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College of the Sciences

Mental Health Counseling: Application Process

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Applications are no longer being accepted for Fall 2020 admissions.

Program Pre-Requisites:

Admissions decisions are based on a composite of criteria applied to all of the credentials presented in an individual’s application. Absolute minimum scores ("cut-offs") are not used  to make admissions decisions.  However, those students with a GRE score at or above the 50th percentile and a GPA of at least 3.0 at the bachelor's level are encouraged to apply.

  • Baccalaureate degree: Applicants must have completed a baccalaureate degree prior to beginning the MHC master’s program.  While most students in the program have a degree in psychology or a closely related major, applicants with degrees in any field are welcome to apply to the program as long as they meet all admission requirements.  It is recommended that applicants have prior coursework and/or knowledge in the following areas: personality or abnormal; social or developmental; learning; physiological; and multicultural issues in psychology. Students not having these courses should expect to do additional work when background material is needed.
  • Statistics Requirement: Two background statistics courses (PSY362 and PSY363) are required for full admission to the MHC program. These courses (or their equivalents) may be pursued concurrently with graduate courses, however, it is strongly recommended that they are completed before one begins the program.  All requisite stats courses must be completed within the first two quarters within the program. The Program Director may assist you in determining if your introductory and intermediate statistic courses from prior institutions satisfies this requirement.

Notice: Because mental health counseling students work with children and members of other vulnerable populations, they must complete a background check pursuant to RCW 43.43.834 and RCW 43.43.839. Any student who knows that he or she is not likely to pass a background check should be aware that these circumstances may affect the likelihood of securing clinical placement, which may prevent the student from participating in practica and internship experiences effectively forfeiting the student’s ability to complete the program. Such individuals are encouraged to proactively discuss concerns regarding such matters directly with the program’s Clinical Director and/or their advisors.  They are also encouraged to contact the Washington State Department of Health directly to discuss their specific situation to determine if it is possible for them to be licensed as a mental health professional within the state of Washington.

How to Apply:

Application and Selection Timeline

  • The application deadline for fall quarter admission is January 10 (Applications submitted after this date will be actively considered if space in the program is still available).
  • The MHC faculty review all applications by mid-February.  Prospective applicants thinking of submitting an application after the January 10th deadline should check-in with the Program Director and/or request their materials be considered for the subsequent year.
  • Applicants who advance through an initial screening will be invited to a mandatory interview day, which occurs the last Friday in February.  Interviews take place in the Psychology Building at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA.
  • The program will begin to make offers to prospective students soon after the interview date, typically by mid-March.

One applies to the MHC program by submitting an application to the School of Graduate Studies and Research.  Information is found at the Apply to CWU School of Graduate Studies and Research page.  Be sure to read their information thoroughly. 

A complete application will include the following:

  • CWU School of Graduate Studies and Research Application (including $75 application fee).  We encourage you to apply online; paper applications will also be accepted.  Find the online form at Forms and Documents.
  • Personal Statement (Statement of Educational and Professional Objectives): Part of the application is your personal statement. Please address the following questions when you write your personal statement:
  1. Why do you want to become a counselor?
  2. What strengths and weaknesses do you have that will impact your ability to become a counselor?
  3. What are your long-term goals?

Your personal statement should be limited to approximately 500 words (two pages, double spaced). 

  • Current Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Official Transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended.  The address to which transcripts should be sent is:

School of Graduate Studies and Research
Central Washington University
400 East University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7510

  • Letters of Recommendation: You must submit three letters of recommendation.  One or more of these letters must be an academic recommendation from an instructor.  Find the online form at Forms and Documents.
  • GRE: In light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the GRE requirement has been waived for students applying to begin in the fall of 2021.

Checklist for Application to the Mental Health Counseling Program

Item Description
  Application to the School of Graduate Studies and Research See for detailed instructions
  Official Transcripts From all higher education institutions you have attended
  Official GRE Scores Waived for 2021 application year
  Personal Statement NOTE:  See three questions above for guidelines on how to formulate your paper
  Resume or CV Your up-to-date resume
NOTE: This is a program requirement that is not mentioned in the School of Graduate Studies and Research requirements
  Three Letters of Recommendation Preferably academic references.  At least one letter must be an academic letter, from an instructor

Financial Information

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