Master's Program

Why study Counseling Psychology at TWU?

Students walking next to TWU columns

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 MA in Counseling Psychology

Program Contact

Claudia Porras Pyland, PhD
Program Director

Application Deadlines

Fall admission only - February 1

Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree.
  • At least 18 semester hours in psychology, including: 
    • Introduction to Psychology/General Psychology
    • Developmental Psychology (Life Span)

    • Abnormal Psychology
    • Statistics

    • Experimental Psychology/Research Design/Research Methods

    • 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.

Applying for Fall of 2024 submit documents through the application process  Online Graduate Application Portal:

  • Letters of recommendation from three individuals familiar with your academic capabilities.
  • Collect and submit the following documents into the TWU application:  
    • 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 Vita Template to organize your academic, professional, scholarship, and service experiences.  Sample CV for reference.
    • Essays: Respond to the following five questions. Each response should NOT exceed 250 words in length. Upload into application under Writing/Video.
      • What incident or major life event most influenced your desire to pursue an advanced degree in counseling psychology?
      • Describe an event in your life marked by growth in your understanding of people or cultures different from your own. What were the outcomes of this shift in understanding that stay with you today?
      • Please review our program’s Mission, Philosophy, and Aims Statement ( Based on your understanding of our program’s training model, mission, philosophy and aims, please describe how our training model would align with your career goals and how you might contribute to our program’s mission and goals. Please note that our program trains students to work primarily with adults.
      • What are your future career goals? How do you anticipate your experience in the Counseling Psychology program at TWU would help you prepare for your future career goals?
      • What are your major research interests?
  • A virtual interview is required on Feb. 24, 2024. The admissions coordinator will contact those applicants whom the program invites to interview.
  • 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.

How to Apply

Begin by finding your program in TWU's Program, Majors & Degrees listings to see if your program has additional admission requirements and application deadlines prior to applying.  (This information is for all programs. The application deadline for your specific program will be listed in the Program Requirements.  Use that deadline as it applies below.  (Example: if a program only admits once a year and has a Fall deadline for 2023 of March 1, you would need to be looking to apply to the next deadline for Fall 2024.)

  1. Apply online.
    Apply to Graduate Programs according to the start semester and application portals below:
    • Spring 2024 - All programs apply via ApplyTexas EXCEPT applicants to the College of Business, Child Life, or Child Development master's programs or the Child Development and Early Education PhD program who should apply via the TWU Online Graduate Application Portal.
      • Note: When applying through ApplyTexas, you will need to submit any required Documents directly to the program website.
    • Summer & Fall 2024 - All graduate programs apply via the TWU Online Graduate Application Portal. Required documents will be asked for and uploaded into the application.

  2. Pay the application fee.
    The $50 fee, ($75 fee for International applicants), which applies to all new and returning applicants can be paid by:
    • Credit card - Online through the portal you applied on (either ApplyTexas or TWU's Online Graduate Application).
    • Certified check or money order by mail or electronically - payable to TWU, sent by mail to:
      TWU Admissions Processing, 301 Research Circle, Room 220; Denton, Texas 76204
      (include your full name and ID number).
    • Cash (no personal checks) - Pay at the Bursar's Office. After paying, bring the receipt to Admissions Processing (2nd floor of GRB).
    • Fee Waivers - Graduate applicants who are certified McNair Scholars are eligible for a McNair Scholar application Fee waiver. Submit the request using the Application Fee Waiver Submission Form.

  3. Submit transcripts to TWU.
    • Domestic Applicants must submit official transcripts for each college or university attended, both undergraduate and graduate. See the Information on Transcripts website for more details.
    • International Applicants are now required to provide an evaluation prepared by a NACES or AICE member evaluation service. International transcripts should not be sent directly to TWU.  See the International Admission website for more details.

For more information on graduate admissions or to contact an admissions official, visit the Graduate Admissions website.

Students who wish to apply for a Graduate Assistantship must meet the General Criteria for Appointment of Graduate Assistants.

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 Jessica Bell

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 11:44 AM, September 20, 2023