an extension is needed, the Program Coordinator will submit that on the student's behalf, with input from the student. 

  • Nine credit hours is considered full time. Students must get permission from the Program Coordinator to enroll for 12 credit hours after first discussing it with their assigned faculty advisor. Taking more than 12 hours per semester is not permitted and will not be approved.

  • You will note that the sample degree plans are in “Levels.” These are NOT semesters, but the levels will help you know the general order in which to take courses. Generally, one level can overlap with another, but always pay close attention to prerequisites. Please refer to the Graduate Catalog or the Courses Offered section of our website, which will provide you with the prerequisites, if any, for each course.

  • In the Fall and Spring semesters, classes generally are offered at 3:30pm-6:20pm and at 6:30pm-9:20pm from Monday through Thursday. This is both on the San Marcos and Round Rock campuses. Classes meet one day per week.  

    In the summer, we offer most classes over a 10-week session, depending on faculty availability. Summer classes generally are offered from 10:30am-2:30pm and 5:30pm‑9:30pm, Monday through Thursday. Classes meet one day per week. 

    Clinical Practicum courses typically run from 1pm-9pm, on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday on the San Marcos or Round Rock campus. 

    Class schedules can be viewed through the CatsWeb student system of the University website. 

  • The Professional Counseling Program is headquartered on the San Marcos campus, but we are lucky enough to have a second campus where we can offer classes (Round Rock). The program does not guarantee that you will be able to complete all of your coursework at one campus. 

    Depending upon the speed with which you want to progress through the program, you might be able to take many classes (but not all) at your preferred campus, as we typically schedule courses on a rotation basis between San Marcos and Round Rock. However, students who want to progress through the program more efficiently will need to consider taking classes at both campuses. 

  • A majority of our classes are offered in a face-to-face format. However, a few classes have been offered as hybrid and online courses, depending on the semester but they are not always classified or offered in this format on a regular basis. Classes that are offered as hybrid or online courses will be designated as such on the course registration page for upcoming semesters and carry an additional technology fee per credit hour. See CatsWeb for the few classes that may hold this designation. Our counseling program would not be a program for someone seeking online instruction. 

  • Perhaps. First, some University conditions must be met: any course transferred in must be a 3 credit hour graduate level course; taken during the past 6 years; not already used toward the completion of another degree; bears a letter grade of "B" or higher ("credit", "pass", or "satisfactory" is unacceptable); and have been earned at a regionally accredited university. If you want to transfer in a course to replace a required COUN course, we must be able to verify that the completed course is equivalent to the counseling course for which you want it to substitute, and that it meets all of the conditions noted above.


    For us to review it appropriately, you must first be accepted into the program and then complete the TRANSFER CREDIT REQUEST online (Net ID log in required). Through this form, you will provide the Graduate Advisor (Program Coordinator) with a copy of the syllabus of the counseling course you have taken elsewhere and want considered for transfer, and provide a copy of the transcript showing the counseling course credit already earned elsewhere. A professor who typically teaches our course for which you want credit will review the syllabus to check for equivalency and make a recommendation to the Program Coordinator. The counseling course must also meet all the conditions as listed in the first section of this answer. 


    Not all types of courses are eligible for transfer into our program: the program allows transfer of foundational level courses, but not intermediate level (2nd level) or clinical level courses (i.e., Basic Skills/Techniques, Group Counseling, Intermediate Methods, Clinical Practicum, Site-based Internship - see Degree plan for course levels). 


    Please note: The Professional Counseling Program Graduate Advisor (Program Coordinator, Dr. Haiyasoso) processes requests to transfer in graduate credit hours only after the Transfer Credit Request has been submitted electronically with all necessary documents. Dr. Haiyasoso then makes a recommendation to the Graduate College on behalf of the newly admitted applicant/student, with ultimate approval determined by the Dean of the Graduate College.


    The Graduate College must have an official transcript showing the awarded credit from the previous institution to process and finalize transfer requests. Any questions regarding sending of transcripts must be directed to the Graduate College.

  • The Graduate College allows 6 hours. However, if you are working toward the 60 hour MA in Professional Counseling, you can request evaluation of transfer credit up to 12 hours (4 courses). This first requires completion of an online form: TRANSFER CREDIT REQUEST (Net ID log in required). 

    If your courses are reviewed and approved (see previous question/answer for requirements), the Graduate Advisor (Program Coordinator, Dr. Haiyasoso) may request transfer on behalf of the new student, with ultimate approval determined by the Dean of the Graduate College.

  • No. Only those individuals who have been officially accepted into our Program can take Professional Counseling courses.

    Non-degree seeking students are not eligible to enroll in counseling courses, so the program is not able to accommodate deficiency requests for licensure and/or certification. 

    Exceptions for a few non-degree courses exist through the Institute for Play Therapy for already licensed mental health professionals. See their website


    Determination of whether courses will count for transfer will not be done for students enrolled at other universities who have not yet been accepted into our counseling program.

    For those seeking other non-degree graduate studies, see the Graduate College webpage

  • Completing a thesis is an elective option, and does not influence how an application is reviewed. During the program, the thesis option will add 6 credit hours (two 3 hour courses) to the degree, which will be completed at the end of the program. Students who are wanting to complete self-directed research would select this option, and those who may be considering doctoral studies in the future. We suggest exploring those doctoral programs to determine the impact of thesis completion. 

    For more information regarding the thesis, see the Graduate College website

  • Applications for the CLAS Department are available during the spring semester for assignment during the following fall/spring academic year. The opening date of these applications and deadline is announced through the Counseling program listserv. The Student Affairs office may have positions during a student's first year. Check their website using the menu above. Occasionally additional graduate assistantships are offered, so if you are accepted into the program, watch for an announcement in the student listserv. The CLAS Department provides specific information about graduate assistantships on the Departmental page above: New Student Info.

    The Graduate College also provides information regarding Graduate Assistantships & Fellowships.

  • This information is not available within the Professional Counseling Program/CLAS Department but instead through the Graduate College.  Please check the Scholarships and Financial Aid Office for information regarding student scholarships.

  • The University College provides a very helpful Student Resources page that includes a link to the Writing Center, Bobcat Bounty Food Pantry, and San Marcos Events Calendar.  The only link on this page that will not apply to graduate students in the Counseling Program is the Advising Center. Professional Counseling Program students are assigned to individual faculty advisors in the Counseling Program and are expected to meet with them for advising throughout their time in the program.

    The CLAS Department also provides a wealth of information for New Graduate Students

    Texas State University has partnered with TimelyCare to provide on-demand virtual mental health services to enrolled students at no additional cost to students: TimelyCare Mental Health Services.

  • Paid internships are scarce but allowable. Most graduate level internships are not paid positions. Please be advised that interns are ultimately responsible for securing their internship sites, but the Program provides many opportunities to explore available Internship sites prior to the student starting their clinical sequence. A good question for clinical partnership sites is whether they offer stipends for graduate level interns. 

  • We do not screen for convictions. However, as noted and further explained in the Informed Consent, the licensing and certification agencies require disclosure of felony or misdemeanor convictions and these could preclude you from earning your license or certification.  See the website for the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council for the form to request a Criminal History Evaluation prior to applying to a graduate program to determine if specific criminal history will prevent licensure or certification.
  • The national figures show future employment growth for 2021-2031 for "Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors" as 22%, which is deemed "much faster than average". Employment growth for "marriage and family therapists" is expected to be 14%, which is also "much faster than average", while expected growth for "school and career counselors" is expected to grow by 10%, "faster than average".

    National data source:

    Regarding the need in Texas, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Mental Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) Dashboard, more than 97% of the counties in Texas are designated as Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas. 

  • Be sure to explore the Professional Counseling Program website, which contains a wealth of information including the Professional Counseling Faculty/Staff Directory, Courses Offered, and examples of Degree Outlines. Furthermore, under the Current Students link, the Professional Counseling Program's Official Student Handbook provides detailed information regarding the program, including courses, practicum, internships, and licensure requirements.


    If you have additional general admissions questions, contact the Professional Counseling Program administrative assistant at . You may also leave them a message at 512-245-2579. If you have emphasis‑specific questions, contact the specific faculty advisors for each emphasis area (noted on the Faculty page and Degree concentration page). 


    Virtual Information Sessions are also held by program faculty on a monthly basis, with plenty of time to gain information prior to the deadline for each admission cycle. See the Admissions Information page for session dates and required registration links, where you are also able to submit specific questions to be answered during the information session. Individual meetings are not available at this time.  

  • Contact the Graduate College for any questions about the application process. 

    The Professional Counseling Program faculty and staff do not manage any part of the application portal, so they are not able to help you navigate it.


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