An undergraduate major in psychology or one of the other social or behavioral sciences is desirable but not essential. It is expected that the personal statement which accompanies the student’s application will show a realistic assessment of the student’s professional interests and goals, as well as how she/he fits with the doctoral program’s training objectives.
Applicants for the doctoral program are considered for fall admission only. For doctoral applicants, all admissions materials must be received by the final application deadline as advertised by the College.
Doctoral Program Applications:
Doctoral applicants must submit all credentials, along with their scores on the Graduate Record Examination General (Aptitude) Test by the application deadline. Doctoral applicants also are required to submit a copy of a recently completed paper on a topic of interest to them. This may be, but does not have to be, a paper submitted to satisfy course requirements. Admissions decisions are made once a year. All admissions materials must be received by the final deadline. See the Admissions section of this bulletin for more information.
Although admission to the Ph.D. program requires final acceptance by the Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, as well as Teachers College, the administrative details for this process are managed via the Teachers College Admissions Office. Applicants should not submit an application to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences requires that applicants have a baccalaureate degree with 90 points of liberal arts credit.
Preference is given to candidates with excellent verbal and quantitative skills whose transcripts, references, performance in an admissions interview, and previous work experience suggest that they have the potential to make a significant contribution to theory, research, practice, or policy-making.
Experience has shown that the doctoral program may not be the most appropriate program of study for students who wish to become psychotherapists. Applicants who are so motivated are advised to seek admission to the Ed.M. program in Psychological Counseling or to a different doctoral program in professional psychology.
Applying to the Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program:
The counseling psychology program uses a mentorship model of training. Applicants are advised to list a preferred professor(s) in their application that match their interests and experience. Applicants' applications will be directed towards the faculty member named in the application. Faculty members accepting students this year include: Dr. Melanie Brewster, Dr. George Gushue, Dr. Marie Miville, Dr. Laura Smith, and Dr. Brandon Velez. Those applicants who do not list a specific preferred advisor will have their material reviewed by the faculty member whose work is seen as most compatible with the interests and experience of the applicant. The final group of applicants is discussed among all faculty members during the final admissions meeting. Applicants chosen to attend the interview day (usually in early February) will interview with the faculty and with current graduate students.