FAQs | Counseling Psychology | Counseling & Clinical Psychology

Skip to content Skip to main navigation
Teachers College, Columbia University
Printer-friendly Version
Teachers College, Columbia University Logo
Secondary

Counseling Psychology

In the Counseling and Clinical Psychology Department

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, we provide a list of some of the questions that we receive most frequently from prospective students. The first group of questions pertains generally to the Counseling Psychology Program at Teachers College. Scroll down for a list of questions about the Ed.M. program specifically, followed by questions about the Ph.D. program.


General

The programs have completely separate admissions processes. They also have different training goals: the Ed.M. curriculum primarily prepares counseling practitioners, while the Ph.D. program is based on a scientist-practitioner model.

The doctoral admissions process is the same for all applicants, whether a student applies directly from undergraduate school, or brings a masters degree from TC or elsewhere.

The programs only admit new students in the fall semester.

We consider the programs to be full-time, and you should not expect to be able to work full-time and complete it.  Many students work part-time while attending the program, but this sometimes means that additional time is required for completion of the program.

We consider the programs to be full-time, and you should not expect to be able to work full-time and complete it.  Many students work part-time while attending the program, but this sometimes means that additional time is required for completion of the program.

We prefer that your undergraduate degree be in psychology or counseling, but we also admit strong applicants in related fields who have some undergraduate psychology coursework.

There is no one theoretical orientation that characterizes our faculty, but what we do all have in common is an emphasis on social justice, feminist, multicultural and/or other racial-cultural issues within the way we work.


The Ed.M. Program in Psychological Counseling

We value the opportunity to work with students whose professional interests and commitments are consonant with social justice goals of our training program. As we make admissions decisions, we consider a student's portfolio of applications materials as a whole: academic records, personal statements, answers to the supplemental questions, and letters of recommendation are all important. Additionally, volunteer and/or experience working in the helping sector strengthen an application.  A noteworthy strength in one of these areas can help compensate for another aspect of the application that is not as strong.

We evaluate all potential transfer credits on an individual basis, and accept as many as 12 credits for the Ed.M program from another institution. Such transfers must, however, be completed during your first semester at TC. Note that transferring courses in can affect your ability to receive the Master of Arts en passant: all required MA courses must be taken here at TC to receive that degree (see the handbook for more details).

The fieldwork experience is designed to provide students an opportunity to practice and expand counseling skills in a setting that is congruent with the student’s specialization: mental health or school counseling. Under the direct supervision of an experienced counseling clinician, student’s will complete fieldwork during the second year in the program. This supervised experience takes place in various types of social service agencies, rehabilitation clinics, mental health agencies, career counseling centers, business establishments, educational institutions, non profit agencies, community consultation programs, treatment centers and facilities serving senior adults. We have a fieldwork coordinator who will assist you in finding the best placement for you.

Our program features two tracks: mental health counseling and school counseling. Within those tracks, students can select course and fieldwork placements that allow them to pursue further experience in particular areas, but we do not have formal specializations.

The program consists of 60 credits, and most students require two years to complete the program, assuming that they take summer classes in between years one and two.

The program will assign an advisor for you when you enroll in the program.

The program handbook describes the curriculum for the program. As you read over it, you will notice that many courses are pre-requisites for later coursework. It's important, therefore, to begin by completing as many pre-requisite courses as possible, given the constraints of your schedule. Among the courses that you should attempt to take during your first year include Theories, Foundations, Ethics, Career Counseling, your developmental psychology class, and one of your sociocultural classes (either Racism or Multicultural Counseling).

As a rule, we can't provide assistantships for masters-level students, although occasionally we are able to offer a teaching assistantship to an advanced Ed.M. candidate.

Our Ed.M. grads have found employment the same variety of sites as the ones in which they do field placements, and are now working in sites such as schools, hospitals, and clinics.

Graduate programs do not confer licensures or certifications -- individual state governments do that. For that reason, it's always best to get the most up-to-date information possible directly from the New York State Office of the Professions (or from the state where you are interested in being licensed). The New York State website is:
http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/mhp/mhclic.htm


The Ph.D. Program in Counseling Psychology

Since September 2013 the counseling psychology program operates under a mentorship model. Applicants are advised to name a preferred professor(s) in their application. Your application will be directed towards the faculty member you named in your application. Those applicants who do not name a specific preferred adviser will have their material reviewed by that faculty member whose work is seen as most compatible with the interests and experience of the applicant. However, 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. 

All of us have a list of research interests and selected publications on our TC website pages. You can find them by entering our names into the search box in the upper left portion of the TC home page at http://www.tc.edu/. You can also find our publications by entering our names along with other content-related keywords into search engines like Google Scholar.

Although students have one primary faculty advisor, many students collaborate on specific projects with other faculty members as well.

We evaluate all potential transfer credits on an individual basis, and accept as many as 30 transfer credits for graduate-level coursework for the Ph.D. program. Please see the handbook for further details.

We value the opportunity to work with students whose professional interests and commitments are consonant with the social justice/multicultural goals of our training program. We consider a student's academic record, GRE scores, personal statement, and letters of recommendation to be important. We also welcome evidence of research experience, interest, and/or aptitude. A significant strength in one area can help compensate for another aspect of the application that is not as strong.

For recent data on how long students take to complete the program, please refer to our "Program Data" document.  You can find and download this pdf on the Counseling Psychology doctoral program homepage.

We provide opportunities for doctoral students to work as teaching assistants (TAs) in many of our courses. These teaching assistantships provide a limited amount of funding in the form of scholarship points and stipends, and do not cover all program expenses.

Students do fieldwork at a wide variety of sites, including hospitals, clinics, schools, college and university counseling centers, and community-based organizations.

Students can select course and clinical placements that allow them to pursue further experience in particular areas, but we do not have formal specializations.

Most of our students complete internships in counseling centers, hospitals, and clinics.

Graduate programs do not confer licensures or certifications -- individual state governments do that. For that reason, it's always best to get the most up-to-date information possible directly from the New York State Office of the Professions (or from the state where you are interested in being licensed). The New York State website is:
http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/psych/psychlic.htm

To provide examples of the kinds of career directions that our graduates follow, the TC Office of Career Services has generously provided us with the results of their most recent post-graduations surveys. Links to these reports are listed below, along with the page at which information about the Counseling Program begins.

Application Information

For more information about applying to the program, please visit the Office of Admissions website, or send an email to tcinfo@tc.columbia.edu.

  • Apply
  • Request Info