Department of Counseling & Marital and Family Therapy
- The University of San Diego Graduate School Admission Application
- One official sealed transcript from all colleges and universities attended, including community colleges. Foreign transcripts must be accompanied by a course-by-course transcript evaluation from World Education Services (WES).
- A minimum of two professional letters of recommendation from professors or employers
- A current resumé or curriculum vita
- A statement of purpose. In 500 words:
- Describe how the school counseling specialization in our counseling program will prepare you for your professional and personal goals. Please be specific.
- Briefly outline how your academic, research, volunteer and/or work experiences have contributed to you becoming a professional counselor. If relevant, please describe any challenges or barriers that you have faced in your academic development or history.
- International applicants only: Official score reports for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
Standardized Testing Requirements
- No standardized testing is required in order to apply. Applicants who have taken the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) general test are invited to submit scores, but this is not required.
- Applicants who feel that their grade point averages do not adequately represent their ability to succeed in a graduate program may find it helpful to submit GRE scores for consideration. For more information on preparing for the GRE, visit USD's Test Prep or call (619) 260-4579.
- Students will need to pass the CBEST in order to earn the pupil personnel services credential, but this is not required at the time of admission.
- Applicants must complete a bachelor’s degree prior to beginning the program. Applicants may apply prior to completing their bachelor's degree. In this case, please submit your most up-to-date transcripts, and if admitted, submit a second set of official transcripts after your degree is conferred.
- The minimum cumulative grade point average is 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) in all undergraduate and graduate coursework.
- This program requires a pre-requisite course in educational psychology focused on K-12 Learning. Students who do not complete this course prior to the start of the program may complete it during their first semester of enrollment in the master's program. Students who are unsure of whether a course they have selected will satisfy the requirement should email the course syllabus to firstname.lastname@example.org for evaluation.
Experience in a related field is recommended, but not required for admission.
After an initial review of applications to the counseling program, the most qualified candidates will be invited to USD for a group interview with the counseling faculty. Applicants who live outside California and surrounding states (Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Utah or Nevada) will have the option of participating in a phone interview. However, out-of-state applicants are strongly encouraged to attend the on-campus group interview, if possible.
English Language Proficiency Requirements
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required of all international applicants and may only be waived if English is the applicant’s primary language or if he or she obtained a bachelor’s degree in the U.S., Great Britain, Canada or Australia.
- TOEFL minimum scores:
- Internet-based test: 83
- Computer-based test: 237
- Paper-based test: 580
- IELTS minimum score:
- Band score 7
All application materials, including transcripts, test score reports and letters of recommendation, must be received by the Office of Graduate Admissions by the deadline in order for your application to be considered. View current deadlines for admission.
Application Status and Decisions
To confirm that application materials have been received or to check the status of your application, please log in to the MySanDiego portal with your applicant log-in or contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at (619) 260-4524. Admissions decision letters are sent via US Mail.
Submit all application materials online, or to:
Office of Graduate Admissions
University of San Diego
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
For questions about this program or the admissions requirements contact:
Office of Admissions and Outreach
School of Leadership and Education Sciences
University of San Diego
Mother Rosalie Hill Hall 149
Phone: (619) 260-7988