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Admissions: counseling & student personnel psychology MA

Admissions requirements

Undergraduate GPA

Average undergraduate G.P.A.: High: 4.0; Medium: 3.7; Low: 3.0

Number of students accepted

Generally, CSPP receives about 100 applications per year. Of those, roughly 35-37 will be accepted.

CSPP Application Guide

Use this printable CSPP application guide as a checklist to help you complete your application.

CSPP admissions guide [PDF]


Our application deadline for fall 2020 has been extended to July 15!

July 15: Application deadline

The counseling and student personnel psychology program accepts students for fall semester only. There is no spring semester application deadline.

January-February: Review process

The admissions committee considers a variety of factors including your prior academic achievement, GRE scores, relevant employment and life experiences, personal statement, letters of recommendation, and compatibility of your clinical and research interests with those of the program and faculty. Candidate interviews may be required.

February-March: Admissions decisions

The date on which you will hear back from the program will vary based on the volume of applications received. Applicants to the MA program can typically expect to hear during February or March.

Applicants who are recommended for admission by the program will receive a letter indicating this by March 1. The Graduate School then makes the official admissions determination and will inform you of their decision via the email address you provided on your graduate application.

Alumni profile

"I enjoyed being in classes with a professors who were extremely knowledgeable and also the variety of experiences that the other students brought to the CSPP program."

Jeanette Vyhanek headshot.

Jeanette Vyhanek, MA '17 School counselor, Folwell Performing Arts Magnet School

Read more about Jeanette's experience.

How to apply

Start your graduate application

Submit all application materials, including transcripts, directly to the graduate application. For additional information on how to apply, visit the Graduate School website.

Graduate school application

Required fields: Program Selection, Term Selection, Biographical Information, Personal Background, Academic History (including transcripts), Test Scores, Employment, Materials (including: Personal Statement, Resume/CV, Graduate Program Supplemental Application) and three letters of Recommendation

Optional fields: Diversity Statements are optional but highly encouraged. All other fields or application materials are optional, but will be taken into consideration if submitted.

Application fee

Visit the Graduate School website for more information

Transcripts (Academic History)

Upload your unofficial transcript to the graduate application under “Academic History.” If you are recommended for admission, you will need to provide an official transcript (sent to us by mail directly from the institution). An official, certified (signature and seal) English translation should be attached if the transcript is not in English.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores

CSPP applicants should take the GRE General Test. You do not need to take any subject tests.

Average GRE (after 2011): Verbal: 155; Quantitative: 156; Written: 4

  1. Self report your GRE General Test Scores should by entering them into the “Test Scores” section in the graduate application.
  2. Send your official GRE score to the Graduate School; use institution code 6874.

English language test scores (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.)

Report your TOEFL, IELTS, or MELAB scores (non-native English speakers only).

Minimum TOEFL (non-native English speakers only)

  • Minimum overall score: 79
  • Writing: 21
  • Reading: 19
  • Paper-based TOEFL: 550
  • IELTS: 6.5
  • MELAB: 80

Letters of recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required. Recommendations should be from professors or others who are able to comment on your educational and professional goals and potential. References should also complete the Recommendation Form (with ratings information) in the graduate application

You must input the names and contact information for each recommendation provider in the graduate application. They will be sent directions on how to upload their letter directly into your application.


Required Materials

Personal Statement

This statement is the most essential part of your application. It should outline your interests and professional goals and answer all of the following questions (in a one-two page essay format):

  • How did you become interested in this profession?
  • Discuss your motives for pursuing this profession.
  • What do you consider to be your strengths (specific skills, talents, aptitudes)?
  • What do you consider to be your weaknesses?
  • What aspects of or specific issues in counseling interest you most?
  • What kinds of work do you see yourself doing five years after you get your degree? Which track would you like to pursue (school counseling, mental health counseling, or higher education counseling?) Please describe briefly any participation in research, counseling activities, or employment which might be relevant to your application.
  • What specific factors have led you to apply to Minnesota for this specialization?
  • Discuss your expectations of this graduate program

Upload the essay under “Personal Statement" in the Materials section in the graduate application.


Upload it under “Resume/CV” in the Materials section in the graduate application. Include your past professional, academic, and volunteer experiences as they relate to your work in the fields of psychology, counseling, education, and research.

Graduate Program Additional Materials
Program application

(Required only if you've previously taken a course for graduate credit. See form for details.)

Complete the Graduate Program Additional Application; upload it under "Graduate Program Additional Upload" in the graduate application.

Optional Materials

Diversity Statement

Submitting the diversity statement is optional, but highly encouraged, especially for applicants who have experienced hardships or obstacles to complete their previous undergraduate or graduate education (e.g., coming from diverse ethnic, racial, or educational backgrounds; coming from a low-income background; being a first-generation college student). This statement may be used to nominate exceptional applicants for graduate fellowships.

Tip: Tell your story. If you learned from obstacles you personally overcame, write about them. If you grew up with privilege, write about how you discovered your privilege. It might be tempting to write about someone else’s experience, an entire group’s experience, or diversity and inclusion in an abstract way. However, most often, admissions teams want to understand how you personally came to be empathetic, reflective, resilient, and aware of systematic inequalities. Describe how your background, experiences, and achievements will contribute to the program and the University’s goals of promoting excellence through diversity.

Upload the essay under “Diversity Statement” in the Materials section in the graduation application.

Writing Samples

Upload publications and articles in the graduate application under “Writing Samples.”

Extenuating Circumstances

You may upload a brief statement explaining any extenuating circumstances that may have affected your grades or your test scores under “Extenuating Circumstances” in the Materials section of the graduate application.

Common Ground Consortium

If you wish to be considered for a Common Ground Consortium fellowship for African–American students, please be sure to indicate this on your program application, and then upload a statement briefly addressing the following question: Given that the University of Minnesota is a public grant institution, it is imperative that CGC scholars can both benefits personally from their membership in the program as well as further the university’s founding mission to contribute to scholarship that benefits the local and greater communities.

Please describe how your participation as a CGC scholar would do the following:

  • Enhance your graduate student experience
  • Prepare you for your chosen career
  • Benefit the public