Choosing to study counseling psychology at the graduate level can result in several different degree awards. You could earn a terminal master's degree or continue on to study at the doctoral level and begin teaching college courses.
Virginia Schools Offering Graduate Programs in Counseling Psychology
Virginia Commonwealth University
The counseling psychology program at VCU results in a Ph.D. in Psychology. Unlike other programs, there is no terminal master's degree as part of VCU's curriculum, although you will earn a Master of Arts as you progress. A separate defense of the master's thesis is required before you continue toward the dissertation. VCU focuses on research, clinical practice based on evidence, and a combination of practice with research. All students are fully funded with graduate assistantships or fellowships through the first four years of the program.
Several options are available if you plan to study counseling psychology at Radford University. While they offer both a Master of Arts (MA) and a Master of Science (MS) in Clinical Counseling Psychology, it's important to check their website, as they do not admit new students to the master's program every year. The MS requires a total of 40 credits to complete, while the MA includes 46 hours plus a thesis. Radford also contains a Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology. Their accreditation by the American Psychological Association was granted in 2016. Along with classwork, students will finish a 2,000-hour internship before finishing their dissertation.
University of Virginia
UVA's Curry School of Education and Human Development is where you can earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. The program is interdisciplinary in psychology, and you will gain knowledge of both clinical and school psychology as you work your way through the curriculum. Two tracks are available when you are admitted: clinical-school, which combines core courses with topics focused on educational settings, and general clinical, which provides a less specific focus on which areas you will explore during your research. If you choose to take the general clinical track, you won't be eligible for a school psychology credential upon graduation. A Master of Education degree is awarded to all Ph.D. students after one year of coursework.
James Madison University
If you're looking for diverse degree options, James Madison should be on your radar. No less than three master's degrees are available from JMU. You can choose from combined Master of Arts/Education Specialist programs in clinical mental health counseling or school psychology. There is also a Master of Education in School Counseling. At the doctoral level, two programs are available. You can earn a Ph.D. in Counseling and Supervision or a Psy.D. in Clinical and School Psychology.
William and Mary University
Another university with a collection of graduate degree options is William and Mary. The School Psychology program can grant a Master of Education or Education Specialist degree. You can also choose to pursue a Master of Education in School Counseling; Couples, Marriage and Family Counseling; or Clinical and Mental Health Counseling. If you're leaning toward the doctoral level, there is a Ph.D. in Counselor Education. For those who prefer distance education, William and Mary offers an Online Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling.
Admissions Requirements for Counseling Psychology Graduate Programs in Virginia
To start, you will need a bachelor's degree before entering any graduate program in counseling psychology. Your GPA from your undergraduate studies should be at least a 3.0, and at the doctoral level, competition is fierce, so you'll want to keep your graduate grades as high as possible. Your letters of recommendation should come from instructors who saw your most advanced coursework and can speak to your research ability. If you haven't already, make a new CV that highlights your work experience and publication history. All transcripts should be included, no matter how far back they reach.
Finding a graduate program in counseling psychology within Virginia isn't difficult, but getting into one might be another story. Make sure you have your best information listed on your CV and letters of recommendation before submitting your application for a master's degree or doctorate.