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Frequently Asked Questions

Please review our Frequently Asked Questions below:

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  • Yes. The general 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 the posted deadline.
    The GRE General Test is the test to take. GRE Subject tests are not required. 
  • Only the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections of the GRE General Test are considered. The Analytical Writing section is not considered.

  • If you have an earned master’s degree or doctorate from an accredited university, you may request that your GRE be waived by the Graduate College. 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. The Admissions Coordinator, Dr. Cheryl Fulton, does not need to request the waiver for you.

    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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • The Graduate College will automatically deny your application.

  • After a bachelor’s degree is conferred, you can only take graduate level courses to raise your GPA.  Since you are unable to take Professional Counseling Program courses prior to acceptance, if you wish to attend Texas State, you may choose to take other graduate level 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 other graduate program in which you are hoping to apply.  Again, you will be applying to another graduate program in order to take their courses as a non-degree seeking student; you will not be applying to the Professional Counseling program as a non-degree seeking student to take counseling courses. 


    If you have not yet completed your undergraduate degree, speak with your major advisors to determine how to raise your GPA.  Professional Counseling Program faculty cannot calculate these GPA changes, and the Graduate College is restricted from calculating GPAs until they receive an official application for admission. 

  • 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.

  • Yes. In addition to the GRE and the GPA, we evaluate the qualitative parts of the portfolio: the Statement of Purpose, 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.

  • 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.

  • We begin reviewing immediately after the deadline, and are unable to accommodate late submissions. Therefore, if you have a strong desire to enter the program in a specific semester, you must adhere to the deadlines. Check the Graduate College website for when applications are available for each admissions cycle.

    Check the Graduate College website for the beginning dates of the admissions cycles.

  • That varies greatly! If a student attends on a full-time basis, the MA degree (Clinical Mental Health Counseling, 60 hours; Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling, 60 hours; School Counseling, 60 hours) generally takes about three years or a little more to progress through the course work, practicum, and internships. The final three courses (two courses for School Counseling) are the clinical sequence which must be taken in consecutive semesters: COUN 5689, Clinical Practicum, and two semesters of COUN 5389 Site-based Internship. Therefore, this is one complete year, if enrolled in all three semesters (fall, spring and summer). We recommend that you use the sample degree plan to plot your own individual plan, and if you are accepted into the Program, meet with your assigned faculty advisor.

    There are many factors that 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 or interrupt 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 they will be knowledgeable, skillful, and ultimately successful.

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

  • 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.

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

  • 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 progress through the program more efficiently will need to consider taking classes at their second-choice campus. The Professional Counseling Program is "housed" on the San Marcos campus, but we are lucky enough to have a second campus where we can offer classes (Round Rock).

  • Most classes are offered face-to-face only. However, a few classes have been offered as hybrid and online courses, depending on the semester. Classes that are offered as hybrid or online courses will be designated as such on the course registration page for upcoming semesters and carries an additional technology fee per credit hour.

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

    If you want to transfer in a course to replace a required course, we must be able to verify that it is equivalent to the course for which you want it to substitute. For us to review it appropriately, you must first be accepted into the program, and then you will need to provide the Graduate Advisor (Program Coordinator) with a copy of the syllabus of the course you have taken elsewhere and want considered for transfer, and provide a copy of the transcript showing the course credit earned elsewhere. A professor who typically teaches our course for which you want to substitute the course you have already taken elsewhere will review the syllabus to check for equivalency and make a recommendation to the Program Coordinator. The course must also meet all the conditions as listed in the first section of this answer. 
    Not all types of courses are eligible for transfer into our program: the program allows transfer of foundational level courses, but not intermediate or clinical level courses (e.g., Basic Skills/Techniques, Intermediate Methods, Clinical Practicum, Site-based Internship). 
    Please note: The Professional Counseling Program Graduate Advisor (Program Coordinator, Dr. Ybanez-Llorente) processes requests to transfer in graduate credit hours. The Graduate Advisor (Program Coordinator) then makes a recommendation to the Graduate College on behalf of the newly admitted applicant/student, with ultimate approval determined by the Dean of the Graduate College.
  • The Graduate College allows 6 hours. However, if you are working toward the 60 hour MA in Professional Counseling, you can transfer up to 12 hours. If your courses are reviewed and approved (see previous question/answer for requirements), the Graduate Advisor (Program Coordinator, Dr. Ybanez-Llorente) may request transfer on behalf of the student, with ultimate approval determined by the Dean of the Graduate College.

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

  • Yes. Applications for the Department of CLAS are available during the spring semester for assignment during the following fall/spring academic year. The opening of these applications and deadline is announced through the Counseling program listserv. The Student Affairs office may have positions during a student's first year. Check their website using the menu above. Occasionally additional graduate assistantships are offered, so if you are accepted into the program, watch for an announcement in the student listserv. The CLAS Department provides specific information about graduate assistantships on the Departmental page above: New Student Info

  • This information is not available within the Professional Counseling Program/CLAS Department but instead through the Graduate College. Please check the Scholarships and Financial Aid Office for information regarding student scholarships.

  • Paid internships are scarce but allowable. Most graduate level internships are not paid positions. Please be advised that interns are ultimately responsible for securing their internship sites, but the Program provides many opportunities to explore available Internship sites prior to the student starting their clinical sequence.

  • 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.  See the website for the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors for the process to request a Criminal History Evaluation prior to applying to a graduate program to determine if specific criminal history will prevent licensure or certification. 
  • The national figures show future employment growth for 2014-2024: School counselors, 8%, average growth; mental health counselors (including marriage & family), 19-20%, faster than average growth. For Texas, through 2022, there is an expected 25.7% growth for mental health counselors; marriage and family counselors is 27.5%. School, guidance, and vocational counselors are expected to grow 29.6% in Texas between 2010-2020, the 2nd highest rate in the country for growth/need.

  • If you have additional questions, first go to our departmental website.

    The website contains a wealth of information including the Professional Counseling Faculty/Staff Directory, Courses Offered, and examples of Degree Outlines. Furthermore, under the Current Students link, the Professional Counseling Program's Official Student Handbook provides a wealth of information regarding the program, including courses, practicum, internships, and licensure requirements. The Professional Performance Evaluation, which lists qualities, skills, and abilities necessary for advancing through the program, is located at this site.

    If you have additional general admissions questions, contact the Professional Counseling Program at You may also leave a message at 512-245-2579. If you have emphasis‑specific questions, then contact the specific faculty advisors for each emphasis.