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Frequently Asked Questions

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Do I have to take the GRE?

Yes. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) must be taken and results received by the Graduate College before your Graduate application is considered complete. Please allow time for the Graduate College to receive your scores and process and deliver your file to the Professional Counseling Program by deadline.

What parts of the GRE are required for this Program?

Only the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections of the GRE General Test are considered. The Analytical Writing section is not considered.

Are there any exceptions to the GRE requirement?

If you have an earned master’s degree or doctorate from an accredited university, you may request that your GRE be waived. If you have a graduate degree and wish for the GRE to be waived, contact the Graduate College to verify that the waiver has been recorded. Additionally, send an email confirmation of this request to the Admissions Coordinator for the Professional Counseling Program.

The Educational Testing Service, who administers the GRE, retains scores for five (5) years. Therefore, if they have retained a score within their system and it is recorded by the Graduate College, that score can be used in lieu of the “waiver” ranking used, which equates to approximately 291 (150 verbal and 141 quantitative).

I have an earned graduate degree and therefore am eligible to have my GRE waived. Is that the best thing to do?

That depends. There are three major scenarios. First, if an application is submitted and a GRE score is waived, we have no way of knowing what the score might have been if taken previously or could be if taken again. Therefore, we insert a Verbal GRE score of 150 and a Quantitative GRE score of 141, totaling 291. Second, if the GRE is sent or contained within the current system, that score is used, whether it is lower or higher than the above-mentioned scores. Third, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) only maintains GRE scores for five years. Therefore, scores older than five years are not accessible. The applicant would have to consider whether retaking the GRE would benefit their overall ranking.

What if my GRE score is under the recommended minimum score of 291?

If you choose to apply with a low GRE score, your application portfolio will be reviewed and considered in its entirety. However, when making your decision whether to retake the GRE or not, please keep in mind the competitiveness of our Program and that only top ranking students are recommended for acceptance.

What if my GPA is below the required minimum of 3.0?

The Graduate College will automatically deny your application.

Will I be accepted if my GRE and GPA meet the minimum requirements?

Not necessarily. Our Program has become increasingly competitive and in order to accommodate our current students and meet our CACREP Accreditation faculty-to-student-ratio standards, we are only able to accept a limited number of applicants. Only those top ranking students per the number of spaces will be recommended for admission.

Are other factors considered in addition to the GRE and GPA?

Yes. In addition to the GRE and the GPA, we evaluate the qualitative parts of the portfolio: the Statement of Aspiration, your previous experience as evidenced by your Resume, and the information gleaned from the Recommendation Forms. All factors are taken into consideration when evaluating the portfolio.

May I submit my application after the deadline?

We begin reviewing immediately after the deadline, and are unable to accommodate late submissions. However, you can submit an application at any time. Any application received after the admission deadline will be forwarded to the following semester for review. Therefore, if you have a strong desire to enter the program in a specific semester, you must adhere to the deadlines

How long does it take to get through the program?

That varies greatly! If a student attends on a full-time basis, the MA degree (Community Counseling, 61 hours; Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling, 61 hours; School Counseling, 55 hours) generally takes about three years or a little more to progress through the course work, practicum, and internships. We recommend that you take the sample degree plans and plot your own individual plan.

However, many factors impact the time required to complete a program. The number of courses taken any given semester can vary for each student. Some students take more classes during the summer than other students. Life events may occur that change a student's plan. The Professional Counseling Program faculty members recognize that students are eager to graduate and work as professional counselors. However, please consider that people assimilate knowledge and skills at different rates. We suggest each student move through the program at a pace that makes it most likely that s/he will be knowledgeable, skillful, and ultimately successful.
 

What is considered a “full-time course load” for the Program?

Nine credit hours is considered full time. Students must get permission from the Program Coordinator to enroll for 12 credit hours!

What do the “Levels” mean in the sample degree plans?

You will note that the sample degree plans are in “Levels.” These are NOT semesters, but the levels will help you know the general order in which to take courses. Generally one level can overlap with another, but always pay close attention to prerequisites. Please refer to the    Graduate Catalog  or the Courses Offered section of our website, which will provide you with the prerequisites, if any, for each course.

What time are classes offered?

In the fall and spring semesters, classes generally are offered at 3:30-6:20 and 6:30-9:20. In the summer, we offer some classes over a 10-week session and some classes over 5 weeks, pending faculty availability. Summer classes generally are offered from 10:30-2:30 and 5:00‑9:30. Class schedules are available at the CATSWEB page of the university website. This link contains the most current schedule of classes available.

Can I take all classes at my “preferred” campus?

Depending upon the speed with which you want to progress through the program, you might be able to take most but not all classes at your preferred campus, as we typically schedule courses on a rotation basis between San Marcos and Round Rock. However, students who want to quickly progress through the program will need to take classes at their second-choice campus in order to move more efficiently through the program.

Are online courses offered?

At this time, and for the foreseeable future, no online courses are being offered.

Can I transfer in courses I have taken elsewhere?

Perhaps. First, any course transferred in must be a graduate level course, taken during the past 6 years, not already used toward another degree, and have been earned at a regionally accredited university.

Second, if you want to transfer in the course as an elective and the course meets the above requirements, then it generally will be accepted.
Please note: The Professional Counseling Program Graduate Advisor must approve any request to transfer in hours. The Graduate Advisor then makes a recommendation to the Graduate College for the applicant/student.

How many credit hours can I transfer in?

The Graduate College allows 6 hours. However, if you are working towards the MA in the Professional Counseling Program, you can often transfer up to 12 hours. If your courses are reviewed and approved (see previous question/answer), the Graduate Advisor makes a transfer request for you to the Graduate College.

Can I take classes before I am accepted?

No. Only those individuals who have been officially accepted into the Program can take courses.

What can I do to try to raise my GPA?

After a bachelor’s degree is conferred, you can only take graduate level courses to raise your GPA.  Since you are unable to take Counseling Program courses prior to acceptance, if you wish to attend Texas State, you may wish to take other graduate courses as a non-degree seeking student. To do this you will need to submit a new graduate college application, $10 application fee, and a non-degree seeking form with approval from the department you wish to take courses. You would need to contact the individual advisor for the program in which you are hoping to apply.

Are there graduate assistantships (research, teaching assistantships) available?

Yes. Applications for the Department of CLAS are available during the spring semester for the following fall/spring academic year. The Student Affairs office may have positions during a student's first year. Check their website. Occasionally additional assistantships are offered, so if you are accepted into the program, watch for an announcement in the student listserv.

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Are Internships paid or unpaid?

Paid internships are scarce but allowable. Please be advised that interns are ultimately responsible for securing their paid or unpaid internship sites.

Can I substitute other tests for the GRE and eliminate my need to take this exam?

No. The Graduate College in conjunction with the Program requires the GRE. Other tests, such as the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or the MCAT, cannot be substituted or considered in lieu of the GRE.

If I’m an international student, what is required?

Unless an international student has earned a degree from an accredited United States university, the Graduate College requires a passing score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) in addition to the GRE.

Will a felony or misdemeanor conviction prohibit me from entering the program?

We do not screen for convictions. However, as noted and further explained in the Informed Consent, the licensing and certification agencies require disclosure of felony or misdemeanor convictions and these could preclude you from earning your license or certification.

I have read all the admissions materials and the Frequently Asked Questions, and clicked all of the links on the degree plan emphasis, and I still have questions.

If you have additional questions, first go to our website at http://www.txstate.edu/clas/

The website contains a wealth of information including the Professional Counseling Faculty/Staff Directory, Courses Offered, and examples of Degree Outlines. The Professional Performance Evaluation, which provides qualities, skills, and abilities necessary for advancing through the program, is located at this site. Furthermore, the Official Student Handbook provides a wealth of information regarding the program, including courses, practicum, internships, and licensure.  
 
If you have additional general admissions questions, contact the Professional Counseling Program at profcounadm@txstate.edu.  You may also leave a message at 512-245-8677. If you have emphasis‑specific questions, then contact the specific advisors for each emphasis indicated in your program application.


Revised Sept 2012