Applicants to Carlow University's Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in
Counseling Psychology program must possess a master's degree in
psychology, counseling, or a closely related field (such as
The master’s degree must have been granted by a regionally-accredited institution in higher education. Master’s degrees are considered closely related if they include coursework in the following areas:
- Human growth and lifespan development
- Social & cultural foundations or diversity training for helping professionals
- Helping relationships or counseling skills and techniques, counseling or personality theory
- Abnormal psychology or psychopathology
- Group counseling
- Research methods (statistics and quantitative methods)
- Psychological assessment, appraisal, or tests and measurements
- Counseling practicum and internship
Applicants who have a deficit in one or more of the areas listed
above, and who otherwise would qualify for entrance into the
program, may be considered for admission with the understanding
that the deficit must be remedied during the first year of the
doctoral program. If an applicant has too many prerequisite
deficits, Carlow may need to defer application for admittance to
the following year while the student completes the necessary
Preference will be given to applicants with strong academic
credentials and relevant experience as a helping professional.
Applicants who are finalists for admission will be invited to
campus for a personal interview with representatives from the
department in mid to late February of each year.
STEPS TO APPLY
Note: The PsyD
Program utilizes a cohort model. Therefore, students can only start the program
in the fall semester. There are no
spring or summer start dates.
The following is required for application to the PsyD program in Counseling Psychology:
- Completed application form [online]
- Completed supplemental application form [pdf]
- Resume or curriculum vitae
- Two essays (personal and reflective)
- Personal Essay - is autobiographical in nature and focuses on the applicant’s developmental history, cultural background and experiences, and explains the applicant’s reasons for pursuing doctoral studies in counseling psychology (3-6 pages of double-spaced text)
- Reflective Essay - addresses the applicant’s thoughts and understanding regarding the etiology of client distress and the nature of the change process (2-3 pages of double-spaced text).
- Official scores from the Graduate Record
Exam (GRE) General Test. The GRE Psychology subject test is not
required, though students that are applying that have a less
commonly related graduate degree may include these test results as
a support for their application.
- Official transcripts from the institution where you obtained your bachelor’s degree, as well as from any institution where you completed graduate courses or programs. Official transcripts should be sent by the institution(s) directly to Graduate Admissions and arrive in sealed envelopes.
- Three letters of recommendation with reference forms
from professionals (i.e., academics and
practitioners) who can address the applicant's suitability for
doctoral study. Letters are to be typed and submitted on applicable
letterhead. (Note: Personal references are not considered.) It is
in the applicant's best interest to submit letters from those that
have doctoral degrees. Still, it is expected that some letters from
practitioners may be best addressed by those with Master's degrees
in a clinical field that have supervised the applicant.
- Download the reference form [pdf] and complete the top portion of the form. Make three copies, and forward one to each of the reference writers.
- Direct each writer to: (1) Complete the form and (2) mail or email the form and accompanying recommendation letter directly to Kathleen Chrisman, PhD.
Completed application and supporting documentation should be submitted to:
ATTN: Kathleen Chrisman, PhD
3333 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
The Office of Graduate Admissions ensures that applicant files are complete. Complete files are forwarded to the Psy.D. Program Chair. Applicant information is put into a database within the program and files are made available for program faculty to review and evaluate (using a standardized form). Faculty then meet as a group to discuss applicants.
The following criteria are used to evaluate the extent to which students are a good match with the program:
- Academic area in which master's degree was earned (e.g., counseling, psychology, social work, etc.)
- Undergraduate GPA
- Graduate GPA
- Combined score on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
- Writing (Analytical) score on the GRE
- Clinical experience
- Research experience
- Letters of recommendation
- Personal essays
Graduate GPA, personal essays, and clinical experience tend to be weighted more heavily in this evaluative process, but the review committee examines all aspects of an applicant from a holistic perspective. Offers are extended to the most qualified applicants until a cohort comprised of eight students is reached. In the event that there are not enough qualified applicants then the program will have a cohort of fewer than eight students.