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Application Deadlines

March 1 for fall admission
October 1 for spring admission

*Please note application deadlines do not apply to the Student Affairs program; students are admitted to the Student Affairs program on an ongoing basis.

Counseling and Student Affairs Graduate Programs

Apply to The Graduate School. For Counseling Programs, completed applications must be received by March 1 for fall admission; and by October 1 for spring admission.

Applicants should review The Graduate School Admission Requirements and submit their graduate application at Apply Now for Admission to WKU.  Applicants will eventually receive an Application Receipt Email within a few days of their application. Upon receiving the Application Receipt Email,they should complete the application process by going to The Graduate School Document Upload Portal.

Upon receiving a copy of their background check, applicants should upload it into the Portal. (See Step 2 below for information on applying for a background check.) Applicants should also request their official transcripts through WKU’s Official Transcript Request. Applicants who expect to graduate within the semester of their application should upload a copy of their current official transcript in the Portal and then re-submit a copy of their transcript when it confirms a completed degree. Invitations for admittance will not be extended until the latter is uploaded.

All of the following materials should be submitted directly to the Graduate School.

Note: Documents should be uploaded after applying for admission. 

NOTE: Items uploaded to the portal will not show up on the Application Status page immediately as received.  It typically takes one business day for them to appear.

Upload Admissions Documents Here

1. A Statement Of Interest

A statement of interest of no more than 6 pages in length (including a cover page), written in APA format, includes correct spelling and grammar, and organized according to the prompts below. Applicants who submit Statements of Interest that do not adequately meet the guidelines (i.e., excessive writing and format errors; failure to address all prompts; and/or career objectives are significantly incongruent with program objectives) will be asked to reapply with an updated Statement of Interest for the next application cycle.

  • Present your career objectives and discuss how a degree in counseling or student affairs (depending on which program is your focus) will prepare you to meet these objectives. Provide support for why you believe your interests and traits (i.e., personal dispositions, interpersonal skills and experiences) match this profession. Be specific and provide examples from your life experiences.
  • Describe your experiences with and respect for cultural diversity. More specifically, discuss how you have formed and maintained relationships with persons from different backgrounds and cultures from your own (i.e., gender, race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, etc.) in both individual and group contexts. How do you maintain respect for these differences? Use specific examples.
  • Briefly discuss how you deal with stressful events. Discuss how you deal with your emotional reactions to events in your life.

The statement of interest will be reviewed according to the following: careful reflection, insight, and openness to self-examination in addition to evidence of knowledge, skills, and awareness of interpersonal relationships.

2. Names of Three References

References should be able to speak to the applicant’s academic aptitude, professional dispositions and readiness to becoming a professional helper. Each reference should include a full name, job title (i.e., Associate Professor, Adjunct Instructor), affiliated department, email address, phone number, and the applicant’s relationship to them (i.e., research assistant).

3. An Updated Resume

Applicants should submit an updated resume. Current WKU undergraduates may seek the WKU Career Center for resources related to resume building.

4. Background Check For Your Program

CounselingStudent Affairs

Applicants to either the CMHC or MCFC program should select “Counseling”; Student Affairs, should select “Student Affairs” and then proceed with the directions and fee. All questions should be directed to the Verified Credentials Client Services Team at 1-800-938-6090. The Background Check is forwarded to the Graduate School, however upon receiving it from Verified Credentials, applicants should upload a copy of it into The Graduate School Document Upload Portal.

The background may take weeks to be processed; this process should be initiated well in advance of the application deadline as it could take a month to process.

Applicants to either the CMHC or MCFC program should select “Counseling”; Student Affairs, should select “Student Affairs” and then proceed with the directions and fee. All questions related to the process of the background check including submission, completion and receipt should be directed to the Verified Credentials Client Services Team at 1-800-938-6090. The Background Check is forwarded to the Graduate School, however upon receiving it from Verified Credentials, applicants should upload a copy of it into The Graduate School Document Upload Portal.

4. Additional Requirements

A writing sample may be requested once a completed application has been received.

The admission interviews for counseling programs will be conducted in a group format on the last Tuesdays of March and October from 3-5 pm CST. Applicants should anticipate attending and coordinate their schedule to do so. The Department does not offer an alternative admissions date or time. Students will have the opportunity to meet faculty, current students, and other applicants, as well as ask questions.

Based on a collective review of all admissions documents (includes one’s GPA and transcript), highly ranked applicants will receive notification of their eligibility for an individual or group interview. Applicants who completed Step 1 with moderate rankings may be placed on a waiting list depending on the number of students admitted each term.

Eligible applicants will be scheduled for interviews on campus with faculty, current students, alumni and/or experienced professionals. Participation in the interview process does not guarantee admission but is a prerequisite for admission. Based on the interview assessment, faculty will make offers for admission to the most highly rated candidates.

Applicants with moderate or lower rankings from the interviewers may receive letters indicating that they will be placed on a waiting list or are not eligible for admission based upon the review. If you are on a waiting list, the average time to be notified of your eligibility may be up to 6 weeks.

Visit our funding opportunities webpage If you wish to apply for a Graduate Assistantship in the department and/or other opportunities around campus or the community.

According to the WKU Graduate School Catalog transfer credit(s) may be accepted if earned at regionally accredited institutions of higher education. Students transferring credit from an international institution must submit an official transcript evaluation of credit from an international credential evaluation service recognized by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) before equivalencies are determined. All transfer coursework must be documented on an official transcript with a grade of “B” or better. Transfer credits must be applied toward a graduate program awarded by WKU, are subject to approval by the appropriate academic department, and must comply with all other university policies. Plus and minus grades are recorded as the letter grade only. In cooperative or joint programs with other universities, credits earned in the program at these institutions are not considered transfer credits. At least one-half of credits applied toward degree or certificate requirements must be earned at Western Kentucky University.  

Transfer Credit into Counseling Programs are only approved pending a thorough process which includes the review of syllabi and one’s transcript. Students are advised that any change to the department’s planned programs can compromise their pursuance of state licensure and credentialing. While faculty can advise students on appropriate course substitutions, it is ultimately the student’s responsibility that transferred courses meet state licensure requirements. All course substitutions for required courses within the counseling programs must address the applicable CACREP standards within the course desired to be substituted. Clinical courses (i.e., group, techniques, practicum, and internship) are not considered for transfer credit. Elective course substitutions must be appropriate for degree completion. Students must ensure that the course they intend to use for transfer of credit has at least 3 semester credit hours. Transfer courses must be at least 5 quarter hours of credit to satisfy transfer of credit conditions for one 3-credit semester course. Transfer credit also must have been earned within the six-year time limit for degree completion. See WKU Graduate School for additional information.

Program Coordinators

The Program Coordinators who will oversee the application process are as follows

Clinical Mental Health Counseling,
Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling   
CSA Office Coordinator, Rhonda Jones
Student Affairs Dr. Aaron Hughey

For Joint Undergraduate-Master’s Programs (JUMP) in Counseling

JUMP applicants are eligible to begin the application process to the Department’s programs if they are a WKU undergraduate student in good standing (must have a GPA of 3.00 or above) who has 60 undergraduate hours completed but no more than 100 undergraduate hours completed; and has completed one semester at WKU.

Apply Here

Department of Counseling
and Student Affairs

Gary A. Ransdell Hall 3036
1906 College Heights Blvd. #51031,
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1030
(270) 745-4953

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 Last Modified 4/26/22