Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions PDF

Frequently Asked Questions:

When is the next application deadline for Summer/Fall admissions?|
December 1st of the previous year.

What are the concentrations in the counseling program?

We offer three concentrations: Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, and Addiction Counseling. Students can also complete an additional Concentration in Play Therapy while completing their degree in either Clinical Mental Health, School, or Addiction Counseling.

When may I enter the program?

Applications for the Counseling Program are reviewed ONLY one time each year. The application deadline is December 1st and the review process begins in January. Applicants are typically notified of their invitation to the MA Group Interview day by the end of January. All applications note Summer admission, but accepted individuals may enter the program in either the Summer or Fall semesters.

What are the counseling program's admissions requirements?

Our admissions requirements are as follows:

  1. possession of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university
  2. overall GPA of 3.0
  3. acceptable GRE or MAT scores


  1. brief statement of purpose- typically 2-3 pages in length. The statement of purpose may include: how you came to decide to apply for a Master’s in the field of counseling, why you are a good fit for the field of counseling, specifically address your chosen concentration and how you believe diversity and social justice advocacy play a role in being an effective counseling professional & any other information that you believe would benefit your application.
  2. 3 professional references
  3. official transcripts
  4. Resume or Vita
  5. your completed application along with the application fee

Does my undergraduate degree have to be in psychology or another “helping field” in order to be considered for admissions?

No-applicants must hold an undergraduate degree which can be in any field from an accredited university.

How do I apply to the program?

All applications must be completed on-line. If you have missed the December 1 deadline, do not submit an application for the next admissions cycle until after August 1st. To apply to the counseling program,


please submit an application to the Graduate School. Only completed applications are forwarded to the Director of the MA Program in the Counseling Department. Completed Applications must include the following: 1) Application Form, 2) Application Fee, 3) Official MAT/GRE test scores, 4) Official Transcripts for any completed undergraduate or graduate studies, 5) A statement of purpose which may include: how you came to decide to apply for a Master’s in the field of counseling, why you are a good fit for the field of counseling, specifically address your chosen concentration and how you believe diversity and social justice advocacy play a role in being an effective counseling professional. These statements should not be longer than 3 pages. 6) 3 letters of recommendation. Use the following link for Graduate School admissions applications and process:

Where can I sign up for the GRE or MAT?

The GRE is offered at many locations at many times by Prometric. The web site is:


The MAT is given at UNC-Charlotte Counseling Center weekly during the Fall and Spring semesters. The contact number is (704) 687-0311 or the information line at (704) 687-4399. The website will also provide additional information:


How can I check the status of my application?

You may check to see which of your materials have arrived at the Graduate School if you click on “Prospective Graduate Students” from the Graduate School admissions page.

What is the admissions review process? Is an interview required?

Completed applications are forwarded to the Department of Counseling’s Director of the MA Program for further review by the MA Program Admissions Committee. Each application is independently reviewed by three different faculty members. After the initial review, a selected number of applicants are offered an invitation to attend the Group Interview Day which typically lasts from 8:30am- 12:30pm. Final invitations for admission are decided upon the outcome of the application review and the Group Interview Day. Individuals who attend the Group Interview Day but are not invited for admission could be placed on a “Wait-List” which means that if other invitations are declined- admission is still possible. If an applicant is not invited to the Group Interview Day they have not moved forward in the admission’s process and their application is denied. If your application is denied, you may contact the Director of the MA Program to discuss your options and applying in the future.

How much is tuition?

Please refer to the Office of Financial Aid at steps-financial-aid


May I take classes prior to admission to the program?

Students often ask if they may take courses prior to admission into the program. The university policy is that students may take 6 credits prior to formal admission. To do this, you must apply to the Graduate School as a Post Baccalaureate student. The application for a Post Baccalaureate student is separate from the application for the MA program. Applications for the Post Baccalaureate program can be obtained from:


Which classes may I take before being admitted into the program?

The following counseling courses are open to Post Baccalaureate students if there is space available. To enroll in these courses, permission of the Instructor is required. Please contact the Instructor of the course one week before the starting date of the class to determine availability in the class.

CSLG 6101 Ethical & Professional Issues in Counseling CSLG 6104 Counseling Across the Lifespan

CSLG 6150 Career Development and Counseling CSLG 6160 Theories of Addiction*

CSLG 6161 Assessment & Diagnosis of Addictive Disorders* CSLG 6162 Interventions in Addiction Counseling*

CSLG 6163 Treatment Planning & Relapse Prevention in Addiction Counseling

*These are the courses in the Graduate Certificate in Substance Abuse and are offered on a rotational basis. (Permission from the Dept. of Counseling is required (704) 687-8960.

RSCH 6101 Educational Research Methods (Permission from the Dept. of Educational Leadership is required (704) 687-8858.

Please note that taking classes as a Post-Baccalaureate does not guarantee admission in to the program. The application process remains the same as it is for all prospective students

Master’s Degree Frequently Asked Questions: Incoming Students What should I know about advising?

All incoming MA students in counseling are required to attend the New Student Orientation and Advising Day typically held the April of the year of admission. Incoming students are assigned an advisor who is identified in their admission letter. Students should not register for any classes without first corresponding with their assigned advisor.

How often should I meet with my advisor?

After the New Student Orientation and Advising Day, students should meet with their assigned advisor some time during their first Fall semester for a formal meeting to complete the projected Program of Study.

Can I change my advisor?

Yes- the MA Student Handbook outlines the proper protocol for changing your advisor.

How long will it take to complete the program?

The typical time frame for completion of the program is 2-3 years. The main factor in time of completion is the number of courses a student takes upon admission. Students who plan to complete the program in 2 years must start during the first summer session. Completion of the program depends on various


factors: the student’s success in coursework, course offerings, and the clinical experiences. The Department of Counseling and University do have limitations on the number of graduate level courses that a student can take at any one time.

When and what time are courses offered?

Courses are offered during the day & evening hours Monday through Thursday – however most courses are offered during the evening hours typically from 5:30pm -8:15pm. A select number of classes are offered: on-line or as a “hybrid” course. A “hybrid” course will meet both in person and on-line.

Can I attend Part-time?

Yes-many students in our program attend on a part time basis-just remember you have 6 years to complete your degree from the time you take your initial class that is applied to your degree.

If I have taken graduate courses at another University, how many hours can I transfer?

The Graduate school will only allow you to transfer 6 (six) credit hours. Those hours cannot have been applied to another degree. The requested transfer hours must also be reviewed and approved by the Graduate School and the Department of Counseling.

Is there any financial assistance available?

The graduate school web pages have complete information about graduate assistantships, which are paid, part-time positions on campus. The Graduate School and the Department of Counseling will post available openings for Graduate Assistantships- BUT it is the responsibility of the student to complete the application, contact the department advertising for the Graduate Assistantship. The Department of Counseling will not “place” any students in a Graduate Assistantship position.

Other Questions?

Please contact the following individuals with additional questions:

Director of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program: Dr. Bryan G. Stare


Director of the School Counseling Program: Dr. Taryne Mingo


Director of the Post-Masters Certificate for School Counseling Licensure: Dr. Clare Merlin-Knoblick


Director of the Addiction Counseling Program: Dr. Pam Lassiter at


Director of the Play Therapy Concentration: Dr. Phyllis Post at