Education: Counseling Psychology, School Psychology, and Counselor Education (EDCP)

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The graduate program in Counseling Psychology, School Psychology, and Counselor Education (CoPE) includes several distinct areas of specialization that are designed to provide the knowledge and skills needed for practice and scholarship in counseling and related human service professions. These fields are concerned with assisting people individually, in groups, and in organizations to attain their optimal level of personal, social, educational, and career functioning. Graduates are employed in a variety of settings including schools, colleges and universities, mental health agencies, business and industry, government agencies, and other community service and practice facilities. Depending on the specific area of specialization and level of training, program graduates may serve as researchers, educators, supervisors, psychologists, counselors, or program administrators.

Master's level professional entry-level training is offered in the School Counseling program, which prepares students to become school counselors in elementary, middle, and high school settings. School counselors are leaders, advocates, and systemic change agents who provide individual and group counseling to school-aged children, develop and implement comprehensive developmental school counseling programs, and collaborate with all key stakeholders, including classroom teachers, school administrators, parents, and community members, to ensure the academic, personal-social, and college-career development of students.

The Ph.D. degree is offered in two areas of specialization: Counseling Psychology (in collaboration with the Psychology Department) and School Psychology. Doctoral studies prepare students to achieve exceptional competence in the theory and practice of their field; to develop a high level of skills as researchers, educators and administrators; and to assume positions of leadership in relevant settings. Students in the specialization of Counseling Psychology are prepared to work as researchers, educators, psychologists, and supervisors in such settings as academic departments, college and university counseling centers, and community mental health agencies. Doctoral-level school psychologists serve as researchers, university faculty, supervisors, administrators, and advanced level practitioners. Program accreditation within CoPE includes: The School Psychology and Counseling Psychology doctoral programs are accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). The School Psychology doctoral program is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), and is also approved for certification by the Maryland State Department of Education. The School Counseling masters program is approved by the Maryland State Department of Education.

Note that, since 2012, the CoPE graduate programs have been part of a new department, the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education. The CoPE programs were previously housed in the Department of Counseling and Personnel Services.

Admissions Information

Applicants for regular admission to master's degree programs must have an undergraduate GPA of at least B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) and must submit their scores on the Graduate Record Examination. Applicants for admission to Ph.D. programs should check specific admissions criteria on the program's website. Applicants' undergraduate programs should ordinarilyy include at least 15 semester hours of coursework in behavioral science fields (e.g., anthropology, education, psychology, sociology, statistics). Selective screening of qualified applicants is necessary in order to limit enrollments to a size that guarantees high quality professional preparation and a close working, professional relationshp between faculty and students.

Application Deadlines
Type of Applicant Fall Spring

Domestic Applicants; US Citizens and Permanent Residents

Deadline: December 1

International Applicants seeking admission under F (student) or J (exchange visitor) visas, as well as those seeking admissions under A,E,G,H,I and L visas and immigrants.

Deadline: December 1

Application Requirements

  1. GRE General required for all programs.
  2. 3 Letters of Recommendation
  3. Statement of Goals and Professional Interests
See individual program websites for additional information.

Degree Requirements

Advanced Graduate Specialist Certificate (A.G.S. Certificate)
The A.G.S. certificate is offered in some of the CoPE areas of specialization. For individuals who hold a master's degree in counseling or a closely related field, this certificate program may serve: 1) to provide the additional education required for professional certification or licensure in those specialty areas that require a program of two year's length, and/or 2) to provide the academic background for an advanced level of professional practice within a specialty area. Those interested in the AGS should contact the program before applying.

Master of Arts or Master of Education (M.A. or M.Ed.)

Professional entry-level programs of two types are offered: (1) a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree with thesis, or (2) a Master of Education (M.Ed.) without thesis in School Counseling. Students pursing doctoral degrees may earn the M.A. with thesis within the doctoral program while progressing to the Ph.D. The applicant should consult the web page associated with specific CoPE program areas of specialization for further information concerning the relevant entry-level requirements and curriculum.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Ph.D. students are expected to attain advanced skills as both practitioners and researchers in their area of specialization. All doctoral students are required to take advanced courses in statistics and research design. Because of the highly specialized nature of each of the doctoral programs, applicants should consult the web page for specific areas of specialization. These pages describe specific course and fieldwork requirements, the nature of the comprehensive examination required for completion of the program, and the dissertation requirements.

Facilities and Special Resources

All master's, A.G.S., and doctoral students are required to include supervised fieldwork experiences in their degree programs. The CoPE programs have excellent cooperative relationships with on-campus facilities, such as the Counseling Center and Health Center. Fieldwork may also be done at a wide variety of school systems, colleges and universities, and counseling services and mental health agencies in the Baltimore/Washington metropolitan area, or nationally.

In addition to campus and program resources, students utilize the many major research and professional institutions that are easily accessible to the campus. These include the Library of Congress, the National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, the Institute of Education Sciences, professional associations such as the American Counseling Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Association of School Psychologists.

Financial Assistance

The Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education offers graduate research, teaching, and administrative assistantships on a selective basis to both masters and doctoral students. The Department also assists its students in finding assistantship placements with a variety of on-campus and off-campus units. In addition, a small number of new Ph.D. students are offered highly selective fellowships funded jointly by the Department and the University.

Contact Information

For additional information and application procedures, please visit our web site:

Graduate Coordinator: Carol Scott
3214 Benjamin Building
College Park
MD  20742-1125
Telephone: (301) 405-8384
Fax: (301) 405-9995

Courses: EDCP

Related Programs and Campus Units

Education: Special Education
Higher Education, Student Affairs and International Education Policy
Counseling Center, UMCP

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