Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology


The counseling psychology program typically receives 95-130 applications each year, and we usually accept 6-8 students in each incoming class. Typically, about half of each entering class hold bachelor's degrees, and half enter with master's degrees. We are looking for students who have a passion for and experience with empirical research, whose interests match those of our faculty, and who have some professional experience in an applied setting, a strong academic record, above average GRE scores, good communication skills, and positive, detailed letters of recommendation. During the past few years, the average verbal and quantitative GRE scores of accepted applicants has been above 155 on each test (4.5 or above on the analytic/writing test). The Psychology subtest is not required but is recommended (since knowledge of basic psychology is necessary for successful graduate-level work in cognitive/affective, biopsychology, social, individual differences, history and systems of psychology). The average undergraduate GPA of accepted applicants has been approximately 3.52 (on a 4 point scale). For applicants entering with a graduate degree, the average GPA in the graduate program has been 3.895. Applicants need not have been psychology majors as undergrads but are required to have a minimum of 18 credits in undergraduate psychology coursework, which must include statistics, and personality or abnormal psychology (preferably both).

Application Materials

Applications for the counseling psychology doctoral program are due on December 1st of each year. The application materials, which are available on the Graduate Admissions website, include:

  • University at Albany Application for Admissions for Degree Graduate Study
  • University at Albany Graduate Assistantship/Fellowship Application
  • Personal Statement (include research experience/goals and interests in working with specific faculty)
  • Résumé/Curriculum Vitae
  • Copies of all academic transcripts
  • Official GRE score reports (Only the general test is required. The Psychology subject test is recommended but not required.)
  • 3-5 reference letters
  • Application Fee
  • TOEFL (for international students without a degree from a U.S. college or university)

Application for Admissions for Degree Graduate Study and Graduate Assistantship/Fellowship Application

Application for admission to a graduate program at the University at Albany is easy. All applications are filled out online. The University no longer accepts paper applications. Instructions for completing the application and submitting other materials are available at the Graduate Admissions website. The application for assistantship is available on the Graduate Admissions website as well, and this supplemental application form should be submitted along with a resume as part of the degree application online.

In your personal statement on the application, please provide information about yourself as a person and about your professional interests and goals. We are interested in knowing what attracted you to the field of counseling psychology and specifically to our PhD program. Where relevant, describe your experiences in applied psychology (e.g., residence hall assistant, practicum in counseling, assisting with data collection for professors' research, conducting your own independent research, presenting or publishing findings). In addition, indicate your goals for graduate study as well as your goals for your professional career, i.e., the kinds of applied and/or scholarly activities you would like to explore during your doctoral training, and the settings, problems, and/or populations you envision to be primary in your professional work. Please be sure to identify the faculty member/s you are most interested in working with, and provide a brief explanation as to the relevance of their work to your career goals and interests.


Please include a current résumé or Curriculum Vitae.

Academic Transcripts

Include official copies of all undergraduate and graduate institutions that you attended with your application. See the Graduate Admissions website for more information.

GRE Scores

Arrange to have Educational Testing Service (ETS) send official GRE test results to the University at Albany, Code 2532. You may include a photocopy of your GRE score report in your application materials; however, your application will not be reviewed until your official test scores are received. GRE scores are required for all applicants and must be current within the past 5 years.

Reference Letters

Include 3 to 5 letters of reference in your application materials. Recommendations should include letters from undergraduate or graduate faculty. Reference letter forms can be obtained through Graduate Admissions.

Application Fee

All applicants must submit the required, non-refundable application fee. More information can be obtained from Graduate Admissions.

Deadline for receipt of the application and all supporting materials is December 1st of each year.