Master's Program

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Why Study Counseling Psychology at TWU?

Our master’s program in counseling psychology provides a uniquely feminist perspective while preparing students for careers primarily in psychological counseling. Students learn to work with individuals, couples, families and groups to promote optimal mental, emotional, and relational health and well-being.

Understanding oneself and others as existing and participating in multiple multicultural and social contexts is a critical part of our program. We are committed to our students' development as ethical and self-reflective professionals, and provide training based in the science of psychology.

Our MA degree also provides excellent preparation for those students seeking to pursue doctoral training in counseling psychology.

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Program Details

Career Outlook

Admission Requirements

Admission to the TWU Graduate School

Approval for admission to the Graduate School is required of all graduate students.

Graduate School admission does not imply admission to candidacy for an advanced degree. Candidacy will be granted only after a period of successful graduate work and after compliance with the conditions and course of study established by the University and its departments, schools, and colleges have been met.

The total enrollment of graduate students is limited. All applications to the Graduate School are subject to whatever provisions may limit the enrollment of graduate students. Admission is granted for not more than one academic year. Students who do not attend the University for four or more terms, including the term of admission, must reapply. Graduate students who have been enrolled, may stop out for a maximum of two years including the last semester of enrollment. If another institution is attended during the two year timeframe, the student must reapply.

Graduate students are subject to the general rules and regulations of the University and are expected to maintain the high standard of social and academic life of the University as well as the professional standards of their chosen field of study. Thus, graduate students are subject to all rules and regulations set forth in the Student Handbook, the Graduate Catalog, and the policy statements of the Graduate School and the academic components. All graduate students of Texas Woman’s University are expected to know and adhere to high standards of personal conduct and of academic integrity and scholarship. Any falsification, misrepresentation, or misapplication of information or research; any violation of professional or ethical standards; or any violation of the rules and regulations of the University may result in dismissal.

*Admission to the M.A. in Counseling Psychology

Program Contact

Dr. Claudia Porras Pyland
(940) 898-2312

Application Deadlines

Fall admission only - February 1st

Please note that it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all materials are received by the deadline.  All application materials must be received by both the Office of Admissions and the Department of Psychology & Philosophy by the specified deadline as noted below.  Applicants are encouraged to confirm receipt of their materials by contacting the Office of Admissions Processing and the Department of Psychology & Philosophy at or 940-898-2306.

Admission Requirements

  • At least 18 semester hours in psychology, including:
    • Introduction to Psychology/General Psychology
    • Developmental Psychology (Life Span)
    • Statistics
    • Experimental Psychology/Research Design/Research Methods
    • Cognitive Psychology/Psychology of Learning
    • Psychology Elective
  • A minimum GPA of 3.5 on all courses in psychology and a 3.0 overall average for the last 60 semester credit hours of undergraduate work. If graduate master’s work has been completed, a 3.5 is desirable.
  • Preferred minimum Graduate Record Examination scores of 153(500) Verbal, 144(500) Quantitative, and 4.0 Analytical Writing. The subject (Psychology) GRE is not required.

How to Apply

  1. Apply for admission to the TWU Graduate School.
  2. Take the GRE General Test and submit your GRE scores to TWU.
  3. Collect and submit the following documents as separate pdf files in ONE email to with the subject line (YOUR LAST NAME)-(YOUR FIRST NAME)-(MA IN COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGY). Please attach all items as PDFs.
    • Counseling Psychology Master's Program Application: Complete, and submit a PDF of the Counseling Psychology Master's Program Application.
    • Counseling Psychology Master's Program Curriculum Vitae (CV): Use the Curriculum Vitae Template to organize your academic, professional, scholarship, and service experiences. Print and submit a PDF of your CV.  Sample CV for reference.
    • Essays: Respond to the following five questions. Each response should NOT exceed 250 words in length.
      1. What incident or major life-event most influenced your desire to pursue an advanced degree in counseling psychology?
      2. Identify and discuss a specific group to whom you think it would be difficult for you to provide counseling or psychological services.
      3. How would you assess your fit for this program?
      4. Describe your anticipated career trajectory (i.e., where do you see yourself one year, 10 years, and 20 years after completing your degree)?
      5. What are your major research interests?
  4. Three academic or professional references should submit letters of recommendation as PDFs on institutional or organization letterhead to Recommenders should include student name and "M.A. in Counseling Psychology" in the subject line.
  5. An on-campus interview is required. The admissions coordinator will contact those applicants whom the department invites to interview.
  6. Should an acceptance offer be extended, the applicant must reply by emailing, on or before April 15, pursuant with the policy of the American Psychological Association.

Visit the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information about the graduate counseling psychology admissions criteria and application process.

Alumni Spotlight: Hillarye Hightower (MA '09)

Hillarye Hightower headshot

Having gone through our Master’s Counseling Psychology program myself and having witnessed years of interns come to Denton County Friends of the Family (DCFOF), from our program and others, I believe our program, with its multicultural feminist lens, better prepares folks for any career ahead than many other programs.

Hillarye Hightower, Director of PEAP at DCFOF

Advice to current and future students: "Be part of your own process – find what sets your soul on fire and DO THAT – even if it’s not what you originally intended!"

"This program will prepare you for many things in life, so try as hard as you can to allow your expectations of yourself to be flexible."

About Hillarye Hightower

Hillarye Hightower graduated from the Counseling Psychology Master’s program in 2009 and has since made a significant impact in the field through her work with survivors of relational violence and sexual assault. Hillarye has been supporting survivors and working to prevent domestic and sexual violence for over 10 years. She is currently the Director of the Prevention, Education, and Awareness Program (PEAP) at Denton County Friends of the Family and has previously served as a director of Battering Intervention and Prevention Program (BIPP). She has been invited numerous times to speak at statewide family violence and battering intervention and prevention conferences. She has traveled to California to train Futures without Violence coordinators on implementing the Coaching Boys into Men program in San Francisco public schools. She has been recognized for her work through several awards, including theClient Centered Culture Award, Leadership Team Member of the Year Award, Executive Director’s Choice Award, and Prevention Team Member of the Year Award. Hillarye was also nominated last year at the University of North Texas for the Division of Student Affairs Off-Campus Partner of the Year Award.



Please contact Claudia Porras Pyland, Ph.D., Director of Master’s Counseling Psychology Program

Office: CFO 805
Phone: (940) 898-2312

The MA in Counseling Psychology prepares graduates to take the Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) exam (Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors). If you are a resident of another state, contact our department to determine whether our program fulfills requirements to take licensure exams in your home state.

Page last updated 12:33 PM, June 7, 2019