Questions frequently asked by prospective applicants:

A: Columbia University's Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology are housed at Teachers College, which is the world's leading graduate school of education. At the time of the program's creation, all programs at the College included the term "Education" to be consistent with the mission of the College. The College's mission has since been broadened to highlight the three major areas of focus which are now Education, Health and Psychology. 

Application Form and Fee

Personal Statement


Official Transcript(s)

2-3 Letters of Recommendation (at least one must be academic)

A: The early deadline is January 15.  Applications received by this deadline are given full review and consideration for financial aid. The final deadline is April 15. Financial aid decisions for late deadline applications are based on available remaining funding. 

A: We do not require GRE scores, but you are welcome to submit them. 

A: An undergraduate major in psychology is not a requirement, but is an evident benefit. 

A: We seek to admit students with a range of backgrounds, however a background in psychology and prior research experience are a strong benefit. Prior clinical training or experience is also regarded favorably, as well as a history of leadership, individual scholarship or relevant employment.

A: Not necessary. A clear understanding of the aims of the program, and your vision for how it will benefit your personal goals is sufficient.

A: The program only admits new students in the Fall semester.

A: Your score must be at least 100 on the computer test and 600 on the paper test. 

A: Students can receive loans, but there are no scholarships or grants offered within our department for the MA degree. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid if you have any further questions.

A: No. This 36 credit Master of Arts Program does not feature supervised clinical practicum training, and is therefore not designed to prepare students for licensure in any US jurisdiction. Students seeking MA level licensure to practice psychotherapy are encouraged to apply to our Department's M.Ed in Mental Health Counseling Program. 

Questions frequently asked while in the program:

A: Approximately 150 students enter the MA program each Fall.

A: The class size changes depending on whether it is an intimate seminar course or a large survey course. Class size can range from 8 to 50 people, but the average is between 20 and 30.

A: It is a 36-credit program. If you are a full-time student, you may be able to complete it in three semesters (including summer). If you are a part-time student, it is very likely to take longer. Many students find that spending more than one year is highly useful. It may permit them to become closer with faculty members, become more deeply involved in clinical and research activities, and generally prepare to become stronger applicants for doctoral admission or employment. Up to five years are allowed for degree completion.

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

A: The Psychology in Education program is offered as "in-person". While online courses may be offered in any given semester, it is not possible to complete the degree requirements remotely.  

A: No, transfer credits are not accepted by the program.

A: Most likely. Many will have the opportunity to apply to work in a faculty member’s lab. However, each faculty member is unique with regard to their availability to meet with students individually or offer students work in their laboratories.

A: No. However, students are strongly encouraged to seek out fieldwork and research opportunities while in the program. You can meet with the Fieldwork Coordinator to explore possibilities, look out for any program emails informing about research opportunities and openings, or pursue opportunities independently.

Questions frequently asked about what happens after the program:

A: Your diploma will reflect that you have graduated with a Master of Arts from Columbia University. Your transcript will say “Degree Awarded: Master of Arts; Major: Psychology in Education.” The Concentration will not be reflected on your Diploma or Certificate. Those are curricular distinctions, which you may note on your CV. For additional questions, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

A: This program best serves students making career changes into the field of psychology, those who wish to integrate psychological principles into their current expertise, and especially for those who aim to pursue advanced degrees such as a Ph.D or Psy.D. Graduated students have been known to work in research institutions and to strengthen their doctoral applications by clarifying their long-term goals. Graduates typically find employment in research centers, clinics, hospitals, social service agencies, non-profits, and community colleges.

A: Our own Ph.D. program is small – on average 6-8 students per cohort. TC receives hundreds of applications to the doctoral program each year. Nevertheless, as many as 2-4 MA students may be successful applicants to our program in a single year. Most students apply to several programs for more advanced degrees, and nearly all are successful in ultimately gaining admission.

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