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Information on Admissions

Deadlines for Admission

Deadline for admissions is November 1 of each year (incomplete or late applications will not be considered).

Applicants will be notified of their status by mid-December. After a review of the application components, select applicants will be invited on campus for an interview day.

Admitted students begin their studies in the following May or August.

Application Requirements

Students who are admitted to the Ph.D. program in Counseling must have a master's degree from a program accredited by the Council on Accredidation of Counseling and Related Educational Program (CACREP) or the equivalent. Admitted individuals who do not have a CACREP-accredited master's degree in counseling must complete any missing doctoral programs listed below as a part of their Ph. D. program.

Online Application - Complete and submit the application for graduate studies available at the Office of Graduate Admissions website which can be found online at http://admissions.odu.edu/graduate.php . Click on "I Want to Apply." Submit the following materials with your online application:

Current resume.
o Overview of your educational and work experiences
o Include your social security number, current address and phone number

o Write and submit an original double-spaced 3 to 5 page essay that will be reviewed for content and used to judge your written communication skills.
o Your essay should include:

  • a self-evaluation regarding the criteria listed that are used to review applicants
  • a summary of your educational and work experiences
  • your reasons for wanting to earn a Ph.D. in counseling
  • areas that interest you that might lead to a possible dissertation topic
  • the reasons you are interested in this particular Ph.D. program in counseling at Old Dominion University.
    • Supplemental Materials - Submit to the Graduate Admissions Office, 220 Alfred B. Rollins Jr. Hall, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529. Include the following materials:

Official transcripts.
o You must submit official transcripts from all universities you have attended (whether or not you earned degrees at those universities).
o The Ph.D. program adheres to all University requirements for minimum GPA requirements for graduate school.
- GRE scores.
o Request that your official GRE scores be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service to Old Dominion University.
o Scores must have been earned in the last five years.
o In the event you take the GRE less than 6 weeks prior to the application deadline, submit a letter that lists your unofficial Graduate Record Examination (GRE) verbal and quantitative scores.
o There is no minimum GRE score required, but applicants with higher GRE scores have a better chance of being accepted.

Letters of recommendation. (Optional)
o You have the option to send a maximum of three (3) letters that assess your potential for success in a counseling Ph.D. program.
o If sending letters, it is recommended (but not required) that you include one letter from a faculty member in your counseling master's degree program and one letter from a supervisor from your internship or a job you have held as a counselor.
o You may send recommendation requests via the online application on the "supplemental materials" page. Recommenders will receive an email from you asking to complete a recommendation form OR send a letter. Forms can also be found at: http://admissions.odu.edu/forms/ODU_GRAD_APP_recommendation.pdf If a letter is submitted, the recommendation form is not required.

If you have questions regarding your application for graduate studies contact the Office of Graduate Admissions.
Email: gradadmit@odu.edu .
Telephone numbers: (757) 683-3685 or toll-free (800) 348-7926. Fax; (757) 683-3255.
Mailing address: ATTN: Graduate Admissions, 220 Alfred B. Rollins Hall, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529.

If you have program specific questions please contact Admissions Coordinator Dr. Alan "Woody" Schwitzer. Email: aschwitz@odu.edu. Mailing address: ATTN: Dr. Alan "Woody" Schwitzer, Counseling Graduate Admissions, 110 Education Building, Department of Counseling and Human Services, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529.

Criteria Used to Review Applicants

  • Clear goal of becoming an advanced professional in the counseling field. Indicators include career goals that are clearly within the profession of counseling (as opposed to psychology, social work, or a related field); interest in becoming certified or licensed by a state department of education as a school counselor or becoming licensed by a state as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), unless already licensed; or self descriptions of future job titles that include professional counselor or counselor (as opposed to psychologist, social worker, or therapist).
  • Potential for success in the counseling profession. Indicators include successful experiences as a student, as an employee, or as a member of an organization or community group.
  • Successful experience in counseling related activities. Indicators include leadership positions, jobs, or volunteer activities related to counseling.
  • Academic aptitude for graduate study. Indicators include a high GRE score, a high grade point average in bachelor's degree program, and a high grade point average in any graduate course work completed.
  • Verbal and written communication skills. Indicators include effective written communications in application materials; high writing score on the GRE; or proficiency in the English language if an applicant's native language is other than English.
  • Evidence of potential for completing a graduate program. Indicators include a strong desire to obtain a doctoral degree; past history of achieving goals, completing projects, and persisting with difficult tasks; ability to work autonomously with little need for direct supervision; and receptivity to feedback with desire to perform at a high level.
  • Interpersonal skills. Indicators include a history of positive relationships with peers, professors, employers, friends, and family; demonstrated ability to interact effectively in an academic environment; ability to handle stressful situations effectively, and no evidence of having acted unethically.
  • Interest in a counseling specialty area (college counseling, community counseling, school counseling, or mental health counseling) needed to balance the program. Indicators include indication of interest in a needed specialty area; or experience or background in a needed specialty area.